News broke this past week that city officials in Portland, Oregon have now authorized state employees who have abortions to take up to three days paid bereavement leave to help process and emotionally heal from the death of their pre-born child.
Those of us who have been advocating for every life to be protected under law have long said that abortion is a traumatic event resulting in deep grief and sorrow. In fact, studies confirm it.
Yet, you might remember a few years back that a group of abortion activists launched a social media campaign called, “Shout Your Abortion.” It was designed to destigmatize the gruesome killing of children. In essence, they were vocally dismissing our claims that abortion is an emotional blow that devastates women. They were suggesting it was the exact opposite, claiming it was an empowering act to be celebrated.
“I set up #ShoutYourAbortion because I am not sorry and I will not whisper,” said Lindy West, one of the effort’s founders.
Supposedly tens of thousands of women shared their positive stories related to their own abortions. Many activists praised the campaign.
But now with this vote, the city of Portland is admitting what the #ShoutYourAbortion activists have refused to acknowledge. Abortion is a heartbreaking source of pain for everyone involved.
By extension, city officials are also making clear they realize a preborn baby is a person. After all, we don’t normally grieve an innocuous medical procedure or a lump of tissue.
Yet how can abortion be just another medical procedure to some women (#ShoutYourAbortion) – and traumatizing to the other?
It’s clear that over time many have become desensitized to the horrors of the issue. Fifty years and 63 million babies lost to will take its toll. People can become numb to numbers without names.
Abortion activists are praising Portland’s new policy. Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health said women who undergo abortions “may need time to process what they’re experiencing.”
What they’re experiencing is profound and painful.
In the end, time and technology are forcing many proponents of abortion to finally face reality. They may not agree that every child should be protected under law – but they’re finally finding it increasingly impossible to deny that pre-born children are human beings whose deaths cause their mothers and others intense sorrow and lasting grief.