138: There Is Always More to the Story

138: There Is Always More to the Story

Today’s episode revisits the subject of abortion but is about much more. We put a call-out for men’s abortion stories and received several abortion stories by women and very few (only three) by men. We are grateful to the men who submitted, but none was quite right for Writing Class Radio. We will continue to bring you abortion stories as they come in. So men, please weigh in. We want to hear from you. Submission guidelines are on our website.


We selected this essay by past student Melanie Merriman because it is brilliantly written and deeply vulnerable. Melanie’s story shows how even someone who is a badass scientist can be manipulated and emotionally coerced into having sex when she doesn’t want to. Melanie's story also shows how there is so much more to every abortion story--every story.

Dr. Melanie P. Merriman, PhD was a research scientist. Now she’s a non-profit grant evaluator. She’s the author of Holding the Net: Caring For My Mother on the Tightrope of Aging. She’s written for The Washington Post, ThirdAge.com, Guideposts, and NextAvenue.org. She is also the co-author of Merriman’s Hawaii: The Chef, The Farmers, The Food, The Islands. You can find Melanie at www.melaniemerriman.com or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/authormerriman 

In the wake of the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, please support The National Network of Abortion Funds. These funds, provide practical, logistical, and financial support for anyone who needs help obtaining an abortion. 

Writing Class Radio is hosted and produced by Allison Langer and Andrea Askowitz. Zorina Frey was absent for this recording. Audio production by Matt Cundill, Evan Surminski and Aidan Glassey at the Sound Off Media Company. Theme music by Justina Shandler.

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A new episode will drop every other Wednesday.

There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?

Transcript

Andrea (Host) 00:00:06
 I'm Andrea Askowitz

Allison (Host) 00:00:12
And I'm Allison Langer. And this is writing class radio. You'll hear your true personal stories and learn how to write your own stories. Together, we produce this podcast, which is equal parts heart and art. By heart, we mean the truth in a story. By art, we mean the craft of writing. No matter what's going on in our lives, writing Class is where we tell the truth. It's where we work out our sheep. There's no place in the world like Writing Class, and we want to bring you in.

Andrea (Host) 00:00:40
I'm so bummed that Zorino couldn't be with us today, but she'll be back. Today's episode makes me really sad because we put out a call for men's abortion stories, and we put it out in a huge, major way. And I want to list some of the ways that we did, because whenever we put out some calls for submissions, we usually get tons of submissions. And this time, no. We posted on Opportunities of the Week, which is a weekly newsletter. It scours Twitter for all the calls for submissions and puts them all in one place. It's a great resource for anyone who's looking to write a story and get it published and get paid to get published. We posted over and over again on our own social media, and we have a pretty active social media campaign going on. We want men's abortion stories. But the biggest thing we did was I wrote a story with my activist friend Edith Dupont, and that story came out on this podcast. It was episode 132. Here's my abortion story. Men, what's yours? But it also came out in NBC News, which had to reach like, 100,000 readers. And in that story, we asked for men to tell their abortion stories. So the real sadness is the overturning of Roe versus Wade. But I'm also really disappointed in Men because we got three stories. Three, that is it interestingly, the call for men's abortion stories brought in several stories by women. And we are really excited to bring you a story by a former student, Melanie Maryman. Her story is about so much more than abortion, and it shows that there's just really so much more to any abortion story. There's so much more to any story. After you hear Melanie's story, we'll talk about the three men who did submit stories, and we'll talk about why we think so few men submitted. So please stay tuned to the end. We'll be back with Melanie Maryman after the break.

Allison (Host) 00:03:01
We're back. I'm Allison Langer, and this is Writing Class Radio. Dr. Melanie Maryman, a PhD. Was a research scientist. Now she's a nonprofit grant evaluator. She's the author of holding the Net, caring for My Mother on the Tightrope of aging. She's written for the Washington Post. Thirdage.com guide. Post and next Avenue. She is also the co author of Marymann's Hawaii the Chef, the farmers, the food, the islands. You can find Melanie@melaniemarymen.com. There will be a link on our show notes. Here's Melanie with her story called I Eventually Broke Free.

