January 13, 2012
August 26, 2014
Abortion is legal – if you don’t like it, amend the Constitution.
Abortion is not wrong.
Abortion can be sad.
Abortion can be a difficult choice – but not always.
Abortion is a form of killing in that there is something alive in her body and after the abortion it is not alive.
Abortion doctors go to their office every day thinking they are helping women and knowing that they could be killed in an instant. Worse, they may think they are safe going to a church or a social function, but they are not.
Abortions in this country are decreasing.
Abortion is one of the safest medical procedures in the world but, because it is surgery, there is always the possibility that a woman could be harmed or even die.
Abortions cost almost the same as they did when abortion was legalized in 1973.
Abortion doctors are not getting rich and many clinics are closing because the number of patients is decreasing.
Abortion doctors have their personal limits in terms of how far in the pregnancy they will perform the abortion.
Abortion clinic staff believe they are helping woman and they also can be killed or maimed in an instant.
Abortion protestors mean well in that they truly believe they are “saving a life” and they have a right to express those views publicly.
Abortion clinics are for the most part clean and safe but there are some abortion clinics that should be shut down. There are also some abortion doctors who should have their licenses revoked.
Abortion protestors can be particularly ugly to women who are entering clinics but many of them just stand outside of a clinic and pray quietly.
Abortion can be prevented by abstinence, birth control and adoption.
Abortion advocates need to be more candid about the abortion procedure and anti-abortion advocates need to stop exaggerating the facts.
Abortion clinic counselors have different approaches to how much counseling a woman should get.
August 10, 2014
In a recent blog, Pat Richards wrote about the term, “pro-choice,” agreeing with others that it is out of date. After seeing that last week’s listserves, blogs, and news forums I subscribe to had discussed the use of the pro-choice label for those who want to preserve abortion rights – actually, all reproductive freedoms – I decided to jump into the healthy discussion with a few thoughts of my own.
A New York Times article (7/28/14) titled, “Advocates Shun ‘Pro-Choice’ to Expand Message,” is quoted frequently. Planned Parenthood representatives were “shunning” the continued use of the pro-choice label out of a desire to more accurately reflect that “women’s health,” and not just abortion, are under attack. A January, 2013 article in Buzzfeed summarized polling data collected in 2012 that served as the impetus for Planned Parenthood to begin moving away from the pro-choice label. Questioning if the move would really help the reproductive rights movement as a whole, The Atlantic also published, “The End of Pro-Choice: Will ‘No Labels’ Really Help the Abortion Debate?” All articles noted that Planned Parenthood does not have a new label of preference – without a replacement or multi-organizational agreement, it is highly unlikely that all organizations will opt to avoid or stop using “pro-choice.” It would be a logistical challenge for organizations like NARAL Pro-Choice America and, really, whatever one thinks of the term, it is not leaving the American political vernacular anytime soon.
As a leader in providing quality, comprehensive, and affordable healthcare to women and a political force for the same, Planned Parenthood strives to effectively communicate with those it serves – medically and politically. Thus, it is not surprising that Planned Parenthood leadership began espousing a move away from the pro-choice label towards a greater emphasis on individual situations. An individual situation is what first put abortion on the minds of many average Americans who otherwise might not have had a position. In 1962, Arizona resident Sherri Finkbine sought an abortion after learning that the thalidomide she took for morning sickness caused severe and fatal deformities to babies. She ended up getting the abortion in Sweden after significant and costly publicity. A Gallup Poll at the time reported that most Americans supported her decision and during the following years, the majority of men and women believed abortion was a personal decision between women and their physicians. Sherri Finkbine’s situation is one of millions of individual situations involving reproductive decision-making that must rely on the freedoms advocated by the pro-choice movement. Good for Planned Parenthood for embarking upon that message. As a former clinic director, I know in real terms that no two abortion patients can be framed in the same box. Ever.
After the Finkbine publicity, “abortion” became acceptable, so much so that activists used “pro-abortion” when discussing legislation to legalize it. According to a 1990 William Saffire column, “pro-choice” was first used in the context of abortion in a 1975 Wall Street Journal article by political writer Alan L. Otten; he used “right-to-life” for those opposed to abortion. “Pro-life” was used primarily in the context of anti-war commentary. In 1976, the New York Times used it to describe plans for anti- abortion-related activities led by pastors. No one likes to be “anti” anything; it makes sense that “pro-life” met pastoral, political, and marketing goals just as “pro-choice” did for abortion rights at the time. Language always changes as the need arises whether political, logical, or definitional.
