an After abortion

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Los Angeles Times article on men regretting the loss of their children to abortion

I find it fascinating how the incoming president of the American Psychological Association implies that we postabortive women and men have, by opportunistically tugging at heartstrings for maximum melancholic effect, merely brainwashed "a lot of the American public" into believing that our pain, regret, anguish, substance abuse, suicides, are in fact real and that our abortions (or involvement in them, if it's a man) have been the cause of all this.

For seven years, the APA acknowledged in black and white that abortion can cause PTSD. I have the book to prove it.

Rather hypocritical of them, since the APA removed the listing after seven years--without research or cause--bowing to the abortion lobby/industry leaders.

What upset me most about this article are the quotes from sociologist Arthur Shostak. Because he interviewed men waiting in abortion clinic waiting rooms and wrote a book on it published in 1984, he's considered the consultable "expert."

Firstly, Shostak's comments must be put into the context of his book: his data is over 24 years old.

Secondly, I daresay that men in the abortion clinic waiting room especially prior to 1984 are not going to speak up about any ambivalence or resistance for fear of getting their heads bitten off (or some other body part perhaps). To prove this point, there is this fascinating piece, "No, I am NOT a 'Rock': On Abortion and Waiting Room Men" which seems to take Shostak to task. (I inadvertently found this when researching Shostak's background. It's a long but eye-opening read, even for me.)

Thirdly, Shostak's apparently writing a new book on men and abortion, that he'll want to promote and sell like his numerous other books.

Last but certainly not least, Shostak also appears to be a/the primary blogger at pro-choice "THE RH RhealityCheck BLOG," aka "Arthur Shostak's blog" (RH stands for Reproductive Health). This blog is endorsed glowingly by Gloria Feldt, former Planned Parenthood president, Joerg Dwerke of Planned Parenthood's research arm Guttmacher Institute, Krista Jacob, editor of Abortion Under Attack, Frances Kissling, ex-president, and Jon O'Brien, current president of Catholics for a Free Choice...

I could go on but I think the picture is clear: sociologist Shostak isn't going to research-and-find, write or say anything that ever hurts or detracts from abortion.
[Me: striking an Andy Rooney nasal twang] Didja ever notice how abortion supporters never complain about men, especially old, white ones, sticking their opinionated noses into this business when those opinions completely support abortion?
The LA Times really lays it on thick with the "let's-attack-postabortive-people" rhetoric:
But [Shostak] views the activist movement with alarm.
Activist movement? Well, when you deride us by calling us that, of course, he does: he built his entire "campus-based sociologist" career and now his current blogging retirement/book sales future on supporting abortion rights.
Recruits often cycle through church-based retreats, support groups and Bible studies that aim to heal post-abortion trauma. The men are urged to think of themselves as fathers, to name -- and ask forgiveness from -- the children they might have raised, had their partners not aborted.

"They draw in men who may have a little ambivalence, possibly a little guilt, and they exacerbate those feelings," Shostak said.
Recruits? Cycle through? The men are urged? Drawn in? Exacerbate??

Makes us sound like Al-Qaeda terrorists recruiting new extremists, doesn't it?

According to the embryologists' definition ("prenatal age [of the new human life] begins at fertilization"), the men are already fathers, but the abortion rights movement has trained at least two generations and quite a few medical scientists to believe otherwise. Some men still recognize the truth deep down, as evidenced by the existence of ambivalence and eventual grief in some.

No one is "recruited" to attend abortion recovery groups. This would be laughable, even for women, if it wasn't such a serious misrepresentation. On my own Rachel's Vineyard retreat, there was a male physician who was there on his own, without his wife, because he felt he had to be there for himself. There was a man whose nephew had been aborted and he still felt tremendous loss, and also a husband there in support of his wife because he loved her.

Clearly, we twisted their arms to get their fannies in those seats for an entire weekend.

Does this career sociologist honestly think that some postabortive women's groups succeed in "recruiting" men to attend bare-the-soul events when most men likely resist simply going shopping with their wives? How many men do any of us know who will allow themselves to be "drawn in" against their will or better judgment to such groups, and then allow others to "exacerbate" any adverse feelings they might have?

It's rather demeaning to men to accuse them of being so gullible and malleable by us "activist, exacerbating, recruiter" postabortive types.

When are those who defend abortion by attacking postabortive folks going to realize that none of us, neither women nor men, want to be put under this spotlight, this microscope, this accusation that we're merely "leveraging ...political power" by going public with our regret and pain?

There isn't one of us who wants to be trashed, ridiculed, dismissed, or accused of doing what we do and saying what we say out of our own "deep seated guilt"--real or "recruited."

Talk about marginalizing people. Gotta love that famous "liberal tolerance."

When is the world going to realize that our strongest, most natural tendency is to not risk being subjected to such abuse? If guilt is what it's all about, we can certainly flog ourselves and our "deep-seated guilt" privately, to a friend, a confessor or shrink.

The very fact that we risk being so maligned, that we withstand it when it inevitably comes and continue to do so, is proof that there is something else going on here, larger than us personally, larger than our own guilt and/or pain.

Who in the world would willingly subject themselves to the abuse that we have withstood...

...unless it was just so compelling a grief that we couldn't wish it--even on our worst enemy--that anyone else should suffer silently, alone, depressed, as too many of us have done? Unless we truly believed that our speaking up could help even one person know that they are not alone and that there is help for what they're going through?

Yeah, all we want is "political gain" and to "tell others how to run their lives." Yeah, right.

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