There’s a simple and tragic lie at the heart of the #ShoutYourAbortion campaign. If you haven’t heard of it, #ShoutYourAbortion is a “viral” campaign attempting to encourage women who have had abortions to be open about the positive experiences they’ve had terminating their pregnancies at Planned Parenthood. The reasoning behind the campaign runs thusly, as stated by its creator:
There are no “good” abortions and “bad” abortions, because an abortion is just a medical procedure, reproductive healthcare is healthcare, and it is a fact without caveat that a foetus is not a person. I own my body, and I decide what I allow to grow in it. Telling our stories at full volume chips away at stigma, at lies, at the climate of shame that destroys the lives (sometimes literally) of women and girls and anyone anywhere on the gender spectrum who can become pregnant, especially those living in poverty, in rural areas and in hyper-religious and conservative households. (It’s vital to remember, too, that being able to tell my abortion story without feeling unsupported and unsafe – beyond the general unease of knowing my country is full of heavily armed, anti-intellectual GOP wingnuts – is a privilege. I speak out because I can.)
So what is the tragic and simple lie at the heart of #ShoutYourAbortion? Well, it isn’t the mother’s abortion, is it? They weren’t aborted. Their babies were. Maybe #ShoutYourBaby’sAbortion doesn’t have the same ring to it, but it would be a lot more honest. The only people who could actually talk about their own abortion don’t have a voice. Because they were aborted.
The irony of the whole situation is that women who have aborted their babies feel like they are being silenced by “GOP wingnuts.” But no one in this debate has been more effectively silenced than the children who have been killed by abortion. They don’t have a voice. So if you’re going to shout over the abortion issue, perhaps you should lend your voice to the voiceless. Don’t lend your voice to the murderer. Lend your voice to the victim. #ShoutForTheAborted.