Instruments of Memory

I’m sharing a call for stories from my brilliant colleague and friend, Sarah Webb (IG: @sewmanystories).

“Nearly one in four women in the United States will experience an abortion by age 45 for reasons that are deeply personal. And yet the stigma around abortion has silenced their experiences for fear of repercussion. Abortion stories are unspoken stories.”

With the anticipated overturning of Roe v Wade, a group called “Instruments of Memory” presents unspoken, a collaborative project in the form of a digital commonplace book, interweaving stories written by women who chose to terminate a pregnancy with Cynthia Mulcahy’s series Abortion Bouquet: An Action. Mulcahy’s  makes “abortion bouquets” from traditional abortifacient plants for artists, activists, abortion rights advocates and allies: contemporary women holding bouquets imbued with the ancient wisdom of midwives. 

unspoken explores the multiplicity of ways stories speak through silence and speech. The project is an offering: visual and verbal tropes of women, of the ways they have (always) been the silent keepers of their reproductive health and safety, and in a (potentially) post-Roe world will be called to interpret and navigate again.

At this critical historical juncture, these stories can no longer be held in secret or shame. Instead they are stories to be shared in support and service to generations of future women, to actively be unspoken no more.

IoM wants to hear from you: WHETHER YOU WRITE ABOUT HOW YOU REMEMBER AND INTERPRET YOUR DECISION TO HAVE AN ABORTION IN THE MOMENT, OR WHEN THE MOMENT ITSELF HAS PASSED, YOUR STORY CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

WE INVITE YOU TO SHARE A STORY FROM EITHER FROM YOUR OWN LIVED EXPERIENCE OR FROM HOW THE EXPERIENCE INFORMED SOMEONE CLOSE TO YOU. SUBMIT YOUR STORY HERE.