Unless you've been living under a rock, you're probably aware of the debates and exhaustive congressional hearings that have been taking place over Planned Parenthood. People who don't want abortions to ever happen, no matter how medically necessary, have been trying to shut the organization down, almost taking the whole government with them. At the same time, pro-choice folks across the country have been speaking up for all the services PP provides to American women, from STI testing to breast cancer screening — particularly for those in lower income brackets who may not be able afford basic gynecological services elsewhere. Amanda Duarte, however, wants to point out what no one seems to want to say: ABORTIONS ARE LEGAL.
An abortion superpark with a waterslide? Oooh, that's inventive! (And rather like a story from The Onion that fooled pro-life politicians.) What was intended as a rant to blow off steam about liberal hand-wringing over a safe and legal procedure quickly went viral. Amanda wrote about the experience for Marie Claire, saying:
When we emerged and rejoined the grid, I checked my phone.
I thought it was broken. I thought there was some kind of glitch. My phone glowed hot in my hand. I had hundreds of friend requests. I had in fact hit the limit for friend requests, which I now know is one thousand. The post itself? Over 20,000 likes. I was suddenly the focus of the vast and terrifying panoply of human digital behavior.
Again, I thought this must be some kind of mistake, some weird algorithmic shart. Then I started reading the comments and messages, which were overwhelming.
An overwhelming number of the messages Amanda received were positive, but she quickly saw the other, nastier side of being a viral pro-choice voice:
But mixed in with the encouraging responses were people calling me a whore, a murderer. There was a holy trinity of the c-word: stupid c-nt, f-cking c-nt, insane c-nt. Many people cordially invited me to end my own life. A group called Chicks on the Right called me a godless monster—right underneath a post celebrating the recent deaths of hundreds of Muslims in the stampede at Mecca. Pro-lifers!
A lot of people sent me violent and graphic messages telling me to abort myself (the logic here mystifies me), then immediately blocked me so that I couldn't respond or access their profiles. I guess that's a popular tactic. I would never have thought of it, because I never send hateful, violent messages to people simply because I disagree with them, and then so fear their response that I scurry away and hide. The other thing I learned is that some people will send you a hateful message, hover over their screen until the moment they get a read receipt, and then quickly delete it, so that you cannot report it to Facebook or the police.
While Amanda stands by her statement overall, she admits to one regret:
I have one other regret, by the way. There were women who said that they agreed with the post, but that their abortions had been painful, tragic, or both, and that they found my statement to be insensitive to them. I could have been a bit clearer about this. I meant that the fact of abortion, the existence of it, is not itself tragic or painful—it just is.
We'll see if this clarification makes her haters marginally more reasonable.