Abortion: A Cultural Taboo


In a New York Magazine article, 26 brave women share their stories of aborting their child.  The article shares some shocking statistics saying, “abortion is part of our everyday experience. Nearly half of all pregnancies are unintended; about half of those—1.2 million—will end in abortion each year.” If abortion is so relevant to our everyday lives, and apparently occurs so frequently, then why do we never hear stories concerning women’s abortions? This is because women are shamed if they admit to having one, or at least parts of society will shame them.  The article shares these stories in an attempt to normalize abortion and show that “normal” women can have unwanted pregnancies and that ultimately it is there right to do what they want with their bodies.  These stories reminded me of when we read “How It All Began: I Have Had an Abortion”.  This was written by a woman who chose to remain anonymous, which further proves how taboo of a topic it is.  In the piece she writes “The courage of these women was enormous. No one can imagine today what it meant to admit to an abortion at all, not to mention a public confession.”  Although it may be easier to admit to an abortion in contemporary times, I would still argue that it takes a significant amount of bravery.  This piece touched on how shameful women feel by society when they decide to actively take control of their own body.  I am not totally sure about where I stand on abortion, but I do respect these women’s stand for protecting their reproductive justice.