January 6th, 2013

"I asked Siri where the nearest abortion clinic was…"

Here’s a message sent to StopPatriarchy from Nikki who is coming to Washington DC for the Week of Action.  Read. Take a moment to think about what this means for women’s lives.  ACT. 

"Last year around this time a friend of mine bought the iPhone 4S, he was so excited about it and so was I. I wanted to play with Siri, the voice interpretation and recognition program that comes on that model and all subsequent models of the iPhone. The first thing I did, as a proud feminist, was to start talking to Siri about women’s issues. I asked Siri where the nearest abortion clinic was. Her response: nothing. Siri couldn’t find an abortion clinic though there was one no more than 10 miles down the road. Fortunate for me, I know where the clinic in my county is, but Siri didn’t. Something like this might seem small, maybe even insignificant to many, but consider the impact this could have and/ or has had on the women and families living in not only my county, but throughout the United States, as I imagine the same thing happened to others in other cities and states. This could force a woman or a teen to give birth to an unwanted child. That to me is not small or insignificant. That to me is extremely offensive and destructive— to both women and society as a whole.


Due to this same kind of problem, the constant flow of inadequate or wrong information due to the stigmatization of abortion, a dear friend of mine was forced to give birth to an unwanted child at the age of 24. She didn’t know where to turn or who to turn to. The kid’s father had left her once he found out she was pregnant and her family lived states away. Needless to say, 9 months later she gave birth to this child and felt extreme guilt and shame surrounding the pregnancy. She felt obligated to keep her baby, yet she felt as though she was not in a place to provide for her child what he needed. She kept him anyway and has struggled every step of the way. We have spent endless hours crying together and even more hours talking about her struggles: about her lights being shut off, her food stamps running out by the second week of the month, her car being near repossession, etc. 


A woman’s access to abortion services is paramount to women being treated as equals, to women being able to determine what happens in her life. And as women know all too well, It doesn’t stop with them. When you force a woman to bear children against her will, this woman cannot help but pass that resentment, that bondage on to her child. Margaret Sanger said it best “A free race cannot be born of slave mothers. A woman enchained cannot choose but give a measure of that bondage to her sons and daughters. No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her body. No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother.”


Supporting abortion clinics and policy that supports women and their right to choose is the only way to be pro-woman. You cannot support women if you do not support their basic right to determine if, when and how many children to bear. And with this, I ask you to actively support women’s organizations that support women. Please, donate what you can to Stop Patriarchy’s indiegogo fundraiser for the Week of Action.

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End Pornography & Patriarchy: the Enslavement and Degradation of Women www.StopPatriarchy.org