Trusting Women





I live
just three doors down from the Richmond Medical Center
for Women in Richmond, VA, which has been a target of the 40 Days
for Life campaign. This basically consisted of clinic protesters gathering
daily for the past month or so to form prayer circles, display the typical "women
deserve better" and "abortion is murder" signs, with the occasional shouting through
the likely bullet-proof windows to those women who did not heed their advice before
entering the clinic. This Saturday was my first chance to sleep-in in about a
month, so aside from the fact that I was jarred out of sleep by their not too
distant voices through my window at 9am (thinking for a second that I was in
just another one of those "every pro-choice grassroots organizer’s nightmare" deals),
I have some more nuanced bones to pick with this campaign…

 

Driving home last week, a woman
with a sign reading "I regret my abortion" was standing quietly on the corner
outside the clinic.  The message was one
that both those of us in the trenches of abortion access work, as well as
anyone who can Google the word "abortion" had all undoubtedly heard or seen
before in one iteration or another, if not so explicitly as it was in this
message. 

 

My first thought was "wow, what
an intensely personal thing to be sharing with the 6 o’clock rush hour on
Boulevard." What was underlying my discomfort with this message was not that it
was just another sign in the window of the anti-choice movement, but that in no
other area of our lives are women so freely permitted or expected or encouraged to express regret, much less put it on display in the public forum.  I then began thinking about what is different
or special about abortion as a choice.    

 

My impetus for thinking about
what makes abortion "different" or "special" comes from a talk I recently
attended by a long-time abortion provider who challenged her audience (many of
whom were medical students and identified as potential abortion providers) to
think about what makes abortion a medical decision that sets it apart from
others, and why she was asked to come talk as "an abortion provider" instead of
as a doctor who gives women health care? (A different blog for a different
day!)

 

But what really gets me is that
this message of an individual women regretting her individual choice is that it
presupposes that the women who are coming to the clinic to seek abortion care
(or even the women driving by who have or will consider abortion) have not
considered regret among the ways that they might experience this choice.  It assumes that women don’t think about
choices and outcomes before they engage in behaviors or activities. It assumes
that women have little to no capacity to think for themselves about their lives
and their choices and their bodies. I wholly reject this notion because I trust
women.

 

If I were to stand outside of
McDonald’s for a month straight strategically standing between the drive thru
and the building entrance bearing a sandwich board (no-pun intended) reading: "I
regret that second Big Mac and chocolate shake" I am fairly certain that I
would see a lawsuit coming my way (think Oprah and the meat industry circa 1996).
I would also be remiss to think that the patrons of McDonald’s were not
educated enough to know that among the many possibilities of feelings that could
follow a meal at McDonald’s (elation, sugar-high, discomfort, bloating, satisfaction, to
name a few), regret might be one of them. Who am I to educate people about how I
felt after eating fast food? It’s insulting.

 

It’s insulting just like it is to
feel compelled to let women know how YOU experienced YOUR abortion.

 

The solution is not for me to
stand out there right next to Regretful Rebecca with a sign reading "I felt relief
after my abortion" because I know that women who choose abortion (by their own
volition and timing) are smart enough to consider that this is one feeling they
might experience. I would consider this action equally as insulting.

 

The solution is to ensure that
women can make informed choices based on the best medical evidence, and that
these choices are supported by friends and family because it is what she – and no
one else – wants.

 

I am proud to work for an
organization that will deny abortion care to a woman if there is any hint that
that she has not had the freedom to make her choice without coercions from a
partner or parent. If only the crisis pregnancy centers would follow suit and turn
away those who made a decision to carry a pregnancy based on coercive
protesters.  

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  • invalid-0

    The paragraph about holding a sign outside of McDonald’s is one of the funniest and smartest things I’ve read in a while.

  • invalid-0

    Please ask yourself why YOU yourself are so angered by a woman who regrets the killing of her own child by abortion? What does the “I” in I Regret My Abortion have to do with YOU?
    I am part of a vast movement of women and men who bought the lies of the abortion business. We are speaking out through SNM and reaching out to the thousands and thousands like us who regret killing our own children through abortion.
    IF I had all of the information about abortion…the risks, the heartache, the grief and anger….I NEVER WOULD HAVE DONE IT!! I was told it was simple, quick and painless. It was NONE of those things. I was told it was a bunch of cells. I was 10 weeks along!!

    What makes abortion so different and special?? It kills a growing child in a mother’s womb.

    What does a Big Mac have to do with murder??

    • http://msn.com/directory invalid-0

      I can work off that McDonald’s whopper in a few hours…but i will never, ever shed the guilt, remorse, and tremendous sense of loss I suffer every day because of the terrible choice I made over 10 years ago to end my baby’s life. I fantasize about someone outside “my abortion clinic” standing on the sidewalk caring enough to share her traumatic experiences with me. I also fantasize about jumping off the procedure table in my paper gown, running out of the clinic, without my purse, without my clothes, and without my dumb $400 “cash up front” refund. You go, you brave sign-holding woman!

  • invalid-0

    to help her understand why HER mistake has anything to do with other women, and to teach her not to be so disnonest.

  • invalid-0

    The word abortion is derived from the Latin aboriri- “to perish.” Even the ancients understood the significance of the act of abortion. Every instance of abortion also involves a man, whether instrumental as a “decision maker” or not. I would submit that the “pro-choice” attitude is less about “trusting women” to make choices than it is about men abrogating their duties to protect women and especially the unborn. Abortion is frank violence against women.

    • invalid-0

      your argument is based on the original roots of a word? hmmm, then you must also agree that females are the only ones who become “hysterical”, huh?
      oh, and as far as this every instance of abortion also involves a man? yeah, john, so does EVERY instance of a real child. but, gee, that didn’t stop my father from packing up his suitcases & abandoning his THREE young children & wife of 19 years for a younger woman. give me a break with your men’s rights argument.
      and if you’d like to speak out against violence against women – why not speak out against rampant domestic violence? huh?

    • invalid-0

      i don’t recall where i first read a quote regarding this thought – it seems it was possibly a suffragette? maybe someone here will recognize the thought behind it. but reading this idea effected me deeply because it’s so simple and so true.
      you, john, speak of men’s duty to protect women. (i won’t get into your idea men have a duty to protect the unborn, which is BEYOND ludicrous). and just what is it men would be protecting women from? well, all i can think of is this: FROM OTHER MEN!!! let’s see – rape, serial murders, domestic violence, stalking – the majority of which are crimes committed by MEN against WOMEN. so, when a man walks me to my car to “protect” me, just what is it he’s protecting me against? OTHER MEN. and that, really, is the only sort of protection i ever accept from the male gender – protection against the other members of their sex.
      so, after our society has dealt with these things that your gender might actually be able to “protect” me from – these things, these crimes that come FROM your gender – only then would i MAYBE (and i doubt that maybe) consider any other concept of what your gender has to do with my body and my privacy.

  • invalid-0

    “Men abrogating their duties to protect women and especially the unborn”???

    Thanks, but no thanks, you arrogant jerk. Women do not need men to protect them; you have to understand that we are HUMAN BEINGS with BRAINS and GOALS. If you can’t do that, then you are just another piece of shit dude who thinks every woman has penis envy.

    Women who hold up signs saying “I regret my abortion” are forgetting one thing: they had the ability to CHOOSE. They did not have to result to an illegal, unsafe backalley abortion that maimed them for the rest of their life. They were able to go into a safe clinic, get a medical procedure done that they believed was the right decision, and was not subject to sexual coercion by an abortion provider in order to obtain what she wanted. So those women, while “regretting” it, did not have to resort to unsafe methods and should advocate for all other women to have the same options and abilities they did during the tough time in their own lives.

    Also….just though everyone would like to know that the writers at LifeNews.com got wind of this blog post…
    http://www.lifenews.com/state4052.html

  • invalid-0

    Wow, Stephat. Not too pro-choice, are you, if a woman’s choice is to disclose her negative abortion experience. Got any clue of the price she pays to speak up? In addition to your complaints, she’s derided for buying into ‘religion-induced guilt,’ ridiculed for grieving over an ‘unfinished poem,’ even accused of betraying her post-abortive sisters. She’s hounded, belittled, criticized, mocked, hated … yet she persists in speaking the truth with humble courage.

