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Now Showing On Your Commute: 2,000 Anti-Choice Ads

March 28, 2010

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Abortion Changes You"]Abortion Changes You[/caption] A New York subway ad campaign unveiled a few weeks ago dishonestly illustrates women's experiences after having an abortion. Metro International reports that the 2,000 ads from organization Abortion Changes You depict either a woman saying, “I thought life would be the way it was before,” or a man saying, “I often wonder if there was something I could have done to help her.” No one pretends that the decision is insignificant, but the ads deliberately lead women to believe that having an abortion means depression, disappointment, and regret, when the reality of women's experience is diverse.  As Salon's Tracy Clark-Flory points out: "I think we should acknowledge that abortion can change you, that it isn't necessarily an 'eh, whatevs' event...None of this goes against the dominant pro-choice message, which is that women should be allowed to make their own reproductive choices based on what they feel is right for them. [The ads] present one side of the story, which is that abortion changes you, period. Not that abortion can change a woman, but that it always does, and that is quite simply a lie." Abortion Changes You founder Michaelene Fredenburg says she started the organization after her own painful abortion, and argues that the ads are more about helping people than preaching – "I had a hard time," Fredenburg said, "I wanted to reach out and say you’re not alone."  But there's a difference between a) providing support for a woman after her decision and b) intimidating her out of making that decision in the first place. Abortion shouldn't be treated lightly by anyone; it's dangerous to and dishonest to characterize it as an identical experience for everyone.

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