Thursday, February 27, 2014
Lauren Rankin writing in Rolling Stone Magazine says it’s a lie that most women regret their abortion:
In [University of California, San Francisco] study, 80 percent of women who experienced mostly negative emotions still felt that abortion was the right choice for them. This anti-abortion talking point is deceitful and reductive, and it doesn’t allow for women to share their nuanced, personal abortion experiences.
If Ms Rankin considers herself a “feminist” she should turn her ID card in immediately.
As the co-founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and a woman who had an abortion at age 16, she summarily dismisses me and the 20% of women in the study she cites that did not think abortion was the right choice for them. The Silent No More Awareness Campaign was started to give voice to the millions of women who have been silenced for too long by this kind of cheap and deceptive propaganda from abortion rights groups like Planned Parenthood.
To draw such broad conclusions from this limited study on a procedure performed annually on millions of women is a form of media malpractice. Ms Rankin reveals that she is clearly clueless about women’s nuanced personal abortion experiences. If she listened without prejudice to the stories of women who have suffered abortion loss she would understand that women can experience profound emotional and spiritual pain after an abortion…yet also have a powerful need to reassure themselves that they “did the right thing.” To admit otherwise would be to acknowledge that they made a mistake and, given what they sacrificed, this is very difficult to acknowledge and integrate into the post abortion reality of many women. In fact, this denial (when they have no real understanding of post abortion reactions and information on post abortion healing resources) is understandable. They need to deny the pain and regret they feel so they can keep functioning. I know this because I did the same thing for 19 years after my abortion.
The problem is that the repression and denial of these feelings (I did the right thing) leads to a host of symptoms such as depression, anxiety, nightmares and insomnia, dysfunctional relationships, and other physical and emotional issues that impact the lives and health of women. Painful symptoms are often self-medicated with alcohol and other self-destructive habits are formed to numb and escape the pain. These symptoms can and do wreak havoc in the lives of many women, often without an understanding of their relationship to the abortion. Failure to heal of this loss also leaves women vulnerable to repeat abortion procedures and deepening dysfunction in their lives. Keep in mind that 46% of abortions are repeat procedures.
When you take a study like this at face value and fail to examine the long term perspective of how abortion impacts women emotionally, relationally, and spiritually, you will draw hasty conclusions that conveniently reinforce your initial bias…that abortion is always good for women and that any side effects are, as she says, “deceitful and reductive” lies by pro-life zealots. To accept that abortion for some women can lead to serious side effects and ongoing complications is unacceptable to those that support abortion rights.
Rolling Stone presents the pro-life movement as a group of irrational extremists, spinning lies and untruths that seek to hurt women about an issue that was “decided on” over 40 years ago. But what this article proves, in the very fact that it had to be written, is that the pro-life movement is not an irrelevant voice in the wilderness. So while it is frustrating to see the manipulation and exploitation of women to promote an abortion rights agenda, the article is a strong indication that the efforts of the courageous women and men of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign are getting noticed by the intelligentsia of the culture of death.
Let’s increase our efforts to give voice to the real experience of women and men who have suffered after abortion and provide resources for reconciliation and recovery for those who have been wounded by their loss.