Pro-abortion writer Judith Orr describes how feminists were angry that a pro-life group was using tax dollars to build a shelter for pregnant homeless women. They would rather homeless women be on the street than be helped by a pro-life organization.
“… There was so much anger in March 2017 at the news that the Tory government had given 250,000 pounds raised from taxes on tampons and sanitary pads to the antiabortion organization Life. Life said it would fund a homeless shelter for pregnant women. Pro-choice campaigners argued that it was bad enough for necessary sanitary items to be taxed as “luxury” products, but for money generated by this “tampon tax” to be given to an organization that declares it won’t give up until “abortion is a thing of the past” was a “bloody outrage.”
Judith Orr Abortion Wars: The Fight for Reproductive Rights (Bristol, UK: Policy Press, 2017) 91
Two doulas wanted to become abortion doulas, giving support to women as they killed their babies. They encountered resistance from the pro-choice movement. According to an article by Alex Ronan:
“…birth doulas Lauren Mitchell and Mary Mahoney sought to bring those support practices into abortion clinics, they met immediate resistance. “To imply that women getting abortions would need something as touchy-feely as support was not accepted,” Mitchell explains. …many pro-choice doulas, doctors, and nonprofits were unwilling to acknowledge how difficult and painful many women find abortion. To some on the left, drawing any more attention to the messiness of the procedure and the decisions surrounding it would mean potentially undermining the work of the political movement.”
Pro-Choice author Cara J. Marianna interviewed women who had abortions. She tells the story of Nancy. In Nancy’s words:
“I was thinking about being pro-choice. Before the abortion, I was never actively outspoken pro-choice, but I think I felt more and more pro-choice afterward. I remember a year later, in June, I went back home. I’d graduated in December and my mom sold me her old car and I drove it out. I remember I had found this cool pro-choice bumper sticker and I put it on the car. I was so proud of it. It was the message, ‘A world of wanted children would make a world of difference.’ So it wasn’t like ‘I’m pro-choice and proud of it.'”
Nancy later became pro-life and regretted her abortion
“In looking back on her experience, Nancy said, ‘It was pretty bad, the lack of counseling and the doctor. They were just ready to do it. Well, that’s to be expected, though.”
Cara J. Marianna Abortion: A Collective Story (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2002) 129
Even though Nancy had a bad experience, she became pro-choice to justify her abortion. How many pro-choice women are using similar reasoning?
Two doulas who work in abortion clinics wrote in their book that they knew being honest about abortion (how it looked, and how it hurt women) would give ammunition to the pro-life side:
“We knew that acknowledging complicated feelings about abortion was going to be a delicate task and that being real about what an abortion actually looked like would be even more delicate. Asserting that someone might need support during an abortion? Forget it. Those were acknowledgments that many felt could be dangerous to the policies and laws in place that protect our right to choose.
Frequently, there was concern that we could be feeding the anti-choice [pro-life] movement with our perspectives.”
Mary Mahoney and Lauren Mitchell The Doulas: Radical Care for Pregnant People (New York: Feminist Press, 2016) 18-19
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
Two abortion doulas who provided comfort f0r women having abortions claimed that people in the mainstream pro-choice didn’t want to acknowledge that abortion was often painful to women, not “empowering.”
In their book about being abortion doulas, the authors say:
“There were more traditional pro-choice groups and activists who would express concern about our acknowledgement of the emotion that accompanies an abortion. We had been fed narratives through our activist work that many people felt “empowered” by their abortions. But our very presence in the procedure room undermined that message by hinting that abortion might be physically painful or people might have complicated feelings about it. Mostly, what we saw from people having abortions was a nuanced mix of mourning and relief. We would rarely hear that our clients regretted their procedures, nor would be hear them speak of it in empowering terms. But when we talked about all of this, it often wasn’t received by the pro-choice community the way we expected it to be.”
