Silence above the Shouting

“The quiet scares me ‘cause it screams the truth.” –Pink

The pro-choice movement has begun a hashtag trend called “shout your abortion” in an attempt to de-stigmatize the act of abortion. Some post-abortive women have taken to twitter with 140-character anecdotes of abortion experiences which some said gave them time to advance in their careers. Many are loudly boasting that they have never regretted their decision to abort their baby. More still are condemning “anti-choicers” for stating that women often feel sad about their abortions. It’s true that I cannot tell you how to feel.

But I will tell you this:

Regardless of how you feel, abortion is a tragic loss. Not just the loss for a “potential” parent. Not just the loss of a “potential” life. Abortion is the loss of a whole, living, distinct human being who can never be repeated or replaced. We can’t even begin to fathom the loss that every abortion brings to families and communities who could have known that unique person. It’s good that you’re not unhappy, but when you share your abortion story, you’re intentionally leaving out what happened to your deceased child.

To all post-abortive mothers, I am sorry for your loss—even if you don’t consider your abortion to be a loss. I know that your baby has changed at least one life simply by existing. I can say this without presumption because his or her existence is what necessitated that you make one of three choices, and any one of those choices will have changed your life forever. One thing that I can agree with you on is that your abortion does not make you a bad person. When I say that you have the right to grieve, I don’t mean that you deserve to feel bad about your abortion.

However, because abortion is the loss of a human child, that loss should be acknowledged in some way. No matter how loudly you shout, no matter how persistent your chants or clever your slogans, you will never drown out the echoing silence. I’m not going to pretend to know your feelings or your situation, and I am more than willing to listen if you wish to share. I do not mean to discount your life as I acknowledge the life of your child. I believe that every human being has intrinsic value that cannot be revoked, and so I will honor the children whose lives have been sacrificed by abortion. I will remember those who were lost even when everyone else seems to have moved on. And I sincerely hope that all post-abortive mothers will eventually heal from what has been done to them. #AbortionIsLoss

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