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Friday, April 6, 2012

Abortion- I won't be shamed.


I’ve had one abortion. There, I said it. Are you shocked, a tad disgusted? Uncomfortable? Perhaps stunned that a young successful woman would dare admit this on a public blog? Well, then we are in good company, because I’m a bit shocked myself.

Ok, so why am I telling you all this? Let’s begin with Project Unbreakable   I frequent this site daily, and I think it’s fucking spectacular. Project Unbreakable is a place where men and women can come together and publicly (whether anonymously or not) share their stories of sexual abuse. Although victims of abuse should be able to tell their stories without shame, many are unable to.

“Was she really raped, or do you think she just says it for attention?”

“Okay I understand that she was raped once or twice by different men. But c’mon, five different times? At that point, you gotta wonder what she was doing wrong.”

“I’m not saying it was right, but look at what she was wearing.”

You get the point- and it’s fucked up. Sexual assault is painful, shameful, and very difficult to recover from. It is not a choice. Abortion can also be painful, shameful, and difficult to recover from. It is usually a choice (if that choice is even available). However, it is still a painful experience that women should be able to discuss publicly without fear of ridicule or condemnation. Is it the distinction between choice and lack of choice that makes one a tad more acceptable to discuss openly?

Perhaps. However, are we living in a society where a victim can openly speak about sexual violence without being judged? In my experience, no.

Here’s my point- as a woman, I am sick of having to remain silent about certain experiences. Experiences that have shaped me, hurt me, and created me. Why should I be ashamed for an abortion? Society tells women that only whores have abortions. Women who are going to hell have abortions. Bitches have abortions. Grab your sunblock baby because we are going to fry for an eternity! 

 I’m sick of reading all of these pro-life arguments/articles and feeling shamed for my choice. I am a 26 year old doctoral student. I don’t have time for a baby. Sound harsh? Yes. Is it the truth? Yes. I want to write, I want to study, I want to counsel, I want to teach, I want to travel. It just didn’t fit into my plans, and it was a choice that I made. I was thankful that I even had a choice in the matter.

Was it a pleasant experience? No, of course it fucking wasn’t. It was physically painful, and mentally/emotionally draining. Do I regret it? Nope. That’s right, I’m capable of thinking in shades of grey.

Sorry if this entry offended. I’m just sick of walking on eggshells. I am a woman, and I have made choices in my life. I should be able to talk about those without feeling ashamed; we all should. This post is for every woman who has had an abortion, but holds her secret close to her heart. For every woman who has had an abortion, but stays silent around the pro-lifers. For every woman who is sick of receiving no support from our society.

Shit happens, and it’s not always pleasant. It is what it is. I won’t be shamed. 




48 comments:

  1. Awesome AWESOME article! I have had two abortions. One was a total non-event, in that it really didn't effect me at all. I didn't feel bad or guilty or anything like that, I never wonder about what if I'd had that baby. The other was a difficult experience, I really loved the person it was with, however that was also the right decision for me. It is perfectly ok that I have no feelings about one experience, and sad feelings for another, they were both my choice, and given my time over, I would still make those same choices. -Beck

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  2. Beck, thank you so much for sharing. These are the sorts of open dialogues that I want women to start having, without feeling ashamed! Why should we feel ashamed?
    You're the best!! xoxo

    Page

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    1. for smart women you are stupid! Have you heard of the
      pill, condoms and what not! I believe in a women's right to do what she wants with her body. If you are going to screw around with every Dick Tom and Harry you should take precautions.Two abortions really how
      stupid are you?

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    2. Anonymous, you should be ashamed. And you probably consider yourself a good Christian right?

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    3. Accidents happen, Anonymous. You can be careful, use protection and still get pregnant. And if/when that happens, you can only do what you think is right. And instead of bringing another unloved infant to abandon in this big scary world, they choose to destroy some cells. It's her choice.

      And your shaming is exactly what this article is against. What makes you any fit judge to shame her or make questions about her intelligence? You don't know anyone's situation. You can't. So as the Bible says, "Judge not lest ye be judged."

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  3. i agree with the anonymous comment. Some women like myself can't have kids and the two of you are getting rid of them without any remorse. Also the use of the F word is not necessary. Are you sure you are a doctoral student? PISSED!

