Autumn Lindsey is 16 years old and she has a message for Teen Vogue: You were way out of line with your article about how to care for a friend who’s just had an abortion.
The article appears on teenvogue.com and features a slideshow titled “What to Get a Friend Post-Abortion.” The introduction to the slideshow of gift ideas includes some very concerning ideas about abortion and sexuality. Among the questionable advice to teenage girls given in the article are these lines: “The worst part of all this isn’t the procedure itself (which by the way is completely safe as long as you have access to a good clinic). The worst part is how you’re treated afterwards.” The article then goes on to suggest gifts a girl could get her friend who has just “made the right choice for her situation.”
Lindsey and her friends at Students for Life (a pro-life group consisting of high school and college-age students) have put together an articulate response in the form of a video. Lindsey doesn’t mince any words as she addresses the editors of the magazine that is marketed to girls like here: “You trivialized an issue that leaves millions of women struggling everyday. Such a blasé approach hurts women who regret their abortions. It minimizes their pain.”
Lindsey then goes on to point out the inherent problems with some of the suggested gifts featured in the article.
A funny movie
The implication here is that you will need a funny movie to get your mind off the experience you just went through. That may be a good idea after you get your wisdom teeth removed from your mouth, but not after you’ve had a baby “surgically removed” from your body.
Underwear that you can rock after your abortion
The article introduces the reader to Thinx brand underwear, which is intended for women to wear while menstruating. But, these revolutionary undergarments can also help after an abortion because “there will be blood.” Lindsey states the obvious problem with this gift: Cool underwear won’t fix it or make it better.
Angry uterus heating pad
This is a heating pad shaped like a uterus (complete with angry face). If this weren’t distasteful enough, the article points out that your friend will be experiencing things like “cramping” and the feeling of “two throbbing hot balls of lead are trying to escape your body, all while your stomach contracts over and over again.” So this is some serious pain your friend is about to experience, but Teen Vogue would also like to take this opportunity to reiterate: Abortion is no big deal.
Girl power hat
Because every girl who just had an abortion must think: “I just ended my baby’s life. Girl power!” Lindsey asks, When do girls begin to have power? To Lindsey, abortion seems like the opposite of girl power.
F U-terus pin
This is possibly the most curious thing on the gift list. It’s a pin in the shape of a uterus complete with middle finger. Some of the proceeds from the sale of the pin go to Planned Parenthood.
Become an abortion clinic escort
Another “gift” the article suggests is becoming an abortion clinic escort. These are people who help women after they are done at the clinic to get home safely and walk through the aftermath of the “procedure.” Lindsey articulates a pertinent point: “Encouraging teenagers to be abortion clinic escorts” doesn’t seem to be a good idea. “Minors don’t have the tools to deal with that kind of pressure,” Lindsey says.
Needlepoint that reads “We won’t go back”
Once again, Teen Vogue would like teen girls to know: “There is nothing to be ashamed of or feel guilty about.” However, Lindsey is not young enough to know that the guilt will catch up with your post-abortion friend, and more often than not, “depression drags them down.”
Lindsey starts wrapping up the video by giving the advice she wishes the magazine had given girls trying to help a friend recover from an abortion. “Sit with her in her grief, pray for her, remind her of God’s redemption and comfort her in her suffering. Offer your friendship and help her find healing.” Instead of treating an abortion like a stigmatized medical procedure that is actually completely harmless and ethical, Lindsey encourages teens to “treat it like a terrible loss.” Because it is, whether your friend realizes it now or down the road.
Additionally, Lindsey offers a handful of organizations committed to helping women heal from abortions:
To hear the well-articulated argument in its entirety, check out the video below: