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The deep ambiguity that often surrounds “Shout Your Abortion”

by | Sep 17, 2018

By Dave Andrusko

There are many iterations of “Shout Your Abortion” but all have the same objective: “normalize” abortion in an attempt to send the message that taking an unborn child’s life is a part of many women’s “life’s journey.” The problem, from the pro-abortion vantage point, is that all too often genuine regret seeps through.

There is an anthology of 43 essays about “the experience of having an abortion” compiled for a “coffee table book” with the title of “Shout Your Abortion.” One essay, written by Kirsten West Savali, was reprinted by KUOW. It is, in a word, fascinating as well as very sad.

The headline that appears with the reposting at KUOW is “I don’t regret my abortion. But I wish there had been another way.” What do we learn?

She alternates passages of love for her three sons with economic reasons why a fourth child would be the wrong decision for she and her husband. Savali offers what I would guess are emotional subterfuges, not for us, but for her.

A woman who could write this…

The thought of growing big with another child, one who would maybe have our eldest son’s face, our middle son’s smile, and our youngest son’s hair—with her fingers curled around my mine as she nursed for the first time—filled me with a joy so deep I felt dizzy.

…has to work overtime to persuade herself that in ending this child’s life she had “made the decision that was right for me and for my family.” Adding weight to the side of the ledger to abort was that she had a difficult third pregnancy so she tells us (through the words of the nurse who was with her during the delivery of her third son), “You’ve come too far for these boys to lose you now.”

I don’t believe it’s being unfair to conclude that by essentially putting it into the either/or terms– her or her baby—this made the decision to abort more acceptable to Savali and her conscience.

But “I wish I hadn’t felt so guilty for not wanting to have another baby,” she writes. Then, as if to move away from acknowledging her regret, the ultimate subject changer: “And I am so glad that I had the choice.”

Good, bad, indifferent, “Shouting Your Abortion” is, in all its iterations, about “choice.”

Savali has some slurs to ladle out to pro-lifers who try to show her there is another way. A woman who tells her, “Don’t kill it …Jesus loves it and loves you too,” she accuses of “offered to buy my child.” (“Child”?)

Savali, who is African American, then writes, “A white man droned on about adoption options.” But she immediately adds.

“He had to do it, he told us. He had to let us know there was another way and offer the literature for us to read. By the time I entered the cold room for the procedure, I was numb. I just wanted to get back to my family.

There are other passages in which Savali shows us how she understands that she and her husband would have come to love that baby. In the very beginning, when she tells her husband who she has known since she was 19 that she was going to the abortion clinic, he

turned to me and asked quietly, “Are you sure?” No, I wasn’t sure.

It is so tragic that she could so appreciate what that child would bring to their family, yet undergo the “procedure” that would leave their family forever one member short.

Categories: Abortion