AbortionChat A place to talk about abortion; why you're for it, why you're against it, firsthand, secondhand, or curiosity. All we ask is that you keep an open mind.

Category Archives: Alex Ruiz

AWP, WGS, SEWSA, and Grant Opportunity

It has been an incredible last couple of weeks. As many of you know, Alex and I (Lynne) adventured to Seattle for AWP 2014 with our AbortionChat table. We met TONS of men and women of varying shapes, sizes, colors, etc. It was amazing. We asked incredibly personal questions (what kind of birth control do you use? What would you and your partner do if you got pregnant? And plenty more). We gave out brochures and cards. We took pictures which you can see on our Twitter account or our Facebook account. It was a great four days. We met people who shared stories about having three abortions, and not regretting a single one. We met people who didn’t know if they were prochoice or prolife. We met men whose partner’s had an abortion without telling them. It. Was. Great. And we can’t wait for more submissions. (Thank you for those of you who have submitted. I promise we’re going through them!)

Alex at our table!

After we returned home, him to Florida, and me to Maine, we recovered from Jet Lag (yes, capital letters) and I was invited by a member of the ACLU to participate in a Reproductive Justice Panel for the WGS Conference in Maine! There I got to talk about abortion, crisis pregnancy centers, the lovely people who send us death threats, etc. I met some incredible people there. I also met some very brave men and women there.

I was clearly very involved in what I was saying :)

Next up on our list is heading to Wilmington,  North Carolina for SEWSA which just announced their panel line up. Allie and I will be hosting one, discussing writing my memoir, The Right to Live: A Christian Girl’s Struggle through Abortion, Losing Her Home, Job, and Mind, and Recovery as well as how AbortionChat got started. We would love to see you there.

In the meantime, in case you haven’t heard, The Abortion Conversation Project is now open to submissions for grant opportunities. They are the ones who granted us the ability to go to New Jersey for the Sex Ed Conference, as well as host our table at AWP. They are a wonderful organization, and if you know a project or other organization, please submit a proposal to them. The deadline is April 1, 2014 so move fast!

In the meantime, we are still accepting submissions and we’d love to share your stories. Keep up the good work. Remember to use contraceptives, communicate with your partner, and change the world.

 

 

 

 

Welcome to AbortionChat.org

Good evening all,

I know that I’m rarely the one to post up around here, but I wanted to offer a little bit of an explanation for this site, particularly to those of you who log in and check up on us regularly. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been at work setting up this, our new WordPress-powered, Bluehost-hosted “.org”-having site. No more Blogspot, and I’ve set things up so even looking us up there will redirect you right here.

Now obviously I couldn’t have timed this better, as I’m sure all of our wonderful new friends from AWP are logging in and checking us out. Over the next few days and weeks, I hope to have gone through each and every one of our previous posts and ensure that they are properly formatted and as gorgeous as they were on the old site. It might get buggy for a bit though, so I appreciate your patience (also, any bug reports can be shot directly to me either in the comments below or preferably via Twitter at @A_X_Ruiz).

We’re glad to see you here, and love and appreciate you all. Our commitment to delivering quality articles, new stories, and everything you’ve come to expect from us has never been stronger, and we hope that you’ll enjoy this new platform just as much if not more than the old site. It’s just one more step for us on this whole “taking-over-the-world” thing we’ve been working on.

My best to you all, remember to stay safe, communicate and use those contraceptives!

-Alex

Confessions of a Pro-Life Convert by Alex Ruiz

At the age of one, I was baptized Catholic. At eight, I did confession, took communion, and (by cheating the system—thanks, Mom!) was confirmed Catholic. And nine years later, I privately gave up my faith for a lot of reasons that I won’t delve into here. Intriguingly, though, a few Catholic sensibilities still lingered in my personal morality, the weirdest among these to my non-religious and fellow-liberal compatriots was being Pro-Life.

