Excerpts from CareNet, March 30, 2017, “Why So Few Women Shout Their Abortions”
For over a year, abortion activists have attempted to get women to embrace the #shoutyourabortion campaign. Websites like ShoutYourAbortion.com tell readers that, “Abortion is normal. Our stories are ours to tell. This is not a debate.” The activists argue that women feel shame about abortion because there are not enough people publicly celebrating the procedure. If more people “shout” their abortion experience, then more women will be comfortable with abortion. It’s counter to those women who share their stories of regret after their abortion. Pre-teen magazines have published articles about what to get a friend after an abortion.
Well, take it from me, there’s nothing good about abortion to shout about. It’s hurt far more than it’s helped. Sadly, you don’t hear about the pain, trauma and regret often enough.
With all the media hype in support of #shoutyourabortion, the campaign never went viral. Instead, the campaign barely raised a whisper, let alone a “shout.” The failure can be traced to the reasons women have abortions in the first place. According to the Guttmacher Institute (the research arm of Planned Parenthood), women have abortions for the following reasons:
- Concern for or responsibility to other individuals;
- The inability to afford raising a child; and
- The belief that having a baby would interfere with work, school or the ability to care for dependents.
Half said they did not want to be a single parent or were having problems with their husband or partner.” Additionally, Guttmacher found that over half of the women who had an abortion were actively using contraception at the time they conceived.
Therein lies the failure of the campaign — none of the reasons women have abortions are worth celebrating.
Women routinely celebrate marriage, a job promotion, college graduation, or the birth of their child. Few women, however, wish to “shout” that their relationship failed, their job cannot sustain them and their baby, their college plans are in jeopardy, or that their contraception failed to do what it promised. No woman enters an intimate relationship with the goal of having an unplanned pregnancy and subsequent abortion.
According to Gallup, 46% of Americans believe abortion to be “morally wrong” and 9% believe its morality depends on the reason for the abortion. Only 43% of Americans believe abortion to be “morally acceptable” no matter the circumstance; yet, abortion activists expect women to “shout” an action that many women believe was immoral.
Though Planned Parenthood now accounts for more than 30% of the approximate 1.2 million abortion procedures in the United States every year (an increase that has doubled from the year 2000), its spokespeople continue to downplay the number of abortions they provide. Rather than pointing out that they perform 160 abortions for every adoption referral, the executive director and her fellow advocates say abortion is only “3% of Planned Parenthood’s services.” Listening to a Planned Parenthood staffer on television could lead one to believe that the abortion giant is the neighborhood cancer screener and prenatal care specialist, not the nation’s largest abortion provider.
Those who value life recognize that abortion is a gut-wrenching and emotionally tumultuous decision. For more than forty years, women and men considering abortion have found compassion, hope, and help at resource centers and post-abortion recovery ministries. There are 200,000 women a year who regret abortion. Let’s recognize abortion for what it is – an extremely difficult decision for many women that can result in deep regret requiring a compassionate response.