“Abortion is normal,” according to Shout Your Abortion, an initiative created to “elevate the visibility” of women who get an abortion. It’s not enough for abortion to be legal in many parts of the country - these women have to be completely comfortable expressing their choice to the general public, and even have that choice affirmed. Comfort is, of course, subjective, so this initiative doesn’t have very clear ends.
The consequence of abortion’s normalization in the mainstream culture is misinterpretation of, or intolerance toward, pro-life views. If you’re against abortion based on scientific grounds, you might arbitrarily be labeled a misogynist. If you think abortion is morally wrong, you can be painted as an uptight religious fanatic who doesn’t respect women’s freedom to choose.
Confidence is feeling comfortable with your choices without needing others’ approval. Yet the women who started the hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion did so to speak up for women who have been, “told they were supposed to feel bad about having an abortion.”
The fact that many women who get abortions desire not only acceptance, but absolute approval, from others shows that maybe, deep down, they, too know that abortion is wrong. It might be unconscious; it might be just a tiny hint of doubt. But humans intuitively know that legality or popularity is not synonymous with morality, and that true empowerment is choosing to help others, not harm the innocent.