"What to expect when you're aborting"

A young woman blogs about terminating her pregnancy.

Published August 25, 2008 4:35PM (EDT)

"I'm 23. I'm knocked up. And I don't want to keep it. You can fuck yourself, Judd Apatow," writes the anonymous author of a blog called "What to Expect When You're Aborting." She created the site after searching the Web for abortion blogs and finding only scary, freaky antichoice propaganda. Since posting her first entry on Aug. 20, she has scrupulously tracked the process of terminating her pregnancy. Posts range from witty and wry to stark and depressing. A particularly touching entry recounts the author's father's reaction to the news that she's pregnant and getting an abortion; he wholeheartedly supports her decision, going so far as to call her "every hour" to make sure she's doing OK.

In a time when there seems to be a blog for everything, it's a bit surprising that no one has devoted one to her own abortion before. But then again, pop culture has always shied away from the controversial issue, so it's easy to see why bloggers might be uncomfortable discussing their personal experiences with it. How many movies and TV shows have led a character all the way to the clinic only to have her back down at the last minute and decide to have the baby? In all my years of media addiction, the only sensitive, empathetic portrayal I've ever seen of a woman undergoing an abortion occurred on HBO's "Six Feet Under." We take so many cues about how to live from the big and small screens that the absence of these kinds of story lines may leave a greater void than we realize.

Though I've been ambivalent, in the past, about public displays of abortion -- most notably, activist and author Jennifer Baumgardner's infamous "I Had an Abortion" T-shirts -- I have nothing but respect for the author of "What to Expect When You're Aborting." She writes about using the loneliness she's experiencing to help other women feel less isolated, and I can imagine her determined, conflicted and deeply honest blog will be an invaluable resource to those who find themselves in a similar predicament. I wish her a safe abortion and a quick recovery. I can only hope she'll be as candid and articulate about the experience itself as she has been about the days leading up to it.

"WHERE IS THE JUNO OF THE ABORTION WORLD?!?" the blog's author wonders in her first post, desperate for a role model. Little does she know that she's the one who has finally filled those sneakers. (Via BuzzFeed)

By Judy Berman

Judy Berman is a writer and editor in Brooklyn. She is a regular contributor to Salon's Broadsheet.

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