Melodie (Guest) 00:03:52
He was not a nice man. I married him anyway. He seemed worldly and self confident in a way I wanted to be. I knew myself to be kind and compassionate. I believed in a kind of alchemy. Bring these two things together and elemental properties will move from one to the other. I thought I would gain self confidence and he would become more kind. It didn't take long to see that the experiment wasn't working. No one was worthy of his compassion, and he berated me for being too kind a pushover. I gained self confidence not because of proximity to him, but through my success as a biomedical researcher. I had discovered a novel form of the motor protein that makes sperm swim and was studying how this protein might play a role in the division of cancer cells. This work earned me the respect of my scientific colleagues. The more confident I became, the more he put me down. Sarcasm and cutting remarks tempered with the occasional extravagant compliment to keep me off balance. In the summer of 1979, we had been married for five years. We were living apart during the week because my research fellowship was in a laboratory in Boston and his was in the lab on Cape Cod. Having a work related reason for our living arrangement meant I could be away from him without having to face up to our growing incompatibility. I rented a room in a house that I shared with two other women. He lived in a rental apartment above a garage near Woods Hole. We had lived in that apartment together for the previous two years while I finished my PhD thesis. Now I drove down from Boston to spend weekends with him. On this particular weekend, I forgot to bring my diaphragm. You left it behind on purpose, he snapped. You just don't want to have sex. Wary of the undercurrent of conflict in our relationship and weighed down by disappointment, I didn't have the strength for another argument. I called up a mental calendar and tried to remember what I knew about the rhythm method. It's probably safe, I thought, and we went to bed. It's hard to believe that of all the times we coupled, I remember that one clearly. The images and emotions are lodged in my bones. Which side of the bed I was on? The left. Who was on top? Him.

Allison (Host) 00:06:34
How?

Melodie (Guest) 00:06:35
I felt profoundly unhappy. And what happened after I went to sleep? He restrawled on the couch, TV remote in hand, and resumed channel surfing. About two weeks later, I stood up from the desk where I had been working. My brain felt like a helium balloon. I stumbled into the wall. Though I hadn't dwelled on the possible consequences of that distressing night. My first thought once I studied myself was that I might be pregnant. My period wasn't due for several days, but I knew I'd had unprotected sex, and I'd seen enough movies to know that when the young, healthy female protagonist feels lightheaded, she's probably pregnant. Two weeks later, when my period was a week late, I told my husband it was a weekend. We were at the Cape apartment. He was shaving, and I came into the bathroom to take a shower. I think I might be pregnant, I said. The razor stopped in midair. He stared into the mirror, his face unchanged. Whose is it? He asked. I'd ruminated about this discussion for days, imagining what he would say and do. I knew he would blame me. Pretty much everything was my fault. Would he be angry or just condescending? Would he ask what I wanted to do or simply order me to take care of it? Now I had my answer. He hurled a groundless and cruel accusation that carried an abdication of all responsibility. The ice, in his words left me shivering. I pulled the shower curtain aside, stepped into the tub and tipped my face into the steaming water. I knew then for certain that all of the decisions, whatever happened next, would fall on me. And suddenly I felt relieved. I didn't want him involved. He had taken himself out of the equation, and I could do what I wanted. And what I wanted was to terminate the pregnancy. I never thought my life would include children. I was, and still am highstrung, prone to anxiety, even panic. I thought I lacked the emotional resilience to be a good mother. I decided to pursue a demanding scientific career. My work became another reason not to have children. Maybe if I'd been in a loving relationship with a kind and supportive man who wanted children, maybe I would have reconsidered, but not in this relationship. I was certain that the not nice man would have been a not nice father, and I didn't want him to have anything to do with a child of mine. Not ever. My friend Susan went with me to get tested. I brought in the urine sample I'd been told to collect first thing in the morning in a small office at a local clinic. Susan and I sat on one side of the desk. The social worker sat on the other. She put a few drops of my urine onto a glass slide and added a few drops of the solution that would measure the level of a pregnancy hormone in the sample. In less than a minute, the mixture grew cloudy, forming larger and larger clumps. The social worker didn't have to say anything. I knew exactly what those clumps meant. Through tears, I told her that I already knew what I was going to do. And that afternoon I did it. I called the abortion clinic again. I'm surprised at how well I remember some of the details of the next time and place I spoke to my husband about the pregnancy. It was a Friday, early evening. We had met up at an MBTA station. I'd come on the subway from downtown Boston. He'd driven up from the Cape in our car. We were going to spend the week with his parents. Before we were out of the parking lot, I said I had the test. I'm pregnant. But don't worry, I'm taking care of it. I didn't ask him to come with me, but I don't remember is what he said. It didn't matter to me. Steve, a graduate student in my lab, had a girlfriend, Kate, who did abortion counseling. I'd heard her talk about the crittenden clinic where she worked, so I felt confident going there. I asked my friend Jamie to take me. The night before the procedure, steve and Kate casually suggested I joined them for dinner at their apartment. A pure coincidence, since I had not told anyone except Susan, Jamie, and my husband. We ate one of those classic graduate student dinners pancakes. Or maybe it was French toast. Because I knew that Kate worked at the clinic, I shared my secret. I have an appointment tomorrow at the Crittendon clinic. They understood immediately, without missing a beat, asked if one of them could take me. I noticed, but didn't reflect on it deeply at the time, how all of the people I told reacted with compassion, kindness and support, except my husband. I remember the procedure in some detail because, as I requested, the doctor explained everything he would do just before he did it. I welcomed the fleeting moments of pain, no worse than I felt in a dentist's chair. This shouldn't be painless, I thought. It was over quickly. After, tucked into a recovery bed with a warm blanket, I cried quietly. How are you doing? Asked the volunteer. I'm okay, I answered honestly. I think I mostly just feel relieved. When I reached the doorway to the waiting room, Jamie looked up, as he probably had every time a woman emerged from the treatment area. I did a quick shuffle tap dance step. Look, I'm fine. It said. He looked so distressed. I felt ashamed for having made light of it all. He was right. This day, this act, was significant. As he walked toward me, I said, I'm okay. Really, I'm okay. I recovered on his couch for the rest of the day, napping off my anxious exhaustion. The next day, I was back at work. But it would be several months before I'd get through a day without thinking about everything that had happened. Terminating the pregnancy was the right decision for me and for that possibility of a child. What I regret is that I allowed myself to get pregnant in my marriage. I chose peace over conflict. Time after time, I didn't have what it took to stand up to my husband's bullying. The night I got pregnant, I once again chose peace at any price, and that time. The price was very dear. I stayed married another two years. And then one day I went to work and did not return. I left a note and my keys on the kitchen counter.

Allison (Host) 00:14:30
Chills.

Andrea (Host) 00:14:31
I know. I got chills like two or three times.

Allison (Host) 00:14:34
And she's a master storyteller. She does exactly. She uses the structure I love more than anything. She kind of gives us at the top what the problem is. And then she goes to the backstory so we can be in on it and get understand where she's coming from. And then she goes right back to the moment.

Andrea (Host) 00:14:51
Gorgeous. So gorgeous.

Allison (Host) 00:14:54
Yeah.

Andrea (Host) 00:14:55
Wow.

Allison (Host) 00:14:55
And I do love the way she says instead of saying we had sex, she says we coupled.

Andrea (Host) 00:15:01
Very old fashioned. I loved it, too. I think it's true to her voice. I mean, it was 1979 when it happened, right from the beginning. I'm in love with this story. She's a scientist and she says, I believed in a kind of alchemy. Bring these two things together and elemental properties will move from one to the other. I thought I would gain self confidence and he would become more kind. So she is telling us right up front, one, she's using science, which is who she is, but then she is telling us that she had no confidence and that he was a fucking bitch. But she said it in a way that it just totally made sense.

Allison (Host) 00:15:45
We got it. We get who she is, who she is, right at the top. And I love that too.

Andrea (Host) 00:15:50
God. And then she tells us she's not just like a little bit of a scientist. She's doing some major hardcore biomedical research. She's big time. And again, it was they were married five years when she left her diaphragm. You left it on purpose. Like, just the use of dialogue there. You don't want to have sex.

Allison (Host) 00:16:17
Show and tell.

Andrea (Host) 00:16:19
Yeah.

Allison (Host) 00:16:19
Which we love.

