Most people who have abortions feel relief, and abortion regret is almost unheard of. That doesn’t mean you’re required to feel good about your abortion, or that media coverage of abortion won’t feel triggering and upsetting. Stories about abortion routinely depict people who have abortions as, at best, lost and vulnerable, and at worst, murderous and selfish. We list 5 ways to cope with abortion media coverage in this post.
It’s almost unheard of to see the mundane, everyday abortion stories that saved and changed people’s lives. And forget about seeing stories of abortion as a form of empowerment, as a way to take control of your life. No wonder so many people who have had abortions feel awful about themselves when abortion makes its way through social media and television.
So what can you do if you’re sick of hearing about abortion only through the mouths of people who have never had one? Here are 5 ways to cope with abortion media coverage.
Go on an Information Diet
There’s no rule that you have to read every abortion story, engage with every anti-choice troll, or even watch the news. You can be an engaged citizen and a helpful member of your community without following every new development. That’s because the truth is there’s not much new in the world of choice politics; it’s all the same old story of white men trying to take rights away from everyone else. So turn off the TV. Get off social media. Give your brain a break from the constant stress.
Tell Your Story to Cope with Abortion Media Coverage
If you feel comfortable doing so, telling your own abortion story can empower others–and humanize abortion-seekers. Know that there is no obligation to tell anyone about your story, ever, and you only have to share the details you feel comfortable sharing. But if you’re ready, consider sharing your story on social media, or on a website like We Testify.
Practice Some Healthy Mantras
What is the healthiest, truest thing you can say to yourself about your abortion? Spend some time thinking about this, and then develop some mantras you can repeat to yourself. Some options might include:
- My abortion saved my life.
- My abortion gave me the life I have today.
- My abortion was an act of love.
- I have mixed feelings about my abortion, and that’s ok.
- Good people have abortions.
- An abortion can be a moral decision. Sometimes abortion is the only moral decision.
- Only bad people try to control others’ bodies.
- Anti-choice activism is about hurting women, not protecting children.
Engage in More Self-Care
Self-care isn’t an occasional thing. It’s something you need to do every day. It’s also about more than baths and skincare, and can include things like making a to-do list, paying down your debt, or making that phone call you’ve been dreading. You deserve care and love. Each day, ask yourself what you need to do today that will protect your body and mind. Then consider what single task you could complete that your future self would thank you for. Self-care is not selfish; it’s mandatory for survival. And the energy you spend on it is energy not spent ruminating over your abortion.
If your abortion improved your life, consider giving back to the pro-choice community is one of 5 ways to cope with abortion media coverage. Abortion clinics are chronically underfunded, and perennially under attack. Here are 5 ways to support your local abortion clinic.