Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Truth is dispensible if it makes you feel guilty

There is a breathtaking article in the Herald Sun today. Here it is with [my comments]:
No shame in aborting unborn life
Susie O'Brien
From: Herald Sun October 19, 2010

CHOOSING to terminate a pregnancy is better than ending up as a bad mother who hurts or neglects her kids. It's time we realise that having an abortion doesn't mean you don't care about the unborn life you are carrying. [That's the thesis. Now for the rationale, such as it is.]

Women abort potential babies because they would prefer not to be a mother at all, rather than be an inadequate parent. It's not that they don't care about the unborn child, it's because they care so much. That is the startling finding that emerges from groundbreaking new Victorian research. [They learnt this from "research"?]

In the aftermath of the Queensland case that saw two young people put on trial for taking legally available medication to terminate a pregnancy, it's time to reassert the rights of women who choose to have an abortion. [Is it? Remember the thing about rights: if someone has an authentic right, we have an absolute duty to provide it.]

Although Tegan Leach, 21, and her boyfriend, Sergie Brennan, 22, were acquitted, thousands of women are still made to feel like criminals because they choose to terminate a pregnancy. [Note the importance of feelings, note too the equation in this article between legal and moral/ethical.]

However, a startling new Melbourne study lifts the veil of secrecy on this issue, uncovering both the complex decision-making women go through, and the guilt and judgments they have to endure from doctors and others. ["guilt and judgements" - the true crime]

There is still a feeling in society that a woman who has an abortion is blithely ending the life of another potential human being. [Again, "there is a FEELING". I don't know whether the person who performs an abortion is doing it "blithely" or not, but the reality that a real (not only "potential") human life is being ended has nothing to do with "feelings".]

It's said she's selfishly putting herself before the needs of her unborn baby, or just using abortion as a form of contraception. [That may or may not be the case. The motives may be many.]

Let's face it, lots of people have had abortions, but would never talk about it, and can find it hard even using the A word. Some hide their experience as a shameful secret from their loved ones for years. [Let's face it, lot's of people do it, so it must be okay, yeah?]

There are even still lines of people placarding abortion clinics, willing to call her a baby killer to her face. ["Even still"? In this day and age...]

And let's not forget that Opposition Leader Tony Abbott in the past has condemned the abortion rate, saying that he was concerned about an "abortion epidemic" and doesn't "much like abortion, full stop". [No, don't forget him. How dare he!]

Now I don't think anyone should be celebrating their abortion, or shouting it from the rooftops, but women shouldn't feel bad about pursuing a courageous, legal course of action. [If it is "courageous", it should be "celebrated", no? But just because it is "legal" doesn't make it moral.]

Yes, it is a big, important, life-changing event that should be taken seriously - but let's get off the guilt-trip. [Because after all, guilt is the real bad here, not the killing of an unborn human being.]

In the only study of its kind in recent years, researchers spoke to a group of 60 Victorian women aged 16 to 38 who rang a Royal Women's Hospital pregnancy advice service for help about their reasons for considering an abortion. The research team was led by Dr Maggie Kirkman from the University of Melbourne's Centre for Women's Health and Society.

The group was hand-picked [so not random, huh?]to include women who were 16-18 years old, rural wome, and women who had rung the advice service in their second trimester (12 to 18 weeks). All but five went on to have an abortion.

Women in this position - and, yes, this includes me ( I have written previously about the fact that I had an abortion 20 years ago) [Right. So may we be excused for thinking that this article is some attempt to come off your own guilt-trip? A sort of "Oprah" confession? You want we should cheer you?]- were thoughtful and painstaking in their deliberations.

In making their decision, they assessed their capacity to be a good mother and provide for their child. They also took into account their relationships and the role of the father and the impact on other children. Many of the women had multiple reasons, and went through a complex process of making a decision, and weighing up the options. As one teen, Prue, said, she thought it was better to have an abortion than be a bad mother. [Because, like, you know, its better to just put an end to thier lives here and now, rather than have us all suffer later, you know?]

It might sound counter-intuitive, but it actually makes perfect sense. [???!!!!????]

We also shouldn't harshly judge those seeking abortions in their second trimester. [No, you are right, we shouldn't judge anyone (not the least because that might make the guilty actually FEEL guilty). Judge not and you will not be judged and all that. But we can point out faulty thinking and bad rationalisations and wrong reasons and evil actions. Love the sinner, hate the sin.]

