STOP ABORTION — right after my turn

There was a framed single-panel comic that hung in the hallway just outside of the Executive Director’s office at the abortion clinic where I used to work: it was a pen-and-ink drawing of an umbrella bucket next to the entrance of an office building with a picket sign in it that read, “STOP ABORTION” in large block caps with “right after my turn” scratched under it in script.

Stop

It was a cheap shot at the number of post-abortive women who now vocally support the right-to-life of the unborn. Yes, they—we—are indeed asking, praying, and working to stop abortion, but the timing of our activism falling “after our turns” is for many of us why we became pro-life in the first place. We know the truth about the horror and brutality of abortion firsthand, and now want to save other pregnant mothers from making the same mistake(s) we did. It is not at all like the cartoon attempts to “humorously” illustrate: that a pro-life advocate dedicated enough to make and hold a “STOP ABORTION” sign outside of a clinic would sneak in to kill an inconvenient ill-timed baby and then march right back out the door, picking up her sign on the way out, and re-join the picket line. This is insulting and absurd.

The pro-abortion movement makes a lot of noise about respecting a woman’s heartfelt and well-considered “choice” to have an abortion—but only if she remains quietly pro-choice and regret-free afterwards. That same woman becomes a “traitor” to her gender, a mindless follower of dogma, or an object of cartoonish ridicule if she admits her abortion was a mistake and now wants to help others avoid the same pain, guilt, sadness, and remorse she—WE—experience as a result of making an irreversible error so grave as killing our children.

Not all women who undergo abortions feel this way of course, but for many of us—especially those of us who have publicly shared our tragic experiences and the aftermath of our abortions to shine a bright light on the ordeal of “safe, legal, and rare” human abortion in the United States—it is a deep, dark scar on our hearts that has forever altered us.

We were duped. We bought the lie(s). We were uninformed, under-informed, or misinformed about the serious risks involved with “the procedure.” (See also: Study Confirms that Induced Abortion Impacts Women’s Mental Health) Or we were forced, coerced, or tricked by people who professed to love us. Or maybe, for some us, we just made the wrong choice and it didn’t bother us at all right away. Some of us were grateful the problem pregnancy just “went away” and it wasn’t until days, weeks, months, years, or even decades later we felt the pain.

It is sadly (but tellingly) incongruous that pro-abortion supporters equate their cause for the ”right” to murder our unborn children to women’s equality, women’s rights, and caring for women when it seems obvious that women hurting after an abortion are pretty much left to fend for themselves. This is intellectual dishonesty in blind service to keeping the lucrative abortion industry in business at the expense of not only the helpless children killed, but also their customers: the pregnant mothers seeking their grisly services.

It is shameful that the pro-abortion side mocks or ignores our pain, regret, and remorse—and refuses to warn women about these inherent psychological risks. The National Abortion Federation (a group of abortion businesses) quotes outdated medical and psychological journal articles on its website—not one of which was published within the past 14 years—to assert that there are no lasting negative psychological effects after having an abortion, but then also states, “…women who have concerns after an abortion should be encouraged to see a professional psychologist …” So which is it? Either your abortion is easy and emotionless or the after-effects send you seeking expensive professional psychotherapy? Don’t spend half the page explaining away a pregnant woman’s worries about the emotional impact of abortion only to end with that doozy.

As post-abortive pro-life women we know a one-size-fits-all approach to the psychological consequences of abortion is laughable. Our suffering is real, and we are living testimony to the truth of the barbarism of abortion, and our personal stories bear witness to the euphemisms and half-truths perpetuated by the abortion industry. But we are also grateful recipients of the healing power of forgiveness, and we will not sit quietly by and allow our sisters, daughters, and friends to fall prey to the big business mistruths of the abortion industry.

  • Tom

    “This is insulting and absurd.” – actually no, it’s true. Only on a very small scale of course.

    The important point I think though, is that it’s more a case of “STOP ABORTION – until I need one” than  the scenario you describe.

    “As post-abortive pro-life women we know a one-size-fits-all approach to
    the psychological consequences of abortion is laughable.” – glad to hear it. It needs to be acknowledged that the overwhelming majority of women who have abortions aren’t ‘damaged’.

