So, you’re considering an abortion. And you have found yourself, like many of the touted 1-in-3 women must have done before they did the deed, looking to Google for answers. The internet has, after all, been your best friend and confidante for decades now, am I right? (Come on. You know you’ve typed “I’m bored,” “I’m depressed,” “he cheated on me,” “itchy vagina,” “cheesecake recipe” into Google at SOME point in your life. Google is like your best girlfriend that you can share all your secrets with. Never mind that as far as girlfriend’s go, Google is one mouthy broad, because minutes after you tell her your secrets, you’ve got advertisers putting banners over your e-mail inbox, telling you you’re only 10 tips away from keeping your man satisfied, or here’s this miracle ointment for yeast infections! or offering you 10% off at the Cheesecake Factory.) Anyway. Maybe you’re scared and confused, or you just want to know more about the procedure and what it will feel like. Maybe you’re feeling alone and misunderstood, and are looking for others who have shared their stories.
Before you hit “search,” know this, and brace yourself: the internet is rife with douchebags and douchebaguettes (yes, that’s a word) that are looking to make you feel bad. Their job is to feed off your fear, shame and confusion in order to push their own religious and political agendas. Pro-lifers be warned, you will not get a lot of respect on this blog. But if you’ve got an ounce of true humanity and compassion in you, perhaps you will continue to read it without judgment, and put down your “abortion is murder” signs.
But I digress. I am not writing this blog to forward any political cause. I am writing it because I, too, was sitting at my computer two weeks ago – pregnant, scared, searching for solace in cyberspace. And what I found was little solace. I had to sift through the pages that feigned support for women by calling them “victims” of abortion. I’m sorry. This might be a difficult decision, and I might be worried that all these tears finding their way into my keyboard will cause a short circuit, but helpless victim I am NOT. There were pro-choice websites that did little to address the emotional aspects of abortion, making it sound like it was about as hard as removing an ingrown hair. Pro-choice I may be, but unfeeling robot I am not. There was a handful of support sites where a large number of women commemorated their never-born children by naming them and putting teddy bear and angel GIFs in their signatures. To each their own, of course, but I didn’t think that beginning to think of the pea-sized embryo inside of me as “baby boy Johnny” was going to make for the most rational decision on my part.
And then there was an even smaller handful of blogs written by women who had gone through the process and decided to document it in all its detail. What to Expect When You’re Aborting was written with humor, and gave a lot of useful information (like her Abortion Recovery Kit, complete with: “First you’ll need a crucifix and crushing sense of shame — OMG JJJJJJ FUCKING KAAAY.”) But at times, I couldn’t relate to her glibness (I, for example, did not think of what was growing inside of me as a “womb squid,” and I didn’t think of the pregnancy as a “son of a bitch.” A large part of me really wanted the baby). Then there was I’m Really Having An Abortion? which focused a lot more on the emotional aftermath of the blogger’s abortion, but after a while it began to read like a soap opera (I love my husband, but I can’t stop screwing my boyfriend, what should I do?), and once again I found myself unable to relate.
Don’t get me wrong, these bloggers and others like them were the internet’s saving grace, and I am grateful for these strong women for sharing their experiences. I think there should be more voices like theirs, voices that speak of experience and truth and humor and heartbreak without spewing rhetoric one way or another. And that is why I’ve decided to add my voice to theirs.
So, today, I will leave you with this: Reject the stigma. It’s a difficult thing to do (or not do), but abortion is no reason for shame. I had mine just yesterday. And I know that crippling feeling of shame that you might be suffering from. It is creeping into me as I pause between paragraphs, but I am fighting it off. As should you.
When thinking of an anonymous username for this blog, I went to thesaurus.com and searched for “abortion.” Dumb idea. Here’s what I found at the bottom of the page:
|Part of Speech:||noun|
|Definition:||lack of success|
|Synonyms:||abortion , bankruptcy, bomb, botch, breakdown, bungle, bust, checkmate, collapse, decay, decline, defeat, deficiency, deficit, deterioration, downfall, failing, false step, faux pas, fiasco, flash in the pan, flop, frustration, implosion, inadequacy, lead balloon, lemon, loser, loss, mess, misadventure, miscarriage, misstep, nonperformance, nonsuccess, overthrow, rout, rupture, sinking ship, stalemate, stoppage, total loss, turkey, washout, wreck|
|Antonyms:||accomplishment, achievement, attainment, earnings, gain, merit, success, win|
Screw you, thesaurus.com. Way to boost my spirits the day after I had my uterus vacuumed out. But wait… they also listed “terminate” as a synonym for “abort.” At first, this did not help me, since I was still sobbing about the potential future I had terminated before it even had a chance to exist. But then, I told myself that it was up to me to shape the way I thought and felt about my decision. And so I pictured myself, Schwarzenegger-style, wearing dark glasses, wielding my massive biceps (I don’t have those, but once the no-exercise-for-two-weeks-after-surgery ban is lifted, look out!), daring, just daring anyone to mess with me. I did not kill, murder, or terminate a life, but I’ll be damned if I don’t terminate this sense of shame that society is putting on me for making the right decision. And so, even though I am grieving today, and will grieve for a long time still, I will remind myself of that image as often as I need to, so that I can be strong enough to face the condemning voices around me (and those within me).
P.S. I thought Terminator was a horrible movie that only got worse with every sequel. Perhaps tomorrow I will come up with a better image to help me through these tough times.