Destigmatizing Abortion: Guess What? We Don’t Want It To Be Rare!

Pink and yellow logo reading "destigmatizing abortion"

Hey there! If you care about abortion access—and we hope you do—you probably don’t want to use stigmatizing language about abortion. Our “Destigmatizing Abortion” series breaks down some of the mistakes a lot of us can make in our advocacy journey.  

Today, let’s talk about the phrase: “abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.” 

Wanting abortion to be rare actually insinuates that abortion is unsafe, which we know it’s definitely not. This idea comes directly from the anti-choice movement. Those folks standing outside abortion clinics with fraudulent, graphic, violent images on picket signs are the same scripters of the talking point you’re unintentionally repeating! Furthermore, wanting abortion to be rare not only creates stigma, but increases support for restrictions, which is the opposite of what we need. 

Abortion is safe and effective—full stop—and all methods of abortion care are FDA-approved, whether you have it at home or in a doctor’s office. Additionally, we need abortion to be safe, legal, and accessible. Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean that people actually have access to abortion; it needs to be affordable and within physical reach of patients. 

The just society we want to see includes anyone being able to have an abortion—for any reason, at any time. It’s a safe, effective medical procedure, just as getting your blood drawn, having an IUD inserted, or getting a vaccine. Why would we ever want that to be rare?