    • Guest

      For the 9001st time,

      Got sources?

      • Tom

        Where are the sources for the claims in the article above?

        OK, I don’t have data for my second point ( I did say ‘I think though’) but I still believe that there are more anti-choicers who will choose to abort when they feel the need than there are people who become anti-choicers after having an abortion. I haven’t seen any data which negates this.

        The number of women who go on to have further abortions demonstrates that most women don’t feel the need to join the ranks of the ‘guilt party’.

        • Guest

          Which claims?  The author cites a study to support one of them.  She doesn’t make any wild ones, like “that a pro-life advocate dedicated enough to make and hold a “STOP
          ABORTION” sign outside of a clinic would sneak in to kill an
          inconvenient ill-timed baby and then march right back out the door,
          picking up her sign on the way out, and re-join the picket line”.

          You might have a point that there aren’t that many people who become pro-life after having an abortion.  Doing so requires admitting that you’ve done something seriously wrong, which takes a lot of courage to do.  There are some though.

          The available data shows low abortion rates corresponding to people who identify with pro-life religious denominations and live in pro-life states.

          http://liveaction.org/blog/chart-u-s-abortion-rate-highest-among-non-religious-lowest-with-evangelicals/
          http://liveaction.org/blog/abortion-demographics/
          http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/06/pro-life-states-have-lower-abortion.html

          People do indeed practice what they preach.  So to suggest the scenario illustrated by the panel is ludicrous.

          The number of repeat abortions has many possible explanations other than that it doesn’t cause guilt.  For example, women may feel like they have lost a baby and must “replace” it (only to end up with another unwanted pregnancy).  It’s also possible that guilt takes years or decades to become present.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=681473501 Clarissa Masnaghetti

            There are women who get multiple abortions who don’t know what they’ve done, don’t have the facts on the procedure and what is actually growing inside of them.  Usually, when or if they learn about fetal development and abortion procedures, they become guilt-ridden.  It is just another tragedy that accompanies this lifestyle choice and personal decision that is not acknowledged often but most certainly exists.

          • Anonymous

            I have personal friends who have had abortions and are now pro-life. Outspokenly so. I have yet to meet anyone who openly discusses their abortion experience without regret. It’s not a scientific accounting, by any means. But anecdotally, it would seem that women who have abortions would seem to be most likely to either harbor that secret (whether they regret it or not) or to become ardently pro-life. And even many women who say they DON’T regret their abortions will admit that they caused lasting heartache, even if they were the “right” thing for them at the time. They will admit to thinking of and mourning for their babies (and yes, even use that word).

  • Anonymous

    Tom, you are missing some key points.

    1)  You speak of the “need” for abortion, as if it is an actuality.  It is not.  In no other situation in life, is it considered that there is a need to have your offspring killed for the sake of your situation.  If that were the case, then Andrea Yates and Susan Smith would be considered heroines.

    2)  In point of fact, the overwhelming percentage of mothers who have had abortions are, indeed, “damaged”.  Their injuries range from simple guilt, to more severe emotional and mental injury, even unto death.  This does not even take into account the physical injuries that often occur to mothers as a direct result of aborting their child.  Again some are even unto death.

    More than 95% of the mothers who have had their children aborted are reported to have some emotional and/or physical injury due to that abortion.  This does not even take into account the mothers who don’t report their injuries for an extended period of time, due to their rightful feelings of guilt.

    • 12angrymen

      Woahh there, please cite that “more than 95 percent source.” Out of all the studies I have read (and I’ve read a lot) I have never heard a claim that high. 

      • JB

        Perhaps? “Mothers
        suffer many psychological and physical complications from abortion.
        Although the public generally is unaware that these complications occur,
        psychological damage to the mothers [women become mothers at
        fertilization, not birth] occurs in approximately 95% percent of the
        women who have abortions, and physical damage occurs in approximately
        45%. (“Statement of Facts,” American Rights Coalition, quoted in Kogut,
        The Facts of Pro-Life, n.p 60.) David Reardon, famed researcher, notes
        that there are over one hundred complications associated with
        abortion._64_ This does not include death of the baby: This is not a
        complication of abortion, it is a goal.”

