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I'm not really sure why I'm posting this here, but it's abortion-related, so.... The church I attend is currently taking part in a 'help the non-profits' local event thing, and I was doing some research on the organization they are helping since I'd never heard of them. They are a religion-based woman's health/pregnancy/family-planning type of place. They do not perform or refer for abortions, but offer 'after-abortion help'... While it seems to me that their website was fairly deliberate in their wording, the things it says still irks me. It says how most women have issues coping after an abortion, and while some feel relieved 'at first', other women regret it immediately. It mentions feeling hurt or ashamed. 

 

I think this demonstrates exactly how anti-abortion people/organizations deliberately use words and phrases to indirectly influence and shame women. While nothing on their website outright *says* they are against abortion, their wording shows it. Nothing on their 'after-abortion' page even mentions how much good an abortion can do for the woman's future, or how much it can affect their life in a positive way, or that it's sometimes the best option, and the only mention of women feeling relieved after an abortion is directly followed by 'at first'. The closing paragraph states 'There is hope after an abortion'. The takeaway from reading that page is that abortion is something a woman should feel ashamed of, something dark and horrible that could wreck their life unless they get help. Something they will almost certainly feel bad about afterwards (and the implication is that they *should* feel bad).

 

It really frustrates me, because imo using wording like that while pretending to offer help/guidance is probably more damaging and shaming then just outright saying abortion is horrible/etc. If someone is vocally against abortion at least their position is fairly open and direct and you can notice that and realize that what they are saying is coming from that anti-abortion mindset. But when it's more subtle like this, it's easier for those words to actually get into your mind and create doubts and anxiety (at least to me). It's easier to feel, well, basically exactly how anti-abortion people want you to feel, shamed and horrible, because you see those words and phrases and don't immediately recognize the true intention. 

 

(I'm not going to link to this website because I have no personal experience with this organization and I don't want to call them out without that experience, I'm simply explaining how Wording Matters.)

 

edit: Reading back over this I want to clarify that I know abortion is a very serious decision and I'm sure plenty of women do struggle mentally and emotionally after an abortion. It's not something to take lightly. It will probably affect them for a long time afterwards. I totally understand that. However, when the *only* focus is on the hardships and the expectation is that there will be shame and regret, and there is no mention at all of the completely valid *reasons* for getting an abortion.... That's when the wording becomes an issue.

Edited by HeatherMarie

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That  is a very scary situation to be in if you are a woman looking for an abortion. Places like that will set up next to or near an actual planned parenthood to trick people, even tell them they are associated with the planned parenthood. They will call the fetus a baby, ask for family info and numbers so they can tell them in case the family doesn’t know and wants to stop it, they will try to get the husband/boyfriend/significant other to forbid it if he didn’t know, they make you listen to the heartbeat, and basically anything to try and manipulate the woman into not getting an abortion. There was a story told earlier in the thread about a young girl that was tricked by a place like that. She and her mother went to the place next to the planned parenthood and were told they were associated/connected and would make the appointment. Instead they called the police and told them a mother was trying to force her daughter to have an abortion. 

 

When a side has to resort to lying, trickery, force/abuse, and emotional manipulation there is no way it can be considered good. Pro-choice never has to resort to any of that. We have facts, science, and look out for the wellbeing of the already established living person. We don’t believe we know what is right for other people, because only that person knows and it is their choice to do what they know is best for them. We don’t shame these women or make them feel bad, we support them. 

Edited by Cecona
Changed husband to husband/boyfriend/significant other

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Well, fact is that at least some women feel regret after an abortion. Offering them help without enunciating all the good reasons for their decision isn't necessarily an evil plot to shame them. There are at least dozens of possible reasons for an abortion, but they are not what might make a woman seek out help afterwards. 

 

Also, letting a woman listen to an embryo's hearbeat can be a way to drive home the point so many people prefer to ignore: Abortion ends a human life, no matter how developed. Personally, I'd rather have that point made before going through with an abortion instead of after, when someone else might point it out - maybe even your best friend who just happens to be happily pregnant and tells you about her own experience of listening to her unborn child's heartbeat. However, leaking personal information (your name, your desire to have an abortion performed) to other people, even significant others, is an absolute no-go and, at least where I'm from, would be punishable by law.

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36 minutes ago, olympe said:

Well, fact is that at least some women feel regret after an abortion. Offering them help without enunciating all the good reasons for their decision isn't necessarily an evil plot to shame them. There are at least dozens of possible reasons for an abortion, but they are not what might make a woman seek out help afterwards. 