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    1. Excuse me, second anon? I can't have children either, but that's a pretty bloody good reason for me to SUPPORT pro-choice reform; because I know what it's like to not have my uterus do what I damn well want it to. If there was a way to transplant that fetus from women who want an abortion into the uterus of a woman who wants a child, well, then that would be a little different, and I look forward to the day science gets there, but until then, it makes as much sense to be angry with women who have children as it does to be angry with women who have abortions. They have exactly the same effect on your ability to conceive.

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    2. There is something similar to the child transfer you are describing. You could adopt the baby of a woman who doesn't want it. Just a thought.

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    3. Which involves someone who doesn't want a baby giving up nine months of their life and going through childbirth. Not exactly the same fucking thing.
      Just a thought.

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  4. To address the first comment- I welcome comments and differences of opinion, but there's no need to be as rude and disrespectful as you have been. I have had one abortion, but Beck (the first woman to comment) mentioned that she had two. Why does that make her stupid, and who are you to judge? You don't know the circumstances of her abortions. Perhaps she was raped. Perhaps she was on the pill and it failed to work. Perhaps the condom broke. Or...perhaps none of that happened, and she simply got pregnant and didn't want it. You claim that you are "all for a woman's right to do whatever with her body," but then you turn around and judge a woman who has done just that. If you read your statement, it's completely contradictory. Also, where do you drawn the line? Is one abortion ok, but not two? Who makes that call? Furthermore, no one is saying that she was screwing "every tom dick and harry." Do you know how many times a woman who need to have sex to have two abortions? Twice.

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    1. i did not say that Beck was screwing around. the comment was made in general. Women who can't have kids do not need to know that other women are getting
      rid of the because it will ruin their life. they should take precautions. Iam sorry but birth control
      does not fail twice. You are also direspectful with
      some of your usage of the english language or your
      Mother must have raised you to be rude.

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    2. No, seriously. STOP speaking for other women, it's not your place.

      "I am sorry but birth control does not fail twice."
      Um... yes it does.

      "You are also direspectful with some of your usage of the english language"
      Pot, meet kettle. Muphry's Law, etc.

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    3. You must be purchasing your birth control at the dollar store. it will not fail twice on the same person if you read and follow the directions.

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    4. http://www.americanpregnancy.org/preventingpregnancy/birthcontrolfailure.html even the pill has a 5% failure rate thats potentially 5 births out of every 100 people taking the pill. Sometimes people really are THAT unlucky and can fall pregnant multiple times when using birth control, obviously if used incorrectly then this statistic increases. You are assuming that every birth control method works the same for every woman and it does not, some birth control methods arent as effective as with other women but the majority of the time when they fall pregnant this does not get looked into and most people will accept the blame themselves whereas it could just not be as effective on them. This is why they have a variety of different methods and a variety of different pills as I'm sure you know some women who take the pill and may gain weight and have terrible mood swings where another could be fine - its just finding the one that suits you better. You cant say it does not fail twice just because you havent experienced it, they say you can catch chicken pox twice yet you can!
      I can have children but does that mean I can not say that just in case a women who cant have children reads that? that is the same as your argument that they shouldnt write about abortions because of the same risk - yes it would be probably be upsetting and they may not understand why a woman would do that but who is to say that the women who have had abortions wouldnt feel the same way if they couldnt have children and who is to say that the women who couldnt have children might not have had an abortion at some point of their life if they could conceive - you just DO NOT KNOW unless you are in that situation!

      I was told at 19 that I may not be able to have children but I know several women who have had abortions and the only one that effected me was my sisters but I felt that if she could see how much me and our family would have helped her and if her boyfriends mother hadnt pressured her so much then she could have made her choice freely whereas i felt she had been coerced & i just wanted her to make her own choice..BUT do you know what I did - I took myself away from the situation because it is not my place to guilt trip or act high and mighty because she would have had to deal with the baby with or without me in the picture. I did not want to upset her for what was her choice and right so I was the one that removed myself and kept my secrets hidden. Who am I to judge people when there are so many things I could be judged for myself - maybe not as taboo as abortions but someone is always judging and criticising someone else - no-one is perfect in everyone's eyes and people can always point out what you have done wrong whereas I'd prefer to show love and respect for someone regardless of the choices they have made in life. I think the little saying goes "unless you've walked in my shoes, see what i've seen, felt what i've felt then you cannot judge me"

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    5. that should be "they say you CANT catch chicken pox twice yet you can" & also I didn't mention that they thought I couldnt have children due to PCOS but then in my 20's said that I didn't have PCOS. Its a bit of a shock when you havent thought about having children but then get told its a possibility that you cant - I now have my little surprise baby =] even though I didn't want to have children for years!

