Abortion bans, voter suppression, criminalization…the list of things standing between us and true reproductive justice can feel endless. So where do we go from here? What will success look like? (No, it’s not begging for Roe’s return!) In the season finale, Renee and Regina talk about what they’ve learned from this season’s guests, ideas about how to get involved, and give us all hope for the future—and listeners share ways to care for one another as we find freedom. Because: we will find freedom.

Tracy Weitz: My call to action is always the same, which is say abortion. If you’re in favor of abortion, say that you’re in favor of abortion. And if you have people in your life who are against abortion, take them on, get over the conflict, engage in the conflict, disagree with people about abortion. Break through to the other side.

Regina Mahone: Hello, and welcome to The A Files: The Secret History of Abortion, a podcast from The Meteor. I’m Regina Mahone.

Renee Bracey Sherman: And I’m Renee Bracey Sherman. Regina and I are friends who talk about abortion.

RM: A lot. Renee, this is our last episode of the season.

RBS: Oh my God, I know, it’s been so long, but over the past seven episodes, we’ve tried to unpack some of the stickiest and messiest issues around abortion, everything from anti-Blackness to ableism to criminalization and policing. We’re calling them sticky because these are issues that the pro-choice movement is still grappling with and trying to figure out. We still have a long way to go, but we’re hoping this podcast can kickstart the conversation.

RM: What’s become clear to me in doing research for our upcoming book and through all of the conversations we’ve had this season, is that we don’t know everything, and that’s by design. We’re being lied to on purpose about the history of abortion in this country. And even the pro-choice movement still has a lot of work to do. So I do want to say to listeners right off the bat what I’m telling myself, which is to keep reading, keep seeking out the truth-tellers of the movement and keep asking questions if something doesn’t feel right or sound right, like the call to protect Roe. You all, if you’re still advocating for the restoration of Roe, you might want to rewind and play back the season, or I don’t know, maybe we failed, Renee, and need to start this all over again because Roe is just not it.

RBS: Roe gave us a lot, but also it was truly the bare minimum. So hopefully, every time you hear a politician saying, “We need to restore Roe,” you should really be hearing them say, “Let’s restore the bare fucking minimum. You deserve the least.” But fortunately, we asked all of our brilliant guests this season to guide us through all of this mess, all this trash heap of a situation. And I think that with their help, we covered a lot of things we came into this podcast wanting to grapple with. So like any good professor, we wanted to offer a recap of what we went over this semester, I mean, season.

RM: Yeah, we had to cut out so much from each interview, but as you said, one thing we asked each guest that we wanted to share was, where do we go from here? Why did we ask that question? Because we didn’t want to leave you all feeling like this shit is terrible and there’s nothing you can do about it. There are, in fact, action steps you can take. There are people who are really sitting with this and have some great things to say about it and so, we wanted to hear from them directly. And hopefully, this helps us all kind of find our way out of this situation.

And so, I don’t know, Renee, do you want to just alternate recapping each episode? We can like go through and play clips from each of the guests and chat about it a bit.

RBS: Yeah, let’s do it. Our first episode, we were talking about our work and racism and how you can’t talk about abortion restrictions without talking about and understanding how white nationalism and racism operate, right? Abortion bans are a white people problem. I mean, it’s just true. So I think that it’s really important that people understand where did the bans come from? We talked about how they were actually a reaction to anti-immigrant sentiments, anti-indigenous and Native American folks, and their ability to live free. They were reactions to Black people getting free from slavery. They were a way to control people of color and their reproduction. Abortion has been around for a really, really long time, right? Abortion has been around for thousands and thousands of years, but what’s new is the abortion bans, those are within the last 150, 200 years. And so, I think it’s really important to understand, not only when the abortion bans pop up, but why they pop up.

RM: Great. I think one of the hardest things for me about even just recording this episode, that first episode, and also even writing our book, we’ve talked about this, centering our own experiences in these conversations because the way that white supremacy control happens too is in allowing us to sort of take ourselves out of the narrative as if our stories aren’t as valuable. And so, I’m really glad that we took some time to, really, from the beginning, center Blackness, Black joy and also, the way that racism really plays out for us as individuals and also as our society and our people, because we don’t really get the kind of time that we deserve to really think about all of that and process all of that.

And so, in episode two, we talked to Dr. Tracy Weitz about how abortion stigma is all too real, coming back to what I was just saying, from both conservatives and pro-choice Democrats. We also asked Dr. Weitz the question, where do we go from here? And this is what she had to say.

Tracy Weitz: It does seem like everybody is talking about abortion, but this outrage about Roe being overturned and states banning abortion is being misdirected towards simply trying to get back what we have. Our policy options in Washington, the state ballot initiatives are all trying to restore Roe rather than to imagine a time when no criminal law is used to limit what pregnant people can do with their bodies. You have to ask yourself whose abortion would I deny? Not what abortions do I think are wrong, but whose abortion would I deny? And that person deserves protection.

RM: This is such an important point. Establishment Democrats and mainstream reproductive rights organizations have been like a broken record demanding the restoration of Roe. We are all so used to begging for crumbs that we’re missing the bigger picture, which as Dr. Weitz said, is that no one deserves to be told what to do with their own life and body, and any law, any rallying cry or a call from Democrats on The Hill demanding the preservation of Roe is doing exactly that, it’s putting us back to where we were instead of bringing us closer to where we deserve to be.

So that was episode two. Renee, want to take us to episode three?

RBS: All right. In episode three, we talked about abortion and healthcare, and chatted with Chelsea Williams Diggs from the New York Abortion Access Fund about how there are no good states for abortion access, not even your perfect little blue ones where you think it’s amazing, and your governor is running his entire campaign on being amazing for abortion because people still have to travel out of those states for abortions, especially later abortions. So play the clip.

Chelsea Williams-Diggs: I am a long-term visioner. We want abortion freedom, abortion justice, reproductive justice to be realized everywhere. We’re in a crisis. What does it mean to honor that urgency? And it’s not about acting in ways that are non-strategic, but it’s about honoring this moment and saying, “Well, who are the people that are doing this kind of crisis response urgent work, and how can we make sure that they can continue to do it?”

RM: So much of what we’re seeing right now feels like what happened and what’s been happening since the pandemic started in that it’s been a struggle for so many people to not have an individualistic focus on it like, “Oh, well, I don’t have COVID, so I don’t need to wear a mask,” or, “I’m a healthy person, so it’s no big deal if I get COVID,” instead of really centering the people who are going to be most affected by getting COVID.

And it seems like that’s the case too with abortion where if you live in one of these blue states, are past the years where you’re getting pregnant or have access to money so can travel if you need an abortion, it doesn’t feel urgent anymore. But if you’re reading the stories and following what’s going on and donating and being involved as much as you can, you still feel that sense of urgency. And so, I really appreciated what Chelsea was saying in that just like with the pandemic, we really need to continue to center the people who are on the front lines of that work and actually should be listened to despite all of the other noise that’s trying to silence them because folks who are volunteering at funds and folks who need abortions are really telling us exactly what we need to hear in this moment, but it’s a question of whether or not we’re actually going to hear what they have to say.

RBS: I feel this urgency so often because everything’s on fire, so much is happening. And there is these outside forces, people who have not been paying attention for a long time, who all of a sudden are like, “Oh my God, what do we do? Oh my God, I’m freaking out. How do we deal with this?” And they want to push because they realize that they had not been part of the conversation, but I wish those folks would just take a breather and hold steady.

You know like when you’re in a canoe or a kayak and if somebody stands up and it shakes the whole thing? You actually need everyone to sit tight and figure out a plan so that the boat stays steady. And so, what it feels like is that I’m in this kayak and those people come onto the side of the boat and are shaking it or standing up and be like, “Oh my God, what are we doing?” And I’m just like, “Can you please actually just sit down so we can explain to you what the plan is because we’ve been working on this for so long and we have an idea?”

It reminds me of what Rafa talked about in episode four. We talked through why we don’t elevate, some of the stories of people, criminalization, yes, there is urgency in getting that person free, getting them out of jail, there’s absolute urgency. And everyone running around like chickens with their heads cut off is actually not going to help that person get free. And so, we need people to kind of recognize that there are processes, and if we go slow with those processes, we can go fast.

I’ll also say that I often get these ads. People send me these ads that are so reactionary about abortion, and it’s always some 12-year-old girl who’s been raped. And one of the ads I’m thinking of, she doesn’t even speak in it, it’s like her dad and a doctor, and the politician, all these white men who are talking and she never gets to speak. And they’re like, “Please share this ad because we need to get Republicans out of office.”

But again, this is a long haul. And also, that messaging is actually harmful, it upholds white supremacy, it upholds white women’s virtue over everything. It doesn’t actually address the majority of people who have abortions and what they need. It doesn’t actually change people’s minds, it’s just this candy that is this quick sugar rush so that you can get the certain politician in office, but it doesn’t ensure that that politician is actually going to show up for people who need abortions in the long run. And so, I really think a lot about when there’s these election crises or abortion ban crises, how do we get people to take a minute and pause and then move forward?

RM: So let’s talk about episode four. In it, we talked with Rafa Kidvai from the Repro Legal Defense Fund about abortion criminalization, surveillance, policing, and when it is and isn’t used to amplify an abortion case. Also, we talk about why it’s important to abolish the police, especially if you’re going to center abortion advocacy and work in all of this movement work. Rafa and their colleagues are working really hard on a lot of cases, including some really sad ones about criminalization, but they still have hope. Let’s hear from Rafa on this.

Rafa Kidvai: Our movements can really sort of pat themselves in the back that, “We’re doing this stuff. We just got to keep doing what we’re already doing, and some of it we could definitely do better.”

There’s also this W. H. Auden quote and the quote is, “We must love one another or die.” And that sounds depressing, but I always take it as a call to action to love one another because the stakes are really, really high. I think what’s next is that we really learn to see each other and build with one another and love one another and teach ourselves about how trauma really works and learn the mechanics of the state. Because if you don’t know the mechanics of the person that’s oppressing you, I think it’s hard to fight back. I literally became a lawyer when I was applying for immigration status because I was like, “I’m so scared of this government, I need to learn a little bit about how it works.” I think it’s actually really hopeful. And honestly, the world has always been dire, and I think it’ll continue to be dire and things feel particularly bad. And also, where there’s oppression, there’s resistance.

RM: The part about learning from one another, seeing each other and really sitting with the weight of this moment spoke to me as you were saying, Renee, especially for folks like myself who aren’t necessarily on the front lines. I work as an editor, I’m not volunteering at an abortion fund or doing the critical work that needs to be done in this moment. It can be challenging sometimes to feel like I’m not doing enough. And so, really, just hearing Rafa send this important reminder to all of us to really just respect one another, love one another, and lean on one another in this time just seems so important of a message to share.

RBS: Yeah. To me, it really speaks to how we show up for other movements and how we show up for people who are seeking abortions or are unable to get abortions in this moment. We have to keep showing up for other movements because all of this is connected. We have to love on one another. We have to be there for each other.

Speaking of talking people through all of their pregnancy decisions, let’s talk about episode five, yeah? So that was the episode where we talked about how adoption is not the solution to abortion, period, full stop. Despite what former President Obama and every other politician says, they are not the same.

We talked to Dr. Gretchen Sisson, who wrote the book Relinquished, which is about adoption. The book is so, so good. Go order it right now. On a fundamental level, people have abortions because they don’t want to be pregnant, that is it. So surprise, adoption doesn’t solve that problem because you continue to stay pregnant, and it’s a larger issue of economic equity because people often relinquish their children because they cannot afford to raise them, to parent them. So we asked Gretchen how she gets up every single day and thinks about this work and what gives her hope, and this is what she said.

Gretchen Sisson: I think the thing that’s really giving me hope is seeing the ways that people involved in abortion access and reproductive rights have really come to an understanding of reproductive justice [inaudible 00:15:16] and that they’re more inclined to think kind of expansively about some of these issues. If they were involved in a movement that was entirely about legal rights, well, it’s time to think of something different. It’s time to do different strategies. But I do think that there is a lot of willingness to think about how we can do things differently, which I think is overdue. We should have been doing that for a really long time so that we might not have ended up here, but at least it’s happening now.

RBS: I love what she said about thinking expansively on some of these issues. Again, if you’re centering what people who have abortions or pregnant people actually need, and just figuring out ways to give that to them, both individually with the people that we know and love, but actually, on a societal, structural level, then that will actually fundamentally change our society and how we care for one another, love one another. What Rafa was just saying, right?

RM: Yeah, I completely agree. Let’s talk about episode six, which was a double feature. We talked with Kendall Ciesemier from the ACLU about ableism and the abortion rights movement, and with Cazembe Murphy Jackson about transphobia, two things the abortion rights movement struggles with, but shouldn’t because disability justice and trans rights are essential for reproductive freedom. Here’s Cazembe on what gives him hope.

Cazembe Jackson: So Miriame Kaba is always talking about this idea that hope is a discipline, and I think that’s a really important principle because it means we have hope when things are bleak, it means that we have hope when we don’t necessarily want to or wholeheartedly believe that we can win. But if hope is a discipline, we have to believe that we can beat this, we have to believe in it. Then if we want to bring other people into it, we have to believe in it so that they will believe that they can win.

When I think of a liberatory world and how we got there, we create a vision that folks can understand and resonate with. We built a united front where all of us came together to fight, not necessarily just for abortion access or reproductive justice, but for bodily autonomy and for self-determination for everyone in a collective fight.

RM: I was also really moved by what Kendall had to say here.

Kendall Ciesemier: I find hope in just reading and understanding the Civil Rights movement and other major rights movements in our country, and knowing how unlikely those victories were, and yet, they still happened because a group of committed individuals were willing to say, “This isn’t okay,” and by any and all means necessary fight for those victories in all different kinds of ways. We all have a role to play here. There’s a role for everyone. You could be the driver. You could be the caretaker. You could be the $10-a-monther. You could be the signing every petitioner. You could be having the hard conversations with the family at Thanksgiving person. I’ve always believed in the power of small actions by many people to do something really good.

RM: It’s so easy to lose sight of hope and how important it is in moments like this. I think about this a lot when I put together a monthly newsletter that I write because I want to keep people informed, at the same time, I don’t want them to end the newsletter feeling like there’s nothing that can be done, everything is on fire so might as well go out to brunch and just forget that any of this is even happening. And that’s not to say you shouldn’t go out to lunch because we all need to experience joy in whatever form it takes, and brunch is joyful. But the point is that it’s really critical that we see hope as a discipline, as Cazembe was saying. And also, as Kendall was saying, that we focus on what’s within our ability to do in any given moment, understanding that can change. Renee, what do you think?

RBS: Ooh, good question. I’m just thinking about how Cazembe talked about Miriame Kaba’s really famous, “Hope is a discipline.” And Kendall talked about this too, right, those little victories, the small things. It’s all actually about the small changed behaviors that become a huge shift.

Like Regina, you’re a parent like probably a bunch of people listening to this, and so you may not have time to be organizing or in the streets all of the time, but you are raising the next generation of humans and you’re teaching them a learned behavior of social justice and how to care for one another and treat other people all day every day, including how to treat people during their pregnancies. So you’re teaching them how to understand bodily autonomy at whatever age they are. And I think those little things add up to a huge change in the world.

And so, for me, the question is what is going to be your daily practice of showing up for abortion access? And yeah, maybe that is making a donation to an abortion fund or volunteering at a local independent clinic, but also maybe it’s just talking with the little ones in your life about their bodies.

I am thinking about this morning, I read a little book called Boobies by Nancy Vo with my 4-year-old niece. And it’s this really, really cute book about a blue-footed booby and how mammals all have boobies and boobies are normal. And it’s just something quick that we did, and it’s part of the daily conversation. And we’re talking about our bodies, we’re not talking about in a shameful way. It’s normal. Everybody’s got some boobies. And it can be the fun little things in addition to the big things like rallies and protests.

Speaking of little actions, a lot of people consider voting to be a small action that we can take. It’s a type of harm reduction. It’s one action that many people can take, those sort of citizens, or not formerly incarcerated, it’s so complicated and frustrating that not everybody can just take this action. But in episode seven, we were joined by LaTosha Brown from the Black Voters Matter fund. We talked about how the GOP has gerrymandered their way to overturning Roe and tanking the national right to abortion. But we did ask her what gives her hope, and she reminded us of the power of our movement and what it holds already, and it’s really, really good. So just listen to this.

LaTosha Brown: (singing).

In this moment that we’re in right now, we cannot let anybody discourage us. It does not matter With those that actually are aligned with white supremacists try to do, it is more of us than it is of them. Women have power, that we’re the majority of this country, and our work is not done until we have the majority of power that is reflective of who we are in this nation.

So I would just say, don’t get discouraged sisters or brothers or anybody that’s listening out there, but see this as a moment that we actually cannot let anybody turn us around. We have to stay focused, keep our eyes on the prize. And what I do know is that when we work together, we win.

RM: When we work together, we win. Ain’t going to let nobody turn me around, those words are echoing in my head, I hope that they continue to echo in my head because there it is, right? We will win. We will win.

RBS: We will win. I believe it. Sometimes when I think about this long trajectory of abortion history starting at 4,500 BCE, this moment is just one blip. It’s one really hard moment and blip because it is most of our lifetime, but it is one moment within thousands and thousands of years. And I feel like we just have to keep going. We’ve been trying to liberate abortion for so long, and we’ll just continue to do that work.

So Regina, we asked all of our guests, where do we go from here? But I think that we should answer this question too. What do you think?

RM: Yes, definitely.

RBS: Okay, so my thoughts, I get this question a lot of, “Where do we go from here? What are we doing? How do you get up every day? How do you stay so positive?” And the truth is that I’m not always positive, I can be really stressed about all of this. But I think that you have to have hope in order to work in this issue.

And I think what I have to hold close to me is every time I support someone through their abortion, the conversations that I have, that feels like, every single time, it is a moment of change. It is not only that person’s life changing, but for them to be able to see that there are strangers out there who care about them, who show up for them, and that that is actually what makes the world go round.

And hopefully, they are able to pay that forward with someone else. So many people who I support through their abortions are like, “Well, how do I get involved in this too?” And to me, that feels like how we bring people along. So to me, keep on keeping on. That is what we do. Those are those little acts. That is how we love on one another. All of the things that our guests said, to me, that is how we show up and also, that’s the direction I just keep going in. What do you think?

RM: Before we started recording, I was thinking about the things about our conversations that surprised me. And most of it was that the rules in our society are completely made up and were made up by people who don’t want us to win, were made up by people who want to keep us powerless. And if you sit with that information for too long, it can be really hard.

So along the lines of what LaTosha was saying, I’m choosing to not worry so much about that. Even though you can know that it’s true, you can know that these laws are made up, you can know that there’s nothing wrong with later abortion, and at the same time, that it’s completely stigmatized in our country and completely made inaccessible in our country, but also choose not to see it that way, but just to continue to see the world the way you know it is.

Because in some ways, it feels like we’re then being like conspiracy theorists who are like, “Well, the world is flat.” You know what I mean? But it’s not that because we’re talking about the truth, which is our truth, which has always been true as we’ve found in all the research we’ve done.

And so, yeah, I think where we go is continue to discover the truth about our world and to center that truth in our interpersonal relationships and reactions to what’s happening, and continue to speak on that truth with the research and evidence and the people who have been speaking this truth for a really long time at the center of those conversations and just keep moving forward, because otherwise, what are we doing? We’re not moving forward. And I don’t think that’s helpful for anyone. Certainly not helpful for, as you talked about, Renee, of the future generations. And so, we do have to keep moving forward and fighting for that future that we want.

So this is the point where we normally have our final segment. There are other books where we talk about books that aren’t Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale. But we wanted to do something different, something even better, which was to end with thoughts from some of our listeners about the support they received or provided because community care is central, as Renee was saying, to how we move forward.

