Monday, July 25, 2011

Undiscussed Truths of 'Choice'

There is certainly no shortage of opinions on abortion. For some it’s based on their moral or religious beliefs, or rights of the unborn. For others it’s about freedom of choice; a woman’s right to make choices concerning her own body. This blog is not intended to manipulate vulnerable women about whether abortion itself is right or wrong. If that were the case I believe my words would evaporate into the abyss we call the abortion debate. My intent is to provide support for women who may be faced with one of the most difficult choices of their lives – as I once was – by blowing through the rhetoric and sharing with them what I’d found to be the “undiscussed truths.”

Simply put, I am here to share my personal experiences with abortions in the hope that they will help educate women in a pro-choice society that professes personal freedom but fails to freely share all the information we need to make that choice. If I am able to help just one woman, I’ll feel this has all been worthwhile. But I also now feel driven to speak out and in some small way help mend a broken support structure and perhaps influence an all-to-often hypocritical society that failed me and continues to fail women today. As women, we owe it to each other to acknowledge that a pro-choice society hiding behind the ideals of feminism and choice, without the courage to reveal the “undiscussed truths,” is a failure unto ourselves. Yes, I had the right to choose an abortion. What I did not have was the ability to become fully educated on the true irreparable psychological damage that is so often associated with abortion and how alone I would be in my suffering.

Post Abortion Stress Syndrome (PASS)….ever heard of it? It’s a very real condition that affects a large number of women, and even their partners, after an abortion. These women are met with a wide range of emotional symptoms they weren’t anticipating and suddenly find it difficult to cope with their decision. They can struggle with depression, self-doubt, suicide, cutting. Some find it difficult to care for their existing children, often feeling unworthy; and others struggle just to go about their day to day routine. PASS is very real and society needs to become educated on it!

Many pro-choice activists have been sweeping PASS under the rug, implying that it’s simply a myth made up by pro-life advocates as a scare tactic. How could they otherwise account for the limited pro-choice post abortion support groups? They did ultimately open Emerge in 2006. Don’t get me wrong, prior to that there were support groups, but the vast majority were lead by religious pro life organizations. Ironic, don’t you think? The very people rallying behind a woman’s right to choose ignore us when we‘re falling victims to the emotional aftermath of an abortion.

So what are the motives behind so many of these pro-choice activists? Is it really about women and their right to choose? That being the case, I would expect they would want to depict a clear truth of what that ‘choice’ entails. Pregnancy, unplanned or planned, is a life-altering event; one which carries with it a life-long decision. No one should make an uneducated choice about proceeding with or terminating their pregnancy without fully weighing their options and thinking through the consequences. And I just don’t feel that women today are given the opportunity to make a truly educated choice. We’re failing them in one of their most desperate hours by offering idealism rather that the facts – the “undiscussed truths.”