Archive for September, 2014

Is It Possible to Have No Side-Effects or Regret After Abortion?

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

wachapreague-island-first-abandoned-house[1]

By Janet Morana
and Kevin Burke, LSW

During a recent radio interview on the subject of post abortion trauma a listener asked if it was possible to have an abortion and not experience any negative side-effects or regrets about the decision. Julia Fawkes Stuart conveniently penned a piece that can help us address this important question.

Stuart, while being a great admirer of Sen. Wendy Davis of Texas, has a bone to pick with Davis’ public admission of a previous abortion due to fetal disability:

Wendy Davis’ pregnancy termination stories fall solidly on the side of the “good” abortion: she wanted a baby, she was excited for a baby, and then … medical disaster struck. Completely outside her control and maternal desires, Davis’ pregnancies were compromised, and she was the smart, responsible woman who made the hard, painful choice as much for her fetus (more!) as for herself.

Stuart contends that such abortion stories serve to highlight the acceptable hard cases…and stigmatize the majority of abortions that women have simply because they do not want the baby:

Most women end a pregnancy not because it is medically necessary or because their fetus is unwell — that’s only about seven percent of terminations, according to Guttmacher [PDF] — and not because they’ve been raped or are victims of incest (that’s only about one percent of abortions) — but because they don’t want to have a baby.

Julia goes on to makes some public confessions of her own about two past abortions:

…I’ve had two abortions. Unlike Wendy Davis, mine had nothing to do with medical necessity, nor were they harrowing decisions. I just don’t want kids. Not when I had those abortions, and not now. Not ever.

Stuart has no regret for her abortion decisions:

They were not difficult decisions. I’m not ashamed about them and I suffer no guilt or second thoughts… one of the few decisions I’ve made in my life that I was 100 percent certain about…

Let’s return to the question posed at the beginning of this post. Can a woman or man have an abortion and emerge free of regret, or emotional and physical complications?

Julia Stuart would seem to support the conclusion that yes, this is possible. But let’s take a closer look.

Maternal Contraception

To be fair, without a more extensive and objective review of Stuarts life, we must speculate here based on previous post-abortion themes. But Stuart offers a clue on why abortion has been experienced thus far as such a positive and freeing decision for her:

I just don’t want kids. Not when I had those abortions, and not now. Not ever.
Why no kids? What led her to proclaim this with such force and finality…not ever! It’s as if Stuart has placed a 100% emotional contraceptive barrier between her life and her motherhood.

The Body Don’t Lie

Is this rooted in some negative childhood/family experience? Did that initial abortion further entrench the negative emotions and life experiences already present that led her to fear and reject her motherhood? Perhaps it is based on some perverted environmentalism that requires protecting the planet by ending the life of children in your womb.

Regardless, when she was pregnant for the 5 and six week periods prior to her abortions…Julia Fawkes Stuart was in fact a mother…and remains the mother of two children. Stuart’s ideology and strongly held pro choice values deny this reality.

Stuart writes that any restriction on abortion “is ultimately about undermining her autonomy over her body.” We can play games with language to rationalize reality. But the  female body is not bound by personal pro-abortion ideology and during her pregnancies Stuart underwent complex changes to protect and nurture the growing son or daughter in her womb. [Abruptly ending this process is an unnatural and traumatic shock to a woman’s body with potentially negative impact on her future health and well-being.]

A House Built Upon a Foundation of Sand

It is quite possible, based again on extensive experience from the hundreds of testimonies of those that have experienced abortion loss, that the symptoms of complicated grief from her abortions may be hidden deeply behind a tendency toward drug or alcohol abuse, depression/anxiety or other symptoms such as relational instability and dysfunction.

Women and men have shared in their testimonies that long periods of their lives were (seemingly) symptom free with no conscious awareness of any negative after-effects from their abortion procedures…in fact they felt only relief. Some would have identified as “pro-choice” on the abortion question. At some point an event in their life, a loss of a loved one, a medical crisis, or some other moment of spiritual clarity and grace shook them to the core. They found that beneath the detached self assurance…was a gaping wound from their participation in the death of their child/children. This pain led them to reach out for reconciliation and healing.

Getting to the Soul of the Matter

Let’s assume that that Stuart has no conscious awareness of any regret and no apparent post-abortion symptoms…and continues to feel relief that she is not shackled to two teenagers.

