Thoughts on Abortion – Breaking Silence
This morning I found a facebook post with a story from The Daily Kos. I noticed that link is a facebook reference which means not everyone can access it. However The Daily Kos is an Internet journal so by Googling the subject probably the story can be found.
This is the gist of the story:
“”I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.”” by Sister Joan Chittister, O. S. B.
This is my response to that post:
Exactly – I’ve pondered this for a long time, feeling that neither side completely reflects my thinking – am I PRO- Life? Of course, which of us living beings is not? Am I PRO-choice? Of course, which of us wants someone else to make our choices and decisions? Abortion is a very complex issue, and I’ve been troubled by exactly what Sister Joan talks about ie who is going to take care of all the unwanted babies forced into existence? And for one moment I do not believe any woman chooses abortion as birth control though I do sadly acknowledge some women seem to have a callous attitude, I’ve heard it with my own ears – “ah, well there is always abortion….”. As for women choosing more babies so there are more welfare benefits????Try living on only what those benefits give you – decades ago I had that experience, it is merely existing. Do you know the Catholics support their beliefs with the use of Homes for Unwed Mothers connected to support services for mothers who choose to keep their babies, and connected also to adoption services? There also are homes where young, unsupported mothers can live with their only children for at least 2 years or more while they seek to improve their lives with education and job training. Whereas the Protestant fundamentalists rave on about saving the pregnancies where are their support services? And why are their men the most vocal???? And what about women who are raped or incested? Should they be forced to endure a life with a child who is a constant reminder of their horror and trauma? I think not. And should the child be forced to be with a mother who abuses them out of her history of fear and hate? NO! There, I’ve been quiet long enough!
I will acknowledgeable my strong feelings come from personal experiences. However my broad way of thinking about things comes from my personality, thankfully. It doesn’t feel like much of a risk to self-reveal here as only a handful read my blog, but at age 17 I spent 2 months in a Catholic Home for Unwed Mothers. Up to that point it was the happiest and most nurturing living situation I’d ever experienced. No one yelled. Ever. Never ever yelled. The Home was a co-operative community where everyone shared the work and everyone benefitted.
I was incested and that is how I became pregnant. Unfortunately because of my fear I kept silent about that fact, and because of my emotional and mental issues I made a poor choice when I decided to keep the child and retrieved him from foster care when he was 6 weeks old. Only at the moment of retrieval did I learn he was born with developmental problems. I was single. I was living a lie. I had no support. I was on my own to raise this special needs child. I did the best I could at that time but I did it poorly nevertheless. Every time I looked at this child I was overwhelmed with feelings from the incest experience and I was a neglectful and abusive mother. To be fair to myself, that mother was an aspect of my personality that split in two at the time. The other aspect was that of The Loving Mother, the one who kept the child safe, who rescued him, who contacted DHSS and found a foster home for him, the home where he would be loved and accepted as part of a loving family, the home he lives in to this very day, forty plus years later – there is a God – a Divine Love in our Universe. These are the bare facts and this is what motivates my thinking today.
So, aside from all of that, abortion is a complex issue. There is the philosophical side of all of this. My heart cried out I wished I’d had an abortion. (it was illegal then – those are the days of coat hanger abortions and dead mothers.) My mind goes – there are life lessons to learn by all the people involved; there is a reason for everything. And there are those who would do away with Roe vs Wade??? That would put us paces back, closer to the Dark Ages. I think not. We must keep abortion option open as a safe health option, albeit a very sad one. Women’s lives matter. Children’s lives matter, both those unborn as well and especially those already here. What of the mother who died from the coat hanger abortion and left behind 6 already born children, all under the age of 5, or the mother who left behind merely one child? Does any child deserve to become motherless for the sake of saving one who is yet unborn? I think not. Let us be kinder to one another and realize this is a very difficult choice to be made, and a very personal one. What would Jesus do? Would Jesus persecute the mother who chose to live to care for her already born who needed her? I think not. Love is the answer.