Pointing to celebrities who have come forward about their abortions, such as Jemima Kirk, from HBO's "Girls," Richards makes a sort of plea:
In the current political environment and with so much shaming in popular culture, women get the message early and often that, while they may have the legal right to get an abortion, there's still something wrong with that choice.
We are seriously overdue to have a public dialogue about abortion, a need reflected by the fact that nearly one-third of American women will have one in their lifetime. However, women should share their own stories only if they choose to, and no woman should ever have to justify her personal medical decisions — about abortion or anything else.
Richards' sentiment is also reflected in the piece's title, "Cecile Richards: We Need to Talk–Really Talk–About Abortion."
However, women do talk about their abortions, and many of them have shared how much they regret their decision. Does Richards have anything to say for them?
By celebrating and focusing on a certain group of post-abortive women— who, for all Richards knows, may come to regret their abortions—what is the abortion movement doing to help these women?
Richards mentions there is "…so much shaming in our popular culture…" but who offers real help?
The pro-life movement offers programs, resources, and websites devoted to recovery from abortion—with resources available at crisis pregnancy centers across the country— and this is not even a full list.
However, in discussing her personal abortion and the procedure as she does, Richards will not shy away from the opportunity to promote this so-called "right" and the abortion industry:
It's time we talk openly about the caring and compassionate doctors and clinicians who provide abortion services. We also need to educate the public about how safe the procedure is, and about the consequences for women in need when more burdensome and unnecessary restrictions are passed by politicians. From 72-hour waiting periods to mandatory ultrasounds, there is real harm to women when legislators begin to take the place of doctors.
Abortion providers are far from "caring and compassionate" when money (and lots of it) is their motivation for killing a mother's preborn child. Further, these abortionists can hardly be called "doctors," especially when such a small minority of them are willing to perform the grisly task, and are looked down upon by more legitimate professionals in the field.
It is also dangerous for Richards, a woman with a clear agenda, to talk about the "need to educate the public about how safe the procedure is." Abortion may carry many physical and psychological consequences for the woman. And, even if no woman died from legalized abortion, which is hardly the case, the result of a successful abortion is the death of a preborn child.
It is a joke to claim that "there is real harm to women when legislators begin to take the place of doctors," especially when these courageous legislators are using their powerful position to protect women and children.
Richards had something to say about Planned Parenthood, as well:
At Planned Parenthood, we believe that a woman's decision about her pregnancy should be hers. We support the women who come to us, we make sure each woman has the information she needs to make a decision for herself, and we work hard to make sure she does not face political hurdles or financial hardship because of the decision she has made. We believe in providing nonjudgmental care no matter what, and that's why one in five women in America has come to us for care at some point.
What a rosy picture of Planned Parenthood! From such a description, you wouldn't know the truth. Planned Parenthood has sent abuse victims back to their abusers, and was sued for performing an abortion against a woman's will! Affiliates have circumvented the law on Medicaid, as well as on statutory rape. The corporation continues to give rushed and biased counseling to women. Working hard is essentially meat market conditions. These, however, are only a few examples.
It is interesting how Richards closes her piece:
What I've found is that sometimes when you share your own story, other people find the courage and the comfort to share theirs. Women are increasingly feeling supported to share stories that have, in some cases, been kept silent for years. As a result, we're having a different conversation about abortion today. Yes, it's louder and bolder. But most importantly, it's an authentic conversation with women at the center.
Let us indeed hope that this is true, and that conversation is in favor of making safe, life-affirming decisions for women and children.
This column was republished with permission from LiveAction News.