Today, we call on our supporters to come together and speak out to end abortion stigma once and for all.
Everyone loves someone who's had an abortion. Worldwide, one in four pregnancies end in abortion. Yet stigma and judgement persist.
High levels of stigma around abortion are creating a culture of silence, meaning women who need safe services often lack essential information on where to access them. Stigma can stop women from speaking to their family or friends about their experience out of fear of being judged, leading to many women feeling isolated and alone throughout their experience and long thereafter. Stigma feeds silence, and silence feeds myths. Myths that misinform, mislead and further stigmatise. It’s a vicious and harmful circle that we need to break.
As one of the world’s leading pro-choice organisations, we are unapologetic in our defence of a woman’s right to abortion, and we are proud to provide safe abortion services wherever the law permits it. We believe that every woman has the right to determine her own future, whether that means using contraception to prevent an unintended pregnancy or choosing to end a pregnancy through safe abortion.
Our new research shows that in the UK, only one in three women would tell their family if they were considering an abortion, even though the vast majority of women are pro-choice and want abortion to be talked about more openly. We need to have open and honest conversations about abortion that help women and girls feel informed, educated and supported when it comes to making choices about their own bodies.
Now is the time to #SmashAbortionStigma.
Everyone’s abortion experiences are unique, and many of us have different stories of when and how our pro-choice views solidified. So today, we are calling on our supporters to speak out and take a stand to #SmashAbortionStigma through conversation. To break the wall of silence by sharing their reasons for being pro-choice across social media.
Follow the link to access our Supporter Toolkit, which includes more information on how to get involved, along with campaign graphics and suggested social media posts.
Abortion is common. Yet stigma causes people to feel they need to keep their abortions and the experience around it a secret, which can lead to feelings of isolation.
To help break the wall of silence surrounding abortion, we've put together five easy ways to help #SmashAbortionStigma
One of the biggest reasons abortion stigma persists is the pressure on women to remain silent. By challenging this culture of secrecy and sharing personal stories we can empower women and make talking about abortion normal.
By learning the facts about abortion as well as the myths pushed by the anti-choice movement, you can help shake archaic and outdated views on abortion, and feel confident in challenging them.
It can sometimes be hard to speak out against stigmatising views, but if you hear a conversation or a rude remark being made about abortion, don't be afraid to challenge them. By intervening and speaking up in support of abortion, you can help stop the myths, shame and stigma while supporting any individual present who might feel targeted by the remark.
Language matters, and sometimes prejudice and fears surrounding abortion are unknowingly expressed in the language you use. By communicating with a little more consideration, we can all help to stop language that stigmatises abortion.
Join the movement by sharing your story on social media using the hashtag #SmashAbortionStigma or by recording a short video explaining why you are pro-choice.