Dear Cosmo (on Abortion)

October 23, 2014

Have you had a chance to read Cosmo's latest article on abortion?

In it, they interview five anonymous women about their choice. I think it's important, and I am pleasantly surprised that Cosmo -- of all the "news" outlets -- took the initiative to start the conversation.

However. I believe that Cosmo missed an opportunity to craft the conversation in the right direction. Their five women are all extremely one sided. All five expressed a healthy post-procedure experience, with little feelings of depression, remorse or isolation. They all said that they 'didn't want to talk about it, and didn't need to.' Society was telling them they should feel a certain way post-procedure, and they didn't.

Good for you. However, there are women who do have a hard time with it, and do need to talk about it. Cosmo had an opportunity to express that all post-procedure emotions are valid, not just highlight ones that go against the expected. I wish Cosmo had presented a more varied array of experiences.

I applaud Cosmo for starting the conversation, and I encourage all women -- whether they found it the right choice, wrong choice, easy, difficult, life-affirming or life-altering -- to join the conversation. Every experience is important and every experience is valid. I appreciate that there are women who are trying to push back against society's imposed expectations, but there is a danger in pushing back against society that we create new expectations and impositions amongst fellow women (this applies to all minority groups 'pushing back' against the larger, societal forces on a variety of issues). You may not have felt guilt or remorse, but don't pressure women who did experience those emotions to feel abnormal. Enough of telling others what they should or shouldn't feel. Instead, let's just have an open conversation where "should" isn't the main verb.

Have you read the article? Will you?


  1. I haven't read it yet, but I completely agree with your points! The best journalism is the kind that gets every possible angle of a story. It would be great to hear from as many types of experiences as possible, and we definitely know they are out there.

  2. To be fair, I did read in the comments that the editor only had people who had positive stories reply. She says that she wanted to hear
    From both sides of the topic, but only received about 10 letters from women comfortable with answering the questions. Not that I'm disagreeing with you at all. I'm in awe that you published this at all. As we all know blogland can get a little hazy and some topics are considered taboo. I was glad to see this waiting on my feed today. Good post!

  3. I haven't read the article and probably won't, because it isn't going to change my opinion and will probably just make me upset. But it really IS too bad, like you said, that they didn't (or couldn't, according to the above comment) present a variety of experiences instead of presenting a one-sided view. I'm sure the writer could have tried a little harder to find someone with a different point of view.

  4. totally agree. there definitely have to be women who had negative experiences post-abortion (in my own small world i know a few) so that seems strange that it was one-sided. maybe more women will read the article and feel compelled to respond and they can do a follow-up article incorporating both sides.

  5. There was a time when I really enjoyed reading Cosmo and thought they produced some well written articles, but now I can't even pick up a copy to read the fluff pieces. This one sidedness seems to be all they're interested in lately. Maybe it's because I have a degree in journalism, but it just really rubs me the wrong way when they claim to be all about empowering women yet constantly only present one side of everything. Like hello, there are women with smart, real, and articulate feelings on every side of every situation.


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Hayley Larue Design