Most of the time when you hear about abortion, it’s a few similar scenarios: Politicians arguing about abortion, people protesting abortion, or sometimes your health teacher mentioning it in passing as an option if you get pregnant, but never going into any details about it.
While talking about abortion at all is a sign of progress, even if it’s in a negative connotation (at least they’re saying something), the problem is that despite all the discussions about abortion, few women and girls know a lot about it as a medical procedure and what it actually entails.
A lot of the images you see of or about abortion are from pro-life sources. They often use images of dead fetuses to scare, shame, and stop women from having abortions. A lot of the images are really misleading, especially because most abortions take place before the fetus looks anything like those scary pictures they show you, nor are they anything near as violent and horrifying as they look. (We won’t post those here because they’re not only horrifying to look at, but they’re also propaganda tools that certain groups use to sway views about abortion, and that’s not what we’re here to do.)
A woman going under the alias of Jane recently underwent an abortion at six weeks and photographed it for thisismyabortion.com, and it looks a lot different from anything else you may have found when doing an image search about abortion.
The creator of the site simply wanted to show the world that there are safe, clinical abortions and to teach about abortion in a pretty neutral way–because many of the abortions you hear horror stories about aren’t performed by doctors and are super dangerous. We think it’s pretty awesome of the author to be brave enough to document her own experience to take away the “slut,” “sinner,” and “murderer” stigmas a lot of women are slapped with when they undergo the procedure. It’s not an easy decision for anyone to terminate a pregnancy, especially in light of protestors screaming at them from across the street, let alone in countries where women can be jailed or killed for it.
The fact is, no one wakes up in the morning and is like, “I want to get an abortion today!” It’s not like baking cookies or getting a mani-pedi. The author herself says the procedure was uncomfortable and a “sobering experience.” An abortion isn’t something people look forward to, but it’s an unfortunate reality and a necessity for some women, whether it be for medical or personal reasons. And it’s no one’s business how any particular woman feels about abortion, because it’s her body and her decision.
We’re not here to tell you what to believe. If you think of abortion as killing a human life, that is your absolute right–and there’s nothing wrong with your personal beliefs (as long as you realize they’re just that–personal). We just think it’s important to have all of the facts on both sides of the issue before making a decision or forming an opinion about abortion or anything else, and a lot of misinformation about abortion is, unfortunately, becoming thought of as “common knowledge” and accepted as “fact.” And we think it’s really important to be able to make decisions about abortion and your own health on your own without extremists (or, let’s be real, the government) influencing that choice.
Kudos to Jane for making the world talk about abortion in a realistic and honest way. The more you know about abortion, the better a place you’ll be in if you ever have to make a decision on whether or not to have one yourself. Knowledge is power, and you deserve to have knowledge and power over your own body.
What horror stories have you heard about abortion? Do you think people are misinformed about abortion? Do you think photographs and blogging about abortion are good for women? Tell us in the comments!