“Pro-choice” may seem outdated or confused. Some vibrant discussion has transpired in the comment sections of articles and blogs, as well as on sites like the Abortion.com Facebook page, in which there seems to be a general thought that, yes, the term/label may be confusing or meaningless to younger people, but what is needed is more aggressive education about what choice really does mean. Some believe that the pro-choice movement has behaved too rationally as the anti-choice movement bullied politicians so successfully that they instilled fear in them. In other words, all that “pro-life” is about is the fetus, not the woman or her family, and not about life once born. There is also a lot of agreement with something Pat Richards mentioned in his blog – “abortion” (A B O R T I O N) needs to be mentioned unapologetically, without shame and as a legitimate, viable facet of reproductive healthcare.
While many may think of the past 40 years as the most active for the pro-choice movement, the fight for healthcare, and especially to access birth control and safe abortion, has been fought by women of generations long gone. The Comstock Act of 1873 banned the possession and/or distribution of goods or mere information about abortion and contraception. “Therapeutic abortion boards” were established at hospitals in the 1950s for the purpose of approving abortions on a case-by-case basis. The formation of the Jane Collective in Chicago in 1969 was to help women access abortion. Yes, women have always had to fight to get – and keep – their reproductive freedoms. Along the way, the language has changed, and it will again. Young women in particular must join the fight for reproductive freedom before it is too late. The erosion of those freedoms over the past several years should have prompted at least a broad, multi-organizational discussion about how to improve pro-choice messaging long ago.
Anti-abortion advocates and organizations are also writing or blogging about the pro-choice label discussion with spinful abandon. It is probably nice for them to get their minds off of GOP talking points about rape or the ouster of the Georgia affiliate of the National Right to Life for being so “extreme” that it excluded abortion for rape and incest (politically inefficient perhaps?). On the other hand, as we know too well, we must not let their spin become the message about this discussion. Honest people who operate with facts they are not. Pro-choice, pro-abortion, pro-women’s health, pro-individual freedom – ultimately, actions count more than words.
August 3, 2014
Regular readers of my award-winning column know that for many years I have been saying that the term “choice” does not cut it anymore. I’ve argued that the term does not resonate with people anymore, especially the younger generation that. And it has been co-opted by numerous banks, telephone companies and the like. Everyone has climbed on the “choice” bandwagon and supporters of legal abortion have suffered as a consequence.
Well, there is finally some movement on this end. But it’s the usual good news, bad news scenario.
According to the New York Times, the term “pro-choice” has “fallen from favor, a victim of changed times and generational preferences,” which is exactly what I’ve been saying. ”This is particularly true of a generation of women who have lived with legal abortion since they were born.” The change “is something that we have been talking about for several years,” said Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood. “I just think the ‘pro-choice’ language doesn’t really resonate particularly with a lot of young women voters. We’re really trying to focus on, what are the real things you’re going to lose? Sometimes that’s rights. Sometimes that’s economic or access to health care for you or for your kids.” No pithy phrase has yet to replace “pro-choice” but, according to the article, activists are considering “women’s health” and “economic security.”
And that is the bad news.
For about forty years, the most controversial issue of our time has been about whether or not ABORTION should be legal. Numerous groups have been formed for opponents and proponents of abortion rights. Supreme Court decisions, books, movies, and endless columns and opinion pieces have been devoted to ABORTION. But the groups that advocate for this right have for too long cloaked their message under the label “pro-choice.” ABORTION has been this big dead elephant in the middle of the room and our side has run away from it. This has confused or at least failed to influence a new generation to the point where we continue to lose support for the basic right. Not to mention the endless attacks – many successful – on access to this right.
And what is the result of our not talking about ABORTION? It leaves a pretty big vacuum in the public discourse that has been successfully filled by opponents of the procedure. Thus, there remains today a very negative stigma about abortion – and the women who receive them.
So, while I am thrilled that our friends are getting ready to ditch the term “pro-choice,” it looks like they are still not ready to talk about the real issue: ABORTION. And that will only help perpetuate the abortion stigma. And that plain sucks.
