Tweeting abortion

Mary Hasson

My heart is so sad.  I just watched the chilling YouTube video by Angie Jackson, a Florida mom undergoing an abortion at-home using RU-486. Angie wants the world to experience her abortion with her—so she’s “tweeting” about, in graphic detail and with appalling coldness. Her purpose? According to her video, she hopes to “demystify abortion” so that women will know, “It’s just not that bad.”  Her tweets themselves tell a different and tragic story.

For those who twitter, see hashtag #livetweetingabortion.  For those who don’t, Jill Stanek, a pro-life activist, reprints Angie’s tweets here: http://www.jillstanek.com/archives/2010/02/live_tweeting_a_4.html.  Fox,  ABC, and others also covered the story but with few quotes from the tweets themselves. I think it’s important to read the Twitter posts, not to condemn Angie but to understand who she is and the misery wrought by her adult choices.  (Her wretched childhood, rife with religious exploitation and sexual abuse, scarred her soul. She calls herself an anti-theist.)

I am so sad, for Angie and women like her.  Her child is now with God.  Angie remains in her own internal pain.  She says she’s been astonished by the outcry over her tweets, in which she calls her baby a “parasite,” “tapeworm,” and a “squatter” and celebrates death (“Yay, I’m bleeding.”)   How does a heart become so callous? And what kind of doublethink causes a mom--with a four-year-old son whom she loves—to depersonalize her unborn child in such appalling terms?

Angie’s reactions, chronicled by impulsive tweets, capture a dark reality that contradicts her scripted rhetoric. In one interview, she called her boyfriend “completely supportive,” citing his ready agreement to pay for the abortion.  Her real-life tweets curse him for leaving dishes in the sink while she’s in pain that even Vicodin can’t dim. She claims she’s “relieved to see how simple it’s been,”  while her posts bemoan the failure of the first round of meds, the drawn-out process (at least a week from start to finish), the cramping, and the pain. While her interview says an RU-486 abortion is like a “menstrual period,” she repeatedly talks about her need for support, to avoid feeling shame, to lessen the taboo of abortion.  Since when do most women feel a taboo, shame or in need of support to cope with their monthly period?

Most revealing, she says, in a Facebook Q & A , “I had imagined, naively, that people would accept it [the abortion] because I’m in a committed relationship. I was monogamous. I was using protection. I had a kid. I have health risks. We paid for this out of pocket and not out of any taxpayer means. If I can’t talk about my first trimester abortion, which was legal and in my case life-saving, then who the hell can talk about her abortion?”

This is a woman who desperately wants approval for what she’s done.  She, like others who become militantly pro-abortion, wants the whitewash of “normalcy” to camouflage her awful choice—and her even-worse decision to provide play-by-play coverage.

Angie desperately wants to silence the whisper of God in her own heart. But unlike the clamor of condemnation from some harsh pro-lifers, God’s whisper is a message of His love, steadfastness, and forgiveness.  And it’s a whisper so powerful that it can open even the hardest heart. Ironically, Angie’s inability to still the whisper gives us hope—hope that she’ll take the armor of hurt off her own heart and hear the God who loves her. 

Angie, I hope you’ll tweet again when you’ve found the love that never fails. And in the meantime, even in sadness, I’ll be praying for you.

Topics: Abortion , Culture , Current Events , Young Women

Mary Rice Hasson, the mother of seven, is a Fellow in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington, D.C. She blogs at wordsfromcana.

View all articles by Mary Hasson

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April 18, 2014

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