76

I recently had this discussion with a male friend. I told him my period was late but that I didn't suspect pregnancy since I had used protection. I also made the comment that if i were to be pregnant I'd get an abortion within a minuet since I have a lot going on for me that I'd rather focus on.

He immediately told me he hopes I wouldn't have to resort to that. He also flat out said an abortion would take a negative psychological effect on me and could potentially lead to me becoming depressed.

I don't negate that for some women an abortion is not an option that they'd ever envisioned taking and I respect and understand them. However I'm a young University student with no plans of having children within the next decade so why would my friend tell me what I would feel after an abortion? He's not at all an anti-abortionist in fact he strongly believing in the right to an abortion.

What bothers me is that assumption society, both women and men seem to have. That if you've had an abortion you must feel remorse, you must be sad and depressed. That women that have decided to have an abortion can't feel good about their decision.

I told him that if I was pregnant and I got an abortion I'd probably feel incredible relief and happiness and I could se how that was not the reaction and answer he wanted fro me.

I recently had this discussion with a male friend. I told him my period was late but that I didn't suspect pregnancy since I had used protection. I also made the comment that if i were to be pregnant I'd get an abortion within a minuet since I have a lot going on for me that I'd rather focus on. He immediately told me he hopes I wouldn't have to resort to that. He also flat out said an abortion would take a negative psychological effect on me and could potentially lead to me becoming depressed. I don't negate that for some women an abortion is not an option that they'd ever envisioned taking and I respect and understand them. However I'm a young University student with no plans of having children within the next decade so why would my friend tell me what I would feel after an abortion? He's not at all an anti-abortionist in fact he strongly believing in the right to an abortion. What bothers me is that assumption society, both women and men seem to have. That if you've had an abortion you must feel remorse, you must be sad and depressed. That women that have decided to have an abortion can't feel good about their decision. I told him that if I was pregnant and I got an abortion I'd probably feel incredible relief and happiness and I could se how that was not the reaction and answer he wanted fro me.

71 comments

[–] bumpyjerboa 51 points (+53|-2) Edited

Some pro-choice people haven't completely gotten it. They still think of abortion as a necessary evil or something, for a variety of reasons, and not as a key part of liberation. Maybe because they still believe that, deep down, all women are nurturers who would bear children but can't because, pick your poison (capitalism making the cost of childbearing too high, absentee fathers, poor education or being in the wrong life stage, whatever). More generally, it's because they can't fathom or support liberation.

I'm sure there are other, alternative reasons too. Abortion is very fraught and "personal" because patriarchy teaches us that a woman's private business and decisions actually belong to everyone (or, in more conservative iterations, one man/family). People feel they have a right to speak on what women choose, have a right to feel personally invested in what is going on inside of her body. So however you paint it, express it, that's basically why. It's power and control.

[–] BlackCirce megan terfy 45 points (+46|-1) Edited

More generally, it's because they can't fathom or support liberation.

⬆️

Edit ➡️ I’ve found that even the most liberal people cannot fathom women having complete autonomous control over who is born. I’m talking even feminists. Get a feminist who believes in women having unquestioned abortion access and ask her what she thinks of women aborting fetuses with Down syndrome. Her pupils will dilate. And yes the Down syndrome community accused women of committing genocide by having abortions. I’ve heard the same in the black community: black women are genociding our own race by having abortions.

Socialist / Marxist feminist down play how important women are to society by characterizing pregnancy and childbirth as merely a unique capacity that can be exploited within capitalism. As if being female is similar to having a third functional arm. Pregnancy and childbirth go far beyond a unique, exploitable capacity, without these “fertility services” of women, there would be no society, of any kind, at all. Every type of political and economic arrangement requires women to keep having babies. Babies to become slaves, or kings, or soldiers, or followers of a religion, or citizens of a nation, or partisans of a liberation movement, or judges, or workers, or bosses, or engineers, or astronauts, or artists, whatever it is that humanity wishes to accomplish rests on women’s continued cooperation with reproduction. This is what I mean when I say women’s liberation defies politics itself.

Giving women the choice means that women may choose something undesirable and most people are terrified by the thought and instantly recoil when women’s interests in reproduction conflict with those of the community. If the community wants “diversity,” the woman is required to produce that diversity through her womb. This is what I mean by “the community” acts as the state for women.

[–] bibliophile 7 points (+7|-0)

I would absolutely abort a fetus with a mental disability, including Down syndrome. I have a distant family member with one and have seen how it affected their parents' lives. I celebrate women having free access to abortion for literally any reason.

