I understand that not all women experience regret following an abortion. I talk to these women compassionately and with respect and have not been accused of ever making them feel less worthwhile, or of dismissing their experience. Most people understand that every women has the right to voice her own lived experience without others making light of it, ridiculing it, or dismissing her.
I am saddened that vocal abortion advocates in Australia are pursuing what many women and men are viewing as an offensive display of disregard for what for them was a difficult and serious decision. Dancing in the streets, whilst claiming that other groups and individuals are responsible for causing women shame, is a shameful and hurtful act to many.
Women are certainly not feeling encouraged to come forward and tell their stories in light of this celebration. We have had more calls and emails from post abortive women with negative experiences AND post abortive women without particularly negative experience, but who did view their abortions as a serious and heart wrenching decision, in the last month than we've had in the last year. Invariably their response to the celebrations of abortion advocates has been one of disbelief, offense, and even the same 'shame' that they say they are dancing to destroy.
Some of these women never felt shame before, but are now left wondering why they don't feel 'happier' or more joyful about their abortions if that's what these groups think they should be doing.
Whilst our particular work is advocating on behalf of women and men who have had negative abortion experiences and/or suffer emotionally or physically down the track, we also extend the hand of compassion to those who are suffering as a result of a celebration that only adds sorrow to some who were not experiencing it before..