People who know nothing about abortion or women but who think it is their business to control women’s reproduction are angry about Teen Vogue’s slide show, What to Get a Friend Post-Abortion.

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The piece was called vile and an attempt to normalize abortion (whatever that means, abortion is not normal or abnormal, it’s a procedure).

Some people think these “whimsical goodies” (which makes one think of something twee or ruffled and hideously ugly and nothing one would find in Teen Vogue) are what lead a good, young girl from her purity pledge down a path of sluttery to abortion.


Lifesite news was upset that the heating pad was an angry uterus. Should it have been an angry penis? Oh right, women should writhe in pain to do penance or something because suffering is Christian. Well, suffering for women anyway.

Here’s the “revolutionary” advice:

Bring a movie. 

Bring some Thinx (that one is really great!. Women usually bleed for a few days after an abortion and we generally recommend against tampons. Pads are obviously an option, but Thinx are a really great alternative. Does Erick Erikson want women to just free bleed around the house or something?

A book of poetry by Rupi Kaur

A heating pad shaped like an angry uterus. It’s the uterus cramping, why shouldn’t the heating pad be shaped like a uterus? A heating pad can obviously be used again during your period or even when you have a sore back. This is so not whimsical. It’s weird and kind of Ugly Doll. It might get a friend to crack a smile. I guess that’s the wrong part?

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A ball cap with a GRL PWR. Why not? You’ll know if it’s the kind of thing that might make your friend smile. Also, just because you’ve had an abortion doesn’t mean you don’t want to cover up your hair when you get out for a walk later that day.

An F U-terus pin. This idea is to wear it when some “rude jerk asks if you regret your choice (as if that is somehow their business), you won’t need to say a word.” The proceeds also go to Planned Parenthood. I think the people who are angry at this think smaller government means one so tiny it can fit in a uterus.

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Sign up to be a clinic escort. I love this idea of paying it forward with activism. This probably scares the forced birthers.

We won’t go back needlepoint. Why not? Unless you think we should go back.

RBG coloring book. Adult coloring books can be soothing. Why not have one celebrating a Supreme Court Justice!


None of this screams abortion party BOGO to me. Three of the suggestions are medical (chocolate is always medicinal). Poetry, what’s wrong with that? A movie. Chocolate. I mean really.

If you think an angry uterus heating pad or period underwear or a coloring book celebrating a Supreme Court Justice glorifies abortion then you are seriously an idiot.

“I was going to keep the pregnancy, but instead I’m going to pay $800 and have an unnecessary transvaginal ultrasound and take two days off work because of the mandatory 48 hour waiting period just so I can get a cool pin and a heating pad from my bestie!” If that’s what you really think, you are an idiot.  Our laws make abortion punitive and there is nothing anyone can do after the fact to erase that shit.

If you think young girls ages 12 or 13 are going to think abortion is cool because of a needlepoint then you are an idiot.

I do, however, understand how the idea of helping a woman not feel ashamed might scare you if you hold misogynistic anti-science views. That speaking about abortion as a medical procedure, because that’s what it is, scares you. Better to have it lurking clandestinely in back alleys. Oppression and lies and fear are the weapons of the unjust.

When a magazine dares to speak about abortion just as it would an acne medication or sunscreen it is seen as radical and subversive to those who wage wars with lies, because in a few short slides Teen Vogue not only provided meaningful information about expected recovery, but they reframed what has become an isolating experience for many as just part of being a woman and also provided a call to arms.

This writing is anything but frivolous. It’s powerful.








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  1. Thank you so much for writing and speaking out about this article. I hadn’t heard of the article before you mentioned it but it speaks out to me. I’ve been a reader of your blog for a while now, but never commented.

    I discovered this blog 16 months ago after having had an abortion. I was all alone and had no-one in my life to turn to so I turned to the internet for something, anything.
    I’m from a conservative family and community, and after I got an abortion, all I received was hate…from the people who I thought loved me. I was called all sorts of terrible things, had lies said about me, and was told to leave my house. I would have given anything for a friend with a simple gift like in the above article, or just someone who was there for me without the hate and judgment. I went through a very long period of depression, anxiety and self-hate. I never told anyone though. I’m sure the anti-abortionists will say that the reason for my depression was the abortion, but far from it.

    What I’m trying to say is that this article in no way normalises or encourages abortion. I knew before I had mine that the people around me would be against it. I still went ahead and did it anyway. Getting a box of chocolates or a heated pad would have made NO difference to my decision. Maybe I wouldn’t have felt so alone though, and maybe I wouldn’t have had so many thoughts of ending my own life too.

    It’s taken me a long while to get to a place where I’m more stable. Your blog helped me a lot, it was a voice of reason and support for me in a time when I felt completely lost. So thank you so very much for that, Dr Gunter, and also thank you to Teen Vogue for an article that could maybe make a difference to somebody else too.

    (P.S. After I discovered you I went back and read your entire blog and I love EVERYTHING that you write. Please keep going, your voice is needed)

    1. Thank you so much for commenting and sharing your experience. It must have been so hard to not have support from your family.

      I am so glad that I helped to make a difference. By leaving your story hear I think you will help make a difference for someone else.

      You are amazing and brave and strong. I am so glad to hear you are in a better place and humbled to know that I helped a little.


    2. Clearly if you were willing to endure all that treatment from your supposed loved ones, having an abortion was the right thing for you to do under the circumstances. I am the mother of three beautiful little girls and in a loving relationship, we live in a lovely home and we can provide a stable and happy life for our daughters. If I had not been able able to access safe and affordable abortion on two occasions prior to meeting my partner, I hate to think of where my life would be and the life I of that unborn child. Instead, I was able to go on and get my life together and provide for my children the way I always dreamed I would. You made the right choice for you under those circumstances, don’t doubt yourself. Leave the experience in your past, and move forward to achieve the life you genuinely deserve and desire. Good luck!

  2. Much more useful than a glamour make-over article. People have *always* engaged in premarital/extramarital sex. Not everyone, true, but enough that it’s hardly shocking to anyone using the brain God gave ’em. And that’s not counting sexual assault. Good on Teen Vogue. Vogue’s not my cup of tea, but if it helps youngsters deal with the realities of life I’m all for it. *Especially* with all the foolhardy abstinence only sex ed. Because that worked *so* well for every other generation

    1. Also, what might be a surprise to conservative politicians, there is plenty of demand (ie need) for abortion among monogamous married women. Because babies are not always a blessing, and contraception isn’t perfect.

  3. Thank you Dr Gunter for your always real and unfiltered honesty! I love your blog!! Thank you for cutting through all the crap out there!

  4. Education and easily available free contraception. Abortion when needed. You really want to prevent abortion? Support comprehensive sex-ed and pro-women policies. You can only ban SAFE abortion.

  5. Wish I’d had access to real info like this as a teen. Luckily we had health class and biology, all of which covered stuff we needed to know. Abortion wasn’t legal yet but it was a start.

  6. But if it makes abortion look like a medical procedure and not some dark evil baby murdering attack on an innocent fetus, it’s eeeeeeevilllll!

    I wish I was kidding. I honestly do. =/

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