I'm Not Sorry.net

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I’m Not Sorry.net is a Web site that collects stories concerning women’s positive abortion experiences. As of July 2010 the site contains over 900 stories.[1]

History[edit]

I'm Not Sorry.net was created by Patricia Beninato (born September 28, 1966 [2]), a customer service representative from Richmond, Virginia,[3][4][5] who stated that she got the idea while participating in a chat room discussion on the 30th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The hesitancy to openly talk about abortion in a positive context during the chat session suggested to Beninato that members of the pro-choice movement were tacitly agreeing with pro-lifers that abortion is a damaging experience for all women.[6]

After searching the Internet for post-abortion accounts, and finding only pro-life services which offered regret counselling, Beninato decided to set up a web site on which women who felt satisfied with their abortion decisions could share their stories.[4] On January 29, 2003, a week after the online discussion that served as motivation, the site was launched.[6]

Beninato initially solicited stories on an Internet forum, but after a few months began receiving regular submissions as awareness of the site spread via word of mouth.[6]

Beninato has written in the site's blog that she is originally from New Jersey and lived for a time in Kentucky before moving to Virginia in 2000.[3] She is married and has no children by choice.[7] Per the site she was briefly an abortion clinic escort in the 1980s.[8]

Site features[edit]

In addition to the personal accounts, I’m Not Sorry features a FAQ section, which seeks to answer a number of questions that have been posed by pro-life visitors.[9] In April 2005 Beninato created a companion blog for the site, in which she addresses various pro-choice issues and sheds light on the workings of the site.[10]

The site’s publicity comes primarily from word-of-mouth, blog mentions and clinic referrals, as Beninato does not accept advertising either on the site or the blog.[11] There were rumors that a collection of stories from the site may be published as a book, as Beninato, who had originally said that she felt the accounts were more powerful online, edited the "About INS" page of the I'm Not Sorry web site to state that a book was "an idea that's been broached to me a few times". She then stated that she did create a collection to market in 2007 but there was no interest in it from mainstream publishers and she felt that such a book would be a "vanity project."[8]

Beninato has stated that the story of her own abortions is among those included on the site but that it is listed under a pseudonym, as she did not wish for people visiting the site to focus exclusively on her own experience.[8]

Reaction[edit]

I'm Not Sorry.net has received attention in the media, as Beninato made a television appearance on the CBC Television newsmagazine The National in February 2005 and has given interviews to several publications like The Nation[4][5] and Glamour.[12]

I'm Not Sorry.net has sparked debate and reactions from commentators have ranged from supportive, to opposing, to simply expressing reservations over a particular aspect of the site's purpose or implementation. Laura Barcella, writing for Salon.com in 2004, noted I'm Not Sorry.net as one of several projects which have allowed women to "frankly describe their abortions" and observed that the site "appears to be a reflection of the classic feminist credo 'abortion on demand, without apology'".[13] Lynn Vincent, who interviewed Beninato for World magazine in 2005, questioned whether the site's policy of accepting anonymous submissions contradicted its stated goal of removing the secrecy often associated with abortion. Beninato replied that using only first names might help the pro-life side understand how personal the decision to abort is.[14] The political writer Judith Warner stated in an editorial published on her New York Times-hosted blog, Domestic Disturbances, in 2006 that she did not think a site like I'm Not Sorry.net was "the best way to cement widespread support for a beleaguered movement", as she was uncertain whether it was reasonable to "[take] a strident, casual, even callous tone on [an] issue" that is often very emotionally charged.[15] An article printed in a 2004 edition of The Caleb Report, a publication of the pro-life organization Life Decisions International, criticized the "ImNotSorry crowd" as "ignorant of the facts and grossly misguided".[16] Beninato wrote in the site's blog that the site does not get as much traffic from pro-life supporters as it did in its early days because it has become known that she does not debate abortion "and that makes me uninteresting to them."[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Our Stories[dead link]." (n.d.). I'mNotSorry.Net. Retrieved January 30, 2008.
  2. ^ "[1][dead link]" INS Blog. Retrieved February 9, 2008.
  3. ^ a b LaFay, Laura. (n.d.). "The Long Fight[dead link]." Style Weekly. Retrieved October 15, 2007.
  4. ^ a b c Baumgardner, Jennifer. (February 2, 2004). "We're Not Sorry, Charlie." The Nation. Retrieved October 15, 2006.
  5. ^ a b Pollitt, Katha. (April 21, 2003). "In The Waiting Room." The Nation. Retrieved October 16, 2007.
  6. ^ a b c Bader, Eleanor J. (July 21, 2003). "Moving on Just Fine." In These Times. Retrieved October 15, 2007.
  7. ^ "I'mNotSorry.net blog." (n.d.). I'mNotSorry.net. Retrieved February 9, 2008.
  8. ^ a b c "About INS[dead link]." (n.d.). I'mNotSorry.Net. Retrieved February 9, 2008.
  9. ^ "INS Answers the 'Pro-Lifers'[dead link]." (n.d.). I'mNotSorry.net. Retrieved October 16, 2007.
  10. ^ a b "I'mNotSorry.net blog." (n.d.). I'mNotSorry.net. Retrieved October 16, 2007.
  11. ^ "About INS[dead link]." (n.d.). I'mNotSorry.Net. Retrieved January 30, 2008.
  12. ^ [2] Glamour, March 2009
  13. ^ Barcella, Laura. (September 20, 2004). "The A-word." Salon.com. Retrieved October 17, 2007.
  14. ^ Vincent, Lynn. (April 09, 2005). "Victims of their own choice." World. Retrieved October 16, 2007.
  15. ^ Warner, Judith. (November 16, 2006). "Battles of Choice." Domestic Disturbances. Retrieved October 16, 2007.
  16. ^ Life Decisions International. (2004). “I'm Not Sorry." The Caleb Report, 12 (5), 3-5. Retrieved October 16, 2007.

External links[edit]