One in four American women will have an abortion by the age of 45, according to the Guttmacher Institute, the leading reproductive health research organization. This is down from one in three a few years ago – primarily due to increased usage of long-acting reversible contraception -- but it’s still a statistic that surprises many people. Here’s why:
Although we at Planned Parenthood know that abortion is a normal part of many women’s reproductive life, there is tremendous stigma around abortion. Many women worry that others will judge or shame their decision to have an abortion, so they remain silent, not telling even friends and family. This silence means that people rarely hear real stories about real people’s experience with abortion. Instead, the voices of religious and political leaders–not real women–shape the abortion narrative in America.
We want to change that. Our multi-year #GoodbyeStigma project aims to end the silence about abortion, raising up real people’s voices and busting myths about abortion. We’re not aiming to change the extreme anti-abortion folks’ minds (that’s a waste of time), but instead broaden the understanding of all the people in the middle, the ones who haven’t thought much about abortion or have passively absorbed the stigma message around them.
Interested in learning more? Check out our #GoodbyeStigma web page for articles, video and stories.
Want to know more facts about who has abortions in the US? Check out the Guttmacher Institute’s most recent abortion fact sheethere. (A few fun facts: The abortion rate reached a historic low in 2014, lower even than the first year after Roe v Wade legalized abortion in the US. And 59% of abortions were obtained by people who already had one birth.)
And if you’re already an anti-stigma ambassador, make sure you use the new one-in-four statistic.