Shattering the Stigma: What #AbortionPositive Means to Us
Posted by Kristen Barton
January 22, 2016
It’s been 43 years since Roe v. Wade legalized abortions nationwide. It’s been 43 years of anti-choice propaganda attacking people for their right to an abortion. It’s been 43 years of abortion activists shifting to a more “moderate” rhetoric and using terms such as “women’s health” in an effort to try to gain more supporters. It’s been 43 years of people being shamed for their abortions.
Today, with the launch of the #AbortionPositive campaign, we are taking steps to changing that negative narrative. We are taking the word “abortion” back. We are wiping the stigma away by proudly using the word “abortion.”
Trust me, there will be plenty of naysayers trying to stop us from being abortion positive, like those who passed 318 laws to restrict abortion access since 2010. But we will not be silenced; we will not be stigmatized for believing abortion should be accessible, safe, and affordable.
Being abortion positive means being willing to talk about abortion, what it means, an why it’s healthcare service so many people will need in their lifetime. Our hope is that, by talking about abortion, and actually using the word, we will erase the stigma attached to it and decrease the hate aimed at its supporters. If getting rid of the stigma that comes with the word abortion means fewer shootings at Planned Parenthood centers, fewer restrictive mandates enacted by anti-abortion lawmakers, and fewer episodes of harassment towards patients, then it’s worth the ugly looks for using the word abortion.
This is so important for the young activists URGE works so hard to represent. Young people are so exhausted from the way abortion is being portrayed by lawmakers and crisis pregnancy centers. Young people are ready for a new way to express our discontent with society’s and lawmakers anti-abortion rhetoric.
In April, URGE will travel to 12 different campuses with the All* Above All campaign to spread this message of abortion postivity. With these campus visits activists, young people will be inspired, people seeking abortions will be reassured, and anti-choice folks will know we are not afraid.
This campaign won’t stop at the end of the college campuses tour, URGE will take this campaign all the way to Washington D.C. With petitions signed by college students to their representatives, URGE will tell these officials what young people really want. Talking about abortion and showing we will not be silenced will show lawmakers how serious activists are about ending the restrictions on abortion. The signatures collected will be in support of the EACH Woman Act. This bill would repeal the Hyde Amendment (finally, damnit) and end all of the ridiculous bans on insurance companies covering abortions. This is pure activism, it starts with mobilizing young people and ends with making their voices heard at Capitol Hill.
It’s been 43 years since Roe v. Wade, it’s time to start a new movement in abortion activism, and we will lead it.