At one point not so long ago, I took abortion pills because that’s what was best for me. It was a short, simple, boring process. And if you don’t believe me, take beloved indie singer Phoebe Bridgers’s words for it: She shared her 35-word abortion story on Instagram on Tuesday, following leaked news that the Supreme Court plans to overturn Roe v. Wade. It read:
“I had an abortion in October of last year while I was on tour. I went to Planned Parenthood where they gave me the abortion pill. It was easy. Everyone deserves that kind of access.”
I related to Bridgers’s message intimately, and I was far from alone in feeling seen from her message. It only took 35 words for the singer to show her followers that they all know, love, and perhaps idolize someone who’s had an abortion. And whether you’re on tour, in school, or at any stage of life really, as Bridgers put it, “Everyone deserves that kind of access.”
The political and cultural discourse around abortion tends to fixate on a dated, stigmatized narrative of abortion as an innately difficult decision. Politicians often “defend” people who have had abortions by emphasizing—as the Obamas put it yesterday—that it’s not a decision people make “casually,” as if abortion has to be, if not shameful, then heavy and grave.
For some, it may be. For many others, it’s not. People “casually” decide to get root canals and colonoscopies, and they “casually” decide to have abortions, too. Unless they want to, they don’t need to justify or explain the decision with lengthy, agonizing stories for your approval; they don’t need to be survivors of abuse, or living in poverty, to be deserving of abortion, or fit your narrative that this health care service—because that’s what abortion is—must be dark or difficult.
Sure, many people who have abortions are survivors. They are trying to escape poverty or perhaps struggling to take care of the kids they may already have. Across the country, for years now, abortion has been vastly inaccessible for many. But for many of us, abortion wasn’t the drama and pageantry of political warfare, the splashy protest signs and showdowns at the Supreme Court—it was a means to not be forced to carry an unwanted or unviable pregnancy.
As Jezebel’s own Caitlin Cruz has explained before, “There are people whose abortions made them deeply sad and others who never thought twice about the decision, and those feelings exist in even the same person.”
I have deep appreciation for the brevity and matter-of-fact nature of Bridgers’ abortion story. Stories like this help normalize abortion.
“It was easy. Everyone deserves that kind of access.”
Everyone who may ever need an abortion deserves a story like Bridgers’, or like mine (but mostly like Bridgers’, because being on tour sounds much cooler than being in school).