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    6. Actually birth control can fail twice on the same woman for any number of reasons especially the pill, apart from the fact it isn't 100 percent, cough medicine affects it, IBS affects it, being sick or having the runs affects it. Condoms have a higher failure rate than the pill, the implant can fail if placed incorrectly as my cousin found out, is she to blame for an incompetent medical professional? Heck I've been sterilised and there's still a 1 in 200 chance I could still fall pregnant

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  5. To address the second anonymous comment- I'm sorry that you want children and cannot have them but that has absolutely nothing to do with my body, my life, and my choices. I don't want children. I never do. I highly doubt that my decision to have an abortion had any sort of impact on your inability to have children. Your logic doesn't even make sense. Lastly, why do you question my education? Do doctoral students not have abortions? Do only "stupid" women have them?

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  6. This is why I wrote this article. Because I have had an abortion, and I don't feel ashamed. I had no remorse, and I don't care how many women are upset that they can't have children of their own. That's not my problem or concern. I will not be ashamed of my choices, and I stand by this article. I'm proud of what I wrote.

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  7. Advocategrrrl- thank you so much for sharing your story. I'm disgusted that these women who commented actually had the nerve to write those things. Probably the sort of women who will vote for Santorum and gladly give up the rights to their bodies! Keep up the good work and never feel ashamed

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    1. I wonder if you would be so happy with Advocategirl's
      story if she was your daughter.You are disgusted because the other women had different opinions. Who are you to believe that your opinion is better than
      theirs?
      Advocate girl is fighting for sex workers and yet cares nothing about women who can't have kids. You must have been raised by cold uncaring parents.Probably not held enough when you were a baby!

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    2. women who have abortions have nothing to do with women who cant have children any-more than women who can have children have to do with women who cant. Its just not related, its like saying that someone cannot buy a big house or nice things because there are some people who can never afford them. Its a tough situation but its relatively the same thing, someones circumstances and choices have nothing to do with anothers, especially a stranger. Thats like saying I should stand at all times because I have legs when someone was born without them, sometimes I want to sit down and sit on the sofa all day & it doesnt mean I have to be running marathons just because I have an advantage that someone else does not and therefore should be happy to be able to do things like that! As cruel as it may seem but in a world where there are so many different problems if people were to make decisions based on other peoples circumstances then there would be so much we would have to think of and we couldn't just consider women who cant have children because then people with other problems would be saying why is that more important than our issue. There are so many problems in the world which is why we must lead our own life's and deal with things based on our own experiences rather than the experiences of stranger.

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  8. I can swear as much as I fucking want in my articles. It's my blog. I didn't directly swear at an individual person. If you don't like it, don't fucking read it. How's that for language? On a more serious note- I will not feel bad about having an abortion just because there are women out there who cannot have children. Like I said, not my problem. I wrote this article because I am sick of women being ashamed for their choices.

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    1. if women are ashamed of their choices maybe they should be. Iam ashamed of some of my choics. That's life!I think you should stick to one issue at a time.
      Sex workers abortion etc. etc. might be to much for one person.

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    2. Kind of like how some anonymous should be ashamed of being terrible homan beings who wish to control others through shame and intimidation.
      It really is a choice to be an asshole.

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  9. Right on. No one is saying to take abortion lightly. This is a serious subject that affects thousands of women all over the world. It deserves thoughtful, empathetic discussion which was clearly out of reach of some of the individuals with ill mannered, illogical comments above. Keep writing :)

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  10. Thank you for writing this and thank you for your blog and thank you for your research work!!!

