Pro-life writers in NY Times: Sharing stories of abortion will help women reject culture of death
NEW YORK CITY, July 1, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In the New York Times’ latest “Room For Debate” feature, themed “Coming Out on Abortion,” the paper posed the question: “Would support for abortion rights grow if more women discussed their abortions?”
The answer from pro-life contributors? A resounding “no.”
Georgette Forney, president of Anglicans for Life, wrote that her experience as founder of the “Silent No More” Awareness Campaign makes her think that the more women talk about the reality of abortion, the less often women will choose it.
“We share our abortion stories at public gatherings and outside abortion clinics, carrying signs that say ‘I Regret My Abortion,’” Forney, who had an abortion at 16, wrote. “It’s not an easy thing to do, but we have helped women choose life after they hear our stories.”
“We all have different reasons for having chosen abortion, but a common theme that runs through our stories is that we may not have made that irrevocable choice if someone who had been through it was there to tell us about their own experience,” she wrote
Forney wrote that for many women, sharing an abortion experience is an act of bravery that often means confessing not only the abortion but a litany of subsequent mental health issues that can be difficult to discuss in public.
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“We talk about many different aspects of our experience,” Forney wrote: “a lack of emotional support to make any other choice, callous treatment received at abortion clinics, injuries incurred, nightmares, eating disorders, addiction problems, the terrible sense of regret and remorse and the many ways we tried, and failed, to bury that regret.”
Added Forney, “The challenge facing women who have had abortions is ensuring our voices are heard by a complacent society that has signed on to choice without really knowing what is being chosen. Sadly, abortion is still a taboo subject, but we know we must speak out because when it comes to abortion, silence is deadly.”
Daniel Allot of American Values agreed that the more people know about abortion, the less they support it. Allot argued that when it comes to abortion, “Familiarity breeds contempt.”
He stated that as medical technology has advanced, allowing new parents to view detailed 3D videos of their unborn children in real time and helping babies younger than ever to survive outside the womb, it has increasingly exposed the pro-abortion notion that a “fetus” is not a baby as a lie.
“Proximity…helps explain why abortion remains stigmatized. We are increasingly able to view the unborn child up close and to witness the devastating effects of abortion on the women we know and care about,” Allot wrote.
Added Allot, “Americans are more likely to oppose abortion now than at any time since the Supreme Court handed down Roe v. Wade, which legalized most abortions nationally. According to Gallup, 56 percent of Americans identified as pro-choice in 1995, while just a third identified as pro-life. Last month Gallup found that 48 percent of Americans identify as pro-life and 45 percent as pro-choice.”
Allot credits “the humanization of the fetus” with this shift.
“Abortion rights advocates used to be able to get away with calling an unborn baby a clump of cells. But not anymore,” wrote Allot. “Ultrasound and other technology have opened a window to the womb, allowing the unborn to be revealed as the living and feeling human beings they are.”
“Advocates of abortion rights often state that they believe the procedure should be ‘safe, legal and rare,’” Donovan wrote. But, he points out, “the latest data from the Guttmacher Institute show the number of annual abortions holding steady at a level that is anything but rare – 1.2 million per year in the United States. Moreover, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 44 percent of these were repeat abortions, and 1 in 5 represent a third or even higher order abortion. If anything, these statistics underreport the phenomenon of repeat abortion.”
Donovan argued, “Statistics like these – abortion is common, not rare, and a significant number of women are resorting to it on multiple occasions – might find little favor among the public.”