    • Tom

      1) subjective opinion.

      2) unmitigated rubbish.

      As is your last paragraph.

      • JB

        see above. just a quick google search but it does give some similar info

  • notimportant

    There was an article posted from the Associated Press on 1/26/2011, that was posted on MSNBC, entitled “Abortion doesn’t trigger mental distress, says study”. It had a subtitle headline claiming “Postpartum depression much more of a factor, according to Danish research. A quote from the artcle:

    “A woman should know that her risk of having a psychiatric episode is not increased after having an abortion” said Trine Munk-Olsen of Aarhus University, who led the study”.

    The article goes on to explain the extreme changes in hormonal levels for pregnant and postpartum women, plus the demands of a new baby causing exhaustion and extreme stress for the new mom are more likely to cause psychiatric problems than women who abort, as post-abortive women never experience all the extreme hormonal shifts and stress of having a newborn.

    It goes on to say that the American Psychological Association did extensive research, and in 2008 “found no evidence that ending an unwanted pregnancy threatens women’s mental health”

    There’s more names and cited studies, here’s the link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41280864/ns/health-mental_health/

    Personally, I don’t think it ever affects women who are completely uncaring of the fact that they are pregnant. However, if the woman is torn between whether or not to abort, or perhaps doesn’t want to abort but sees no alternative….then yes, this could be a huge problem for her further down the road. It’s certainly not right for women to be pushed or coerced into something such as abortion…however, I also think it’s wrong for women to be pushed or coerced into continuing a pregnancy. I guess I feel we should let the woman decide and let the chips fall where they may. But I do think we should absolutely assist women who are uncertain or afraid of choosing abortion, but feel they have no other options…those gals need our support (as they are obviously not getting it from others in their lives) for their pregnancies and newborns.

    • guest

      I would have a psyciatric episode just “thinking” about abortion…

  • Lisa Groves

    I had a business lunch with a man recently that quickly evolved into a discussion of abortion. He brought it up, and was so emphatic he actually started sweating in his suit. His neck got red and blotchy. I just sat there nibbling vegan cheese and nodding. About 10 minutes in he explained to me that he had been helping his girlfriend pay for graduate school, she became pregnant, and although it took him 5 months to help her ‘see the light’, he finally talked her into getting an abortion by threatening to cut her off financially. Whenever I see a man defending abortion, I can’t help but wonder whose abortion they either coerced or are secretly grieving. 
    To say that someone who has had an abortion can’t be a pro-life person is like saying someone who has told a lie can’t teach their children that lying is wrong. It is, in a word, silly. I have not had an abortion, but know many post-abortive women who are deeply pro-life. To reverse  one’s position on a social issue is actually a pretty decent measure of personal maturity. Unlike calling pro-life people ‘anti-choice’. It reminds me of when a mean girl named Susan called me ‘booger’ in the 4th grade. I said please, please call me Lisa, and she said no, i’m going to call you booger. Grow up. This article is reminiscent of my all-time favorite quote by Albert Einstein: “A man’s intelligence is best measured by his ability to change his mind.” Indeed.

    • Pro-life Vegan

      Lisa, are you also a pro-life vegan?  :)

    • bubbalouwee

      Well said.  God’s grace changes the human heart.  Isn’t that forgiveness?  Some of the saints were big sinners before being converted.  St. Mary Madelene was a prostitute, St. Paul helped kill St.  Stephen, St. Monica prayed for St. Augustine for years, who had a child out of wedlock.  Switching gears, years ago I read, but I cannot remember where, that God requires babies that are going to be aborted to say YES to Him before He permits it to go forth.  Another words, the baby is agreeing to martyrdom.  The Church teaches there are three types of Baptism.  Baptism by water, baptism by desire, and baptism by blood.  The Church has not yet ruled that the unborn are baptized by blood, but it could come at a future point in time.  Anyway, I found this fascinating.  I hope it offers some consolation to all those suffering from the trauma of abortion.

    • oldmanbob

      One of the most common reasons for killing a baby is get rid of the trouble of child support.  For the guy it amounts to gettig sex and not having to take responsiblity for the results.  I would guess that most killings  happen after he  pushes her into it.  So much for so call choice.  The creep you had lunch with got her girlfriend to “see the light” when he cut off the money, some choice!