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    1. Samantha Iam so thankful that you are so glad of what advocategirl is doing. Maybe you should join her good works! That is if you have time after applying all your makeup

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    2. Right, because applying makeup reduces the number of one's neurons which effects the efficacy of one's prefrontal cortex involved in forming higher cognitive processes which then would essentially prevent one from having an informed opinion---oh wait, no, that's not what applying makeup does. To the comment above, it must be exhausting being so sarcastic and condescending. Get some 'beauty' sleep tonight, perhaps it will help your mood.

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  11. Thank you to everyone who is supportive :) To the angry anonymous poster- I can tackle as many issues as I choose. Like I said, this is MY blog and MY project. I have received TONS of support from women who can relate to my articles, and who thank me for the work that I do. However, I'm not out to please everyone. Additionally, these issues are not isolated from one another. I am raising awareness about harmful effects of slut-shaming. Although my empirical research focuses on that stigma against women in the sex industry, it happens to all kinds of women. If you are offended by the content on this blog, then don't read it.

    Oh, and one final note to anonymous- if you think that I don't know who you are, then you're an even bigger idiot than I had originally suspected.

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    1. just because people don't agree with you you called them idiots i don't give a shit who you are and you
      do not know anything about me.

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    2. I dont see anywhere where she says that anyone who disagrees with her is an idiot.. i think you'll find that she said to the anonymous poster - ONE PERSON - that if they think she doesnt know the identity of them then they are an idiot. Nothing about disagreeing or agreeing with the article, just that she knows who the person is and that they are an idiot for thinking they can hide behind "anonymous".

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  12. I know who you are. I'm not dumb. It's obvious by your poor writing style. Get your own life to shit on and leave mine alone.

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  13. Everyone- don't bother responding to her comments, anonymous. It's someone that personally knows me and takes every change she can to attack me and my work. Better to just ignore her.

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  15. I also had an abortion, at an age where I could have gone through with it, but 20 years and poor health that went down the road of leukemia later, as a single person who barely makes it herself, I have no regrets about doing so, especially when I was a mere 3 weeks along when I had it (can we say, itty bitty ball of cells - which is when the bulk of abortions take place - on itty bitty balls of cells). Was it emotionally painful? Yes, I took the week between finding out and having the abortion of from school to mourn the loss. Do I regret it, no - I do not regret not putting another being through the poverty, illness and challenges of the last 20 years.

    To Anonymous who is unable to have children - I am sorry to hear of your situation - and this is why abortion should be available, because each of our stories is so different, and so unique, there is no way to make a blanket law to cover our individual, painful experiences. Advocating for access to abortion and supporting sex workers has nothing to do with not having compassion for women who are unable to conceive, and I hope someday you can see differently.

    Awesome article! There is a movement to be vocal about having had abortions as the statistic now is that 1 in 3 women have done so. We are the women who do not fit the conservative right's stereotype, and we need to speak out and be a part of the national conversation for the nation to see who we really are.

    http://www.1in3campaign.org/

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  16. Thank you so much. And thank you to everyone who supports this article. It's a shame when one's own family doesn't support them, but such is life.

    In solidarity,
    Page

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  17. This has been an interesting article (and comments) to read. I have always been for women having a choice. Personally abortion is not a path I could take. I do not feel women should be ashamed if that is the route they need to take. But I don't feel it is something to take pride in either. As a young mom I adore my children and when I was faced with pregnancy at an early age my choice was to become a mother. But when the time comes and you know its not ideal and you are not ready you know what you need to do. I would speculate that the people that try to shame those who have had abortions would do similar to those that went through with their pregnancy and become young, likely unwed mothers. Thank you to everyone on here who shared their personal and honest story. It is always great to learn other peoples point of view. Even if our personal choices aren't the same we should still be able to support one another.

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  18. I don't always have the opportunity to read your blogs (and all of the comments), but I'm extremely happy I had the chance to read all of this. Good for you, Page, in supporting the right to choose and not being ashamed of your choice. It pains me to see women in my life who have been faced with this very difficult choice because of their individual circumstances. The fear about others' lack of support creates so much shame in them. I look forward to the day when society progresses and accepts women's rights, and I fear the day that society finds another person and/or concept to hate.

