I couldn’t turn my abortion into art

I couldn’t turn my abortion into art

[Ed. – Spoiler alert: She went through with the abortion but didn’t film it … and now she has mixed feelings about abortion.]

…I was having an affair with a married 36-year-old sound mixer whom I’d met on a film shoot a couple of months earlier.

And then, a few months later, I rolled out of bed at an unreasonably early hour and vomited.

This didn’t seem as big a problem to me as it might have for other young women. This was the mid-1990s. Reared on protest marches, I had a NOW poster affixed to my bedroom wall. I was an unwavering believer in the fierce rhetoric of pro-choice. And now: a poster child.

In addition, in college I had essentially majored in experimental feminist video. I could make art out of anything.

I called my boss — a pretty, perpetually single 35-year-old art director — and confided my situation. She gave me the name of a clinic on Park Avenue. “Whatever you do, don’t go alone,” she said.

I called. I made an appointment for the next day and checked the price: $350 — slightly more than a week’s pay.

The money intimidated me but the mission didn’t. Not only was this the right I’d marched for, it was an opportunity. It could provide material for the kinds of film I’d voraciously consumed in college, in which women transformed their most traumatic experiences into emotionally stirring and awareness-raising images…

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