Yet another attempt to downplay post-abortion grief
By Focus on the Family
Earlier today Stuff.co.nz republished a story from Reuters about a new project that clearly seems to be aimed at downplaying the true reality of abortion and the serious emotional hurt than many women experience as a result (emphasis added):
“Five US women who have had abortions have publicly posed for portraits, putting a face on a subject that is often taboo.”
The women were photographed by US photojournalist Allison Joyce...
“While it's a personal and private experience, there are 45 million women in America who share in it, and it shouldn't be a shameful secret,” says Joyce.
“The women I met came from every age and economic spectrum. Some were in marriages, some were single, some were in relationships and stayed in relationships after the abortion. Some were on birth control and some were not. But their stories all shared one thing in common, none of them made their decisions lightly and none of them regretted their decisions.”
This sort of attempt to normalize abortion is if it really isn't that big a deal is not new, but it is starting to become more common from pro-choice activists.
However, just one look at the comments from the five post-abortive women in this new pro-choice project reveals some VERY salient points:
1. ALL of the women experienced coercive factors which contributed to them choosing to have abortions
2. The lack of support, especially from the father of the baby, was a common theme in these women's stories
3. The stories these women relate completely undermine the claim of Allison Joyce that ""none of them regretted"" their abortions.
Here are the comments from each of the five post-abortive women that were included in the Stuff.co.nz article (emphasis added):
Lisa: 27-year-old Massachusetts restaurant manager
“I told my husband at the time - we weren't divorced yet but… I was leaving him, and he was really supportive and (it was) surprising because it was not a great relationship anyway… I didn't have to think about it. It wasn't like, 'will I, won't I.' It was like, this is happening. I think I was kind of fortunate in a really sad way that it wasn't a difficult decision… I was alone. I didn't have any family and I didn't have any friends really. I had one friend but she was not a very good friend. So I kind of went through it all alone,”
Leigh: 26-year-old Pennsylvania bartender
“Honestly, I don't think I'm ever going to really forget any detail about any of it, down to the one decision that made it actually end up becoming that… It happens. All of a sudden it's a month and a half and getting nauseous with beer and you know.. (the) test came back positive and everything. We sat out and we talked about it and he was a sweetheart about everything for the most part. He made it very clear that it was my choice. But at the same time, he was also very honest about what would happen, going this way or that way, with the decision. …If we were to have the kid, we would get married and be together for the rest of our lives. If we didn't work out and we broke up for some reason, he would fight for full custody of the kid and make sure I never saw them again,”
Jennifer: 23-year-old New York nurse
“He’s not father material… When I went to the clinic and I told him, he wasn't surprised… He knew he made an accident, but he didn't tell me he made an accident so I could go get a Plan B… We didn’t wear a condom… He p***ed me off and he was trying to convince me to keep it, not keep it, keep it - and I was just confused,”
Lisa: 45-year-old writer from Massachusetts
“All I kept hearing was, 'I will never love you and I will never love this baby.' … When I looked down the road five years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, I didn't see any happiness in this child's life. I wanted the baby. I knew that I could love it and I could give it certain things, but hate is a powerful emotion to overcome in a child's life. Not being wanted is a very powerful emotion in a child's life. You can do a lot of damage to a child with that feeling. I couldn't inflict that kind of pain on a child - knowing what that felt like... So I agreed to terminate the pregnancy... After some while… I said 'Look, if you didn't want children you should have controlled your - fully controlled - your reproduction.' And that's what upsets me so much about when I hear the abortion debate now, is that I don't hear any part of that at all - there's nothing about men needing to control their reproduction. Because it's almost like women enjoy having abortions. It's like it's a cavalier decision,”
Aiyana: 22-year-old New York artist
“He ended up not being as supportive as I thought he would be (at the immediate time). He did everything he could, aside from paying for it. I initially paid for everything out of pocket. Although I was reimbursed for it - but to cover the initial costs, I took care of all of that. After it happened, when I did feel like I needed a lot of emotional support, he didn't really provide that. So that was a contributing factor to us breaking up,”
Is anyone, apart from a minority of militant activists, really so deluded as to read these stories and then accept Allison Joyce's claim that ""none"" of these women regret their abortions?
These stories don't sanitize abortion, far from it, they actually paint a tragic picture of the true reality of abortion - an act that is dishonestly sold to women as a 'choice' even though the majority of women who have abortions are pressured into it by some form of coercion, and then spend the rest of their lives trying to navigate and make sense of the harm it causes - a harm which many pro-choicers want them to believe doesn't actually exist.
One can only assume that those pro-choice activists who try to downplay the reality of abortion, and the subsequent grief that it causes to many women, think that they are doing wounded post-abortive women some sort of service by trying to convince them that their emotional pain isn't something they should actually worry about. Or is it that they think that such psychological pain doesn't actually exist, and that women who regret their abortions are either lying or deluded?
In the words of feminist Germain Greer in her book The Whole Woman
"If the child is unwanted, whether by her or her partner or her parents, it will be her duty to undergo an invasive procedure and an emotional trauma, and so sort the situation out.
The crowning insult is that this ordeal is represented to her as some kind of a privilege: her sad and onerous duty is garbed in the rhetoric of a civil right."