Life after abortion: News, opinion, personal experience, resources.
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.|
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|Help for those whose babies have||Down 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.|
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Thursday, May 15, 2003
Abortion also victimizes women; an article that came out today from the Canadian Catholic News.
"Steenstra, who runs a post-abortion counselling centre called Second
Chance, said she had an abortion at the age of 15. 'Little did I know
that that very short procedure would affect my life the way it has,' she
said. 'For many years I was in denial,' she said. After she got on a bus
following the abortion she saw her reflection in the window and told
herself 'I hate you, you're never going to be able to fix what happened
Death of a baby, birth of despair.
Jane Chastain reflects on the time she helped a friend through an abortion.
"I would like to be able to tell you that after a brief moment of regret my friend went on with her life and never looked back. I can't. She has suffered severe emotional pain and chronic back problems, which doctors told her likely were the result of some deep psychological trauma.
It was years before we talked about her abortion again. Through tears she said, 'Janie, if we knew then what we know now, I wouldn't have done it and you wouldn't have let me do it.'"
Chastain will discuss her experience and recent research Friday morning at 8:00 Eastern on this radio show.
A few days ago, The Mighty Barrister linked to a webpage, Tea with the Jade Chimera, created by a woman who subsequently committed suicide.
As TMB said, Jade Leaves is an engrossing work. That particular link takes you to her reflections on a photograph from a cemetery. That photograph in turn reminded me of various Rachel statues and monuments that have been placed here and there for women who have lost children to abortion.
There are examples here, here, here and here.
“Thus says the Lord: A voice was heard in Rama, lamentation, and bitter weeping;
Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted for her children,
For they are not.
Thus says the Lord: Keep your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears:
For your work shall be rewarded, says the Lord, and they shall come back again from
The Land of the enemy. And there is hope for your future, says the L-rd
And your children shall come back again to their own border.” (Jeremiah 31)
A Greek Orthodox priest reviews "Forbidden Grief"
"This personal trauma occurs within a culture that has what Burke and Reardon call an “empathize-despise” relationship with victims. We empathize with victims but are impatient with the time it takes for them to heal. At the same time, we tend to be suspicious of people who claim they have been victimized.
Moreover, when the victimization involves psychological claims, the argument takes on a political dimension because psychology is not a precise science but subject in many cases to social fashion and personal agendas.
In particular, people who have an interest in promoting abortion are quick to dismiss the evidence that abortion harms women. Those who profit financially from abortion, or those driven by an ideology that seeks to control the “quality of life” of other people, or politicians, physicians, psychologists, clergy and other public figures, who have an investment in maintaining a pro-choice culture necessarily turn a blind eye to the suffering of post-abortive women.
As a result, women who have undergone abortion soon discover that no support exists for resolving their trauma. Affirming the distress is either too great a threat to pro-choice dogma, or too difficult for others to bear. So they are forbidden to grieve."
Wednesday, May 14, 2003
Brenda Major and the Canadian Medical Association depression/abortion article
Yesterday's edition of the CMAJ published an article that indicated that women who obtained abortions were 2.6 times as likely to require psychiatric hospitalization as those who carried to term. The CMAJ also printed some comments from pro-choice researcher Brenda Major, a professor at UC-Santa Barbara. According to Prof. Major, it is "outrageous" that the CMAJ would publish an article about abortion by David Reardon, because David Reardon is pro-life.
That either means that only people who are pro-choice get to do research into the emotional aftermath of abortion, or else it means that no one who holds a political position about abortion gets to do research. Option Two is fair but, hm, that would really narrow down the field of researchers.
Or another possibility would be for leading medical journals to have independent peer-review panels that would scrutinize submitted articles with a fine-tooth comb, especially articles about controversial subjects like abortion. What? oh.
Theresa Bonapartis of the post-abortion referral network Lumina has shared with me the letter she was prompted to send to Prof. Major, and an excerpt appears here.
"Dear Dr. Major:
As a post-abortive woman I find it very disturbing that you refuse to acknowledge the pain countless women have felt as a result of their abortions. I was outraged by an article I just read in the Canadian papers.
For years I suffered emotionally as a result of an abortion I had in my teens. It impacted all aspects of my life until I finally found a mental health professional willing to address the very real pain I was feeling instead of telling me to "get over it" ,"it is in your past" or "it must be something else, not your abortion."