There is another aspect to the human person that has been neglected thus far in our discussion…the spiritual perspective. Here we do not need to speculate, and can speak with great clarity. Stuart is not only cut off from her mother’s heart and the natural love for the child that lived briefly in her womb, she is also suffering a potentially fatal disconnect from her soul.

God, as all the great religious traditions acknowledge, is Eternal Spirit and the source of all life. The Christian faith above all religions manifests the great dignity of the human person that lies in God sharing His Eternal nature in the incarnation of Christ in the blessed womb of his mother Mary and in the soul of every human person.

This is a great mystery.  Yet those who have attended abortion healing programs like Rachel’s Vineyard can attest to the overwhelming experience of clarity when participants encounter in a very personal way the consoling truth that the child they lost to abortion…is not lost, but living in the Lord. God shares his eternal nature even with the smallest of human beings in the womb. This is a source of great hope and consolation for it offers the opportunity for a spiritual relationship with their unborn child and when their lives end the hope of embracing their beloved child in eternity.

Abortion is An Unnatural Event – Consequences are Natural

Let’s conclude by addressing once again the question… is it possible to experience an abortion and have no symptoms, no negative side-effects, and no regrets?

The answer: For a human person with a heart and soul…participating in the death of one’s unborn child, at any stage of development from conception to natural death attacks the natural, emotional and spiritual foundation of our identity as women/men, parents and co creators with the Eternal God. To remain seemingly symptom/regret free after abortion necessitates an internal division in the emotions, body/mind and spirit. Such a division over time requires a great repression of the very natural feelings of grief and loss and conflicted emotions that follow the procedure (regardless of one’s position on abortion.) This internal disconnection normally leads to symptoms such as drug/alcohol abuse, depression/anxiety, relationship and sexual dysfunction/instability etc.

Without reconciliation and recovery from this loss, as with Julia Fawkes Stuart it can also lead to a self-chosen sterilization of not only one’s motherhood/fatherhood, but of the soul itself.

Stuart closes her article with a Pro Abortion Declaration of Independence from those that would challenge a women’s right to abortion:

Needing a reason why a woman had an abortion is ultimately about undermining her autonomy, and taking their power away. And I won’t be a part of that. I’m not ashamed of my abortions or the reasons I had them.

Stuart may remain hunkered down in her pro choice bunker. But maybe…maybe this was the first step in her reaching out and telling her story. Perhaps she will read this blog, and at first respond with either mocking dismissal or perhaps great anger. But in time it may plant the seeds in her that will take fruit at a time in the future, when she is stripped of her self-assured declarations of personal autonomy and ideology.  We can hope and pray that she might one day turn to her Creator and humbly admit that she violated something fundamental to her humanity and womanhood – that she is deeply wounded – and the blessed awareness that she is need of reconciliation and healing.

Posted in Abortion, Abortion Complications, Contraception, Feminists, Silent No More Awareness, Uncategorized | 4 Comments »
Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.

Killing them softly

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

ginsburg2[1]

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave quite a speech the other night. Speaking at the anniversary fund-raiser for the International Women’s Health Coalition, she lamented that Roe v. Wade was too much too soon. Americans needed a more incremental approach to child-killing to be convinced that it is a constitutional right, vital to women’s health, and, lately, even sacred.

“You give it to them softly,” Ginsburg said. “And you build them up to what you want.”

This quote comes from a piece Jill Filipovic wrote for Cosmopolitan Magazine. It’s very interesting reading. Here’s another quote within Ms. Filipovic’s story.

“The decision in Roe, too, ‘was as much about a doctor’s right to practice medicine’ as it was about a woman’s right to abortion, she pointed out. ‘The image was the doctor giving advice to the little woman, not the woman standing alone.’ ”

Pro-abortion physicians – like the late Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who later became a pro-life Catholic convert — were critical to the success of Roe v. Wade, a fact that was forgotten after all the bra-burning feminism that followed. Some of these doctors were sincerely troubled by having treated women who had been butchered in illegal abortions.

But let’s think about that image Justice Ginsburg mentioned, of “the doctor giving advice to the little woman.” Does that sound like the abortion industry to you?

Here’s how a woman from Ohio named Phyllis described her abortion on the Silent No More Awareness Campaign website, and in my book, Recall Abortion.

“I never saw the abortion doctor until just before the procedure. I was reluctant to let him go in with the instruments. He said, jokingly, ‘just spread your legs like a cheerleader.’ I did not laugh.”

