In this powerful memoir, a fiercely honest and surprisingly funny testament to healing after abortion, a young woman travels across the United States to meet a motley crew of spiritual teachers and a caravan of new friends.
At age nineteen, Kassi Underwood discovered she was pregnant. Broke, unwed, struggling with alcohol, and living a thousand miles away from home, she checked into an abortion clinic.
While her abortion sparked her “feminist awakening,” she also felt lost and lawless, drinking to oblivion and talking about her pregnancy with her parents, her friends, strangers-anyone.
Three years later, just when she had settled into a sober life at her dream job, the ex-boyfriend with whom she had become pregnant had a baby with someone else. She shattered. In the depths of a blinding depression, Kassi refused to believe that she would “never get over” her abortion. Inspired by rebellious women in history who used spiritual practices to attain emotional freedom, Kassi embarked on a journey of recovery after abortion-a road trip with pit stops at a Buddhist “water baby” ritual, where she learns a new way to think about lost pregnancies; a Roman Catholic retreat for abortion that turns out to be staffed with clinic picketers; a crash course in grief from a Planned Parenthood counselor; a night in a motel with a “Midwife for the Soul” who teaches her how to take up space; and a Jewish “wild woman” celebration led by a wise and zany rabbi.
Dazzling with warmth and leavened by humor, May Cause Love captures one woman’s journey of self-discovery that enraged her, changed her, and ultimately enlightened her.
In this brave and unsparing memoir, Underwood, a writer and lecturer, tells of getting pregnant at 19 with her drug addict quasi-boyfriend and choosing to have an abortion. She struggled for years afterward to come to terms with the consuming sense of loss she experienced as she repeatedly failed to find a support network. When her ex-boyfriend emails her on the third anniversary of the abortion to tell her his new partner is pregnant with a girl they're naming Jade, which is what he and Underwood would have called their child she truly starts to unravel, tormented by her unresolved grief and memories of the procedure. Six years after her abortion, she's finally ready to begin the healing. Underwood tries various methods to help herself, including attending a Roman Catholic retreat run by staunch pro-lifers, taking a vow of silence in the woods while quitting Zoloft cold turkey, meditation, and a Buddhist "water baby" ritual. Underwood travels through uncharted and harrowing waters at times; her story, though painful, is moving and heartfelt. She eventually creates her own "road to recovery," and by mapping that road she hopes to provide a voice for women and men suffering in silence.