Angry feminists are out waving wire coat hangers again. In its latest issue, Ms. Magazine has a picture of one bent into the shape of South Dakota. In November, residents of the Mount Rushmore state will vote on an initiative to remove a law that bans most abortions there. The wire coat hanger would be a much better symbol for the feminist brain, more air than substance.Ms. went trolling for women who had abortions, who were willing to come forward and say they are proud of their decisions. The magazine plans to send the list to legislative bodies across the nation and to the president.
The untold story of this campaign is – despite all the free publicity – it was an utter failure. Since 1973 and the infamous Supreme Court decision know as Roe v. Wade, which was made before real-time ultrasound imaging and fiber optics gave us a window to the womb, there have been almost 50 million abortions. Ms. only came up with 7,000 names, which included 53 who signed a similar petition in 1972. That means that only 1.4 women in 10,000 are comfortable enough to own their abortion decisions.
If pro-life organizations opened their websites to women who had abortions and regret them, the numbers would be staggering.
In 1987, David Readon in his landmark book, “Aborted Women Silent No More,” told the story of several hundred of these women. More recently, the Justice Foundation – with little or no help from the media – collected testimonies from over 2,000 women who regret their abortions. Their stories are compelling, unlike most of the whiney, self-indulgent women on the Ms. website.
Another untold story is that women who regret their abortions have been coming forward in large numbers for years. Many are working at the more than 2,300 pregnancy help centers in North America in an effort to spare others the pain they have suffered.
I have personally trained many of these women to do interviews, although few have the opportunity to tell their stories in the politically correct mainstream media.
I was on the fence on this issue until I did my first documentary on this subject and had an opportunity to view a developing child in the womb. At two months, shortly after a mother has skipped her second menstrual, all the baby’s body systems are in place and the child is moving about. From that point on, it is simply a matter of refinement of the working parts. How many women would have an abortion if they knew these things before making that “choice,” as it is called? Yet, feminists fight against informed consent laws to keep other women in the dark.
When I did my first documentary on abortion, I also learned about post-abortion syndrome – a name given to a condition that affects many women who have abortions. I was skeptical. Surely these were simply weak women who would get upset over a hangnail!
After years of studying this issue, I am now convinced that there are only two kinds of women who have had abortions: those who have hit the wall over this decision and those who will. And, yes, some will try to avoid that wall by becoming angry feminists.
Several years ago, I accompanied a group of aborted women to a radio station in the Los Angeles area. After telling their stories, they gave out the phone number of a local pregnancy help center that offered healing classes to those struggling with the pain of abortion. One woman carried that number around for 10 full days before making her call. The reality of what she had done did not fully hit her until after her second grandchild was born.
Last year alone, some 7,000 men and women who regret their abortion decisions took part in healing classes at the centers affiliated with Care Net.
The arguments made by Ms. publisher Eleanor Smeal and the women who signed her petition are old, hollow and downright pathetic: Smeal is telling us, “Women need this service.”
Women need an education, they need good jobs, but they do not need abortions. They may need health care and a place to stay until an unplanned child is born. They may need adoption services. All of these things can be provided through local pregnancy help centers.
An unplanned pregnancy may be an inconvenience, but dealing with it is a lot easier than snuffing out an innocent life and suffering a lifetime of pain.
Editors note: Jane made eight documentaries on abortion and has been researching, writing and speaking about this issue for over 20 years.