Over the past ten years, I have worked with hundreds of other women who have suffered with depression, guilt, shame and countless other things who have also been told the same because the mental health profession refuses to acknowledge the impact of abortion. One women ended up in a psychiatric hospital every year for 20 years on the anniversary of her abortion. This past year she finally found someone who would listen and for the first time passed the anniversary intact. It is a travesty!
Thank goodness, it is beginning to change as more and more professionals are hearing the suffering of their clients and beginning to realize this cannot be ignored anymore.
You are doing a great injustice to women. In fact, women are being aborted by a society that endorses abortion yet refuses to recognize its detrimental effects because of political reasons.
It is time all women are cared for...not just those who are poltically correct.
Abortion trauma super flower essence.
I don't think I'll add this to my list of healing-after-abortion resources. It involves absorbing healing energies from looking at pictures of red and green lettuce.
The Wednesday, May 14 edition of the Chicago Sun-Times picks up the abortion-depression story from the Canadian Medical Association Journal:
Study suggests abortion leads to depression.
Tuesday, May 13, 2003
Controversy flares over another medical study on post-abortion psychiatric issues.
The just-released May 13, 2003, 168(10) issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal contains an article, Psychiatric admissions of low-income women following abortion and childbirth.
The Vancouver Sun addresses the study in today's edition in an article headlined Study ties abortion, mental illness; Critics assail 'outrageous' report published in top Canadian journal.
Versions of that same article also appeared in the Windsor Star, Edmonton
Journal, Ottawa Citizen, Calgary Herald, and the Kingston Whig-Standard.
According to the article, a review of the medical records of 56,741 California
medicaid patients revealed that women who had abortions were 2.6
times more likely than delivering women to be hospitalized for
psychiatric treatment in the first 90 days following abortion or
The same issue of the CMAJ contains a rebuttal article by Brenda Major, Psychological implications of abortion--highly charged and rife with misleading research.
This article asserts that "A truly definitive study of the psychological effects of abortion is impossible."
I'm not sure if she means that in the sense that truly definitive studies of nearly any psychological phenomena are impossible, or whether she means that "this is the eighth study in eighteen months published in a leading peer-reviewed medical journal that shows a correlation between abortion and later emotional distress; therefore, let's start reminding ourselves that it is impossible for studies like these to get to the truth."
David Reardon of The Elliott Institute is one of the co-authors of the new study. His reflections on it can be found here.
Ms. Magazine's blog comments on the Everwood abortion story.
"The presentation of the much-anticipated primetime abortion was a mixed bag at best. Despite the periodic pro-choice statements (“Whatever choice you make will be the right one, so long as its your own”) and a strong woman’s voice criticizing the patriarchal abdication of responsibility, the clichéd ambivalence of Dr. Andrew Brown (portrayed by Treat Williams), the girl’s apparently regretful tone after the operation, and the fact that Dr. Harold Abbott (the eventual attending doctor) felt the need to cleanse his sins at confession in the final scene, revealed a show attempting to play all sides and ultimately doing nothing at all."
I wonder why they modified "regretful tone" with "apparently."
Update: On Everwood, the kindly doctor tells the distressed young lady whose father is insisting that she abort and whose boyfriend has ditched her that "any choice is the right choice, as long as it is your choice." The Ms. magazine post linked to above is partly about Everwood's abortion plot and mostly about a different subplot having to do with pornography. A reader writes:
"They're like Hugh Hefner when discussing abortion, but they suddenly morph into the Ayatollah Khomeini when it comes to pornography. Isn't 'whatever choice you make the right choice, as long as it's your choice' when a women chooses to pose for Penthouse? Or when a man chooses to 'read' it?"
No, reader. Only women have the power to make choices that are always the right choice. When we pose for Penthouse, that is indeed the right choice, as long as it is our choice. It has proven to be impossible for researchers to establish this, but it doesn't work that way for men.
Monday, May 12, 2003
The Mighty Barrister notes today's article in the Washington Times about the new study in Medical Science Monitor that indicates a link between abortion and later depression. (You might have to scroll down to see TMB's post on this because his post-linking feature isn't working.)
The Wash Times quotes the invaluable David Reardon of The Elliot Institute:
"Mr. Reardon said pro-choice groups do not provide women with information that would allow them to weigh the positive or negative effects of their choice.
