“Abortion is normal. Our stories are ours to tell. This is not a debate.”
This statement, as callous as it is to the lives of unborn children taken by abortion, is found on the website of the “Shout Your Abortion” movement. “Shout Your Abortion” has been mainly a social-media campaign in which women share what they consider positive experiences in having killed their unborn child.
In the July edition of O magazine (Oprah Winfrey’s magazine, which promotes liberal causes on a regular basis), “Shout Your Abortion” founder Amelia Bonow is featured in its “Inspiration” section. Bonow is the editor, along with Emily Nokes, of a book due out in November entitled Shout Your Abortion, a compilation of the stories of women who contend that their abortion is not something to conceal or be ashamed of, but rather an event to be celebrated.
Bonow told O that she was angered when, in 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 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.’ I hit Post 153 words later, and everything changed.”
Up to that point, Bonow said that she had “internalized the stigma — though I honestly wasn’t ashamed. Then why hide?”
Bonow said it was the fault of the pro-life movement that women are largely silent about having had an abortion. “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. But the more of us who speak out, the clearer it becomes that all sorts of people have abortions.”
With the endorsement of Winfrey, the “Shout Your Abortion” movement clearly gains a powerful ally. After all, Oprah is regularly listed among the “most admired women” in America. As the embodiment of radical feminism, it is believed that her support for Senator Barack Obama over Senator Hillary Clinton in 2008 largely contributed to Obama’s capturing the Democratic nomination.
Winfrey’s magazine has 10 million readers, and its support of a movement that essentially advocates abortion as something to boast about will no doubt advance the likelihood of women submitting to the grisly procedure.
When Bonow first launched the Shout Your Abortion movement in 2015, she praised the role Planned Parenthood plays in making it easier for women to abort their unborn children, calling her own abortion via the help of Planned Parenthood an “incredibly positive experience.” She added that she had no “sadness, shame or regret” over having aborted her own unborn child.
Lindy West, another leader in the movement, has expressed similar sentiments. “I set up #ShoutYourAbortion because I am not sorry and I will not whisper.” West added, “There are no ‘good’ abortions and ‘bad’ abortions, because an abortion is just a medical procedure,” and “a fetus is not a person.”
Not surprisingly, officials at Planned Parenthood have expressed support for the movement. Dawn Laguens, PP’s executive vice president, remarked, “We’re happy to see more and more people coming forward.… these stories are a powerful reminder that women should never feel shamed or judged.”
In contrast, Michelle Bachmann, a former member of Congress, retorted, “#ShoutYourAbortion gives a new meaning to macabre.”
This new militancy among those who support legalized abortion raises some questions. Is this a new position — that abortion is something to basically brag about — or is it a departure from a previous political viewpoint that was never sincerely held?
In 1996, President Bill Clinton, who was a master at adopting political viewpoints designed to win the most votes, coined the term “safe, legal, and rare” as the default Democratic Party position on abortion. This position allowed the Democrats to win the support of abortion advocates who wanted the procedure to remain legal, while somewhat throwing a bone to those who retained moral scruples against the practice. In other words, a person could vote for Clinton and other “pro-choice” Democrats, and salve their consciences by saying, “Well, at least it will be rare,” despite the stark fact that there was nothing in Clinton’s policy positions that did anything to reduce the quantity of abortions.
Even as late as the 2008 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton kept up the charade begun by her more politically adroit spouse. During that campaign, Hillary said that she believed abortion should be “safe, legal and rare, and by rare, I mean rare.” She even added that abortion was a “moral” issue, and the “choice” to have an abortion was a difficult one for a young woman, made with “her family, her physician and [her] pastor.”
But by 2016, Clinton had dropped the “rare” qualifier, responding to a question about abortion by saying that she was “on record for many years” saying that abortion “should be safe and legal and I have the same position that I’ve had for a very long time.”
“Rare” was apparently no longer a desirable word to describe abortion, at least for Hillary Clinton.
It is not certain what this more open support for abortion will result in, politically. Today, almost 20 percent of pregnancies end in abortion.
Yet, the pro-life movement will not be silent, and they have likewise long used the stories of women who have aborted their babies. The Silent No More Awareness campaign is one example of the effort to educate the public to the effects of abortion, not only on the unborn child, but also on the mother. Women share their pain and regret after having abortions. Thousands of stories have been told on pro-life websites of the emotional trauma that having an abortion has caused women and their loved ones, and how many women now have deep remorse after having had an abortion.
As women tell their stories — either celebrating having had an abortion, or expressing deep sorrow and regret — one group from whom we will never hear stories are the millions of unborn children who have had their lives snuffed out in the wombs of those women.
They certainly would not find a sympathetic ear from Oprah Winfrey.
Photo: AP Images