Opinion

10 things no one will tell a woman about abortion

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At Romper, a website that claims to be about figuring out what motherhood means, Danielle Campoamor wrote about her experience having an abortion in a post titled, “10 Things No One Will Tell You About Your Abortion, But I Will.” She talked about being in an abusive relationship, and tried to normalize abortion by shutting down potential debate about whether abortion should be legal. But while Campoamor rattles off some “facts” to make abortion seem like it’s no big deal, there are also 10 things most women won’t hear about abortion…

1. No, 1 in 3 women don’t have an abortion.

Activists often claim that 1 in 3 American women have had abortions, but that is a myth. Most often used to support this claim is a statistic from a 2011 study which even its authors said in hindsight was inaccurate. The study used information from 2008, so the study authors had no way of knowing that, in subsequent years, abortion rates would plummet to a record low.

In addition, basic math disproves the 1 in 3 myth. The current abortion rate, according to Planned Parenthood’s former research arm, the Guttmacher Institute, is 16.9 per 1,000 women. Just under half of these are repeat abortions, with 55% of abortions being first-time abortions. 55% of 16.9 is 9.295 first-time abortions per 1,000 women. Guttmacher’s statistics take place over a 30 years, so the math would look like this: 30 years x 9.295 = 278.85, or 279 women out of 1,000 who will have at least one abortion in their lifetime. 279 of 1000 equals 27.9%, not 33%.

2. Many women are coerced into having an abortion.

Women should have the right to “choose” — or at least that’s the rallying cry. But how often do women actually choose abortion on their own? Multiple studies have shown that a majority of abortions are coerced. Pro-abortion extremists may brush this off, claiming women aren’t literally dragged into abortion centers and held down on the table (although sadly, this happens as well, and abortion workers have admitted to coercing women to abort). However, coercion includes threats of home or job loss, or loss of family if she doesn’t abort. One study found that up to 64% of women felt pressured by others to abort.

3. Abortion puts women at higher risk of domestic violence.

Commonly, abortion activists say abortion is needed so women aren’t forced to bring babies into abusive relationships. But it doesn’t really hold up, because abortion puts women at higher risk of domestic violence. According to a study published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Public Health, abortion increases the risk of domestic violence by an astounding 196%. Abortion doesn’t solve the issue of domestic violence; it magnifies it.

Common sense should illustrate that domestic violence isn’t a good reason to promote abortion. As already pointed out, women are frequently coerced into abortion. If they are in abusive relationships, that coercion is even more likely, and it can be dangerous if a woman refuses. Homicide is the leading killer of pregnant women, and even abortion facility workers have testified to seeing women abused and threatened by husbands and boyfriends when they went to get abortions. Abusers often also use abortion as a tool to cover up their crimes.

4. Legality does not equal morality.

Campoamor uses the fact that abortion is legal as a defense. But that doesn’t make a abortion good — nor does it prove that abortion should stay legal. Plenty of evil things have been legal throughout history: slavery, genocide, religious and political persecution. Does that mean they were acceptable? Just because something is legal doesn’t mean it is right.

Americans agree with this. Polling consistently shows that Americans feel abortion is morally wrong even though it’s legal.

5. The abortion industry isn’t trustworthy.

One thing women will undoubtedly never hear about is how inherently untrustworthy the abortion industry is. Abortion advocates portray the industry as do-gooders who care about women. But the truth is, women can’t trust the abortion industry.

Women are manipulated, lied to, and pressured into getting abortions by clinic staffers. They are given medically inaccurate information so that they’re more likely to get abortions. And women who are being coerced into an abortion by their abusers won’t find help at an abortion center; staffers have proved over and over again in clinics across the country that they will hide and cover up rape, sexual abuse, and human trafficking, even of children, if it means getting to perform another abortion. And then there was the Center for Medical Progress investigation that showed how trafficking the body parts of aborted babies is prevalent throughout the industry. Taken together, this seems like a predatory industry that takes advantage of women at their most vulnerable — for profit.

