an After abortion

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Monday, September 29, 2003

The October issue of Vogue is out. I told the girl at the counter I was buying it for the articles but she was too young to get it.

It has a cover story "Roe vs. Wade: Are We Losing the Right to Choose?"

The subheading says that "the most effective antiabortion campaigns are run by names you've never heard of, in places you may have never seen."

The thrust of the article is that those wascalley antiabortionists have come up with a new idea that they are using to manipulate Americans into thinking that abortion is Not the Greatest Thing Since Sliced Toast.

What is this new idea? It is that abortion hurts women.

The article starts out interviewing Allan Parker of one of my permalinks, Operation Outcry, and Norma McCorvey. Their comfortable working relationship is a leitmotif throughout the four-page article.

Norma's Rule 60 Motion is discussed, as are the over one thousand regretful women who have filed affidavits with Operation Outcry.

The way that these women (that's us! that's me!) are discussed is a hopeful sign, because we are seriously misrepresented in the article.

It's hopeful because it suggests that Robert Sullivan, who wrote the article, didn't want our straightforward views and words to reach the ears of his audience. Why not?

Here are the two ways we are misrepresented.

First of all, Sullivan writes that when we filled out Operation Outcry affidavits, we were asked leading questions. The implication is that we don't actually regret our abortions but that we inadvertently said we did because of the leading questions. I mean, really. How absurd. Read the affidavits and it is perfectly clear that WE REGRET OUR ABORTIONS no matter how anyone asks the question.

Another section of the article (p. 164) implies that the women testifying on behalf of the Rule 60 Motion were women testifying that we were glad we had not had abortions:

"Even Parker's method of questioning is questioned. 'It is a very prejudicial way of getting a subject to say what you want,' says Nada Stotland, MD, PhD, a psychiatrist and board member of Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health. As for the women who testified about being glad about not choosing abortion, she notes, 'It is a very rare person who will be able to say I shouldn't have had this child.'"

Apparently, the reality that we are testifying not that we are glad we didn't have abortions, but are regretful that we DID have abortions, is too much for Nada Stotland, MD, PhD to even take in as a fact.

This is a profoundly revealing misapprehension. It does make you wonder what Nada Stotland would think if she understood how many women feel about their abortions after the fact, when reality has set in.

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