My intention in documenting and sharing my abortion is to demystify the sensationalist images propagated by the religious and political right on this matter. The perverse use of lifeless fetus photographs are a propaganda tool in the prolife/prochoice debate in which women and their bodies are used as pawns to push a cultural, political, and religious agenda in the United States.
At 6 weeks of pregnancy, my abortion looked very different than the images I saw when I entered the clinic that day.This last sentence provides the rationale for her website: see, abortion isn't bad. It really isn't a baby, not even close. The people who tell you otherwise are trying to manipulate you. She elaborates on this in her Guardian article:
[A]fter my abortion, I realised images are literally being used as a weapon to petrify and assault viewers into fear, shame, and isolation. The protesters' heartless use of lifeless foetus images made me feel cheated, lied to and manipulated. It was just propaganda: intended to shake the core of my deepest biological, intellectual and emotional foundation.Leaving aside the fact that a six week old unborn child in the womb looks very different from an 8, 12, or 16 week unborn child, the very language of "Jane"'s web site and article reinforces the message of the pro-abortion movement that the"procedure is simple and relatively uncomplicated. It does not involve the taking of innocent human life. She talks about the abortion as if she were having a wisdom tooth removed. and sees the remains of her unborn child as merely so much biological matter. She never even refers to her unborn child; she does not even call it a fetus, as most pro-abortion people do. The website and article are entirely focused on her experience and her desire to empower women to, in her own words, "demand the right to make educated choices for our bodies and our families"--except for potential new members. Clearly, she saw her abortion as not only the best decision for her circumstances, but also a decision that was a positive good in and of itself.
Likewise, Amanda Chatal in her online article declares
What it comes down to is I had an abortion. It was not a decision I wanted to make, but hell, it was the best decision of my life… and this is coming from someone who is the queen of bad decisions, so I know a good one when I see it. And my life, in all its flaws and indiscretions, is proof of it. In other words, I would not have it any other way.In celebrating their abortions, both women are trying tell other women that abortion is actually a positive experience; that it is empowering to them as women in order to counteract the "propaganda" of the pro-life movement. But they can only do this by denying one fact about abortion: that it is the taking of a human life. Since most people now know that life begins at conception, in order to advance their argument the pro-abortion side these women represent have to make the argument about them, about their rights to do what they want to with "their bodies." But they can't make their point without coming across as shallow and self-centered, wanting to get rid of the complication so they can get back to their lives. Amanda Chatal said of herself that "I had been on The Pill since I was 18 years old," initially could not believe she was pregnant because she "drank too much, smoked too many cigarettes, too much pot and had also dabbled in a few other recreational items," and in her other writings shares much about her sexual activities. For both of them, the abortion was good because it was them making decisions about themselves and exercising control over their bodies; the abortion was not about their unborn child.
Again, though, I do grant that they do have experiences to draw on. Most of the women featured on xoJane.com's It Happened to Us: Abortion have not had an abortion. But the the views they express in their photos and captions express the same selfish and self-centered views, denying that abortion is the taking of human life. The main author of the article (who did have an abortion because of an ectopic pregnancy) says,
An abortion is a medical procedure. Pure and simple. It’s a private choice a person can make to deal with a specific medical issue, and that choice lies between the patient, the medical professionals who provide treatment, and select people the patient chooses to discuss the situation with. The emotions people may experience around abortion are also their own, whether they’re pride, neutrality, regret, anger or anything between.Abortion does not have "a moral value," she says; it is a utilitarian means of curing a medical problem (i.e. pregnancy). But then the author goes on to say:
I love abortions. I’m out and proud about having had an abortion and I wholeheartedly and unilaterally support everyone who has chosen to have an abortion, for whatever reason, at whatever time, along with people who are currently pondering the decision to have one, and those who will face that decision in the future.Read that statement again--I love abortions. Can you imagine saying something like, "I love appendectomies," or "I love toncillectomies"? If abortion is indeed just a medical procedure with no moral value, then why use the term "love"? Obviously, then, the author does think that abortion has a moral value--a positive moral value. But a moral value in support of what?
Clues to this answer are in the rest of the article. One young woman holds a sign that says,
I've never had an abortion...but knowing I could, after being on a plane with screaming infants, makes me happy! :)
If I was pregnant TODAY, I would get an abortion. (Cats are enough, thank you.) (Less crying) (Self reliance) (Smaller poops)Finally, yet another says:
I chose life. MINE.This last, I think, says it all.