Thursday’s live-streamed “one in three” speak-out made me realize that even as a staunch reproductive rights advocate, a clinic escort, and a feminist, I still have to battle my own internalized abortion stigma.
Recent efforts by reproductive justice organizations in Cleveland, including New Voices Cleveland, show that women will not stand idly by and watch their rights be taken away or have others—be it mainstream media outlets, anti-choice organizations, or anti-woman politicians—dictate their health and safety needs through racist billboard campaigns.
Thanks to stigma, a new study shows, people who have had abortions often hesitate to tell more than one or two trusted family members, partners, or friends about the experience. This, in turn, can lead to individual isolation and restrictive government policies.
Supporters of the clinic have wanted to fight back for a long time, but were waiting for a window of opportunity to take a stand.
The media’s bad job of reporting on teenage pregnancy and parenting has real-life consequences and effects on teenage families, including depression and generational poverty. By removing these stereotypes, and changing to more positive story lines and outcomes, people in the media can make it easier on teens to create thriving families.
In order to guide our activist priorities, we must envision what our long-term goal of a world without abortion stigma would ultimately look like.
Too often, reaching out for help can mean being handed off to people who have absolutely no training in mental health care and who have deep prejudices against those with mental illnesses.
The real crime scene in this scenario isn’t a high school bathroom stall; it’s Texas’ rigid and discriminatory reproductive health-care system.
RH Reality Check recently spoke with Beth Matusoff Merfish, co-founder (with her sister, Brett, and mother, Sherry) of Not Alone about how her organization combats abortion stigma through storytelling. As Merfish explains, these stories have the potential to “open people’s minds” and hearts.
“Youth” is just one of many identities we experience during our lives, and stigmatizing or shaming a person because of age fails any social movement fighting against oppression.