The story of Savita Halappanavar brought the consequences of restricting access to necessary abortions to international attention. It also brought the efforts of the Irish Family Planning Association to the forefront of abortion right campaigning.
There is no doubt that the stigma is largely caused by the determination by anti-choice advocates to refer to women as murderers and blame any post-abortion mental health issues on the abortions. research has shown however, that these issues are driven by the stigma. This is another example of how the anti-choice campaign is really anti-women.
Supporting a woman’s abortion decision-making process, addressing the division of labor between women and men regarding pregnancy prevention, abortion and childrearing, and offering nonjudgmental support may guide interventions designed to reduce emotional distress after abortion.
Here is a video funded and produced by the IFPA and the International Planned Parenthood Federation in an effort to alleviate the stigma faced by women who make choices for their own circumstances.
This stigma is directly causing harm to women, and is believed by some to be fuelling the current American attacks on women’s rights.
Abortion stigma impacts the way that society talks about the procedure, and ultimately the way that politicians legislate it. A greater number of women sharing their personal experiences with abortion could help slowly reverse this dynamic, in a similar way that conservative lawmakers’ personal connections with LGBT individuals have helped encourage a shift toward more pro-equality policies.
Each woman must make her own decision about whether to speak out, but I believe that for us men to take a firm stand to support women is also important. So, here I am. The choice to have an abortion or not have an abortion is entirely yours. It’s not my business, nor that of anyone else what your personal health care choices are. My role is merely to support that choice and push for the ability to be secure in your choice.