Three Ways The Media Could Step Up To Stop Abortion Stigma

Whereas many feminist articles are of a cringeworthy stupidity, some are much, much darker. This one is potentially the sickest one I’ve read so far. I think even a segment of those who are pro-choice would agree. These are the main ideas:

  • Television and cinema productions should be used as political propaganda (which is the case already, but not overtly), in order to shape people’s moral values according to cultural Marxism. Depictions of abortion on the screen should be policed for conveying anything but the idea that it is always the right choice.
  • Abortion should be shown “in all its glory”, portrayed as a normal part of life and a positive decision women do not regret, in order to desensitise people into thinking there is no trauma involved.
  • An emphasis should be placed on “all its benefits”, disregarding the “scare tactics” of the “anti-choice” bunch (disregarding disturbing truths about its physical and psychological consequences, as well as the prosperous industry built around it).

Just reading through this is morbid and chilling.

I want to see people on my television having abortions. I want to see them thinking it through, weighing the options, and choosing what’s best for themselves and their families. I want to see people at the clinic, filling out the paperwork.

I want to see them in the procedure room talking to the doctor. I want to see them after their abortions as they wait to go home and in their kitchens having a bowl of cereal the next day.

I want to see people so sure about their choice they don’t think twice, and I want to see people not as sure, but who end up making the decision that’s right for them. I want to see people who never think about their abortions again, as well as people for whom they become a formative experience that impacts their entire life.

These are all things that people experience every single day, and I want to see them on screen. I demand to see them because representation is important, and we all deserve to see the real experiences we have day-in-and-day-out in the media. That’s the only way we can normalize these experiences.

In a matter of years, abortion has gone from being accepted as an extreme choice faced by women in circumstances of extreme pressure, to this – a normal, day-in-and-day-out experience. As a spit in the face to all those who have suffered as a result, in so many ways. The want it promoted. They enjoy watching these scenes;  they demand more of them.

These are the same individuals who also demand trigger warnings in literature courses, yet at the same time, revel in depictions of what is, however you want to frame it morally, a gruesome procedure, as described by medical staff who performed or witnessed it.

Never does this person care about the reality of those who regret having gone through with it. Where are their trigger warnings in this frenzied celebration of death?

The only thing I assume she does not want to see is the bloodied limbs scattered on a tray, the severed heads or the babies born alive and left to die. Or does she?

How long will it be until the above-mentioned images are themselved portrayed as normal, against every natural reaction a human being is born with (if they’re lucky enough to be born, nowadays)? I guess that answers it:

The thing is, though: We don’t just need to see abortions. We also need to see factual representations of what abortion actually looks like.

The only such issues mentioned in the other article (if you click on the link) are “cramps, pain, vomiting and blood”.  I guess the dead body is not factual enough; we can always leave that one out. The little cartoon also adds “the sense of pride in making the right decision”.

Some would argue that going from the acceptance of an irreversible act to pride is a very long stretch.

I also want to see all the people who have abortions.

Women, women of color, teens, mothers, trans men, non-binary people – everybody! I want to see people experiencing what all of these people actually experience.

Of course. Why should they be left out of the macabre party? The tone is very unsettling; it’s almost joyful.

Instead of depicting abortion using medical falsehoods and anti-choice scare tactics, we need more factual and honest representations that show abortion for what it is: just something that happens to some people.

Talking about honesty while omitting the most relevant aspect of this procedure: a dead body having suffered a horrendously violent death.

Decapitation is also something that happens to some people. Quite often, in certain parts of the world. And they surely celebrate it there. It’s true that certain folks – perhaps even most – can be desensitised to witnessing just about anything. All it takes is enough brainwashing and every natural instinct goes out the window.

Later edit

Actually, I was wrong. It does get sicker, but coming from the same band. Here is an article titled “5 Problems With Keep Abortion Rare.

Declared proudly by former President Clinton and repeated by “pro-choice” politicians over the last decade, the phrase often accompanies a plea to keep abortion legal.You’ll see it on signs and banners at an abortion rally,  with the phrase: “Keep Abortion Safe, Legal, and Rare.” This sentiment is often championed and portrayed as “something we can all agree on.” But is it really a desire we have, let alone one that we should be making heard? Is it even right?  How does this kind of logic affect the abortion movement and all those who seek abortions?

Perhaps the logic is in not treating this lightly, as an ordinary occurrence, since it affects lives irreversibly. Perhaps it is in recognising the fact that no one grows up planning to have abortions; it is no one’s intent or desire when starting their intimate life to end up in that situation. Perhaps it is in admitting the difficulty and sensitivity of a decision most times taken after a long emotional struggle. Not to mention the intention to focus on prevention rather than women having to go through this.