 

Also, letting a woman listen to an embryo's hearbeat can be a way to drive home the point so many people prefer to ignore: Abortion ends a human life, no matter how developed. Personally, I'd rather have that point made before going through with an abortion instead of after, when someone else might point it out - maybe even your best friend who just happens to be happily pregnant and tells you about her own experience of listening to her unborn child's heartbeat. However, leaking personal information (your name, your desire to have an abortion performed) to other people, even significant others, is an absolute no-go and, at least where I'm from, would be punishable by law.

 

There is a very big difference between *letting* a woman listen to their embryo's heartbeat, and *forcing* a woman to (as well as forcing her to look at sonogram pictures and such) before she's *allowed* to have an abortion. And unfortunately it's the forcing part that's actually being passed as law in many places. Not hearing the heartbeat does not in any way mean the woman doesn't know what's at stake or how huge a decision abortion is. Being *forced* to hear the heartbeat is a really really good way to drive a woman into a complete breakdown (and if they weren't suicidal before that's definitely a possibility after!). There are plenty of professional, unbiased ways to make sure a woman knows the seriousness of a situation that do not include deliberately guilting and traumatizing her. 

 

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Even so, forcing them to listen to it when they have already made their decision is borderline abuse. Letting them - OK. Forcing them - no.  The reason they do that is to try and manipulate the woman into changing her mind - when she has already gone through the tough bit of deciding that's what's right for her. They don't know her. They just know that they want her to do what THEY think is right for her.

 

Olympe, much as I love you, you haven't been in this situation. I have. It DOES colour one's view. Just saying.

 

Cross-posted with HeatherMarie. I agree with her, as you see.

Edited by Fuzzbucket

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Actually, I had several well-meaning people suggest an abortion when I was pregnant with my daughter, and there were some rather good reasons for that. It still wasn't something I was willing to consider, because I was (and still am) sure that I wouldn't have been able to deal with the emotional consequences, for one. So, yes, I kind of was in that situation, only I came to a different decision - although, for me, it was a no-brainer.

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No, I recall that you said that. But you weren't in the position of having decided it was the only way and having "well meaning" (read interfering !) people try to persuade you not to; Sometimes - except for manipulative men, it never happens that they try and persuade you not to go through with a pregnancy. Suggesting abortion might be an option isn't the same as trying to legislate for you not to.

 

But fair enough. You made the right decision for you - but no-one tried to FORCE you to change your mind. Which is what right-to-have-to-have-the -baby people do. (I cannot call them Right to Life - they aren't, or they would home the women, pay medical expenses, adopt and pay for every baby they force woman to carry to term.)

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24 minutes ago, Fuzzbucket said:

Sometimes - except for manipulative men, it never happens that they try and persuade you not to go through with a pregnancy.

Manipulative men and their even more manipulative mothers... ;) Although they knew me well enough to know when I would be "stubborn" about a decision, so they didn't really try hard. (I also left no room for argument...)

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No one was saying that after abortion counseling is bad, it can actually be very helpful for the women who need it. It is bad, however,  when they use negative and shameful wording and aren’t done by trained, licensed professionals in the proper fields.

 

There is also a very big difference between friends suggesting you get an abortion, and being forced to have your decision to abort constantly questioned or insisted that you don’t know yourself or what is best by law. 

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The other thing with the counselling is ideally it would be non judgemental and factual. If it's there as a resource, that's great. If the page implies that most or all women regret having an abortion, that's a) not true, and b) really just saying "if you haven't done it yet, don't do it, you'll regret it and feel horrible."

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Another non viable fetus' mother denied medication by a pharmacist.

 

I'm never going to argue that people should be forced to do anything against their beliefs. But refusing to refer her to another pharmacist? No. Disgusting.

 

This just happened. In America. In a rather "liberal," state, too. I'll never understand why people think limitations/restrictions on abortions are necessary or that it's "too easy," to abort when someone with an actual dead clump of cells can't even get them removed even though they could potentially kill her.

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13 hours ago, Alrexwolf said:

I'll never understand why people think limitations/restrictions on abortions are necessary or that it's "too easy," to abort when someone with an actual dead clump of cells can't even get them removed even though they could potentially kill her.

 

Yeah, really. It seems like people who say it's 'too easy' or it should be 'more restrictive' actually have no real understanding of what women go through at all. The hoops they have to jump through regardless of the circumstances, even if the fetus isn't 'alive' at all. Even if that thing inside her will *never* be a living born human. People who say those things seem to be under the impression that because abortion is legal then obviously it's easy and simple to get. Which shows just how little they actually know about the thing they are fighting against.

