In 2015, a movement began when a woman decided to post on Facebook that she’d had an abortion, and she didn’t regret it. This post went viral, and the hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion was born. Women from all over the world came forward to share, not only their personal experiences with abortion, but also the fact that they carried no regret after their decision.
The movement has since grown exponentially, complete with expressive art and a clothing line that allows women to “shout” their abortion with slogans such as “Abortion is Freedom,” “Everyone Knows I Had an Abortion,” and even “Thank God for Abortion.”
In November 2018, the movement’s first book was released, titled “Shout your Abortion.” It’s a coffee table style book, with the stories of 43 women from all walks of life who have had abortions. Each of these women state that they do not regret their decision.
The goal of the book, the clothing, the art, and the social media presence is to normalize abortion. To remove the shame and stigma associated with it.
And now, less than a month ago, a YouTube show called Kids Meet published a new video, called Kids Meet Someone Who Had an Abortion, featuring none other than the founder of Shout Your Abortion.
Over the last week, I’ve seen some bold claims come from spokespersons of the SYA campaign, everything from equating abortion to “a crappy dentist appointment” (i.e. getting a cavity filled and having a human life ended are essentially the same experience) to claiming that life doesn’t begin at conception. (Just for kicks, here’s a list of 15 different embryology and science textbooks that beg to differ.)
If these claims are being presented as truth but are actually false, then what other assumptions are being made that skew the reality of abortion and its effects on women and men?
And—perhaps most importantly—are we who identify as pro-life prepared to challenge these false assumptions with confidence, grace, and truth?
The Reality of Abortion
The unfortunate reality is that 1 in 4 women will have an abortion in her lifetime. If you haven’t experienced one yourself, you probably know someone who has. Abortion is everywhere.
Because of this, I want to make it clear that we at Greensboro Pregnancy Care Center extend nothing but compassion to women and men who have had an abortion. If you or someone you know has had this experience, we would love to walk with you through the healing that is available. We love you. We care for you. Contact us if you need help after an abortion.
But I also want to make it clear that we at GPCC disagree with the idea that abortions should be “shouted” or celebrated. We believe abortion hurts women in a holistic way. And we believe that abortion is far more than “a crappy dentist appointment” or an expression of personal freedom and autonomy.
The reality is this: Abortion takes the life of an innocent human being. And we believe the only appropriate response after choosing such an act is regret. In the experience of women we’ve served who have had abortions themselves, the regret eventually becomes unavoidable, whether it’s shouted from the rooftops or not.
Should women shout their abortions? I say yes. But not for the purpose of saying, “Yes, abortion is fine and I don’t regret it.” Instead, the “shouting” should be for the purpose of warning others to avoid such a choice. To say, “Don’t do the same thing I did. Don’t take an innocent life. This is wrong.”
[click_to_tweet tweet=”The reality is this: Abortion takes the life of an innocent human being. And we believe the only appropriate response after choosing such an act is regret.” quote=”The reality is this: Abortion takes the life of an innocent human being. And we believe the only appropriate response after choosing such an act is regret.”]
Full of Assumptions
So what do we make of the SYA campaign’s claims? This movement makes many assumptions—statements that present themselves as truth without providing any real evidence to support them. Sure, the women’s stories are true in that they happened. But does a supposed “lack of regret” make an action morally right? Of course not.
I believe that, beneath all the shouting, there are four primary assumptions the SYA movement makes about abortion. Over the next few weeks, I will address each of these assumptions:
- Abortion is freedom.
- Abortion is normal.
- Abortion is good, because I am a good person.
- Abortion is empowering.
I invite you to join me as I explore these deeper issues surrounding the abortion narrative. If you are pro-abortion, I hope you’ll consider the arguments presented in these blog posts. We would not speak out on such a divisive issue if we did not truly care for women. Our desire is that our genuine love for life at all stages is self-evident, even when we express arguments that are not culturally popular.
For those of us who are pro-life, my hope is that, when it’s all said and done, we’ll be better equipped to engage others on this difficult topic. That we will speak truth with boldness and love. And that we will value both unborn humans and the women who carry them—because both are of immeasurable worth.
Mary Holloman is the Communications Coordinator at the Care Center. You can find more of her work at www.maryholloman.com or follow her on Instagram at @marytholloman.