Do you know when to STFU? (Then why can’t you?)

I’ll tell ya right up front. This rant is not about abortion. It’s about not being an asshole.

The moment someone says the “A” word (abortion, not asshole), people come out of the woodwork to tell you how they feel about it.

(For the record, I don’t care how you feel about abortion — your feelings on the subject are none of my business, and you aren’t gonna change my mind. So, please.)

The other day, a friend shared on Facebook something she doesn’t talk about openly: Years ago, she was expecting a baby that died in utero at five months (that’s 20 weeks, fyi). In case you don’t know, being induced to deliver a stillborn is called an abortion, so, being the trigger word that it is, combined with her deep grief over losing a child and knowing that people might shame her for having an abortion, she didn’t talk about it for a long time.

Until the other day. On Facebook. That is not an intimate conversation. And she did it because she’s tired of the assumptions and judgments about women who have abortions. She did it because she was tired of not talking about it because of how other people might feel. She knew people would respond with unkind words and condemnations, and she still did it.

Of course, she got a lot of love and support from friends. Lots of hugs and heart emojis. A few shared their own stories of loss.

Some people just can’t help themselves.

Out come the sanctimonious, self-absorbed women who hijack the conversation to make it about them and their non-abortion-having lives, which, by the way, are better than the lives of you abortion-having people.

They can’t just offer empathy and a virtual hug. Oh, hell no.

They HAVE to tell you their views on the matter. They just HAVE TO.

So they say really insensitive shit, which starts with soft, sisterhood words, followed by big, bloody, stabby knives:

“Oh, I’m so sorry. You know, I’m pro-life, so I’m personally against abortion, but I hope we can stay friends, even though we don’t agree.”


“I’m sorry for your loss. You know, what happened to you, that’s not really abortion. You didn’t murder a life. You didn’t stop a beating heart.”

If this sounds like something you would say to someone who lost a baby, here’s what I have to say to you:


How wrapped up in your own bullshit do you have to be to say something like that to a friend still grieving her loss? When she tells you that the anniversary of this loss is coming up, and she still feels this sadness, every year? How much of an asshole do you have to be to use someone’s pain to put your moral superiority on a pedestal?

Your insensitivity astounds me.

You need to feel good about yourself by getting on your box and proudly proclaiming your moral wonderfulness and how you support life, and beating hearts, pre-born babies and murder and blah blah blah. You might as well tell her what you really mean: That because she had an abortion and you won’t ever ever ever, even if your baby dies inside of you, you won’t ever. And that makes you better. Because, that’s what you mean, and you know it.

Just stop it. Just shut your mouth.

I don’t know if you can keep those words from falling out of your face hole. But you’re a grownup with, I assume, some self-control and an idea of how to behave around others. And, yeah, I know, abortion is that thing that you just can’t be silent about, because you need to speak for the “pre-born.” But seriously. When a friend is talking about her loss, it isn’t the time, nor the place to get up on your crusade. So, for once, just shut your mouth.

© Susan Sheffloe Speer, 2017