In a new video reportedly created to encourage other women to speak out about the positive effects of abortion, Renee Bracey Sherman says having an abortion was “one of the best decisions” of her life.
“I haven’t once regretted it,” Sherman says. “It allowed me to change paths. It was one of the best decisions of my life. And I’m happy.”
Sherman, who calls herself a “reproductive justice and storytelling activist,” is the author of Saying Abortion Aloud: Research and Recommendations for Public Abortion Storytellers and Organizations, in which she, in a joint venture with the Sea Change Program, urges women to share their stories about their abortions publicly in order to create a new narrative about abortion as a positive part of a woman’s life and put an end to the negativity associated with abortion.
According to Fusion, Sherman – a NARAL board member – received the Justice Award by ACCESS Women’s Health Justice in 2013 “for her volunteerism housing and giving rides to women traveling 4-5 hours for their abortions.”
Sherman’s research, which was essentially a “survey with public abortion storytellers” that used Google forms and interviews, found that 92 percent (36 of 39) of respondents said they would continue to share their abortion stories publicly because these experiences were satisfactory. Additionally, Sherman said she found that 41 percent of abortion storytellers said they had “received little to no support from the organization with whom they partnered to share their story.”
“Recommendations” for abortion storytellers, as a result of the survey, are that they be made aware of types of support they can receive when sharing their abortion stories; that they know they should share the truth; and that they be compensated for sharing their abortion stories because “their work and contributions are valued.”
The report also provides recommendations to organizations that support public abortion storytellers.
Writing at the Huffington Post, Alanna Vagianos was taken with Sherman’s video and “the thought process she went through before choosing to terminate a pregnancy – and the opportunities making that choice has afforded her.”
“The best part of this video — besides that it shows she made the best decision for herself at the time — is that it reveals so much about Sherman’s personality, family and upbringing, showing that she’s so much more than her choice to have an abortion,” Vagianos continued. “She is a full human being with likes, dislikes, funny stories and a family that loves her. Sherman’s choice to have an abortion was just one of many decisions she’s made in her lifetime.”