A few days ago, in an appearance on “Washington Journal” on C-SPAN, I said in answer to a caller’s question about abortion that it was a sad situation all around — that I didn’t know any woman who went cheerily toward the procedure, happily off to the operating table, in some sort of “let the suction begin!” type of trance.
Then came Oprah Winfrey with her thumbs-up to a “Shout Your Abortion” magazine feature.
Now I stand corrected.
“Shout Your Abortion,” if you’ve not yet heard, is a campaign started by Amelia Bonow in 2015, when she posted on Facebook the horror, sheer horror, of lawmakers’ plans to defund Planned Parenthood.
“I opened Facebook and, without thinking, wrote, ‘Like a year ago, I had an abortion at Planned Parenthood … and I remember this experience with a nearly inexpressible level of gratitude,'” she recounted, in Oprah’s “O” magazine. “I hit Post 153 words later, and everything changed.”
A friend shared Bonow’s post on Twitter alongside the hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion, and voila, a movement was born. (Even as babies weren’t. Ba-dum-dum.)
Since, the killing of the unborn has really gone mainstream with women with pent-up stories of heartbreak and gore just scrambling over themselves to become the next #ShoutYourAbortion feature of the week.
“The anti-choice movement wants it to be terrifying to speak the truth, because we can’t advocate for something we can’t say out loud,” Bonow said.
How about the truths that can be revealed on an ultrasound? If the pro-choice side had any regard for truth at all, its members wouldn’t fight so hard to keep off the table state laws requiring potential abortion recipients to see and understand the actual stages of a baby’s womb development.
That aside: In what world should it be OK for women to shout their abortions? And along that same vein, why would Winfrey give an “O” platform to such shouting, a la advocating?
Let the abortions, if they must, be whispered, cried over, shamefully accepted, sadly shared, desperately discussed, pitifully debated, soberly presented, quietly shown as the difficult life-changing decisions that often take women, down the line, by storm. But never shouted. Stories of abortions should never be shouted, as if congratulations are in order.
Show some respect for the dead, for crying out loud.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ckchumley.
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