A few years ago, the pro-life movement started collecting stories from women who were allegedly emotionally “harmed” after having an abortion.   This national effort was ultimately dubbed the “Silent No More” campaign. 

The pro-life movement organized press conferences, held rallies in front of the Supreme Court, and initiated letter writing campaigns.  They signed up celebrities like Jennifer O’Neill (“Summer of ‘42”) who spoke of their personal pain.  They testified on Capitol Hill.  I assume there’s a website.

The purpose of this effort, of course, is to discourage women from having abortions.  While the women who had been “harmed” by their abortion were able to exercise their right to an abortion at the time, their message now is that they made a mistake and that, if you had an abortion today, you would be emotionally scarred for the rest of your life.  

I have no doubt that some women who have had abortions ultimately come to regret their decision and, yes, I’ll go so far to cede that some may have been emotionally “scarred” from the experience.  I feel for those women.  But what the pro-life movement never says is that numerous, objective studies over the years have shown that most women had a feeling of “relief” after having an abortion and they have moved on with their life.  Many of those women ultimately had families.   

Actually, I find it interesting when some of these women say they regret their abortions.  I picture a woman who has two kids, who is doing well financially, who starts thinking about what could have been.   Of course, it’s so easy to think that she could have had another child by now, that if she hadn’t gone to the clinic that day things might have been different.  But don’t we always reflect on the past?   I don’t know about you, but practically every day I think “what if?”   What if I had gone to that other college and hadn’t met my spouse?   What if I had forced my kid to take golf lessons much earlier in his life like Tiger?  What if I never started eating fatty foods?  I mean, the second guessing could go on forever.

But now these women are saying let’s take away the right to abortion which, uh, yeah, I exercised at the time.  How convenient and how selfish is that?

I grow weary when the pro-life movement makes broad generalizations about abortion, especially when it comes to an issue that they may not know a lot about.  Because they find some women who suddenly regret their abortions and are willing to talk about it, they generalize and say that all women will regret their abortions.   I will add, however, that the pro-choice side generalizes as well.  For example, I really wish they would stop saying that abortion is the “most difficult decision a woman will ever make in their life.”   Gimme a break, will ya?   It’s just not always that difficult for some women.

We love to paint things with a broad brush because, well, we can.  I mean, how many people who opposed the healthcare bill really understood what was in it?  On the other hand, how many people who supported the darn bill actually knew what was in it?  

We just don’t have enough time to study the issues, so we generalize.   But, I’m sorry, abortion is different.  It is a very personal, private matter and both sides should stop painting it with a broad brush.