Abortion

Abortion.com FaceBook Page

The other day I was on a Facebook page called “Abortion.Com.”   Abortion.com is a website that lists hundreds of clinics across the country that offer abortions and other reproductive health services.  On the Facebook page, the administrator had posted an article about certain forms of birth control and, as usual, a number of readers took a moment to comment on the issue.

Never shy about chiming in, I started to type that the use of birth control “can prevent many abortions over the years.”   But then I thought about that for a second, stopped typing and erased my entry.  Something did not feel right about what I had started to say and I realized that that kind of comment would only contribute to the current abortion stigma that is so harmful to many women.

Abortion

Abortion

I’ve written before about how the abortion stigma makes women feel “dirty,” how they cannot talk to their friends or family about their situation, including perhaps the man who is involved.  So many women will travel hundreds of miles to get an abortion, even though there may be a clinic right in their neighborhood – just so they won’t be seen.  The stigma affects those who work in abortion clinics, to the point where they might not tell anyone where they work.  The stigma follows the doctors, sometimes with fatal results.  Even pro-choice organizations unwillingly contribute to the stigma by avoiding the use of the “A” word.

The fact is, however, that birth control prevents not just abortions.  It prevents an unwanted and/or unintended pregnancy.  And that’s what we should be focusing on when we advocate the use of birth control.

Abortion

Abortion

A woman facing an unwanted pregnancy has three options:  abort, give birth or give birth with the intent to put it up for adoption.   But, guess what?  All three options are not perfect!  Think about it.  Adoption sounds so warm and fuzzy but do you think it’s easy for a woman to carry a baby for nine months and then give it to some stranger?  Even if the adoption is open, the mother will spend the rest of her life watching her child from afar.  From the child’s point of view, when they learn they have been adopted, it can be a very difficult revelation for them.  Meanwhile, giving birth to an unwanted child and keeping it is often not the best choice either.  Not every child, especially an unwanted one, is a “blessing,” as the pro-lifers like to suggest.  Sure you can hope that things work out for the best, but when a child is brought into the world under less than welcome circumstances, things often go wrong down the road.

I hate to quote bumper stickers but in this case it’s true:  “Every Child, a Wanted Child.”

So, when we talk about the effects of birth control, we should not just focus on how it will reduce the number of abortions.  I mean, that’s a good thing, but when you just focus on that one result it contributes to that negative image.  Remember, we’re reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies.

I’m glad I stopped myself from posting that original comment on Facebook!