In the past few years, abortion activists have succeeded in convincing dozens of mainstream media outlets to publish stories of women who were glad they aborted their unborn babies.
Now, a Chicago-area abortion advocacy group is trying to take a “Shout Your Abortion”-type campaign one step further by urging teenagers and young adults to brag about their abortions, too.
Promoting the campaign in the Chicago Tribune, KT Hawbaker explained how she had an abortion when she was 16 years old.
Hawbaker described how she was traumatized, not by having her unborn child aborted, but by classmates who found out about her abortion and by pro-life murals that she saw in her small Iowa town.
Several years later when she was in college, Hawbaker said she began sharing her abortion story publicly. She said she hoped that “humanizing” her abortion through storytelling would help other teenagers who were struggling with the same experience.
“The emergence of abortion storytelling has humanized the topic in ways that transcend Washington’s political halls,” Hawbaker wrote. “Whether it’s through the moving image, spoken word or social media, women, girls and nonbinary folks are taking the wheel and talking publicly about their procedures.”
She promoted a new campaign by the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health to encourage teens and young adults to share how their abortions positively affected their lives.
Hawbaker claimed women who regret their abortions can tell their stories, too; but very few of these campaigns actually allow stories that shed negative light on abortion or draw attention to the humanity of the unborn. Most abortion storytelling campaigns feature women who brag about how killing their unborn babies helped them succeed in life and how important abortion is to women.
More often than not, these campaigns silence women who regret aborting their unborn babies and women who want to urge others not to make the same mistake.
According to Hawbaker’s report, the Illinois pro-abortion campaign is an attempt to break down the state parental notification law, which requires girls under 18 to inform their parents before undergoing an abortion.
Keep up with the latest pro-life news and information on Twitter. Follow @LifeNewsHQ
The Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health (ICAH) is currently organizing the Youth Abortion Storytelling program, which lines up with its mission of challenging the state’s Parental Notification of Abortion Law. It says some young people will be harmed by family members or pursue unsafe means of abortion because of forcible notification. [LifeNews note: Both the campaign and Hawbaker failed to mention that the law allows young girls to request permission from a judge, rather than a parent, in cases involving abuse or other difficult family situations.]
“Often, conversations around abortion are geared toward people over 18. ICAH has historically collected stories to ensure youth voices remain a part of the conversation,” says Executive Director Tiffany Pryor. “We cannot have conversations about reproductive health care access and continue to leave whole groups of people out.”
According to Nik Zaleski, ICAH’s cultural strategies consultant, the organization is collecting stories from people under age 24 to “fill a gap in the field of abortion storytelling and bring young folks’ voices to the front.” Zaleski is putting together a series of performances called “The Boat” based on these narratives.
It remains to be seen if the organizers will include stories of young girls who were pressured or forced by their parents to abort their unborn babies, or young teens who did not tell their parents about their abortion and then, too late, realized they made a horrible mistake. These types of stories do not fit the “pro-choice” narrative that the organizers seem to want to push.
Abortion activists are right that stories are powerful things that move hearts and change minds. But through their advocacy, they are not just muffling the voices of women who regret their abortions but also the voices of hundreds of thousands of unborn babies every year who could have shared their stories, too, if they had not been aborted.