In sitting down to write on this video, I am more aware than I have ever been of how little there is to add to the excellent and well-reasoned words of 16-year-old Autumn from StudentsForLife.org. All I can say is, go, go and watch the video for yourself! Still, I want to add some additional thoughts to what she is saying.
The video is a response to an article described as a “Post-Abortion Gift Guide” in Teen Vogue, which you can read here, or not, depending on whether you really want to go there.
The idea of the article is to provide teens with gift ideas that they might offer their friend who has just had an abortion. Autumn quotes much of the article in her video response. The list of gifts for “post-abortion care” include a coloring book, chocolate, a heating pad shaped like an angry uterus, a “F U-terus” pin that you can wear and “high waisted period panties”, so you can “rock em for post-abortion woes.” I don’t think I need to spell out much more than what is obvious both from the article and from Autumn’s response: this is wrong on so many levels.
The grotesqueness of this article lies in its twistedness. Evil is a great plagiarizer, it replicates goodness, it repackages it so it looks caring on the outside, leaving the inside, at best, woefully inadequate and at worst, rotten inside. The pro-choice arguments in this article are clear. Presumably, they come from a caring place, but they stop damagingly and dangerously short. In no way am I advocating the article at all. Teen Vogue’s lack of judgment is utterly irresponsible and their flippant, blasé and cozy language is callous.
However, I want to pick up on the irony of the things they so harmfully offer as some kind of solution and solace to abortion. The author writes that “abortion is something that many woman feel like they can’t talk about, even amongst themselves, which creates a false stigma. The more we hide something, the more confusing it becomes.” So, I want to say, yes! Let’s talk about abortion, let’s talk about abortion-after-care, precisely because abortion hurts women. Let’s not hide it, because the truth of the hurt of abortion is so routinely suppressed that how can anyone openly express regret or pain over having had one?
Let’s talk about shame, because no woman (or man, for that matter, let’s not forget that men are hurt by abortion too) deserves to suffer the effects of abortion in silence. Let’s talk about all that, not in order to give a “cute” toy or a flippant pin as a gift, but because people, real people, deserve better than abortion, better than silence, better than having a pregnancy surgically removed from a woman’s body and then celebrated, or ignored, afterwards.
Let’s talk to our teens about sex, relationships, contraception, and abortion precisely because not talking about it leaves a void so quickly filled by the world’s view. “Just don’t do it” is not enough: chastity is a much bigger yes than a negative rule, we need to make this case clear and appealing to them. We owe it to them to treat them with the intelligence they deserve, not to infantilize them, to respect them and their development, but to not leave them woefully unprepared to face a world where they are bombarded with sexual pressures on every side. We owe it to them to discuss what true freedom is, the freedom for all life to have the chance to make it to birth. We owe it to them to discuss the reasons behind abstinence (and I want to direct you to this excellent article on that matter, as a starting point), we owe it to them to offer them an alternative to the path of casual sex, the stress and toxicity of contraception and the objectification of themselves and their peers.
We don’t owe them quick-fixes or an attitude that stands on the sidelines leaving them to sort out their own problems (see Matthew 7:9). We owe them this as adults. We owe them alternatives to abortion, and if they are hurting from an abortion, we owe them a lifetime of healing. Not an article suggesting one teen gives another a coloring book and some poetry.
Resources For Post-Abortion Healing
These resources can help bring you or a loved one to healing post-abortion, for God can make all things new. He loves you and wants nothing more than to embrace you into wholeness and recovery:
- My Miraculous Healing From Alcoholism: How Bl. Michael McGivney Interceded For MeOn December 30, 2020, I literally lost my mind. Collapsing on my living room floor, I did not have another coherent thought for nine weeks. Although I began drinking when I was young, I eventually became addicted and my drinking spiraled out of control. It overtook my life and wreaked havoc on my family and… Read more: My Miraculous Healing From Alcoholism: How Bl. Michael McGivney Interceded For Me
- What I Wish I Knew About Dating A Non-CatholicThere are Catholics who marry Catholics and who live a wonderful life. There are Catholics who marry Catholics who end up in divorce. There are Catholics who marry non-Catholics who lose their faith. And there are Catholics who marry non-Catholics whose spouses convert and live happily ever after. All this is to say; every situation… Read more: What I Wish I Knew About Dating A Non-Catholic
- This Is Why You Should Pray For Your PriestFor many people, the priest is the one whom people go to for their spiritual needs, for prayer requests, for Mass offerings, and other sacraments. Have you ever wondered how a priest is sustained spiritually for the work they do? Should we be praying for a priest as we pray for other people, like our… Read more: This Is Why You Should Pray For Your Priest
- An Inside Look At What It’s Like To Film A Catholic Movie About A SaintOn one of the last chilly mornings of October, I received a text from a producer friend of mine, telling me that there was a an opportunity to be part of the crew for a film called “Triumph of the Heart.” For someone laying upside down on their bed, sponging fallen nutella off their sweatshirt… Read more: An Inside Look At What It’s Like To Film A Catholic Movie About A Saint
- 400-Year-Old Marian Prophecies About Our AgeIn our age of wars, transgenderism, abortion up till birth in various nations, natural and moral calamities and a host of other seemingly insurmountable problems, sometimes it looks as if the world has gone barking mad. Many of us remember times that were much more tranquil not so long ago. But take heart. Our Lady… Read more: 400-Year-Old Marian Prophecies About Our Age