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I've been reading through a few replies in this thread, and it's really refreshing to see people taking the time to be respectful and think about things from other's points of view and personal situations.

 

Too many people think "I would never have an abortion! I" and just assume everyone else in the world is able to deal with an unwanted pregnancy with full support from friends and family.

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It’s definitely a bad idea to assume anyone can do something because you or someone else can. Everyone has different situations and can range from a person with perfect health, to someone that can’t even afford their medicine, or someone with supportive friends and family, to someone that has no one on their side. And even those factors might not make a difference. My dad had all the support and friends he could ask for but still ended up taking his own life.

 

it is scary to know that some people don’t understand at all what it takes for a woman to find proper reproductive care. I recently made a comment on a YouTube video and some of the comments I got were insane. “Why have sex if you aren’t trying to have children? Isn’t that why you are biologically driven to have sex? If raped take the morning after pill and have your eggs removed to be safe”. Then there was someone claiming if you aren’t ready to have kids you shouldn’t be having sex. 

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There are people who genuinely think that abstaining is a method that will work for everyone, because it works for them. (Maybe they're asexual and don't understand? I'd be ok with someone like that being confused, but they should still listen...)

Also, the morning-after pill isn't 100% effective. And I heard that in some places it's called the abortion pill (I'd like a more reliable source on that claim) so how much easier do you think it is to get hold of those... Especially since in places that don't have a NHS, those cost money!

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I have heard it called an abortion pill, but it’s more of an implantation prevention pill. People don’t understand how it works and usually don’t care to learn because as soon as they hear it’s used after sex/failed contraceptive to keep a pregnancy from happening they assume it’s for an already implanted egg that has started growing. That’s not the case at all, and won’t work on an implanted egg. A different medicine all together is used for that, and it’s definitely not over the counter.

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On 9/29/2018 at 3:19 PM, olympe said:

Well, fact is that at least some women feel regret after an abortion. Offering them help without enunciating all the good reasons for their decision isn't necessarily an evil plot to shame them. There are at least dozens of possible reasons for an abortion, but they are not what might make a woman seek out help afterwards. 

 

Also, letting a woman listen to an embryo's hearbeat can be a way to drive home the point so many people prefer to ignore: Abortion ends a human life, no matter how developed. Personally, I'd rather have that point made before going through with an abortion instead of after, when someone else might point it out - maybe even your best friend who just happens to be happily pregnant and tells you about her own experience of listening to her unborn child's heartbeat. However, leaking personal information (your name, your desire to have an abortion performed) to other people, even significant others, is an absolute no-go and, at least where I'm from, would be punishable by law.

I think @olympe makes a valid point here, @HeatherMarie. As even YOU point out, an abortion IS a very serious decision, WHATEVER your reasons for deciding.

 

The very fact that the issue IS so hotly debated proves that it is COMPLICATED and fraught with emotion ( Whatever your stand on it)... should we be surprised if some women at least ( not necessarily all) have regrets or second thoughts about their choice? Isn't that part of the responsibility that comes with making choices? WHY is pointing out that those feelings MIGHT arise (And they might) necessarily 'shaming'. ( THOUGH I will agree that the discussion needs to be handled carefully OR else it could easily become so!) Is wanting women to be INFORMED about all of the possible consequences of their decision a bad thing?

 

AFTER all... even IF you assume that an abortion is nothing more than a medical procedure ( leaving aside the ethical argument about it).... when a patient is proscribed a medication by their doctor, or they require some OTHER medical procedure, AREN'T they usually informed at that point of all the possible side effects and complications that COULD occur ( whether or not those happen to THEM personally)? Why shouldn't that be the case with an abortion, too?

 

Again.... don't get me wrong, it is a discussion that DOES need to be handled with care, BUT necessary, I think.

Edited by JavaTigress

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It’s not a surprise to anyone that a woman might regret getting the procedure. However the way it’s dealt with can be harmful, and shaming them, especially after they’ve gone through with it, is no way to help them get over their issues. Insisting on the negative rather than punctuating the positive is literally the opposite of what to do, and it’s a way to manipulate others. I’ve been going to therapy and seeing psychiatrists since I was 7 and not once have I been shamed by them for something I did. Yes it’s discussed so we can understand better, but the majority of the talk is how to recover, the good things that come from it, and ways of coping if full recovery is too far of a goal at the time.

 

I also feel that forcing someone to listen to the heartbeat is pure manipulation. If they want to listen, sure let them, but if they don’t want to they shouldn’t have to. They are already going through a lot and have made their choice, they shouldn’t be second guessed by people that know little to nothing about them or the situation they are in. 

