Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Women really do deserve better

Blogger Cheeky Pink Girl has the most amazing story on her blog today--a guest post written by one of her readers about her abortion experiences, and the healing that finally came to her after she attended a Rachel's Vineyard retreat:
I went on that retreat in May, 2003. There were many things being thrown in my path to prevent me from going and I was grateful for the facilitators from the retreat being in communication with me. They warned me that things will pop up right before the retreat and that I was to examine these happenings closely before making the decision of whether to still attend or not.

The retreat itself was uplifting and I met so many wonderful women. At the same time, I was able to finally grieve openly. One of the greatest pains for post-abortive women is that no one allows us to grieve, no one admits that there's anything to grieve about. What other sufferer is despised for suffering, is commanded to rejoice at her pain, or more accurately, is asked to pretend that the pain is a joy? None. None at all. For the first time in 8 years, I was finally able to fully understand my pain, and I could see how my first abortion was the catalyst for all the pain and destruction I had caused.

For years I tried to compensate, I tried to rationalize; I tried to make the most despicable event in my life into something I could live with. And for the first time in 8 years, I was finally able to openly admit that I wasn’t the one that wanted the abortion and I was able to express my anger at the lack of support I had received back then. I could finally stop pretending that everything was alright. [Emphasis added--E.M.]
The writer's faith and courage shine through the whole post. Women really do deserve better than abortion. They really do.


Anonymous said...

"Women deserve better" is exactly the sort of message I would want to see again and again posted by the local protesters at our PP clinic. Instead, they insist on displaying those awful banners of the dismembered fetus. I am a mom of young children and I refuse to protest there because of those banners, stubbornly displayed. What if there was this message--"Women Deserve Better--continuously on display. Much more effective at changing people's minds and touching their hearts, in my opinion.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Another good one would be "You DO have a Choice" with the number of a Crisis pregnancy center.

Because the one theme I see over and over again is women exercising their "right to choose" because they feel like they HAVE NO OTHER CHOICE.

In our area, we have a good chain of crisis pregnancy centers originally started by Janet Smith. Wherever one of these centers opens, the birth rate goes up, and abortion rates plummet? Why? Because a lot of these women just need someone, anyone, to support them, and a back up system so they can be sure that no matter what happens they can feed, shelter and clothe their child. Once the choice is between "baby" and "abortion" instead of "Baby starving to death in my arms because I can't afford formula and have no help" and "abortion", abortion no longer seems like a viable option.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Deirdre is correct. Carrying a pregnancy to term IS a choice, and it is a choice every pregnant woman has a right to make -- regardless of what her husband, boyfriend, parents, peer group, or anyone else thinks about it.

As a pro-choice citizen who insists that that is not the same as "pro-abortion," I take the word of the woman who wrote the guest column at face value. She is the only person in the world who can speak for herself, and she did.

I did once hear a woman talk about how much happiness and relief she felt after an abortion. It was her second pregnancy -- she and her husband had a son previously born, and she loved him, but did not want another.

There is only one line I would draw. No matter how many women grieve over their abortions, I would not restore criminal penalties to make a one-size-fits-all choice the other way for each and every woman.

Some women grieve over their abortions, but consider it the least bad choice they could have made, and do not regret it. (Incidentally, they should be free to grieve rather than expected to celebrate). Some women don't grieve, and all things considered, they should be able to make their own choice free of interference by THE STATE.

But I also agree that "Women deserve better" would be a more effective presentation for those who choose to picket clinics offering abortion services. Some women will respond. Those, most likely, are women who would regret going through with an abortion. Other women will not. But if you choose to measure the value of your work by how many abortions you prevent, it would be more effective.

I would be perfectly happy to have that message out there in the civic square, in the free market place of ideas. Those women who respond to it need to hear it.

Dirtdartwife said...

