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Over the last few years, the rallying cry of the pro-abortion movement has subtly shifted from making abortion “safe, legal, and rare” to celebrating “abortion on demand and without apology.” Women, the latter school of thought holds, should never entertain a second thought about the child they abort, regardless of the reasons for their decision.

A new school of radical feminists – and “freedom riders” from the Revolutionary Communist Party – have called on women to share happy, “blithe and unapologetic” abortion stories. If women can fake a smile long enough and say they aborted for the most trivial of reasons, perhaps the public will believe that abortion is harmless.

Emma Ayres of Amherst, Massachusetts, recently made such an attempt in a story written for the the Socialist Worker, the official organ of the International Socialist Organization.

After learning she was pregnant, she and her boyfriend “at the time” decided “abortion was the only solution.” “As a junior in college with no fiscal stability, I was in no place to be a mother,” she writes.

She was quickly “connected with Planned Parenthood in Springfield,” where her decision to abort was perhaps not surprisingly “supported.”

Ayres writes that she was delighted that “the woman on the phone called it a pregnancy. Not a fetus, or a baby.” She also says she was happy not to be “subjected to the abusive requirement of looking at the ultrasound before the procedure. I was given a choice. I said no.”

Still, she recalls that after her “cold, lubed-up ultrasound,” an abortion facility staffer made small talk by asking what she liked to do. As she lay still and silent, waiting for the suction that would drown out their discussion, she told her: “I am playing Peter Pan. The production opens in two weeks.”

Yet she cannot entirely keep up the charade. After the abortion, she writes in staccato phrases: “Didn't know how to feel. Boyfriend drove me home. Felt victorious. Wanted to forget. Feeling still lingers.”

She found in time that she would describe her abortion as “one of the simplest decisions of my life with the most painful aftermaths.” After the abortion, she writes, “I distracted myself from the personal grief” and “claustrophobic depression.”

But then the ideological advocacy returns.

“I dream of the day when letting a professor know 'I had an abortion' is like saying 'I have the flu.'” (She insists, “I am not trying to make this sound casual” but seeking to establish abortion's “normalcy leading to acceptance.”)

Ten days after the abortion, she writes, “I found myself in the Rand Theater, flying over an audience, playing Peter Pan.”

Yet none of these things – the abortion and subsequent college play – would have happened unless she enjoyed a constellation of privileges, she writes.

“I am left staring at this list thinking how lucky I am,” she writes. “If these things hadn't lined up, I would have a one-week old child in my arms right now. This thought breaks my heart…I wouldn't have the opportunities that I have now if I had a child.”

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Her story – of outward revelry and buried pain – brings sad new poignancy to the lyrics, “I won't grow up.”

Cross-posted at

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Ben Johnson is U.S. Bureau Chief of The author of three books, Ben was Managing Editor of FrontPage Magazine from 2003-10. He is also a regular guest on the AFR Talk network's “Nothing But Truth with Crane Durham.”