By Julia M, Repro Fund NH Intern
You or Someone You Love by Hannah Matthews is a must-read book for all of us in the abortion space. The focus of our June Repro Readers book club discussion, YOSYL quickly became a new favorite of mine. Not only is the book a testament to the beautiful community that is abortion providers, activists, community leaders, and patients, but it also features what feels like a never-ending list of perfectly curated resources to help even the most knowledgeable reader learn more. Since I could go on and on about all of the things I love about this book, here are my top three reasons why you should give it a read if you haven’t already.
#1: The author’s background in abortion work and the way that shapes her storytelling.
Hannah Matthews, an abortion doula who also has a foundation in clinic work, aids her personal testimonies and interviews with a realistic picture of what the work looks like–how clinic workers do their jobs, what abortion procedures really consist of, and the true spectrum of what patients need and how their abortions often give them back control of their lives. Hannah’s experience also contributes to my second reason to give YOSYL a read.
#2: The astonishing number of resources you can learn about!
Whether you are new to abortion work and activism or have a strong foundation of knowledge about abortion funds, doula groups, and reproductive justice organizations, I guarantee You or Someone You Love will add to your understanding. It is clear just how painstakingly Hannah worked to make a touching book that is also extremely informative.
#3: How it shows that abortion is everything.
Every chapter shares the story of a different abortion or abortion activist, and together they create a collage of love for all that abortion can be. Though, as Hannah says, “the only expert on any abortion is the person who has it,” her book does a beautiful job of emphasizing inclusion and togetherness while also highlighting that, at the end of the day, abortion is different for all.
If this book sounds interesting to you (I promise–it is!) you should join our next ReproReaders meeting! For the summer, we are watching documentaries and taking a short break from reading since we all know how draining this past year has been, especially for those in the abortion space. In July, we watched Aftershock, a documentary about the maternal mortality and morbidity epidemic in the United States and how it has affected Black families in particular. In August, we are watching Vessel, a documentary about a woman who decides to sail around the world to provide abortion care to people living in countries where it is illegal. If you want to join us for Vessel on August 22nd at 6 PM, you can sign up for the zoom link here! If you feel uncertain or apprehensive about committing to a book club, let me assure you–this is not a scary space and we would LOVE to have you! For updates on ReproReaders and all things Repro Fund, keep an eye at our linktree.