A Note From the Webmaster–
ImNotSorry.net is a site where women can share stories about their positive abortion experiences. Since the site’s inception in January 2003 over nine hundred women have contributed their stories and thousands more are talking about it. INS has been featured in Newsweek, The Nation, Salon and the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s newsmagazine The National among other accolades.
Please note that the INS Blog is not my personal blog (trust me, my life’s not that exciting) but rather a place where I can opine on pro-choice stuff, comment on the news and shed light on INS’ workings including sharing the more entertaining of antis’ communications. Please read our commenting policy before posting and be warned that if you can’t play nice, get off the playground. –Patricia
Below please find some FAQ about the site itself. You can also read our FAQ about abortion.
What led to the creation of INS?
The idea was born during an online discussion shortly before Roe vs. Wade’s thirtieth anniversary. Someone was talking about an abortion stories site that was full of regretful women wailing about how they felt so guilty. Several women in the discussion who had had abortions said that they felt no shame or guilt. Then the fateful words were typed: “Someone should create a website where women who DIDN’T feel bad about getting abortions could post their stories.” Being unemployed at the time, I figured putting the site together would be a way to occupy myself between job interviews. Within about three days, I had bought the domain (someone already had INS.com), put the word out that I was looking for stories, and received roughly twenty. The rest, as they say, is history.
And who are you?
A pretty average 43-year-old woman living in Richmond, Virginia. I’ve always been passionately pro-choice, although previous to INS my only experience in the movement was a brief stint as a clinic escort in the eighties, although I do regularly donate to pro-choice causes. I’m married, no kids, SUV, house in the ‘burbs, etc..
How do your family and friends feel about you running a site like this?
My husband is at once proud and perplexed. My friends think it’s great. My family for the most part doesn’t know. I don’t think it would cause a huge stir, but abortion isn’t a big topic of discussion and I think it would confuse them more than anything else. I’ll just claim history and leave it at that. And none of them read The Nation.
I’ve read really nasty things about the site from pro-lifers. Don’t you worry about them stalking you?
You can’t spend your life looking over your shoulder. Also, I don’t engage in debate with the antis, which makes me very uninteresting to them (word’s gotten around about that, much to my amusement). Many of them say they feel sorry for me–I’ve even made a prayer list or two. Someone like Gloria Feldt or Hillary Clinton probably gets more hate mail in an hour than I’ve gotten in the seven-plus years the site’s been up.
How long has INS been online?
INS went online on January 29, 2003.
Is INS affiliated with any organization such as Planned Parenthood or NARAL?
INS has no professional affiliations, although I do know that various pro-choice groups are aware of the site and many clinics direct patients to it. Because of the current regime and political practices at NARAL, however, INS no longer links to it and does not encourage donations to it.
Does INS accept ads or donations?
Contrary to popular belief the average web site is not a huge money-sucking entity. I have a very adequate Real World Job that pays my bills nicely and this site literally costs me about thirteen dollars a month to maintain (should I be so inclined I could find an even cheaper host, but I am lazy and don’t feel like migrating a site with nine hundred some-odd pages). As a result, I feel there is no need for me to ask for additional revenue from visitors. Also an ad-free site keeps others from dictating the content of the site. If you truly want to show material support for INS and give to a great cause at the same time, go to the INS Store, where there is a selection of shirts, hats, mugs and other stuff with the INS logo. ALL proceeds from sales will be donated to the National Network of Abortion Funds, a terrific organization that can always use the financial help.
What kind of publicity do you do for the site?
I will always do interviews, but since the frank matter of the site tends to scare away the mainstream media and I don’t have the history to get my own writings about it published for now I’ll settle for word of mouth and links.
Where did the FAQs come from?
They were originally intended to be part of an article I was trying to submit to a online ‘zine about a year before I created INS. I happened across them as I was putting the site together and felt them appropriate to include. This is what happens when you don’t clear out your Microsoft Word directory.
Have you had an abortion, and is your story on INS?
Yes and yes, but the story is not listed under any variation of Patricia. I did this because: a) the story’s not all that unique and b) I didn’t want anyone just focusing on my experience. Anyone familiar with my writing style, however, should be able to pick out which one is mine. And no, I’m not sorry!
If this is a pro-choice site, why do you allow pro-lifers/anti-choicers/forced birthers to post in the guestbook?
Because a guestbook’s primary function is to allow visitors to make comments about the site. To be honest, not very many antis have posted in INS’ guestbook–probably because the site is still small. Unless the post is a direct attack on a contributor or just boring rhetoric (and it’s usually the latter), I keep it there. Somehow an idea that the INS guestbook is some sort of debate site has developed, hence the complaints about pro-life posts.
Can I use a story or an excerpt from a story for my own project?
As long as you ask first and give credit to INS.
Will these stories ever be published in a book?
That’s an idea that’s been broached to me a few times. In 2007 I decided to put a manuscript together and shop it around. It was met with resounding indifference (one agent, much to my amusement, suggested I published the manuscript as an e-book, completely missing the fact that, um, these stories already existed on a website). Also since I am not a “professional” or have the appropriate resume it would amount to pretty much a vanity project at this point.