    And “smart” is irrelevant in the aftermath of abortion. You can have total head-knowledge of abortion, and even with a ‘good reason’ to abort, still experience completely unexpected emotional turmoil after. Head-knowledge remains sterile and lifeless until you experience abortion firsthand. A surgeon can have all the objective knowledge and skills to perform an emergency appendectomy; yet when her own child’s life hangs in the balance, suddenly the scalpel is callously sharp and invasive. To label the searing agony a woman experiences after she willingly aborts her child a mere ‘feeling’ is to discount her agony. To then declare she has no right to share that experience with others is to devalue her compassion in wanting to spare her sisters their own agonies.

    Many women do feel relief after an abortion. But that’s usually an immediate reaction, not what she’ll feel long-term, 6 months, 2 or even 10 years down the road. Two anniversaries are particularly difficult – the abortion date and her baby’s projected birthday. They become increasingly painful as she realizes there was help available, and her child’s life didn’t have to be sacrificed for her life’s dreams of college and career.

    As for Planned Parenthood denying abortion to a coerced woman, PP employees have their own form of pressuring a client who’s even slightly unsure about aborting. ‘Counselors’ who left PP have divulged that they were trained to sell abortions, no matter what their client/victim said. They were taught to recognize and exploit any fear or indecisiveness: “So, you’re a school-age minor? How can you take care of your child while you’re at school? Is there anyone you can trust to babysit during the day? Does your boyfriend make enough money to cover baby clothes, food, medical bills, etc.? If you have this baby, will your boyfriend leave you? How would you handle that tough situation? Won’t it be really hard to make it on your own with a child to provide for, if your parents make good their threat to kick you out of their home?”

    And on and on and on. Their motivation is monetary – if they don’t talk her around to having the abortion, she and ‘their’ money walk out PP’s front door. Thankfully, hundreds of genuinely caring counselors quit PP every year, having come to the conclusion that abortion isn’t really ‘help’ at all.

    Finally, have you ever met a woman who was spared her own private hell because a post-abortive sister revealed her own experience? I have. I strongly recommend an in-depth conversation with her. Listen to her with your heart as wide as it can open. Perhaps you’ll become comfortable enough to share your own story with her. If so, you’ll find a truly compassionate listener.

    Steph, I’m keeping you in my prayers, every day, that you receive the healing you need. If you ever feel a need to talk, you can contact OptionLine at 1-800-395-4357(HELP) or visit http://www.optionline.org.

    Prolifemama

  • invalid-0

    John Dierking: The word abortion is derived from the Latin aboriri- “to perish.” Even the ancients understood the significance of the act of abortion. Every instance of abortion also involves a man, whether instrumental as a “decision maker” or not. I would submit that the “pro-choice” attitude is less about “trusting women” to make choices than it is about men abrogating their duties to protect women and especially the unborn. Abortion is frank violence against women.

    John, thank you for your courage in recognizing and proclaiming human gender roles. The fact that good men like yourself exist is enough reason for hope for humankind. Again, I thank you.

  • sayna

    Not too pro-choice, are you, if a woman’s choice is to disclose her negative abortion experience. Got any clue of the price she pays to speak up?

    […]

    To label the searing agony a woman experiences after she willingly aborts her child a mere ‘feeling’ is to discount her agony. To then declare she has no right to share that experience with others is to devalue her compassion in wanting to spare her sisters their own agonies.

    People have every right to speak their minds so it makes sense that some people will disagree with each other. There’s nothing wrong with women regretting an abortion and I feel for them, but that does not give them the right to take away choice from other women. Plenty of women do not regret having an abortion but they are ofen callously dismissed by the pro-life side as heartless and brainwashed. It’s wrong to tell someone that their emotions and experience are "wrong" no matter who does it.


    Your insistence that a woman always regrets it is condescending and hypocritical. You aren’t her. You’ll never know how she feels. Some women honestly do not have moral qualms or regrets.

    As for Planned Parenthood denying abortion to a coerced woman, PP employees have their own form of pressuring a client who’s even slightly unsure about aborting. ‘Counselors’ who left PP have divulged that they were trained to sell abortions, no matter what their client/victim said.

    You seem pretty confident about this claim so I’m sure you’ll have no trouble backing it up with a reliable source. Go ahead.

    Their motivation is monetary – if they don’t talk her around to having the abortion, she and ‘their’ money walk out PP’s front door.

    You are aware that PP is a non-profit organization, right? This doesn’t even sound plausible. If money were all they cared about surely they would be pressuring women not to have aboerions. Pre-natal care, which PP also provides, costs much more than an abortion.


    Talk trash about Planned Parenthood all you want, but by handing out low-cost/free birth control and providing medically accurate information they do more to prevent abortions in one day than the pro-life movement could in a lifetime. Not a single pro-life organization supports contraception and comprehensive sex education. Most are vehemently opposed.

  • progo35

    The title says it all. PP is not a not for profit organization, it profits from the many medical procedures it performs, including abortions. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have come up with the “voucher” idea they did this Christmas. It doesn’t take any special proof to know that abortion, like any other procedure offered at that particular clinic = money, thus, there is naturally a financial incentive to encourage a prospective customer to pay for that service.

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

    • invalid-0

      The vouchers are for women too poor to afford healthcare and it does cost a not for profit organization money to stay up and running, pay doctors, fend off lawsuits by the anti-choice zealots, etc. Abortion is NOT a business there, they are helping women with their reproductive health- mostly with pap smears, lab tests, mamograms, birth control, etc. etc. besides abortion services, which, by the way, not every Planned Parenthood provides. Get an education about PP before you spout off your know-it-all, arrogant, misinformation.

  • jodi-jacobson

    Thank you for this great reader diary. I too believe everyone has the right to their own experiences and emotions in opting, after the fact, for any medical procedure, whether those are relief, regret, elation, whatever. The central point is, as you state, that women maintain the right to choose.

    Emotion and personal feelings are important. However, when they are used for political gains to close off options to women in the future, they are manipulative, and also once again flout evidence. An earlier poster’s claim that the “anniversary date” and the birthday of the potential child that might have been born are “the saddest” for any woman is just blatantly wrong. Some women may indeed experience sadness. I would not be able to tell you from my own experience of over 25 years ago even what that date would be.

    Let’s all stop projecting our emotions onto other people as fact and evidence. Everyone has a right to their beliefs and their emotions. They do not have the right to assume that their experience is the uber-experience.

    As for the poster complaining about Planned Parenthood, it is a not-for-profit….you simply have no factual evidence for these claims.

    Jodi Jacobson

  • invalid-0

    If you don’t believe that PP is a not for profit organization, are apparently unable to do your own research on the subject and do not even know what a not for profit is, do you think that you could take this painfully stupid excuse for an ‘argument’ to the IRS and allow them adjudicate the matter? Thanks.

  • invalid-0

    “Non-profit” is a tax code – 501(c)(3) that all Planned Parenthood health centers fall under.

    http://www.irs.gov/charities/charitable/article/0,,id=96099,00.html

    It simply means that there are no investors or shareholders and all of the income – from donations or fees from services – are put back into the organization. No one goes home richer at the end of the day because we do more pap smears! Teens and women get more information about the status of their health and that is the real pay-off.

  • progo35

    &As steph has pointed out, not for profit is a tax code, but that doesn’t mean that PP is a “charity,” or “place of worship” which is what most people associate with “not for profit” status. It would be more accurate to say that PP is tax exempt, since it does profit from procedures that cannot be accessed without monetary funds from the person accessing those services. PP doesn’t provide “free” abortions, you have to pay. “Not for profit” makes it sound like they donate medical services out of the goodness of their heart, which isn’t true. So, Colleen, I was being accurate in terms of how PP operates: they charge fees, thus, while they are tax exempt, they are not “non profit,” regardless of falling under that designation because of the Tax code’s lack of a better word.

    quot;Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • http://www.cpcwatch.org invalid-0

    Prolifemama, have you ever considered the possibility (mentioned by Steph here) that the guilt and/or shame a woman may feel following abortion might have something to do with the crowd of rabid anti-choice protesters outside the clinic shouting that what she’s done is inherently evil? Or the propaganda put out by the so-called “healers” at OptionLine? You can see some testimonials from women who have visited the very agencies referred at optionline.org and make that decision for yourself. Even if there are no protesters outside a clinic, surely you must understand that public consciousness is affected greatly by folks like yourself who spend much of your time demonizing abortion providers/pregnancy terminations/even some forms of contraception.

    As for your criticisms on PP’s counselors: “So, you’re a school-age minor? How can you take care of your child while you’re at school? Is there anyone you can trust to babysit during the day? Does your boyfriend make enough money to cover baby clothes, food, medical bills, etc.? If you have this baby, will your boyfriend leave you? How would you handle that tough situation? Won’t it be really hard to make it on your own with a child to provide for, if your parents make good their threat to kick you out of their home?”