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9 minutes ago, Cecona said:

I also feel that forcing someone to listen to the heartbeat is pure manipulation. If they want to listen, sure let them, but if they don’t want to they shouldn’t have to. They are already going through a lot and have made their choice, they shouldn’t be second guessed by people that know little to nothing about them or the situation they are in. 

 

Precisely my thoughts. These women are already making the choice on their own-- if they want to listen to the heartbeat, fine. But if they don't, it should not be forced because at that point it's only being used as a guilt tactic. The woman hearing the heartbeat doesn't make it any more of an abortion than before. She knows what's happening, and no one has the right to make her feel bad about the choice she makes. It's loathsome to force a woman, who is already making a difficult decision, to listen to the heartbeat, change her mind because she's overrun with guilt, and then have her life ruined because she didn't make the choice she wanted. Trust women to make those decisions without someone else second guessing her choice. 

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1 hour ago, Cecona said:

It’s not a surprise to anyone that a woman might regret getting the procedure. However the way it’s dealt with can be harmful, and shaming them, especially after they’ve gone through with it, is no way to help them get over their issues. Insisting on the negative rather than punctuating the positive is literally the opposite of what to do, and it’s a way to manipulate others. I’ve been going to therapy and seeing psychiatrists since I was 7 and not once have I been shamed by them for something I did. Yes it’s discussed so we can understand better, but the majority of the talk is how to recover, the good things that come from it, and ways of coping if full recovery is too far of a goal at the time.

 

I also feel that forcing someone to listen to the heartbeat is pure manipulation. If they want to listen, sure let them, but if they don’t want to they shouldn’t have to. They are already going through a lot and have made their choice, they shouldn’t be second guessed by people that know little to nothing about them or the situation they are in. 

 

Exactly. Very much this.

 

My posts were about *after* a woman has had an abortion, and the fact that a website claiming to provide 'after-abortion care' had only negative wording that seemed like it was deliberately focusing on how horrible a decision abortion is and how all woman *must* feel bad about it. @JavaTigress That has nothing to do with making sure a woman is informed about the procedure beforehand. Of course women should be informed about what exactly is going to happen, and of course women *may* feel bad about it or even have regrets after. That doesn't mean an organization should deliberately *push* them to feel guilty about it or insist that it *must* be a horrible thing that every single woman will regret. 

 

And yes, forcing a woman to listen to the heartbeat before allowing an abortion *is* purely manipulation and guilt-tripping. Offering the option of hearing it, sure, that can fall under 'making sure the woman is informed'. But forcing then to listen to a heartbeat when they have already decided to abort and have already done the research and listened to the explanations and everything, there is NO medical reason for that, no reason at all beyond 'let's make this person feel even more horrible about what they are doing'. 

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On 10/26/2018 at 11:49 AM, HeatherMarie said:

 

Exactly. Very much this.

 

My posts were about *after* a woman has had an abortion, and the fact that a website claiming to provide 'after-abortion care' had only negative wording that seemed like it was deliberately focusing on how horrible a decision abortion is and how all woman *must* feel bad about it. @JavaTigress That has nothing to do with making sure a woman is informed about the procedure beforehand. Of course women should be informed about what exactly is going to happen, and of course women *may* feel bad about it or even have regrets after. That doesn't mean an organization should deliberately *push* them to feel guilty about it or insist that it *must* be a horrible thing that every single woman will regret. 

 

And yes, forcing a woman to listen to the heartbeat before allowing an abortion *is* purely manipulation and guilt-tripping. Offering the option of hearing it, sure, that can fall under 'making sure the woman is informed'. But forcing then to listen to a heartbeat when they have already decided to abort and have already done the research and listened to the explanations and everything, there is NO medical reason for that, no reason at all beyond 'let's make this person feel even more horrible about what they are doing'. 

Well, and I DID say the situation needs to be handled carefully.

 

I am not sure that FORCING someone to listen to the heartbeat is the answer. Giving them the option to, yes, I'd be all in favor of that.

Forcing it? No. I am willing to admit that IF someone has already made the decision that probably isn't going to change it.

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I honestly don't think forcing the woman to listen to the heartbeat is really about changing her mind, or even making sure she understands how serious the decision is. I think most doctors and politicians who support that simply view abortion as a horrible sinful thing, and the woman should be made to feel horrible about it, should be punished for making such a horrible decision. At least, that's the tone I've heard from most people who talk about that. 

 

For a little bit of personal perspective, I've talked before about how if I ever got pregnant I would *have* to abort because I'm simply not mentally stable enough to go through a 9 month pregnancy without trying to kill myself (and the fetus). Think about that for a minute. A woman who is *already* mentally unstable, who is already freaking out and completely at the end of her rope and she *knows* she has to abort that fetus/embryo *now* before she completely loses it.... What is being forced to hear the heartbeat going to do to her? It's most likely going to send her over the edge immediately, and there is a very good chance she'll try to commit suicide before the abortion can even be performed. When you are hanging onto your sanity by a thread, being deliberately guilted in such a severe way is bound to push you over the edge. It's torture, plain and simple. It is medically unnecessary to force a woman to hear the heartbeat, especially if she has already been informed about all the actual facts of the procedure. It is not necessary to make a woman understand the situation, it is not necessary for *any* reason. It's just a way to inflict more mental anguish on an already-fragile mind. Torture.

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On 10/27/2018 at 8:43 PM, HeatherMarie said:

I honestly don't think forcing the woman to listen to the heartbeat is really about changing her mind, or even making sure she understands how serious the decision is. I think most doctors and politicians who support that simply view abortion as a horrible sinful thing, and the woman should be made to feel horrible about it, should be punished for making such a horrible decision. At least, that's the tone I've heard from most people who talk about that. 

 

For a little bit of personal perspective, I've talked before about how if I ever got pregnant I would *have* to abort because I'm simply not mentally stable enough to go through a 9 month pregnancy without trying to kill myself (and the fetus). Think about that for a minute. A woman who is *already* mentally unstable, who is already freaking out and completely at the end of her rope and she *knows* she has to abort that fetus/embryo *now* before she completely loses it.... What is being forced to hear the heartbeat going to do to her? It's most likely going to send her over the edge immediately, and there is a very good chance she'll try to commit suicide before the abortion can even be performed. When you are hanging onto your sanity by a thread, being deliberately guilted in such a severe way is bound to push you over the edge. It's torture, plain and simple. It is medically unnecessary to force a woman to hear the heartbeat, especially if she has already been informed about all the actual facts of the procedure. It is not necessary to make a woman understand the situation, it is not necessary for *any* reason. It's just a way to inflict more mental anguish on an already-fragile mind. Torture.

Frankly @HeatherMarie , what I would PREFER, in a case like yours, is for someone who knows that they never, EVER want a pregnancy and that one will only EVER result in an abortion, to be able to decide to have a procedure that would permanently prevent that.( AND yes, I realize that there are potential issues of people changing their mind AND that often docs are too afraid of a law suite to allow it... at needs to change , IMHO) I suspect that knowing it CAN'T happen, or at least that it is extremely unlikely would add greatly to such a woman's peace of mind and mental health. I don't really LIKE the concept of abortions, ethically, since there is NO agreement as to precisely when life begins, though I can understand that there ARE situations like what you describe AND cases where it makes the woman desperate for WHATEVER reason ( You aren't really any further ahead if the woman commits suicide!) and so would much prefer it if people that knew they were never going to want a child to be able to take steps to prevent that... and that there were just far fewer situations where women felt that they NEEDED an abortion. If any of that makes sense?

 

Better birth control and knowledge of how to properly use and just more options in general BEFORE it ever got that far?


I , personally have FAR less issues with PREVENTING a pregnancy before it happens ( via either abstinence OR wisely used birth control) than I do with abortion.

 

To give a ' for instance' my own Mom, after my sister was born, decided that she didn't want ANY further pregnancies ( too hard on her back) AND had her tubes tied at that time... no more baby siblings for me! Something like that should DEFINITELY be an option for a woman in the case you described!

 

 

Edited by JavaTigress

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I very VERY definitely agree that it should be *far* easier than it currently is for a woman to get her tubes tied. I have found accounts of women being told by every (male) doctor they visit that they know better, that they'll change their mind, or what if your husband wants children? Honestly it's disgusting. There should be information given and some way of assuring that the information has been understood, some waiting period (a month would seem reasonable to me) for the woman to properly consider the impact of the decision (not that it's likely she hasn't, but you do have to make sure), an age limit (18 or 21 would be fine) and some kind of form to sign that hands off any responsibility (basically a "Sign this and you are not allowed to sue us for doing the procedure you have very clearly agreed to knowing all the facts"). But no 'I know better than you what you want with your body', no 'you'll change your mind'. A doctor should not be able to refuse a service because they think they know what their patient wants better than the patient. (Obviously, we're not talking about surgery for the point of health; in that area, the doctor should be more trained than the patient lol)

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