We've had many first-time visitors in the last two days. Welcome and please explore the many resources and links on the left.
Annie's account of her experiences on Sunday at the March in D.C. has been linked to and commented about by lots of other bloggers.
Some have made favorable comments and some have made disparaging comments. It'll take a few days to sort out and respond to any new or interesting ideas that percolated up out of all the dialogue.
Meanwhile, Annie has been contacted by two magazines and one newspaper for further information.
I do want to quickly make a few comments.
A thought I've seen here and there in the last few days in response to the type of witness offered by Annie and Silent No More is that the fact that some women suffer psychological or spiritual trauma because of an abortion experience is not a good argument for making abortion illegal.
I agree entirely with that, as I have said off and on here over the last year that this blog has been in existence.
If abortion is a grave moral wrong that should be legally prohibited, that would have to be argued on the basis of claims about the moral status of the developing child.
My sense, though, is that some pro-choice people are allergic to the idea that there are women who experience profound emotional distress related to abortion. Instead of being curious or kind about what that lived experience of another human being is like, there's a tendency to brush it aside as a ploy by people who can't tolerate women making choices.
So often, the political debate over abortion is a very inadequate proxy for one's personal response to specific abortions--one's own, or the abortions of others in one's family or circle of friends. This is true for people on both sides of the political divide.
However, we cannot resolve and heal from our past--real choices and experiences of our own or of our loved ones--by engaging in political debate and judgment.
Anger, helplessness, contempt, fear, feelings of inadequacy, guilt, blame of oneself and others, grief--these feelings about personal experiences can and do fuel tremendous amounts of fiery political positioning and judgment of others. Again, that's true on both sides of the political/moral divide.
Although the psychological trauma experienced by some men and women after abortion is not a good argument for making abortion illegal, it is an important fact to take into consideration when thinking about issues like Women's Right to Know laws. These are state-level laws that mandate that states provide certain kinds of information, such as sonograms of the developing fetus, to women considering abortion. If women come forward and say, "I would not have gone through with my abortion if only I had known," that's relevant information for a state legislator to take into consideration.
Women's stories of psychological distress are relevant to state legislatures in deciding whether abortionists should be required to screen for known psychological risk factors for post-abortion syndrome.
So, women who regret their abortions do bear witness in areas where their experience is relevant to political questions.
However, leading pro-choice groups such as Planned Parenthood, NOW and NARAL are adamantly opposed to any such legislation. In taking this position, they have turned a steadfastly blind eye to what abortion really feels like after the fact for many women.