Motherhood and abortion

Some headlines, over and beyond Mother’s Day weekend.

New York Post editor William McGurn captured a lot here.

Mother’s Day is a good day in our house, partly because of the general bonhomie that links us with the many moms in our lives. There’s my wife, the mother of my children. There’s also her mother and my mother, both still with us and adored by their grandchildren.

And in the special recesses of our hearts, there are three more. These are the women who brought our daughters into the world — three women in China whom we have never met and whose names we don’t even know but to whom we owe our family.

Think of that, and let it sink in that three women in China gave life to three baby girls and then, because of their circumstances, gave those baby girls over for another family to raise and provide a good life, for each one of them.

This past summer my eldest traveled to China on her own to volunteer at an orphanage, where she learned a lesson that became her college essay. She had always wondered how a woman could give up her baby, she wrote. Then, at the orphanage, she became attached to one little fellow after just a few weeks, and gained a new appreciation for how difficult a decision it must have been — and the great selflessness that goes with it. And how lucky she was to have such a woman carry her to term, especially in a nation where she could easily have been aborted.

Another full stop. Contemplate just that thought.

Now, when moms and dads have families the traditional way, biology is a powerful partner: The child is of both of you, meant for you, a part of you and yet apart from you in a wondrous way. For an adoptive mom, love must fill in what biology has left open…

Our daughters come from very different places. The eldest comes from Yangzhou, where Marco Polo claimed to have served as governor under Kublai Khan in a city not unlike San Francisco.

The middle one comes from Nanchang, birthplace of the People’s Liberation Army, closer to a West Virginia.

The youngest comes from Chairman Mao’s home province, Hunan, where girls are known as “chili peppers” after the dominant ingredient in the spicy local cuisine.

Out of this patchwork of Chinese geography, with no DNA or blood to bind us, their mother formed a family. And when these girls sit on the edge of our bed Sunday morning and watch their mom enjoy the cup of coffee they’ve made for her, on their faces you would see the certainty this good woman gave them: I am loved.

What a testimony.

And then there was another one, quite the opposite, quite jarring. The recorded account of a young woman, plastered all over social media, who had her abortion experience videotaped (strategically) in a sort of defiant effort to show how that ‘choice’ can be a happy one. As if it’s really just a woman removing something from her body that got in the way of her plans and pursuits, an inconvenience she could easily remove. Some people were understandably repulsed by this show.

But my friend Elizabeth Scalia saw something more. She looked deeper, or longer, or thought harder about what the video really revealed. And she urges her readers ‘don’t become distracted by what this young woman is saying with her mouth, or you’ll miss all she’s revealing in her face.’

A month after the abortion — with the dramatic change in hairstyle that so many women effect when emotions are high and they need to feel in control of something — watch Emily, then. The light is gone from her eyes. The seeming disconnect between pc-fed head and instinctive heart is laid out in breathtaking and stark incongruity, even down to the shadows, the blue note, the lack of energy. Devastating. Cognizant of it or not, she is a mother in grief…

Frankly, if I were a young woman watching this and pondering abortion, one glance at those haunted eyes, that beautiful, woebegone countenance and benumbed, vacant tone, and I would be running to my nearest Birthright, or to the Good Counsel network, or to the Sisters of Life, whose founder, the mighty John Cardinal O’ Connor of the Archdiocese of New York, once pledged to help any needy pregnant woman seeking assistance instead of abortion, and whose successor, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, has maintained that position.

My heart breaks for this young woman and her baby who are so clearly victims of a pervasive rhetoric full of untruths and the banality of real evil. She needs our prayers and our whole-hearted spiritual assistance. Evidenced before us is a mind seduced and under the power of nefarious propaganda that has told her to serve her own desires unto death — one that has encouraged her to soul-shredding idolatry while its promulgators serve only death and political campaign coffers. It is a mind owned by insipid platitudes, now at war with a heart that says, “bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, my baby, my heart, myself.”

What this young woman now knows — what resonates so clearly in her assertion that if her house were afire, she would grab the sonogram of her extinguished baby, and run — is that when she consented to kill her baby, she killed a very real piece of herself.

Even after a woman delivers a baby, or miscarries, or aborts, there remains within her, for the rest of her life, microscopic bits of her child — of each child she has ever conceived. Look up microchimerism and you will understand there is no such thing as “getting rid” of one’s baby, only of stopping it’s life and disposing of it, while carrying it within one’s very blood and sinew, forever.

Go to Elizabeth’s post for all the links in that text to places of help and healing, protection and caring, a few of which I provided here because they’re so critical for women in crisis.

She continues her appeal to understand what really goes on in an abortion, referring to ‘Emily’s good abortion’ video.

A body is made of living tissue and living tissue has memory. Pretty it up on video however you like, the insertion of a vacuum into a woman’s body and the perpetration a violent, limb-shredding execution within the deep recesses of her womb cannot help but reverberate like dark energy, throughout the woman’s body, mind and soul. You want to grab a sonogram of the baby you killed because the living part of that baby, still residing within you, is calling out for more of you, all of you.

