“In another case, a forthright and confident Italian woman – an active member of the Communist Party, utterly without hang-ups of an emotional or religious nature, and rather dismissive of “sentimentality” in general – used abortion fairly regularly as a form of birth control. She had a daughter from a first marriage and was married again. She simply didn’t like any form of contraception – the Pill made her ill, the IUD made her bleed, the diaphragm was uncomfortable – so she decided that the “rational” thing to do was to have an abortion whenever she needed one. By her middle 30s she had had “three or four” abortions…
The woman then consulted her daughter on what to do in a subsequent pregnancy:
But at 37 she became pregnant once again and, as usual, she decided to have the abortion. She arranged it and was talking to her husband about collecting her daughter – now aged 13 – from school that day, when something suddenly occurred to her: perhaps her daughter was now old enough to be consulted? So she asked the young girl if she would like to have a baby sister or brother. The girl’s eyes lit up. “Oh, Mama,” she said, “I’ve been secretly hoping and hoping and hoping I might someday have a baby brother or sister. Oh, it would be so wonderful!” The mother canceled her appointment for the abortion.”
Mary Kenny Abortion: The Whole Story (London: Quartet Books, 1986) 87 – 88
How would the daughter react if she knew that “three or four” of her siblings have been killed by abortion?
“We didn’t tell my boyfriend’s parents because his sister-in-law had 13 abortions. His parents were going on and on about how you can’t mess with the spirit that many times. We knew they would support us but it was too hot an issue at the time.”
Anna Runkle In Good Conscience: A Practical, Emotional, and Spiritual Guide to Deciding Whether to Have an Abortion (San Francisco: Jossey–Bass Publishers, 1998) 38
“Sometimes people who have 3 or 4 or 5 abortions are failing in every other area of their lives in terms of being victimized. And they’re taking such responsibility in making these decisions – where they don’t feel they have control in any other area – to have an abortion… I give these women a lot of credit… And it doesn’t matter how many times a woman has had an abortion, it only matters in her own eyes and her own value system. The last thing women who are having more than one abortion need is to feel judged… In some cases [they] are doing a great job making decisions when they don’t feel much control in other parts of their lives.”
The Illinois Review had the following story about a conversation between a pro-life sidewalk counselor and the sister of a woman going in for an abortion:
“A prolife counselor greeted each person coming up to the clinic, and told them about a free ultrasound and other resources for their child. His gentleness sometimes elicited a response, and one woman, after checking her sister into the clinic, came back to talk.
She wanted to know if we had any advice on sterilization. She said she knew her sister would never talk to us, but she needed help: this was her eighth abortion. A tall, spare woman, she nervously crossed and recrossed the street several times, always clutching her purse to her arm. Finally she asked us if we knew where she could get a drink. When the procedure was finally done, she pulled her car into the clinic’s narrow lot and helped wheel her sister down toward the car. When the wheelchair was as close as possible, she helped her sister stand and move into the front seat. The woman was visibly in pain; she walked deliberately, seemed drugged or extremely tired, and slumped into the front seat.”
“A social worker employed by a counseling center told me of a woman from a town in southern Italy who had reached her 8th and then her 9th abortion. The exasperated personnel at the center advised her, indeed nearly forced her, to use the coil. The woman came back a few days later to return it, saying that if she ceased to become pregnant, her husband would begin to doubt his virility. The social worker recounted this as a way of saying that one has to respect the various cultural attitudes that exist within society, along with the various views of abortion that go with them.”
Eva Pattis Zoja Abortion: Loss and Renewalin the Search for Identity (London: Routledge, 1997) 21
“Even though you hear about a lot of women saying: Well, I’ve had 4, I’ve had 6 abortions, and it’s almost like it’s no big thing – I feel that that’s just a façade. I feel that deep down they had to deal with that and they’ve had to resolve it.”
Sumi Hoshiko Our Choices: Women’s Personal Decisionsabout Abortion (New York: Harrington Park Press, 1993) 89
I once had a young girl who’d had four abortions and she said it was cheaper for her to have abortions than use any form of contraception because her boyfriend paid for the abortions. She complained about our menu, saying it wasn’t as good as the last time.
“Clinic counselors go to great lengths to help a youngster through an abortion. Despite the emotional stress of the work, they are, as they say, “there for her” from the decision-making stage to the postpartum depression at the end. But if the same 15-year-old becomes a repeater and returns at 16 and at 17, and if she develops a cool attitude towards the counseling experience, the reaction is different. The counselor loses her own professional distance. Joffe says,
The legalization and consequent routinization of abortion has stimulated in the former (the counselor) new questions about the morality of abortion. For the latter (the client), this very same routinization seems to have had the opposite effect.”
Gary Crum, Thelma McCormack Abortion: Pro-Choice or Pro-Life? (Washington, DC: The American University Press, 1992) 104
They are referring to information found in the book Carol Joffe The Regulation of Sexuality (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1986)