'Those who wave the flag of choice claim that it's not about whether abortion is a good or poor choice; it's about what women decide. But they ignore that women want to know whether their choice will have good or poor repercussions,' Mr. Reardon said.
'To ignore the psychological and physical effects on women who have had an abortion is ideological, disconnected from real life,' Mr. Reardon said. 'This is a disservice to women.'"
I love Miss Manners who rules that:
"Look, e-mail is a very informal means of communication. It shouldn't be used for formal purposes. That it doesn't always consist of perfectly formed sentences does not alarm me."
Link via Sara Butler who got youthful Harvard punditosopher Matthew Yglesias to think that she really meant that we should have more Sarahs and fewer Zoras, thus establishing that even though Harvard's philosophy department ranks higher than Chicago's, it doesn't do as well at teaching the neo-Straussian UC style that demands readers who can successfully distinguish between substance and high-spiritedness.
Here we have a pitch-perfect example, from The Guardian of all places, about abortion decision-making. You know, it's scary to realize you are sleeping with someone who embraces you--but not your fertility and not your child and not even his child--and who is a born-again Christian.
An alert reader told me about Frank Peretti's Tilly. The comments at Amazon capture a nice broad spectrum of opinion. On the one hand, it is said that the book puts women who have had an abortion in a bad light. On the other hand, it does not put them in a bad enough light. Examples:
"I first read this book when I was about 9 years old after hearing about it church. I loved the story then, even though looking back on it now, I don't think I completely understood it. I reread the book when I turned 20 when it was given to me as a birthday gift, and cried through the whole thing. It meant so much more to me now that I understood more, and had actually had close friends go through the painful process of of aborting their unborn children. Some people may say that it is "too pro-life" or that it puts women who have choosen abortion in a bad light. In my opinion, it does just the opposite. It shows the loving forgiveness of a God who truly cares for His people. Even though the woman in the story sinned by taking the life of her child, she is forgiven and loved and freed from the horrible guilt caused by her decision. It serves as a reminder of His true deep love and compassion for the human race."
"What is not so successful however is Peretti's treatment of the theme of abortion. Admittedly there are some redeeming qualities: Peretti makes abundantly clear the Scriptural truth that an aborted fetus is a real baby. The idea that there is an after-life for all aborted babies (though the implicit assertion that all aborted babies go to heaven is questionable) is also Biblical. He also is sensitive to the post-abortion anguish and distress experienced by many mothers, a reality many pro-abortionists frequently diminish. But it is doubtful that he is sufficiently harsh on the sin of abortion, as evidenced by the fact that some pro-abortionists have remarked that this book is not overly pro-life, and have even found comfort in it! Rather than expose the seriousness of a sin which is nothing but murder, `Tilly' suggests that those guilty of abortion can find comfort in the fact that their aborted children are alive in heaven and have forgiven them. But is it true that the path to healing lies in the knowledge that all aborted babies are happy in heaven and that parents can be reconciled with them? Scripture suggests something different, as David confesses in Psalm 51: sin is first of all sin against God - `against you, you only have I sinned.' The true path to healing is to confess sin to God and find reconciliation and forgiveness from Him. Peretti implicitly advocates a different approach, where reconciliation and healing is sought in the wrong place - with the aborted child instead of with God."
Making the Wrong Choice Is 'the Worst Feeling in the World' from the May 9 Massachusetts News.
It's a long article but worth reading.
"When Vera Faith Lord spoke to the Harvard Law School Society for Law, Life, and Religion May 3 about post-abortion syndrome, there was a profound silence as the audience took in her story.
'The night I got him, I also got a black eye, a broken rib, and a broken jaw. I was in a dysfunctional marriage, and I was abusing cocaine. I was the poster child for a justifiable abortion. I heard this from everyone: friends, co-workers, even from - God help him - a clergyman. They all said that the kind thing to do is to terminate this pregnancy and send this little child back to Heaven where he belongs.'
Lord said that any mother, if she were faced with the choice, 'Shoot me or shoot my child,' would choose to shoot herself. When a woman has had an abortion, 'There is one awful moment when every cell in her being knows what she has done. She has committed the most unnatural act. She has killed her own offspring. It is the worst feeling in the world.'"