Saturday, June 22, 2024

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Editorial Contest 2024: Two souls – The hidden effects of abortion

The Lansing Journal has partnered with the freshman class at Unity Christian Academy for three consecutive years to host a student editorial contest. Each freshman student wrote an editorial about something they care about, and submitted it to The Lansing Journal. Publisher Melanie Jongsma and Managing Editor Josh Bootsma read the editorials and picked five winners based on criteria including: making a claim, persuasion and analysis, evidence, local impact, and language and voice. This is the third editorial to be published this year, and subsequent winners will be published daily. Earlier winners are linked below.

Autumn Zekveld. (Photo provided by Unity Christian Academy)
By Autumn Zekveld

My body, my choice.

This phrase is so often thrown around. Women use this all the time when defending their choice of having an abortion. But do they know the effects of their choices? Not only does abortion end the life of a baby, but it also has numerous negative effects on the mother as well. There are far more negative effects on both the physical and mental health of the woman receiving an abortion than positive ones. Some of these are expected, but many are due to the fact that the information about the effects is often minimized.

False promises

Abortions are too often presented falsely to expectant mothers, and the effects are often minimized.

In the book Unplanned (2010), the author Abby Johnson shares her experiences from working for almost a decade at Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortion in the world. Johnson tells about meeting a Planned Parenthood representative. The woman told her that the goal of Planned Parenthood was to make abortion rare, meaning that by lowering the rate of unwanted pregnancies, the abortion rates would decrease also.

As Johnson continued, she found this to be untrue. After some time working, Johnson said, “I was to get my priorities straight, that abortions was where my priorities needed to be, because that was where the revenue was.”

Johnson had been told to increase the number of abortions performed because that is what paid their salaries. What was supposed to be supporting women in crisis became a concern about making money.

According to a study published in medical science journal Cureus, of the women surveyed who received abortions, 43% said that they accepted it but it was inconsistent with their values, and 24% said that it was either unwanted, or they were coerced into having one.

This lack of information has led to feelings of guilt in a large portion of women receiving an abortion, whether feeling that they took a life, or thinking of the life they might have had with a child.

Unplanned talks often about the way that words such as “fetus” or “pregnancy” were used instead of “baby,” as an attempt to minimize the connection that a patient may have to their child.

Physical and mental effects

As well as seeing instances of minimization in the workplace, Johnson talks about how she herself had an abortion: “It seemed to me that for early abortions, the medication abortion was the more private, less invasive, more comfortable way to go … No anesthesia, no surgery — just a few pills, right? My experience proved otherwise.”

Johnson suffered excruciating cramping, paralyzing illness, fever, and heavy bleeding for many days. She never wished that on anyone, but because it was part of her job, she was required to recommend it as an option, even knowing its effects.

According to the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), there are a number of medical side effects or errors that may occur, one of which is what is called an incomplete abortion.

“Fetal parts or other products of pregnancy may not be completely emptied from the uterus, requiring further medical procedures. Incomplete abortion may result in infection and bleeding.”

This is just one of many possible complications that may result. Abortions also have negative mental and psychological side effects. The LDH states these effects too: “Some women have reported serious psychological effects after their abortion, including depression, grief, anxiety, lowered self-esteem, regret, attachment, flashbacks, and substance abuse. These emotions may appear immediately after an abortion or gradually over a longer period of time.”

These side effects can destroy the mental and emotional wellbeing of a woman and not only occur right after, but can be long lasting. Women have to live with the effects of their choices for the rest of their lives.

Women have been in the dark too long. We know their options, at least some of them. But do they know them truly, the choices that can’t be taken back? The undoable ties attached?

So my body, my choice. But the effects of the choices need to be made known — all of them. These choices should be made knowing that when an abortion happens, two souls die.

Other 2024 editorial winners

The Lansing Journal
The Lansing Journal
The Lansing Journal publishes news releases from state, county, and local officials who provide information that impacts local community life. The particular contributor of each post is indicated in the byline.


  1. The “alt right” has struck again from the Lansing Journal.
    Mel, please stop wasting my monthly donation with biased editorials from Unity Christian Academy and “I have too much time on my hands” writer Bob M. Besides, what does a 15 year old know about relationships, sex, circumstances and the beliefs of others from a Christian Academy?
    Lansing reader, educate yourself on abortion services for women.

    • Smilja, thank you for your comment and for your monthly support of this community newspaper. Those contributions allow us to publish a wide variety of news on a wide variety of topics, and we have been fortunate that most of our supporters understand that their contributions do not “purchase” coverage of only causes they agree with. (You can review our Editorial Independence policy here: )

      The Freshman Editorial Contest gives young people an opportunity to explore ideas, present them thoughtfully, and take ownership of their opinions. Yes, as you noted, this piece is “biased” — that is the nature of an editorial. The purpose of the assignment is to give students an opportunity to practice expressing informed opinions. Your comment will also give Autumn Zekveld an opportunity to learn how to receive criticism graciously and decide whether to adjust her opinion as she continues to learn.

      Bob Malkas will also have the option to choose what impact your unkind comments should have on his future writing.

      We are a diverse community, and that includes a diversity of opinions and preferences. The Lansing Journal appreciates that diversity, and we do our best to protect it with a Comment Policy that allows for disagreement but expects thoughtfulness and respect from all contributors:

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