What to do about that “internalized abortion stigma”

By Dave Andrusko

A while back the Abortion Establishment, worried that the tiresome “war on women” had long reached its expiration date and fresh out of new ideas, shifted gears. They attempted—and continue to do so today—to reframe the deaths of unborn children as a positive good or something beyond evaluation (for a host of contradictory reasons).

The common denominator is the centrality of eliminating the “stigma” attached to abortion. How? Well, see the above and by insisting the only reason women are haunted by the decision to take their unborn child’s life is (you guessed it) an oppressive patriarchy determined to control women, etc., etc., etc. und so weiter und so forth.

So how to excise abortion “stigma”? Tell your “abortion story.” I’m guessing the theory is that people will begin to change their opinion about abortion because they are worn down by the sheer power of repetition or because they will empathize with the stories. Each is intended to foster a kind of faux familiarity.

The objective is “to disrupt the public shaming that, too often, surrounds the pursuit of what should be a standard medical procedure.” (“Public shaming”?)

That quote comes from Chanel Dubofsky writing about how “Abortion Speak-Outs Can Combat Our Own Stigma Too.” She begins by taking about one of those live-streamed “one in three” speak-outs which were popular a while back which, she says

made me realize that even as a staunch reproductive rights advocate, a clinic escort, and a feminist, I still have to battle my own internalized abortion stigma.

This is worth considering.

Dubofsky tells us she’s avoided such settings (“abortion speak outs”), because, among other reasons, she feared she would start judging women. But judging them for what? Multiple abortions, for example, a.k.a. abortion as birth control.

Of course there are multiple reasons besides multiple abortions that explains why a majority of people oppose the reasons for which at least 90% of all abortion are performed. Naturally Dubofsky manages to ignore: “later” abortions, abortions because women simply don’t care enough to worry about whether they become pregnant, abortions because the child is the “wrong” sex, abortions performed on babies advanced enough to feel pain, to name a few.

But her counter-response would doubtless be that this is the point. There is no invalid reason for an abortion. In fact, to even talk as if there needed to be a reason is to fall into the trap. What trap? That any abortion could or ever should be “judged.”

A woman wants an abortion, end of discussion. It is a “standard medical procedure” which is no more to be evaluated (judged) by others than having your appendix removed.

For Dubofsky et al., that is one of the principal reasons to speak out: to re-emphasize that the reasons women have abortion are matters beyond good and evil.

They are hers. Period. End of discussion. End of baby.