The Abortion Monologues


by Jane Cawthorne
March, 2012

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Sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, but always thought provoking, these stories exist in stark contrast to the real world in which women seldom publicly discuss this choice.

In these dramatic monologues, twenty-three women reveal the details of their lives, relationships and families as they tell the stories of their abortions. The stories are told in a contemporary Canadian context. This play has been produced in Canada and the United States and received critical acclaim.

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

The Abortion Monologues was perfect for the Alumnae Theatre, a women’s theatre group whose mandate includes producing plays that make people think, feature strong roles for women, and are written by Canadian playwrights. From the moment we discovered Jane’s beautiful play, to the presentation of our staged reading less than two months later, the feeling of excitement just grew and grew. A group of very talented actors and technicians joined together to bring it to fruition as a fund raiser for Planned Parenthood and Choice in Health. We timed the event to coincide with the G20 Summit in Toronto and our sold out audience received it very enthusiastically. All felt honoured and grateful to be part of this wonderful expression of love and support for women and our right to choose.
Dinah Watts on behalf of Alumnae Theatre, Toronto.

About the author

Jane Cawthorne’s work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, literary journals and academic journals. In 2011, she was a finalist for the Alberta Writers Guild, Howard O-Hagan Short Fiction Award for her story “Weight.” Her play, The Abortion Monologues, has been produced many times in the United States and Canada. Currently Jane is completing an MFA in Creative Writing with the Solstice Program at Pine Manor College in Boston and finishing a novel. Read full bio.

Reviews and interviews

“Abortion play draws a big crowd”, MacLeans Magazine
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