July 7, 2014
In the past, I have made reference to a very helpful website named http://www.abortion.com. I do some consulting for the owners of that site, which is an Internet directory of abortion clinics across the country. Owners pay a monthly fee to be listed, just like the Yellow Pages.
The site has been around for a good ten years, if not more and, over the last few years, I’ve watched as some of the original clinics on the list have dropped off the site. One reason is that the number of abortions is declining (for whatever reason) and these offices are businesses so if they do not have the requisite number of patients to pay their expenses, they try to cut back on the amount of money they are spending. Some just close altogether.
Then there are the clinics that have closed because their state legislature has enacted restrictive regulations (under the totally ridiculous guise of “ensuring the safety of women”) that have forced them to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep their doors open. In Texas alone, I count at least eight clinics that have shut their doors in the last year because of their restrictive laws.
Now, the anti-abortion folks are no doubt applauding these developments. Indeed, I subscribe to LIFENEWS, an anti-abortion electronic newsletter, and every time a clinic closes they shout to the mountain tops (and always give credit to the anti-abortion movement) that another clinic has closed. And the assumption is that when a clinic closes, there are fewer abortions. More babies are saved! Praise the Lord!
Out of curiosity, I spent the last two weeks talking to the owners of those remaining clinics. And guess what’s happening, folks? The remaining clinics in Texas are being – in the words of one doctor – “swamped” with patients. Hmmmm, now ain’t that interesting?
Yep, several clinic doctors and/or owners told me that the number of patients they are seeing has increased since the other clinics shut their doors. And it stands to reason. That’s because the bottom line is that if a woman has an unwanted pregnancy and does not want to carry it to term, then she will seek an abortion. And no matter where she lives, she will get it.
The number of abortion facilities has decreased, no doubt about it, but the ones that are remaining – especially in rural areas like Texas – are seeing the number of abortion patients increase. They also report that more patients are coming from longer distances.
Of course, the anti-abortion advocates – who express their concern about the “safety of women seeking abortions” – don’t give a rat’s ass if a woman has to travel a few extra hundred miles to get to that clinic in western Texas. Who cares if she has to miss two days of work, travel across a state by herself on a bus, pay for someone to watch her kids?
The real strategy is to make it financially impossible for them to get an abortion but at least in Texas I’m not sure the strategy is working. And the irony is that these oh-so-compassionate anti-abortion folks are making it even more dangerous and expensive for women to obtain a legal abortion.
June 28, 2014
Upon hearing the news that the Supreme Court struck down the Massachusetts law that provided a 35 foot buffer zone prohibiting anti-abortion protesters from harassing patients entering medical facilities that provide abortions, many of us were livid. The decision was unanimous. With at least three highly progressive judges on the Supreme Court, a unanimous ruling on an issue of this magnitude could only indicate that the law was flawed, regardless if it was effective at preventing harassment of women entering medical facilities that performed abortion. If the Massachusetts law was flawed, the Supreme Court ruling was flawed for sure and arguably seemed to assure an audience for abortion opponents.
In an interview with NPR, the lead plaintiff in the case, Eleanor McCullen, stated, “I should be able to walk and talk gently, lovingly, anywhere with anybody.” Often described as mild-mannered and pleasant, McCullen has made the same or similar statements in other interviews without a single reporter challenging the truth of her comment or the actual intent of her activities. It is as if her grandmotherly disposition and pronounced religiosity render her words as indisputable.
The ruling is final. The justices did not consider the rights of women to get abortions without acrimonious protesters. They considered only free speech on public streets and sidewalks. The 35 feet of the zone was an issue in part. That may seem like a lot of space to some. However, as one man shared in an essay on Time.com, if you are the already traumatized couple going to an appointment to abort a wanted pregnancy, 35 feet is not large enough. Nor is it large enough for any other woman trying to access abortion without interference. Would 20 feet have been small enough? Five? Why are zones around the Supreme Court and other agencies valid but those to protect women seeking abortions are not? After all, the history of violence against abortion facilities is recent and significant to safety concerns.
Perhaps Martha Coakley, the Massachusetts Attorney General defending the buffer zone, could have concomitantly pursued a case against McCullen and Company concerning their interference with the right of women to privately receive constitutionally protected abortions. If that was ever a possibility, Coakley would have had difficulty finding a plaintiff willing to be at risk for violence or public scorn from anti-choice zealots.
