by Jessica Resuta
Our guest blogger is a junior journalism major at Franciscan University of Steubenville and a past winner of the PA Pro-Life Federation’s Oratory Contest.
Nicki Minaj described her abortion as “…the hardest thing I’d ever gone through,” “[It’s] haunted me all my life.”
The famed rapper’s words were featured in a recent article from People Magazine that focused on a collection of interviews and social media posts by 25 celebrities sharing their abortion stories to “help end the stigma.”
A lot of the stories expressed the typical glorification of abortion as a woman’s right, like with actress Linsey Godfrey’s statement “I had an abortion…and still am glad I had that choice because that’s exactly what it was, it was my choice, my body.” However, there’s also much regret and fear implied in many of these statements. For instance, actress and author Amber Tamblyn said of her abortion “It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. I still think about it to this day.”
“Abortion is a nightmare at its best,” actress Milla Jovovich says, “No woman wants to go through that.” Yet, she insisted women must fight to ensure access to abortion.
TV host Sharon Osbourne’s story was one of the most detailed in the piece. Pregnant at 17, she was told by her mother that “You have to get rid of it…She told me where the clinic was, then virtually pushed me off. She was so angry.” Osbourne said, “I would never recommend it to anyone because it comes back to haunt you.”
This doesn’t sound like a choice, or a liberating experience for a woman. It sounds like they were forced by a societal mindset to make what as Minaj said could be the hardest life-decision ever.
Regardless of how they viewed abortion, the majority of these women mentioned some kind of regret about their decision. And while some decisions in life will be unavoidably hard or painful, killing a child should never have to be one of them. No mother should ever be told that killing her child is a safe or best option.
In contrast, consider some real, average women who underwent the same experience of unplanned pregnancy and abortion. Non-celebrities, yes, but are they any happier or at peace with the “choice” society offered them?
An ongoing photography series by Angela Forker called “After the Abortion” depicts real women living with the guilt and pain of their abortion, regretting the loss of the child they could never have back. It is similar to the People Magazine article as it shows the pressure and difficulty of their decisions, but the tone is conveyed differently using the visuals of photography to express a true loss by these mothers.
One photo depicts a woman named Rochelle shedding tears into a soft, yellow baby blanket with the caption in her own words “ Sadly this is the blanket I never got to wrap my baby in and rock her to sleep. The pain never goes away! The regret never ever goes away!”
The photos go from subtle to gutwrenching; a woman embracing an empty cradle, another woman bent over in pain trying in vain to turn back a clock. There are photos of women both young and old expressing how abortion did not really solve their problem, but led to the brutal and heartwrenching reality that the killing of a child in abortion leads to lifelong regret for the mother.
It is crucial that women who have abortions should never be shamed for their actions, especially because the society they live in says it’s completely permissible. But it is also necessary that they know that this is not the way society should be and they should never have to choose death for their own preborn child.
The real stigma in society is that abortion is a good, a woman’s right, and totally acceptable. It’s a dishonest view that needs to end. Abortion is nothing other than the killing of a vulnerable human being, yet society is too afraid to face the fact that abortion truly devastates women. An innocent, vulnerable child’s fate should never be death, and a struggling mother should never be told that it’s legal, safe, and perfectly acceptable to kill her child. A culture that promotes and praises unjust killings and ignores the hurt and regret that comes with it is not one that will ever be able to actually promote love, trust, justice, and peace.