Andrea (Host) 00:16:20
You know what? It's interesting. I'm just thinking this now. Like, I don't know whether or not she wanted to have sex, but I do know that she didn't want to not have sex because that would have made matters so much worse. And we just feel that I got.

Allison (Host) 00:16:36
The feeling she did not want anything to do with this guy, but didn't want to have any conflict, so couldn't even get out of the relationship because of the conflict. And this is not about divorce or marriage. This is about what happened one night. So she stays very focused on this thing, which is why we don't get all the bad shit going on in her marriage and why she stayed. It's not about that. That would have been like a tangent. That would have been confusing. And maybe in her first draft it may have had all that, but the editing process whittled down to 1200 words or fewer is that we got the gold. Everything she wants us to focus on is right here.

Andrea (Host) 00:17:16
And this is what I think is so cool about it. An abortion happens in the story, but I really think the story is about how this narrator gained confidence or that she gained confidence. Ultimately, she left.

Allison (Host) 00:17:32
Right. So we see the progress of confidence and finally being brave enough to deal with the conflict of getting out.

Andrea (Host) 00:17:41
So, I mean, an abortion does happen, and it's the best example of her not having confidence, her not being able to say no.

Allison (Host) 00:17:55
Have you been there?

Andrea (Host) 00:17:58
Probably. Can you think of an example when you've been there, like, just not being able to say no? I mean, honestly, in little ways, all the time, having the confidence to say no isn't it for me? Yeah, I've been there, like, all the time. I show up to parties when I don't want to go. I say yes to things. I mean, I really wish I could say no to you do too, right?

Allison (Host) 00:18:26
A lot. I mean, this is physical, right? So, yes, I've been there physically in sex, you're saying, right? Yeah, it's just easier. I just don't like conflict either, and so I can just get through it. I have a mentality of, like, okay, I can get through anything. And it's helped me in many ways, but in many ways, I haven't honored myself, and this brought that up for me.

Andrea (Host) 00:18:50
Was there a time when you had said yes to sex when you meant no?

Allison (Host) 00:18:53
Always. Like in college, too. It's just like these guys. And I was like, no, it's too early. And then they're just like, come on. And you're like, whatever. Like, I've already gone too far. Oh, I don't want them to hate me. I don't want them to think I'm a tease. All these things that go through our minds, and it's just so much easier just to, like, close your eyes, suck it up, and get it over with.

Andrea (Host) 00:19:14
Well, that's what I think is so fascinating about the complications of sex and abortion and consequences. Come on. Even you like, badass motherfucker. You just seem so confident. And then badass motherfucker Melanie Maryman, and she just did it because it was easier to have sex without a condom. I mean, without her diaphragm. All right. I want to go to the part where I don't want to just move on to that so fast. But, I mean, God, that's so important for the world to know. I think that women go through that.

Allison (Host) 00:19:50
Sometimes the consequences of just closing your eyes and letting it go are huge. So then why not stop it right then and say, no, I'm sorry? No, because then you prevent a lot of other stuff, and I think this is important. So I think that's what you meant, like, there are real consequences to going with the flow when you really want to say no.

Andrea (Host) 00:20:09
I also think that there's historical and cultural factors that play into why a woman, why you and why Melanie would say yes when you mean no. And in her case, her husband, who knows what he was going to do. He sounds like he was a really mean guy. So that's why I go back to that idea that men are responsible for unwanted pregnancies. Men have to be so diligent and not forcing women to have sex when they don't want to and women have to speak up.

Allison (Host) 00:20:47
I think it's equal. I'm not blaming those guys because they just hormonally. They were like moving forward and they didn't care. But I also should have cared. It was my body and I should have had the confidence to care. And we need to build our women up, our young adult women, to know that they are just as important as them.

Andrea (Host) 00:21:10
Right. And even the scientist who is so secure in her work, on the work side socially had a different expectation for herself. Heartbreaking.

Allison (Host) 00:21:22
Yeah.

Andrea (Host) 00:21:23
The line where she says the images and emotions are lodged in my bones. Which side of the bed I was on? The left. Who was on top? Him. How? I felt profoundly unhappy. And what happened after I went to sleep? He resprawled on the couch, TV remote in hand, and resumed channel surfing. Those are details to the core.

