As Congress deliberates a federal ban on abortions after 20 weeks—and as the 42nd anniversary of the historic Roe v. Wade decision draws near—there is perhaps no better time to open up a meaningful conversation about abortion. This context makes the Advocates for Youth production Out of Silence, which debuted last night in Washington, DC, all the more significant.
The play, produced by Advocates' 1 in 3 Campaign (so named because about a third of women will have an abortion by the end of their child-bearing years), is being touted as a Vagina Monologues for abortion. And indeed its structuring is much the same, with 13 vignettes created by 10 different female playwrights, all working to de-stigmatize the abortion experience.
Said Debra Hauser, President of Advocates for Youth:
"Plays have a long history of introducing new perspectives and shifting public discourse, while providing audiences with a safe space to grapple with important social issues. We have been honored to receive these stories from women across the country. Each story is unique and brings a fresh perspective to the issue, but what’s most remarkable is how the need for safe abortion care is a common thread that runs through all our lives and has done so throughout the generations.”
Organizers plan to roll the production out onto college campuses this fall, in the hopes that—like The Vagina Monologues before it—it will become a staple of higher-education discourse.
We can only hope.