NRL News

The Myth and the Reality behind the “sharing of abortion stories”

by | Aug 27, 2012





By Dave Andrusko

The headline for the story at the pro-abortion site is

“The New Public Face of Abortion: Connecting the Dots Between Abortion Stories.” Author Steph Herold is exploring what explains the “electric energy around the sharing of abortion stories.”

To be clear, we are not talking about a river of stories—Herold mentions only a handful—but some IS more than (virtually) none. As explanation the usual suspects are trotted out—“the onslaught of anti-choice legislation,” “the calls to come out about abortion from pro-choice activists, politicians, and advocacy organizations,” maybe even a lessening of “the stigma around speaking about abortion” because of an “uptick in media reporting on abortion policies.”

Herold tells us “to map the patterns and gaps in these published narratives, I created a tumblr to collect these stories:” In other words, try to figure out who is “outing” themselves and who isn’t—and why? And to “connect”  the single stories that create the dominant narrative about abortion, and map out ways to expand the frame.”

In one sense there is nothing surprising in what she’s found thus far: privileged people are more likely to talk and write about their abortions than people who are poor. And is it surprising that very few talked about multiple abortions when the rate of repeat abortion is soaring? Or that

“All the published stories that explicitly say that they are about abortions after the first trimester are about ending wanted pregnancies. Research tells us that a majority of those presenting for second trimester and later abortions do so because they were delayed in seeking an abortion, not because they had a wanted pregnancy gone awry.”

Herold is right when concludes that  “’Coming out’ about an abortion experience is a form of personal and cultural risk-taking.” But it’s less about “exposing yourself to judgment and stigma from your friends, family, and community” than it is about grappling with your own heart and your own guilt and remorse. That is why pro-lifers never push women to go public with their stories until and unless they are ready. We are about helping them heal, not exploit them.

Herold ends her first paragraph by telling her readers that “One woman even documented her abortion in photos. And that’s just recently.” One can only ask what is Herold thinking? What is the woman who “documented” her abortion thinking?

Cassy Fiano is a brilliant blogger who investigated the woman’s site, “This is my abortion.” You can read her really insightful commentary, which ran Monday, here.

You quickly see that the woman has “documented” nothing. It’s just  four pictures of two jars. “The first two pictures show the jars empty; the next set show one of the jars with blood in it.”

Fiano remarks, “Of course, it only takes about thirty seconds of critical thinking to spot the massive holes in this entire argument: that pro-lifers are lying and falsifying post-abortion photos, and that this is all an abortion at six week entails, and we can trust her because hey, she has pictures. Never mind there are only four pictures. What happened before or after those four pictures were taken? Don’t worry about that. That jar may have filled up even more with blood, but don’t think about it.”

Of course the point of the photos is to leave the impression that there’s nothing there and that there NEVER was. This, by implication, is a critique of photos of abortions that show babies who’ve been aborted later in pregnancy. Fiano observes

“What’s interesting (but mostly hypocritical) is how the use of post-abortion images is deemed perverse, sensationalist propaganda which serves no educational purpose whatsoever. But four rather meaningless photographs which explain absolutely nothing to a woman about what her baby looks like at six weeks, how he or she is developed, how the abortion will actually be performed, and what it will feel like is somehow praised as educational. Huh? How does that make any sense at all? Pro-abortion activists love to use the word ‘choice,’ and they claim to be all for women making an informed choice. Why, then, do they have such a problem with actual images that show what an abortion is like?…. The reality is that they don’t want the truth to come out or for women to be fully informed. Honesty and transparency hurt the abortion business.”

There will be more such stories, not because of a healthy coming-to-grips with a tragic decision but because the Abortion Industry and its media apologists believe it desensitizes the larger public to the horrors of abortion.

Not so. In fact, it will likely have the opposite impact—which is a classic instance of being hoisted on your own petard. Abortion is a horror that can never be sanitized or made acceptable.

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Categories: Abortion
Tags: abortion