Earlier this year, another Harvard student asked Brianna Suslovic, a senior, to meet up for coffee. Suslovic didn’t realize at first that it was the same woman who anonymously shared her abortion story in a Harvard Crimson op-ed.
“At the end, she said, ‘Thank you so much for being one of the people on campus who is very open with support,’’ Suslovic said. “That really indicated to me the number of people who don’t feel comfortable talking about these things.’’
On Thursday, Suslovic is performing in a dramatic reading of the play, Out of Silence: Abortion Stories from the 1 in 3 Campaign, at 8 p.m. at Harvard’s Fong Auditorium, along with 12 other students. The play is a curation of real abortion stories submitted through the 1 in 3 campaign, named for the amount of women who will have an abortion in their lifetimes and which explains itself as a “grassroots movement to start a new conversation about abortion—telling our stories, on our own terms.’’
“There’s one narrative that gets pushed out there of a scared teenage girl who makes the decision and regrets it,’’ Suslovic said. “And I think that happens and that’s unfortunate and we need to support every person, but there’s so much more that needs to get out there.’’
Out of Silence has been performed across the country since premiering in January. Many of the vignettes in the play show supporting and loving partners, family, and friends, Suslovic said; this is often a choice individuals don’t make alone. Suslovic said the scene she’s acting in shows a really under-discussed area of abortion: It focuses on a lesbian couple who intentionally became pregnant only to find out about a fetal anomaly.
Another vignette highlights the very real cost of abortion, Suslovic said, which can be expensive, but it still less than the cost of raising a child for a struggling, low-income family.
“We’re not here to debate the morality of abortion, we’re not here to make judgement calls,’’ Suslovic said. “We’re here to focus on the actual experiences people have had, which are very nuanced and often very emotional, and in very unexpected ways.’’
Out of Silence: Stories from the 1 in 3 Campaign, December 3 8:00 p.m., Fong Auditorium Cambridge. Free admission with an opportunity to donate to a local abortion fund. Food and drinks will be served.