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Post-Abortion “Support” Sites Damaging and Manipulative

Hoochies, I am proudly and unequivocally pro – choice. Unfortunately, the anti-choice movement often terms this position “pro-abortion.” No one is pro – abortion. It is a horrible experience that no woman should have, but we must have the right to choose for ourselves.  Much of the abortion debate centers around the actual decision, but what happens afterwards? Many “right-to-life” groups have attacked this question with considerable energy and emotional manipulation techniques. Project Rachel, an online “support center” aligned with evangelical Christianity, tells women that “it’s normal to grieve a pregnancy loss, including the loss of a child by abortion. It can form a hole in one’s heart, a hole so deep that sometimes it seems nothing can fill the emptiness.” At first glance, this seems harmless enough – even kind and understanding. Yet the implication that abortion trauma (and their “data” is pretty questionable) means that a woman shouldn’t be able to decide about a life-changing pregnancy for herself is condescending and ridiculous. The Project Rachel website, cunningly called “Hope After Abortion,” has a section devoted to the stories of women who have regretted their abortions. I am not contesting that a woman might regret her abortion, or feel the agony and confusion of depression and loss. I feel deeply for the women who have shared their experiences on this site. Yet their sad stories do not mean that every woman should lose her freedom to control her own body and life. Furthermore, while Project Rachel recognizes the anguish that can follow abortion, it does nothing but torture women who have already been through enough trouble. One of the quotes sections is ominously entitled “Died,” and is a list of anonymous entries such as: “I wished it was me and not my baby who was dying.” I think it is destructive and cruel for organizations like Project Rachel to manipulate women in the guise of compassion. We must make sure that there remain kinder, more helpful options that emphasize truth and understanding instead of thinly veiled judgment and deceit.

P.S. I just Googled “post abortion support” and almost everything that came up was in the vein of Project Rachel. Let’s change this.

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