Charlotte Dawson, 47, was an Australian television personality who was a famous victim of of cyber bullying. In 2012, after receiving a series of threats and nasty comments over Twitter, Dawson tried to kill herself and was hospitalized. Unfortunately, Ms. Dawson was found dead in her home yesterday, after an apparent suicide.
In 1999, Dawson had an abortion as a result of a pregnancy with her then husband, Olympic swimmer Scott Miller, citing the fear of distraction leading up to the Olympics. That promoted this Facebook post from Australian Member of Parliament, Fred Nile:
Most people would probably agree that the suicide of an individual is not a good time to make an anti-abortion statement. At least one commenter, Angela Williams, had her critical post deleted, and she responded with an open letter to Nile:
Since you choose to remove my dissenting comments on your Facebook post I am writing to you here to ask why you think it is appropriate to continue the bullying of Charlotte Dawson after her tragic death.
It shows that your core motivation is to drive forward your agenda, regardless of any harm that may cause her family and loved ones, or the impact it may have on anyone facing the difficult decision to terminate a pregnancy. It also shows your absolute lack of regard for anyone struggling with mental health issues.
When asked to comment on the story, Nile declined to discuss the abortion, saying, “Charlotte Dawson’s story is a sad tragedy as she, like many, is a victim of depression. Her story needs to be told because, if it could happen to a strong and successful woman such as Charlotte, it can happen to anyone. May she finally be at peace. Our sympathy and prayers are with her loved ones.”
The lesson here is obvious: there is a time and place for everything. The time to discuss abortion is not in the immediate aftermath of a woman who happened to have one. Also, from a social media perspective, don’t make a comment as controversial as the one above and start deleting comments. If you are going to say something controversial, be prepared to deal with the aftermath.