Facing the Past of Abortion

Recently, I passed a billboard that read, “Abortion changes you.” This profound statement sunk deeper into my being beyond the mental processes that occur while driving down the highway; this statement was written on my heart. The truth is, at the age of 18, I was changed by an abortion – my abortion. No one had to tell me I had just killed my child, because I knew it in my heart. This new found understanding plagued me like a devastating disease.

Further reading: The Mourning After (Caramel’s post-abortion story)

Heal or be haunted

I could not find solace from the haunting in my heart. This change within me was everywhere, and nothing I could do would let me escape. So I cried, and cried, and cried. As time passed, the nagging in my heart subsided periodically, as I worked to push those thoughts out of my mind. The efficiency of this tactic only lasted 2 years, until I finally decided to face the music and find healing. I know women who echo my words, some waiting 15 years or more before seeking restoration.

Abortion changes everyone

I’ve also met those changed by abortion who have never had an abortion. I’ve met women who were changed when they accompanied a friend to an abortion. I’ve met mothers changed by a daughter’s abortion. I’ve met men changed when they paid for a girlfriend’s abortion and others changed when they discovered the woman in their life aborted their child, leaving them helpless to stop it.

Post-abortion syndrome

Women who undergo an abortion often find themselves dealing with symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, which is what someone experiences after facing a traumatic experience. When that traumatic event is an abortion, it is referred to as Post-Abortion Syndrome (PAS). Many women experience:

  • depression and suicidal tendencies
  • anxiety
  • detachment from friends and family
  • lack of sexual desire
  • sleeplessness or nightmares
  • difficulty concentrating
  • irritability
  • outbursts of anger or rage
  • flashbacks
  • intense grief on the anniversary of the abortion
  • hopelessness for the future
  • onset of drug or alcohol abuse
  • self-destructive tendencies

The internal issues surrounding an abortion can have harmful and lasting affects on one’s life.

Why does abortion change you?

Abortion changes people, because even though it is politically condoned, it is biologically unacceptable. Women were created to be nurturers. We care for our children and those around us who need a little mothering. Mothers are sensitive, sweet, caring, considerate, giving, and selfless. Men were made as the providers and protectors of the family. Abortion is the antithesis of our nature. We also see a society whose laws tell us it’s okay to abort – that is it our choice – yet with one’s abortion comes a lifelong commitment to secrecy. Why such denial for something that was “a right?”

Taking out the “tree”

Author, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, in her book, Lies Women Believe, and the Truth that Sets Them Free, discusses a concept of a “tree” of issues in our lives. Many times we have berries on the tree that are hardships for us. We pick the berries off, but they continue to grow back. It is only when we pull the tree out by the roots that the berries will automatically, permanently disappear. The berries are the symptom of a true problem. When men or women deal with the loss and grief of an abortion, many times other issues will subsequently diminish because abortion was the root.

Overcoming the pain

It may be one of the toughest topics to face, but it is crucial for future success. When we don’t deal with issues in our lives, they can taint our future outlook, dreams, and desires. In facing the past, specifically abortion, one can grieve, heal, and move on to enjoy the life God has given them. God has forgiven repentant men and women for the act of abortion, but forgiveness is not healing. Men and women must walk through the process of tackling grief.

Where can you go?

Resources are available for those seeking resolution. Most local pregnancy care centers have one-on-one counseling or support groups available, if not there are churches and other pro-life ministries that provide a place for healing.  There are also resources available at Abortion Changes You.

It takes great courage to face this past choice. With 1 in 4 women having an abortion, only a small percentage of men or women ever take that step toward freedom. But from experience I can say it is worth it! While I may regret my abortion, I will never regret reaching out to find healing.

Sincerely,
A Power to Change Ministries Mentor

The Mourning After (Read how Caramel faced and found freedom from abortion-shame)

39 Responses to “Facing the Past of Abortion”

  • Sharon says:

    to Cara I am glad you visit this website daily and like it thank you for your comment God bless sharon

  • Kathryn Kathryn says:

