We've been getting a fair number of hits from a Catholic site recently which posted that posing the question of "what makes for a good abortion" was a horrifying thing. I'm not upset that someone would respond this way, I know those feelings are out there and see the effects of it in the clinic every day. I'm saddest when I think about how this attitude will affect the women in one's life. When your family, friends and loved ones know that you have such strong feelings about abortion, they'll never feel comfortable telling you about their own abortions, or seeking help with a pregnancy decision. They already know how you're going to respond and fear that it won't be helpful, loving or compassionate.
We cross-posted on Feministing last week and here is one woman's response:
I had my abortion about three and a half years ago. I thought I was
pro-life simply because I was raised it and terrified to set foot into
a planned parenthood. I went to get a pregnancy test and the nurse
brought me back to a room to tell me I was pregnant. When she told me I
was the words just spilled out of my mouth "I can't have the baby" She
didn't even hesitate or frown on my words and I began the process of
figuring out how to pay for it ect. The worst part was that I had to
hide it from my mother and father as well as the fathers (my now
husband) mother and father. The best part was everything about the
planned parenthood! From the nurse holding my hand and talking to me
about the college classes I was starting in the fall to the Dr. being
so caring and respectful. The very best part was the warmed recliner
and cookies in the recovery room! The after care with planned
parenthood is also great!
In summary, planned parenthood (at least where I am) is amazing!
So here's our promise to all the anti-abortion folks out there, who think that it's horrifying to try to imagine good care through an abortion decision: We promise to continue to care for the women in your life when they need abortions and we will do it with compassion and dignity. When they can't talk to you, we will make sure that they are safe, respected and loved, through whatever decisions they make.
ADDENDUM: While thinking about what I just wrote in the shower, I do want to point out that this is not a challenge to prove "who cares about women more." Rather, this is a post about decision-making, about who we go to in times of crisis or when in need of help. If I am a vocal supporter of the peace movement and all I talk about is how awful millitarism is, you're probably not going to want to talk to me about how you're husband is stationed in Iraq and how you really miss him. If I continue spouting off on how welfare is a travesty, you're probably not going to tell me that you're on food stamps. I don't think that anti-abortion protesters love the women in their family less, but I do wish they'd consider how their sentiments affect the women in their lives who have had (or will have) abortions.