[–] bluemoon 1 points (+1|-0) Edited

Agreed. There is a difference between saying that you would a down syndrome baby vs saying down syndrome people don't deserve to live. Disability rights groups seem to not comprehend this. Same thing with men. To a lot of them saying you are pro-choice is saying to them that they shouldn't have been born. More empathy for the fetus than the woman

Eh, I think a fetus has some value, so abortion isn't ideal.

But I also think the only person qualified to decide whether or not an abortion is warranted is the women in question. Period.

A very religious Orthodox Jewish man actually explained to me why he believes that abortion should always be legal: it's a moral question about an act that causes zero societal harm. If there's a victim, it has never been and will never be a member of society. So a government shouldn't have jurisdiction over the matter. If there's a punishment warranted, it's up to God.

Really late elective abortions do freak me out (although I also understand that they are insanely rare), but my friend's take on this actually did solidify my stance that it's none of my business.

[–] BarnsBarns [OP] 27 points (+28|-1)

Maybe because they still believe that, deep down, all women are nurturers

It has to be this. That it all boils down to the perception of women. Because why else would people expect women to feel remorseful as if it's not a decision that can be joyful for us? I also think it's because they can't handle the fact that women are allowed to prioritize themselves.

[–] loren 15 points (+15|-0) Edited

Interesting point how even people who are pro choice instinctively view it as some form of destruction or necessary evil. I wonder if in part it’s because historically abortion meant a woman would have to put her body through hell be able to have the fetus removed and if she was lucky she didn’t die on the table. Could it also be that these people see abortion as inherently “scary”, not realizing the advancements made in medicine to make the procedure the least invasive it can possibly be?

TW pregnancy loss I had a miscarriage once but the general thought of “losing” the fetus didn’t upset me, what actually made me feel depressed for a bit was the process. I was given the pill but even with it, it took a full 15 days for my body to expel it and for the bleeding to subside.

[–] Yemaya 43 points (+44|-1) Edited

That guy trying to guilt you reminds me of that Andrea Dworkin quote about men not liking abortions because it makes them think about how their mothers could have aborted them. They think of women aborting potential sons. Paraphrasing but yeah.

I got pregnant from rape and got an abortion. What depressed and distressed me was the rape and pregnancy not the abortion which only took me seconds to decide about. The only time I think about the abortion is when abortion is brought up.

I think some people are so desperate to put us in a “mother” role too. The way people talk about how we are “murdering” our children when there’s not even a child yet.

As a side note, there was a discussion here some months ago with some women here sharing that they experienced trauma from their abortions. I feel like those women’s experiences shouldn’t be disregarded either just because some want to use women who might regret or suffered trauma for political or religious points.

[–] momofreyrella 42 points (+44|-2)

Deciding to terminate an unwanted pregnancy is always a good choice. Everything is theortical to men. They are nit capable of empathy

[–] Greengreenbean 32 points (+34|-2)

Because the pregnancy was caused by their sperm which they believe is precious and if you make an effort to rid yourself of this substance and its repercussions, you had better be depressed. They value their secretions higher than the actual person who has to deal with its effects.

[–] IrishTheFrenchie 18 points (+18|-0)

And at the same time, if you don't terminate the pregnancy, the man is pissed that he has to pay to support it.

You can't win with men.

[–] NotCis 26 points (+28|-2)

Very, very few women regret having abortions - about 5% or less. Here's a peer-reviewed study proving as much: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953619306999?via%3Dihub

[–] emptiedriver 1 points (+2|-1)

5 years is a long time. Directly after an abortion you can still feel a lot more emotional residue. It's not so much about imagining a different choice - that almost always depends on where you end up later, so regretting an abortion is only likely to happen if you later end up unhappy with your life, & imagine what it'd have been like to have a grown child, or something, kind of skipping all the in between.

But in the first months to maybe a year after an abortion you can go through the same sort of medical pain that can happen with any kind of procedure, like losing a part of your body, just a sort of visceral reaction to having insides removed, and it can be intense even when it's the right thing to do. It can be good to have support people who get that you're just dealing with being a physical being who was growing something and had it dug out. But, it's definitely harder to go through the whole process and bear the fruit so no one should ever have to do that by force. We just should not be expected to use abortion as if it's an easy form of birth control either. For a lot of people it does throw things off - if you're prone to anxiety or hormone issues or anything it's worth keeping in mind.

[–] citrus 25 points (+25|-0) Edited

He also flat out said an abortion would take a negative psychological effect on me and could potentially lead to me becoming depressed.

I think women who are mentally fine with getting an abortion should prepare for something like this anyway, and I don't mean possible regret.

Pregnancy and abortion fucks with your hormones a lot. You may feel negative psychological affects by the sudden surge and drop of hormones. Which obviously affects mood among other things. I think many women are not prepared for this and misinterpret the mood swings as regret or whatever and feed into this stereotype. People act like an abortion is like taking a shit and you should feel exactly the same afterwards.

[–] Eava 7 points (+7|-0)

I had a miscarriage at the point in pregnancy when many abortions happen. The hormonal crash was awful, I was in a very dark place for over a week. It was very much a wanted pregnancy, so I know that was part of it, but what I can only describe as the feeling of crashing into the ground was absolutely hormonal.

[–] BlackCirce megan terfy 24 points (+27|-3)

Because empathizing with fetuses is the only thing standing between women and ending male supremacy

[–] Notgonnastop 20 points (+21|-1)

I had an abortion more than 35 years ago and from that day to this one what I have felt is pure relief.

[–] salt_and_tea 9 points (+10|-1)

20 years here and I have no regrets. Whoever gave you a downvote doesn't belong here. If you don't support a woman's right to choose then you don't support women.

[–] starsstorm 18 points (+20|-2)

It’s just bullshit. A woman with an unwanted pregnancy is not going to regret an abortion. I had an unwanted pregnancy that ended in miscarriage because I figured out if I wanted an abortion or not, I’m still relieved 12 years later. I’ve since lost a wanted pregnancy and my feelings around that are completely different.

[–] TransWidow 14 points (+14|-0)

I mean I also think some women might have feelings of regret or sadness after abortion because they're told so much that they will/should.

[–] homosuperior 5 points (+5|-0)

I also agree with this - similar to how trans kids are told if they are not affirmed they’ll commit suicide.

I know many many adult women who had an abortion, nobody has suffered psychologically from it and they were all pleased they got one

[–] starsstorm 4 points (+4|-0)

I’m sure some do, but I think relief is the most common. I think I saw a study saying up to 90% of women who had abortions in the first trimester have no regrets.

[–] mountainwitch 1 points (+1|-0)

I think it can also have a lot to do with the hormonal fallout of termination. Our bodies do some crazy shit when pregnancy ends, speaking from experience.

[–] winterseconds 16 points (+17|-1)

i think it's also because it's made so hard to get an abortion. in my country you need "counseling" before you can have an abortion and doctors who offer abortions are not allowed to even say so on their websites as that would count as "advertising" for abortions. it's really fucked up. and then there's the media, like dramatic tv shows, where abortion is always treated as this horrible, shameful secret that the woman in question is so hung up about, even though the time and place wasn't right at all for her and abortion was the best choice.

like, when you think about it, at 12 weeks the embryo is the size of like a peach. your appendix is usually bigger than that, at least in length. should everyone go to grief counseling over getting their appendix taken out??

[–] [Deleted] 16 points (+16|-0)

then there's the media, like dramatic tv shows, where abortion is always treated as this horrible, shameful secret that the woman in question is so hung up about

Yes, almost always. But '6 feet under' is a good exception to this rule

[–] MsJender 8 points (+8|-0)

(Off topic) God, I love that show. Whenever I feel the need for an emotional release and to have a good cry, I watch the final scene where Claire is leaving, Sia's "Breathe" is the music, and it shows how the lives of each character end.

Absolute sob-fest for me, every damn time.

[–] PaulaAlquist 5 points (+5|-0)

That show was excellent in many ways.

Your user name never fails to delight me, and I meant to tell you on the wonderful Grace Jones thread you posted.

[–] [Deleted] 6 points (+6|-0)

Thank you!

Yes, '6 feet under' was great in a lot of ways. (And btw I'm sure Bettina is on Ovarit.)

[–] TransWidow 3 points (+3|-0)

Not the same thing, but also in a standup on Netflix Michelle Wolf says her abortion was "no big deal" and does a really good bit on it.

[–] BarnsBarns [OP] 13 points (+14|-1)

I can't believe women need "counseling" before having an abortion. That's just insane. I Think it's the same for women that seek out having their tubes tied, they need counseling first

[–] Eava 4 points (+4|-0)

I think women should have counseling before deciding to go through with a pregnancy. So many women have no idea what they are getting into. Every time I see a story about a toddler beaten to death I think that is a woman who should have had an abortion.

[–] Jinera -5 points (+5|-10)

You don't believe there are women who don't want to have an abortion but feel like they have no other choice and thus seek out counseling? That's a very dismissive and apathetic point of view.

[–] [Deleted] 15 points (+15|-0)

This isn't about women themselves seeking out counseling, but the state deciding for them that they 'need' counseling. That they're not allowed to go through with an abortion or having their tubes tied without receiving counseling first.

[–] Boudicaea 10 points (+10|-0)

Sure, but it shouldn't be a prerequisite. It's pretty important to get an abortion as soon as you can, also, for many reasons.

[–] flapyourwings 6 points (+6|-0)

The counseling she is referencing is imposed by the state - it's a scare and delay tactic and is full of misinformation intended to convince them not to get the abortion. It isn't actual mental health counseling with a therapist.

[–] BarnsBarns [OP] 5 points (+5|-0)

Ofc I understand that some women do want to be pregnant and are looking forward to it but due to unfortunate circumstances be it medical or economical can not fulfill their pregnancy term. And I have sympathy for those women. What i meant by counseling is the general belief that all women are in need to verify that they want to have an abortion. it's the initialization of women and you see it when it comes to women that seek out having their tubes tied. Not all women need or want counseling so why should all women that seek out an abortion be forced to argue for why she wants to carry out her right?

[–] ComplicatedSpirit 3 points (+3|-0) Edited

It goes along with the same thing in media, that all women want to become mothers. Even if they say or think they don’t. Just hand that determined career woman or “miss independent” a baby, or have her hang out with her sister’s kids for a day, and she’ll stop denying her nature and admit she wants one of her own, too.

To have abortion not be absolutely devastating wouldn’t feed into that notion, so it has to be held up.

[–] Lilith-Fair 12 points (+19|-7)

I think OP and the comments so far are too dismissive. I don't think women who chose abortion will necessarily feel remorse. In fact, I think most of them would feel relieved more that anything. But it's very possible a woman would feel sad. Firstly, it is a surgical procedure. There will be physical consequences including pain. Most people after a surgery do feel down even if they feel relieved, because of the physical pain and impact on the body after a surgical procedure. Also, abortion is a highly invasive procedure that further invades a woman's privacy and dignity in a way few other medical procedures would. It can be humiliating. Furthermore, it's not a procedure most can openly talk about, like an appendectomy or tonsil removal, or even a heart transplant. Most women will want to keep the procedure private. But that also means she would have no moral support. Even if society is not judgmental about the sex and no one derides her, it's not something women feel comfortable speaking openly about because there's always an underlying assumption she wasn't careful and and didn't take proper precautions (unless it's a case of rape but then that's a whole different can of worms of feelings of shame). She might even be angry at herself for ending up having to expose herself to such a procedure in the first place.

If someone who's a friend, whether a guy or a woman, is talking about sadness and remorse, I'll take it that they've heard women could have such feelings, and are just trying to express sympathy. It's okay to let them know it might not be the case for all women, but I wouldn't resent them for it or tell them to stop. Who knows? One day that friend might be in a situation to support his/her friend, wife, or daughter who needs an abortion. In that case, I would hope that person wouldn't brush it off because someone else in the past told him or her they need to show no sympathy because women undergoing abortion would not feel sad.

[–] salt_and_tea 6 points (+6|-0)

Just FYI the majority of abortions of unwanted pregnancies these days are not DNCs (surgical abortion.) Before about 12 weeks most will be eligible for a medical abortion which involves taking a pill at 2 separate times. Still can cause some pain and hormonal fluctuations but no invasive surgery. I only mention this because the surgical option is scarier to most and it's important to me that women know their choices when it's become so much harder to access services (in the US at least.)

[–] Lilith-Fair -2 points (+0|-2) Edited

Would it be traumatic to see the aborted issues? If I were in this situation I'm not sure I would want to handle this at home by myself.

OTOH, interesting to know the pill option. Are they available at regular OB/GYN offices?

[–] inTERFerence 4 points (+4|-0)

Yeah I was thinking of it from the biological perspective. Your hormones are following a "schedule." Depending on how far along you are in the pregnancy, there might be hormonal changes that can cause some mixed emotions even if from an overall standpoint you're relieved. And even if you're early enough in the pregnancy that medication-induced abortion is an option you're stuck on the toilet for hours feeling not so great.

Load more (19 comments)