One woman interviewed, Abigail, didn't realise she was pregnant until this time, and decided to have an abortion because she had been drinking heavily and feared for the foetus's health. [How curious. A kind of prenatal euthanasia...]

"You know, you don't just have a child because you can," she told researchers. [Um...?]

But it's still not easy, and I think it's important to acknowledge this. Out of the 60 women, only three made the decision quickly or with any ease. [You're right. You actually have to work very, very hard to convince yourself that a really, really bad idea is a good one. And you won't feel good about it, because you like me and everyone else actually have a conscience which tells you not to do what is wrong, but to do what is right. And you are trying to make these young girls feel better by simply telling them "It's not wrong" in the first place.]

In her paper, published in the November edition of the international Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare Journal, Dr Kirkman reports that women still feel stigmatised by doctors and others "both for being inappropriately pregnant and for terminating the pregnancy". [So, how can we help people to be "appropriately" pregnant and KEEP the child?]

Now, around 80,000 women claim Medicare rebates for abortions in Australia each year, with about one in five women terminating a pregnancy at some point in their lives.

As I say, it's not really a cause for celebration, but neither is it a cause for great shame or sadness. [You are right, it isn't a case for celebration, because it is a tragedy. But unless you acknoweldge what a tragedy it is, if you want to cover it up and call it "courageous" and "smart", then why not celebrate it? I will tell you why. Because you have a conscience which can't quite get over the fact that there is indeed something wrong with abortion.]

There are so many parents out there making bad decisions or hurting their kids - ranging from the woman who drove kids home in the boot, to Robert Farquarson, to the South Australian parents who starved their kids then made them beg for dog food. [All of these are horrific, but than God, rare occurences. The occurence of child abuse in the community is high, but no where near as high as the abortion rate. The parenting instinct kicks in for most parents. In the mean time, this argument amounts to "We'll hurt them now so we don't hurt them later".]

So it doesn't make sense to harshly judge those who make a positive decision that they are not ready to be parents. [They should have thought about this before they had the sexual intercourse that resulted in them being parents. Once the conception takes place, bingo: you're parent. If you fail to care for the child in the womb, you are no morally better than one who doesn't care for the child after birth.]

Isn't it better to end the pregnancy than be a parent when you know you are not ready for it? [You want it short and sweet sister? The answer is NO.]


At Wednesday, October 20, 2010 4:45:00 am , Anonymous jules said...

I agree with you David. What kind of culture and society sees it necessary to kill an unborn child for the sake of the mother's comfort? Only a morally bankrupt one! Fact is 98% of abortions are elective, including socio-economic reasons or for birth control.

At Wednesday, October 20, 2010 4:54:00 am , Anonymous Gareth said...

Totally playing the Devil's advocate here David, (I am with you all the way) but Susan O'Brien has freely admitted in a previous newspaper article that she previously undertook an abortion and this was a decision that she completly understood (e.g. she admitted she was taking a human life) but ultimately it was something she was comfortable with and the 'decision' did improve her life.

After being passionetly pro-life for ten years and willing to argue anyone, I freely admit that whilst I would never abandon the cause, I have given up arguing with people like this.

Is there any logical response on behalf of our position besides pray.

At Wednesday, October 20, 2010 5:23:00 am , Anonymous Matthias said...

Maggie Kirkman is i think either the mother or aunt of Australia's first IVF baby. What struck me at that time and in subsequent interviews is her arrogance to issues around prolife .

At Wednesday, October 20, 2010 9:01:00 am , Anonymous Arabella said...

I meant the researcher mentioned in the piece, not the writer.

At Wednesday, October 20, 2010 10:05:00 am , Anonymous Peter Golding said...

Well said David!
O'Brien appears to be a complete philistine who lives and operates in a values free zone.I suspect two of her favourite snngs are What About Me? and Me,Myself,I.

At Wednesday, October 20, 2010 9:38:00 pm , Anonymous Schütz said...

Without question Susan O'Brien is attempting to deal with post-abortion trauma. Her way of dealing with the deep feelings of guilt that her experience of abortion has left her with is to deny and protest as publically as possible that any guilt at all is involved. She attempts to rationlise her feelings of guilt away (but not very successfully). But she can't quite bring herself to "celebrate" her "courageous" action.

