Today is International Women’s Day. The United Nations theme for 2019 is #StrongerTogether
At Marie Stopes Australia we know that what we do wouldn’t be possible without strength in numbers. Without the incredible staff who work at each of our clinics and support centres across the country, we would not be able to help the women who walk through our doors. Without our customer service team, there would be no one to take calls from the women who are asking for our help. Without our doctors and nurses, we wouldn’t be able to provide the contraception and abortion procedures that women want and need. We know that every day we open our doors, it’s thanks to the tireless work of every single person at Marie Stopes. Because we are stronger together, and that allows us to do more to support women.
We see so many patients come through our doors with the support of another woman in their life. Sometimes it’s a mum, a sister, a cousin or a good friend, but they’re always there looking out for the woman they care about, ensuring that she’s going to be looked after. Currently, 1 in 4 Australian women will seek an abortion in their lifetime. Abortion is one of the most common medical procedures in this country. But unlike so many others, it is one that will remain largely un-discussed by the people who elect to have one. Fear of stigma, fear of judgement, fear of the taboo that surrounds the decision they’ve made. This fear leaves us isolated. It means that many of us go through a challenging experience without the comfort of knowing how many women, just like us, have survived and thrived after making the same choices.
This division between women, so many of whom have walked the same path or supported others who have, robs us of important narratives. Shared knowledge, shared experiences; these things help to unite us, help us to feel brave and strong. The stigma that surrounds so many women’s issues helps to perpetuate feelings of shame and isolation. When we reject this, when we make the choice to discuss discuss topics, like abortion, we’re ensuring that future women will have the support and strength they might need. Because we will always be stronger together.
36 incredible people have come forward to combat this. “Choice Words” is a collection of writing from incredible women about abortion; discussing their experiences, their fears for the future, their recollections of the past and their words of wisdom for the women who will walk in their shoes. The proceeds from every copy sold will go towards the Marie Stopes Choices Fund, to help us continue to provide our services to women who are otherwise unable to access them.
When you buy a copy of “Choice Words” you’re not just helping to financially support women who need it, but you’re helping to unite us all against abortion stigma – helping to ensure that we’re stronger together.