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Smash Abortion Stigma

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    Join us and speak out to end abortion stigma once and for all!

    Everyone loves someone who’s had an abortion. Worldwide, one in four pregnancies end in abortion. Yet stigma and judgement persist.

    Stigma surrounding abortion is creating a culture of silence, meaning women who need safe services often lack essential information on where to access them. Stigma can stop women from speaking to their family or friends about their experience out of fear of being judged, leading to many women feeling isolated and alone throughout their experience and long thereafter. Stigma feeds silence, and silence feeds myths. Myths that misinform, mislead and further stigmatise. It’s a vicious and harmful circle that we need to break. 

    As one of the world’s leading pro-choice organisations, MSI Reproductive Choices is unapologetic in our defence of a woman’s right to abortion, and we are proud to provide safe abortion services wherever the law permits it. We believe that everyone has the right to determine their own future, whether that means using contraception to prevent an unintended pregnancy or choosing to end a pregnancy through safe abortion. 

    We are on a mission to reduce stigma around abortion and increase access to information and support in the face of an increasing anti-choice presence. Open and honest conversations about abortion help people seeking abortion feel informed and supported when it comes to making choices about their own bodies. 

    Now is the time to #SmashAbortionStigma. Read our guide to ending abortion stigma through conversation and content.

    “The moment we start to share our stories is the moment society’s attitude starts to shift.”

    Amy, UK

    I found out I was pregnant when I was at college – my contraception had failed. And I knew straight away that I wanted to have an abortion. I had big plans and children weren’t part of them.

    Even though I was completely confident in my choice to have an abortion, I only told a few people at the time. Looking back, I did feel silenced, simply because it wasn’t something people spoke about.

    As I grew older, I started to realise that I wasn’t ashamed of my abortion. Lately I’ve started to tell more people about it. It’s so important that people are able to talk openly about abortion. I know if I heard my friends, family or teachers talk more openly about abortion I would have  felt less alone in my choice.

    The moment we start to share our stories is the moment society’s attitude starts to shift. That’s why I feel as though I have a duty to share mine.

    How to get involved

    Everyone’s abortion experiences are unique, and many of us have different stories of when and how our pro-choice views solidified. We are calling on our supporters to speak out and take a stand to #SmashAbortionStigma through conversation, break the wall of silence and share your reasons for being pro-choice across your network.

    Five ways to #SmashAbortionStigma

    Abortion is common. Yet stigma causes people to feel they need to keep their abortions and the experience around it a secret, which can lead to feelings of shame and isolation.  

    Help us #SmashAbortionStigma with these five simple steps: 

    Talk about abortion and support those who speak out

    One of the biggest reasons abortion stigma persists is the pressure on people to remain silent. By challenging this culture of secrecy and sharing personal stories we can empower women and make talking about abortion normal.

    Challenge your own misconceptions

    By learning the facts about abortion as well as the myths pushed by the anti-choice movement, you can help us to challenge archaic views on abortion.

    Challenge stigmatising views

    It can sometimes be hard to speak out against stigmatising views, but if you hear a conversation or a rude remark being made about abortion, don’t be afraid to challenge them. By intervening and speaking up in support of abortion, you can help stop the myths, shame and stigma while supporting any individual present who might feel targeted by the remark.

    Be conscious of your language

    Language matters, and sometimes prejudice and fears surrounding abortion are unknowingly expressed in the language you use. By communicating with a little more consideration, we can all help to stop language that stigmatises abortion.

    Share support for this campaign

    in the movement by sharing your story on social media using the hashtag #SmashAbortionStigma or by recording a short video explaining why you are pro-choice.

    Looking for more information?

    MSI - Zambia - Contraception

    Find services

    Looking for information on where we work and services?

    UK client provider

    Explainer: The right to abortion

    What makes abortion a right worth fighting for? And how do we make safe abortion services a reality for everyone?

    Advocacy - MSI Global Strategy Meeting 2023_ (002)

    Abortion language guide

    This guide is designed to help you talk about abortion and help end abortion stigma.

    Want to join the movement for reproductive rights? 

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