Allison (Host) 00:21:47
The listener can't see this, but as it's written, all she did was have them in parentheses, the answer. So it kept the story moving, but it answered the questions so that we knew more about her and the situation, which I thought was brilliant.

Andrea (Host) 00:21:59
Oh, God, I know I can't say enough greatness about this story.

Allison (Host) 00:22:05
I also want to say that she slows down moments at just the right time where it allows us into her head, which I think is such a powerful tool when writing because we often get the facts but not how the narrator is thinking and feeling. And I thought that was so good.

Andrea (Host) 00:22:25
It was when she told him that she was pregnant and he was like, Whose is it? Yeah.

Allison (Host) 00:22:32
She said, I'd ruminated about this discussion for days. So he asked the question and then she goes back a little bit in time to tell us what has been leading up to this question. Imagining what he would say and do, I knew he would blame me. Pretty much everything was my fault. Would he be angry or just condescending? Would he asked me what I wanted to do or simply order me to take care of it? Now I have my answer. And then she goes right back to the present. He hurled a groundless and cruel accusation that carried an abdication of all responsibility. The ice, in his words left me shivering. So that is like, oh my God.

Andrea (Host) 00:23:08
I got chills again.

Allison (Host) 00:23:09
I know because there's something magical about that and I want to be able to do that more in my own writing is that I get to answering the question so fast because I'm trying to finish the story, but what needs to happen is stop for a moment and slow it down and then bring us back. It's magical. Like a conductor.

Andrea (Host) 00:23:28
Yeah, I know. God, I want to pull that paragraph and post it.

Allison (Host) 00:23:34
Really study it.

Andrea (Host) 00:23:35
Yeah, really study it. It's good.

Allison (Host) 00:23:38
And she did it many times. She had us in her head a lot when she was going after she went through the abortion. This shouldn't be painless, I thought. Right. And then she has this conversation, and she's doing a dance. Like, she's really showing us who she is and bringing us in in a way that's not like cocktail conversation. I know they say this all the time. I fucking hate cocktail conversation. How are you doing?

Andrea (Host) 00:24:03
I'm good.

Allison (Host) 00:24:03
How are you?

Andrea (Host) 00:24:03
Great. Okay.

Allison (Host) 00:24:05
I hate it. I'm, like, got any problems today? Because I love to hear about problems. That's what I dive in when anyone opens their heart and tells me anything that they would not normally tell somebody, and immediately I feel closer to them, okay, how can we figure this out? Like, I want to help. I want to hook them up with people, you know?

Andrea (Host) 00:24:24
I want to hug Melanie right now because I know she's busting through that cocktail conversation and she's doing it out loud on a podcast that's going to be, like, in the world. I don't want to say that's brave, but I guess it is. Thank you. It's what I need. It's just what I need.

Allison (Host) 00:24:43
Yeah, all of us need it.

Andrea (Host) 00:24:45
And then she leaves us with this beautiful, very short, beautiful, cinematic moment where she leaves the keys and a note, and she's done. Gone.

Allison (Host) 00:25:00
Amazing ending. We talk about endings all the time, and mostly, I would say, 99% of the time, I'm like, what? I fucking just listened to this whole thing. And the ending sucks. I hate that. And then I'm so mad at the whole story. But a powerful ending, the perfect ending, is like it makes the story like yes. A plus plus.

Andrea (Host) 00:25:22
God, yes.

Allison (Host) 00:25:32
Okay, so now let's talk a little bit about the three men who did actually respond to the call out.

Andrea (Host) 00:25:40
I don't want to totally bash men for their cowardice, because although I'm not sure that men aren't cowards, I think there's a lot of reasons why men may not have submitted their stories. And one of them is that we have couched the abortion issue as a women's issue. And I said that in the original story that I wrote for NBC News. And that was a huge mistake because I think it gave me this idea that this isn't their issue. Get your laws out of my uterus. Get your Bush out of my bush. That was like a campaign when Bush was President Bush. Get out of my bush. So basically, we told men, Back off, Buster. And they took that to heart, potentially. Probably. And now we're in trouble because men. One, this is their issue too. And two, they hold most of the power in this country, and so they've gotten so used to not talking about it that they're still not talking about it. Maybe it's that, or maybe men were afraid. And I think a lot of men are afraid to talk about the abortion that they helped happen or made I don't know, the abortion that they were part of. They're afraid. Who knows why? To dredge it up, to get in touch with old girlfriends. I don't know.

