Weird & Wonderful Why The “Pro-Life” Movement Is Obsessed With Shame
Shame is painful. Shame is powerful. And in the hands of the “pro-life” movement, shame is one of the oldest tricks in the book.
Over 50 million women abort a pregnancy each year. Abortion is practiced on every continent and within every culture; it is an option chosen by women from every religious, ethnic, socioeconomic, and age demographic. The stories of women who abort are as varied and diverse as their own intensely personal experiences. There is no one common thread shared by these women, other than they are faced with a pregnancy that they will not bring to term.
And yet, the “pro-life” movement insists that you know her. According to their narrative, the woman who aborts is misguided. She is desperate. She does not understand her own body; she does not value life out of her own ignorance. The “pro-life” movement works relentlessly to construct a public image of “the kind of woman” who aborts. But why?
Because to know her allows us to judge her.
Because to judge her allows us to shame her.
Because to shame her allows us to silence her.
The “pro-life” movement is very calculated in their agenda, and shame is an integral strategy. But before you can shame, you must first judge. And before you can judge, you must first understand. Or, at least, think that you understand. Thus, the “pro-life” movement created an archetype: the kind of woman who aborts.
At HowToUse, we’re having none of it. There is no one single face or voice or experience of abortion. For every abortion, there is a complex, intimate, and worthy story to be told.
Join us in tribute to the 25% of women around the world who have had an abortion as we launch August’s #ThatKindOfWoman campaign. We’ll be sharing art on social media that is as original and varied as the millions of women who have had an abortion. It is time to reclaim our own narratives and challenge the stereotypes. It is time we redefine #ThatKindOfWoman.
If you are looking to learn more about safe medical abortion, you can visit our website.
Claire is a teacher, reproductive rights advocate, and the manager of https://www.howtouseabortionpill.org/