Though it should surprise no one when the popular blog Jezebel publishes a pro-abortion piece, the personal essay by Kathryn Jezer-Morton that the website ran on Jan. 18 is tragic and disturbing in its attempt to normalize abortion.
The article is tagged under “#ShoutYourAbortion,” a campaign intended to destigmatize abortion. Jezer-Morton begins by novelizing hers, “I crossed over the ice-and-salt encrusted overpass to the metro station and headed downtown.”
Once she realizes she wants an abortion, she schedules it for a month later in order to accommodate a family vacation with her two older children. Though throughout her essay she makes several references to how she feels no shame for her decision, it is easy to imply feelings of guilt from her essay.
She mentions efforts to not “let my five-year-old overhear anything about a pregnancy,” billboards reminding her that her unboorn baby already had fingernails and eyelashes, and attempts to avoid thinking about how her body was changing due to pregnancy. She says when pregnant with her children who she did not abort, she enjoyed learning about how her body changed.
At the clinic itself, Jezer-Morton learns that women are paralyzed by fear while waiting for an abortion. She writes, “Never is one’s Facebook feed so riveting as in an abortion clinic waiting room.” The ultrasound tech referred to her unborn baby not as “the fetus” but “the pregnancy,” which she says she appreciated.
That was not enough to separate her from the reality of the situation, though. She writes:
I didn’t ask myself what they did with the fetus until I got home. I did wonder, though, in the way that you might wonder about the whereabouts of a lover from your past. I’m sure it was disposed of in the most discreet, contained, clinical way possible, but maybe those horrible billboards affected me after all. Where did the doctor put it?
Her piece ends by explaining that she felt “so cared for, and so respected,” without feeling much guilt. She also credits the #ShoutYourAbortion campaign for giving her the strength to write the article. Though the campaign was intended to destigmatize abortion, it has led to accounts like hers that show mixed feelings and introspection.
In addition, the campaign has been co-opted by some pro-life activists, including abortion survivor Gianna Jessen who tweeted “I didn’t have an abortion. I lived through one.” Jessen, an abortion survivor, reminds our culture of why abortion is such a troubling subject to most Americans. Abortion isn’t just a medical procedure or a woman’s choice — it’s the death of an innocent, unborn child.