Thursday, February 4, 2010

Change you can believe in

Abortion changes you.

Abortion Changes You is a trademarked Web site and book. Abortion Changes You welcomes visitors and encourages those who have experienced abortion to begin their healing process through a series of virtual interactive (yet confidential?) reflective exercises. Michaelene Fedenburg is the author and creator, inspired by her own profound sadness and feelings of loss after having an abortion. (She's also a Facebook fan of Feminists for Life.)

We feel her.

When I began this work, I wanted to start a post-abortion support group at my clinic, but I was not a registered or licensed counselor, and the clinic feared looming lines of liability involved in expanding our services as we struggled to provide a common and vital surgery to nearly a quarter of our notoriously anti-choice state.

To our credit, we provided phenomenally safe, comprehensive, sacred, and respectful ABORTION care. We listened to every story, held every hand. We understood the profound sadness. The fear. We did not judge the relief. In many situations, we celebrated it. We accepted that our robust and unconditional support was off-putting to some depending on where they were in their grief process. It was a sacrifice we were willing to make for the collective of humanity.

We honor and observe the stories of our lives.

I was drawn to Abortion Changes You by The Stacy Zallie Foundation. Every once in a while The Stacy Zallie Foundation comes dancing out of the mad woods to drive tremendously BIG ad campaigns, waving full page testimonials in USA Today and bus stop ads. No Judgment. Just Support. Not Pro-Choice. Not Pro-Life.

Please forgive my wary head-

The premise of The Stacy Zallie Foundation is heart-breakingly tragic. The foundation is dedicated to Stacy Zallie who took her own life. It is founded by her father and mother, George and Linda. Though, the Web site and foundation seem to be managed and framed by her father who keeps in-touch with women around the world regarding their abortion experiences (aka, George's Post-Abortion Comfort Portal). Her father is convinced that Stacy's abortion at age 20 lead to her suicide less than one year later.

We deeply sympathize. We feel the weight of the women we know we did not help enough. Pregnancy termination is a tremendous experience. It is tragic and blessed and complicated. We wish someone could have helped Stacy too.

Abortion changes you...

We also deeply sympathize with women who cannot access safe abortion services, for families that suffer when basic health care needs are not met. We feel the weight of the women we know we did not help enough. (For a dose of ground-breaking reality, please see the Turnaway Study.) Pregnancy termination is a tremendous experience. It is tragic and blessed and complicated.

The Stacy Zallie Foundation (Not pro-choice, not pro-life, unbiased, donate here, blah, blah, blah) promotes Abortion Changes You and Abortion Changes You helps you find resources in your area. The resources?...drum roll, plllleaZ........................................Crisis pregnancy centers.

Crisis pregnancy centers need your money to spread no-good lies about ectopic pregnancies and breast cancer because no-good Prez-money-bags skipped town. Abortion not only changes you. They want your name, address, bank account and routing number if it fucked you up so they can *save* you. (For ground-breaking CPC legislation, please contact your local NARAL chapter.)

Abortion changes you.

So does waking up, going to the bathroom, brushing you teeth, falling in love, reading a book, crying, watching a film, having a baby, going on vacation, getting married, clipping your toe nails, eating peanut butter, parting your hair in the middle instead of to the side, getting raped while on a date, getting cancer, losing your job, having an orgasm, opening your mail, taking shots, baby-sitting, bird-watching, crossing the street, dancing, having a picnic, saying a prayer, doing downward dog, looking at the moon, jumping up and down, eating Sushi, joining the military, knowing faith-based organizations lie to you for their own good, realizing you have the innate power to choose your family's destiny...


  1. I sure as hell hope my abortion provider is pro-choice and pro-life, yo

  2. The reason why these types are gaining ground is cuz we on the pro choice literate side do not stand up. We can provide as many stories of women who terminated pregnancies and their lives were all the better cuz of it (like my wife and I).

    As a counselor with an M.S., I can tell you these "stories" are symptoms of other emotional issues, false pretenses to have an emotional catharsis and to meet other unstated needs. And they are so corny and cheesy, like a cheap after school special complete with drunk parents, sex, scandal, etc.

    One more thing, these anti choicers could not care about life, rather they care about running your life. They want to dictate your birth control, obligate you to birth against your will, carry the spawn of rapists to term, and tell you who you can/cannot marry and with whom you can/cannot have sex with. They want to dictate your nether parts and watch you go to the bathroom.

