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Victims of their own choice

"Victims of their own choice" Continued...

Issue: "Terri Schiavo: In memoriam," April 9, 2005

· "I'm Claire, I've had three abortions. Regret = zero. My first was at 21. . . . A strict Christian upbringing almost succeeded in dumbing down my brain, but the father forced me to abort, as he did not want his burgeoning income eaten away by a child I couldn't support."

I'mNotSorry.net founder Patricia Beninato believes most women aren't sorry. She launched her site in 2003 to show that "contrary to pro-life propaganda," most post-abortive women aren't wracked with pain and guilt.

WORLD: There's at least one story on your site in which a woman said she's had numerous abortions. Do any of the stories that come in make you think, wow, that's taking "choice" a little too far?

Beninato: It doesn't bother me at all. One of the peeves I have is that there seems to be a mindset even within the pro-choice community that having to get one abortion is OK, but anything after that and you're a dumb slut who doesn't know how to use birth control. I often hear younger women say things like, "Well, yeah, the condom can break or whatever, but I don't believe in people using abortion as birth control." Um . . . abortion is birth control, just a more expensive and intrusive version of it.

WORLD: There is no longer a debate about whether a fetus is a living baby. Yet, a September 2004 Salon article notes that "most abortions in America are about convenience." Morally speaking, what do you think about that?

Beninato: It doesn't bother me. I believe in the Planned Parenthood axiom "every child a wanted child." We see all too often what happens to an unwanted child, the horrors that are inflicted upon them. Yes, a fetus is alive. But weeds are life and mold is life and bugs are life and we destroy those on a regular basis. Pro-lifers want to give the impression that abortion is someone ripping a full-term baby out of a woman's womb and dashing its brains out against the nearest wall, when in actuality the average abortion-nearly 90 percent-is done within the first trimester.

WORLD: You post your own abortion story on I'mNotSorry.net [under a false name]. Isn't your insistence that your own story remain anonymous at odds with your assertion that you're not sorry?

Beninato: I am not sorry I had the abortions. I never will be sorry I had the abortions. I am sorry, however, that I have to worry about my husband or family being harassed over my website, which has already happened. And you may look to your so-called fellow Christians for the source of that worry. . . . I have chosen to make certain aspects of my experience public, but that doesn't mean I have to make it all public.

WORLD: Do you think women who tell stories of pain and regret over their abortions are telling the truth?

Beninato: I have no doubt that there are women who regret their abortions. . . . But when you read the stories on the regretful sites, a theme starts popping up-"I didn't want to abort, but. . . ." And they start the blame game. . . . "My boyfriend said he'd leave me." "My parents said they'd stop paying for school." Never is it said that they made the decision. Until someone can show me a case where a woman was tied up, stuffed in the trunk of a car, brought to a clinic and tied down onto a table, I will always believe that a woman knew exactly what she was doing.

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