Allison (Host) 00:27:00
Maybe we could put a call out for a story on why you don't want to tell your abortion story, but.

Andrea (Host) 00:27:06
Then they would be admitting that they were participating.

Allison (Host) 00:27:08
Well, we need to go through at a different avenue. We need to figure out why people aren't doing it, because we're assuming they're cowards. We're assuming they don't want to get in touch with their feelings or whatever, but we don't know.

Andrea (Host) 00:27:22
But I do want to say that I did my own research. On June 24, 2022, row was overturned. So that day, I started asking men, what the hell? This guy who fixes my car, who grew up in Miami, he told me that he did go with his girlfriend 20 years ago to get an abortion. And then I pulled out my phone. I was like, oh, my God, will you talk to me on record? And he was like, no. No fucking way. I talked to my brother, and he never had an abortion. He could tell me, like, he could list the names of guys that he knows did have women get abortions. Of course he wouldn't tell me their names. And then he told me he was sure they would not talk. Okay. Then there was a guy at my tennis clinic, and he was like, oh, yeah, two of my buddies for sure I know two of my buddies. They got girls pregnant, and they had abortions. And he was like, yeah, this is a great idea. I'll get them to talk to you. They were like, no way.

Allison (Host) 00:28:17
When we talked about it in the last episode, you and EDA had that discussion, or we had the discussion about her, you guys and her story inside your story, right? So she tells the story of her experience telling her students about her abortion, right? And so what we decided we talked about on that episode was the fact that people are embarrassed and ashamed of what they did, right? And so that's why nobody really wants to talk about it.

Andrea (Host) 00:28:45
But women have been talking about their abortions. Like, we've stood up, and that's what EDA did on that episode. And that's why I was I thought. Honestly. This is so disappointing to me. Because in our experience. Yours and mine allison. Isn't it true that whenever we give someone the opportunity to talk about anything and tell their stories through prompts in class. Just even talking in general whenever this is in my experience. Since I started writing 25 years ago. Whenever I would talk to someone honestly about anything. They're always excited or open or I don't know. Truth begets truth.

Allison (Host) 00:29:28
Yes.

Andrea (Host) 00:29:28
And that's why I'm so surprised.

Allison (Host) 00:29:31
Everybody who tells the truth wants it on a podcast. So people are trying to write to understand and to heal, but not always to share their innermost feelings with the entire world because they don't know what's going to happen. They fear the consequences to sharing, but what we have found over and over and over again, as soon as you share your biggest secret, people are drawn to you, not away from you.

Andrea (Host) 00:29:57
I know. Yes, exactly. And I'm so emotional about this because in so many cases, we're seeing you're right. People want to share their stories, but I guess privately, and that has to change. The reason that gay rights has queer people have earned the right to marry. Adoption rights. Queer people are not even no one even looks twice at queer people anymore because of the movement to be out. I just it really breaks my heart. I also want to talk about three brave men who did submit stories to our podcast. And the reason we're not airing them is because basically, they didn't follow the guidelines. The stories that we air on writing Class radio tell a specific story, but they also have to be a certain length, and they have to have a writing message that we want to teach. But these three stories show that everybody's abortion experience is super complicated and super personal. So this guy, Joe Rynman, and thank you, Joe, for sending us your story. His wife was pregnant. This was their second pregnancy. They already had one child, so they wanted another child. And at their first trimester ultrasound, they found out that the fetus was unviable. And also they found out that carrying this fetus to term might be fatal to Joe's wife. So they had an abortion, and they got the abortion. They were crying. They wanted this child, and they drove away from the abortion clinic, and the mob of angry anti abortionists were, like, out there screaming at them, baby killer. Baby killer. And Joe and Joe story, he talked about the rage he felt, and I totally feel it, too, because those people don't know that they were saving Joe's wife's life. They don't know. Corey Devon Arthur, who is your student, allison he submitted a story about a woman that he actually isn't even sure that he got her pregnant. He wanted to be the dad of that kid, though, but ultimately, he wanted to help raise it. He's a hero in this story, but what happens in the end is the woman who was pregnant ultimately gets an abortion because in her mind, Corey wasn't ready to be a dad, and he admits that she was probably right.