And Kim, from Mississippi:

“After taking a sedative and being strapped to the exam table, I said, ‘I can’t do this. Let me up.’ After that I was forcefully held down by two people and given another sedative… I put my legs together and heard the doctor tell his assistant to do something about that. They held my legs apart and I begged and called for my boyfriend.”

Abortionists are not kindly country doctors. Many of them are substance abusers. They tend to lose their licenses on a regular basis, continuing to kill children and harm women anyway. Sometimes they’re not even doctors and in some places, like in California, they don’t even have to be doctors.

Abortion is not health care because pregnancy is not a disease. Abortion is an unnatural, violent and traumatic experience that wounds women physically and emotionally. It turns women into the architects of their own children’s deaths.

In Recall Abortion, I quote women who have been so badly hurt in abortions that they never were able to have children. Women whose real doctors later found parts of their babies left behind in the womb. And I speak to mothers whose daughters died having “safe and legal” abortions. I hope you read it, and share their stories.

This is what Roe v. Wade, and its silent partner, “Doe v. Bolton,” brought to us in 1973. An agenda-driven ruling masquerading as health care, spawning a cash-fueled industry so vile and unregulated that Americans would be shocked if they knew. One of the reasons they don’t know is that the media, for the most part, will not tell them.

I’m not sure that giving it to us softly, as Justice Ginsburg envisioned, would have made any difference. Murder is murder. There is nothing soft about killing babies.

I challenge Justice Ginsburg to read Recall Abortion and to go to Silent No More to read the stories of the women whose health has been damaged permanently by abortion. I would love to send her a copy, and to hear what she has to say

Posted in Abortion, Cosmo, Feminists, Health Care, Pro-life, Roe v. Wade, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Uncategorized | 5 Comments »
Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.

Sen. Wendy Davis: Is Complicated Grief after Abortion Driving her Pro Choice Activism?

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

wendy_davis_AP267832583099_620x350[1]

By Janet Morana
and Kevin Burke, LSW

For more than 11 hours in June 2013 Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Ft. Worth) laced up her infamous pink sneakers and stood on the Senate floor, without food or bathroom breaks, to filibuster an abortion bill that has shut down more than a dozen abortion centers so far in the state of Texas.

Now we learn in her recently published book that she experienced a traumatic abortion loss in 1997. The media will spin this story in predictable directions. They will present Sen. Davis as one who personally understands the difficult health care decisions women face and as future Democratic governor she will be a courageous advocate for the women of Texas.

But there is a deeper and more complex story behind the headlines. The filibuster of Sen. David and the public confession about her own abortion are less about political activism, abortion rights and opportunism. They reveal much more about the complicated grief that follows an abortion procedure…and how that repressed emotional and spiritual pain may be driving her pro-abortion activities.

From the New York Times:
[Davis]…learned in the fall of 1996 that she was pregnant for a fourth time. In her second trimester, she and her husband at the time, Jeff Davis, learned that their unborn daughter whom they named Tate had a rare brain abnormality. Doctors told the couple that if the baby survived delivery, “she would probably be deaf, blind and in a permanent vegetative state.” In the spring of 1997, Ms. Davis terminated the pregnancy, describing it as “the most humane and compassionate thing we could do to spare Tate” any pain and suffering.

We can imagine the fear, anxiety and grief that followed the diagnosis. Many good people, in the darkness and confusion of such times, will be tempted to see abortion as both a sensible and compassionate decision. The medical community aggressively counsels that abortion is the only medical solution for such a diagnosis. (It should be noted that physicians often present the worst case scenario and fear of lawsuits can be deadly for the unborn.)

Legalized abortion has tempted medical professionals to assume a God-like authority over matters of life and death for their unborn patients. This places anxiety-filled, grieving parents facing a challenging pre-natal diagnosis in the impossible position of having to participate in the death of their own child:

Sen. Davis shares:
In our doctor’s office, with tears flowing down both our faces, Jeff and I looked at our baby daughter’s beating heart on the sonogram screen for the last time,” Ms. Davis wrote. “And we watched as our doctor quieted it. It was over. She was gone. Our much-loved baby was gone.”

Predictably, depression followed the abortion.
From Lifenews:
Davis writes quote, “an indescribable blackness followed. It was a deep, dark despair and grief. A heavy wave that crushed me. It made me wonder if I would ever surface…and when I finally did come through it, I emerged a different person. Changed. Forever changed.”

The Truth Will Set You Free

Sen. Davis and her husband, with the counsel of medical professions, felt that ending the life of their unborn daughter was, as she stated, the most humane and compassionate thing we could do to spare Tate any pain and suffering.

