Planned Parenthood Defends “I Had an Abortion” Shirts Despite Backlash

Steven Ertelt
July 30, 2004

Washington, DC ( — Criticism from pro-life groups, women who have had abortions, and even from their own local affiliates hasn’t stopped the Planned Parenthood Federation of America from selling t-shirts with the slogan, “I Had an Abortion.”

In a statement responding to the national outrage, PPFA president Glora Feldt, says, “The shirt is not a cavalier statement, but a way to challenge the silence and shame around an experience many women have shared, however difficult that decision may have been.”

Feldt blames pro-life groups for making it necessary to sell the t-shirt.

“One in three American women will have an abortion before the age of 45, and anti-choice extremists are doing everything they can to turn that choice into a scarlet letter, and ultimately to criminalize this option,” Feldt explains.

“In that effort, some anti-choice activists have publicly disclosed that they had an abortion, only to cast this option in shame,” Feldt added.

But Feldt comments are offensive to many women who have had abortions, suffered from extreme physical and emotional consequences, and regret their decision.

At age 18, Pennsylvania resident Karen Bodle learned she was pregnant from her first sexual encounter and had an abortion when she felt she had no other options.

The abortion experience left Karen depressed and confused and plagued her ability to develop a relationship because she was continually haunted by her experience.

“I want America to know that abortion hurts women. Women are created to love and nurture their children, not have them ripped from their wombs and thrown away,” Bodle says.

“I did not want more women to go through the intense pain and suffering that I had experienced,” Bodle added.

Read the entire article on the website.


3 thoughts on “Planned Parenthood Defends “I Had an Abortion” Shirts Despite Backlash”

  1. “Real Choices,” by Frederica Mathewes-Green is an excellent expose on the pain of abortion. It details discussions, within group settings, with women who have suffered abortion and who are right and left of the issue politically. I can’t see any of them wearing Planned Parenthood’s new T-shirt.

  2. Where does this 1 in 3 number come from?

    If true, that’s possibly the single most frightening statistic about abortion I’ve ever read.

  3. I don’t think abortion is that much of an issue within the Church. Maybe I am niave saying this. I assume there are people within the church who have abortions, but I also tend to assume that most of the people who have them are not part of any church. I would be more interested to find out the religious affiliation, if any, of those who do have abortions.

    St. Innocent of Alaska actually had to deal with this problem as Bishop of Alaska. Many of the natives he served as pastor to were nomadic peoples who were dependant on following the hunt in order to survive. He realized that when these peoples had to travel, there were times when they could only physically carry so many children. Sometimes a newborn would be left by the mother on the ice. Interestingly, he advised his priests not to condemn the natives for this practice.

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