Analysis

Abortion regret is real, despite media’s attempts to dismiss those who experience it

abortion

The Washington Post would have you believe that abortion regret is something few women actually experience. “Maybe they could all fit in a ballroom,” suggests one of their recent articles, entitled, “Why we’re still arguing about abortion and regret.” The Post would have readers believe that abortion never has mental health consequences, and that the idea that it can impact women psychologically is just a conspiracy theory concocted and promulgated by pregnancy resource centers. 

The fact is, there are thousands of women in online support groups — like the aptly named site, I regret my abortion — and thousands more signing up for programs like Rachel’s Vineyard, which aims to help women process grief and trauma following pregnancy loss of all kinds, including and especially abortion. The website Silent No More Awareness has over 3,000 personal testimonies of abortion regret – and it’s just one of many sites that have compiled similar narratives.

The Washington Post implies that these thousands upon thousands of women don’t exist – or maybe just that they don’t matter.

What Legitimate Research Actually Shows

To back up their claim that women don’t regret their abortions, the Post cites the Turnaway Study, a fatally flawed battery of research which has been repeatedly debunked by Live Action News and other publications. Without this bit of swiss-cheese “science,” the Post’s case doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

The mainstream media love to cite the Turnaway Study because it supports the pro-abortion narrative. They never mention the myriad of problems plaguing the Turnaway Study, such as small sample size, low participation and high dropout rates among subjects, potential selection bias, and distorted reporting of findings, among other serious flaws, including biased authorship. The Post quotes one of the Turnaway team as saying they “were really open to all possibilities in these data,” but never bothers to mention that the entire team, including the people who provided the funding, are abortion activists with a vested interest in defending abortion.

READ: Abortion regret exists among pro-abortion moms: ‘Too many of us are bottling up the tears’

The media also never mention the huge body of research which refutes this “abortion is perfectly safe” narrative. Multiple studies support the conclusion that abortion significantly increases mental health risks. Potential consequences include depression, anxiety (including anxiety felt during subsequent pregnancies), and substance abuse. Abortion-related trauma can also interfere with interpersonal relationships.

There Is No Pregnancy Center Conspiracy

Noting the fact that many pregnancy resource centers have developed programs to help women (and men) cope with post-abortion trauma, the Post implies that the concept of abortion regret is something invented by these same centers. But the Post conveniently omits another set of important facts – these programs are generally offered free of charge, and nobody is forcing people to sign up for them. Furthermore, the programs have been developed to respond to an observed need – if wounded post-abortive people weren’t coming forward seeking help, these programs would never have been developed. 

Pregnancy centers and other non-profits literally have nothing to gain by offering this assistance except the satisfaction of helping others in need.

Denying the Existence of Abortion Regret Is Anti-Woman

“[C]laiming that regret is a common experience feeds into stereotypical perceptions that women can’t be trusted to make decisions,” states the Post, pointedly ignoring the fact that homicide (that’s what abortion is — the homicide of an undelivered, innocent human being) is not a legitimate “decision.” 

But the Post is bafflingly blind to its own anti-woman bias in denying the existence of abortion regret. This denial discounts the lived experiences of thousands of women from all walks of life – or, more insidiously, it implies that these women don’t know their own hearts and minds, which is blatantly misogynistic. It paints regretful women as either fools, or worse, liars.

Why are we “still arguing about abortion and regret?” It’s not for the reasons the Washington Post would have you believe. It’s because abortion advocates refuse to acknowledge what the science – and thousands of post-abortive women – actually say. Until and unless they accept reality, this is an argument that isn’t going to die any time soon.

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