But can narratives around abortion actually change people’s minds? “When you see or hear or read the narrative around people’s abortion experiences, it humanizes that experience and you are no longer able to consider the person getting the abortion as an ‘other’ or as someone who isn’t like you,” says Gretchen Ely, an associate professor of social work at the University of Buffalo who studies access to reproductive health care. women have an abortion by age 45.) “Knowing someone in your own community has [probably] gone through this experience makes it much more personal.” And when people begin to realize that someone they work with or live next door to, or even someone they love, might very well have had an abortion, it can be transformative, she says. The study concluded that “individuals’ attitudes can be influenced and changed by personal information, but personal information about abortion is being carefully managed.” in 2017 was more decisive, albeit limited in scope., which runs the 1 in 3 Campaign that Luna is involved in, points out that for many people hearing these stories, abortion shifts from being strictly a political issue to one that hits closer to home. found a link between a person’s attitudes on abortion and whether or not they know someone who has had the procedure; specifically, those who believed abortion should be illegal were 21 percent less likely than Americans who favor abortion rights to have heard that someone they know had one. In it, over a dozen women’s book clubs around the country read and discussed a nonfiction book that included stories of pregnancy and abortion.As greater numbers of people come out to family and friends, the more “normal” being gay seems to ever larger swaths of the population.
The researchers wrote that “exposure to the stories of women who have had abortions can reduce abortion stigma.”But people who share their personal experiences with abortion are often harassed and subjected to vitriol, especially online.
The rub, of course, is that the power these stories wield directly depends on how many people hear the message.
“There’s so much silence and stigma around abortion, but when people share their stories, they create space for more people to feel like, ‘Oh, I can enter that conversation and I’m not alone,’” says Reticker-Flynn.
“Storytelling inspires storytelling.” In this way, the fight to lift the stigma that accompanies abortion has parallels to the gay rights movement.
Having to look at an ultrasound and listen to the fetal heartbeat certainly didn’t make things any easier for her.
“I was in the waiting room and was like, ‘Is this really what I want to do? I hope you don’t punish me.’”Luna ended her abusive relationship soon after her second abortion, and is now pursuing a master’s in medical physiology.
The ultra-conservative organization Focus on the Family, which warns viewers that there is a joke about nipples in “Detective Pikachu,” has defended its unflinching depiction of “violent realities,” comparing the movie to “Schindler’s List,” “Saving Private Ryan,” and “The Passion of the Christ.” The movie was designed to be a rallying point for religious conservatives: its Web site includes ready-made publicity kits that can be used to organize mass ticket purchases.
(Church groups are encouraged to buy out entire showtimes at theatres.) On April 1st, Vice-President Mike Pence praised the movie, tweeting, “More & more Americans are embracing the sanctity of life because of powerful stories like this one.”About a month after the Vice-President’s tweet, the governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, signed a law called HB 481, which will, starting in 2020, effectively prohibit abortion in the state after the sixth week of pregnancy, when doctors can sometimes detect electrical activity in the fetal cells, a signal that is sometimes referred to as a “fetal heartbeat.” This sort of legislation is the pet project of the religious group Faith2Action, whose Web site currently assures readers that Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s presence on the Supreme Court bodes well for so-called heartbeat bills to be upheld at the federal level.
“One of the most damaging ways that plays out is it controls the conversation around abortion and makes it sort of a clandestine topic.
And the policy that we allow to go into place based on the stigma is very troubling.”Ask anyone who works to destigmatize abortion, and they’ll be quick to point out the range of stories they hear from people who have had one.