Abortion and Love

Love and abortion are intimately, intensely intertwined, even if stigma can make it hard to see.

Love for pregnant people

One of out 4 women in the U.S. will have an abortion before they reach age 45. Stigma stifles people from sharing their stories, but whether we know everything about our friends and family, chances are that everybody loves someone who had an abortion.

An act of love – for one’s self and one’s family

60% of people having abortion already have children. Like all parents, they are always considering the impact on their family when they decide to have an abortion. As a doctor who provides abortions for people from all walks of life, and for many different reasons, I also see folks making gut-wrenching decisions to end their (very wanted) pregnancies because fetal abnormalities make this the most humane thing to do.

Abortion is also a healthy act of self-love. Traditional (misogynistic) views of motherhood emphasize the profound self-sacrifice that a woman should “naturally” want to perform on behalf of her children. While the impulse to self-sacrifice is a noble and laudable quality in a parent, not everyone needs to choose to be a parent. Moreover, even for those who do choose to parent, absolute and total self-sacrifice is healthy for neither the parent or the children. As a doctor who cares for pregnant women and delivers babies, I can attest that pregnancy is a journey full of risk–physical and emotional–that can result in extreme harm and that no person should feel guilted or shamed into embarking on. Self-love isn’t selfish– it’s respecting yourself enough to seek what you need to be the person you’re supposed to be.

For a fantastic overview Abortion and Love:

For a a guide to self-care before, during and after abortion:

For a poem about Abortion Love:

For a book review of Katha Pollitt’s full argument:

For a story about love for others who have had abortions, by Uma Thurman:

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