The Reality of Abortion

I've got a new piece up at The Guardian's Comment is free America about a new study which has found (hold onto your seats!) that that "there is no credible evidence that a single elective abortion of an unwanted pregnancy in and of itself causes mental health problems for adult women."
Thing is, not all women do suffer distress after an abortion. Some women feel distress at a pregnancy, which is why they seek out abortions. Plenty of women surely feel a combination of sadness and relief after an abortion, given that, to my understanding, abortions don't eliminate the ability to hold two thoughts in one's head at the same time.

But it's really the women who feel no regret that seems to bother and confound us. There's not a strong cultural narrative for women who are equipped to carry a child but totally don't want to, irrespective of their reasons. Most discussions of abortion axiomatically regard pregnancy as something every woman wants and to which every woman will have a special connection, which is why so much legislation is designed with the presumption that women seeking abortions have had to deny the reality of being pregnant – that if only she sees it's a baby on an ultrasound … if only she hears the fetal heartbeat … if only she just thinks about what she's doing for 24 more hours …

To the women who seek abortions, the reality of being pregnant is not something they get an abortion in spite of. It is precisely what's driving them to seek the abortion in the first place.
Read the whole thing here.

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