It’s been one year.

In November 2022 I attended Abortion Writes! —a beautiful event that I wish didn’t have to exist. The writing workshop was a collaboration between NYWriters CoalitionHousingWorks Bookstore, and Reproductive Freedom Arts and was meant to help people process their feelings about the overturning of Roe, and to raise money for Planned Parenthood of Greater NY

Below is the piece I wrote during the 10-minute writing exercise expertly facilitated at the event. I read what I wrote open-mic style on stage within minutes of finishing. It was terrifying and exhilarating, but most notably I couldn’t believe how safe I felt in that public space. This was a tribute to the organizers and attendees. 

I stand by my piece. I’m still angry. I still dream of life’s choices being normal and legal. This was written for my friend and our rights…

Laughter was and is our language.

The core of our friendship.

Bracketed was how we described feeling safe and supported.

Secure in her decision. Definitive.

She enjoyed the sensations of pregnancy.

She didn’t want a child.

I never doubted any decision she made.

Always thoughtful. Pragmatic. 

Full of humor. Humanity. 

She made an appointment. 

Our dates were always full of silliness.

This one, no different. 

We took the subway.

We remarked about the quietness of the street.

The lone bible carrying man. Staring.

The buzzer to get in.

The bullet-proof barrier between us and Admissions, like the cheap Chinese take-out place we loved and hated.

She left me. Easily.

I waited. Patiently. 

I read.

She aborted.

We left and smoked.


You shouldn’t smoke after sedation.

We didn’t know.

She flirted with the security guard who helped pick her up off of the ground.

We laughed. 

We left.

We took a taxi.

We ordered sushi.

She cramped.

I made tea. 

We watched Ugly Betty.

We laughed. 

I read.

She slept.

She woke.

We smoked.

I left.

I walked home and smiled.

I felt deep friendship.

I felt my choices.

I felt free.

I slept well. 


Yesterday I woke.

Was it a dream? 

Made up. 


How could life choices be so easy and normal?

I grieve.

I rant.

I write.

–Liz Slagus