A Complicated Choice
Making Space for Grief and Healing in the Pro-Choice Movement
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Available January 18, 2022
Too often, the public abortion debate depicts the experience of ending a pregnancy in falsely simplistic terms. Anti-abortion activists falsely contend that abortion is always emotionally damaging for the pregnant person, while pro-choice activists focus on honoring bodily autonomy and personal conscience without always giving voice to the nuances of abortion itself. In particular, the pro-choice movement fails to acknowledge that some people experience abortion as a kind of loss.
A Complicated Choice addresses the fact that abortion stigma is ubiquitous, even among those who identify as pro-choice. We have not been supportive of people who have abortions, especially those whose experiences are complicated and involve grief and loss. Bringing the reader along the journeys of those who have had abortions, Rev. Katey Zeh opens up space for the complexities of our reproductive lives, giving voice to the experiences of grief, loss, and healing surrounding abortion experiences. She weaves these personal stories with key insights from the fields of psychology, theology, and public policy to illuminate the systemic injustices that undergird the conditions that shape a person's decision to end a pregnancy.
A Complicated Choice goes beyond the falsely simplistic terms "pro-life" and "pro-choice" that define the public abortion debate and centers the real people making the decision to end a pregnancy in the context of their full lives and circumstances. A call to people of faith and to all people to examine our judgments about people who have abortions, we are invited into the act of sacred listening to the real stories of those most impacted. By focusing on these experiences, we will be drawn away from the stalemate of debate and into a spiritual response rooted in compassion for those who end pregnancies.