Stigma keeps people silent about their personal experiences, and silence feeds public complacency with political attacks and destructive myths.
Researchers define abortion stigma as “a shared understanding that abortion is morally wrong and/or socially unacceptable.” Stigma creates discomfort around abortion, which contributes to misinformation and lack of knowledge about abortion. When there is a lack of information and knowledge, anti-abortion advocates are all too ready to fill the void with misinformation and even outright false information.
Abortion stigma harms people who have had abortions and people who provide abortions. It causes shame, silence, and isolation. It makes it harder for people to get care or ask for support when they need an abortion.
It is on all of us to fight abortion stigma and protect the health and wellbeing of patients before, during, and after their abortions.