At age nineteen, Kassi Underwood discovered she was pregnant. Broke, unwed, struggling with alcohol, and a thousand miles away from home, she checked into an abortion clinic. Afterward, to her surprise, she felt free.
Three years later, after settling into a sober life at her dream job, she felt unfulfilled and started thinking about the pregnancy she didn't keep. When her ex-boyfriend had a baby with someone else, she shattered. But in the depths of a blinding depression, Kassi refused to believe 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 healing after abortion—a road trip across the United States with pit stops at a Buddhist "water baby" ritual, a Roman Catholic retreat for abortion staffed with picketers, a crash course in grief from a Planned Parenthood counselor, a night in a motel with a "Midwife for the Soul," a Jewish "wild woman" celebration hosted by a wise and zany rabbi, and a wedding ceremony.
Dazzling with warmth and leavened by humor, this absorbing memoir captures one woman's journey self-discovery that enraged her, changed her, and ultimately enlightened her.
Kassi Underwood grew up in Lexington, Kentucky. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, the Atlantic online, The Rumpus, Refinery29, and Guernica. She holds an MFA from Columbia University, where she taught for three years on the faculty of the Undergraduate Writing Program. She speaks about personal transformation, the spirituality of abortion, and social justice. She has lectured at colleges nationwide, addressed religious communities, and appeared as a guest on MSNBC, Fusion, and HuffPost Live. A masters candidate at Harvard Divinity School, she lives with her husband in Gloucester, Massachusetts.