We Heart: Strategic Stickering

This defaced ‘Abortion Changes You’ ad was spotted on the 7 train in NYC. The strategically placed sticker covers up the words ‘Abortion Changes You,’ and the full ad with altered text reads:

I thought life would be the way it was before. Now I can go to college & fulfill my dreams.

Michaelene Fredenburg founded Abortion Changes You in San Diego and says it is a “support system” for those struggling with post-abortion trauma, rather than an anti-choice campaign. Samantha Levine of NARAL Pro-Choice New York views it differently:

“[These ads suggest] that feelings of sadness and self-harm are the universal experiences for someone who had an abortion. And there’s no evidence to suggest that that’s true.”

Tracy Clark-Flory from Salon.com thinks the ads are one-sided:

[Y]ou know what is guaranteed to change you and your life in a profound way? Motherhood. But I don’t recall seeing any subways ads featuring a woman knee-deep in dirty diapers with the text, ‘I thought life would be the way it was before.’

Photo from: http://wxyz.tumblr.com/


  1. You’re doing just what this ad is doing: highlighting one side of the story because it suits your own political purpose. Some women who have had an abortion do carry a lasting emotional impact and do need help to heal from the experience. It is extremely important for pro-choice women to stop denying their truth. I recommend reading Jennifer Baumgardner’s Abortion & Life (or this interview http://www.alternet.org/story/96513/can_you_be_a_feminist_and_anti-abortion/) and checking out the fantastic work of Exhale (http://www.4exhale.org/).

  2. Yes, I’m sure SOME women experience post-abortion trauma, and they should recieve all the treatment they need. But this widely circulated ad campaign assumes ALL women have the same *negative* experience post-abortion and gives the public the wrong idea.

  3. Where are the ads about how women who choose to have the baby and give it up for adoption struggle? I know two wonderful women who have done this, and it has very severely messed with them psychologically. Then there are other women who decide against abortion and go on to not be able to handle motherhood. And society blames them for having children they can’t handle or afford. What about them and their poor children? Of course we all know it’s only a woman’s fault that she got pregnant in the first place, so she should have to suffer right? And how do these ads make women that don’t struggle because they had an abortion feel? Not normal? Cold? Messed up? Is that the real intention? I am tired of images of how a women should be and feel being pushed on us constantly. Why not let us feel how we feel because no two women are exactly the same and that’s a good thing!

  4. Right on, Polly!

  5. Betsy Townsend says:

    Perfectly put Polly. Choice means the woman gets to choose what happens to her body.

  6. We feminists need to have a stronger voice in this fight to save our right to a legal procedure. Stickers and speaking up are a good start! It took challenging the status quo nearly 40 years ago to get the right to abortion in the first place. Now we have to fight to teach the world that a fetus is not a “child” it is a fetus. Women who are clear about the choice that they are making have no need to feel the guilt and sorrow that the anti-abortion crowd wants to promote. Where are our bumper stickers and advertisements?


  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by msmagazine: Combatting anti-choice campaigns- With Stickers!!! http://sn.im/v73uh

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