After you are done talking to a woman, which as you know if you're a frequent reader of this blog, can be pretty profound, you have to write up a counseling note, which is usually quite a bland affair. I invariably start out, "So and so is clear about her decision and...." and that is true as far as it goes for most women. But this woman, I will call Anjie, was clarity personified. She said, "There are women in the waiting room crying. Am I a monster because I am not?" There are some people who are guilty for not feeling guilty but I hadn't really talked to one of them recently.
I think there are a few things going on here: Anjie was very focused on her goals in life--she was finishing college and had already gotten a placement doing meaningful work. She loved her boyfriend but she didn't necessarily see herself with him far into the future. And she had never experienced pregnancy. I do see a difference in recent moms who are entranced by the joys of motherhood. (Older moms have a different take on it-- a sort of "yes, but..." attitude.)
But what made Anjie really unique was that she was conscious that there were strong forces that were trying to make her feel bad. She was actively rejecting the slogans and conventional wisdom of the anti-abortion folks that have seeped into our cultural consciousness.
The other amazing thing is that she said, "I am the last in my crowd to have an abortion. Now it is 100%." Many of you will see this as a sign of depravity among college students. But the remarkable thing is that all those friends had been open about their experience and were willing to share their experience to help out a friend. She felt taken care of, connected, and what I can only describe as NORMAL. This is amazing for how rare it is. But the truth is that abortion, like having a baby, losing a parent, having sex for the first time, getting married, etc. is a rite of passage. Not everyone will do all of those things, but it is one of the milestones in life that people go through so why not talk about it openly? We are all in agreement that it is better to prevent a pregnancy, but when that fails, having some honest friends is a really good thing.