In late April The New York Times posted a survey asking women to share their experiences with abortion. The paper has a long record of gaslighting women who regret aborting their children, insisting post-abortion trauma doesn’t exist and marginalizing the feelings of millions of women.
In the #MeToo era, at a time when feminists repeat “every woman should be believed” like a mantra, was the survey a signal The New York Times finally recognizes the suffering of so many women? Would the newspaper finally stop telling women their feelings aren’t real? I doubt it. Articles attempting to debunk the negative experience of abortion continue to be everywhere. Those of us who have experienced the negative consequences find it frustrating and unjust.
“The Conversation” recently published an article telling us “There is no evidence to suggest that induced abortion has any significant impact on persistent and serious mental health issues.” BuzzFeed News was also right in there with the article “Here’s Why Mamamia Just Deleted an Article About Abortion.” The article goes on to tell us once again about the lack of “evidence” about abortion’s negative impact.
Even a Small Percentage Is Millions of Women
In the article, Kate Marsh of Queensland pro-choice counseling service Children by Choice states, in an attempt to solidify abortion supporters’ beliefs, “We offer post-abortion counselling for the small numbers of women and pregnant people who’ll require it, but it makes up less than 5% of our work,” she said. “This is demand driven, not because we’ve decided to only devote a small amount of time to it.”
In the United States since the passage of Roe v. Wade in 1973, we have aborted 60 million unborn babies. Five percent of their mothers experiencing regret, which for many reasons I believe is extremely low, would still mean we are speaking about millions of women. Secondly, would those experiencing negative effects go to a place where it is obvious their experiences are denied, and they are told their struggles do not exist? Of course not!
A quick look at quoted research papers or Web sites such as the Guttmacher Institute, a former arm of Planned Parenthood whose business is abortion, would quickly let a woman know that she is not allowed to say abortion hurt her and that if she is saying it did, she certainly had prior mental health issues.
How is it that today we can be traumatized by someone using the wrong pronoun to address us, put crying rooms on campuses because of stress, or condemn someone for wearing a dress of a different culture, but women are not allowed to say they are traumatized by an abortion experience during which they participated in the death of their child?
Who Is Really Putting the Stigma on Abortion?
The extreme pro-abortion groups are quick to cite the so-called “stigma” of abortion, blaming regret on society. I venture to say the stigma comes from them, as they refuse to believe the experiences of the women speaking out and continue to deny our existence and the very real effects abortion has on mental health for countless numbers of women.
After 20 years of working in post-abortion healing with an average of 200 new clients each year, I know millions of us are out there living with this negative impact, yet not once have organizations like Operation Outcry or Silent no More, or any of the several ministries that assist women to heal, have been called to participate in the media-touted so-called studies.
Millions of women continue to live in silence and suffer alone because they are afraid to let anyone know of their abortions. They think they are crazy that it bothers them because, after all, they are constantly told there is no such thing as post-abortion trauma. Some live in fear because they have not told a spouse. Some are unable to have other children, while others turn to addictions.
The very fact that there is such an intense effort to deny what we have experienced shows that those who promote abortion fear the truth so must pretend we do not exist. What a great disservice to women.
The Times Has Shunned Women’s Stories Before
Should we give The New York Times the benefit of the doubt and take the newspaper at its word when it says it wants to hear real stories from women who have had abortions? The paper’s track record doesn’t give me much hope. As The American Thinker’s Ed Lasky noted, The New York Times has a history of ignoring peer-reviewed studies that don’t support the pro-abortion line, and gives disproportionate coverage to sources who deny women suffer from the procedure. On the rare occasions the Times does recognize there are women and groups on the other side, it’s only to claim they subscribe to bunk science and are confused about their own feelings.
When I read articles denying the very real problems abortion has caused for women, I can’t help but think of many hurting women we have served over the years, like Mary, who ended up working with me for many years. Mary’s husband had coerced her into an abortion, threatening to leave her if she did not comply. Besieged with depression, each year around the anniversary date of her abortion she ended up hospitalized, but as is the case so often, no one would acknowledge her post-abortion trauma.
How many women are currently in hospitals or recovery programs with no one acknowledging their experiences? Mary suffered alone for 20 years before she found us and began the process of healing from what the pro-abortion contingency says does not exist. This woman suffered for decades feeling crazy for her feelings because society chose to deny them. There are millions of women like Mary out there.
I filled out The New York Times survey, but not because I thought the truth will be told, or because I think The New York Times cares and wants to let women that are suffering know they are not alone. A prime example of this can be found in their January 28, 2011 article, “Parenthood not Abortion Linked to Mental Illness,” where they actually quoted our blog Reclaiming Our Children.
It is no surprise that instead of saying who we are—woman who have had abortions helping each other—they label us “anti-abortion” and deny our experiences. No, I filled out the survey hoping maybe someone who is suffering in silence will see she is not crazy nor alone. We are out here, countless numbers who have experienced what they are going through, ready to accompany others on their healing journey.