Doulas Create Abortion Book for Kids to Normalize It as ‘Another Outcome of Pregnancy’

Preschooler Girl is Picking a Book at The Library. She is a Bookworm.
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A book for children under 13 which aims to normalize abortion as “another outcome of pregnancy” will appear in abortion clinics and public libraries around the country in the coming months.

Two abortion doulas, Carly Manes and Mar, launched an online campaign for What’s an Abortion, Anyway? on May 10 on Kickstarter. By early June, the pair raised more than $20,000 from 500-plus supporters to create their book in English and Spanish. They wrote the book because, to their knowledge, “there are no published books in the United States about abortion for children under the age of 13.”

“We believe in building a world for kids and adults where abortion is normalized as another outcome of pregnancy, just like miscarriage and birth. Having this book in the children’s section of libraries next to all of the books about pregnancy is one of the ways we hope to do that,” they said on their Kickstarter campaign page. 

As abortion doulas, Manes and Mar walk women through the abortion process regularly and provide emotional support. Manes, who wrote the book, describes herself as “a white, queer, Jewish full-spectrum doula from New York” who has supported “more than 2,000 individuals during their in-clinic procedures,” over a period of six years. Mar, who identifies as they/them and is the book’s illustrator, describes herself as a “brown genderqueer cultural worker and full-spectrum doula.”

According to the book’s Facebook page, Manes and Mar are working with Planned Parenthood and Abortion Care Network to donate the book to clinics around the country for children to read. They are also donating 300 copies of the book to public libraries in the U.S.

WE DID IT! 📚✨With your support, love, and promotion, we are thrilled to announce that we JUST hit our second stretch…

Posted by What's an Abortion Book on Monday, May 24, 2021

“I think my dream is that when you go to your local library and bookstore, it’s just among the books about pregnancy and miscarriage, among the books about reproductive healthcare,” Manes told the Stranger. “And hopefully, there’ll be more.”

Reportedly, the women decided to self-publish on Kickstarter because they could not find any publishers to work with them. Some called their book  “obscene and inappropriate.”

“Time and again, we were told that no one would dare print a children’s book on such a stigmatized topic,” they said.

Manes and Mar said they received backlash on social media when they first started “from folks who don’t believe in abortion access generally,” the Stranger reported.

Manes described the book  as “gender inclusive” on the campaign page — meaning no he/she pronouns because supposedly “people of all genders have abortions.” She simultaneously said the book is “medically accurate.”

Breitbart News reached out to the authors asking them why they think abortion is an appropriate topic for children, how they respond to backlash, and if they go into “medically accurate” graphic detail about what actually happens during an abortion. They did not respond to the request for comment.

In a video on their website, the women said the book is not an “advocacy tool for policy,” yet they seek to change what is considered appropriate to discuss with children.

Manes noticed many of her clients had children in the waiting room or at home. She said the women would often say they don’t know how to explain their abortions to their kids, the Stranger reported.

“I didn’t have anything to share with people,” Manes told the reporter. “So I started writing it.”

What’s an Abortion, Anyway? has already been pre-ordered in ten countries. They expect to begin shipping books by September 1, 2021.


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