04 May, 2022

A Very Personal Statement on Roe v. Wade

My name is Alexandra Silber.
And a legal right to safe abortions—as safe and accessible healthcare— is a very personal issue for me.

Now it is not just personal to me because I have a uterus, identify as a woman and am currently in child bearing years. It is not just because I support all oppressed people, everywhere.

But it is because in 2001, at the age of  18 — I had on abortion in the state of Michigan. I had become pregnant against many birth-control odds, with a committed, and incredibly loving partner I was with throughout high school through college.

This termination took place just 7 weeks after my father had died of cancer, at an incredibly precarious time in my life and the state of the world. Not one human—including if not especially the unborn—would have benefited from that birth taking place. Despite doing “so much right” in the safe sex department, the birth would have destroyed the lives of many, including my own.

Do you wanna ask me what it feels like to be a statistic?
Do you want to hand me a religious, political, or reductive high and mighty take on an 18 year old grieving girl’s  humanity?

You wouldn’t be the first.
To assume, accuse, or to call me a murderer to my face.

If Roe V Wade is overturned the incredibly correct choice for me, my partner, the unborn and both our families, that I made in 2001 at the age of *18* would be—according to polling data—an utterly illegal and criminally punishable act in the state of Michigan. If I had survived an “underground” procedure, I’d be imprisoned for it.

I am a white-passing person with on again off again access to decent American healthcare. In 2001, I had friends and connections that might have funded my ability to fly to another state to have the procedure done safely and legally. But the MAJORITY of Americans are not in that position. Abortion will never stop happening, it will stop happening safely. More people will be impoverished, hungry, disenfranchised, and of course DEAD because the government is threatening to make a decision that has held as “precedent” for 50 years.

I am currently 38 years old. I’m a “successful” self employed Millennial whose generation has been struck down a few times by the 2008 recession, the 2020 pandemic—my generation isn’t lazy or irresponsible, irrevocably woke or lacking in a concept of hard work. I now possess the maturity and wherewithal to raise a child— but I STILL don’t feel I dependably have the means to properly provide for that child is so precarious a country. But above all— NO ONE should ever have to be pregnant who does not want to be pregnant.

Our culture has hated and oppressed women since the dawn of time.
This is an attack on women. Yes.
But in a broader sense it is an attack on any human being who is not a white, Christian, cis-gendered male in a typical nuclear family Model.

I am angry. And I am terrified.
And if you are too — I’m with you.

I do not publicly talk about this because I’ve always considered the decision and chapter to be private, and honestly I’ve felt extraordinary terror about sharing this information for the violence it might —as HAS— inflicted upon me when it is brought up. But privacy doesn’t exist in a country where the government is inside our bodies.

Perhaps in sharing this, perhaps in giving a human face to what for many feels like a theoretical issue, Someone out there might PAUSE, think, feel, and acknowledge that I am someone’s daughter, sister, aunt, friend, colleague and neighbor. I’m a person you might not think this issue has affected, but it has. Profoundly. I am you. I am your loved one.  And it is hard to hate up-close.

Take a look at me:
I could be someone you know.
I am only here today making any kind of difference because I was able to make a choice SAFELY and therefore did not die or end up in prison for making a medical decision about my own body.

I am here today doing everything in my power to make the world a better place because the life I chose was the only life I COULD choose.

March. Write. Call. Donate.
And for the sake of all the women and womb-having siblings you care about: vote.

Thank you.


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