Thursday, October 19, 2006

Lifenews has an interesting article on the "I had an abortion" campaign done by Ms. Magazine.

New York, NY ( -- A new campaign unveiled by Ms. Magazine features the signatures of thousands of women who have had abortions but is smaller in scope comapred to other campaigns which have had several times more women say they regret their abortion decisions.
The pro-abortion women's magazine is releasing its fall issue next week with a cover story about the women and their abortions.
Eleanor Smeal, president of the pro-abortion Feminist Majority Foundation, which publishes Ms., says the issue comes at a "dire" time when abortions are on the decline, states are considering abortion bans, and the Senate has approved two new Supreme Court justices who may back repealing Roe v. Wade.
The issue is also timed to coincide with the heating up of the November election battle, but Smeal told the Associated Press "We have to get away from what the politicians are saying and get women's lives back in the picture."
But abortion affects the lives of women like Caron Strong of Brentwood, Tennessee.
"It's been 14 years since my last abortion and it has been a week and a half since my last nightmare," she said.
Strong said she was upset that no one told her that the four abortions she had would cause her emotional torment and later result in miscarriages of subsequent pregnancies.
Ms. executive editor Katherine Spillar told AP that the issue, which hits newsstands on October 10, includes only 1,016 names but she claims 5,000 women who have had abortions signed the petition saying they are happy with their abortion decision.
Out of a potential 20-25 million women who have had abortions since the 1973 Roe decision, the Ms. number seems like a paltry amount. That may be because most women eventually come to regret their abortion.
"This campaign is intended to drown out the courageous women who have spoken out on how abortion hurt them," Wendry Wright of Concerned Women for America told "But simply stating that one has had an abortion does not legitimize the act, erase the pain or undo the damage to mother and baby."
That emotional and physical pain was cited by tens of thousands of women in petitions to the state of South Dakota before it considered a ban on abortions and in petitions to the group Operation Outcry in its efforts to overturn Roe.
The Ms. petition celebrating abortions doesn't represent people like Jupiter, Florida resident Faith Crowashaw.
"If there had just been one person who told me I had other options, I would not be standing here," she said of her own abortion. "The greatest regret of my life was the taking of the life of my first child in 1979."
Ms. also doesn't represent Mississippi resident Kim Slade who had an abortion 13 years ago. She told WLBT-TV she had physical complications and still feels the psychological pain of the abortion.
"It's a hole that never goes away in your heart. It's a child that you can never hold here, and you never forget the pain of that," she said.
Some of the women in the petition may come to regret their abortions years down the road, like Barb Frick of Sioux Falls, South Dakota did. She had an abortion in 1978 but didn't wish she could undo her decision until six years later.
Amy Young of Sterling, Virginia, said it took her 17 years to realize that the cause of the anger and bitterness in her life was due to a past abortion.
"I still cry; I still hurt," she said.
Meanwhile, Alveda King, the niece of civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said the "guilt made me ill" following her abortion.
Some of the women who signed the Ms. petition include Ms. founder Gloria Steinem, comedian Carol Leifer, and actresses Kathy Najimy and Amy Brenneman.
Ms. says it will send the signatures on its petition to the White House, Congres, and state lawmakers.

I think that it is important to recognize that neither campaign captures the diversity of the reactions that mothers have to abortion. There are mothers that are deeply pained by that decision and regret not having made a different decision, there are mothers that regret the abortion but would still repeat the very same decision if faced with the same circumstance, there are mothers that remember the abortion as a perceived relief and that emotion dominates any other, there are mothers who move forward with their lives with minimal reflection on that experience , and there are mothers such as Gloria Steinhem who celebrate and embrace their abortion as a political act.

Neither the Silent no more or the Abortion pride campaigns should profess to represent all mothers who have had abortions

At the same time it is of definite interest to see the campaign numbers are greater for those who regret their abortions than for those who have a more positive overview of the experience. We don't very often see the "I had an abortion" t-shirts touted by the feminists or see women signing their names to "I had an abortion". I am not sure that this campaign is going to take off as they hope. I don't believe that the "I had an abortion" mentality represents even a significant MINORITY of the mothers who have had abortions.

I am very proud that Alveda King has joined her voice to the movement of mothers who regret their decision and are wanting to speak up on behalf of unborn children to share the message that their lives are worthy.

I do hope that people have paid attention to the names of the celebrities who are speaking up and promoting abortion. Tune out their movies, don't buy their products, and make sure that you write and say why.


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