Being an old hand

By now most of us have heard of Angie Jackson, the young Floridian mother who is currently making news because she Twittered her medical abortion as it was happening. When people asked me my opinion, it was along the lines of “I appreciate what she’s doing, just not sure that Twitter’s the way to do it.”

Angie e-mailed me on Saturday, thanking INS for the inspiration to speak openly about the abortion. I didn’t open the e-mail until today when I was doing some behind-the-scenes stuff on the site. At the same time I was reading the e-mail, I noticed a very definite uptick in site traffic. In the days since her Tweet Angie’s blog and YouTube channel have been well populated, and she is spreading the joy of heavy traffic with INS. She loudly and clearly announced on CNN this morning that she’d read INS (I’ve got the video to prove it) to get an idea of what to expect from the abortion and she’s mentioned the site elsewhere. Obviously I’m going to need to buy her a beer or something for all this free publicity. 😀

However, I kind of wish I’d known beforehand what she would be doing. Not because I would have talked her out of it. Angie is 27, I’m 43. My generation is really the last to whom computers were novelties, large clunky things that laboriously printed reports and played rudimentary games, but was able to pick up on the new technology when it became available to the masses. Angie’s generation grew up on the Internet and manipulates it much easier. But if I’d known, she wouldn’t have written this (from her blog):

The media attention has been somewhat overwhelming. I’m just doing something women do everyday. Abortions aren’t rare, and when they’re legal, they’re safe. Maybe it’s because I’d spent the days leading up to my clinic visit reading, but I honestly didn’t realize that *no one* talks about their abortions. It’s been pretty baffling to me, considering how many illegal things people can and do talk about every day.

She wouldn’t have written that because I would have prepared her for the storm this would cause. Because I was there first. Granted, I’ve never been on CNN or ABC News like she has, but INS has been mentioned in some widely read and seen places and even small mentions bring out the lovers and haters in droves. You stand up and say that maybe abortion is no big deal and it’s the equivalent of putting yourself against the wall wearing a blindfold and facing the firing squad. She seems to be handling it well, though, although she’s not nearly as sarcastic as me.

But as I wrote her back, I’m really honored that INS has inspired not only her but a lot of other women to publicly tell their stories. I’ve been called brave more times than I can recall for creating the site, but very few people know what I look like and quite frankly I like it that way. To put yourself out like that, whether you agree with her or not, takes huge brass mammaries. Clank, clank, Angie, my friend. Clank, clank.