Shout Your Abortion

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

So---  just a note. This is going to be angst ridden and angry. This summer has been particularly terrible for some of us, with the release of the Planned Parenthood videos, and last week was the tipping point. I've pretty much had enough of mentally "accommodating" those who decide to end their pregnancies. And I'll be clear- I'm not trying to claim they need my accommodations to go live their lives. My statement is in mind that I've tried to focus on my personal views, and not make any type of judgement on anyone else.... But this has gone beyond the point of ridiculousness now. The decision of women to end their pregnancies due to a poor prenatal diagnosis did affect my life. Doctors and other medical professionals were merciless when pressuring me to end my pregnancy with Beatrix. If we lived in a society where abortion wasn't expected in cases like ours, we would not have faced the same exertions.

So-- that being said, this will be a bumpy ride. Someone is going to be offended. If you are, I apologize ahead of time.... Or not, because I've gone beyond caring much after last weekend.

In the newest manifestation of pro-abortion rage, last weekend saw the rise of the #Shoutyourabortion hashtag. For a few solid hours it sat nicely at the top of the currently trending list on Facebook, but that spot at the top was eventually lost to items such as #askdonald and #christinaricci.

I was a little disappointed that it fell so quickly. I would have enjoyed sharing my story while it was hot-- being part of the groundswell of women sharing what has seemingly become a right of passage in America. The truth is, however, it wouldn't have been a monumental event for me. I, like thousands of other women, have been shouting my abortion for over a decade.

You know who paid attention to my shouting?

Pro-life groups.

You know who ignored it?

Planned Parenthood, and other pro-choice group out there.

Pro-choice persons and groups don't want to hear about regret. They focus on slanted studies which support their viewpoint, and ignore studies which were done over a longer period of time, have more participants, use control groups, are peer-reviewed, and don't rely on women "self-reporting" their emotional state after abortion. The above-mentioned slanted study does not follow proper scientific protocol in any sense... 

It did make it into Time Magazine, which is no surprise. Time magazine also published this gem, which I roundly refuted here. Their stake in this discussion has already been established.

But I digress. 

Pro-choice groups don't want to allow even a scintilla of doubt regarding the reality of post-abortion regret. They recognize the power behind a large mass of damaged women. It's why they are disdainful of any woman who publicly acknowledges her sorrow of lost parenthood. They choose to ridicule us and call us names rather than address the real questions we have about our treatment in their clinics and the magnitude of our complicity in destroying our unborn children. They want us to sit down and shut up.

Character assassinations are much easier and more effective in this respect than admitting you may be wrong. This is especially true when you have an army of devotees who are willing to push the limits of civility in order to quiet your opponents.

When we rally and hold up our signs, they attack....again, and again, and yet again.... but it is always justified. Because we are always wrong and they are always correct regardless of the circumstances. They excoriate our experts, whose peer-reviewed research findings are dismissed due to their supposed "agenda". Every one of us is a tool of the patriarchy, a religious fanatic, anti-woman. We can't conceivably be genuine. We aren't real people to them, but caricatures to be dstroyed.

For example many of us regretful, post-abortive women wrote open letters voicing our concern regarding Planned Parenthood's possible tissue harvesting this past summer {including me}.

We were ignored.

A canned response to about how abortion is "a difficult decision" is the closest they will ever come to acknowledging the suffering of thousands of women following their abortions.

Now this.

Shoved in our faces, "Shout Your Abortion", amplifies the underlying attitude of many pro-choice fanatics. The attitude which promotes the idea that we who feel pain regarding our decisions are somehow emotionally unstable. Supposedly we are keeping women down, setting back the clock-- which is an ironic accusation; let's face it, this protest isn't really about current events in legislation. While it is manifesting itself as a response to the recent de-funding votes, this specific type of activism has been happening since before Roe v. Wade. This is the social media equivalent of the old slogan "Abortion on demand and without apology".

We are seen as not intelligent enough to understand how somehow every criticism of abortion is an attack on women. The ignore the fact that we have been shouting out, for decades, about our own experiences and not just repeating a party line. 

This morning I ruminated on the obsessive need to validate their choices against the tide of common sense, which would seem to make evident that ending a pregnancy, whether you're pro-life or pro-choice, is a serious event in a woman's life. The only conclusion I can draw in this instance is that the louder they shout, the more it justifies their own decision to ignore our {or even their} pain. When they claim the need to shout, it explicitly implies that someone is attempting to quiet them.... But this just isn't happening. 

Women have always been free to share their abortion stories, whether positive or negative. There are a number of post-abortion organizations which remain non-partisan in this respect. 

When they make a conscious decision to ignore our pain, they must justify that decision by claiming their post-abortive experience of being shamed is more painful. #Shoutyourabortion isn't directed towards the men who are legislating against abortion "rights", it's a movement to quiet dissidents to the feminist narrative which claims abortion as just another blip on the radar. It's a movement formed solely in order to talk over those who aren't shouting, but quietly sharing their testimonies in post-abortion recovery groups. 

Long after these women have abandoned this effort, when they've run into the next social justice deficit which they believe needs their immediate attention, we will still be quietly delivering our testimonies in post-abortion healing groups. Some of us may take our stories to a microphone to encourage others to break their silence in a constructive way. Many of us will write about our experiences. Each of these manifestations of sharing will serve one purpose: to open the door of healing, through acknowledging the gravity of our choices. When we share our stories, they create a safe place for other women to enter and share their stories -- and unlike pro-choice partisans, we will welcome them in peace and comfort, with gentle spirits and hope of healing. Unlike Planned Parenthood, which evidently counsels women who have had a forced abortion to believe that they are not complicit in the coercion, we can share our stories without shouting.

We have nothing to cover-up. No need to hide behind an obnoxious noise. We have the ability to share our stories in an extraordinarily powerful way because we accept the gravity of our decisions and work from a standpoint of solemnity. 

I end this with, yet again, a request for a response from Planned Parenthood to acknowledge the pain of numerous women who have ended pregnancies in your clinics. Until then, long after #shoutyourabortion has fallen from our memories, I {and many others} will continue to affirm that abortions do cause pain and suffering regardless of what counselors tell the women who come into their clinics.

When our voices fade there will be a new generation of young women who have been damaged by voluntarily ending a pregnancy, to take up our standard. 

I'm certain more than one of them will recall when they participated in this past weekend's tweetfest. 

And that's just fine. 

We will be waiting for them whether they shouted, whispered, or never spoke at all.... because our work is based in redemption, and not condemnation. 

We choose to empower you to find your own voice, and not the voice which you are shamed into using because someone convinced you that you were not capable of caring for your unborn child, and you feel complicit in their destruction.

We choose to share our stories with grace and dignity, in order to lift other women up, and not kick them when they are down.  

We do not choose shouts and violence, but love and compassion in the face of great travails. In the end all we will have to show for ourselves is the consideration we freely give to one another. 

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