  • Barb

    When pro-aborts tell post-abortive women and men that there are no psychological impact of abortion, it just causes us to believe that they either lack compassion or are just plain clueless.  Since 1998, maybe earlier, thoughtful abortion advocates have admitted that many women grieve after their abortions and the so-called “pro-choice” movement has been ill-equipped to help them.  (Ref: “After
    the abortion: by ceding the counseling role to pro-lifers,
    pro-choicers may be doing their cause more harm than good.”

    by
    Jonathan Dube,  Mar 1, 1998 (Publication:Washington
    Monthly ISSN: 0043-0633)).  Pro-choicers are so worried about what pro-lifers will think, they don’t heed the advice of the wiser ones among them.  
    There is no way you pro-aborts can make abortion into a good thing without twisting your psyche into knots, as Dr. Lisa Harris found (Ref:”Second
    Trimester Abortion Provision: Breaking the Silence and Changing the
    Discourse”, Lisa H. Harris, 2008 Reproductive Health Matters
    2008;16{3), Supplement}:74-81).  She wasn’t able to change the discourse because anyone outside of the abortion industry was appalled at what she wrote.
    On occasion, I get screamed at by “perfectly satisfied” middle-aged former abortion clients who have a visceral reaction to my mere presence with my rosary in front of our neighborhood abortion center. To me that is not normal behavior, but then again, I’m not a pro-choice psychologist – just another middle-aged former abortion client, but at least I don’t off into a rage.  Maybe the pro-life approach is better for women.
     

  • JB

    This is a good article, this “right after my thing” is absurd, to suggest that a woman that has had an abortion can’t speak out against it.  Those that have had abortions and have regretted it are in the best position to speak out against it because they know what a huge mistake it was and want to save other women from making that mistake. 
     
    It’s hypocritical for pro-choicers to speak out against any women that condemn abortion.  If pro-choicers really promote choice, they have to promote choices they disagree with too and accept the fact that not everyone shares their view.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Doc-Kimble/100001742531811 Doc Kimble

    The Darwinian deception, that some are “winners” and some are “losers” has run amok in our world, and it’s killing off goodness, truth and beauty. In that most Darwinian of all places, Nazi concentration camps, the human soul was not extinguished completely, even though that was the only purpose for the camps.

     Dr Viktor Frankl’s book, “Man’s Search for Meaning”, details how his psychotherapeutic model, which he called “logotherapy”, emerged from lessons learned from the camps. His “will to meaning” therapies have cured millions. There is never “no hope”; who can know what tomorrow will bring?

  • Anadrs23

    Personally, I don’t see why the issue even matters. If you kill someone and do not feel a shred of remorse, does that justify what you did? NO. Conversely, if you did a noble deed, but felt resentful and regretted it, does that make the noble act  bad? No. In either scenario,  the actions are not justified/excoriated on the basis on how it makes an individual feels. If anything, that you can kill an innocent human being without regretting it, or at the very least not being PROUD of it, says more about what a piece of shit you are than it says about abortion.

  • Anadrs23

    Both sides filter science through politics when it is convenient for them.  If the APA and  ALAN GUTTMACHER Institute  tell pro-lifers that abortions do not cause breast cancer, would they be convinced? NO.  Even if massive, empirical studies claimed that abortion  does indeed cause breast cancer/mental health problems, would the pro-choice side buy it? HELL no. So I don’t sdee what difference it makes. Either way, people will cling on to their beliefs.

  • Anadrs23

    Lack of regret relates to the conscience of the person acting, not to the rightness of the act.  

  • http://amirightornot.blogspot.in/2012/02/stop-abortion.html Deepa John

    We Mothers love our child in any condition they are and accept them in any condition, any mistakes – during their growth and even when they are grown up; then why couldn’t we do that for the most innocent babies who are yet to come to this world?

  • Elaine98

    I believe that every one no matter if not even developed yet should have the right to life. It is in my opinion not right to decide to kill or take out an unborn child. I understand why some people would believe they have to abort their unborn child but at the same time I do not understand what else is going through their minds when they say yes to not giving birth to that child.