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Humanity, gratitude, forgiveness, and regret: A conversation on abortion in South Carolina, from women who've lived it

Scott Morgan
South Carolina Public Radio

How does someone come to decide to terminate a pregnancy? And how does that kind of decision affect their lives, years after the procedure is done?

In this audio documentary are the perspectives of four women who chose to end their pregnancies decades ago. Two women (and one husband) regret having done so; two say their decisions were the best ones they could have made.

Three of these women today have families. Two have grandchildren. One contemplates the absence of toys under a Christmas tree.

What you will hear from all are the circumstances that compelled their decisions, how they’ve lived with making those decisions, and the ongoing wish for conversation in place of argument.

These are women who speak from experience about what having an abortion really is like, in a way that political candidates, pundits, preachers, journalists, doctors, and scientists do not usually have.

There is no posturing in their stories. No statistics or arguments or attacks. But there is a shared humanity; a complexity of perspectives and beliefs usually drowned out by a kind of trench warfare over a topic often used as a weapon.

The four women from whom you’ll hear in this story all share a view that the arguments and bluster about abortion get us nowhere good. They all believe that the issue is bigger than one law, one Supreme Court decision.

All believe the way forward in the discussion of abortion’s place in society is about the larger need to support the ability of families to have children without it completely upending their lives; it's about building a society in which the option to have an abortion is rendered much less relevant, because it would be a society healthy enough for children to not be a consequence.

These are your neighbors talking. It would behoove us to listen respectfully.

Scott Morgan is the Upstate multimedia reporter for South Carolina Public Radio, based in Rock Hill. He cut his teeth as a newspaper reporter and editor in New Jersey before finding a home in public radio in Texas. Scott joined South Carolina Public Radio in March of 2019. His work has appeared in numerous national and regional publications as well as on NPR and MSNBC. He's won numerous state, regional, and national awards for his work including a national Edward R. Murrow.