“I had an abortion”

Interesting article in Bitch Magazine about the “I had an abortion” T-shirt. Apparently the idea of the shirt is to show people (pro-lifers? fence-sitters?) how many different types of women have had abortions.

The article points out that the shirt has attracted dramatic responses, and not just from pro-lifers. Pro-choice women aren’t so sure it’s a good idea to advertise the fact they’ve had an abortion. Aside from the personal safety issues (which would be significant where I come from), there are personal privacy issues, and the question of whether it would have any impact.

Suppose the 40 million or so women who’ve had abortions all decided to wear the shirt. Would pro-lifers, seeing they live among millions of murderers, finally decide murder is okay? Or would they realize it was time to step up their anti-abortion efforts?

The shirt strikes me as a fairly dumb idea. I’m not sure “laying low” is the best way to keep abortion safe and legal, but this strikes me as rather a slap in the face of anti-abortion advocates. As I’ve said many times, I don’t think it would be a good idea for the pro-choice crowd to hire me as an advocate, but at least I recognize that my rhetoric probably isn’t doing any good. If the shirt begins to be more widely worn, I’ll be fascinated to see what its effect is.

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