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ABOUT THE PLAY

In these dramatic monologues, twenty-three women reveal the details of their lives, families and relationships as they tell the stories of their abortions. Sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, but always thought provoking, The Abortion Monologues exist in stark contrast to the real world in which women seldom publicly discuss this choice. The characters in this play face everyday hardship, financial crisis, relationship break down, illness, death, radical shifts in expectations and the truth about themselves and their own deepest desires.

The characters in this play will challenge you to think again about what you believe and why you believe it.

The Abortion Monologues premiered in Portland, Oregon in April, 2009 to an audience of almost 400 people, many of whom work as providers in clinics throughout Canada, The United States and Mexico. Audience members say the play is accessible and moving and that it captures the emotions and ambivalence many women feel when making the choice to abort. One provider said that the play offered him a rare opportunity to speak openly about his work. Another audience member described the play as a "contemplative look at what is real."

At the Canadian Premiere in Calgary, Alberta in February 2010, one audience member said, "I laughed out loud. I cried, especially when, early on, after she'd spoken, one of the women backed up into [the chorus] and other women reached out for her and guided her — incredibly powerful for me, the community of women. I think your play helps reaffirm and heal the community of women, a community that's crucial to all of us, and that in so many ways has been and is being assaulted and harmed by intent, accident and neglect." Another said, "We laughed, empathized, identified, supported and cheered.... It was about women first, and rhetoric second."

Another audience member said, "I was amazed. Not only by the writing, and the acting, and the directing, and the sincerity, and the 'realness' - but by how it moved me. Tonight made me realize how lucky I am. How lucky that the nurses were so nice to me and were willing to help with my abortion options, and how my Mom supported me no matter what. I ended up keeping the baby, who is now the love of my life, but it felt good to have those options so I could make the choice. It was always up to me."

More Praise for The Abortion Monologues
Cawthorne’s insightful prose captures the complex circumstances surrounding a woman’s decision to terminate a pregnancy. The Abortion Monologues gives a voice to the perspectives of real women who are all too often missing from the public debate. These powerful monologues have the potential to change the way people talk about abortion.
— Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation