Never mind that more than half of women say they feel pressured to abort their unborn babies, one Salon writer thinks parents should be doing more to help their daughters get abortions.
In a recent column, writer Rachel Klein argued that parents are not talking enough about abortion with their daughters. She claimed parents should teach their daughters that abortions are normal.
“Even among the progressive, pro-choice left, abortion is often talked about as a last resort—a horrible, traumatic event that must be avoided at all costs,” she wrote. “But that’s not how I talk about abortion with my daughters.”
To illustrate her point, she told a story about attending a wedding where someone joked about her teenage daughter getting pregnant:
“Your daughter’s 14, huh?” asked the guy at the wedding reception. “I guess you’re heading for the Grandma Danger Zone.” I wasn’t offended exactly (it was a party, after all, and most of us were drunk and speaking freely), but I was a bit surprised by the casualness with which a relative stranger commented on my child’s theoretical sexual activity. Trying to move the conversation along, I chuckled politely and replied, “Well, if she did get pregnant now, I would help her get an abortion, so that won’t be an issue.”
There was a long silence as this man and the other people in the conversation looked at me in shock. He’d made a lighthearted comment about my daughter’s potential teen pregnancy, and I’d responded in kind with a lighthearted comment about my daughter’s legal right to exercise her reproductive agency. Why did his comment garner laughs and knowing glances while mine elicited a full-on record scratch?
The man’s joke was in extremely poor taste, and people should not have laughed. But even more terrible was Klein’s assumption that her daughter would want an abortion – and her ready admission that she would help abort her own grandchild.
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“Yes, I tell them, there are lots of good reasons to avoid an unwanted pregnancy in the first place: the potential physical dangers of unprotected sex, the potential emotional complications involved. But none of those should affect our ability to support, without judgment, a woman’s right to choose,” she wrote.
Klein said she tells her daughters they are “lucky” to live in a state with minimal abortion restrictions, and promises to support them if they ever get pregnant and “need” an abortion.
But one has to wonder if she also tells her daughters, in an equally passionate manner, that she would support them if they choose to parent a baby from a teen pregnancy or make an adoption plan. She never mentioned these options in her column, even though there is a strong body of research that indicates girls and women often feel pressured to abort their unborn babies.
Studies indicate women and girls frequently feel pressured into having an abortion by partners and/or parents. A 2013 study by two well-known pro-abortion researchers found one in 10 underage girls who had abortions were “pushed” to have abortions “mostly because someone else wants them to.” A recent study in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons found 58 percent of women reported having abortions “to make others happy” and 74 percent disagreed that their decision was free from outside pressure. Another study found 64 percent of women said they felt pressured to have an abortion.
Klein appears to be pushing her personal abortion agenda on her daughters, seemingly without thought about how her daughters could perceive that as pressure to abort an unborn baby. And she encouraged other parents to do the same.
“… I truly believe that the more comfortable we are talking about abortion without squeamishness or moral judgment, the more normalized it will become, even among those who already claim to support it,” she concluded.