And then there’s the consideration of women after the abortion. No longer the ‘women and babies’ outreach efforts because the babies are gone. But the women need help and relief. And look who’s there to help them. Women who were there, working in an abortion clinic or being ‘clients’ or ‘patients’ of one.

There has been an explosion recently of women sharing their personal abortion experiences as part of a new self-described “pro-VOICE” movement. The stated goal of this campaign is to shift the focus from debating the legality of abortion or discussing whether abortion is right or wrong, to sharing stories from individuals who offer an intimate look at life after abortion. One example is an article that was recently put out by Upworthy. In an attempt to paint abortion as a positive experience, the woman in the article said that she was “surprised” by several things that have happened after her abortion. There are many women who now suffer because of their abortion and we felt like our voices needed to be heard as well.

Here are those five voices.

Read them. Hear their voices. They want to be heard. They are mothers, after all. And they have something to say about the truth and consequences of that human relationship.

Media praise for South Dakota’s lone abortionist

Specifically, the Washington Post was responsible for this jaw-dropper. For anyone who has followed the groundbreaking work of pregnancy help centers, pro-life advocates and conscientous legislators in South Dakota over the past few years, WaPo’s praise for the bravery of the state’s only abortionist was astonishingly clueless.

In his glowing tribute “Minnesota Abortion Provider Helps Meet Need in South Dakota,” Slevin not only turned Ball into a hero, but sympathized with her “difficult” situation…Ball told the Post her decision to start performing abortions was easy. “It was legal. It was right…Why would anybody argue with that?” Talking about pro-lifers upset with what she does in South Dakota Ball said: “I think to myself, ‘What century do we live in?’”

Indeed. That sounds consistent with how Dr. Ball views her abortion involvement.

Let’s go back and look at the most comprehensive document written on the subject since Roe v. Wade, the 2005 ‘South Dakota Report of the Task Force to Study Abortion’. When you get the chance, read the whole document. For now, let’s look at a snip involving testimony from state Planned Parenthood director Kate Looby and Dr. Carol Ball.

Based upon the reporting of the women on the forms reviewed by the Department of Health, and the testimony of Ms. Looby and Dr. Ball, it appears that Planned Parenthood does not voluntarily convey other information about the fetus after women listen to the doctor’s taped recording. In fact, what is communicated to the women is misleading. Ms. Looby and Dr. Ball played a video for the Task Force illustrating what may be communicated to women about the abortion procedure. In this video, reference is made to the contents of the woman’s uterus in dehumanizing and misleading language. For instance, the video never mentions that an unborn child, embryo, or fetus is even present. It never refers to the unborn child in any way that would imply the existence of a second patient. The language used in the video simply implies that something is removed but does not identify what it is except to claim it is only “tissue:”

1. “The uterus is then emptied by a gentle suction.”
2. “As the uterus is emptied…”
3. “A spoon shaped curette may be used to feel the walls of the uterus to help ensure
complete evacuation.”

4. “Occasionally the contents of the uterus may not be completely emptied.”
5. “To remove the tissue it may be necessary to repeat the vacuum aspiration.”
6. “Very infrequently, the early abortion procedure will not end the pregnancy.”
7. “If the pregnancy has not been ended, another abortion procedure is
recommended.”

At this point, the Task Force applies the standards South Dakota’s legislators considered necessary to qualify any signed ‘consent’ as being truly informed.

We find first that Planned Parenthood fails to inform the pregnant mother in any language that her unborn child is in existence. It is impossible for a woman to give informed consent to an abortion if she does not fully understand that her child is in existence and that she is consenting to the termination of the life of her child.

Second, the doctor who in seeking consent to terminate the life of his or her second patient (the child)

[in this case Dr. Ball]

cannot, in a professional or moral sense, contend that proper authority has been obtained from the mother if she is not fully aware that she is giving such authority. Dr. Ball and Ms. Looby testified that the women who come to Planned Parenthood sign a “consent” to have an abortion without first speaking to the doctor. These consent forms are filled out before the doctorsees the patient.

The video, Dr. Ball, and Ms. Looby all verify that the women are told that they may ask questions of the doctor who is to perform the abortion. However, we find that the process which results in the pregnant  mother signing the consent form and making her decision before ever seeing or speaking to a abortion doctor is incompatible with the principles of a doctor’s duty to see that the patient’s decision is informed before she consents to an operative procedure.

We find that there is no true physician-patient relationship in this process…

And here’s the clincher:

Following her testimony, Dr. Ball was asked what she would tell a woman who asked her “Is this a human life?” or “At what point in the process does human life begin?” or similar questions. Dr. Ball testified that she would refuse to answer these questions. When pressed on this point, Dr. Ball stated that it is a subjective matter for the woman to decide, and an answer from her is nothing but her subjective personal opinion.

No, it is not a subjective personal opinion that human life exists from conception. Choosing to deny the facts doesn’t change the facts.

That someone with a medical degree can make such a testimony is simply stunning. That she performs abortions, and is praised by the Washington Post for her bravery in continuing to do so, is in the realm of the bizarre. And another measure of how irrelevant big media can really be.