“I have faith that a woman is capable of making the best choice about her own life, that she is wise and good and will do what’s best.”
“I knew it was legal to get an abortion in Canada. My mistake was thinking it would be easy.”
“I never wanted the abortion. I didn’t want the kid either. At some point, it’s gotta be either one or the other.”
“I don’t think it’s wrong all the time, but I don’t think it’s right either. I think there is a price to pay for all the choices we make.”
On Aug. 23, a local theatre company will begin a three-day run of the live theatrical production of The Abortion Monologues, written by Canadian author Jane Cawthorne.
Presented by Jessika LaFramboise, general manager of theatre86, the monologues feature 23 women revealing the details of their lives, relationships and families as they tell the stories of their abortions.
“I saw it when it was first staged in Calgary around 2010,” said LaFramboise. “I had my young child at the time. When I got pregnant that was one of the options for me, but I decided to use my right to choose, and have my baby. Something hit me about these stories that related to what I was going through.”
The Abortion Monologues exist in stark contrast to the real world in which women seldom publicly discuss this choice.
The characters in this play face everyday hardship, financial crisis, relationship break down, illness, death, radical shifts in expectations, and the truth about themselves and their own deepest desires, said LaFramboise.
“By taking a look at a controversial life-changing decision, The Abortion Monologues demonstrate how much gray area there is to what many people believe is a black-and-white issue,” she said, adding the play shows there are many valid reasons why a woman may decide to have an abortion.
And as one in four pregnancies in Canada are terminated, it forces the audience to consider why this subject is so taboo.
“It’s a way to open up a discussion, not necessarily a debate, about what is a valid reason to get an abortion. Some people feel that abortion is bad unless the person is raped. This gives other reasons why women have gotten abortions,” said LaFramboise.
A writer and teacher, Cawthorne was an instructor of women’s studies at Mount Royal College in Calgary until 2006, when she began writing full time. For the past two decades, she has volunteered with numerous non-profit organizations dedicated to supporting women, social justice and sexual health.
During this time, she has been honoured to bear witness to many women’s struggles and triumphs, hear their stories and learn from their insights. The Abortion Monologues is Cawthorne’s second play.
The Abortion Monologues will be presented at The Hub Arts Collective (2906 30th Ave., Vernon), on Aug. 23, 24, and 25 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 and are available from Ticket Seller and at the door. For more information, e-mail email@example.com.