Why essays backing convenience abortions won’t help the pro-abortion cause
Most essays on the subject of abortion mention how difficult a decision it is, even if the author is pro-abortion, and even if he or she is really only paying lip-service to the thought of abortion being a heart-wrenching choice to make. It won’t help the pro-abortion cause much to have a bunch of women running around talking about how easy their abortion was for them because hello, that baby was inconvenient.
Jessica Grose at Slate thinks otherwise, however, and she wants to know where all of the flippant pro-abortion essays are, because women should totally stop talking about how sad their abortions were:
The pro-choice side remains in a defensive crouch. We trot out the saddest stories: a woman who really wanted a baby but terminated because the baby was not going to be able to live outside the womb or a woman who can’t afford another child without tumbling into poverty. But a lot of women have abortions and don’t look back. A lot of women don’t want a baby, and they don’t care whether the fetus is viable or how much money is in their bank account. Where are their essays?
… First-person abortion stories in major publications are almost always about “appropriate” abortions. Shrouded in mournful tones, regretting the baby that couldn’t be, reflecting on that upsetting choice. But this is such a narrow way of looking at an experience that a third of women in America have. Most people who get abortions aren’t teenagers or terminating unviable babies. Six in 10 women who get abortions are already mothers, and 3 in 10 women have two or more children. The abortion rate is highest among women in their 20s. And there is a range of emotions that women feel when they’re getting what is essentially a medical procedure. Some feel relief, some feel nothing, others even feel joy.
It’s not surprising that we need to look beyond the media gatekeepers for authentic expressions of this range of emotion. When I was an editor at Jezebel, there was a Tumblr that made the rounds called “What to Expect When You’re Aborting.” The 23-year-old anonymous author put the site up because when she needed an abortion, she tried googling “abortion blog” and only came up with anti-choice nonsense and women who regretted their terminations. So she wanted to publish something servicey that explained what an abortion was like and how to go about getting one. But what I liked best about the site was how blithe and unapologetic she was about her choice. She described the aftermath of her abortion like this:
By monday my hormones were a little wonky but in all i just felt like this parasitic creature that burrowed its way into me and fed of my energy, apetite, [sic] and joy was removed. And I had been restored.
This kind of honesty might not change any anti-choice minds. But it pushes forward the idea that there isn’t one right way to feel about terminating a pregnancy. And it has the potential to nudge the battle back leftward after ceding so much ground.
There’s a reason why no one talks about how her abortion made her feel “restored,” or refers to her baby as a “parasite.” It would serve only to further expose how monstrous abortion really is. Those sad essays shrouded in mournful tones help the pro-aborts, although Grose can’t seem to understand that.
Here’s the thing: while many Americans may say they want abortion to be legalized, at least half of them find abortion to be morally wrong – and this from a poll done by the Huffington Post, not exactly a bastion of pro-life views. A large percentage wanted abortion to be generally illegal, with the exception of special circumstances. Only a small minority favored abortion to be totally legal, with no restrictions whatsoever. Another poll found that a majority of youth – 35 and under – now consider themselves pro-life.
As Grose herself says, the pro-aborts have lost a lot of ground. Is the best way to regain that ground really by having a bunch of selfish women writing shallow, frivolous essays about how their abortion was totally, like, no big deal?
The reality is that, as awful as it is, most women do get abortions because they simply don’t want a baby. The mournful essays about women who really didn’t want an abortion but simply had to have one because their baby had Down syndrome or something similarly “terrible” which just forced them to do it? Those are the extreme minority. Yet those are the sympathetic stories, which is why the abortion lobby so gleefully trots them out. It makes people think that abortion is an urgent need. No one wants to think that most women have abortions merely out of convenience – but this is what Grose thinks will endear people to the pro-abortion movement? Please. Someone needs a wake-up call.