I think it's safe to say that abortion may be one of the most controversial topics in society today, period. We live in a country where there is absolutely no consensus on if a woman should be permitted to terminate a pregnancy, and 26 states have passed provisions restricting it. Recently New York Magazine published the stories of 26 women who had abortions, each unique, each so personal, many of them tearjerking. But one of the most shocking facts to me from the piece? That today 1 in 3 women has an abortion by age 45.
If the abortion rate here in the U.S. is that high, then I don't care what your stance on the issue is: we need to make sure women feel like they can get the right care, from the right doctors, and most importantly -- feel comfortable to talk to one another.
I don't have any close girlfriends who have gotten abortions. I have many who have worried about being pregnant, triggered by a missed or delayed period, mostly because they weren't prepared to take on the responsibility of being a parent. Many of them, when that happened, worried that they would have to decide whether or not they'd be able to keep the child. Provide for the child. And of course, they debated abortion.
The biggest fear? Where would they be able to go and feel safe to get an abortion, of course, but mostly the fear of judgment for a choice that's uniquely theirs and their partner's. With that said, this striking abortion statistic makes me feel like there needs to be more of an open dialogue. Women need to know what their options are when it comes to getting an abortion, and need not be judged when they've made a decision and walk into a medical facility to seek a consult.
There's no denying it anymore: Abortion happens here. It happens more often than a lot of people would like to talk about. The reality: We need to talk about it. We may not all accept a woman's choice to get one, but we need to work toward creating an environment where women can get all the information they need to choose.
Are you surprised by this statistic? How does it make you feel?
Image via cliff1066/Flickr