They're probably the only anti-abortion group that gets to me: average women, sombre faces, black signs with white writing that proclaim "I Regret My Abortion".
And my first thought is: Dude, that sucks.
And my second thought is: That's not a valid argument.
And my third thought is: Why have you gone to the dark side?
Let's deal with those thoughts one at a time, shall we?
First of all - that really, really sucks. I can't imagine how much stress, depression, insomnia, and wordless rage that kind of regret must generate. Every day, every smiling family, every child, every parent, must provoke a numb hollowness that is unbearable.
BUT - and this brings us to thought number two - that is not a valid argument. You made one of the most difficult decisions any person will ever be faced with, and now you regret your choice. You have my sympathy. But you don't know better than I do what's right for me and my body. I'm sorry that you regret your abortion, and I'm interested in your story, but you don't get to make that choice for me.
Laws don't exist to protect me from making decision I might regret (hello, grade six perm), they exist to protect my fundamental human rights and freedoms. They exist to create a society in which fully autonomous citizens are informed and aware and capable of excercising free will.
Which leads me to my final point - these woman have(unwittingly, I like to think) gone over to the dark side by endorsing the same social factors which likely contributed to their regrettable decision in the first place: the systemic devaluation of women, their intellect, their contributions to society, and their intrinsic worth.
Did these women abort because of pressures from their partners, parents or peers? Were they made to feel selfish for considering what was best for them and not the interests of others? Were they threatened with financial abandonment, physical violence, or moral judgment?
Abortion wasn't, and isn't, the problem - it's a society which consistently undermine women's rights. And that is why, when I look at these women, I want to extend my arms and invite them over to this side of the fence, where they belong, where every woman can choose what is right for her and her alone and not fear retribution for daring to presume to act like a full human being with the rights and privileges thereby accorded.