    How is this “bad” and not just, well, realistic? And what on earth are they going to get at a CPC? False or misleading medical information, harassment, and a group of poorly trained volunteers that encourage women to enter into LEGAL MARRIAGE with whoever it was they got pregnant by, regardless of the relationship’s stability. And if they don’t enter this heteronormative institution of marriage, they’re forcibly encouraged to enter into adoption contracts WITH the CPC that profits greatly off of the legal fees. CPCs may give a woman a few crawlers, maybe some diapers and formula, but rarely custody classes, free or affordable childcare, and certainly no pre-natal. And if CPCs referred by OptionLine are “so committed” to being a holistic resource for pregnant women and just that, how come many are known to donate upwards of $100,000 to completely unrelated political campaigns?

    I think Steph’s point about the “I Regret My Abortion” sign is the fact that this sign is mass produced by an anti-choice organization and marketed to ALL women, whether or not they have had that specific experience with abortion or not. Of course as advocates of reproductive justice, we are all of course completely aware that negative experiences happen… as I’ve said, these experiences are societally influenced and wouldn’t be such a common occurrence if they weren’t greeted by a hundred screaming protesters when leaving the clinic. (If you don’t believe me, why not convince your cohorts to stop protesting outside clinics for a couple of decades and see what happens?) Besides, if Steph’s point got to you at all, you’d realize she’s talking about how different women have different experiences and that those experiences, while all valid, should be all-inclusive… consider that when you refer folks to OptionLine, a source that told one of my volunteers that “over 75%” of women who have had abortions experience serious depression. In addition, I’m not seeing the part where Steph suggested the woman holding the Regret sign should be locked up Stalin-style.

    There are unbiased resources out there for women who need someone to talk to such as Exhale and Backline, but as far as an epidemic of depression amongst women who have had abortions, all methodologically sound research has suggested the psychological health impact from abortion is “minuscule”. Or are you one of the ones who thinks (read: wants to think) that the APA is just another facet of the “pro-abortion conspiracy”?
    Oh, and the latin roots of words aren’t always relevant 100s of years later, or even decades later. The term “hysteric” was once applied to women who supposedly went crazy because their uteri were moving about their bodies… I’m positive you don’t consider hysteria a gynecological issue in 2009.

  • http://www.cpcwatch.org invalid-0

    Planned Parenthood provides me with the NuvaRing each month for under half the market price. They get a bit of a deal being an agency that benefits the “underserved,” but they actually barely break even on birth control. My source here is an accountant with Planned Parenthood Health Systems of NC.

    As for abortion, see this report from the NAF. From page 15:

    However, in a very marked contrast to most other medical procedures, the cost of abortion has risen less than inflation. Contrary to the distorted picture of the ‘abortion industry’ as a tremendously profitable business designed to take advantage
    of women, abortion providers have maintained lower than average fees for their services compared with
    physicians in other specialties. Correcting for inflation, abortions in 1991 cost only half of what they did in the
    early 1970s.

    Lawyered.

  • invalid-0

    Dear Chrissy,
    I have had enough counseling to last a life time thank you very much and the source of my pain? ABORTION, silly. That is what we are talking about isn’t it??

    I will tell my story until my last breath. I will hold my I Regret My Abortion sign with hundreds and thousands of men and women who regret killing their own growing children. I will continue to reach out to others that regret killing their child through abortion but do not know who to turn to.

    I haven’t lied about a thing, Chrissy. I stand on the truth of my abortion experience. In fact, I am an expert on it.

    If anyone is reading this and is struggling after abortion please call The National Abortion Recovery Helpline
    1-866-482-LIFE

    Prolifemama,
    THANK YOU!!!

  • invalid-0

    As steph has pointed out, not for profit is a tax code, but that doesn’t mean that PP is a “charity,” or “place of worship” which is what most people associate with “not for profit” status.

    Progo35, PP charges for their services (including abortion) so that they can pay the rent and operating expenses. They do not charge money so that the doctors can buy a shiny new Mercedes-Benz. If you think the presence of a financial transaction necessarily means that they’re going to selfishly goad women into the most expensive option available, then you have an extremely cynical and limited understanding of human nature. I may as well claim that mainstream Christian religions are nothing more than a concerted set of advertising campaigns to the end of attaining the maximum Sunday collection.

    Rather than presuming what the motivations of PP staffers are, I’d suggest you try talking to a few, as well as get to better know the pro-choice movement in general. Because your claim about PP and abortion being all about the Benjamins is about as ignorant and misguided as someone claiming the same about mainstream churches.

  • progo35

    Anon-I did not say that all PP clinics attempt to convince women to have abortions, only that the financial incentive is there. Indeed, the left is rife with accusations of parochial organizations attempting to make a profit from gullible people.

  • invalid-0

    Anon-I did not say that all PP clinics attempt to convince women to have abortions, only that the financial incentive is there.

    Contraception reduces the incidence of unwanted pregnancy, which then reduces the need for abortion. PP is one of the biggest providers of contraception in this country. If they have such a financial incentive to encourage abortion, then why have they not shuttered their contraceptive-access program, shifted the funds to abortion facilities, and waited for the patients/money to roll in?

  • invalid-0

    “As steph has pointed out, not for profit is a tax code, but that doesn’t mean that PP is a “charity,” or “place of worship” which is what most people associate with “not for profit” status

    If by “most people” you mean your allies on the religious right who keep mouthing this indescribably stupid argument than you may be right. More thoughtful folks (which would be most people) understand that not for profit organizations of all sorts exist and must pay staff and electricity bills like any other business or charity or ‘place of worship’.
    Planned Parenthood provides a wide range of gynecological and family planning services at a reduced and/or sliding scale fee. That’s a great deal more than, say, not for profit Catholic hospitals do.
    You were not being accurate, quite the opposite.

  • progo35

    No, because it’s a bit more complicated than that, as you know. No one is arguing that PP ha no ideological reasons or desire to help women that would spur them to distribute contraception.

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • progo35

    Colleen-first of all, people of all persuasions see the not for profit model that way.

    Secondly, you only want to characterize me as part of the religious right because it helps your argument. You have no way of knowing which political circles I move in, my views on gay marriage, the government, etc. I’ve already made it clear that I support contraceptive rights. But that’s not good enough for you. I have to support abortion up to the point of birth, particularly for fetal anomaly, or I am a misogynist.

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    (Kate’s comments in CAPS for differentiation) KATE S. SAID “JOHN, LAY OFF YOUR THEORIES OF ROMANTIC PATERNALISM. ‘MEN ABROGATING THEIR DUTIES TO PROTECT WOMEN AND ESPECIALLY THE UNBORN’??? THANKS, BUT NO THANKS, YOU ARROGANT JERK.”

    John is not arrogant, he is correct.

    “WOMEN DO NOT NEED MEN TO PROTECT THEM; YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT WE ARE HUMAN BEINGS WITH BRAINS and GOALS…”

    (but not, apparently, hearts)

    IF YOU CAN’T DO THAT, THEN YOU ARE JUST ANOTHER PIECE OF SHIT DUDE WHO THINKS EVERY WOMAN HAS PENIS ENVY.”

    Kate, you’re pretty bitter, it seems. John doesn’t appear to view women as second-class citizens, or unintelligent. He just knows that women don’t get pregnant all by themselves, and that a father has an obligation, a responsibility to both mother and child.

    “WOMEN WHO HOLD UP SIGNS SAYING ‘I REGRET MY ABORTION’ ARE FORGETTING ONE THING; THEY HAD THE ABILITY TO CHOOSE.”

    So, Kate, it’s “tough luck” for women regretting their abortions, who didn’t have the experience they expected. “Just quit whining about it, at least it was legal, and you had a choice.” That’s an incredibly insensitive viewpoint for a woman to hold, don’t you think? No compassion for your sister in difficulty? She’s not condemning anyone else, just expressing regret that she chose abortion, and hopes that sharing her experience will help someone else choose a positive solution to their situation. You know, your attitude is the same as many abortionists, mostly men, who sadistically cause as much pain to their patient/victims as possible, out of some twisted desire to punish them for being inconveniently pregnant.

    “THEY DID NOT HAVE TO RESULT TO AN ILLEGAL, UNSAFE BACKALLEY ABORTION THAT MAIMED THEM FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIFE.”

    Newsflash – when abortion was legalized in 1973, many abortionists simply moved their shingles from the back alleys to their front doors. Their ethics and skill levels didn’t improve; they were the dregs of the medical profession, skulking on the edges of respectable medical practice, often dropouts from medical schools or docs-gone-bad.

    Additionally, abortion is the most unregulated industry in the U.S., and possibly the world. Since it’s a sacred cow in America, there are few enforceable health standards, including basic cleanliness, regular sterilization of instruments, prepping procedure rooms rooms, tables, up-to-date stocked first aid kits, etc. Many inspections of PP facilities even today reveal blood-stained suction machines, floors, walls and towels, re-used laminaria, insufficient emergency equipment, non-working plumbing, etc. Whenever legislators propose that enforceable safety standards be put into place, the proaborts scream that women’s rights are being restricted, and undue burden being placed upon them. As a result, many women are maimed for life, or die from so-called safe, legal abortion.

    “THEY WERE ABLE TO GO INTO A SAFE CLINIC, GET A MEDICAL PROCEDURE DONE THAT THEY BELIEVED WAS THE RIGHT DECISION, AND WAS NOT SUBJECT TO SEXUAL COERCION BY AN ABORTION PROVIDER IN ORDER TO OBTAIN WHAT SHE WANTED.”

    Kate, read Mark Crutcher’s book LIME FIVE. It’s an expose of the abortion industry which includes a disturbingly accurate glimpse into the personalities and personal activities of abortionists, many of whom are sex criminals and women-haters, and this includes the females as well as their male counterparts. Many abortionists seduce, then impregnate their patient/victims, and then commit forced abortions on them, just for kicks. Read the book. A real eye- and heart-opener.

    “SO THOSE WOMEN, WHILE “REGRETTING” IT, DID NOT HAVE TO RESORT TO UNSAFE METHODS AND SHOULD ADVOCATE FOR ALL OTHER WOMEN TO HAVE THE SAME OPTIONS AND ABILITIES THEY DID DURING THE TOUGH TIME IN THEIR OWN LIVES.”

    First of all, why do you put the word regretting in quotes? Do you doubt these women’s ability to discern their feelings? Talk about arrogance, my dear Kate. Second, much to your distress, it would appear that for many of these women expressing regret, abortion didn’t solve anything during their “tough times,” it just made their times tougher.

    Women deserve so much better than abortion, especially from other women. Most women abort out of desperation. They would NEVER have chosen abortion had they been offered the real, practical help they needed.

    When a woman aborts because she thinks it’s the only way out of a bad marriage or relationship, or she’s trying to finish college, or her career is in danger of derailment, then we have failed our sister.

    Contrary to popular proabort belief, prolifers do not force women to carry unintended pregnancies to term. We offer our hands, our hearts, and our homes to women who need a better solution than sacrificing their children’s lives to keep their dreams intact. Their needs range from a place to live, medical care, and financial assistance to a friendly supportive shoulder to lean on.

    Women don’t need abortion in their “tough times” – they need our compassion, our strength, our love, our understanding, and real, practical, life-affirming solutions that actually improve their situations. Is that too much for them to ask? Of course not. We are women – hear us roar. Help us help.

    “ALSO….JUST THOUGH EVERYONE WOULD LIKE TO KNOW THAT THE WRITERS AT LIFENEWS.COM GOT WIND OF THIS BLOG POST…”

    Yes. God bless LifeNews.com!!

  • invalid-0

    You know, your attitude is the same as many abortionists, mostly men, who sadistically cause as much pain to their patient/victims as possible, out of some twisted desire to punish them for being inconveniently pregnant.

    Um, no they don’t, actually. Abortion doctors support reproductive rights, which means that, unlike you, they actually respect the choices a woman makes with respect to her pregnancy.

    Feel free to believe in this sadistic-abortion-doctor cartoon character, however. Everyone’s entitled to their fantasies.

    Additionally, abortion is the most unregulated industry in the U.S., and possibly the world. Since it’s a sacred cow in America, there are few enforceable health standards, including basic cleanliness, regular sterilization of instruments, prepping procedure rooms rooms, tables, up-to-date stocked first aid kits, etc. Many inspections of PP facilities even today reveal blood-stained suction machines, floors, walls and towels, re-used laminaria, insufficient emergency equipment, non-working plumbing, etc.

    So you should have no trouble citing well-documented evidence of this, then. I breathlessly await to see how dingy, run-down and dilapidated all these PP clinics are—why, they’re hardly any better than the back alleys they replaced!

    Whenever legislators propose that enforceable safety standards be put into place, the proaborts scream that women’s rights are being restricted, and undue burden being placed upon them. As a result, many women are maimed for life, or die from so-called safe, legal abortion.

    On what planet? You’re certainly not talking about Earth, where the only regulations that are protested are those that by their letter or effect specifically target abortion clinics and not all medical facilities in general (TRAP laws).

    Kate, read Mark Crutcher’s book LIME FIVE. It’s an expose of the abortion industry which includes a disturbingly accurate glimpse into the personalities and personal activities of abortionists, many of whom are sex criminals and women-haters, and this includes the females as well as their male counterparts. Many abortionists seduce, then impregnate their patient/victims, and then commit forced abortions on them, just for kicks. Read the book. A real eye- and heart-opener.

    Look for it at your local bookstore, in the fiction aisle, right next to the Left Behind display case!

    Women deserve so much better than abortion, especially from other women. Most women abort out of desperation. They would NEVER have chosen abortion had they been offered the real, practical help they needed.

    Like accurate, comprehensive sexual education, and easily-accessible contraception? Or would that just “promote promiscuity?”

    Contrary to popular proabort belief, prolifers do not force women to carry unintended pregnancies to term.

    Oh really? So passing laws and regulations that obstruct and frustrate womens’ ability to get the abortions they need doesn’t constitute forcing them to carry to term?

    Or are you counting on the fact that they can always just pull out a coat hanger and do it themselves, regardless of what the law says?

    Women don’t need abortion in their “tough times” – they need our compassion, our strength, our love, our understanding, and real, practical, life-affirming solutions that actually improve their situations. Is that too much for them to ask?

    Why do they need to ask at all? Apparently, you already know what all pregnant women need. A woman may think she wants an abortion, but no—you, Prolifemama, know what she really wants.

  • invalid-0

    Thanks to everyone who has posted a comment here in response to my Reader Diary. I am really looking forward posting more thought provoking blogs in the future.
    The crux of this problem (women feeling the need to share their own personal feelings after their own abortions to women seeking abortion care) for me is that it underestimates other women’s abilities to make choices without a reminder that some women have regretted similar choices. Women are smart enough to know that that is something they too may experience. They are choosing abortion anyway. It reeks of paternalism to assume that women who want abortions need to be reminded that some women, out there, have regretted their abortions (regret, which I would say is based on a WIDE range of underlying reasons, each as different as each woman who claims this feeling).
    I am genuinely saddened to hear that some women have had adverse experiences in their reproductive lives (whether that be an abortion, c-section, tubal ligation, whatever), but these bad experiences do not give anyone license to assume that women cannot think through decisions themselves, as autonomous, rational people.

  • invalid-0

    and actually take part in raising their child? In a perfect world maybe. I do not know many who don’t find an excuse not to. If more men would step up to the plate maybe the need for abortion would become obsolite. That would be nice. After all it does take two to make a third. To many women have to raise their children alone or because of violence another huge issue.

  • invalid-0

    How do I underestimate women by saying I Regret My Abortion?

    Let’s tell women exactly what happens to their child during an abortion and exactly what the risks are and let them think through this decision by themselves as autonomous, rational people.

  • invalid-0

    Let’s tell women exactly what happens to their child during an abortion and exactly what the risks are

    Why do you assume that a woman who is going to a clinic for an abortion doesn’t already know “exactly what happens to their child fetus during an abortion?”

    Why do you presume that it is your place to tell a woman what the risks of a medical procedure are, and not the doctor’s—when it is the doctor who is privy to the woman’s specific medical condition, and has the qualifications and knowledge necessary to advice the woman accurately?

    Why do you assume that a woman will respond, “Gee, it never even occurred to me that I might regret my abortion!”

  • invalid-0

    on drugs, mushrooms,hallucinogens? Weird people pro-lifers. They leave drugs and alchohol for cult christianity type groups. One addiction for the other. Go ruin your own lives and leave everyone else alone. Please.

    • http://theaddictionhelp.com/ invalid-0

      I totally agree with you. Everyone has to keep eating, food issues or not. A recovering alcoholic for example, can stay out of bars.

  • invalid-0

    The reason that there weren’t women standing with signs saying “Thank God I had my abortion” is that those women have moved on with their lives.

    The woman who wears a sign regretting her abortion or second Big Mac is holding on, unproductively, to the past. If she imagines that the answer to her regret is taking away the right to reproductive freedom for all, she is also in a childish fantasy — that the solution to one person making a choice she’s unhappy with is to deprive all women of any choices.

    We can feel genuine sadness that life handed her events she feels so much sorrow about, but it is she who is clinging to something she regrets, living in the past, literally wearing it on her shirt. It is she who is choosing to fill her life with abortion instead of living whatever life might otherwise unfold for her.

    When, as a country, we can truly support women and help them learn the tools that create independence, intellect and strategic thinking, I think there will be fewer people who are clinging to signs about what happened to them in the past, and more people who move forward decisively, making good adult decisions that are appropriate for their lives now.

  • invalid-0

    Most women abort out of desperation. They would NEVER have chosen abortion had they been offered the real, practical help they needed.

    Implicit in this statement is the assumption that all women are just chomping at the bit to become mothers, and it is only “desperate” financial considerations that lead to the choice of an abortion.

    Such is not the case.

  • invalid-0

    Women going to get an abortion already KNOW that their child is going to be killed by being chopped into pieces and suctioned out of their bodies? Fetal development is covered then as well as an explanation of what is on the ultrasound screen? Are you talking about the abortionist?? I didn’t even know his name. He never looked at me or talked to me. When you say between a woman and a doctor are you talking about him??
    I don’t assume anything about women. I assume that if they regret their abortion they will seek help and they will find it in the thousands of abortion recovery groups.

    Yes. I am holding on to the past. Right. So are the women that have had abortions and are now addicted to alcohol, drugs and antidepressants trying to run from the simple fact that they had their own child killed.

  • invalid-0

    Your post, Carla, is predicated on the idea that everyone subscribes to the same set of standards on what constitutes “life” and “person.”

    What you are really doing when you tell people that you regret your abortion is telling them that you regret what was, in your eyes, taking of a life, and that each time a woman chooses an abortion, she is doing the same thing. You are thus asking people to consider a fetus a full and equal life from the moment of conception as the standards for their morality.

    You must consider the fact that other people see it differently than you do – that not all women see a developing fetus as a “child” that is going to be “killed.” And because we don’t all see it the same way, we must allow room for women to make choices based on their internal perception.

  • invalid-0

    Women going to get an abortion already KNOW that their child is going to be killed by being chopped into pieces and suctioned out of their bodies?

    Yes. And if they aren’t aware of the details, then they can ask the doctor. I suppose you think people go in to have heart surgery without knowing that their chest is going to be cut open?

    Fetal development is covered then as well as an explanation of what is on the ultrasound screen?

    If the patient wants to know about that, then yes. (Or what? Are you standing out in front of clinics with an ultrasound machine, ready to explain what the doctor refuses to show?)

    Are you talking about the abortionist?? I didn’t even know his name. He never looked at me or talked to me. When you say between a woman and a doctor are you talking about him??

    You didn’t know the name of a medical practitioner performing a surgical procedure on you? That’s your problem.

    This practitioner didn’t look at you, or talk with you? Excuse me if I find that extremely difficult to believe. Being an abortion doctor isn’t an easy profession, no thanks to people like you, and the ones who do do it are driven by a passionate respect for women and their reproductive rights. An abortion doctor who does not engage with his/her patients is a doctor who can make a lot more money with a lot less stress not-engaging with patients in a more conventional medical practice.

    I don’t assume anything about women.

    Except that you know better than them, that your experience must necessarily be their experience, and that the many, many women who have had an abortion and are perfectly OK with that don’t matter in this discussion.

  • invalid-0

    Steph,
    I appreciate your thoughts. I do. I am not here to stir up trouble. But your article is talking about me and the friends I have in Silent No More. So I had to say something. I appreciate that you are at least listening to me and trying to have an intelligent conversation.
    One only needs to Google fetal development to see a growing child.
    If someone doesn’t see it the way I do that does not change the fact that a child dies in an abortion. We all KNOW it does and choose to call it something else…..like choice. I spent 7-9 years in denial over the fact that my daughter died in an abortion clinic.

    • invalid-0

      You cannot tell the sex of a fetus, even by looking at it. It is the size of a strawberry. Carla, did you ever really have an abortion and miscarriage (at, coincidentally, 10 weeks) at all?? because I am finding more and more holes in your story. Some anti-choicers do lie and say they had an abortion they regretted, to try to look knowledgeable about abortion and to try to coerce other women into not having one. Is that what you are doing? Shameful. You really do need professional psychological help whether or not this is the case.

  • invalid-0

    Dear Anonymous,
    Have you ever had an abortion?

    On one hand you say that an abortionist tells women all about fetal development and what is on an ultrasound but only if they ask. On the other hand you say an abortionist makes a lot more money if he doesn’t engage with women coming in for abortions. Then you say it is somehow my fault that HE did not look at me or talk to me. Because of people like me. Shouldn’t any MAJOR procedure be explained in detail, with risks etc. BEFORE the procedure. Yes. Like heart surgery. You are woefully misinformed if you think that is what goes on inside abortion clinics.
    Call an abortion clinic from the phone book and ask what a 12 week old baby looks like. They will tell you a bunch of cells.
    I don’t stand outside abortion clinics with an ultrasound machine. I just refer women down the street to get a free one and see their growing child for themselves.

  • invalid-0

    Just for fun…..I have a question.

    What do you think about a woman I know who has had 17 abortions? Has she used up her quota of reproductive rights? How many is too many? OR is the sky the limit? Why not 20? 30?

    • independentminded

      Just for fun…..I have a question. What do you think about a woman I know who has had 17 abortions? Has she used up her quota ofreproductive rights? How many is too many? OR is the sky the limit? Why not 20? 30?

       
       
      I know you’re making this up just for fun, Carla, but, in reality, no woman would have 17 abortions, because nobody, even the pro-choicers,  believes in the use of abortion as a way of birth control.  

  • colleen

    I think she’s as badly in need of a therapist as women who stand on street corners with signs that read “I Regret my Abortion.”.
    Just for fun, mind you….

  • invalid-0

    Yes. Yes. Yes. Therapy cause I dare tell the truth about my experience. By the by I do not stand on street corners alone. I march in the ranks of the army of SNM. Be afraid. Be very afraid. :)

    How am I so different from a mother speaking out with MADD who lost a child by a drunk driver?

    Oh and,
    If one abortion is so awesome why not 17??

    • invalid-0

      A woman who lost a real, live, born, named, sanctioned by a birth certificate, loved, WANTED, known and cherished child, well you can’t compare losing that REAL child with your situation at all, and I for one find it extremely offensive that you would even try! A woman who had touched her child, stayed up nights with it, nurtured it, celebrated it’s first steps, possibly nursed it at her breast, who had birthday parties for it, friends and family who loved it, pictures of it, and saw it’s beautiful face everyday- you think that you can compare that with your carrying a fetus, that you carried for only 10 weeks, and CHOSE to abort?? You think that you can compare your CHOICE to have an abortion, to THAT of an accident and death of such a loved, wanted child from someone ELSE’s negligence?? You are insane.

  • invalid-0

    Just for fun…..I have a question. What do you think about a woman I know who has had 17 abortions?

    I don’t know. Why did she have seventeen abortions? Because contraception was not available to her? Because she is in an abusive relationship, and her partner repeatedly impregnated her and then pressured her to abort? Because she has a bizarre abortion fetish? You may as well ask, “What do you think about this guy I know who’s been in 17 auto accidents?” It’s not enough to be able to say whether he is really unlucky, or a menace on the road.

    Has she used up her quota of reproductive rights? How many is too many? OR is the sky the limit? Why not 20? 30?

    For the same reason that people generally don’t move (as in, move to a new house) twenty or thirty times or more. The process is not pleasant, and when it’s over, most (normal) people don’t say to themselves, “I wanna do that again!”

  • invalid-0

    Steph, you make some great points. I love the comparison to the McDonald’s sign. Thank you for blogging!

  • sayna

    Shouldn’t any MAJOR procedure be explained in detail, with risks etc. BEFORE the procedure. Yes. Like heart surgery. You are woefully misinformed if you think that is what goes on inside abortion clinics.

    This is actually legally required by all medical facilities due to an important ethical principle called informed consent. A patient must always be informed of the medical risks and benefits of a procedure as well as excatly how it works. Abortion providers do this. If they didn’t, they would be shut down. If a doctor does’t do this for you or if for some reason you don’t understand or feel pressured or suspicious, don’t sign anything and report it. It’s unethical and illegal.

    What abortion providers will not do is lie to you or try to give your their personal opinions. They won’t show you propaganda videos. They’re just going to give you the medical facts. They’re not going to scold your or talk down to you or tell you a fetus is a child because medically, it’s not. They will tell you that some women feel regret and depression and most don’t, but they can’t tell you how you will feel.

    Even the Planned Parenthood website gives unbiased and medically accurate information on abortion, if you care to look. You will find it right alongside information about adoption, parenting and deciding which option is best for you.

    If you were lied to and pressured into having an abortion, I’m very sorry. That was wrong and illegal. But your experience is not the same as everyone else’s.

  • invalid-0

    The clinics you speak of are regulated by the agencies that accredit them, be it the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the National Abortion Federation, the state Department of Health, or any number of other organizations that regulate all medical clinics, and especially those that provide abortions. In fact, the clinic system for whom I work is accredited by AAAHC, the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, who perform an inspection on a regular basis to be sure our facilities are clean, well-managed, and professional. And so you know, our last inspection, we passed with flying colors. We have rigorous standards for informed consent, including the risks of any procedure.

    We are trained in proper handling of blood and other potentially infectious materials, using OSHA guidelines. All staff are trained in CPR and in dealing with threats to our lives and health from misguided “baby” savers like yourself. We have regular bomb drills, butyric acid drills, and protocols to deal with any situation that may arise because people want to kill or maim us for what we do.

    I don’t know about the days when these “regrettable” abortions were performed, but nowadays any doctor who runs a disreputable, dirty clinic would be run out of business in a jiffy. Abortion providers, in general, go out of their way to surpass the requirements of regulatory agencies, because we know that in most places, there is extra scrutiny on us. Pro-lifers are always looking for a reason to badmouth us, and we do our damnedest not to give them any. Even then, they make stuff up.

    How dare you imply that clinics, on the whole, are anything other than clean, safe, and well-run. I risk my life and safety every day to help women through what is often a difficult time in their lives.

    • invalid-0

      Rachelpea.

  • invalid-0

    I am a pre-abortion counselor. I have worked for two different clinics, on both coasts, one of which was a Planned Parenthood clinic and another a similar not-for-profit clinic. The first questions I have been trained to ask, both places, are: Are you aware that an abortion will end your current pregnancy? Are you sure of your decision, and making this decision of your own free will?

    The risks of unpredictable emotional responses are discussed. Resources for post-abortion counseling are offered, including talk lines and private counselors.

    And guess what? If a woman says she is unsure, if she says she is there because someone else wants her pregnancy to end, if she shows a hint of not wanting to go through with an abortion, we send her right out the door. Coerced abortions, and abortions a woman will regret, are not desired by any organization that seeks to help women. And whether you believe it or not, with the paychecks your average clinic worker (or even clinic manager) get, that’s the only reason to do this job. It’s stressful, it risks one’s life and limb, and it pays crap. Why on earth would anyone do this, if it wasn’t that they thought it was helpful and right?

    • invalid-0

      I really appreciate all that you do for women! We need more women like you. You are protecting and preserving the autonomy and freedom of women’s very lives. I don’t know how you do it, but as a pro-choice woman, I am very GLAD that you do it! : )

  • sayna

    Carla, nobody said your should get therapy because you speak your mind. A woman who is traumatized by an abortion she was coerced into needs therapy. A woman who regrets an abortion to the point of depression needs therapy. I’m not saying that to be insulting, I’m saying that because I believe that anyone who is suffering emotionally needs and deserves help coping.


    I think I speak for everyone here when I say that your feelings are not invalid and that I’m not angry with you because you speak out. I’m angry that you think that your regret about abortion gives you any right to take that right away from everyone else. It shows absolute disrespect and mistrust toward women. (And let’s not forget: If the pro-life movement had their way, women who had abortions would end up in jail.)


    A woman who has had seventeen abortions needs therapy, too. In order to have that many you would have to eschew contraception entirely for about seventeen years. While abortion is a very safe procedure, any surgery has risks and contraception is a much better option. It’s easy to use and inexpensive. I’d say that anyone who chooses to have a painful, expensive surgery over affordable, painless, easy-to-use pills and devices probably has an underlying mental health issue. I don’t think she’s wrong or a bad person, I just worry and wonder what could be so wrong with her life that this would happen. Nobody has said that abortion is "awesome". What would be awesome is if nobody got pregnant unless they were trying to have a baby. That’s why pro-choice groups support access to comprehensive sex education and birth control. I have yet to see a single pro-life organization do the same and have seen many of them explicitly opposed to BC/sex ed.

  • invalid-0

    I am a pre-abortion counselor. I have worked for two different clinics, on both coasts, one of which was a Planned Parenthood clinic and another a similar not-for-profit clinic.

    rachelpea, thank you for commenting here. As strongly as I advocate for a woman’s right to abortion, I’m not very well-informed on the specific standards and operating procedures upheld by modern abortion clinics—I have to rely on the fact that the nature of your work all but requires a staunch dedication to womens’ reproductive freedom. I’m glad you are here to knowledgeably debunk these specious claims of dangerous/dingy/oppressive clinics.

  • invalid-0

    Dear Sayna,
    I have had therapy like I have already stated way up there and the source of my pain was abortion. No big surprise there.
    Please do not speak for everyone here. Speak for yourself. Please point out where I have said that my standing with I Regret My Abortion sign is to take that “right” from anyone else. Those are your words, not mine. Show me where I display absolute disrespect and mistrust towards women. Again, your opinions, not my words nor my actions. Where has anyone from the prolife movement stated that we want to see women in jail? Cite your sources, please.
    On one hand you say that abortion is a very safe procedure(for whom?? The woman? The child?)and then go on to call it “painful, elective surgery.” Which is it?

    By the way I do not engage anyone when holding my I Regret My Abortion sign. I have been screamed at, sworn at and had the most disgusting things said to me, been given the finger more times than I can count. I say nothing. The message says enough. It is the message that infuriates you.

  • invalid-0

    Sayna,
    Your post about Informed Consent must be a joke.

  • cpcwatcher

    Just had to pop in and say that.  Bitterness is sometimes justified. Actually I wouldn’t  call it bitterness, I’d call it anger.  And it can be positive and healthy, and it CHANGES THINGS.  Go find a copy of bell hooks’ "Killing Rage", and that’s all I’ll say because I’m running late for yoga.

  • cpcwatcher

    Personally I don’t know why some of us choicers continue to engage folks like Carla and Prolifemama. The arguments are the same every time, cyclical and they go no where. Nothing is gained, no one is going to shift. Relay the facts back and they’ll stop (for example, no one’s dared to continue the little sub-argument about PP being “abortion profiteers” after I presented my stats a few hundred posts up). Let’s stop wasting our time with trivial arguments… that’s exactly what the antis want, a DISTRACTION into these cyclical arguments that go no where. Why aren’t we in the streets where horrific examples of paternalistic anti-choice legislation is being considered? Outside of CPCs with giant “FAKE CLINIC” signs, educating the public without breaking any laws or even talking to anti-choicers. The public is on our side, but further polarization by the antis will only hurt us.

    Peace and love,

    Lauren

  • invalid-0

    Why did you not just say that in the first place? WhyAre you trying to make other people feel for human blobs that there are to many of anyway? You religious pro-life I have been saved crap- need to leave all of us alone. We are not buying it nor do we care. We care about holding on to the few rights we do have. I guess you like slavery ? Well Please keep it to yourselves and your God!

  • colleen

    Personally I don’t know why some of us choicers continue to engage folks like….

    I go back and forth on this. OOH, I completely agree that there isn’t anything approaching communication and that no one is going to shift and, from my perspective at least, the naked hatred. self righteous piety and gang mentality are deeply unpleasant.But that’s just me.

    OTOH, I’ve learned a few things. I’ve learned that  trying to kill a 9 year old girl by forcing her to try to carry twins to term is regarded as compassion by some staunch Catholics. I’ve been forced to think a great deal about fetus idolatry, and am in the process of fleshing out a theory as to why so many on the ‘pro-life’ movement have demonstrable difficulties distinguishing and respecting other people’s  most obvious personal boundaries.

    Likewise we can learn about the strategies of the religious right. (Just because they say they don’t want to criminalize the use of contraceptives and abortion or jail women who have had an abortion and/or use contraceptives does not mean that they don’t want to see contraceptives declared a public health hazard and it certainly does not mean that they don’t want to put anyone who performs an abortion in jail or otherwise impose their will.

    Why aren’t we in the streets where horrific examples of paternalistic
    anti-choice legislation is being considered? Outside of CPCs with giant
    "FAKE CLINIC" signs, educating the public without breaking any laws or
    even talking to anti-choicers.
     
     

    Good question. The recent ‘gay marriage’ successes have been inspirational and really, really effective.

    Love back at ya,

    Colleen.

  • invalid-0

    The arguments are the same every time, cyclical and they go no where.

    Exactly, cpc_w. It’s like arguing against someone with amnesia—you have to say the same thing over, and over, and over….

    Are you aware of any Web site out there that has a comprehensive list of fully fleshed-out, fully cited rebuttals to all the bombs pro-lifers like to lob? It would be so nice to be able to reply to these with just a link!

  • sayna

    Informed consent is the law. If a patient is not given all the information they need about a procedure to understand it, they are not giving informed consent. All medical treatments require it. If you want to tell me that such laws don’t exist or aren’t followed you’re going to have to cite a source. I showed you a link to Planned Parenthood showing how they covered basic information even for people that aren’t necessarily patients. I showed you how they listed and explained ALL pregnancy options. If you want, I can scan the pages of information they gave me when I was only there for birth control. We have a counselor here explaining how she talks to patients seeking abortions. You have not shown a scrap of evidence to the contrary!

    Again, if you were lied to and coerced, I’m very sorry. If you had a horrible doctor, I’m sorry. It still doesn’t mean that your experience is typical.

  • sayna

    Please point out where I have said that my standing with I Regret My Abortion sign is to take that "right" from anyone else. Those are your words, not mine.

    Granted, you never said that you wanted abortion to become illegal. That was an assumption. But you are aligned with a movement that wants to outlaw abortion, so I think it was a fairly safe assumption to make. Am I wrong?

    Show me where I display absolute disrespect and mistrust towards women.

    You have said that women would never willingly choose abortion, right? That they’re pressured into it and don’t really know what they’re doing? Implying that women are too stupid to make their own choices–or that the women who make choices you don’t like are bad people–is insulting. But maybe I mixed you up with someone else and you haven’t said anything like that.

    Where has anyone from the prolife movement stated that we want to see women in jail? Cite your sources, please.

    The pro-life movement wants abortion illegalized. Do I really have to cite that? O_o They’ve been rather straightforward about it.


    Think about what that might mean for a moment. Abortion would be a crime. It doesn’t make sense for a crime to have no punishment. Women would have to be punished if they had or tried to have an abortion illegally. The doctor would too, but keep in mind she did knowingly hire the doctor or she may have attempted to induce it herself. What sort of punishment should a woman have for having an abortion other than jail time? The pro-life movement believes that abortion is murder or something very like it, right? Why shouldn’t she then go to jail? If someone really thinks she’s a murderer they should have no problem saying she should go to jail.

    On one hand you say that abortion is a very safe procedure […] and then go on to call it "painful, elective surgery." Which is it?

    False dichotomy. Having one’s wisdom teeth removed is a very safe surgery and it’s elective (many people need their teeth removed because their jaw is too small and the teeth hurt them, but it’s never a life-saving procedure) but it’s also very painful. Abortion is an very safe procedure (I’ll cite that if you want) but like all surgical procedures, it is painful and has risks.

  • invalid-0

    Hi Sayna,
    Please cut and paste the words I have said. Don’t assume. Your first three paragraphs are all about guessing about what I have said and about groups that you assume I align myself with. You state that maybe I never said that and you mixed me up with someone else. You are making sweeping generalizations about a movement that has several facets. I suggest you start looking up some resources for yourself. Unfortunately or fortunately I am now considered a right wing extremist nutjob, lumped in with some crazy who blew up an abortion clinic 15 years ago. There is a lunatic fringe in every movement but we are all characterized with the fringe.

    Sayna, I am your neighbor, your girlfriend, your aunt, your bank teller that has been hurt by abortion. My story is hardly “the only one” that prochoicers would like to characterize me to be. There are thousands of us that have been lied to at the abortion clinic. We have been lied to by omission. When asked is it a baby? We have been told no. When asked what it is we have been told it’s a bunch of cells. The ultrasound screen was turned away so we couldn’t see it, when asked to see it, we were told no. When told to stop the abortion, we were held down and it continued. When asked if it would hurt we were told no. I have several friends that were forced and coerced by parents and boyfriends. I have several that are now infertile. The only child they would EVER carry died in an abortion. I have a friend who delivered her baby into a toilet ALIVE and received no help from clinic staff. I have a friend whose daughter died two years ago during an abortion. Do I sound hysterical to you? Am I lying? Am I disrespecting women as being stupid?? Do I sound like I am saying they are bad people?? I am telling the truth. Ever read ANY abortion testimonies of women that have been hurt by abortion and now regret it? They are honest and heart wrenching and true. Their stories are online with Silent No More and Operation Outcry and AfterAbortion and Fatherhood Forever. Head on over to Realchoice. You want to see a crazy movement and characterize me as a fanatic. I want to introduce you to my friends who exercised their “right to choose” and what was handed to them as simple, quick, painless and safe was none of those things.

    There is so much more to my story my dear Sayna but I have a feeling I just might be tuned out by now. :)

    People do not grieve the anniversary of the day they got their wisdom teeth pulled.

    • invalid-0

      Is beyond pathetic. A blob of cells that could not live on it’s own, but could not be parented well if born to someone as problemed as you appear to be. (sorry, but anyone who is as obsessed as you appear to be with this is, in my estimation, mentally ill- and I have counselled adolescents, so you are getting a professional opinion, here) I don’t trust your websites, and I don’t trust you. I don’t believe you were coerced into making the decision, as it was still YOUR decision. No one is forced and held down to have an abortion. You don’t even trust yourself and your own ability to make sound decisions. You are in desperate need of psychological services. Obviously, your counseling was not good enough, as you can’t move beyond accepting that you got pregnant, didn’t want to gestate a fetus, went to go have a safe, LEGAL abortion, and had one, and now want to live the rest of your days a miserable, whining, wretch. Most normal people can and do move on, and quickly. Also, the woman who had 17 abortions that you mentioned before– IF she exists- well anyone stupid enough to get pregnant 17 times with fetuses that they did not want would NOT be a good parent, more than likely. I know a woman who has had 4 who is is the cousin of a friend, (that is the most that I have ever heard of) and believe me, she would not have made a good mother, because she has a LOT of mental and drug issues. There are some things worse than not being born- and that is being born to parents (or one parent) who are not fit mentally, emotionally, physically ( I mean drug addicts when I say physically). The world does not need more children that are thrown away AFTER they are born. Foster homes are already full of them, and I have, in the nature of my work, sadly seen a lot of adolescent pain- suicides, drug addiction, criminal activity, abuse, self cutting and hair puliing out, gangs, abandonment, unwanted pregnancy, etc. etc. all because these girls, some so smart and bright that it breaks your heart if you have one- were born to unfit parents. When you have heard many of them say “I wish that I had never been born” you can’t help but believe them after hearing about their short painful lives of misery. It was a high burnout job as you feel so helpless trying to help them. Some do make it, and turn out okay, but unfortunately, most struggle with mental and emotional scars and problems all of their lives.

  • sayna

    We have been lied to by omission. When asked is it a baby? We have been told no. When asked what it is we have been told it’s a bunch of cells.

    That’s not a lie. In the early stages of pregnancy it really is a clump of cells. It is never a baby at any point in the pregnancy, unless you’re using that term as an inaccurate subsitute for the word fetus. Many women feel that their fetus is their child and grow as attached as they would to an infant, but not all women do. I think the pro-life movement is lying to you. I’ve seen them misrepresent and distort fetal development time and time again. To many of them, lying is justified when it’s to prevent an abortion because they see it as murder. Medical facilities have to give you accurate medical information or they are breaking the law.

    The ultrasound screen was turned away so we couldn’t see it, when asked to see it, we were told no. When told to stop the abortion, we were held down and it continued. When asked if it would hurt we were told no. I have several friends that were forced and coerced by parents and boyfriends.

    As I have said several times: These things are absolutely wrong and illegal. I’m sorry that people were lied to, coerced and violated but most women who have abortions do not feel this way. At current rates, 1 in 3 American women will have had an abortion by age 45. If this sort of abuse was widespread I think we’d see more women speaking out by now.


    The organizations you list are pro-life in that they want abortion illegalized. You may disagree with that, but it is one of their goals. They are using women who regret their abortions as tools to silence women who do not regret their abortions. They are using them as examples to convince women that banning abortion and taking away their right to make their own decision is "for their own good". This assumes that they know what women want and need better than the women themselves do, which is presumptous and insulting. Why would anyone align themselves with such groups if they didn’t agree with their main goals?

    Ever read ANY abortion testimonies of women that have been hurt by abortion and now regret it?

    Nope. The fact that I’ve been living under a rock with no outside contact my whole life prevents me from ever having seen the pro-life movement. You’re the first I’ve ever seen. I never saw people protesting on streetcorners and websites and Facebook groups. Don’t let my years of experience in debating abortion fool you, I have no idea what the pro-life movement even is. *rolls eyes*


    Sarcasm aside: This is another example of arrogance by the pro-life side. The assumption that the only reason someone could possibly disagree with you is because they’ve never heard you before. The pro-life movement is very vocal and everyone has seen them before! Trotting out regretful women as examples of what happens when we poor ignorant females try to make big scary grown-up decisions by ourselves is a newer tactic but trust me, we’ve seen it. I’ve heard every argument in the book at this point! None have convinced me.
    I’m sure that there are women out there who were coerced and lied to and had horrible things happen to them. I’m sure that some women regret to the point of becoming sick. I believe them. What I don’t believe is that these experiences are typical.

    People do not grieve the anniversary of the day they got their wisdom teeth pulled.

    Neither do the majority of women who have abortions.

  • invalid-0

    Tell a woman who miscarries at 21 weeks that it wasn’t a baby.
    Is it a baby a week before the due date? A day? What confers baby status to you? I had an abortion at 10 weeks and was told it was a bunch of cells. I later miscarried at 10 weeks and held that baby in my hand. Toes, feet, legs, arms, hands and fingers. A tiny little face and a tiny little rump.

    All of the women and their situations I described are sad indeed. Do you respect them, Sayna? Do you trust them? Are they stupid? Are they bad? Are they ignorant? We exercised our right to choose!! Abort and shut up should be the new slogan I guess.

    It was very nice to meet you Sayna. I am sorry you cannot talk to me as an individual. You have talked to me as though you were addressing the prolife movement. The movement that uses me. Now that was a good one!

  • invalid-0

    P.S.
    After I miscarried I received so many sweet cards in the mail. They all said Sorry about your clump of cells. Sorry to hear about your tissue. Sorry you lost a blob. Sorry about your fetus that wasn’t even a baby. Sorry about your nothing. Sweet, sweet sentiment. Every last one. Healed my soul they did. Indeed.

  • cpcwatcher

    Well if CPC Watch wasn’t such a time-consuming effort (in addition to my paying job, my dance career, my marriage, etc), I’d say that was my new project!  I’m sure you could get just about all of them from the above comments actually heh… but seriously, RH Reality Check has some great links under the "fact vs. fiction" tab above. CPC Watch has a bunch of answers to those top comments antis and CPC staff make on our <a href="http://cpcwatch.org/FAQ.php"&gt; FAQ page</a> as well. {Shameless self promotion alert!} That section was written by a member of Med Students for Choice who’s currently doing her residency in Wisconsin.(So yeah, it was written by a real doctor, let’s just get ahead of the arguments I’m sure to have here hahahah)

  • invalid-0

    I’d encourage you, but I know what it’s like to have a heaping plate of life before you :-) Good links there (and great site, by the way!).

    Over in the feminism/anti-racism community, a group put together the site Derailing for Dummies, which serves much the same “put all the counter-arguments in one place” purpose for them. The Feminism 101 blog does similarly, if in a different format. There’s more emphasis on saving breath in these areas of discussion, since threads are constantly thrown off track by clueless newbies who don’t know the terminology, or make the same inane counter-arguments that have been answered too many times.

  • sayna

    Cute. Instead of addressing a single thing I said, you’ve opted to jump right on the soapbox and tell me how awful and nasty I am. I have not said a single thing bad about you or those other women.

    It’s clear that you have no interest in actually discussing and debating this like an adult and are just looking for a nice, crowded place to throw a temper tantrum. I’ve tried to keep you on topic, I’ve asked you questions and been ignored, and I’ve tried to keep it civil. I’m done.

  • invalid-0

    Never said you were awful or nasty. In fact, you were the only one who actually carried on a conversation at all with me, Sayna. Thank you. I played in your blog neighborhood. You can meet me in mine. Prolife Pulse.

  • progo35

    Post abortion stress syndrome is a reality. Have you ever heard of a woman being in therapy because of emotional complications after a tooth extraction?

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • http://bjsurvivor.livejournal.com/618.html#cutid1 invalid-0

    I had an abortion 24 years ago and have absolutely no regrets. Should my IUD fail, I will have another. It is *my* body that creates a child and *I* will decide if and when such creation shall take place. I am not a lizard, who just mindlessly spawns and leaves her offspring to Darwin’s Jungle. There is no baby unless I create it and I will create a child or not on *my* timetable, not yours or anyone else’s.

  • http://www.firstbathrooms.co.uk invalid-0

    Very deep article. Some of it quite eye opening!

    Kirsty

  • invalid-0

    In one of our recent podcasts (episode #59) with Life Report (ProLifePodcast.net), we discussed this article. I made some comments on the podcast, but was filled with so many thoughts I found it difficult to relay them all in that moment. During the podcast, I had mentioned writing a blog in response, and decided to do so. Reading the article again, I do now believe the author is sincere in her reflections, but I do not come to the same conclusions.

    Yes, at first glance holding a sign on a street corner that reads, “I Regret My Abortion” is a highly personal statement to share with the public at large. So the question to answer is, “why would she put herself out there like that?” The author states that, “in no other area of our lives are women so freely permitted or expected or encouraged to express regret, much less put it on display in the public forum.” It may be the only venue women are focusing on regret, but not the only area where women are being so emotionally exposed to the general public. Follow a walk for domestic violence or a breast cancer walk and you will see passionate women speaking up about the life experiences that have dramatically affected their lives.

    There is no sign that can state regret for getting breast cancer because they had no choice in the matter, but they want the facts to get out of prevention and support. Women in violence may regret partner choices even if it’s not written on a sign, and their purpose of getting out there is to let others know this is not a road to go down. The message for all three groups of women are the same. They are all in some way saying, “This is something to avoid.” The women having experienced domestic violence is a much better parallel than the woman standing at a McDonald’s regretting her daily calorie overdose. Overdoing it in a fast-food restaurant is a much less life-impacting choice than the choice of abortion. This is where the author of this article and I begin to part ways.

    I trust women to make good choices, but I also recognize with all the messages that we encounter in our daily lives we are set up for a possible misstep in the life we desire for ourselves. I wish we lived in a world where pro-choice agencies were doing all they could to ensure women were making the right choices and keep women being forced into abortions, but countless examples, studies, and stories would show that this is not the case. Otherwise, reporters like Lila Rose, wouldn’t be successful in exposing the statutory rape cover-up that is happening in numerous cases across our nation.

    As a post-abortive woman I do not trust any agency offering abortions to get me all the information I need in making a choice I could live with. My personal experience has shown me this, as well as the experience of most women I have encountered, these are women not brave enough to expose their regret, only able to tell me for the first time hoping I would understand their pain from their dark secret. If women were being exposed to the truth of what abortion can do to someone after the initial flash of relief, then I would not need to hold a sign or wear a shirt that identifies my past abortion, but women aren’t going to get all the information, so the burden of truth lies on me and others in the trenches.

    Bottom line: I trust women to make a good choice once they have all the information to do so, but I don’t trust they are getting all the information they need unless those of us who have been there can share our experiences

  • invalid-0

    If women were being exposed to the truth of what abortion can do to someone after the initial flash of relief, then I would not need to hold a sign or wear a shirt that identifies my past abortion, but women aren’t going to get all the information,

    The thing is that women who regret their abortions are in a minority. they really are. I have a flash of relief every time I recall the circumstances of my abortion. I’m glad I made that choice, I never had a moments regret afterwards. I thought about it long and hard and had no doubts then and, 25 years later, no doubts now. This is true of all of my friends who have had abortion and, when surveyed, most women don’t express regrets at all, much less standing around in public hoping to atone for your imagined sins.
    I’m not sure why the women of the religious right who have had abortions believe that abortion is the problem. The problem, as far as I can see, is accepting and believing in the tenants of a self serving, male dominated religion which values women for very few roles, none of which require much intelligence, allow for much dignity or, for that matter, pay well. Your guilt is yours, abortion is not responsible for it, you are.

  • http://www.annabellelees.com/ invalid-0

    i cant believe how many interesting opinions have been expressed. Keep up the good job, i agree with all of you