As feminists, one would think they are all for this positive focus, instead of encouraging the use of a traumatic procedure as birth control. One would think they want women to experience as little suffering as possible, both physically and mentally. Why not make an issue out of using contraception and reducing the number of abortions then?

1. We Can’t ‘Keep Abortion Rare’ Because It Isn’t

Abortion isn’t rare.

1-in-3 women in the United States will have had an abortion by the time she is 45.

This is an experience that a lot of people have had, and it’s far more common than many of us are willing to admit. Thanks to that big awful bubble of stigma, many of us just keep our stories locked up and hidden away in shame.

Which doesn’t make it the optimal outcome or the status quo in perpetuity.

There were times in history when infant mortality was very high, and mortality in general, due to diseases which are now treatable. Most families would lose a child or two at a very young age, which amounted to grim statistics. And yet, thanks to medicine progressing, those statistics did not last forever.

Also, in our day and age, people are being murdered in remote parts of the world for heresy, homosexuality or adultery. That amounts to very grim statistics indeed – but does not mean that things will remain the same or that change should not be attempted where it is needed.

Beneath the desire to keep abortion rare, people say, is a desire to reduce unintended pregnancies, which is completely legitimate.

Unintended pregnancies are hard, can put undue stress on everyone involved, and can be reduced in pretty simple ways, like better sexuality education and greater access to contraception.

But the word being used here isn’t unintended pregnancies, it’s abortion.

And when people say “keep abortion rare,”they’re promoting a narrative that says abortion is inherently a bad thing.

But abortion isn’t something bad, and it isn’t something to be ashamed of.  It can actually be a positive experience for some people and is something that many people are glad that they have access to when they need it.

It’s unfortunate and hurtful to our movement when people who identify as pro-choice continue to view and promote the perspective of abortion as a “bad” thing and something to reduce.

The author somehow seeks to separate the concept of abortion from that of unintended pregnancies – which is disingenuous. To claim that something is needed and has to happen even though it is fully preventable in most cases is downright absurd.

It is never the ideal outcome – in fact it is the worst possible outcome of a sexual encounter (except maybe for HIV, some would argue). It is not a positive experience, but merely seen as the less disastrous option at one point in time.

The fact is, abortion is a relatively simple medical procedure and should be viewed similarly to other medical procedures in that all those who need or want it should have access to it.

Tell that to the families of the women who died during that “life-saving” “simple” procedure (not to mention their offspring, but I understand they don’t matter anyway).  Or to the women who became infertile. Or to those who are now regretting it.

I have to quote this in full because it’s not only imbecilic but actually chilling.

3. Not Rare, But Accessible

If we need a slogan, why don’t we make it, “Keep Abortion Safe, Legal, and Accessible?”  Because that’s our biggest problem today.

With countless women needing abortions and not being able to have them due to legal, geographical, and financial barriers, the number of abortions in the US is, if anything, actuallytoo low.

When there are women who can’t get an abortion because they live in one of the 87% of counties in America that does not have an abortion clinic, that number is too low.

When there are poor women all over the country who can’t get an abortion because the Hyde amendment prohibits Medicaid from helping women pay for abortions, that number is too low.

When are there are girls under 18 who can’t get abortions because of parental notification laws in their state, that number is too low.

When there are women who don’t get an abortion because of scare tactics through crisis pregnancy centers and mandatory counseling laws, that number is too low.

When there are women who don’t get an abortion because of harassment and violence outside of abortion clinics, that number is too low.

When there are women and girls who don’t get an abortion due to the intense cultural stigma and shame surrounding the medical procedure, that number is too low.

We don’t need to lower the number of abortions happening in a time when too many women who need an abortion cannot get one.

I have to take exception to a couple of points. But first, let’s clarify that the number of preventable deaths and traumas in this world is never too low.

The author mentions women under 18. They are not women. They are minors and need protection from decisions which might harm them in the future. There are reasons these legal statuses are in place. You would not allow a minor to sign a legally binding contract but you would allow them to terminate the life of another human being, without being fully developed psychologically to make sure that decision is something they will not regret or become depressed about.

And since we’re on the subject of minors and their right to their own bodies – why not draw more attention to child brides in the Islamic world, female genital mutilation and teens being  raped by their “husbands” and forced to give birth naturally at a young age, which can cause irreparable damage?

