Sea Change, a pro-abortion program with a focus on reducing the stigma surrounding abortion has released the results of a recent survey on the public sharing of abortion stories.
The aim of the study and report, called Saying Abortion Aloud, was to find out how post-abortive women feel about sharing their abortion stories publicly, and what pro-abortion organizations can do to help these women share their stories in order to make society even more supportive of abortion.
While the pro-life movement knows that abortion is a moral wrong and is working to make it a legal wrong, this survey from the pro-abortion side can help pro-lifers do a better job of listening to post-abortive women and helping them share their stories of pain, regret, and loss.
According to Say Abortion Aloud, women said that their “personal challenges” of sharing their abortion included anxiety about public speaking, fear of their family learning about their abortion, fear of the reaction in their community, and fear of public shaming.
If this is true for post-abortive women who don’t acknowledge regret for their abortions, than we can presume this to be true for post-abortive women who are suffering emotionally from their abortions.
As far as why these women want to speak publicly about their abortion, those surveyed said that it was an “opportunity for reflection” and a “form of self-care.” Basically, being able to talk about their abortion made them feel good about themselves, and probably better about their decision to abort since those around them would likely tell them that abortion was a good choice.
The opportunity to reflect and to responsibly deal with their choices would benefit women who regret their abortion. Sharing their abortion story will not only help them find forgiveness, but can also bring purpose to their life in helping other women to choose life.
So how can the pro-life movement start supporting post-abortive women and allow their stories, suffering, and regret to help build a culture of life? The Sea Change Program tells us that there are multiple ways. According to their report, organizations (and all pro-lifers) should:
- “Support post-abortive women in sharing their entire story, not just the parts that are easier to hear or will benefit the organization.
- Allow post-abortive women to share who they are and include their life experiences leading up to their abortion and after their abortion in order for others to fully understand where this person is coming from, and be able to relate to them.
- Help prepare the post-abortive women to share their stories. These women aren’t necessarily comfortable with public speaking or writing for an audience. Offer them training and constructive support.
- Help post-abortive women who want to share their story to keep their private information private. Teach them how to keep their contact information private, or allowing them to use a pseudonym.
- Keep the relationship going. These stories deserve to be shared more than once. Society needs to hear about the pain that abortion leaves in a woman’s life and the more the stories are shared, the more people are reached, including those who might currently be considering abortion.
- Have their back. If a woman shares her story and is harassed for it, make sure you will be ready to help her by calling the police in the case of threats.”
If we aren’t willing to support and help post-abortive women who want to share their stories, then we are missing out on a huge opportunity to help women find peace and forgiveness regarding their abortions, to help other women choose life, and to help society see abortion for what it really is.