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(Credit: Ben Kaye)

Music

Julia Cumming shares candid abortion experience following Roe v. Wade decision

Sunflower Bean frontwoman Julia Cumming has shared a candid account of her experience of abortion following the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn to historic Roe v. Wade ruling last week. 

The Court’s decision, which was made official on June 24th, means that abortion is no longer protected at the federal level. Now, each state can individually vote on how it approaches abortion, and whether it wants to restrict or ban it. 

Alongside her lengthy statement, the band have also released the first episode of their four-part documentary which follows them making their most recent album, Headful of Sugar, which dropped in May 2022. The video features the band’s song ‘Otherside’, and it describes Cumming’s life-changing experience.

“In the fall of 2020, I had an abortion,” Julia explained. “I was stunned by the range of emotions I experienced when it was over. Women’s bodies are constantly politicized, and it didn’t feel like there were any conversations surrounding abortion [that] touched on the nuance of loss while knowing that you had to make a decision that gives you a chance at your own life.”

She continued: “I felt completely isolated, and like I was part of a secret club in which no members were allowed to speak to each other. I ended up in a weekly post-abortion support group for women, and wrote ‘Otherside’ – the song that plays in this mini-documentary out today – about that experience. The first time this song was ever played for anyone outside of the band was over zoom to the other women in the group.”

“The overturning of Roe v. Wade is an attack on women and our bodily autonomy,” she added. “How long will women have to fight to be considered people? When will we have the same access to healthcare and equality, the way men in our country do?”

“This of course does not only impact those that identify as women or have a uterus – this is extremely detrimental for everyone in our country, including the queer and trans communities”

The indie icon concluded: “I have been fighting for my right to live and make art on my own terms for as long as I can remember. That will never change, and now I know we have to fight harder than ever. Olive [Faber], Nick [Kivlen] and myself would like to encourage you to support Mayday Health, a registered health education nonprofit that can help women access abortion pills in all 50 states by mail, if you have the means to do so. Keep fighting.”

A host of some of the most prominent figures in the music industry have condemned the Supreme Court’s decision. At last weekend’s Glastonbury, Billie Eilish, Kendrick Lamar, Lorde, Phoebe Bridgers, and Olivia Rodrigo all used their platform to vent their anger. 

Watch the first part of Sunflower Bean’s documentary below. 

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