When blogger Penelope Trunk tweeted her miscarriage last year, a writer at Double X urged women to take the idea even further in a piece called Go Ahead, Tweet Your Abortion. And now someone has done just that.
Shortly after Angie Jackson discovered she was pregnant, she announced her plans to broadcast the grisly details of her abortion on Twitter (using the hash tag #livetweetingabortion), YouTube, and her blog, Angie the Anti-Theist. She even inspired her first copycat abortion tweeter.
So much for abortion being about privacy.
Angie, an unemployed mother of one, says chronicling her experience with the abortion pill isn’t a publicity stunt. Instead, she’s doing it “to demystify abortion.” In a video uploaded to YouTube, Angie explains, “I just want to let everybody know that you too can have an abortion if you want one.”
Phew. Thank goodness Angie was around to enlighten us. I was, like, totally unaware of Roe v. Wade until I watched her video.
Some of Angie’s tweets are painful to read:
I guess I’m a little bit scared. I don’t know what it will be like, or how bad I’ll feel, or if I’ll have any help. I wish I had family.
Others, while still painful, are flippant and callous:
I feel infected & I feel mad at my BF even tho this wasn’t intentional or without my involvement. Like he was a carrier, & I’m contaminated
I can’t wait for the eviction. This womb squatter has gotta go.
BF said no, he would not vacuum it outta me with the Eureka. Jerk.
How exactly is Angie’s cold detachment supposed to “demystify” abortion?
Unsurprisingly, Angie now sits atop the list of contemporary “progressive” heroines. The Frisky praised her “toughness” and “magnanimousness.” Tracy Clark-Flory at Salon’s Broadsheet says “women should thank” Angie for “doing women a real favor.” And Jill Filipovic at Feministe calls Angie “brave” for providing “a pretty generous service to other women.”
If it takes courage to endure the bile and vitriol of online commenters, then NewsReal bloggers are veritable knights in shining armor. But there’s nothing heroic about this RU-486 reality show. Angie isn’t any braver than a woman who terminates her pregnancy privately; she just discovered there are online communities willing to provide validation for any conceivable type of oversharing.
Freedom of choice is the law of the land, and assuming Angie Jackson is being honest, most Americans would support her decision to privately abort a life-threatening early term pregnancy. Even the adamantly pro-life Sarah Palin has admitted that abortion crossed her mind when she discovered her son Trig would be born with Down syndrome. “I do understand what these women, what these girls go through in that thought process,” she told the audience at a pro-life event.
But somewhere along the way, leftist pro-choice rhetoric morphed from “safe, legal, and rare” to “safe, legal, and celebrated.” Even before Angie brought her abortion demystification parade to Twitter, bioethicist Jacob Appel promoted the idea of an abortion pride movement and sites like I’mNotSorry.net invited women to share their “positive experiences with abortion.”
We all have the freedom to say what we please, even if it demonstrates an extraordinary lack of boundaries. But we don’t have the freedom to speak without being judged.
For the record, I have no interest in regulating adult access to early term abortions. I believe education, changing hearts and minds, and providing support for families who experience unintended pregnancies are more effective than anti-abortion legislation.
But a four-week-old embryo isn’t just a clump of cells like my sex ed teacher claimed. It’s a growing human life, and treating the termination of that life as an Internet novelty with all the gravity of a chipped nail is nothing short of ghoulish.