CNN testimonies
Posted by Catherine

The website of CNN in the States has posted an “assignment” calling for women to give their personal experiences of abortion, 40 years after Roe v. Wade: http://ireport.cnn.com/topics/921603/newsiest

Around 350 reports have been submitted so far.  The overwhelming majority are stories of regret and grief that speak of lack of true choice.  There are a few testimonies from women who say that they have no regrets and believe that abortion on demand should be freely available.  There is, of course, some exchange of hostility between the two “sides” with the pro-choice people claiming that many of the regret stories are made up, part of some pro-life propaganda war.

I don’t imagine the stories are made up.  They sound all too heart-breakingly true.  At the same time, it is curious that the majority of testimonies condemn abortion and the impact it has had on people’s lives since I personally do not believe that reflects the general experience.  No-one can say for sure, but in real life there would be a higher propotion of women who say they chose abortion, do not regret it, and so on.

But in a way this does not and cannot change the central, core issue: even if you want abortion, even if you believe it is your fundamental right, does that in fact make it moral and ethical?  What sort of person can live with having the power over life and death?  If nothing else, these testimonies make it strikingly, abundantly clear that making abortion legal and stripping it of all its ethical dimension so that it has become nothing more than a trivial medical procedure has in fact done women as a whole no favours.  So many women have had abortions that they would never have had if abortion were illegal and if society still judged that abortion were not ethically acceptable.  And they have paid a bitter price for that.


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