    Dear Niesy, Hi, I am sure you are right and that God led you to this page. I love the way He “interferes” in our lives. Yes, interferes because He knows us better than we know ourselves. This is His time for you; To heal the past and face the future and whatever He is calling you to do in these difficult and bewildering days we live in. I am sure you have prayed, repented and asked for forgiveness and received it too but have you also thought about the joy? As others have written here, life begins at conception and as your baby was never born into this world (s)he never experienced what all living humanity experiences, original sin. That’s what separates us from God and why today (Good Friday) is called Good. Those who trust in Jesus forgiveness have the wonderful joy and promise of eternal life. Your baby is in the presence of our Saviour even now and one day you will be together if you truly believe in Him as Lord and Redeemer and seek to follow Him living a life of discipleship. Don’t b afraid of that word. The Bible teaches us that being a disciple is seeking God’s will and doing it day by day. May I suggest Niesy that if you would like to learn more, we do have a mentoring programme. All you need to do is click on the link at the top of this page that speaks about talking to a mentor. It is free and you would be able to discuss this and any other things that are on your mind. May God give you His peace today and may that continue through all eternity. Your sister in Christ. Kathryn

  • Niesy says:

    I have faith in God and I feel like he led me here to read about everyone’s hardships with an abortion. To be completely honest I blocked out my abortion for years until this very moment. I do not know if blocking it out is even the truth or right way to say it. I think I was eighteen because I remember it was right after my first son. I do remember waking up during the procedure freaking out or maybe that was my imagination. I definitely recall waking up bawling my eyes out. It was the hardest I ever cried and the most awful heart break I have ever felt. I felt empty. I felt like I did not know who I was. I was angry at myself and blaming everyone. The process was so quick but the aftermath was of course devastating. I felt like I rushed into it. Maybe as pathetic as it sounds I’d someone had been there and gave me some kind of hope or influence I would have this child right now. It is no one’s fault but my own. I never talk about it. I do not even know why. I am ashamed but more than anything I am at a loss of words..I thank God for letting me open up a little bit, even if it’s to strangers..

  • Alfred says:

    Dear Marie, I can see why you call yourself “Faith”, for without true faith there is no hope. Thank you for sharing your story with me. In my heart I’m weeping for you. Yes, there is hope, and that you’ve “signed up for an 11 week counseling group and a weekend healing retreat” is just great! You could not have made a better move!
    Just this week I came across the statement saying “that we cannot receive healing nor battle sin on our own; we need God’s help. HE will do it for us! We must want to and we must ask Him, but trying to do it alone is impossible.”
    You mentioned finding a church. The church will not save, but it will be a place where you can meet friends and, of course, be in an atmosphere where God is present. I hope you are reading your Bible daily, for through it God will be able to speak to your heart.
    Another aspect of your situation is that you were coerced into having the abortion, and need to forgive those who were pushing you. They did not see the whole picture or know you and your feelings. But in spite of that, it is for your own well-being that you need to forgive! Not an easy thing to do, as I’ve had struggles with that too. Also, and foremost, you need to ask God to forgive you (You’ve no doubt done that.), and you need to forgive yourself!
    I will continue lifting you up in prayer during the coming days and weeks, as the Spirit prompts me.

  • Faith says:

    I will share the website to my personal story below but the first thing I would like to make clear is that the truth is “Life Begins at Conception.” It is NOT a fetus, embryo, zygote, blastocyst or group of cells…It’s a Baby!!! Also, when people consider abortion, they do not think about the negative effects that come along with it. It is emotionally and mentally exhausting! You have difficulty concentrating! Shame and Depression. Suicidal Thoughts. And compulsive thoughts, like: “What kind of Monster takes her own Babies life?” “No man will ever want to be with you.” And “will my kids still love me, if they ever find out.” Trust me, it is something that you will deeply regret!
    Here is the link to my personal story, which I wrote a few months ago. By the way, I was only 4 weeks (but again, it’s a Baby)…
    http://www.1in3campaign.org/written-stories/3117#more-3317

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Bertu, I can understand why you are feeling such pain. How long ago did your girlfriend have the abortion?

    I agree that talking to Jesus is a good way to find hope out of your circumstances. As you have been praying about this situation, what do you think Jesus is saying to you? Have you spent time looking in the Bible to hear how Jesus would instruct you to find healing?

  • Bertu says:

    Dear All,

    I am in the same situation as all of you are. I forced my girlfriend to abort because she is of a different faith, my poverty standard of living and so on. My life before and after is completely different. I am trying to seek help and assistance but there is nothing in my country since it is illegal. I lost hope in everything, life, love and career. Thanks God the only positive thing is that my girlfriend is offering all the support that a person needs in such cases. She is not sharing her pain with me, hence that makes me more sad. It is difficult to move on, atleast I am loosing all the hope that a normal person have in his life. I hope that I would not be judged by other comments, I hope that you will not point fingers. As a christian person I am trying to pray everyday to try to solve my current crisis, moving on, with or without my girl friend, but it is quite difficult as everything i am seeing is bad and negative.

