Wednesday, December 15, 2004


Cause and Effect: Abortion Ripples

Anger from those who have gone through the procedure. Hurt. Grief not allowed by the pc point of view, but that still exists.

Some women find healing. Some look for justification.

"I'm not so sure that abortion rights advocates are primarily concerned about the political consequences." writes Emily at After Abortion. "My sense is that those abortion rights advocates who are post-abortive are primarily upset because of the implicit moral judgment on their past choices. 43% of American women have had one or more abortions by the time their reproductive years end. I would guess that the percentage is higher among abortion rights activists. If I were in those shoes, and I heard a leading Democrat say "we don't like abortion", I'd take this personally."

Yet for all their angst and attitude about what was done as a good choice, nothing to be squeamish over, most of America sees this as a bad thing.

According to a recent nationwide survey of 1,001 Americans conducted by Wirthlin Worldwide, 61 percent felt that "abortion is almost always a bad thing for a woman." In contrast, 23 percent stated is "almost always a good thing." The Wirthlin poll coincides with the results of another survey conducted by the Elliott Institute in December 2002, which found that 52 percent thought abortion makes women's lives worse, whereas only 16 percent believed it makes women's live better

Perhaps it's not just the knowledge that each one of these events costs a life. Perhaps it's seeing what it has done to the mothers (yes, and fathers, too) who have made these decisions and what happens to them after the event that help shape the viewpoint. All the might have beens that can never be reclaimed, because a life was taken to make sure it would never become reality. It takes its psychic toll on life, like all decisions do, but this is one where finding justification for actions by continuing an outlook pays a very high price.

I heard today that 3/4ths of the presidents elected since Roe v. Wade have been pro-life. There are political costs. Loss of potential voters, both from the attrition of not being here, and also from those who won't vote for a good candidate who clings to the pro-abortion party line. There are recovery issues, like denying that women can have post abortion depression. There are psychic issues, like dealing with the fact that a woman in a time of crisis did something that so many people find not only distasteful, but potentially evil, or denying late trimester D&C abortions pain relief, because that would acknowledge their humanness.

Like many people, I feel abortion is a wrong that hurts, hurts the innocent, but also hurts the mother. It causes such pain and loss because like a pebble cast into water, it ripples out over the months and years with effects.

This is why choosing life matters. Choosing life doesn't mean no abortion, although that's part of it. It means respect for life, the life of a person in a crisis, the life of a person who perhaps made a decision that will take healing, love and care. Life is a gift, not a container for anger of wrongs perceived, but of pontential and joy and hope and wisdom and care to be passed down from the older to the younger, like a great glowing string of pearls.

All the things we do that are anti-life, abortion, hate, anger, murder, the traditional great sins, turning our backs on others, muddies that string of pearls, dampens its glow, and makes it less.

This is what so many are perceiving with abortion.

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