Even where it’s legal and accessible, abortion can often be a difficult process. The procedure can be emotionally complicated and the stigma that hangs around abortion can make it feel fraught. In a powerful new illustrated book, Not Funny Ha-Ha, writer and artist Leah Hayes sheds light on what it’s like to get an abortion. As the title makes clear, this comic is not funny. But it is insightful, empathetic, and educational. Not Funny Ha-Ha follows the stories of two women who are getting abortions—one medical and one surgical—and weaves their personal thoughts around hand-drawn text explaining straight-forward information and science about how abortion works. This is likely not a light beach-read comic you’d pick up for fun, but a serious work that aims to ease anxiety and bring clarity to a procedure that one in three women will undergo during her life.
As a clearly educational resource, this book would be a welcome addition to Planned Parenthood waiting rooms and high school sex-ed classes. I also think it could help readers of all stripes learn about abortion through a non-judgmental lens: As numerous studies have shown, hearing stories about people who have gotten abortions helps reduce stigma against the procedure.
Not Funny Ha-Ha comes out in August, but Fantagraphics gave us permission to run a sneak-peek excerpt from the book. If you like this excerpt, you can pre-order the book here.
These pages were excerpted courtesy of Fantagraphics. Learn more about Not Funny Ha-Ha here.