an After abortion: 05/04/2003 - 05/11/2003

REAL, CONFIDENTIAL, FREE, NON-JUDGMENTAL HELP TO AVOID ABORTION, FROM MANY PLACES:
3,400 confidential and totally free groups to call and go to in the U.S...1,400 outside the U.S. . . . 98 of these in Canada.
Free, financial help given to women and families in need.More help given to women, families.
Helping with mortgage payments and more.More help.
The $1,950 need has been met!CPCs help women with groceries, clothing, cribs, "safe haven" places.
Help for those whose babies haveDown Syndrome and Other Birth Defects.
CALL 1-888-510-BABY or click on the picture on the left, if you gave birth or are about to and can't care for your baby, to give your baby to a worker at a nearby hospital (some states also include police stations or fire stations), NO QUESTIONS ASKED. YOU WON'T GET IN ANY TROUBLE or even have to tell your name; Safehaven people will help the baby be adopted and cared for.

Saturday, May 10, 2003



A problem with no solution, a beautiful column by Michael Kelly's mom.

"Death was quick, but grief, I find, keeps going on and on and on and it affects me in strange ways.
I feel no denial. No anger. No bargaining. No depression. And this makes me wonder if I'll ever get to peace and acceptance. These five classic stages of grief, cited so authoritatively by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, aren't working for me."

If I knew Michael Kelly's mom, I would give her Tear Soup because it doesn't have lists and stages and it knows that there is no solution. People don't solve grief; we do grief and with grace sometimes are transformed.

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Friday, May 9, 2003



Retreats Help Women Cope After Abortion from the Thursday, May 8 New Orleans Times-Picayune.

"The biblical story of Rachel, the symbolic mother of the once defeated northern tribes of Israel, tells of her 'lamentation and weeping and great mourning,' a pain that "refuses to be consoled because her children are no more.'"

That's the Rachel that both Rachel's Vineyard and Project Rachel are named after.

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It was a tale of survival that made headlines across the country, prompting people everywhere to say, "I could never do that."

That's the young man who cut his own arm off.

A few days ago, the Connecticut Supreme Court in a fetal homicide case ruled that the fetus is a body part.

But apparently the Court saw it more as a body part like a dead fingernail or a hair than a body part like an arm.

Please read The S.I.C.L.E. Cell on this.

Update: Minute Particulars relates two survival stories. As we read through the mountain climber story, I imagine that most of us are hoping against hope that he won't cut the rope. It's a poignant contrast to so many instances of pregnancy termination, where so many women are surrounded by a Greek chorus of people who cajole, insist, demand that she cut the damn rope.

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A bulge in the belly

"Though never born, Conner Peterson has achieved remarkable fame. In four
months, the fetus has gone from being the bulge in the belly of his
famously missing mother, Laci, to being Conner the unborn son, a murder
victim who surfaced on a California beach last month."

That's from Newsday. Do you think Laci Peterson used to look down at the bulge in her belly and wonder what that was all about? Did she perhaps worry that she was growing a tumor?

Can a fetus like Laci's sue? is a surprisingly good review of the issues in this debate.

Why does it bother me so much when people de-humanize this little boy?

Maybe I'd feel the same way I do if I hadn't aborted my own child, and too late recognized her as my child.

But I think I have some special anger. Perhaps it is related to a family member who ridiculed me when I told her that I have experienced grief about what I did and about the death of my child. I wish that my own parents and siblings recognized my child as a child of our family. When people speak of Conner Peterson as if he were not real, it reminds me of my private sadness.

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Thursday, May 8, 2003



Brent Bozell weighs in on Everwood's abortion plot.

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"I don't cry, I can't cry because its too late...more.

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On the nature of the internet, this is good and this is good to know.

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"The true remedy for mistakes is to keep from making them. It is not in the piecemeal technological solutions that our society now offers, but in a change of cultural (and economic) values that will encourage in the whole population the necessary respect, restraints, and care. Even more important, it is in the possibility of settled families and local communities, in which the knowledge of proper means and methods, proper moderations and restraints, can be handed down, and so accumulate in place and stay alive; the experience of one generation is not adequate to inform and control its actions. Such possibilities are not now in sight in this country."--Wendell Berry, in Recollected Essays

I knew Wendell Berry for his agrarian environmentalism and concerns about technology. When I came across this last night I began to wonder about his views on life. Turns out he's been part of the Seamless Garment coalition whose own webpage seems to not be functioning.

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Dismantling Roe v Wade piece by piece. Versus, you know, dismantling something else piece by piece, as Ashli might put it.

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Another peer-reviewed medical study

New Study Links Clinical Depression to Abortion

That link takes you to an article, "Depression associated with abortion and childbirth: a
long-term analysis of the NLSY cohort," in the new edition of Medical Science Monitor, 2003; 9(4): CR105-112.

