an After abortion

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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Canadian abortion provider and activist Henry Morgenthaler is being awarded an honorary University of Western Ontario degree Thursday.

The London Free Press, a daily newspaper in Ontario, interviewed some women who received abortions at the hands of Morgenthaler for an article called Support group tries to heal abortion hurt.

Annie [not our Annie] considers herself part of a low-profile sector of post-abortive women who regret availing themselves of the rights championed by Dr. Henry Morgentaler, the abortion activist receiving an honorary University of Western Ontario degree Thursday.

The exact number of women like Annie is unknown and pro-choice advocates say they make up a small percentage of post-abortive women.

They largely suffer in silence, said Jane, another local woman who wouldn't give her real name.

She went on, that is, until she found Project Rachel, a support group for post-abortive women brought to London by the local Roman Catholic diocese five years ago. Many of its volunteers have had experiences such as Jane and Annie's, who say the group's goal is simple:

It's about finding forgiveness.

"It was amazing, the changes," Annie, 40, said of her Project Rachel experience. "Just relief, that there was somebody that I could confide in and that I was accepted."
Peter Buckley, director of the Project Rachel outreach that helped Annie and Jane, says:

"Project Rachel is not about being anti-abortion," he said. "It's about healing people who are hurting as a result of an abortion."
Kim Luton, the London-based president of the Canadian Abortion Rights Action League, says that:

The vast majority of post-abortive women don't need such help...Every abortion clinic in Canada, she said, offers pre- and post-abortion counselling.

"We make the best decision we can with the best information we have. And sometimes that isn't good enough," said Luton, a UWO sociology professor.
I think it's interesting that she regards decisions as solely being a product of the information we have. (And since she regards the information as we as being so crucial to the quality of the decision, it's surprising that abortion advocates are generally opposed to legislative measures to require that abortion clinics provide information about fetal development, abortion alternatives, and abortion risks.) Decisions are not just about information, though--they're also about panic, lack of support, pressure, anxiety, and hopelessness.

The article concludes:

Though Jane is unhappy with UWO's decision to honour Morgentaler, she has no axe to grind.

Many pro-life activists are terribly insensitive to post-abortive women, she said, and most Morgentaler supporters are well-meaning.

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