A tweet from a woman who calls herself the “Beyoncé of Abortion Storytelling” is making its rounds on social media.
In the post, Renee Bracey Sherman wrote, “I’ve talked to my 5-year-old niece about my work and abortion in an age-appropriate way. She understands that kids are a handful and sometimes people don’t want to be pregnant. She gets it because it’s quite simple.”
Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood executive turned pro-life activist rebuffed Sherman’s tweet, arguing there’s no way her young niece fully comprehends what she is telling her about abortion.
“No she doesn’t,” wrote Johnson. “She doesn’t understand because you didn’t give her the truth. Tell her that abortion kills a baby growing in a mommy’s tummy and see what she says. I dare you. No child believes in abortion.”
Sherman, for her part, is standing by her tweet and her decision to talk to her little niece about abortion. In a follow-up tweet posted Thursday afternoon, Sherman said she and her family are “having a good laugh” at the criticism she’s faced.
What are the details?
In her tweet, Sherman shared an article from Rewire.News, entitled, “Having the Abortion Talk with Children Is Easier Than You Think. Just Ask These Parents.”
The article then details the accounts of a handful of women who justified their respective abortions in conversations with their own children. The first account is from Amiya, who “immediately knew” she was going to have an abortion. She explained to her 12-year-old daughter that terminating her pregnancy “wasn’t something I really wanted to do, but as a parent, I knew it was something I needed to do.”
At first, Amiya recalled, her daughter “started crying and hugging me for several minutes.” But ultimately, she said her daughter told her she “understood the reasons behind the choice” to have an abortion.
Next was Melissa, who was in an abusive relationship when she found out she was pregnant. She discussed the decision with her 15-year-old daughter. Like Amiya’s child, Melissa’s daughter began crying when her mom told her she would be having an abortion. Her daughter then told her “how grateful she was that I trusted her with that,” Melissa explained.
Lastly, Kathi told her 10-year-old daughter about her abortion after previously planning to keep it from her young child. For Kathi, it just “wasn’t an option” to have a baby because she didn’t really want to have any more kids.
Kathi had her first abortion while finishing nursing school and her second when she was busy caring for her husband’s health and her daughter, who was a toddler at the time.
“I was honest with her,” Kathi told the outlet, “and I told her that, realistically, it wasn’t an option for me to have another child. After I told her, I immediately reinforced that she was a wanted pregnancy and a wanted child.”
Of course, it’s hard to see how these stories would be universal — or how they are really that wholistic at all. I can’t imagine many children (particularly at such young ages) being so willing to accept and understand their mothers’ decisions to abort their unborn siblings.
Nevertheless, Sherman is completely standing her ground.
In a follow-up tweet posted Wednesday, she bemoaned those who have gotten “super upset” by her decision to talk to her 5-year-old niece about the wonders of abortion.
“Her mother had an abortion before her,” Sherman wrote. “Her life is made possible because of abortion. Why is it ‘indoctrination’ to talk to a kid about how pregnancy happens [and] families are made but not to shout at people outside of a clinic?”