Go Ahead, Tweet Your Abortion

Go Ahead, Tweet Your Abortion

Go Ahead, Tweet Your Abortion

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
Sept. 28 2009 12:11 PM

Go Ahead, Tweet Your Abortion

Blogger Penelope Trunk should feel free to tweet her miscarriage . Because women have miscarriages and abortions. And then don't talk about it. But we should.

When I first read Penelope Trunk's tweet, I winced. Overshare seemed like an understatement. But Trunk shares most details of her life, so why shouldn't she put this one out there? If you've had a miscarriage or abortion, for any reason, then you know that they have one thing in common besides the obvious: Before it happens, you don't think you know anyone else who's lost or aborted a fetus. Afterward, you find out you're far from alone. Women aren't very open about their experiences with miscarriage, and we're even less open about our abortions: Since 28 percent of women have had an abortion (40 percent of women between 40 and 55) and 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage , then every one of us knows someone who's been there. It's just that your friend-your mom, your grandmother-never talks about it.

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Pregnancy, miscarriage, and menstruation are all just bodily functions, and like all bodily functions, our control over them is more imprecise and tenuous than we would like. But we seem to reserve a special layer of shame and condemnation for the bodily functions that happen only to women. So here's my second thought for Penelope Trunk: Thanks. Because not talking about a miscarriage or an abortion-or all the complicated feelings that can get rolled up in both-because it's just too personal is fine. But not talking about it because no one else ever talks about it-so maybe we're just not supposed too-is not. Which makes living in a world where Penelope Trunk can toss off a miscarriage, a desired abortion, and her generally cranky feelings about both in 140 characters or less ... priceless.