Surely the suffering of their daughter was part of the motivation of these parents to abort…any parent can sympathize with their dilemma. But is it possible that if they were to be totally honest, they were also fighting with their own fears? Were they struggling to accept and embrace the challenges and pain of giving birth to a child with disabilities?

Wendy Davis and her husband very likely have not attended an abortion healing program. If they did, they would have to face the reality that while the medical dilemma put them under serious pressure to see abortion as the only option…they participated in the death of their unborn child. It is impossible to witness the direct and deliberate ending of a child’s life and not experience emotional and relational consequences.

Abortion is an unnatural and traumatic shock to the body, heart and soul of a pregnant woman. Medical professionals and counselors should have used that time to prepare the couple for the child’s birth, what to expect, and how to love and care for their precious child for however long the baby lives. Here is a good resource for such life-affirming choices.

The Filibuster of 2013: A Labor of Complicated Grief?

Wendy Davis was denied the opportunity to go through the natural birthing process with her daughter. The Davis’ were not able to hold and love their daughter for however long she lived and learn to see the great benefits that this challenging but also blessed time could have been for their family. Failure to acknowledge falling to this temptation to assume God’s providence over life and death will make it difficult for this couple to fully grieve and heal this loss. Guilt, pain, anger will remain…often hidden deep beneath the rationalizations that this was the right and compassionate choice.

Some of the founding members of pro-abortion feminism movement were women with traumatic abortion in their history. Like Davis, without a deeper emotional and spiritual healing of this loss, they need to continually justify their choice by becoming active in pro-abortion politics, advocacy and even volunteering at abortion centers. The Texas bill that presented reasonable restrictions on abortion, and those who fight to end abortion, present a direct psychological threat to the defenses Davis has established deep in her psyche against her abortion trauma.

The pro-abortion activity and public confession of her abortion also serve as a powerful outlet for the complicated grief, guilt and anger that needs to be continually repressed…but struggles to find expression. Anti-abortion activists and public political activity that highlights our nation’s contentious struggle with this issue, become a convenient target for anger and rage at one’s spouse, self, God and other involved in the abortion decision.

Perhaps we can revisit the abortion filibuster of June 2013 and see in this very public action on behalf of abortion rights as being closely connected to her incomplete abortion healing. At great personal sacrifice she labors for hours on end, without food and water…to fight what she sees as draconian abortion restrictions. I would suggest that what was driving this display may be closely related to the abortion disrupting her body’s ability to go through the natural labor process…which she displaces onto a dramatic, lengthy and painful filibuster process.

An important part of any abortion recovery program, is telling your abortion story.

Sen. Davis now has offered a public confession in her book about her traumatic abortion loss. Here too we see an attempt by Davis to continue to process her loss and find understanding and support. This is common among those who suffer abortion loss and helps end the secrecy and isolation that normally follows the procedure. Davis in her political role receives the affirmation and support of other women, pro- abortion activists and media, and when confronted with opposition, may see herself as a courageous heroine for other women’s rights, willing to stand tall and take the heat.

The Challenging but Rewarding Journey to Heal, and the Deadly Cost of Denial

But the human heart and soul defy our desperate rationalizations. They seek a healthy and honest grieving of this loss. They call us to accept that in fear, anxiety and a failure to trust in God’s providence, we can take actions that are reserved for the Creator of life. This requires the deepest humility and much grace. We can all abort God’s will in our lives at times of fear and darkness.

The journey of healing is not one of judgment and condemnation. It is more the blessed gift of being able to confess our weakness confronted with an overwhelming moral and medical dilemma. But it is only with the gift of honesty and humility that healthy grieving and deeper healing are possible. This can take time as these wounds are very sensitive, especially immediately after the loss.

The failure of Sen. Davis and her husband to fully reconcile and grieve this loss has led her to become a very public proponent of abortion. Sadly, the unresolved complicated grief, guilt and pain of her own abortion experience has not only taken her disabled daughter’s life in the womb, but could lead to the death of many more unborn children if her political power increases and she gains access to higher office.

Let’s pray she will read this article and find in it a compassionate and loving invitation to a deeper healing of her abortion loss in an abortion recovery program.

To read about couples who received poor pre-natal diagnoses and chose life for their babies, read “Recall Abortion.”

Posted in Abortion, Abortion Complications, Family, Feminists, Health Care, Silent No More Awareness, Women's Health | 5 Comments »
Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.