Watching an Abortion: Can it Really Make Getting One Any Easier?

Suzanne Murray

Angie Jackson, a blogger and mom of a four-year-old boy, is having an abortion—and she wants everyone to know. She even wants us all to watch while she goes through it. She's made a video for YouTube, she's live tweeting her abortion, and she's writing about it on her blog Angie the Anti-Theist.

Angie, four weeks pregnant, says she's chosen to have an abortion for a variety of reasons including "very high health risks to [her]." That's her prerogative. So why is she live tweeting about it and airing it on YouTube? That's her prerogative, too. Here's her reason.

"I'm doing this not for some publicity stunt, I'm doing this to demystify abortion," Angie says. "I'm doing this so that other women know, 'Hey, it's not nearly as terrifying as I had myself worked up thinking it was.' It's just not that bad."

I think I understand Angie's goal. She wants to let women know that abortion is a legal, safe, available option for those who choose it. "I want people to know that it's out there," she says. I have no problem with Angie advocating for something she believes in. Just as I have no problem with Tim Tebow spreading his pro-life message. This is America after all.

But Angie also says that abortion isn't scary or painful. "This is nothing compared to child birth and labor," she says. "It's not that bad. It's not that scary." That's where I kind of start to feel a little anti- Angie the Anti-Theist.

Angie took RU-486, the abortion pill, to terminate her pregnancy. Not every woman has that option—some have to undergo (safe, legal, short) surgical procedures. Either way, the process can be scary and painful. You can have mild to heavy cramping with RU-486 and the surgery can hurt too. Admitting that doesn't make you an anti-abortion advocate, it just makes you honest. 

I've never experienced what Angie is going through. But I have worked as a counselor at a Women's Health Clinic, where abortions were done. In the course of a year, I talked to at least a thousand women who were considering, and ultimately had, abortions. No matter how pro-choice or without doubt or "at peace with their decision" they were, most, if not all of them were scared. Some terrified. Many cried.

Angie doesn't seem to be taking emotions into account at all; she herself doesn't show any. Perhaps the biggest tip-off into her lack of empathy for others is when she says, "It's not that bad ... It's basically like a miscarriage." It's basically like a miscarriage? My guess is that Angie never suffered that kind of loss.

Angie might think she's doing women a service with her new media "witness my abortion" blitz, and maybe she is helping some. Tweets she's been getting include, "You're one brave lady," and "Thank you for having the courage to help women by sharing your story." Good for her. (She's also been getting her fair share of negative comments.) But does she truly believe that fear and physical pain are the only concerns of a woman considering abortion?

Angie quips, "You, too, can have an abortion if you want one." Did that just make someone's decision any easier?

"It's just not that bad."

Sorry Angie, It's just not that simple.


What do you think of Angie's video? Do you think it's supportive of women who are considering abortion?

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