Siarlys, when 64% of women that have had an abortion admit to being made to feel as if they didn't have a choice, where is THEIR choice? Society doesn't support women that choose life thanks to much of the indoctrination of Planned Parenthood. They're made to believe life will be difficult (to the point of unattainable), they're made to believe the man will leave them (unfortunately, for some, that happens) and they're made to believe that they aren't smart enough to be a mother. But that doesn't give anyone the right to take a life of another human being.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

You are making two distinct arguments Dirtdartwife...

If a human being entitled to full protection exists from the moment of conception, then it doesn't matter how any woman or all women feel about it. That is explicitly recognized in the reasoning of Roe v. Wade, but the court could find no existing legal precedent recognizing the fetus as a person.

Assuming you are correct that 64% of all women who have had an abortion were made to feel as if they didn't have a choice... and I seriously doubt that anyone could assemble accurate statistics on that score... but assuming it is true... that doesn't mean the other 36% should be prohibited by law from making a choice for themselves.

After all, few if any of those 64% said that they were REQUIRED BY LAW to have an abortion... the story (and in many individual cases it is no doubt true), is that their parents, boyfriend, etc. made them feel they had no choice.

So, we need to protect their right to MAKE A FREE CHOICE without intimidation. We do not need to flip WHICH choice is being made FOR them WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT. Ultimately, there is an element of personal responsibility here. Don't let others choose for you.

Anonymous said...


Dirtdartwife said...

The 64% figure is accurate data. You can find it at

It's abhorrent to dismiss post-abortive women's feelings by telling them they were not required by law to have an abortion and therefor you doubt their feelings.

No one is trying to take away the right of anything from anyone. The law needs to change to protect ALL people, the born and pre-born. That life growing inside a woman is not a dog, a cat or a rock. It should be afforded the rights that are inherit to ALL people. Just because they are temporarily inside their mother for a short 9 months of their entire existence does not negate their existence and to deny their existence is intellectually dishonest.

Anonymous said...

I'm interested to know if you've heard about what's happening in Connecticut regarding the conflict between the Sisters of Life and Rachel's Vineyard? Seems the Sisters have decided that there's something seriously wrong with RV.

I am active in the Rachel's Vineyards retreats and would like to know what you think.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

dirtdartwife, when I first checked out the site you referred to, I laughed, because for you to say "the figure is accurate data" because you found it on an anti-abortion web site is like me saying "believe it, Planned Parenthood says its true." But, the site DID offer a footnote to what appears to be a scholarly paper. Well done on their part.

However, when I tried to follow that up, I kept ending up at a boiler plate letter to send to congress reps, rather than a factual study. If you can provide me a link to the original article, I will read it. What scraps I've found while searching suggest that the study found 64% of women had been subject to some pressure from others around them. Most of us are, when we make decisions that also affect others. That is different from "had no choice."

You are deceiving at least yourself when you say "No one is trying to take away the right of anything from anyone." Of course you are. I might add that every law against any form of homicide also takes away the "right" to kill in the relevant circumstances. Other legal principles ALLOW a right to kill in specified other circumstances.

The general limit in American tradition is "your right to swing your fist stops where the next man's nose begins." You ARE trying to take a right away from women who WOULD choose to abort, BECAUSE you see a nose that defines another person, which must be respected.

Those of us who disagree simply don't see a person. The strongest argument is the unique genetic signature, and the ultimate POTENTIAL to become a self-aware human being. There is an epistemological consistency to that argument. But to me, it is more relevant that a zygote has less self-awareness than a tadpole, and a blastocyst no more than an egg of caviar. Now around the 20th week, when there is a good rudiment of a central nervous system, then I'm with you, EXCEPT if the mother's life truly is endangered. It is not a matter of complete irrelevance that a fetus exists within its mother, and that it cannot exist outside her.

P.S. Google seems to have lost my previous reply, due to some software routine finding "unusual activity" on my account. I hope they don't mean that looking for information on a pro-life web site is "unusual activity."

Word verification: redlatin

Is that one of those Catholic communists in Italy?