It's become a non-stop theme now that every woman regrets her abortion, regardless of if she says so or not. And it's a theme that the media seems intent on pushing.
Recently, Abby Wisse Schachter wrote in the New York Post that abortion should always carry a stigma. Now, after getting a response back from Planned Parenthood that a woman should not feel shame over something that is best for her and her family, Wisse Schachter counters by totally changing the subject:
If we agree that the goal is to reduce the need for abortion, and Planned Parenthood is interested in having women make the best decision available to them, why isn't choosing not to abort one of the options listed here? It seems possible, and even likely, that for some woman, somewhere, some of the time, staying pregnant and, say, giving the child up for adoption might actually be a better choice than abortion. And yet, according to this organization, such a choice is never the best option.
The reason that it isn't mentioned as an option, of course, is because Wisse Schachter was originally discussing why all women should feel ashamed of having an abortion, regardless of if it is in their best interest or not, not "all women should be stigmatized for having a pregnancy they don't want, regardless of what they intend to do with it."
But maybe that's really what Wisse Schachter meant? If so, perhaps she should just come out and say it, like Valerie Ulene does in the Los Angeles Times:
For women, the consequences of an unintended pregnancy are obvious. But there are consequences for the baby as well. Women who aren't actively trying to conceive may not recognize that they're pregnant immediately — and, as a result, would be more likely to engage in potentially risky behaviors like drinking and smoking during the first few weeks of fetal development. Prenatal care, meanwhile, is often delayed. "The risk for damage is significant," Nettleman says. A 2009 study she authored found that women who were late in learning that they were pregnant were more likely to have babies who are born prematurely.
Unfortunately, there's no quick fix. "Some unintended pregnancies will be with us always," Nettleman says. "It's a complex issue. Simply telling women to straighten up and fly right isn't the answer."
Undoubtedly, women need to be better educated about birth control and its proper use. And more acceptable methods of contraception — ones that have fewer side effects and are more convenient to use — must be developed. But straightening up and flying right is part of the solution too.
With few exceptions, unintended pregnancies are not "accidents." They are predictable consequences of having sex without contraception.
But in case you haven't caught on yet, every unintended pregnancy is the result of an irresponsible woman, and apparently if you look inside the head of every woman seeking an abortion, she secretly just wanted someone to tell her she had to keep the baby. Or so says The Guardian. From the article titled "What I'm Really Thinking: The Abortion Patient"
There isn't a choice: I am an unemployed recent graduate barely able to afford the pregnancy test, with a boyfriend on bar wages. But after the scan, I want the nurse to find some unfathomable medical reason why termination isn't an option, so I'd be justified in keeping a child I don't want to lose but can't really provide for.
Got it? No wonder everyone thinks every woman is ashamed.