Pro-Choice activists feared negative abortion stories

Exhale is a pro-choice group that helps women who suffer from post-abortion trauma. Unlike pro-life organizations, Exhale validates women’s choices to have abortions and takes the view that abortion is moral. Exhale was founded because pro-choice people could no longer ignore the fact that women were emotionally struggling after their abortions.  Before Exhale, there was no real pro-choice support for post-abortion women: The founder of Exhale, Aspen Baker, says:

“Before Exhale started, the most prominent people who were talking about post-abortion feelings were pro-life.” There has been a few pro-choice projects here and there that considered this perspective…but these were “few and far between and did not have wide pro-choice support.”

The authors of the book The Doulas: Radical Care for Pregnant People, in which this quote appears, commented:

“The common pro-choice refrain was “most women feel relief”  – and nothing else – and pro-choice advocates rejected the idea of a “post-abortion syndrome.”…

It was assumed that anyone who talked about abortion feelings, especially difficult ones like sadness or grief, had been bamboozled by pro-life extremists…

When someone truly cares about women they are open to hearing what women want to say (whether they are pro-choice or pro-life or neither), but when the care is primarily about securing or ending the legal right to abortion then there is great concern about what women say about their own abortions.”

Mary Mahoney and Lauren Mitchell The Doulas: Radical Care for Pregnant People (New York: Feminist Press, 2016) 21-22

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About Sarah

Sarah Terzo is a freelance writer and journalist who works for Live Action. She is a member of the board of The Pro-life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians and Consistent Life.
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