Lesbian Day of Visibility and Abortion Access 

Hey there, lovely people! Today, we’re celebrating Lesbian Day of Visibility with a big dose of real talk. But first, grab your favourite beverage, get comfy, and let’s dive into a conversation about a topic that’s often hush-hush in our social groups: abortion access for lesbians. 

Now, before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s acknowledge that April isn’t just about spring showers and blooming flowers – it’s also Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Yeah, heavy stuff, I know. But stick with me, because we’re about to shed some light on the intersection of these two important issues. 

So, imagine this: You’re a lesbian, living your best life, when suddenly, life throws you a curveball – an unplanned pregnancy. 

Maybe it’s the result of a loving relationship, or perhaps it’s a consequence of something much darker, like sexual assault or “curative rape”. Either way, you may find yourself in need of safe abortion services, and let’s face it, for many people the road ahead isn’t going to be easy. 

According to GLAAD, lesbians often face a whole bunch of barriers when it comes to accessing reproductive healthcare. We’re talking about everything from discrimination and stigma to lack of LGBTQ-friendly resources. It’s like trying to find a unicorn in a sea of regular ol’ horses – rare and kind of frustrating. 

And here’s where it gets even more complicated. Lesbians who’ve experienced sexual assault and need abortion care face a whole other set of challenges. Imagine being a survivor of assault, already dealing with the trauma and pain, only to encounter a healthcare system that doesn’t fully understand your needs or rights.  It may not exactly be a walk in the park. 

But hey, it’s not all doom and gloom! Organizations like SAAF are out there fighting the good fight, advocating for LGBTQ-inclusive reproductive healthcare and challenging the status quo.  Since partnering with SAAF in 2022 we have already been able to make a difference to the conversation around LBQT access to abortion in Kenya – change is possible. 

So, what can we do to support our fellow lesbians and LGBTQ folks?  

Well, for starters, we can educate ourselves about safe abortion, with the sea of resources available to us from sites such as march28.org. We can design abortion intervention programs that are inclusive of LBQT persons, and we should also speak up and demand better from our healthcare systems. We can be the cool kids in class who are not afraid to challenge the teacher’s outdated lesson plans – bold and necessary for progress. 

And hey, if you’re a healthcare provider reading this, listen up! It’s time to step up your game and make sure your practice is LBQT friendly. Because everyone deserves access to compassionate, non-judgmental care, regardless of who they love. 

Now, I know we’ve covered some heavy stuff, but here’s the silver lining: visibility. Lesbian Day of Visibility isn’t just about being seen; it’s about being heard, valued, and celebrated for exactly who we are. 

So, to all my fellow lesbians out there, whether you’re out and proud or still finding your way – you are valid, you are loved, and you deserve to live your truth without fear or shame. 

And to anyone who’s ever felt invisible or marginalized, know that you are not alone. We see you; we hear you, and we’re here to lift you up. 

So, here’s to visibility, empowerment, and a future where all lesbians can access the care they need, without judgment or discrimination. Let’s keep shining bright, breaking down barriers, and making this world a better, more inclusive place for all. 

Cheers to abortion access for all, my darlings. Let’s keep fighting until every person has the freedom to control their destiny.  

By Joy Wanga, Communications and Advocacy Officer for Women Working With Women (3W) – a SAAF grantee partner in Kenya. 

Disclaimer: This blog post is intended to spark conversation and shed light on the challenges faced by lesbians when seeking abortion access. It is not meant to oversimplify or diminish the experiences of survivors of sexual assault or corrective rape. If you or someone you know needs support, please reach out to a trusted healthcare provider or advocate. You are not alone, and help is available. 

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