But before we bring in our listeners and friends who responded to some questions about how people have showed up for them, we thought it was really important for us, Renee, you and I, to talk about the ways people have shown up for us. And when I was sitting with this question, I kept coming back to when I had a miscarriage, and you were one of the first people I told, because I think we had a call scheduled that day to talk about our book.

And I remember you we’re just so thoughtful and listening to me, you knew how we had been trying and all these things and how much it meant to me that we had lost the pregnancy, even if it was early and miscarriages are incredibly common, but still, when you’re looking forward to starting your parenting journey can be really hard when those things happen.

And then, you sent me flowers, which was just such a small gesture, but also such a big, important gesture because it showed me, not only how much you cared and recognized how important that was, but also, the way that you show up for people when you’re not in the same place. And it really meant a lot to me.

So I just wanted to reflect on that because I don’t know that I’ve ever told you how much I appreciated, in that moment, just the way that you listened to me and showed up for me even from afar, but just how much I appreciated that sort of support at that hard moment in my life. So thank you, Renee.

RBS: Oh, you’re welcome. I love sending flowers and gifts to people. And I think that it’s so nice that when we’re going through hard things to just get a gift and someone to recognize that you’re dealing with a lot. I think I do that and I celebrate my abortion anniversary, and we sort of made a thing about it at my job and with the storytellers that we work with because I didn’t have anyone there for me during my abortion. I went through it alone. And God, I always fucking cry when talking about this because I don’t regret my abortion at all, I regret how sad and lonely I was because I didn’t have anyone who could show up for me. I didn’t have anyone who I could turn to in that moment. I wish I could have talked to my mom about it in that moment. And I know how lonely that feels, and I know that so many people go through that during their abortions.

And so, one, when I’m with people during their abortions, I try to make it as supportive of an experience as possible. But if I meet someone later during their abortion journey, after their abortion, I feel like there’s ways in which we can still make up for that. And we can support people during the rest of their pregnancy experiences, during their abortion anniversaries, whatever that looks like, and that it’s okay to just be there for people no matter what. And so, that feels really important to me. But anyway, okay, enough of our feelings. Okay, enough of our feelings.

RM: I wish I had known you at that time. I would’ve sent you a care package of, I don’t know, dried mango and some VHSs probably at that time of horror movies.

RBS: Okay. It wasn’t that long ago, it was CDs and DVDs.

RM: I was still watching VHS at that time, or DVDs, I don’t know, whatever technology the kids were watching those days. But anyway, I’m so glad that you’ve created this space for your coworkers, for all the important people in your life to celebrate and recognize those periods and sort of reclaim them for future you and celebrating them in that way. Even if the experience wasn’t exactly how you wanted it, it could be that experience moving forward. And I think that’s just really, really beautiful.

RBS: Absolutely. Well, we actually asked some of you, our listeners and our friends, to tell us how you all felt cared for during your abortions or how you showed up and cared for other people during theirs. And the stories were so moving. They were truly so beautiful. We are so grateful to them and to everyone for sending in their thoughts. Play the clips.

Speaker 1: I feel like the ways that have been important to me that people have shown up have been sort of after the fact. For each of my abortions, the person I was dating at the time was there for me, at least in the sort of fundamental getting there and getting me home sense. Whether they were there for me emotionally, they were not as good at that, but other people, especially women, have been there for me.

I was resolute that it was okay that I’d gotten it, but there was still this guilt about it, I just think because I was pretty young. Well, it was complicated. It felt like both a mistake and a deliberate mistake. And it just took me a long time to forgive myself for whatever mishegoss might’ve been going through my head before or during or after. But I am grateful, at least, that as a 17-year-old, I was able to get an abortion that I needed. It’s harder now than it was when I was 17, let’s put it that way. And I still feel trepidation bringing it up because even though I’m not Catholic, I come from a pretty Catholic family and I never know what they think is okay. And I was still judged by them regardless of whether or not they know I have abortions. However, the people closest to me are supportive and nonjudgmental, and that’s made all the difference.

