Note: We continue to give away a 4000 Years for Choice poster each week. Comment on any post to be entered in the weekly drawings.
The 40 Days protestors think they know why women come to our abortion care facility.
They have an image of who these women are and why they seek abortion care services. Absolutely sure of their version of the “truth” — they pass judgment on FPA patients.
Here’s the real truth — most women have several reasons for their decision to end a pregnancy.
A 2004 study by the Guttmacher Institute found that women had “multiple, diverse and interrelated reasons” for seeking abortion care services. Among study participants, 89% of women had at least two reasons, 72% gave at least three reasons and some women had as many as eight reasons for deciding to have an abortion.
The study results were similar to other studies and have remained consistent over time. The three main categories of reasons women give for seeking an abortion are:
– Lack of money/unreadiness to start or expand a family.
– Responsibility to others, mainly to their children.
– Lack of partner support.
Whatever the reasons, all women deserve to have access to abortion care services.
During the 40 Days of protests, we invite abortion care patients to share their truth about the decision to have an abortion. Their stories mirror the results of Guttmacher’s research. Here are some of the comments we’ve received:
“I am a single mother with two children who is struggling to just get by. We live at a shelter and have no income. Due to my situation I decided that it would not be fair or right to bring this child into this family and to also take what little we have away from my two girls. I truly feel that this abortion was the right choice for me at this time. Thank you.”
“At 40 years old, faced with an unwanted pregnancy, I made the choice to abort. My choice. How lucky I am to have that choice and be taken care of by the most compassionate staff.”
“I love and adore the children I have and it’s my responsibility to make right choices for them. Without this service I could not accomplish this.”
These are the stories our abortion care staff hear day after day, week after week.
The protestors who sit outside the FPA gates, trying to intimidate our patients know nothing about these women and the life situations that have factored into their decision to end a pregnancy.
The Abortion Care Network has a wonderful handout for women having an abortion entitled, You Are a Good Woman. This publication eloquently speaks to the disconnect between the real life decisions women make and the protestors who judge them for it.
“These anti-abortion people don’t know you. They don’t know what’s in your head or your heart. They don’t know about your life or your values. They don’t know if you have other children depending on you. They don’t know if the man involved is someone you can trust or depend on. They don’t know if you are ready to be a mother, or if you can afford to care for a child. They don’t know your spiritual or religious beliefs. They don’t know your situation. They don’t know what you want. And the truth is… They don’t really care.“
This is the honest-to-god truth of the matter. Despite their claims, the protestors at our gates don’t really care about the women who use our services.
The last time I checked, the definition of “caring” did not involve intimidation and bullying. Providing compassionate, non-judgmental abortion services is my definition of “caring.” What’s yours?