Monday, April 24, 2006

Abortion: No Panacea

There I was a twelve year old girl in the midst of conversation with four boys two to four years older than myself. How we got on the topic of abortion, I cannot remember. It was not many years after Roe v. Wade had been decided.

For some reason, I was fiercely pro-life. I was arguing vehemently about how wrong abortion was. Yet these boys were just as adamant that abortion was perfectly fine, a woman’s right. For years I wondered why they even cared about abortion, why they cared so much for women’s rights. I knew I cared about women’s rights. I was the one who had taken my poor teacher to task in fifth grade because there were so few mentions of women in our text book, and I just couldn’t believe women were not important.

Years later, I discovered one man’s theory as to why many men are pro-abortion. Long ago, if a young man impregnated a young woman, he usually did the honorable thing and married the gal. True, sometimes the muzzle of a gun pointed at him by an angry father helped convince him. Abortion changed all that. No longer did a young man have to take responsibility for his actions. Marriage and fatherhood did not have to be the outcome of young hormones out of control. Why, he could feel positively noble about himself just by offering to pay for an abortion and driving the girl to and fro! It was an epiphany. I knew that was the answer to my questions about that conversation years before.

Since that time, I have tried to comfort three friends still weeping, still grieving over their abortions ten and fifteen years after the fact. Each had been encouraged to have those abortions by a man who did not want to raise the baby for one reason or another. Another, who truly understands grace more than anyone else I know, no longer wept because she was assured of God’s pardon and a future with that child in heaven, but she is most assuredly now pro-life and encourages pregnant women to choose life.

The one whom I have not seen weep or express regrets about her decision is the friend who chose to keep her baby. She’s never had second thoughts despite the incredible hardships she’s faced and has proved an excellent mother. Go figure.

If you know someone suffering from post-abortion emotional turmoil, Focus on the Family will link Christ-based aid to hurting women and men---yes, men too, as Focus recognizes that some men do regret counseling their girlfriends to abort or grieve that their child was aborted against their wishes.

Also, there is an organization, Feminists for Life, which is both pro-woman and pro-life simultaneously. While I do not know them well enough to give an unqualified endorsement, I was impressed with what I saw. Take some time to read some of the stories of post-abortion sufferers, and if your heart doesn’t break, perhaps you should check to see if you actually have one.

Here, here, here, here, and here.

4 Comments:

At 4/28/2006 5:50 PM, Anonymous Andy said...

I urge you to tread a bit more cautiously when exploring root causes for pro-choice beliefs among men. While I am not particularly pro-choice, I know a number of liberal guys who almost certainly are, but not because they want an out-clause. They just feel a woman should have the right.

I inhabit the increasingly uncommon middle ground in politics today. I choose not to weigh in heavily on issues like abortion because I do not feel particularly qualified to do so. Were I to support a specific abortion case, I am sure you would agree that such support would not inherently make me a selfish man looking for an out-clause. To generalize that many in fact are seems unfair.

 
At 4/28/2006 10:20 PM, Blogger Anna Venger said...

Actually, I do understand that many men simply feel unqualified to comment on abortion or feel that it must be a woman't decision because he just can't imagine telling a woman she had to carry a baby she didn't want. Also, if you notice, I did put the line in the post about men who grieve over choices made against their wishes. I am not out to get men.

Nevertheless, I did get to know those particular boys better over the years and I stand by my statements about them---they ended up being womanizers. And the women with whom I have grieved really were pushed into it by the men in their lives. I also was friends with a guy who struggled with the decision before pushing his girlfriend for the abortion so I know it was not a flippant decision for him. I know he did not feel ready. Still, knowing the particulars of that girl's life, I have no doubt that she suffered immeasurably.

The main thrust of the post was meant to emphasize that abortion, which is supposed to give women freedom actually puts them in emotional bondage, oh, so many times.

 
At 4/29/2006 12:26 AM, Anonymous Andy said...

I won't argue with you there.

I find it ironic and unfortunate that the overarching abortion debate exists almost entirely because such a huge group of people chooses not to be sexually responsible. Undoubtedly exceptions exist. I can think of several myself, but on the whole, it is this core issue that generates so much anger, is it not?

Tangent over. :)

 
At 5/01/2006 5:48 AM, Blogger Anna Venger said...

I think you're right. The proportions are epidemic. 40 million abortions in little over 30 years--hardly the "rare" occurence touted by its proponents. Add to that the full 1/3 of out of wedlock births (the illegitimacy rate of white Amer is at 30% and African-Amer at 70%), children often doomed to grow up dysfunctional, and I think maybe you can understand why this issue is so upsetting to so many.

 

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