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This Woman Created a Comic Book About What It's Like To Get An Abortion

“I felt like I had something to 'say' about what having an abortion looks like, and drawing is really my way of telling that story."

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Leah Hayes is a writer and artist in New York City who uses drawing as a medium to express complicated concepts and understand difficult experiences.

Leah Hayes / Via Facebook: leah.hayes.180

In her upcoming comic book Not Funny Ha-Ha: A Handbook for Something Hard, Hayes illustrates the realities of medical and surgical abortions.

Leah Hayes / Via Fantagraphics Books

“I felt like I had something to 'say' about what having an abortion looks like, and drawing is really my way of telling that story," Hayes told BuzzFeed Life in an email.

Leah Hayes / Via Fantagraphics Books

Hayes mentioned that the illustrations offered another perspective on abortion, and helped her work out her own feelings about the subject.

Leah Hayes / Via Fantagraphics Books
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“The format might be unconventional, [but] I still want to convey a feeling of comfort and openness, while also conveying the weight of the topic," Hayes said.

Leah Hayes / Via Fantagraphics Books

The book illustrates the experience of abortion with a narrative focusing on two fictional characters, 23-year-old Mary and 31-year-old Lisa.

One character will undergo a medical abortion by taking a medication at home, and the other will undergo a surgical abortion procedure at the hospital.
Leah Hayes / Via Fantagraphics Books

One character will undergo a medical abortion by taking a medication at home, and the other will undergo a surgical abortion procedure at the hospital.

Leah Hayes / Via Fantagraphics Books

Hayes covers the technical and medical aspects of abortion as well as the deeply personal thoughts and steps that many people go through.

"I spoke to a wide range of people — women and men — about their experiences with abortion," said Hayes. "I also spent a lot of time alone: thinking, writing, and reflecting ... trying to understand my own feelings and express them in drawing form."
Leah Hayes / Via Fantagraphics Books

"I spoke to a wide range of people — women and men — about their experiences with abortion," said Hayes. "I also spent a lot of time alone: thinking, writing, and reflecting ... trying to understand my own feelings and express them in drawing form."

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Such as reaching out to someone you trust and finding support through friends.

Fantagraphics Books

And knowing what really happens to your body.

Leah Hayes / Via Fantagraphics Books

"Writing this book was not intended to lighten the subject of abortion, define 'right or wrong,' or make it trivial in any way," Hayes said.

Leah Hayes / Via Fantagraphics Books

While Hayes isn't trying to answer questions about abortion, she hopes the book expresses a version of something many people choose to do.

"I hope lots of women and men get to read it: I do mean it to be for everybody," said Hayes. "I'd like people to see it as one illustrator's interpretation of something very complicated and important."
Leah Hayes / Via Fantagraphics Books

"I hope lots of women and men get to read it: I do mean it to be for everybody," said Hayes. "I'd like people to see it as one illustrator's interpretation of something very complicated and important."