Who we are and some guidelines to follow in posting comments here.
This website was created in February 2003 as an (almost) daily news column about what could loosely be called "the post-abortion movement." This includes the ministries, people, and events that focus on the negative emotional and spiritual aftermath of abortion.
Between 1993 and 2003, there was an explosion of activity in this area. There were new ministries, the existing ministries were growing apace, and women and men were starting to speak in the public square about their own experiences with post-abortion regret and post-abortion emotional difficulties.
That has only grown exponentially again in the 11+ years between February 2003 and December 2014, and in that 11+ years, this blog has seen over half a million unique visitors.
(photo courtesy of the "St.Blogustine" blog)
The primary webmistress began as Emily. That's me. I'm a pro-life Catholic who had an abortion in the late 70s. I was pro-choice for a long time. Over the years, that abortion ate away at me. Eventually, I found wise guidance, support and counsel to help start me on the path to recovery. Among other things, this involved a profound reconciliation of my relationship with God. I help counsel others in a lay capacity, through serving on Rachel's Vineyard retreat teams and also through leading post-abortion Bible studies at my local crisis pregnancy center. I've been less involved as Annie has become more so, over the years, though.
Annie started contributing posts in February of 2004 and became the proprietress when I, Emily, left the blogosphere in late 2006 and left the blog solely up to Annie with my blessing. She is also a pro-life Catholic who in 1979 aborted what would have been her only daughter. She never thought she would have an abortion, considering herself "pretty religious" even then, but when faced with what she perceived to be the loss of parental support (emotional and financial), her college education and her boyfriend, she had the abortion without thinking twice, living in denial about its effects on her for over 20 years. She too found a path to begin recovering from her pain about the abortion, and was invited to write for CatholicExchange.com and this blog. We created the sister blog to After Abortion, Abortion Pundit, in March 2006 to allow for various but separate political, legal, moral and other debate/discussions that arose. Annie's posts have been quoted by the Associated Press and together with our readers' input, one was responsible for the retraction of an abortion "urban legend" by syndicated Boston Globe Columnist Ellen Goodman. That column was referenced in National Review Magazine Senior Editor Ramesh Ponnuru's 2006 book The Party of Death. Annie's open to writing/speaking and has done so for numerous colleges and universities, Celebrate Life Magazine, National Catholic Register, as well as on TV and radio.
UPDATE 2015: Hiatus InterruptusJoy started contributing in late December 2013, and still hopes to become a more regular co-blogger. She prefers not using her last name, but is a mutual friend of mine and Annie's through this past decade of hosting these blogs. She too is a pro-life Catholic, and also had one abortion many years ago while in college. In her volunteer work, helping with post-abortive retreats, she has been most surprised to learn how many women she knows have had abortions.
Please take a minute to read through our guidelines on posting comments:
About one-third of the visitors to this blog came here at first from Google searches, having entered phrases along the lines of "depression after abortion", "suicide after abortion", "trouble coping after abortion", and "why does my wife hate me after abortion". By 2008, about 95% of our visitors come here from these kinds of Google searches, as we found here.
One reason for guidelines is to offer a place where these seekers can get useful information--the realization that there are resources, others who have gone through the same difficulties, and hope for the future.
We'd prefer that they not have to wade through a lot of dreck to get the information they want.
It's important to us that post-abortive individuals--who are or are NOT involved in the post-abortion movement-- aren't embattled and attacked by comments left here. People who want to do that are, of course, free to start their own blogs.
Annie, Joy and I believe that helplessness and powerlessness play a significant role in virtually every abortion decision. We believe that compassion is the appropriate response, and that compassion shouldn't be conditional on whether or not someone perceives her abortion through the same cognitive and religious eyes as mine.
Not everyone can understand or follow guidelines. When that happens, we will delete or edit comments. It's a fair amount of extra work to monitor the comments that way, and in some cases, we'll ban people altogether to save ourselves the extra work.
So, onto The Guidelines:We'd prefer that people not use this blog as a forum to debate the politics of abortion. There are many other forums where you can engage in that debate, including our sister blog, Abortion Pundit.
If it's specifically about, for and/or by women (and men) learning about and/or recovering from the emotional and sometimes physical aftermath of abortion, then it's here at After Abortion.
All political/legal/moral/debate/advocacy issues and any other related news and discussion will be at Abortion Pundit.
Please don't use the labels "anti-choice" or "pro-abort". Please don't label individuals.
If you give an email address when you post comments, please leave a real one.
Please use your creative energy to find ways to state your opinion that respect the dignity of others.
Please don't diminish, minimize, or invalidate the pain and grief experienced by an unknown number of men and women after abortion.
Please don't imply that if people experience a negative emotional aftermath following abortion, they must have been unstable to begin with. If you really believe that someone is chronically emotionally unstable, why add insult to injury?
By the same token, please don't imply that men or women who say that their abortion experience was positive are in denial.
If people are in denial, that would be because of an event that is too traumatic for them to process in the light of reality. If you really believe someone is in denial, why would you want to add insult to injury?
Before you post something, ask yourself, "Do I want to be right or do I want to be generous, kind, charitable...and right?"
Be curious about the life experiences and emotional reactions of someone who may seem very different from you.
Do your best to make it safe for others to be vulnerable.
If someone offends against the virtue of charity, or against these guidelines, we'll make every effort to address the situation in a timely way.
In the meantime, recognize that nearly everyone who reads comments on blogs has the horse-sense to recognize when someone is offending against charity, being provocative, or engaging in verbal behavior that is damaging and destructive.
Finally, let us "Seek not so much to be understood as to understand."
ALSO: We apply the Harris Protocol for commenting on our blogs.
FOR NOW: we're leaving comment moderation on so we can instantly protect our visitors from the hurt caused by anyone who chooses to violate our commenting rules. We have dayjobs to tend to and are not paid bloggers. To borrrow from another excellent blog's aptly-worded warning: "Never assume the co-bloggers of this site agree with or otherwise endorse any particular comment just because we let it stand in the past. Anyone who fails to comply with our rules and guidelines - a must read if you wish to contribute here - may lose their posting privileges. Just because we've let a similar comment stand in the past does not mean we'll let it stand in the future." thanks to RadioViceOnline