Shame + Sex Don’t Belong Together

Categories Carly Pifer, Personal story

I have had two abortions. Both experiences were incredibly emotional and difficult, but they could have been so much worse. I’m grateful I had funds to pay for the procedure, transportation and easy access to a clinic, and supportive friends. Not everyone is so lucky.

I was on an errand in New York City recently and passed by a woman on the corner, dressed like an extra in The Handmaid’s Tale, holding a sign that read “Praying to end abortion.” I was so shocked by her presence, I couldn’t think of the words I so needed to say to her. I promised myself if she was still there on my way back, I would say something.

My errand didn’t bring the words to me. But when I saw she was still on the corner, I looked her in the eyes, and said “You shouldn’t be here.” By here, I meant New York City, my city, the United States of America. Earth! This world. She had no business here. Only after did I notice the discreet sign across from where she stood. It was a Planned Parenthood clinic.

My first abortion was at Planned Parenthood, and at the time, it certainly felt like my only option. I’d heard through high school girl word of mouth that I could go there and not be judged or get in trouble. I remember leaving the clinic after the procedure in a fog, scared and ashamed. I cannot begin to imagine how it would feel to encounter unnecessary judgement after such a procedure.

On Friday, I will take an epic train ride to Montreal (the Handmaid’s Tale comparison is heavy!) to participate in SMUTATHON alongside AURORE author, Theda Bara, the Erotica Queen of Bellesa, Jayne Renault, and many more writers who have come together for the cause.

With our powers combined, we are hoping to raise $5K for the National Network for Abortion Funds, a thoughtfully researched recipient for our efforts. (I know this seemed like a love letter to Planned Parenthood; they are but different vehicles with the same destination.)

And every donation drives us forward together

Goal Thermometer

AURORE is committed to giving women an empowering, judgment-free platform to tell their stories and 100% pro-choice—those choices include what you do with your body, who you do it with, and however you choose to identify.

Carly Pifer is the founder of AURORE: erotica, updated. AURORE publishes honest stories about people’s intimate experiences, celebrating the sex they loved, the sex that changed them, and the sex they want to reimagine. Carly solicits and curates a collection of erotic literature that is as authentic and emotional as it is arousing. AURORE recently launched a workshop series online and IRL to build a community supporting open discussion about sex.

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