Yet another reality check

This article was originally published back in June but only recently came to my attention–and originally published in Self magazine of all places. Self does cater to a slightly older readership, so that might be why they took a chance on it. I speak from experience on this–a couple of years ago a freelance writer interviewed me for an article she planned on publishing in Glamour, which definitely targets the twenty-something crowd. She kept me abreast of the editorial process. The editor she worked with at Glamour kept delaying and pushing everything back, then told her flat out “we can’t run a piece about a site where women are happy about getting abortions, the advertisers will scream.”

This is not a happy article. It’s actually very sad, but it drives home a point that needs to be made to the antis–that second-term or later abortions are not the result of a woman taking months to make up her mind or skipping into a doctor’s office chirping “I, like, really don’t wanna be pregnant anymore!” and the doctor cheerfully replying “Okay then!” They are the result of irregular cycles, legal roadblocks, financial problems … but more often than not they are the result of the discovery that the child won’t survive to be born or will be catastrophically handicapped. Pro-choicers, however, routinely condemn women for choosing to continue such a pregnancy and that’s not fair either. I didn’t know that perinatal hospices existed and if such places put women’s minds at ease than I’m all for it. However, I agree with Paul D. Blumenthal, a professor at Stanford University Medical School, who says in the article that “Forcing a woman to carry a fetus with a lethal anomaly can be tremendously psychologically traumatic.”

The most important idea, as always, is that women in these situations have the choice as to how to handle an incredibly heartbreaking situation–and that no one call them “murderers” or “fetus lovers” because of how they choose.

4 comments to Yet another reality check

  • Ewa

    I stumbled upon this site… I’m not religious in the least and not conservative in the least (heck, I’m not even American). I do have a problem with abortion, I admit it, but I do see some intelligent points being made here. However, why so much anger? I do see how women should have a choice about their lives, and different circumstances, etc. However, I don’t believe that women should treat abortion as a form of birth control (there are far better choices available), and I don’t believe we should encourage women to “be happy” about them either. It should be seen as a sombre and unfortunate event, and the lesson should be not to ever have to repeat it, ever.

  • imnotsorrydotnet

    Women shouldn’t be happy that they have the choice not to continue a pregnancy? No, abortion isn’t fun; I can think of several hundred other more pleasurable things. But to me and millions of others it beats the hell out of the alternative–bringing ye. Unfortunate, yes. Somber, no. Grateful, absolutely.

    And why the anger? Wouldn’t you be angry too if you made a choice that makes people think they have the right to judge you and harass you? Or having what I like to call “back-handed pro-choicers” say stuff like “abortion shouldn’t be birth control” and “we shouldn’t encourage women to be happy about them”? Getting it now?

  • Darkshard

    Why so angry? Maybe because we don’t feel it’s anyone else’s business what we do with our bodies? Maybe it’s because I work at a woman’s clinic and have to wade past the protestors screaming at me to get to work? Maybe it’s because said pro-life wackjobs have shot at our building and, on one memorable occasion, rushed our lobby and put my boss in the hospital?

    Maybe i’m angry because I’m 39 years old, happily married, have an IUD, and have absolutely NO desire to have children…but there are people out there who think that if my IUD fails “I shouldn’t use abortion as birth control”. So what? because the IUD is not 100% effective I should stop having sex? I think not.

  • I’ve only had one really rude comment. I was eating at work and some guy (whose wife was also pregnant) said “you should be eating healthy food when you’re pregnant”. I was eating fish stir fry, no fat anywhere to be seen. Plus it was totally none of his business even if I had been eating a Big Mac. I guess he was just stupid as well as rude.