Anti-choice activists have long used stories of “abortion regret” in their attempts to pressure women out of obtaining an abortion. The idea had been to try to appeal to women through a sense of guilt. But with a majority of Americans supportive of abortion rights, and women needing and accessing abortion care despite these efforts, anti-choice activists have decided to switch tactics to outright shaming them.
“Surrender the Secret” is a new reality show that will “follow five women on their journey together to…healing and self forgiveness.” The show will debut in January on the Christian Internet television network KnockTv, so mercifully we won’t all be subjected to it. But the show’s producers are absolutely clear their goal with the show is simple.
“There’s a new trend among abortion proponents — convince the world that abortion is not shameful. Convince post-abortive women that any guilt they may feel is unfounded. Convince post-abortive women who have kept their abortion a secret that they should shout about it from the rooftops with pride,” says Live Action News’ Nancy Flanders. “Post-abortive women do need to talk about their choice. However, they don’t need to be and shouldn’t pretend to be proud of it.”
Since one in three women will need an abortion in their lives, that’s a lot of shaming to do.
Naturally the show is set to debut on January 22, 2013, which so happens to be the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. And this sets a clear tone for how the right will fight the next 40 years of abortion rights. The facade of concern and compassion for women facing the need to abort is officially gone. Up to this point only the most radical of the anti-choice movement Operation Rescue openly embraced the idea of publicly shaming women who had abortions in the name of “life.”
Of course the idea of publicly shaming women for having sex is nothing new. After all, Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter, a piece of historical fiction about this very practice in 1850. The medium may change, but the story does not.
Photo from Fibonacci Blue via flickr.