Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Long Time Coming

I've been meaning to address this issue for quite some time, but couldn't find the words. I want to put this in a way that makes sense to everyone and not just the gibber jabber in my head. I mean, I know what I want to say, and I know it's perfectly logical (obvi), but the Trolls, ever eager for anti-abortion blog fodder, might twist my brilliant words.

Fuck 'em. I'll just say what I think. As per usual.

I want to talk about this idea that abortion hurts women. I gave a snarky response to this question in another post, but I think it warrants some true elaboration. Allow me first to refer you to one of my previous posts in which I provided a handful of tips for interpreting research on the matter. This is one of my less incendiary works, so feel free to be informed, antis: Trickery

Now, on to the good stuff. I am about to make a concession to the antis (gasp!). There have been instances in which women who have undergone abortions experienced subsequent feelings of sadness, regret, and so forth (to say nothing of the bajillions of women who don't, but that's besides the point). OK. So let's say a woman has an abortion, and felt really bad afterward. I get that. I get that people often make rash decisions that haven't been properly thought out. I get that people who have abortions without being positive that they are the right decisions might have funny feelings. I get that a lot of women are pressured into having abortions by partners, families, society, or their own mixed-up emotions. I get that pregnancy is about the most tumultuous and confusing event in a woman's life, particularly for young women, and that their judgment may be clouded by racing thoughts, fear, and the moral dilemma that abortion poses for ambiguously pro-choice persons.

This is why pre- and post-abortion counseling is the standard of care for abortion procedures, and why those of us who have worked directly with abortion patients were quick to inform them that they did not have to have abortions that they didn't want to have, or didn't feel prepared for. I've spent tons of time talking to patients about their options, encouraging them to make pros/cons lists, speaking with family, friends, spiritual leaders for support and advice. I've spent as much time calling up clinic administrators and putting certain patients on their watch lists, e.g. "Jane is coming in for an appointment today but sounds like she doesn't really want this abortion. Please spend some extra time with her in counseling and don't let her mother speak for her". Abortioneers have always believed that the way one feels coming out of an abortion reflects the way they felt going in. I'd bet my bottom dollar that if you talk to one of those hurt women you will unearth some insecurity or uneasiness with having had the procedure to begin with.


The same goes for any major life decision. Having sex, getting married, choosing a career, buying a house, determining a pregnancy outcome. These all require tons of preparation. Jumping head-first into any of them without having sufficiently weighed the consequences can lead to REGRET. Is this a secret? Abortioneers know this can happen, have known since forever! We also know that it's not nearly as pervasive as the antis make it out to be, but we absolutely acknowledge how important it is only to facilitate those procedures that are wanted. And on that note, God bless the abortion counselors!

Does that answer your question, Curious Antis?


  1. This was a great post. Thanks again for being my co-blogger! I would also like to ask the hypothetical "curious" anti -- because there are just so many of them out there asking the same question over and over and ignoring every answer they ever get -- whether there is any answer that will satisfy their curiosity. I'm just kidding, I already know the answer! So I guess that makes two of us (or a million and one of us) who aren't really asking for the sake of being informed.

    It's not like they care whether women are hurt, because plenty of women have their lives and health devastated for various reasons when they are denied an abortion they seek. It seems like the only point of this "question" is to make it seem other people should make all your personal decisions for you if there's a chance you might be "hurt" by having agency and self-domain.

    [end rant!]

  2. I do think it is great that you call other clinics to inform them of a potential forced abortion. I have a concession to grant to you as well. You seem compassionate. You seem to be devoted to using your gifts to help women, which is wonderful. But being devoted to a movement that allows this to happen -

    http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/news/shame/091111-doctor-banned-in-florida-working-in-new-york -

    I feel is a mistake. It's amazing and scary that this man is assisting women in making the most serious decision of their lives.

    I can't imagine how difficult a pregnancy must be, but our responsibility is to encourage women to make decisions that they will be proud of and help them in a time of need.


  3. I think one reason that antis can't understand how the pro sides feel is because they don't understand having a choice. They don't understand that there is counseling available.

    Since they tell woman, No you must have that baby. There is no other option. They think that the pro side is saying, No you must have an abortion, you don't have a choice. Which is so far from the truth.

    I really commend you for doing this job. I wish I could. I would love to help counsel woman into making a choice that is right for them.

    On another note ~ Yes there may be woman that experience depression after having an abortion. There may be woman that are hurt in some way. Guess what though, there are many many woman that experience depression AFTER having a baby. Some of who even wanted the baby. There are woman that are hurt after having a baby.

    There are also many many unwanted kids that are living hellish lives because their mom wasn't able to have an abortion.

    There are so many sides to this issue, that the only fair option is to give each woman her right to have a baby or terminate her pregnancy. End of story.


This is not a debate forum -- there are hundreds of other sites for that. This is a safe space for abortion care providers and one that respects the full spectrum of reproductive choices; comments that are not in that spirit will either wind up in the spam filter or languish in the moderation queue.