Destigmatizing Abortion: Why We’re Here for ALL Abortion Stories!

Hey there! If you care about abortion access—and we hope you do—you probably don’t want to use stigmatizing language about abortion. But a lot of us can make this mistake in our advocacy journey.

We know, especially right now, that lots of folks are sharing their abortion stories for the first time, and it’s definitely important to share those stories far and wide to help normalize abortion care! However, let’s talk about why we need to be here for ALL abortion stories. 

A natural reaction to our literal autonomy being taken away is to remind folks in power of what they’d be doing to people who have experienced trauma, especially sexual assault, abuse, or incest. This strategy is totally valid, as of course, we’re trying to share our stories and show folks how dire the need for accessible abortion is. This may even be your own story – and if that’s something you want to share with others, we send you all our love and support. But if you are a person uplifting the stories of others – abortion stories based in trauma can not be the only ones we uplift. Only uplifting stories like these can give more merit to the idea that abortion bans are okay, as long as they have “exceptions” for these scenarios. But our stance is clear:  there is NO “reasonable” restriction on abortion access.

We want to remember that barriers prevent ALL folks who simply don’t want to be pregnant from accessing what they need. This includes parents who don’t want another kid, students who aren’t ready to be pregnant, just anyone who woke up in the morning, took a pregnancy test, and knew that wasn’t what they wanted. These folks might not feel sad, or traumatized, or harrowed by their experiences that led them to need an abortion–and that experience is just as valid, and just as worthy of protection.

Like we’ve talked about before, abortion is just health care. Patients come to it from all different walks of life, and that means they all have different experiences with it. No matter what, we need to make sure that abortion care is available to everyone who needs it. So as you talk with your community about why you fight for abortion access, remember to not only talk about the traumatic experiences that bring people to need abortion care, because the “boring” abortion story is also at risk.