A Boston Globe article about the Supreme Court decision quoted Suffolk University Law School Professor Jessica Silbey, “They’ve [Supreme Court] approved the idea of this kind of law, just not the mechanism [...] It was too broad.” Is Silbey correct? The article also quoted legislators and other leaders; clearly, great effort will be made to respond to the decision quickly, effectively, and, hopefully, with a solid legal foundation. We have no choice but to accept that legal authorities will keep their promises and assurances and that the pro-choice community will hold them accountable to doing so.
All of us want free speech protected. But this is where so many of us feel anger and frustration. Sweet, grandmotherly Eleanor McMullen is a liar, as are all other anti-abortion zealots involved in the case. Those who spend their time hanging out at medical facilities at which abortion is provided are not known for talking or walking “gently” and “lovingly.” Deeming themselves “sidewalk counselors” they are known for talking and walking judgmentally with hostility and hurling epithets or accusations as they attempt to force religion-based/unscientific material on people, mostly women, entering the facilities. Over the 35 years that I have been involved with the pro-choice cause, I have never seen a patient entering a facility seek out or respond favorably to the “sidewalk counseling.” What is a “sidewalk counselor?” What are their credentials? Call them what they really are: religious zealots and fetus worshippers. Buffer zones do not end their free speech. Instead, buffer zones impede zealots from trying to force their opinions and preferences on people entering a medical facility. Buffer zones reduce the potential of physical harm to patients and their families or friends.
Freedom of speech was never impeded for the anti-abortion zealots. The buffer zones merely thwarted their intent to impose their views on others. There is no evidence that they stopped a single abortion, albeit there is evidence that they delayed abortions as women felt intimated and rearranged their appointments to avoid the protesting, fetus-worshipping zealots.
Other bloggers, columnists, and reporters will adequately cover the ruling, some with great passion. Rachel Maddow also did an excellent analysis on her June 26 program. Take the time to read or listen to the facts to better understand how this unanimous ruling could have happened. It is important to set aside whatever we feel, think, or believe about the SCOTUS ruling and focus hard on stopping the zealots once and for all through the tactics of proactive campaigns that properly portray their dangerous zealotry, disregard for honesty, and intent to stop women from their constitutionally protected reproductive freedoms. McCullen and Company are not nice church-going, compassionate people who care about women and babies. They are indeed zealots who place such value on the fetus that they are willing to endanger the lives of women seeking abortions and those who help them. As hard as it is to believe, it appears that McMullen’s grandmotherly ways scammed the Supreme Court.
NOTE: If you are interested, this link will take you to an article concerning why the Colorado buffer zone law will remain intact: http://durangoherald.com/article/20140626/NEWS01/140629654/0/NEWS01/Colo%E2%80%99s-abortion-protest-law-stands-
June 20, 2014
I’ve been writing for this blog for about a year now, and in that time I’ve never written a personal post, instead trying to elucidate some of the medical and legal aspects of abortion. I’ve spent my first two years in medical school learning all I can about abortion in politics and medicine, but it’s only in the last year I’ve begun to personally experience my first brushes with the actual impact of pro-life law, regulation, and thought.
In that time I have been continually reminded of how large a role healthcare providers play in determining female autonomy, and that goes way beyond abortion. It means pharmacists unwilling to dispense emergency contraception. It means physicians at Catholic institutions forbidden from even discussing birth control, abortion, or physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients. It means, from the experience of two OB/GYN residents at the school associated with my hospital, forcing a poor patient who has already spent upwards of $1000 traveling from a nearby state to take off another day of work and purchase three more nights’ stay at a hotel because none of the weekend nurse anesthetists on call are willing to sit in on a surgical abortion.
And the patient interviews I’ve conducted this year have been particularly poignant for me. It is commonplace to ask about gynecological and obstetrical issues as part of a complete history. I’d already built a rapport with the first patient to tell me she’d had an abortion; she was funny and articulate, and the interview was going well. But when I asked about previous pregnancies and she mentioned her abortion, even though I made no sign that I treated it any differently than any other part of her medical history, I could see fear in her eyes. I realized she was afraid I would judge her, maybe even afraid I would say something about the decision. She quickly changed the subject.