6. Abortion can lead to negative psychological consequences.

The abortion lobby claims there is no such thing as post-abortion syndrome. Campoamor repeats this myth, citing a 2013 study that only tracked how women felt within three years of their abortions. The study was problematic for many reasons, but most importantly, it was the only study to show that result. 29 out of 30 studies found that women who have abortions do experience negative psychological reactions. Every study, with the exception of the one Campoamor referenced, found that psychological risks come with abortion.

After an abortion, women are at higher risk for mental health disorders, including depression and anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse, and suicidal behavior. What makes it worse is that abortion activists like Campoamor want to deny that this happens. The abortion lobby is concerned with furthering abortion, even if their agenda leaves behind a trail of broken women. And they won’t warn women of what they’re risking.

7. Abortion can increase a woman’s risk for numerous health issues.

Abortion advocates assure women that not only is abortion a safe medical procedure, giving birth is riskier. It is categorically false that childbirth is more dangerous than abortion; abortion carries health risks that the abortion lobby either denies or never mentions.

First, there is the link between breast cancer and abortion, arguably the risk that the industry denies the most. Yet multiple studies have found that this link is real. There is also an increased risk of liver, cervical, and ovarian cancers. Women are also more likely to get endometriosis and pelvic inflammatory disease after an abortion. And remember how the Guttmacher Institute has found that 45% of women have had more than one abortion? Repeat abortions increase the risk of premature birth in future pregnancies. The complications of the procedure itself can include cervical laceration, uterine perforation, and excessive bleeding.

8. Thousands of women didn’t die in back-alley abortions before Roe.

Campoamor, like pro-abortion activists before her, claims thousands of women were dying from back-alley abortions before Roe v. Wade. This often-repeated “statistic” isn’t remotely true. FactCheck.org debunked it, citing Dr. Christopher Tietze, statistician for Planned Parenthood and the Center for Disease Control, who said that “in all likelihood it (the actual number) was under 1,000.” FactCheck.org wrote, “From the 1940s through the 1960s, in fact, the best available evidence shows a dramatic decline in abortion-related deaths occurring even before the first states liberalized abortion laws in 1967,” and explained that this decline was likely due to penicillin and the birth-control pill. Bernard Nathanson, a founder of NARAL, later admitted that the statistic about women dying from illegal abortions was made up.

In addition, a former Planned Parenthood director wrote in a July 1960 American Journal of Public Health article that 90% of illegal abortions were performed by licensed physicians in good standing, not back-alley butchers using coat hangers. Calderon pointed out that in 1957, there were only 260 abortion-related deaths in the entire country, and concluded that illegal abortion was not dangerous.

9. The abortion industry doesn’t care about making abortion safe.

It’s interesting seeing the abortion lobby fight to keep Roe because of the supposedly high number of women who died in unsafe abortions, but then turn around and claim that abortion centers shouldn’t have any regulations or standards. Which is it? Do they want safe abortions, or do they want butchers practicing in the open?

The abortion industry fights common-sense regulations, like hospital admitting privileges, even though they used to demand these standards. Meanwhile, shoddy abortionists practice all over the country, while authorities look the other way, in conditions that would shut down any other medical practice. Tanning salons, veterinary clinics, tattoo parlors, fast-food restaurants — all are held to higher standards than abortion facilities. Any effort to increase abortion safety regulations is fought by the people who claim abortion must stay legal so it can be safe.

10. Women deserve better.

Campoamor says women deserve better, but only because she believes it should be easier for women to get abortions. Women do deserve better — better than abortion, period. The earliest feminists were pro-life, including Susan B. Anthony, who famously said, “Thrice guilty is he who, for selfish gratification, heedless of her prayers, indifferent to her fate, drove her to the desperation which impels her to the crime.” Anthony didn’t excuse women for undergoing abortions, but she also wisely understood that a woman feeling she had no other choice but abortion was wrong.

Women shouldn’t have to feel that pregnancy is so dire and terrible that their only choice is abortion. Women deserve better choices and better futures, but abortion advocates get angry when we suggest preventing abortions by reforming adoption or creating better support systems for women facing crisis pregnancies.

Real feminists still fight today to give women better options than abortion. Women deserve more. It’s time to demand more.

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