And here is The Elliott Institute's press release:

Researchers Call for More Studies on Emotional Risks of Abortion

Springfield, Ill. - Women with a history of abortion
are at significantly higher risk of experiencing
clinical depression compared to women who give birth,
according to a nationally representative study of
1,884 women published in the latest issue of Medical
Science Monitor.

Researchers compared data for women from the National
Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) who experienced
their first pregnancy between 1980 and 1992. They
found that, on an average of eight years later, women
whose first pregnancies ended in abortion were 65
percent more likely to be at high risk of clinical
depression after controlling for age, race, marital
status, history of divorce, income, number of years of
formal education, and a pre-pregnancy measure of
psychological state.

"This finding contributes to the growing number of
studies showing that abortion is linked to elevated
rates of psychiatric illness, substance abuse, and
suicidal behavior," said Dr. David Reardon, head of
the Elliot Institute in Springfield, Illinois, and one
of the study's authors.

Previous research on depression rates following
abortion have been of limited value due to small
sample sizes and lack of information gathered prior to
their pregnancies on women's emotional state, Reardon
said. These problems were at least partially resolved
by using the NLSY, an ongoing nationwide
interview-based study conducted by the Center for
Human Resource Research at Ohio State University and
funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. Participants
in the study, who were between the ages of 14 and 21
at the time the study began in 1979, are surveyed
annually about issues such as their employment,
education, marital status, and reproductive history.

Reardon conceded, however, that the NLSY data is still
inadequate to measure the true risk of clinical
depression following abortion. "Only 40 percent of
the abortions that we would expect to find among a
sample this size are reported in the NLSY," he said.
"This means many women who actually had an abortion
were misclassified as only having had births, which
would tend to dilute the results."

Another way concealment of past abortions would effect
the findings, Reardon said, is that studies have shown
that the women who are most likely to conceal their
abortions or experience shame are also the ones most
likely to have depression. "The women who conceal
their abortions very probably have higher rates of
depression than those who more readily reveal their
abortion history," he said. "Given the 60 percent
concealment rate in this data set, the fact that we
still found significantly higher depression scores
among those admitting a history of abortion suggests
that the effect must be quite strong."

A major recommendation of the study's authors is that
more research needs to be done. They note that in 1988
Surgeon General C. Everett Koop recommended a major
longitudinal study to thoroughly examine the issue of
abortion complications, but the study was never been
done.

"Women deserve better information," Reardon said. "Dr.
Koop properly identified the way in which data could
be gathered to examine all interactions between
women's physical and mental health, including not only
reactions to abortion, but also to study PMS,
postpartum depression, menopause, and more. The only
reason we don't have better answers to all these
issues today is because Koop's recommendation was
killed in Congress."

Reardon believes the political battle over abortion
has blocked good federally funded research in this
area. "Unfortunately," he says, "some people are more
concerned about protecting the public image of
abortion than they are about protecting women."

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Two student letters about graphic abortion photo displays

Students must see results of abortion.

'Choice' Activists ignore abortion problems.

These letters are partially on the subject of the impact these graphic displays might have on women who have had abortions.




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Wednesday, May 7, 2003



Church of the Masses has the most detailed description I've seen of the abortion story on WB's Everwood. Church of the Masses is Barbara Nicolosi's blog. She's a Catholic who writes for Hollywood.

I noted the following in one of the comments on her Everwood entry:

"Although I agree that the Everwood episode discussed here was dishonest and flawed fundamentally, I was impressed with how the writers did show that the young woman who did eventually have the abortion was abandoned by her lover, her father, and her doctor. She was left to support her burden entirely alone. Only Dr. Abbott's mom understood that isolation, and she unfortunately aided in a decision which, as the show portrayed, left her traumatized and bereaved."









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Then think
what a storm, what a towering wave of ruin
rushes down on you!

You can't escape it.

First, the Father will flash
lightening and thunder down, and pound
this jagged ravine into an avalanche
to bury your body in it.
Arms of stone will hug and hold you.
And so, you'll travel through the vast tracts
of time. And at last
come back up into sunlight.

Then
Zeus's feathered hound, the blood red golden EAGLE
will tear your flesh
into flapping rags.
It won't be invited, but it will come:
all day
feasting, its beak
stabbing your liver black.
Blood black.

At no point can you expect
an end to that anguish.
Until perhaps
a God comes, willing to suffer
your pain for you,
willing to sink
down into lightless Hades and the dead dark
hollows of Tartaros.

Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound

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These women not only have to grieve the loss of a child, they have to grieve that loss of a sense of themselves as a good person.

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The May issue of Vine and Branches from Rachel's Vineyard is now online. Eve Tushnet included excerpts on her blog on Monday.

