Thursday, November 02, 2006

Forced Guilt?

The Nation has a long article on Planned Parenthood's new president Cecile Richards written by Jennifer Baumgardner of "I had an abortion" t-shirt fame. (HT: Real Choice)

The third page of the article contains these comments addressing South Dakota task force's abortion report on how abortion hurts women.
The report states, "Abortion hurts women physically, emotionally, and psychologically." In response, prochoicers must clearly demonstrate, with words and deeds, that they are the real advocates for women. "It's been really hard for the prochoice movement as a whole to deal with feelings about abortion, because back in the early days women didn't have forces making them feel guilty," Byllye Avery, the founder of the Black Women's Health Imperative, told me. "But it's been thirty years of people beating on us, and women now do feel guilty. If women need more [emotional resources], then the movement has to provide them."

What message does that send? To me, it says that some people in the pro-choice movement see the feelings of guilt and other emotions like sadness and loss that some women feel after abortion as not being their "real" or "true" feelings. But rather the emotions of these hurting women are merely constructs of feelings created because society makes these women feel that way. It's almost like they think no woman could actually feel guilty about having an abortion unless society forced her to feel that way.

How good of a counselor/emotional supporter is someone going to be if they think every bad feeling a post-abortive women has regarding her abortion is because of some outside force "making them feel guilty?"

Are these real advocates for women (regardless of how the woman feels about her abortion) or are they advocates of abortion who don't want to deal with and have large degrees of difficulty handling how some women feel after their abortions?

In somewhat related news, a large number of letters to a church in New Jersey were found in the Atlantic Ocean. One letter read, "Lord, I know that I have had an abortion and I killed one of your angels," she wrote. "There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about the mistake I made."

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