Dawn Serra

Changing The Way We Talk About Abortion

At ACP, we are always happy to support conversations that reveal the complexity of abortion experiences. Check out this Sex Gets Real podcast.

Carol Sanger and Dawn Serra On Telling Our Stories, Examining Men’s Choices, And Allowing For Grief

An intimate and compelling interview with the author of “About Abortion: Terminating Pregnancy in 21st Century America” by Harvard University Press

When men choose to destroy embryos or terminate a pregnancy, what are the reasons they give? How has technology changed the imagery around pregnancy and abortion? What if there was a simple way to change the political discourse around abortion? Why do we trust women with raising children and shaping their future but not with the power to decide the fate of their own bodies? What is the pro-choice movement getting horribly wrong in the conversation around abortion?

Carol Sanger and Dawn Serra tackle these questions in a powerful new episode of Sex Gets Real, a weekly podcast on sexuality, relationships, and human connection. This hour-long conversation examines the results of Sanger’s 6-year quest to write “About Abortion” as well as a collection of compelling stories from those who have experienced abortion.

Creator and podcast host, Dawn Serra says, “Nuanced, sensitive, based on case law and in-depth cultural studies, Carol makes a compelling case for the harm of secrecy and why our lack of nuance in the abortion discussion is feeding the frenzy. Our chat blew me away and the stories I received from listeners about their abortions will give everyone reason to pause and reflect.”

Carol Sanger offers insights such as:

“Men [who choose to destroy embryos] said things like, ‘I don’t want to spend the rest of my life with that woman.’ Or, ‘I have enough kids already.’ Or, ‘I’m a young man & now that I’m single again the last thing I want is to be tied down by a kid.’ Or, I’m engaged in a serious work project and it would be bad to have a kid now.’ When I lined those reasons up with the reasons that women give [to terminate a pregnancy], they were quite the same.”

“We trust women with everything. We trust them with raising our children, we assign that task to them. We trust them with everything, except deciding that this might be the right time, circumstances might not be right. It’s conditional trust.”

“There are three groups that I think should start stepping up and talking about abortion. The first is grandmothers. Grandmothers are, for better or worse, thought to be non-sexual which eliminates the sex issue. The second group are ministers wives and ministers. There’s a group with moral authority who can share their story. And, the third group is men. It would be really good if men took a little responsibility here.”

As the political climate continues to restrict access to reproductive health care (and health care, in general), especially for marginalized bodies and voices, this conversation offers activists, health care providers, and anyone interested in healing the abortion conversation a powerful new framework for considering the debate and influencing politics using the personal.