These days, entering a discussion on abortion can be like plunging into a stormy ocean, waves pulling you in opposite directions. This is so sad, because really, those engaged in the debate have the same thing at heart.
We care about the woman.
If a woman is in a place where she is considering an abortion, it’s pretty clear that she doesn’t want to be there. For one reason or another, she found herself in this situation, and now has to make a decision. It isn’t where she wanted to end up – and we all want to help her.
For many people I know, this constitutes consoling her, comforting her, and driving her to an abortion clinic. There, she can have the problem taken care of.
For others, this means shaming her, scaring her, and doing whatever they can to prevent her from having an abortion.
Now, I’d look at things a little bit differently. You see, I don’t think that either of these options are truly helping her.
Too often, the only information a woman is given is that having an abortion is the “right” decision. She is told that she should go ahead, remove the problem, and move on. Sounds good, right?
The problem with this approach is that it’s not that easy. There’s much more that a woman needs to know in order to make an educated decision. Truth be told, there are a lot of physical and emotional repercussions that can come with her decision. Sure, a woman is handed a lengthy form to sign, but is she ever really listened to, given information, and given the opportunity to talk things through?
One woman described her abortion experience as a treadmill. She arrived at a women’s clinic years ago, hoping for someone to sit down and talk through her options with. Instead, she was put on a fast track to taking care of the problem in the way that the clinic saw best – abortion. With her voice breaking, she described how she wished that someone had just pressed “pause”.
At Hope for Women Pregnancy Services, we encounter a lot of women. Many times, we’ve heard the heartbreaking phrase: “Nobody ever told me”. Women regret the lack of information, the lack of a moment to pause and consider logically, and often the lack of support.
There are physical, emotional, and fiscal realities of each option. Each woman is entitled to know these – and many don’t.
At Advokate, we believe that the best decision is an informed one. In order to bring this opportunity to more women, we operate a pregnancy center, Hope for Women Pregnancy Services. Here, we work hard to make educated decisions possible for anyone.
A woman deserves to be given a pause, a shoulder, and a fully informed look at her situation.
On this, I hope that we can agree.