Yesterday was the 38th anniversary of the Roe versus Wade decision. Though I was aware of this, I happened to forget yesterday, until I unwittingly stumbled into an anti-abortion rally.
I was surprised at the sheer volume of people present. They carried signs that read:
ABORTION HURTS WOMEN
WOMEN DESERVE BETTER THAN ABORTION
WOMEN REGRET ABORTION
I was struck by how much the rhetoric has changed over the years. Immediately post-Roe, women who had abortions were demonized as "sluts." They were attacking the women themselves. When they realized this type of demonization would never work and ended making themselves look unstable, they began to reframe the debate. They have done a pretty amazing job. Women are now the victims of abortion. Abortion is a big mean monster out to hurt them. They are no longer blaming women, and instead making a very emotionally evocative statements, however untrue they may be.
Abortion does NOT hurt women. What hurts women is decreased access to family planning, birth control, and other important types of medical care. It hurts women when legislation is passed that forces women to look at a sonogram even if she is a rape survivor. It hurts women when you allow pharmacists to deny said woman her emergency contraception. It hurts women when she cannot afford to feed her children and she cannot find a job and there are not enough social programs available to assist her.
Instead of "women deserving better than abortion," perhaps they deserve pregnancies that don't develop fatal abonormalities. Women deserve partners who do not rape and abuse them. Women deserve access to legal medical procedures without being harrassed on her way into the clinic.
Women don't regret abortion. The greatest indicator of a woman's mental health post-abortion is her health pre-abortion. Either way, relief is the most commonly reported emotion post-abortion.
Despite antis BS rhetoric, abortion is still safe and legal in the United States. I have an amazing network of colleagues and friends who help fight the battle to keep abortion legal with me. So, on that note, I'd like to say Happy Roe Day!