À Washington, des femmes racontent leur viol pour défendre le droit à l’avortement

À Washington, des femmes racontent leur viol pour défendre le droit à l’avortement

They tell their drama but prefer to remain anonymous: too dangerous to testify openly on this subject in today’s America.

“I was raped when I was 15 by two men in the 1960s in Virginia. Since it was illegal to have an abortion in that state at that time, I had to go elsewhere. It was extremely traumatic. That’s why I’m here today”. This Saturday, May 14, Helene would not miss the march organized against the repeal of the Roe v. Wade who legalizes abortion, voted in 1973. “I am of all the demonstrations on this subject, and they multiplied from the 90s, when the first restrictions against Roe v. Wade appeared. I don’t want a return to the situation I knew. It would be too awful for my little girl Maddie.” She stands proudly by his side. In his hands, a sign: “I’m 18 and I’m already fed up with all this m…”. Maddie is determined to fight for the maintenance of abortion. She swears: “My generation is very politically engaged. I will vote next November, in the Midterms (legislative) elections, to block the reactionaries”.

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The face hidden by its panel

Erika hides behind her sign.

© Olivier O’Mahony

Erika, she advances at the head of the procession of the demonstration in Washington against the withdrawal of the Roe judgment, with a sign: “I was raped at the age of 13 years. My attacker was 18. I chose abortion”. Erika tells us that she met her rapist in high school. After she got pregnant with him, she went to the police. The officer didn’t want to believe her: he replied that she shouldn’t have been alone with this young man. So what was happening to him was somehow his fault. In conflict with her mother, Erika had no choice but to go alone to a legal abortion center in Illinois where she was then living. Erika, now the mother of a boy, has one thing in common with Helene: she refuses to give her last name, a rare thing in the United States, where displaying her surname is almost a reason for pride in such circumstances. “It would be embarrassing,” she apologizes. The main thing is to tell my story, to show that what happened to me was not promiscuity, and even if it were, the legislator does not have to worry about it. to occupy. Roe’s Withdrawal v. Wade would be a very serious deprivation of liberty, and it is very important for me to testify. Not to the point of appearing with an uncovered face, which she hides behind her panel. In today’s America, torn by reactionary currents, it could cost him dearly.

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“How could we have let this situation develop? wondered, on a panel, Maggie Fox, another demonstrator, standing in front of the Supreme Court, the end point of the march. Maggie doesn’t really have the answer. “America is being held hostage by a radical, minority right that has been smarter than the rest of the country. The reactionaries had a long-term battle plan, they got their way, perhaps because we never imagined that they could succeed. We let them do it, especially at the level of local elections, which we neglected, which allowed them to nibble at the system. It will take decades to reverse the trend.”

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