    Please check out my blog. . .I am new to this blogging thing and it is a new addiction.

  3. Also, this is utter bullshit for those of us who have actually dealt with suicides and know better than to claim that single incidents lead to suicidal behavior. Millions of women every year have abortions; how come they're not all taking their lives? Maybe these folks can spend more time advocating for suicide prevention instead of committing their lives to a farce.

  4. More importantly, many people commit suicide who never had an abortion. This sort of link is tenuous at best. They may be correlated, but it is not a causal relationship. Most people fall into such a trap.

  5. Daughter of Wands, I think I love you! I've always wondered why more people don't follow the links, when it comes to stuff like this. In NYC there are posters in the subways reading "Abortion Changes You". I wonder whether women who've had an abortion see that (or other similar ads) and wonder if something's wrong with them (or just feel inappropriately spoken-for) for not feeling guilty or depressed. I know I would.

  6. Thanks for this amazing blog. I'll be providing abortions in the not-so-distant future and I'd love to be a regular around here.

  7. When I was 17 my period was late. We (my boyfriend at the time and I) called the first number in the phonebook (this was before the internet was everywhere) and went to take the free, confidential pregnancy test. Yeah, you guessed it. A crisis pregnancy center. She did the test (which I could have bought at the drugstore) and it was positive. After hearing my reasons for not wanting to continue to be pregnanct, she had my boyfriend and I watch this video about abortion. A completely biased and scary video for a girl who had never even had a gyno exam.

    We went through with the abortion. The people at the clinic couldn't have been more supportive and understanding. They were aware of my run in with the CPC and at the time I didn't know why they were so upset for me. I do now. The doctor even made a point to come see me in the recovery room to tell me how well I did and that he was sorry for my experience with the CPC! I was shocked and scared, certain I was going to die still. I never did die. And the only reason I suffered any mental issues after the abortion was because I was reliving the video that the CPC showed me. Not the actual abortion.

    Thank you for doing what you do.

  8. Ya'll. . .the ugly antis cannot make you feel guilty without your permission. Our experience (my wife and I) was horrible due to the ugly protestors. The clinic staff was wonderful. The protestors said stuff to us, walked to us and started asking personal questions about birth control, sex, how many weeks along we were, shoved pics of aborted feti in our faces, etc. They even wrote down license plate #s of patients after they chased them down the street. These people are terrorists.

  9. Ugh, I actually saw a billboard for that foundation while riding the metro to my university, I think it went up fairly recently in the past week or so. I was pretty much skeptical right away and googled the foundation later. Yup, my gut instinct was right on.

  10. Thank you for your comments and contemplations that are oh-so-infused with truth, love, and wisdom! This blog post in particular is loaded with issues over-due to pollinate, and I am grateful you all have offered such intelligent and compassionate points of commentary. This Abortioneer needed you today, this week, this year!

  11. Ugh, Annie and Bob, thank you for sharing your stories - I'm sorry you had to go through experiences like that. And Annie, we absolutely get upset when we hear about the crap CPCs pull on our patients! Hearing "Are they gonna make me watch another video?" just sucks - patients sound like they don't know what to believe anymore, or wary or scared for their lives - nothing that you should have to feel going into the doctor's office :(

  12. One of our patients during my month at the clinic had accidentally gone to the CPC across the street from us for her appointment. Once she had figured out what had happened and come to the right place, she was so righteously angry! Angry that they had tried to force her to stay for the "evaluation" (which made her late for her appointment), angry about the things that they said about her when she said she had made up her mind and was firm in her decision, and especially angry that other women might be more vulnerable to this kind of manipulation and deceit. Interestingly, once she had been given her twilight sedation she just cried about how mean they were to her. It infuriated me, too.

    If these places truly serve a legitimate purpose, why do they have to engage in such deceptive practices like selecting real estate that borders on abortion clinics, and calling themselves "crisis pregnancy centers" when they should just come out and say "anti-abortion centers" or "abortion alternative centers?"

  13. Thank you for sharing your stories and carrying your torch, aka. telling the truth. One day our pregnancy experiences will be so laced with truth, joy, and love that the mere mention of a crisis pregnancy will universally invoke somber visions of a hospital Emergency Room.


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