Reproductive rights

The misguided efforts of anti-abortion activists to educate women on abortion

Theresa Gorey, left, hands out pamphlets in front of a Planned Parenthood. Katherine Taylor/The New York Times

The release of ‘sting videos’ aimed at discrediting Planned Parenthood is a new development in anti-abortion activism, but also a continuation of a very old strategy: educating women on the gruesome reality of what abortion entails. When David Daleiden, leader of the group responsible for releasing the videos, was asked what one question he would ask Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, he said, “I would ask her if she knows abortion the way Planned Parenthood providers know abortion.” Daleiden apparently believes that Richards, who has had three children and publicly discussed her own abortion, does not understand what abortion entails. Most women going into an abortion are not new to childbirth. Sixty-one percent of women seeking abortions already have at least one child, and more than 33 percent already have at least two children. The reality is abortion has never been the binary issue of good and evil that anti-abortion activists want it to be. Raising a child entails physical, economic, and emotional costs. Women already know what abortion means. It is not without conscience that they choose to have them anyway. In an interview with New York Magazine, Frances Kissling, a longtime abortion rights activist, summed it up saying, “Abortions are yucky. But after that response, there is a shrugging of the shoulders.”

Read the full story at New York Magazine’s The Cut.

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