Speaker 2: When one of my loved ones was recently navigating accessing abortion care, I was just ensuring that I was really present for them for whatever their various needs may be. And that meant being open to texting at weird times of day if they were in a particular period of discomfort, reminding them all the tools that they already had to feel more comfortable. They were in particular feeling really crampy and bleedy during their medication abortion. And just reminding them what tools they already had at their fingertips to feel empowered to reflect back how many resources and how much support they already had, and how they could continue to show up for themselves during the process. And I think that sometimes that’s the most important thing we can be for people in our lives that we love, is mirrors to how great they already are and how they are being an awesome advocate for themselves. And so, yeah, great question.

RBS: Those were so beautiful and so moving, and I hope that it really inspires those of you who are listening to this to think about how you show up for people in your life, people you love, during their pregnancy experiences, because everyone loves someone who’s had an abortion. And this work is really, really hard, but it’s also not impossible. We can do it together. We can learn together. We can keep growing. We can show up for one another. We can show up with our repro abortion lens to other movements. I promise you, it’s impacted by all of this other work. And so I think that we just have to really put our heads together and just do it.

RM: I love what you said about bringing a reproductive justice lens and the framework to other movements. We can also do that in other ways. I mean, we could bring them to our workplaces, that is, we can bring them to the media we consume, to the interpersonal relationships we have. And it just brings me back to where we started, where our relationships started, the canoe where you proposed us working on a book together, and I said yes. And so, I’m so grateful that we had this opportunity to bring people in and showcase all of these different aspects of both our friendship, but also, the way that the abortion rights movement and reproductive justice movement intersect, but also reproductive justice is really the framework we need to be using to move forward. And I hope we can continue to have those conversations.

And I think that’s it for The A Files. Thank you to all of our guests and everyone who’s listened to the podcast so far.

RBS: And a special thank you to our producer, Anne Lim.

RM: Yes, Anne.

RBS: It has just been a wonderful experience to be able to work with you and just how you’ve taught us so much and also, seeing you learn so much about abortion and reproductive justice and everything. So thank you so, so much.

To revisit any of the resources, books, articles, and videos from any of our previous episodes or what we mentioned today, like the boobies book, and also just learn more about the show, you can visit our website at

RM: Thank you so, so much for listening and for giving us a five-star rating. Really appreciate that.

RBS: Share this podcast with all of your friends. Let’s all learn together. We’ll see you around. And remember…

Speaker 3: Everyone loves someone who’s had an abortion.

Speaker 4: Everyone loves someone who had an abortion.

Speaker 5: Everyone loves someone who had an abortion.

Speaker 6: Everyone loves someone who had an abortion.

Speaker 7: Everyone loves someone who’s had an abortion.

Speaker 8: Everyone loves someone who’s had an abortion.

RBS: Everyone loves someone who’s had an abortion.

RM: Yes, everyone loves someone who’s had an abortion.

RBS: The End.

The A Files is produced for The Meteor by LWC Studios. Our hosts are me, Renee Bracey Sherman, and Regina Mahone. Our executive producers at The Meteor are me, Renee Bracey Sherman, and Regina Mahone, Cindi Leive, and Tara Abrahams. At LWC Studios, our executive producer is Juleyka Lantigua. Paulina Velasco is our managing producer. And our producer is Anne Lim. Kojin Tashiro is our sound designer and engineer. And a special thanks to everyone who submitted a video ask for this episode.

RM: This podcast is produced with support from The Meteor Fund, The Meteor’s nonprofit initiative. Additional thanks to Pop Culture Collaborative for their support. You can subscribe to The A Files wherever you get your podcasts. And please take a second to rate us, five-stars please and leave us a review, it would mean a lot.

RBS: For links to any resources mentioned in this episode or for more information, visit our website at You can follow us on social media @RBraceySherman on the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, and @ReneeBraceySherman on Instagram for me. For Regina, she’s @byreginamahone on the social media platform formerly known as Twitter and Instagram. And you can follow The Meteor, at The Meteor on all platforms. Thanks for listening. Thanks for saying the word abortion. And remember, everyone loves someone who’s had an abortion.


Bracey Sherman, Renee, and Mahone, Regina, host. “Where Do We Go from Here?.” The A Files, The Meteor and Lantigua Williams & Co., February 28, 2024.