At Wednesday, October 20, 2010 10:13:00 pm , Anonymous Pax said...

When any one writes in defence of abortion I am always struck by the irony that they can only do so because they were not aborted.
So many of the world's greatest artists, musicians and thinkers would not have seen the light of day if the mind set that has come to be accepted today had prevailed in thier era.
I agree with Tony in that it is important to listen to and understand how those who accept abortion have arrived at that position but then it is equally important to gently point out that they have been misled into false thinking and moral error.
People sometimes say about horrific times of violence in human history how could people have let it happen. Yet today in our "civilised" country day in day out innocent babes in the womb {just as each of us once was} are allowed to be killed. Something very wrong is constantly being lauded as right.It is the worm corrupting our nation which like Blake's apple is rotting from within.Every woman who has an abortion loses part of herself. It goes against the very nature of womanhood to destroy the child in one's womb.We do a great injustice to all women if we do not speak out against this false thinking with every means at our disposal.To call abortion wrong is not a lack of compassion towards women but a defence of humanity itself.

At Thursday, October 21, 2010 12:27:00 am , Anonymous Schütz said...

to gently point out that they have been misled into false thinking and moral error

I guess my post was not so "gentle", Pax. I could have taken a different line, and perhaps should have done, respecting what I can at least recognise in Susie O'Brien's piece: whether she recognises it or not, she is deeply scarred by her experience of the abortion she had when she was a young woman. But I don't think she would admit to that, no matter how obvious it is to us in our piece. She is, as Tom put it, denying the deep "synderesis" which tells her that she aborted a human person.

At Thursday, October 21, 2010 2:37:00 am , Anonymous Juano said...

Many women that had an abortion justify their action by any means simply because they think that they could not live one second feeling the awful guilt and pain for having killed their sons.

I met one of these women. Her life was a mess because of an abortion she had 20 years before. She had and has episodes in which she freezes as she feels the tools inside her killing the baby. She cries. She regrets loosing the chance of having a son (she could not have more after that).
But every time I told her to forgive herself of that horrible mistake her answer was always the same: I did nothing wrong, I would do it again under the same circumstances...

This kind of persons will not rationalize about abortion ever. If they did they would have to face a position they think cannot stand, so they need to dehumanize the victim to keep their world running.

That is the reason why they argue about feelings, about judgments, about the mother's role. They are talking only about themselves. Not about the babys, not about abortion... Those are minefields they cannot and will not step into.

At Thursday, October 21, 2010 6:14:00 am , Anonymous Tom said...

Oh, I've no objection to trying to understand the pro-abortion point of view; I just think it is not a particularly difficult one to understand. They, like I, are a sinner. They, like I, are unable to face their sin. As a result, they, like I, try and rationalise it. The sincere application of rigorous thought to the question of abortion comes, time and again, to the answer that abortion is horrible and evil. Now how to get people to admit to their guilt? I guess we're back to the "cum ecclesia" part of the blog: sentire itself will take us so far. Beyond that we need the voice of Mercy, Truth and Love...

At Thursday, October 21, 2010 7:06:00 am , Anonymous Tony said...

Oh, I’ve no objection to trying to understand the pro-abortion point of view; I just think it is not a particularly difficult one to understand.

With respect Tom, the fact that you've just written around 3000 words of, what is to me (and, I'd suggest, the general population), high level reasoning to convey your POV on abortion, seems to suggest there's a lot more to it than 'not particularly difficult to understand'.

At Thursday, October 21, 2010 8:56:00 am , Anonymous Tom said...

It's part of the difficulty of lies: they take 5 seconds to say, and 150 seconds to explode.

At Thursday, October 21, 2010 9:35:00 am , Anonymous Paul G said...

I just heard an interview with Ian Brown, who is a Canadian journalist and is promoting his book called "The Boy in the Moon" about his severely disabled son and his life in the family.

Brown is unromantic about his experiences, but being an author, he is able to reflect clearly about the life of his son and his family. As I say, he is unromantic, but he explains how his son has changed the way he, and especially his daughter look at life.

Regarding abortion, I think Peter Singer, the Australian philosopher, gives the lie to regarding an unborn child as "human lite". Singer says animals (human or otherwise) derive their right to life from their ability to be self aware. Thus a severely disabled human has less right to life than a healthy monkey. He also says there should be a "cooling off period" after birth where we can assess the self awareness of a human child and decide if it is worth letting it live.
I can't see anything wrong with Singer's logic, it is his assumptions that are wrong. Most other pro-choicers have both bad assumptions and bad logic.