Look at him…God, he’s so punchable

It was always easy to explain: my cursory knowledge of biology (influenced by a Florida public school education, I now realize, and not my former religion) told me life began at conception, and therefore killing in-utero babies was murder. I didn’t think of exceptions for rape and incest, though could be persuaded when the life of the mother was at stake—after all, logic dictates ensuring one life, rather than risking both. These were the lines within which I smugly watched the world. For the sake of a well-rounded picture, I should mention that at this point, I also insisted on only wearing synthetic leather shoes and belts because murdering cows for anything but food was inhumane and unnatural, that total pacifism in both the international and personal altercations was always and eternally not just the best but onlymorally-sound response, and that Van Halen didn’t suck. You can see what kind of insufferable creature eighteen-year-old me could be.

Then the even-more-unthinkable-than-unthinkable happened: I had a pregnancy faked on me. The faking I didn’t actually figure out until some time later upon a closer inspection of details—we had always used protection, she danced around symptom descriptions, and relayed the details of her “miscarriage” in a way that I later learned would make even an introductory med-school student scream with laughter. What was really important was the moment in which she said to me that she believed herself to be pregnant: faced with the (false) reality of what she was saying, all of the moral and logistical reasoning that I had used to formulate my every view on abortion shattered like so many dreams.

All I wanted was for her to get it taken care of, a truth which I actually kept to myself for the most part—I think there was the sly inclusion of the question to see how she’d react, and (of course) she wouldn’t hear of it. I kept pestering her to take a pregnancy test so that we could know conclusively and start reacting—after a few days, she claimed she had taken one with questionable results and then threw away because she didn’t think I’d care to see it—and a week or two later professed that she’d “lost the baby” (which she was absolutely sure had been the girl I’d always wanted).


Her name is Adelina: Here she is
with her first rattle.

While the entire situation was doubly much ado about nothing, in the aftermath I faced my own hypocrisy towards the abortion option. It’s indelibly easy to posture and stake out a moral claim, especially when it hasn’t applied to one personally. And I won’t insult Pro-Life readers here by stating they only believe as they do because they have yet to encounter these situations, though I know this is a distinct possibility, especially for men. I did it, in my youth and my arrogance, and I was humbled. I sought a new perspective on the issue and eventually arrived at a funny mix: I don’t really think about whether or not life begins at conception—I subscribe to the medical community standard regarding first breath and add the George Carlin addendum of if a fetus is really aperson, we would mourn miscarriages with funerals and couples would say “wehave two children” instead of “two and one on the way” (skip to for the particular citation, but this entire bit actually did a lot to inform my new logic).

Some years later, my best friend and his girlfriend accidentally got pregnant with my goddaughter. At the time, they were under twenty, under-educated, and under-employed. I told them they had my support whatever they decided to do. Despite what I privately believed was their best course of action, she was born in October of 2009.


Alex and Adelina
A couple months ago

Since she was born and I’ve related the story of her circumstances, I’ve been asked why I’m still Pro-Choice, why I didn’t switch back after beholding this beautiful little creature for whom I would give pretty much anything in the world. In truth, I treat it as I do religion: reveling in the discussion and debate, but not pushing anything on anyone unless they ask for my opinion. With Adelina and her parents, I was honest when they asked, and was there for them all the way, even being present in the delivery room. I’m very glad that they made the decision that they did, but having been in that same situation (or thinking that I had been), I know that I could never make that decision for anyone.


So I stand Pro-Choice, a supporter of rights to a safe medical procedure that should be openly available to all women and couples. And it isn’t logic or a traumatic experience that drives me there, at least not alone. It’s plain empathy. I’ve felt the claustrophobia of an unwanted pregnancy and I’ve witnessed the splendor that can come out of it as well. What I take away from both is simply a respect for the situation and an understanding of the difficulty of the decision: either way, all that is needed is some simple support, education, and maybe a little humility.


Alex Ruiz is a freelancer, poet, and fiction writer. He is a graduate of the English and Theater programs at Rollins College, and currently teaches in Orlando, FL. He is at work on his grad school applications, his first novel, and his first half-marathon.

Apart from these exploits, Alex enjoys Irish whiskeys, lifting heavy metal objects, and yelling at 24-hour news channels like they’re sporting events. Please follow him on Twitter @A_X_Ruiz where he’ll be happy to argue with you about way more than just abortion.