Secondly, they mention the “scare tactics” through crisis pregnancy centres. These centres save lives day in and day out, not only by talking women out of abortions but by pointing them towards relevant resources which actually get them through the difficult times. They do not hide the fact that nothing is irreversible in this world except death. You can never bring back the dead, no matter how much you wish you could. Financial situations can be changed, studies can be paused and resumed. Relationships needn’t be terminated forever because of a disagreement over having or not having a child. And if they are, there are plenty more fish in the sea.

However, this is not the worst of it. The mask falls off completely in the following paragraphs.

4. Who Cares What the Number Is, Anyway?

Why is the number of women who are having abortions really the issue?

And is reducing or altogether stopping the rate of abortion something we really want? Abortions have been happening since the beginning of time, when women used herbs and other methods to self-induce abortions.

Abortions will never not happen – they always have, and they always will.

The difference we are fighting for is how they happen: in back alleys or in clinics? The difference we are fighting for is who can get them: wealthy women who can afford to get past the financial barriers put in place or everyone?

Women are not a statistic. We need to stop focusing on the number of abortions and the“making it rare” concept as if that really says anything.

Women (as well as trans men and genderqueer people) will continue to have abortions, and the number doesn’t matter. What matters is that those who need abortions can get them.

That was Margaret Sanger’s plan as well. Keep the masses in perpetual poverty and get them to kill their offspring, to stop polluting the gene pool with stupidity. That’s the whole idea behind your wonderful Planned Parenthood.

Why care about the numbers? Because there are enough people dying needlessly in this world, through war, starvation, violence and poverty. There is enough violence in this world to encourage people being ripped apart or burned to death in their mother’s bodies. Because there is enough trauma going around to encourage women to commit unchangeable acts, which they might later regret to no avail. Real trauma, that is – as opposed to reading “triggering” material in a classroom.

Because mass death is nothing to be celebrated or ignored.

TRAP laws, the laws that have been put in place to unfairly target and regulate abortion clinics to the point of causing many of them to close, was supposedly about “keeping people safe,”just as mandatory counseling and ultrasounds laws are supposedly about “keeping us informed.”

Stop with the paternalism already. These laws aren’t about protecting people. They’re about hurting them.

Right. Laws about information, sanitation and stopping body trafficking. Laws about protecting minors from being abused and exploited. Laws about not finishing off babies that are already born alive, as they were supposed to in the first place. The link the author provides only mentions rules which seek to ensure that the people performing abortions are certified doctors with a certain standing in the medical community – which would reduce back alley practices, as a human being with a functioning brain can quickly realise. The horror stories in the US are numerous. You can see many of them here, as well as success stories of babies who were saved from abortion  (the link is not showing properly, the letters are the same colour as the background for some reason, but if you click below you’ll find it, and if not the site is called Priests For Life. There must be a technical issue; I cannot get this link to be properly visible:

http://www.priestsforlife.org/

Although I am not a Christian anymore, I have full respect for what they have done and continue to do, as it genuinely saves lives. Father Pavone has done a really great job in revitalising the pro-life movement, through compelling argumentation and direct action towards saving people from being killed.

There are some Westboro-style characters out there, that’s true, picketing and rambling on about sin and the pit of fire in hell in front of abortion clinics. They are only bound to anger people and make them more determined in their thinking. Their only impact can be negative as they spread threats and condemnation instead of hope and alternatives.

But there are also very compassionate and dedicated folks who stand outside these clinics, provide ultrasounds in mobile vans, as well as heartfelt advice – and they deserve all the respect in the world. Because it takes strength of character for someone who realises what the taking of a life is to be in front of a place of such trauma and suffering (which is comparable to an execution wall, except worse), keep their composure and manage to reduce the number of those who suffer by convincing them to rethink. To anyone who is even slightly spiritual it seems unbearable to stand outside a place where you know people are being killed in real time. I personally don’t think I would have the strength to do that.

I don’t even care which God or force of this universe they are praying to – if they do so with the strong, sincere hope that lives will be saved. And if the power of their thought and energy, as well as their action, is enough to change the course of things, it truly is a miracle. With the risk of sounding tacky, it is a small victory for humanity – a victory nonetheless.

So the next time that you see someone at a pro-choice rally with a  “Keep Abortion Safe, Legal, and Rare” sign or hear someone say it, consider starting a dialogue with them.

Talk about how the logic behind that sentiment serves to hurt the abortion movement by further stigmatizing abortion and setting us up for even more aggressive and regulatory anti-abortion laws that make accessing abortion ever more difficult for everyone.

Right, because that’s what feminists seem to idolise.

More death.

Not education, not prevention, not responsible thinking. Just more death.

As far as I know, the western world is not some huge death-worshipping cult. Not consciously, anyway. But these feminists are continually pushing the idea that it should be embraced and promoted.