Karen, Photographed by Robin Rayne
“I am free now. But for decades I lived in a cruel kind of inner solitary confinement. I had two abortions in my teens that saved my life and my future, but I was frightened into silent isolation for decades by endless messages of shame in society. I believed that if anyone knew about my abortions, they would despise and abandon me — even my husband and two sons.
But at the age of 40, I told one friend the truth, and that set me on a path of self-disclosure that continues to this day.
Now, at age 58, I am dedicated to talking publicly about my abortions as a way to fight the stigma that hurts so many people and creates barriers to care. I understand that my silence only nourishes the people who call us killers. My husband and sons are my greatest supporters as I work to prevent end the brutality of abortion stigma.”
Robin Rayne is a magazine and newspaper photojournalist specializing in disability, human rights and gender diversity issues. She also produces documentary film projects for disability-focused non-profit advocacy organizations and the University of Georgia. Robin is married and lives near the Georgia mountains north of Atlanta.