Allison (Host) 00:32:37
Well, there was also a big racial component in. That one, that she was Hispanic and he's black, and there was a huge her whole family was like, you're not having this black baby. And it was like one gang against the other. And they're like, you're not bringing that baby into our family. And it was just so sad to me reading that, but it was really long.

Andrea (Host) 00:32:57
We're looking for stories that are 1200 words. If Corey did trim that one down, it is a fascinating story about race. And it's true. Like, his life was in danger.

Allison (Host) 00:33:08
Yeah, I could get him to trim it down. He would trim it down.

Andrea (Host) 00:33:10
So maybe that story will show up on our podcast.

Allison (Host) 00:33:13
So you may have heard Corey on previous episodes. He was on episode 120, which was part of our prison series, and the title is My Pen and Uncovers the Real Me. And the most recent one is episode 128, which Corey wrote my new manifesto.

Andrea (Host) 00:33:30
So the third story is by a guy named Sierran Doren, and I hope I'm saying his name right. And this story was so interesting because Sierra was dating someone transitioning into a man. So since Therion's partner was taking hormones, they didn't think he could get pregnant, but he did. So here is a man who transitioned from a woman and is now pregnant. That man does not want to have a baby. That's someone who wants to become a man. That was such an interesting we again do not know why people choose to have abortions. And I don't think that anyone needs a dramatic reason. I think I don't want to be pregnant. I don't want to be a mom is reason enough. But those three stories really exemplify to me why we cannot judge someone else's decision to terminate a pregnancy.

Allison (Host) 00:34:37
Well, thank you for inspiring me, and thank you, Melanie Marriman, for inspiring all of us and sharing your story with us, because we know that it's not easy and we really appreciate that. When Melanie submitted her story and we told her we wanted to publish it, she said, would you mind adding this at the bottom? In the wake of the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Please support the national network of Abortion funds. These funds provide practical, logistical and financial support for anyone who needs help obtaining an abortion. Please consider making a donation and or volunteering with your local fund. A link to the National Network of Abortion Funds will be in our show.

Andrea (Host) 00:35:17
Notes.

Allison (Host) 00:35:21
Here. New beginning writing class. Radio is hosted by me, allison Langer. Andrea Askowitz.

Andrea (Host) 00:35:27
That's me.

Allison (Host) 00:35:29
And Serena Fry, who will be here next time. We record audio production by Matt Cundill, Evan Surminski and Aiden Glassy at the the the the the the soundoff media company Justina Chandler. There's more writing class on our website, writingclassradio.com, including stories we study, editing resources, video classes, writing retreats, and live online classes. Join our writing community by following us on Patreon for $25 a month. You can join our first draft weekly writers group. You have the option to join on Tuesdays, twelve to one Eastern time, and or Wednesdays, six to 07:00 p.m.. Eastern time. You'll write to a prompt and share what you wrote. If you're looking to take your writing to the next level for $125, you'll get first draft and second draft in second draft. Each week, three people bring a second draft. For feedback, join the community that comes together for instruction, an excuse to write, and most importantly, the support from other writers. To learn more, go to patreon.com. Writingplusradio a new episode will drop every other Wednesday.

Andrea (Host) 00:36:30
Wait. I want to tell you that I started the Saturday stories we study on Instagram and on TikTok. On TikTok. It got 300 views one way. Yeah, writing class radio is going viral. I guess people really want to study stories.

Allison (Host) 00:36:48
And you're only smart as shit getting published everywhere.

Andrea (Host) 00:36:52
And you can study the stories we study.

Allison (Host) 00:36:54
There's no better way to understand ourselves and each other than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What's yours?

Andrea (Host) 00:37:07
You can't miss your own ball. No, you can't miss your own ball. At least when.

Melodie (Guest) 00:37:22
Produced and distributed by the Sound of Media Company.