Any time a woman feels conflicted or upset about aborting her unborn baby, it must be a pro-lifer’s fault.
That’s the message abortion activists have been trying to send as they push the notion that women need to be able to kill their unborn babies to succeed in life.
“Abortion is a necessary part of the reproductive control that every woman needs in order to participate fully in society, and there is nothing to be ashamed of in that,” wrote Lesley Hoggart, the director of research at the School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care at the Open University in the UK.
Hoggart, writing for iNews, explained her research about women who have had multiple abortions. She said these women tend to experience more negative emotions, such as shame, self-blame and failure, and she blamed it on “abortion stigma.”
About one in three abortions are for women who have previously had at least one abortion [in England and Wales].
When you consider that most women will have over three decades of fertility to manage, and that no contraception is 100 per cent effective, should more than one unacceptable pregnancy really be so surprising? And yet our research has shown that women who have more than one abortion are likely to experience much more abortion stigma than those who do not.
Hoggart blamed society for making women feel bad for aborting their unborn babies. She argued that people should stop using the term “repeat abortion,” because it has a negative connotation and sounds like “repeat offender.”
Women should not feel badly for aborting several of their unborn babies, she continued. If they do, pro-life advocates are to blame. They make women feel bad by telling them that their unborn baby already has a heartbeat or that their baby’s tiny body will be destroyed in a barbaric way, maybe by dismemberment or poison, in an abortion.
“Abortion stigma is based on a view that abortion is wrong in some way and that women who have an abortion are deviating from ideals of motherhood, they are doing something ‘unnatural,’” she wrote.
She said her research team hopes to help end “abortion stigma” through their traveling multi-media exhibition MyBody MyLife, which allows women to tell their abortion stories in their own words. It is doubtful that the campaign allows women to share their pro-life convictions prompted by their negative abortion experiences, though.
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Abortion activists fail to recognize how abortions damage women’s lives when they destroy their unborn babies’. They do not see how the abortion is the problem, not stigma or the facts that pro-life advocates share.
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For some women, their multiple abortions may not have been their own choice. Research points to startlingly high rates of coercion and abuse among women who have abortions. Women and girls who have been sexually abused often are pressured or forced to abort their unborn babies by their abusers.
A survey by the U.S. Department of State found that 55 percent of sex trafficking victims had at least one abortion, with 30 percent having multiple abortions. More than half said they did not choose to abort their unborn child; their traffickers ordered them to, according to the survey.
But even in situations not involving sexual abuse, pregnant women and girls frequently face threats, violence and manipulation from their parents or partners who want them have an abortion.
Abortion activists almost never talk about these abuses, the need for better abuse screening at abortion clinics or the way legalized abortion has made it easier for abusers to cover up their crimes.
Abortion activists need to stop blaming stigma and pro-lifers for women’s negative emotions about their abortions, whether the women chose abortion or were forced into it. An abortion is a painful experience for countless women because of what it is – the inhumane killing of a unique, living unborn child.