an After abortion

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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Here's a relatively new blog written by someone who appears to work in an abortion clinic.

In Okay, an entry about a woman who was ambivalent about whether she wanted an abortion, this clinic worker tells the ambivalent woman about I'm Not Sorry, in the interest of letting this ambivalent woman know that "it's okay to be okay" with having an abortion.

As we've said here before, the stories at I'm Not Sorry do not present portraits of serene, emotionally healthy women. I was therefore interested to see this comment in response to "Okay":

I hope you didn't refer her to I'm not Sorry; I'm a die hard Pro-Choicer and I cringe at most of the stories I've read there (a part of me wonders if "Pro-Life" folks post stories there; the ones I've read seem very flippant to be honest).
To effectively counsel an abortion-ambivalent woman, abortion clinic workers should do their very best to help the real flesh-and-blood woman sitting in their office figure out whether she is likely to have a long-term sense of comfort about her abortion. Telling her that there are women who are okay with their abortions doesn't tell her whether she is likely to be okay with hers. Frankly, getting permission from an abortion clinic worker to feel okay about feeling okay doesn't go very far back in the light of day, when the crisis pregnancy is over, and other feelings emerge. "Naturally, she thought it was okay to feel okay. That's what she does for a living. In the midst of my sense of crisis about the pregnancy, why did I think her assurances were going to be relevant for me? And I don't feel okay, even if other women do."

This particular abortion clinic worker doesn't say what kind of questions she asked this abortion-ambivalent woman to try to figure out the source of her ambivalence. As we hear often in post-abortion support work, many abortion-ambivalent women go to clinics expecting that the counselor at the clinic has special skills in helping women figure out whether this is really what she wants. When she receives assurances, she unfortunately reasons from this that the abortion clinic worker has discerned that she is a good candidate for this procedure.

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