Kierra Leggett | Editor-in-Chief
Abortion is rampant in the African American community.
The proof is in the pudding.
Or so it would seem.
The anti- abortion group Protecting Black Life released findings in 2012 which revealed that 79 percent of Planned Parenthood’s surgical abortion clinics are located in minority neighborhoods.
But as N.C. State junior Tianna Spears knows, abortion is something that affects people of every color. “[The media] tries to put that stereotype on African-Americans, but you’d be surprised at the women who have had abortions,” said Spears. “It’s everybody. It’s really common.”
Uncommon, however, is a post-abortion support group not affiliated with the anti-abortion or abortion rights movements. The Beautiful Pain Movement fills that void.
“If I’m looking at something and they are affiliated with something that I don’t believe, I’m probably not going to come,” said Spears. “Society puts us in these little boxes, but we are so much larger than that.”
Founded in February of 2012, The Beautiful Pain Movement is a coed post-abortion support group that provides a judgment-free zone for people to discuss their abortion experiences.
While many post-abortion support groups cater exclusively to women, it was important to Spears that The Beautiful Pain Movement be open to all sexes. “Men don’t get looked at enough when it comes to abortion,” said Spears. “Abortion doesn’t just affect the female; it affects pretty much everyone in her life who she has either known or included in the process.”
Spears was a part of the abortion process for a close friend last year. She created The Beautiful Pain Movement after witnessing both the lack of support and trauma her friend dealt with after having an abortion. “I looked up counseling for her and then I started compiling a list of resources that someone could use if they needed them, like post-abortion counselors, suicide hotlines, [resources for] mental health and depression.”
Spears, a business major, facilitates The Beautiful Pain Movement sessions. She tailors each session to fit the needs of each group of individuals. “I’m not a psychology major or anything like that. I just have personal experience with this, and I’ve come to find the best way to help people is through experience.” said Spears.
“Each week we start with a different topic,” said Spears, “The first week is about developing relationships. I want people to feel secure and safe before we jump into something that’s so sensitive. From there we set up goals so that there isn’t any stagnant growth.”
A native of Durham, Spears held her first support group session this past September in downtown Durham. At the end of last semester Spears, went through the simple week-long process of making The Beautiful Pain Movement an officially recognized organization at N.C State
The first Beautiful Pain Movement support group session of the semester is scheduled to take place today at 6 p.m. in 119 Harrelson Hall. Before graduating and relocating to California, Spears hopes to make The Beautiful Pain Movement a non-profit organization. “I just plan on taking [The Beautiful Pain Movement] with me and touching the lives of people that I meet while I’m moving about and starting my career.”