    Also, you're a damn firecracker. Good for you.

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  19. Jay- thank you so much. I really appreciate the positive feedback and support. :) -Page (I'm not signed in so this is posted as anonymous)

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  20. Some try to say that women don't talk about their abortions because they're ashamed because they did something shameful. I don't think it's guilt or remorse keeping so many women quiet. I personally think it's fear. There are hateful people who think of a woman who's aborted as a murdering pile of shit, unworthy of respect or even life. They call them sluts on top of other harassment and even violence. They want women to know that even if they have the choice, they will never be accepted and will alway be hated. So for the sake of safety from these hateful people's attacks, women stay quiet. They don't talk cause they know that opens them up to the mistreatment. This is terrorism and it's how the anti-choicers win. If they keep women too afraid to talk about their abortions, they keep it unfamiliar and uncomfortable and misunderstood. More women need to talk about their abortions to make a safer atmosphere for the 1 in 3 who made similar choices. We should not be scared. You don't have to be "proud" of anything (as another criticized) but you should never feel ashamed. Abortion is normal and an issue that affects many.

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  21. back in Ukraine abortion was a rite of passage it should be in the US oF A too

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  22. Jess- thank you so much for your perspective. I do not feel ashamed, nor do I feel "proud." I was happy to have the right to have that abortion, because a child was just not an option at the time. It was just what had to be done, feelings aside.

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  23. How many abortions is enough? I'm curious is it OK for a woman to keep sleeping around and having them. When is it there fault? You want society to understand a woman keeps sleeping around and having abortions, since the beginning of time people have judged others harshly, it will continue centuries to come and the only way to reduce this is to try your best to not bring so much attention to yourself by having multiple abortions and being open about it. This also applies to many other facets of life not just the topic at hand. If any person thinks the world can just up and change is sadly mistaken, wanting it to happen and it actually happening are 2 worlds apart.

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  24. Anonymous- Yes, people will always judge others. You say that the only way to reduce this is to "not be so open." I'm sorry but that's ridiculous. We need more attention towards these issues, and women that aren't afraid to stand up and say "yes, I did this, and you won't make me feel like shit about it." I refuse to stay silent. You can live in your happy little world where people stay quiet, but I will not. Also, you address the issue of change. I don't think I'm going to change the world with this blog- change happens VERY slowly. However, if a few women can read this, relate to it, and feel comfort by it, that's enough for me.

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  25. I didn't say never talk about certain things I said to not be so open, there is such a thing as a personal life and private matters. Imposing your free will upon others isn't fair. I will speculate many people don't want to hear about a woman/man banging anything that walks or having abortions or having an std most of the time those are private matters and should be kept between families and friends. I'm not saying a woman that was raped cant speak at a seminar or class on how to protect yourself or something along those lines, but the difference is the people attending want to hear what you have to say instead of forcing you're free will down peoples throats then wondering why some judge.

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  26. I'm not imposing my free will upon others. That's the beauty of freedom of speech. It's also your right to not read this blog, or any other material, that you find offensive. I didn't force this blog down your throat. Someone, you ended up here and you've expressed your opinion, which I welcome. Like I said, freedom of speech. But at the end of the day, here's an easy solution- don't like it? Don't read it.

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  27. I'm personally pro-life, but I do not think abortion should be illegal. This is because I understand everyone views abortion & the fetus/baby in a different way. While I view the fetus as a human, & believe they have a right to live, I understand not everyone sees the fetus this way. This is why I do not have any issues with people who are pro-choice. I also think it could be very dangerous if abortion was illegal. Women would go to illegal places, & could poentially hurt themselves. Also, some women could also try to give themselves an abortion with a hanger, & that is extremly dangerous. I might not personally agree with abortion, but I don't think it should be illegal.

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  28. For as long as humans have recognized the link between early pregnancy and the birth of a child, abortion has existed.....or in cases where it was not in any way shape or form available, infanticide. In original matriarchal societies, women were the healers and carried the knowledge of what could be used to safely terminate early pregnancies....that knowledge was driven underground by the male need to turn women and their bodies into possessions.........thank you for underscoring the truth that we (women) are the only rightful owners of our own bodies.

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