Children’s Book Seeks To Normalize Abortion To Eight-Year-Olds

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Joan G. Lovering Health Center has reading material available for those waiting — including a book whose purpose is to normalize abortion to children. 

The abortion clinic in Greenland, New Hampshire, about 13 miles north of the Massachusetts border, recently got a book called What’s An Abortion, Anyway? for its customers to read to their children.

“We’re so excited that we finally received our @whatsanabortionbook today 👏✨🤩 What’s an Abortion Anyway? written by Carly Manes is a young person-friendly book about abortion care,” the abortion clinic said in an Instagram post last week. “We love this book because it is rooted in compassion and uses gender-neutral language. If you’re a teacher, parent, or work with young folks we highly recommend ordering this book!!💜💜💜 We’ve added it to our “gift shelf” here at the health center!”

In the post, the book was pictured next to a Ruth Bader Ginsburg prayer candle – referring to the late liberal U.S. Supreme Court justice who supported abortion being legal.

The clinic’s web site says that it serves people from northern Massachusetts and southern Maine. Greenfield, New Hampshire is a town of about 4,000 people in Rockingham County, located southwest of Portsmouth.

The author and illustrator of the book – Carly Manes and Mar Erazo, respectively – say they created it because there are no books about abortion aimed at people under 13 years old in the United States. They also said that they want to make abortion see normal to children.

“We believe in building a world for kids and adults where abortion is normalized as another outcome of pregnancy, just like miscarriage and birth,” Manes and Erazo wrote on their Kickstarter page last year. Having this book in the children’s section of libraries next to all of the books about pregnancy is one of the ways we hope to do that.”

Manes’s Twitter bio says that the book is a “gender inclusive and medically accurate picture book about abortion care for little ones 8+.” By that, she means she thinks the book is appropriate for eight-year-olds.

The book tells children over the span of three pages:  “Some people have abortions because they can’t take care of a new baby right now. Some people have abortions because their doctors say pregnancy could make them sick. No matter the reason, everyone should be able to make this decision for themselves.” 

The book also tells children that getting an abortion can make someone feel happy.

“People have many different feelings before, during, and after their abortion,” the book says. “Some people want to talk about it, and some people don’t. Some people feel happy or calm. Some people feel sad or lonely. Many people feel all of these things at the same time.”

So how does the book describe abortion?

“An abortion is when someone decides to stop growing their pregnancy,” the book says. “There are many different ways that people who are pregnant can have an abortion. 

“Some people see a doctor who does a special procedure to remove the pregnancy from inside a person’s body,” it states. “Other people take medicine to stop the pregnancy from growing bigger.”

In an email message obtained by NewBostonPost, Jenna Ward, digital media manager of Lovering Health Center, told someone on Friday, February 25 that children can read the book at the abortion facility. 

“Just to clarify, do you mean if a patient brings their child with them to their appointment if they can read it to their child while waiting?” she wrote. “If so, then sure! However, depending on the appointment type and also due to our Covid-19 guest policies, we may recommend a patient does not bring an unsupervised child with them to their appointment. We of course will accommodate though depending on the situation.”

Massachusetts Citizens for Life executive director Pat Stewart told NewBostonPost that the purpose of the book is to mislead children on abortion and that it has no place anywhere.

“The book’s authors sidestep the truth in describing abortion because they know the truth creates an image that is too horrific for a reader to bear,” Stewart wrote in an email message. “In disseminating the book, the abortion clinic obviously understands this. Its collaboration in warping the minds of the young to accept a mother’s intentional killing of her baby as ‘normal’ is not education; it is pure evil.”

Massachusetts Family Institute communications director Mary Ellen Siegeler said that the book is an attempt to dehumanize vulnerable members of society.

“With advancements in science and ultrasound technology, the number of young people who acknowledge the humanity of the unborn and believe abortion should be illegal is growing. Abortion activists understand that in order to keep abortion legal, they need to change the hearts and minds of our youth. Books like ‘What’s An Abortion, Anyway?’ is an effort in that direction. Referring to a baby growing inside its mother as a ‘pregnancy’ dehumanizes a defenseless unborn human child,” Siegler said by email. “Instead of using deceitful euphemisms to normalize the killing of a vulnerable baby, we should be teaching our children the value, worth, and beauty of human life.”

It’s unclear how many abortions take place at the clinic. New Hampshire doesn’t require abortion providers to report abortion statistics to the state government.

NewBostonPost tried to reach a spokesman for Lovering Health Center this past Sunday and Monday, as well as Manes and Erazo. Attempts were unsuccessful.


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