“There aren’t ‘women who have abortions’ and ‘women who have babies’.
Those are the same women at different points in their lives.”
~ Rachel Atkins, PA, MPH
The anti’s describe women who have abortions as selfish monsters who care only about themselves and their own lives. How are we to reconcile this hatefulness with the fact that 61% of women who have abortions in the U.S. already have at least one child. That’s right – mothers sometimes make the decision to have an abortion.
A 2008 study, published in Journal of Family Issues, found that whether or not they already have children, women report having an abortion out of a desire to be good mothers. Women who have no children want the conditions to be right when they do; women who already have children want to be responsible and take care of their existing children.
This supports what our own patients tell us about their decision to have an abortion. Those who already have children will say, “I’m trying to be a good parent to my kids.” They are making a difficult decision for the good of their children.
Here’s what one patient wrote in a note to us:
“I am a mother of three children whom I adore. I work three jobs (1 full-time and 2 part-time) to ensure their needs are met. Even still, I worry about their future. The bottom line is they have needs, as do parents and the family as a whole. I want to be the best possible mother I can; I want to enjoy my kids and not be stressed and overworked. As a mother, you know what you can handle. This decision does not change me or anyone else.”
Despite what the protesters outside our gates want everyone to believe, women make the decision to have an abortion out of a deep caring and respect for themselves and their families.
Every day, our patients remind us that women must be trusted when it comes to important decisions affecting our bodies, our lives and the lives of our families.