Mary Mahoney and Lauren Mitchell The Doulas: Radical Care for Pregnant People (New York: Feminist Press, 2016) 18
A pro-choice author, Cara J. Marianna, who interviewed dozens of postabortion women for a book she was writing, explains why she was pro-choice before she began the writing project. She says that because of her feminism and basic political persuasion, she assumed that she should be in support of legalized abortion. Her self identified feminism and the other opinions she held were what prompted her to be pro-choice, not an honest examination of the abortion issue. She never claims to have been converted to the pro-life side, but clearly has some ambivalence by the end of the book. She gives the insight that she was pro-choice even though she didn’t know that much about abortion, just because it seemed like she was supposed to be.
“As I moved further into the writing process, as I continually referred to women’s stories—read and reread their personal narratives—I became ever more aware of my own assumptions about the issue. I came to see my own position as a set of beliefs built upon certain cultural scripts that I happen, probably for a great variety of reasons, to identify with. According to those generally feminist and politically liberal narratives, there are certain things I am supposed to think about abortion: Abortion is a political, rather than religious or moral issue, and is a matter of human liberty, in general, and women’s equality, in particular. Legal abortion is fundamental to reproductive freedom and women’s health and well-being. Like a religious person who opposes abortion, I take my beliefs to be articles of faith.”
Cara J. Marianna Abortion: A Collective Story (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2002) Xiv
Abortionist Dr. William Harrison on what was done to pro-life protesters and sidewalk counselors outside his clinic:
“While I definitely did not encourage it, young people began to curse our pickets, several of whom had buckets of urine, and worse, thrown on them as they prepared to listen to a group of smiling young people who seemed to have slowed to tell them how much they supported what they were doing….
On rainy days, water was splashed on them as they stood on the narrow sidewalk in front of my office. In winter, they were splashed with slush. Their churches began to lose members. The ministers in other churches began to speak in support of me and what I do. My community began to seriously support what I did….I was supported by the mayor, the city board, police, the courts, the prosecutors and judges simply because they did their jobs.”
“A Fayetteville doctor, himself a target of abortion protesters, says law officers failed to protect Dr. George Tiller” Arkansas Times JUNE 11, 2009 Here
Jewels Green, former abortion clinic worker turned pro-lifer, wrote about the way other clinic workers talked about the people in the pro-life movement:
I was told that pro-lifers cared nothing about women or families or children—only babies, and only unborn babies at that. I was told story after story about how this pro-life group or that crisis pregnancy center lied to women to “trick” them into staying pregnant and then would abandon them…. The most vivid (tall) tale I remember was of some unnamed group who extended financial assistance, prenatal care, and even drove a young mother to the hospital while she was in labor only to drop off a box of diapers the next day and refuse to return her calls after that….This is pro-abortion propaganda.
Since coming over to the side of life, I have been thrilled to confirm that these stories are baseless lies… the pro-abortion side continues to propagate these blatant untruths in spite of real evidence to the contrary…..
Many crisis pregnancy centers don’t just do pregnancy tests but also offer relationship counseling, parenting workshops, family counseling, babysitting co-ops, post-abortion support, and much more—for FREE—and without hundreds of millions of dollars from American taxpayers.
I’ve …noticed that supporters of legal abortion are having a difficult time engaging the current generation of young adults. A recent Rasmussen poll confirms that impression, finding that voters under 40 were less likely than other age demographics to find the abortion issue “very important” while voting and more likely to find the issue “not at all important.” Moreover, there is plenty of survey data which finds that the current generation of young adults is more skeptical about abortion than previous generations. The General Social Survey (GSS) has been collecting opinion data on abortion using the same battery of questions since the 1970s. During the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, respondents between the ages of 18 and 29 were the least sympathetic toward the pro-life position. Yet since 2000, the GSS has consistently found that young adults are actually more comfortable limiting abortion in certain circumstances than are older Americans.
Other polling data shows that young adults are more likely than other demographic groups to support a 20-week abortion ban and are fairly comfortable with a range of incremental pro-life laws.