Buzzfeed Tries to Build Support for Abortion With Article About Woman’s 1959 Abortion

National   |   Rebecca Downs   |   Nov 4, 2014   |   6:41PM   |   Washington, DC

While Buzzfeed is mostly known for fun quizzes and amusing lists, the website also has trending posts on abortion.

Over the past couple of weeks one such piece included “What Having An Abortion in 1959 Was Like,” by Buzzfeed contributor Diana Weiner. The headline reads: “Illegal, secret, expensive, and incredibly scary. A 74-year-old grandmother tells her story.” Emphasis is original.

buzzfeedDiana Weiner’s story is personal and in many ways does seem “incredibly scary.” The piece fails to distinguish though how an abortion today is necessary different from those things. While it is no longer illegal to have an abortion, abortion providers will oftentimes cut corners with the law. Just one, but nevertheless troubling example, includes the cover-up of statutory rape. And to touch on the second point, these abortions are often performed in secret, with the underage victim being sent back to her abuser, as Planned Parenthood has done. Abortion is still expensive and also an extremely lucrative business, with many of its providers interested for the financial aspect.

An abortion is also oftentimes “incredibly scary” whether it was being performed in 1959 or just yesterday. Many women are coerced into their abortions, and even if they truly are making their own choice, it is normal for women to have a wide range of feelings about and after the abortion, as even the abortion industry will admit. Certainly an abortion for the forced or even just reluctant woman could be described as “incredibly scary.” The abortion can also be described as being so for the one who is always the victim, the unborn child, especially when he or she is old enough to feel pain.

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Diana touches upon how abortion in 1959 was illegal, and thus unsafe. A consideration portion of her piece focuses on women dying from abortion. Prior to the legalization of abortion, however, the procedure was still being performed by doctors. It is also a fact that women still die today, of legal abortions.

And regardless as to what year it is, or how the abortion is being performed, or the effect it has on the mother, abortion in and of itself if a selfish action with a tragic result. This is not to say that we should judge or condemn the mother, but the act of an abortion is certainly reprehensible. Diana says that “[i]n all my distress, I never thought about the baby I had aborted. There was no baby; there was only me. It was all about me, my life, and my choice.”

The concluding paragraph also has the problematic feel of a piece promoting abortion in that it fails to recognize the real issues behind abortion, most pressing that abortion always means there is one life that never gets to be lived, that of the child.

The abortions are part of my own history, and that of our 55-year marriage. I have no regrets about them, no wistful wondering of what might have been. Our children are grown now, and we have eight amazing grandchildren. They live in a post-Roe v. Wade world, and have access to effective, affordable birth control. I’ve told them all the story of my abortion; to me, it’s a matter of life and death. I think about the girls I watched die in 1958, their families, the lives they never lived. I think about the button I wore in 1970: Never Again!

We cannot know how Diana may truly feel in her heart, whether she has ever thought of it as her baby, who was there whether she wanted it to be or not, and not “only me.” She herself may not know if she will ever feel regret. But as the story stands, it is more or less a positive abortion testimony, in that she has no regrets and she celebrates the accessibility of abortion today. Just as the abortion movement has been doing so far, positive abortion testimonies are front and center while stories containing the tragic truth of post-abortive women who have been negatively affected, goes largely ignored by those outside the pro-life community.