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Writer: We need abortion-on-demand because ‘sometimes you just don’t want to be pregnant’

Kirsten Andersen Kirsten Andersen Follow Kirsten

Jessica Valenti, the radical founder of Feministing and a NARAL board member, has taken to the U.K. Guardian’s U.S. news site to boast about the elective abortion she had when she was in her 20s, and called on other women to do the same.

Valenti wrote the piece to coincide with the launch of the “1 in 3 Abortion Speakout,” which was being live streamed from 1 P.M. to 9 P.M. EST Thursday afternoon from Washington D.C.’s NBC Studios, and was scheduled to feature over 100 pro-abortion speakers – including Valenti, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, Daily Show co-creator Lizz Winstead, and Congressman Mike Quigley (D-IL) – seeking to “destigmatize” and “normalize” abortion. 

The event’s name was chosen as a nod to the sobering statistic that one out of every three American women have an abortion during their lifetimes. Live audiences on at least 20 college campuses nationwide were expected to tune in at “watch parties” and strategize ways to spread the pro-abortion message.

Valenti, who admits to having had two abortions, wrote: “I’ve never before spoken publicly about my first abortion – not because I was ashamed, but because it truly didn’t have that tremendous of an impact on my life.” 

According to Valenti, she was dating a man she didn’t love when she became pregnant with his baby, and knew immediately that she would abort the child.  She says she has “no regrets” about her decision. “If anything, being able to have that abortion made my life better,” she wrote. “I was able to publish my first book, meet my now-husband, cultivate the life that I’m living and build the family that I love.”

“Maybe you think that’s callous,” Valenti added. But she asserted that her story is by far the most common among women who choose abortion. 

“The truth is that, despite the abortion stories that often dominate the public pro-choice narrative – the wanted pregnancies that must end because of health concerns or severe fetal abnormalities – most people who end their pregnancies do it for the same reason I did that first time in my 20s: Some women just don’t want to be pregnant – and there’s nothing wrong with that,” Valenti wrote.  “I don’t owe anyone an explanation over why I had my abortions, but, as the conservative movement continues to strip women of their rights and humanity, I believe that those of us who can speak, should. Because for too many women, the consequences are just not worth it.”

“It’s time to end … the ‘awfulization’ of abortion, because it is a normal part of many women’s reproductive lives,” Valenti added.

Valenti’s words echoed those of another pro-abortion writer, Jessica Grose, who wrote a piece called  “Enough With the Grueling, Wrenching, 'I Had an Abortion' Essays” last summer, criticizing women who shared their painful experiences with abortion.

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“A lot of women have abortions and don’t look back. A lot of women don’t want a baby, and they don’t care whether the fetus is viable or how much money is in their bank account. Where are their essays?” Grose asked in her essay.

Grose said she wanted to see more “blithe and unapologetic” stories of women who chose abortion for purely selfish reasons and had no regrets afterward.

“First-person abortion stories in major publications are almost always about ‘appropriate’ abortions. Shrouded in mournful tones, regretting the baby that couldn’t be, reflecting on that upsetting choice,” Grose wrote.  “But this is such a narrow way of looking at an experience that a third of women in America have.”

“Most people who get abortions aren’t teenagers or terminating unviable babies,” Grose added. “Six in 10 women who get abortions are already mothers, and 3 in 10 women have two or more children. The abortion rate is highest among women in their 20s. And there is a range of emotions that women feel when they’re getting what is essentially a medical procedure. Some feel relief, some feel nothing, others even feel joy.”

Writer Jessica DeBalzo took it a step further in her own essay for pro-abortion website RH Reality Check, proclaiming, “I love abortion. I don’t accept it. I don’t view it as a necessary evil. I embrace it.”

“[W]e must avoid stigmatizing [abortion] in any way,” argued DeBalzo. “No woman benefits from even the vaguest insinuation that abortion is an immoral or objectionable option. … Terminating a pregnancy is not an unethical act, yet suggesting that abortion should be rare implies that there is something undesirable about having one.”

“Rather than trying to cozy up to the forced-birth camp, women who value their freedom should be proud to say that they like abortion,” DebLazo added.  “In fact, they should venerate it whole-heartedly.”

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