At Thursday, October 21, 2010 10:22:00 am , Anonymous Tony M said...

If I could ignore the difference between death as state-imposed retribution/punishment of criminals guilty of heinous crimes, and death as mother-imposed convenience committed against the most vulnerable and dependent and innocent, I would say that you would be absolutely justified in your criticisms (and in your analogy).

At Saturday, October 23, 2010 8:06:00 pm , Anonymous Tom said...

It is an issue of Justice - to give to people what they deserve. The death penalty issue says that some people might actually deserve death; their crimes, and whatever other circumstances that surround it, are deserving of death - now, reasonable people can see this differently. Some may think that no-matter the instance, life-imprisonment is better than the death penalty. Fair enough - that doesn't mean there isn't a debate to be had, or that people cannot be reasonably convinced by either side of the debate.

It is not possible for the unborn to deserve death. Therefore, the killing of the unborn as an intentional act IS murder. That's is not possible for an abortion intended as an abortion to be a just act - to give to the child what it deserves.

At Monday, October 25, 2010 10:42:00 pm , Anonymous Pax said...

Jesus was once a babe in a spotless womb.Each new life in a womb regardless of how it came to be in that womb has the right to be safe from any deliberate intervention whose sole intent is its destruction.
One can every compassion for any soul who has given in to the temptation to abort but it does not change the reality that such deliberate killing is wrong.
When reality is denied by any one of us we begin to have problems because we are meant to live in Love which is built on Truth.
The work of Rachel's Vineyard is very important in regard to abortion It hepls those who have been affected by abortion to find peace.

At Tuesday, October 26, 2010 8:45:00 pm , Anonymous Gareth said...

In all honesty Tony, I think you should stop wasting your time on the computer and spend your days in prayer and mediatation.

At Wednesday, October 27, 2010 2:35:00 am , Anonymous Gareth said...

I'm not God

At Wednesday, October 27, 2010 3:46:00 am , Anonymous Gareth said...

Nothing wrong with a bit of spiritual direction

At Wednesday, October 27, 2010 8:13:00 am , Anonymous Tony said...

The phrase Medice, cura te ipsum!, comes to mind

At Wednesday, October 27, 2010 10:01:00 am , Anonymous Tom said...

Hrmm, the blog got busy while I was AWOL.

Quickly though: a reasonable person? You and I are reasonable people Tony :) What I meant by that comment was just that some questions are not settled or outright clear-cut answers. In that sense, people can reasonably (that is, according to intelligible lines of reasoning, rather than prejudice or what-not) come to differing conclusions, usually by taking some factor or another into account.

The question of murder, for instance, is one of those instances where there can be no difference of opinion. Murder as such (leaving aside the question of those things that might or might not count as murder) is wrong, and one cannot reasonably reject the wrongness of murder, as such.

The question of, say, smoking (we're back here!) can be understood in a few ways. I know a priest who thinks smoking is a venial sin, another who thinks it isn't, and a third who thinks it depends on how addicted one is. This is a question that reasonable people CAN disagree on.

For the second part, by the question of justice, one merely means "what someone deserves." By that, the unborn deserve to be not killed, because of their innocence. That is, it is an act of justice NOT to kill the unborn.

On the question of soldiers dying unjustly, you are correct. It is not just that innocent civilians die in war. That being said, the death of innocent civilians is not the object of the act of soldiers in war; they want to kill enemy combatants. In precisely the same way, an expectant mother who gets seriously ill, or trips and falls, and as a result miscarries, is not held to be at fault for the death of her child.

I'm a little tired - so I don't know, but I think that covers what you asked.

Cheers Tony.

At Wednesday, October 27, 2010 12:11:00 pm , Anonymous Arabella said...

Tony you wrote: "Not because they’re innocent or guilty, but because the jurisdiction cannot protect a community from serious aggression"

The state using the death penalty to protect society from an aggressive and dangerous person would never be considered allowable by the Church if the person's aggression is the result of serious mental illness or some other such incapacity. The amount of aggression, and danger to the community, may be the same but the difference is absence of guilt. Innocence or guilt does make a difference!

At Wednesday, October 27, 2010 8:21:00 pm , Anonymous Gareth said...

Mark 6:11


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