The newsletter reports that 38 retreats are scheduled during May and June, fourteen of them by new retreat teams. Their fourth annual national conference is in Oklahoma City from June 24-29.

I was glad to see that they have added a post-abortive man to their list of email counselors:

"John is 45. He and his wife live with two of their children in Virginia, and their oldest son is in the United States Marine Corps. He is a regional vice president of service within the office products industry. John and his wife have been married for 25 years. They had an abortion together 28 years ago in 1975. After 25 years of silence between them about their abortion experience (not one word of it spoken for 25 years), John dared to break the silence after seeing a notice for a Rachel's Vineyard retreat. They discovered a shared desire to break the silence and to seek understanding of why. Together, they experienced the healing Grace of God's reconciling love for them and felt the love between them grow in the truth and fullness of acknowledged life. Today, they share a vocation together in post-abortion ministry."

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Tuesday, May 6, 2003



"I just wanted to tell you how very much that I loved you and that I made some wrong choices in life and that you were the one that paid the price for my mistakes ...and pages more.

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I really like this which I came across in full-fledged conflict avoidance mode while laughing and wondering why or how we evolved wit.

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ProLifeGuy in his Everwood post asks about the bedside manners of the staff in abortion clinics. It varies greatly.

One of the things I've noticed in listening to these stories is a tendency for the staff to offer unsolicited assurance that you are doing the right thing. "You already have enough children." "You're not ready to be a mom yet."

One clinic nurse gave an unsolicited testimony to a patient about why she worked in an abortion clinic, telling a long story about a woman who came to her hospital's emergency room suffering from the aftereffect of a botched back alley abortion, an event that had happened many years earlier.

To me this suggests a certain amount of defensiveness...a need for the clinic staff to engage in ongoing self-talk about why they are doing the right thing.

I've also heard stories from women who had experiences that can only be described as very strange. These have made me think that people who work in abortion clinics can become emotionally disturbed. One doctor said to a patient right after the procedure, "You never should have had an abortion." One doctor said, "All done! Your baby's dead!"

I don't know whether the amount of emotional suffering a woman may feel later is related to how she is treated in the clinic. You'd think that the pain might be worse if your doctor said, "All done! Your baby's dead!" then if he didn't. On the other hand, I know a lot of people who had warm, supportive staff and that doesn't seem to have made any difference to them.

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Everyone's linking to this but that's no reason for me not to.

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ProLifeGuy has the most on last night's abortion episode of WB's Everwood. (I couldn't watch.)

The Chicago Tribune has a lengthy write-up but that link requires registration. ProLifeGuy quotes several paragraphs of that piece.

Evidently, Dr. Andy says to the 18-year-old, "Whatever choice you make will be right, as long as it's your choice."

Puh-leeze. There is no other area of human choice where a particular choice magically becomes the correct one as long as it is really and truly yours.

More later.

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Monday, May 5, 2003



Unbelievable! I've been scooped by Eve Tushnet on the newest "Vine and Branches" from Rachel's Vineyard.

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Infertility linked to fragments of fetal bone.

The Washington Post continues to play a leading role in getting news out about infertility as it relates to abortion.

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A test of the Diotima/Emily thesis

Tonight's episode of Everwood, a show on the WB network, features an abortion subplot. The Diotima/Emily thesis: Fictional and poetic representations of abortion have a hard time making abortion look like a good choice.

This reminds me of a little-known fact about another WB show. On What I Like About You, the character played by Jennie Garth sometimes wears a Rachel's Vineyard t-shirt.

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The Raving Atheist was kind enough to keep me up-to-date on various matters during my absence. He writes that the suggestion has been made that NOW's position should be that Scott Peterson ought to be charged with one count of homicide and one count of practicing medicine without a license.

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Sunday, May 4, 2003

Woman sues abortionist for performing an abortion when she wasn't pregnant.

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

"Mills said in an interview Thursday that she sought the procedure despite her anti-abortion stance because she was attending college at the time and raising two young sons with her husband.

After the procedure, she said, she suffered flashbacks, nightmares and severe depression.

Mills said she found out more than three years later from her gynecologist that the clinic's medical records showed she probably had a blighted ovum instead of a viable pregnancy at the time of her abortion. A blighted ovum is a fertilized egg that attaches to the uterine wall but does not develop further.

'I'd been going around for three years beating myself up for killing a baby," Mills said. "All these head trips I went through, for no good reason.'"

I've heard stories like this before but wasn't sure I believed them.

She speaks of her emotional distress in the past tense. I hope it stays there for her. What I'm remembering is hearing of a woman like this who continued to feel a lot of anguish because she couldn't forgive herself for having gone through with a termination, even though it turned out there was no baby.

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I got a 67. That explains a lot.

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