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Less than 1 in 3 chance “1 in 3” will transcend tiresome pro-abortion propaganda

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When I leave my D.C. parking garage, I typically exit through the building’s front reception area. There you will usually find copies of the Washington City Paper, an “alternative” newspaper in the nation’s capital. From reading the City Paper, I learned that tomorrow—Tuesday, January 20 (two days before the March for Life)—the new play Out of Silence will debate at Studio Theatre.

The play, featuring “13 true-life narratives about women deciding to get an abortion.” It is based, writes Rachel Kurzius, on Advocates for Youth’s “1 in 3 Campaign,” which rests on the argument that by age 45, one in three women will have an abortion.

The goal? “[T]o humanize that choice and show the variety of paths people take to get there.” At the risk of stating the obvious, guess whose humanity is completely obliterated? The unborn child’s.

“Humanizing” his/her destruction may be palatable to Advocates for Youth (a ”national sexual health advocacy organization“) but it leaves an awful lot of the rest of us bewildered by the incongruity and brutality.

Advocates for Youth’s Julia Reticker-Flynn tells Kurzius, “We only hear about abortion in a political context, but there’s power in hearing stories directly. It gives a more complete range of unique experiences.” Of course the exact opposite is more likely true.

“Theater is a powerful tool for creating empathy and compassion,” maintains Jacqueline E. Lawton. Lawton is co-producer of Out of Silence and one of the 10 collaborating playwrights. True. Imagine how much empathy and compassion could have been generated if the stories were about women facing crisis pregnancies and choosing life, not death.

So where did the 1 in 3 Campaign come from? According to Kurzius, the stories began flowing from Advocates for Youth staffers in 2011, following what Reticker-Flynn says was “an unprecedented legislative attack on reproductive rights.”

A website was launched in 2012 and “Abortion rights activists brought the stories to book clubs and college campuses and, sensing a growing demand for sharing them in a public setting, Advocates for Youth began reaching out to convert some of the stories into theater.”

Now, to Kurzius’ credit, she is wise enough to anticipate that a couple of hours of feminist consciousness-raising (even if each story is only 4-5 minutes long) in an advocacy theatre setting might test even the most sympathetic audience’s staying power.

Not to worry. “Lawton acknowledges that in their first drafts, some of the stories sounded preachy, but a strenuous process of workshopping fixed that,” Kurzius writes. “’If you focus on the deeply personal, it’s not didactic,”’ she says. ‘You move it to the realm of the individual.’”

Really? Does anyone not involved in the production seriously believe a completely one-sided series of monologues preaching the virtues of “exercising choice” would be anything other than second-rate propaganda?

Here’s a bet. There is less than a 1 in 3 chance this won’t be a snooze fest.


Chelsea Garcia is a political writer with a special interest in international relations and social issues. Events surrounding the war in Ukraine and the war in Israel are a major focus for political journalists. But as a former local reporter, she is also interested in national politics.

Chelsea Garcia studied media, communication and political science in Texas, USA, and learned the journalistic trade during an internship at a daily newspaper. In addition to her political writing, she is pursuing a master's degree in multimedia and writing at Texas.

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