an After abortion

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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Achromic drew my attention to Nyarlathotep's Miscellany, where the blogger writes about her experience with her parents insisting on an abortion when she was 16.

Every time I write about it, I cry. Not from sadness, although it is very sad, but from anger at what was taken from me.
She is pro-choice partly because she has experienced the impact of having been given no choice.

The comments are fascinating. One person writes that she wasn't really coerced because she did, after all, say "yes" at the clinic as she sat there, mother by her side, when asked.

(To determine whether an abortion is the result of coercion, clinics need to do more than ask one question. "How would your family [boyfriend/husband] react if you decided to continue this pregnancy?" is one question that ought to be asked.)

Several other readers say that her parents, after all, did the right thing and were motivated by love--which seems to be wishful thinking, since her parents as described in the story react to the pregnancy with contempt and withdrawal.

Bitch, PhD links to Nyarlathotep's story with just read this. The comments there also include a person who think Nyarlathotep's parents did the right thing.

It's hard for people to share their stories around abortion, even anonymously on the internet. It involves recalling to mind memories one might rather forget and exposing a very private and tender part of one's psyche. There's a tendency both among those who are ardently pro-choice and those who are ardently pro-life to react to such stories conditionally.

"I'll listen sympathetically to your painful abortion long as you say in every other sentence that your experience has led you to being pro-life."


"I'll listen sympathetically to your painful abortion long as you say in every other sentence that your experience has led you to being pro-choice."

Both of these positions are a way of saying "Who you are as a person doesn't matter to me. Your life experiences don't matter. I have nothing to learn from you. Your experiences are only significant to me if I can find a way to make them conform to my pre-existing beliefs and agenda."

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