Feminist Conversations is a weekly column at Feminists for Choice, where we talk to feminists from across the interwebs to find out what feminism means to them. Today we’re talking to Steph Herold, who caused quite a stir earlier this week when CNN caught up with her to ask her about the #ihadanabortion tag that she created on Twitter. Steph is a reproductive justice activist who has worked in direct service abortion care and reproductive health advocacy. She founded the website IAmDrTiller.com to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Tiller and honor the stories of abortion providers. She also founded the blog AbortionGang.org as a space for young people in the reproductive justice movement. She tweets from the handle @IAmDrTiller and lives in Brooklyn, NY.
1. How did you get involved with the New York Abortion Access Fund?
When I was in college, I worked for the abortion access fund in Philadelphia, the Women’s Medical Fund. That was my introduction to the pro-choice movement, and I fell in love. After graduating, I continued volunteering for the fund so I could remain a part of the community working to make sure that women have access to save abortions. When I moved to New York a few months ago, I wanted to find a way to continue this reproductive justice work. After attending a few NYAAF events, I applied to be on the board, and luckily for me, they accepted me!
2. What inspired you to start the IAmDrTiller website?
Instead of trying to summarize that in a few words, I actually wrote an article about this for On the Issues Magazine. I wanted to create a space to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Tiller and share the experiences of abortion providers.
3. What was the motivation behind the #ihadanabortion hashtag on Twitter?
It is not, as some have suggested, politics. I could have done this a week ago or last year with the same motivations. Unfortunately, abortion carries a stigma no matter who is in power. Last week, I read this blog post where the writer compares the modern pro-choice movement to the gay rights movement in the 1970s. What strengthened the gay rights movement then, according to her, was people coming out, and the general public realizing that homosexuality is more common and prevalent (and normal!) than they ever imagined. The author of the post posed an interesting question: why don’t we do that for abortion rights? That really struck a chord with me. The anti-choice movement has tried to make abortion the sin of a few bad women. In reality, abortion is a regular part of women’s lives. [Read more...]