Abortion: When the Personal Is Political

Akiba Solomon writes in Dissent magazine how she came to view Roe v. Wade through her black feminist lens.

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Though Roe v. Wade was handed down long before journalist Akiba Solomon was born, the controversial case affected her personally, she writes in Dissent magazine. Solomon served as a sex educator and a volunteer at a Planned Parenthood-affiliate group during her teens, and that experience coupled with her mother's personal opinion on the women's rights issue gave the writer a life lesson that colors her view of abortion to this day.

Even without the crash course in my state's obstructive abortion policy, I was unapologetically pro-choice. Common sense told me that abortion fell squarely in the category of "doing what you had to do." If you weren't the person carrying the fertilized egg, and if you weren't emotionally, socially, financially and legally required to raise or pay child support for the resulting baby, best practice was to mind your own damned business.

In fact, under the rubric of "the personal is political," I'm going to tell you—with her permission—that my mother had an abortion. She and my father couldn't support a third little Solomon, so they made the choice. My mom mentions her abortion with the same pragmatism she's used to discuss her intra-uterine device and tubal ligation. "I'm just not ashamed of it," she has said, without prompting, on more than one occasion. "I believe in a woman's right to choose, and I think all women deserve equal access to this choice."

Read Akiba Solomon's entire piece at Dissent magazine.

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