The second interview was even more heart-wrenching. She was pro-life, and described an extensive history of physical and sexual abuse. Falling pregnant after one of a long string of rapes by an abuser, her doctor informed her she would not survive the pregnancy if she continued it, because of a severe, possibly life-threatening medical condition he’d diagnosed. She subsequently ended the pregnancy at his recommendation. Crying, she told me her illness had felt like a “blessing in disguise” for occurring when it did, because it allowed her to end a pregnancy that would have tied her forever to her abuser. How terrible have we become, as a society, when a potentially terminal illness is a “blessing” for justifying a choice that should require no moral absolution?
Two of the pro-life physicians I’ve encountered this year have displayed prominently just how important it is to be a vocal advocate. The first I met briefing with ACOG (the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) members prior to meeting with state legislators to urge support on several bills, including the Reproductive Parity Act. During the meeting she posed her opinion that she disapproved of “abortions as a form of birth control.”
It’s one thing to hear this carefully coded language from politicians. It’s quite another to hear it from an obstetrician who should know that the majority of women who seek abortion had been using a primary form of birth control the month they became pregnant, much less in a room full of obstetricians that include multiple abortion providers, on a day intended to support a bill that would ensure equal access to reproductive healthcare.
The second was my own (former) OB/GYN in my hometown, who I discovered was the medical director of the local pro-life CPC (crisis pregnancy center), a position he failed to advertise anywhere to the patients in his practice. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I visited the CPC that week and picked up the brochure materials they normally dispense to patients.
There I found so many medically inaccurate statements presented as fact I cannot see how any legitimate medical professional could possibly support it even tacitly, much less as its medical director. (A sampling: Plan B is an abortifacient; having more than one sexual partner over the course of one’s life reduces or eliminates one’s physiological ability to emotionally bond; abortion increases one’s risk of breast cancer, infertility, and depression; abortion of a pregnancy resulting from rape reduces one’s ability to recover from the psychological trauma of the rape.)
What about the doctors of tomorrow, my own classmates? Thankfully it seems to me that the vast majority of my entering class was pro-choice, if not actively interested in reproductive health advocacy. Still, there have been a few alarming moments throughout the year. In an ethics case we were asked how to proceed with a woman who refused a Caesarian section, though the baby would die without it. It was a difficult case with no satisfying answer. Still, 5% of the class voted to force the C-section regardless of the woman’s refusal, which would be assault.
On the day of our abortion lecture, our professors played a short video of an interview with Jim Buchy, an Ohio state representative who proposed a “Heartbeat Bill” which would have banned abortion after 4-6 weeks, in which he admits he’s never considered why a woman would seek an abortion. A member of my class spoke up in support of Buchy’s stance: “If you believe a fetus is a person, I mean, it doesn’t even matter.”
I can’t help but feel that’s the overwhelming paternalistic problem with abortion opponents within the medical field: the woman’s concerns, her situation, her health, all of it “doesn’t even matter.” In the pursuit of a single moral absolute, the person most affected by their decisions simply disappears. To people who refuse to consider why a woman would seek an abortion because “it doesn’t even matter,” how can one possibly convey the desperation that would induce women to seek unsafe abortion where legal abortion is unavailable?
So what have my (admittedly few, this far into my career) experiences led me to believe about the future of medicine? It’s crucial now more than ever for pro-choice physicians to be active advocates, even if they don’t provide abortions. I worry about hospital mergers with Catholic institutions that refuse to offer even informed consent to patients, much less actual reproductive care. (In fact, the hospital associated with my medical school is undergoing just such a merger, to the worry of many students, faculty, and healthcare providers.) And while I strongly believe in the right of healthcare providers to consciously object to taking part in procedures they feel are morally wrong, I think hospitals that offer abortions should be required to have at least one member of every position required to perform the procedure on staff at any given time who do not object to helping.
And more than anything else, this last year has made me even more terrified of a future in which the pro-life movement is successful in its quest. What would this future be like for the woman who refused a C-section in our ethics case? Would forced surgery no longer be considered assault? Would it even be legal for her to refuse it? Maybe in that future, possibly terminal illnesses truly will be a “blessing” for women who do not want their pregnancies, providing not moral absolution but legal permission.
1) 51% of women seeking abortions used a primary form of birth control the month they became pregnant; most either used it inconsistently due to a disruptive life event, or used a less effective method such as condoms: Jones R, Frohwirth L, Moore Ann, “More than poverty: disruptive events among women having abortions in the USA” (http://jfprhc.bmj.com/content/39/1/36.abstract). Summary available here: https://guttmacher.org/media/nr/2012/08/21/index.html
June 13, 2014
Over the years I have come to expect those opposed to abortion to be judgmental about women seeking one, regardless of their circumstances. Pro-choice Facebook pages, such as Abortion.com, and blogs like this generate variations of anti-choice comments admonishing women for having sex in the first place. Many will “reason” that pregnancy is a gift of life from God and abortion is therefore murder. Others avoid religious reference and use junk science, unverifiable claims, and outright lies to judge.
An anti-choicer will occasionally make an exception for abortion in the case of pregnancy resulting from rape or due to a medical circumstance.Ironically, in stating their reluctant acceptance for such abortions, they can be even more harshly judgmental about women. Their comments about the frequency, or infrequency, in which women are in those situations with pregnancy minimize the trauma of the circumstances women might experience. The frequency arguments also often imply that abortion rights advocates – and pregnant women – lie about or exaggerate the circumstance. Aside from the fact that women should not have to explain why they choose abortion, if their reason is due to rape or medical conditions, they do not need anyone scrutinizing their stories or suggesting that they somehow had control of their circumstances.
Many years ago, a 16-year-old homeless woman was raped. Her fear of being placed in foster care or, worse, someone contacting the parents who abandoned her, was greater than her interest in having the rapist arrested and prosecuted. It was also improbable that she would be taken seriously as a victim – a teenaged girl living on the streets was asking for “trouble.” She pushed the trauma from her mind and continued working in restaurants to save enough money to eventually find a place to rent. Over five months after the rape, this young woman experienced what seemed to be an extreme amount of blood loss for her monthly period. At first she attributed it to having spent a day of bicycling. She was not particularly alarmed – she had given birth to her son almost two years before and had become familiar with normal changes that occur with menstrual cycles. Her past few periods had seemed light and short. Maybe this was her normal blood flow returning to normal.
Towards the end of the night, the young woman was getting weak and went to an emergency room. With her legs in the stirrups of a cold table in a cold room, almost as soon as a hurried, rude doctor began a pelvic exam, she felt a gush from her body and heard a thump on the floor. With sarcasm, the doctor told her that she had miscarried a roughly five-month-old fetus. He glared at her with incredulousness as she explained that she had been having periods and had no idea that she was pregnant. After shaking his head, he left the room.
Staring at the blood and fetus on the floor, the trauma of the rape returned to this young woman’s mind. Since she had not been in a sexual relationship for almost a year, the pregnancy was a result of the rape. She berated herself for not realizing she was pregnant at the same time she was grateful that she miscarried and did not have to find a way to have an abortion. She was humiliated by the attitude of the doctor, how quickly he seemed to blow off her surprise that she had been pregnant, especially since she had been pregnant before. The medical and administrative staff at the emergency room and at the follow up appointment a couple weeks later did not conceal their harsh judgments. The experience was so shameful that she never acknowledged the pregnancy or miscarriage on subsequent health histories requested by her doctors.
That young woman was me. Although I did not have an abortion, the experience ultimately allowed me to connect with women who did. The experience also served me well when I directed a family planning clinic. No woman should have to provide a reason for choosing abortion. However, if her pregnancy was the result of rape, I had empathy and knowledge of how she felt. When patients showed surprise that they were pregnant, I presumed that they were being truthful about having had periods. When effort was made to require rape victims to be offered the morning after pill, I was actively supportive. The psychological imprint of rape, an unknown pregnancy, and miscarriage was powerful.
In an earlier post, I wrote about how women are shamed for multiple or second trimester abortions. Instead of reinforcing that women should not feel shame, pro-choice people should be reinforcing that no one should sit in judgment or doubt of a woman who chooses abortion, whatever her circumstances and regardless of their views about abortion or sexuality. The frequency of rape, surprise pregnancies, or medical anomalies is irrelevant, not to mention difficult to accurately quantify. Through initiatives like Abortion Conversation Project, reproductive choice advocates and medical care providers have and continue to put great effort into furthering the knowledge and understanding people of all perspectives have about abortion. There should not be a stigma to abortion, women’s sexuality, or any of woman’s personal attributes. Only when people stop judging will the stigma end.