an After abortion

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Saturday, September 27, 2003

Time for a Dr. Phil update.

On Thursday, I wrote about Dr. Phil's Wednesday show. That show involved a young married couple is major marital disarray following an abortion.

Mark Shea linked to that post, and wrote some additional comments.

Mark's point is that I talked about this couple's need to grieve, but not about their need to recognize the sinfulness of the abortion. (Or, in secular speak, their need to recognize that it was a grave moral wrong.)

True enough. I agree with Mark about that.

I'm not trying to defend my failure to leave "repentance" off the list of what this couple needs to do in order to move on, which is what Dr. Phil is urging they do.

I was thinking more in terms of what happens after a person repents. The moment of repentance from abortion involves the simultaneous recognition that a life was lost.

My sense is that many post-abortive men and women live for years in the twlight sleep of trying to avoid their subterranean thoughts and feelings about the actual, real humanity of the baby that was destroyed in the abortion.

Do we do this because we don't want to admit that we sinned? Or do we do this because IF we admit that it was a sin, the emotional consequences of that admission are so daunting?

If abortion IS a sin, it is a sin because it is the intentional destruction of innocent human life. If that's what it is, then when you realize that, you realize that a child of yours is dead. You become a grieving parent, and there is no less grief involved than for those parents whose two-year-old or ten-year-old dies.

That's an ocean of tears, lamentations and moans in the night.

Frankly, it's a lot easier to say "I sinned" than it is to let yourself in for that particular ocean by dismantling one's denial.

I didn't mention the "sin" part and I should have. But as those of us know who confess our sins regularly to a priest, it's not so hard to say "I sinned". Distraught, inconsolable weeping? That's the hard part.

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