Why don’t many women “shout” their abortions? According to Amelia Bonow, the answer is because post-abortive women have “been brainwashed.” For Bonow, abortion is something women should be gushing about with gratitude and happiness, because she believes the right to end a child’s Life is the hallmark of women’s liberation. The #ShoutYourAbortion movement garnered a following among post-abortive women when Bonow’s friend Lindy West shared a one of Bonow’s Facebook posts with her large social media following. We have seen several nearly-identical campaigns attempting to normalize and de-stigmatize abortion over the last couple of years; they have all lost steam after the initial enthusiasm fizzled. Is #ShoutYourAbortion a rising movement, or just another momentary pickup for abortion crusaders?
Bonow recounted her own abortion story at Slate last month, explaining that she feels “nothing but gratitude” that she could undergo an abortion five blocks away from her apartment in Seattle. “I am so lucky,” she says of the proximity of the abortion mill and the ease with which she accessed her elective abortion.
About the abortion she writes, “I am not kidding when I say that I have had visits to the bank that were much more unpleasant than that particular morning at Planned Parenthood. The only thing that happens at the Madison Avenue Planned Parenthood on Saturdays is abortion. Every person you see in the clinic is having an abortion, or helping someone have an abortion.” She gushed about her pre-abortion counseling session, and said that the physical discomfort was less than what she’d experienced when flossing her teeth.
Bonow underwent a vacuum aspiration abortion (“suction” abortion), in which a cannula is inserted into the woman’s womb to literally suck her preborn child’s body into a jar (being forced apart bit by bit is the cause of death for these fragile children early in development). In video footage from the Center for Medical Progress, abortion workers inside of a Planned Parenthood abortion mill in Colorado can be seen emptying the contents of these jars into a baking dish and examining the contents to ensure that all of the baby’s body parts are accounted for. If the vacuum leaves behind any of the child’s limbs or organs, the mother can develop a deadly infection.
Utterly divorced from the fate her child underwent, Bonow describes the procedure that claimed the Life inside of her in pseudo-poetic terms: “The procedure I had is commonly referred to as a Vacuum Aspiration, which tickles me because vacuuming is a thing you do in order to remove unwanted detritus from your life, and aspirations are hopes for your future, which can be destroyed by having children you don’t want.”
But, notably, Bonow candidly admits that she was high during her abortion. She says she doesn’t remember the faces of the two women who were in the room during her abortion, possibly “because [she]was high on pills.” This admission is not insignificant. Bonow insists that her abortion was wonderful, but doesn’t seem to connect the fact that her experience was relatively pain-free and pleasant with the fact that she was not capable of fully engaging on a psychological level, and was possibly somewhat anesthetized to the physical pain of the procedure as a result of her pill high.
Bonow proudly declares: “…I have never been indoctrinated to believe that abortion is anything other than a woman choosing not to default into a life that she doesn’t want.” This indoctrination would seem to come in the form of high school biology, in which we learn that human reproduction results in the development of another human, and, by extension, abortion is an act that removes that human from existence. In fact, believing something as utterly disconnected from the reality of abortion – namely, that abortion is “choosing not to default into a life that she doesn’t want” – is what smacks of indoctrination.
Bonow has denied the sensationalized rumors of over-zealous abortion advocates that she is receiving “death threats” from Pro-Lifers for publicizing her abortion story. Although mainstream media momentarily rallied around the #ShoutYourAbortion enthusiasm, Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life of America provided a refocused look at national abortion sentiment and the irreversible shift of public opinion towards Life, saying that #ShoutYourAbortion is only a blip on the radar within the larger context of the abortion debate: “I think ShoutYourAbortion is a flash in the pan. I think it’s one of the many things we’re going to see rising up in the next few years as abortion activists become increasingly concerned with a Pro-Life America. Do I think it’s going to have a lasting impact? No.”
But Planned Parenthood prez Cecile Richards will ride the wave of good Planned Parenthood PR for as long as the hoopla lasts.
— Cecile Richards (@CecileRichards) October 1, 2015