Published @bitethebulletstories Sept. 21, 2018
Amy Starkey “Bites the Bullet” to voice abortion and say it is possible to feel grief and regret while proudly standing for choice and reproductive freedom.
It’s been many years since I had my abortion, and even though there is much joy and fulfillment in my life, the heart-shredding pain of that decision is always within reach, easily recalled at any moment. Sometimes, it sneaks up on me, and I have to catch my breath a little, either shoo it away … or go into the feeling and hold it close for a little while, letting the pain vibrate in the deepest part of me.
As an actress, I have recalled my grief as a tool to instantly conjure emotion. As a director, I have used the memory to evoke empathy in another actor. And as a writer, I have explored the moments of my greatest sorrow and shame to build drama and tension in a story.
But I would never, ever exploit my regret to tell another woman what she should do with her body.
I was terrified to tell my story, afraid that ‘In Her View’ would be misconstrued as an anti-abortion film. Every day of filming, I fought the fear of revealing my weakness and shame.
Today, I am finally able to give voice to the decision that almost de-railed my life. I have fought my way through depression, rage and chronic body pain, to raise the daughter I eventually had, on my own, and reclaim myself as a woman, a creator, and a mother. While many days continue to be a struggle and I grapple with what may have been, I bite the bullet to advocate for choice amid an alarming rise in anti-abortion political fear.
Because I know that what I once considered to be the most shameful part of myself, has become my greatest source of strength.