Abortion stigma...how can we end it?
In support of what is currently happening in Poland and in other countries, where abortion is not legal or restrictive, we stand by the protesters and share knowledge about what abortion is, why it is necessary to be legal and the consequences of banning it. Worldwide, the legalization of abortion remains a highly controversial topic with many nuances, including political, social and economical ones.
In November, we are looking closely into abortion. In the previous weeks we talked about what abortion is, the legal abortion methods that can be performed by physicians and the consequences of unsafe and illegal abortions.
This week, we want to raise awareness about the stigma surrounding abortion and campaigns that offer information and guidance to girls and women in need of an abortion.
Let’s dive in!
The stigma around abortion
Abortion stigma is a major factor that affects mental health in girls & women that undergo an abortion. The stigma of their choice makes them experience feelings of guilt, shame or self-blame and these feelings are correlated with anxiety, depression, stress and self-exclusion from society.
Abortion stigma has a higher prevalence among religious women than in non-religious ones, and in countries where abortion is completely banned or allowed only in a special context. Therefore, this stigma is influenced by politics and legislation.
There are several sources of abortion stigma such as society, own community and close environment (family, friends, sexual partner), medical institutions or religious institutions. All these factors create wrong perceptions about women who had an abortion. As a result, they are less wanted for marriage than women with no abortion history. Several studies researched the stigma of abortion amongst girls & women and results show that 66% of them expected being judged from people in their environment, 40% of them that their family and friends would be disappointed in them and 17% that they would be treated different by health care providers.
How can we end the stigma around abortion? By supporting organizations and campaigns that destigmatize abortion and offer guidance to women in need.
We found some impressive organizations that have an important impact on people's life.
International Campaign for Women’s right to safe abortion
The International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion’s mission is to bring together organizations and individuals who support and promote the right to safe abortion through knowledge creation and sharing, network and coalition building, and advocacy. Their goals are to make abortion legal, accessible and available to everyone in need.
You can join their campaign and make an impact, either as an individual interested in making abortion accessible or as an organization that is promoting safe abortion option.
Women on Web
Women on Web is a Canadian non-profit organization, that provides help and information on safe abortion and contraception. Their mission is to provide safe, accessible and affordable online abortion care to women and people around the world. Through resources such as telemedicine, research, community Women on Web offers online consultations with doctors that can prescribe contraceptives or medical abortion pills.
You can help this organization in supporting many girls and women in need through donations.
Pratigya is a network of individuals and organizations working towards protecting and advancing women’s rights and their access to safe abortion care in India. Through their organization, they approach various aspects of abortion, such as abortion services, legislation, access to medical abortion pills, collaborations with companies and media in order to increase awareness and lower stigma around abortion.
If you want to make a contribution to Pratigya, you can donate, volunteer or start a partnership.
Safe Abortion Action Fund
Safe Abortion Action Fund is an organization that focuses on the needs of the marginalized and most vulnerable women and girls. They fund projects which provide abortion services within a comprehensive package of sexual and reproductive health services, including post-abortion contraception. The organization has a multi-donor funding mechanism to support small local organizations working to increase access to safe abortion. Since 2006, they have impacted 45 countries with 80 implemented projects that destigmatize abortion and legitimize the abortion debate.
National Abortion Federation
The National Abortion Federation is the professional association of abortion providers. Their mission is to unite, represent, serve and support abortion providers in delivering patient-centered evidence-based care. The association provides a hotline for abortion referrals and financial assistance in the U.S. and Canada in order to make abortion services more accessible to girls and women in need.
If you want to contribute to the National Abortion Federation you can donate or join their community.
The Abortion buddy initiative from The Netherlands supports girls & women that decide to have an abortion by accompanying them to the clinic. An abortion buddy is a person who respects the individual choice and will not ask questions about the pregnancy. The buddy is selected by the organization and trained to guide the girl/women in a supportive way, to and from the clinic.
You can support the Abortion buddy organization by donating or by registering as an Abortion buddy.
Remember, abortion is a human right and the woman in question has the right to decide for her future. Legalizing abortion all over the world would lead to less mortality and to a fairer life. We stand by Poland and by the other countries that are fighting against banning abortion.
Be smart. Be (c)LIT. Fly with us!🌺🐝