    Thanks for your comfort

  • Kathryn Kathryn says:

    Hi Dani, There have been a lot of posts on this site but I want to concentrate on you. I am so glad that Jamie has given you wise advice and encouragement and I would totally agree with him. Have you been to the site he gave you yet? Maybe you are thinking about it. As a woman I know all about the loss of a precious baby. Our first child was stillborn and later I had 2 miscarriages. I thank God though that now we have 4 healthy kids, the youngest adopted. I do not know how you can come to a place of peace from the turmoil in your heart except through simply saying you are sorry to God. We all need to do that sometime in our lives and His forgiveness will cleanse that sin and His love and grace will bring you peace. This is the Good News message that we all need as we remember what Christmas really means, the coming of the Saviour. I also understand how you are half anxious to have another child, that was what dominated my thoughts for months after losing our first little girl. BUT it was all with the wrong motives. In His good time, we did get pregnant again. So, I do ask you to think carefully about bringing another child into the world if your own state of mind and situation are in a state of flux. Have you thought about all these things? I didn’t and it did cause a rift in our marriage for a bit. I would like to pray for you Dani and if you want to know more, please do click on the button at the top and you can have a mentor to help you. Dear Lord, we come to you admitting that we are all sinners, please forgive us as we confess our need of You,we ask You to pour your grace and mercy into Dani’s life, her boyfriend’s too so that they may begin to understand that You have a plan and purpose for those who turn to you in faith. Give them wisdom and discernment Lord. Amen How do you think it is possible to have peace and joy again Dani? Will you please think about that?

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Dani, I am glad you were able to find this article and share your pain. Any grief is much more damaging when it is kept to yourself and I am sure that sharing this loss is harder to do. Are you and your boyfriend able to talk about the sorrow that you are going through? Are there others in your life that you are able to talk to about this? As you can see from the conversation here and the stories on the “Abortion Changes You” site (http://www.abortionchangesyou.com/home) you are not alone.

    I don’t have any easy answers or ‘quick-fix’ ideas, but I do know that Jesus has helped me deal with painful struggles in my life and He can help you heal as well. I would like to pray for you: Dear Jesus, my heart breaks for Dani and her boyfriend as they deal with the loss of their baby. They need Your help in knowing how to find healing from the emotions that they are going through. I pray that You would communicate Your love for them and help them to hear Your voice leading them through this. Bring others into their life who can be a comfort and bring wisdom to their situation. Amen.

    Dani, what are the biggest emotions that you are feeling in all of this? How do you deal with those?

  • Dani says:

    I had an abortion a few months ago, and it’s been an emotional roller-coaster ever since. I constantly go from being very glad I didn’t have a child and being able to enjoy my life and get my life together, to feeling horrible about it and wishing that I had my baby with me. It’s emotionally and mentally exhausting. The constant back and forth makes me not even want to be around children anymore. It’s like the thoughts haunt me so much that I don’t want to be further reminded of it in real life. I used to love kids and everything that had to do with kids, and now I don’t want to be anywhere near. The thoughts never go away, it’s always in the back of my mind. Each month is a agony, ranging from me hoping to be pregnant again, from me hoping that i don’t. Every little thing that I feel makes me think that I have a pregnancy symptom and I have to resist taking a pregnancy test every single month. When I get my period, it’s a mix of relief and disappointment. Yeah, the whole experience left me traumatized, and my boyfriend as well. It drives me crazy. It’s even harder because my boyfriend wanted the baby, but he knew I was in no condition to have children and we couldn’t raise one. Sometimes you’re careful and things still happen. So I feel guilty because, even though he doesn’t say it, I know he really wanted that kid. I wish I had never gotten pregnant.

  • Andrew says:

    Like the disciples many of the anti-abortion groups and anti-abortion human beings have the same attitude of the disciples towards a Pharisee. The general hate of many anti-abortionists prevents me from speaking out as I publicly never state my beliefs towards abortion as I ashamed of the lack of love that is shown towards woman who have had abortions.

    It is not for me to judge as the story in John 8 where the Pharisees laid a trap for a married woman who they physically watched have sex with another man and they dragged her (notice not the man) to Jesus and informed Jesus that they caught this woman committing adultery and under Jewish law she was to be stoned to death. Jesus answer and response can be found in John 8: 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said “All right, but let the one who has never sinned cast the first stone!”. If you are unable to comment in a loving manner please refrain from commenting as you truly are not showing the love of Christ. God Bless

  • Andrew says:

    The following is a story which well suited for both sides of the argument as I have discovered that words, accusations, and heated debates will never change a persons mind. