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.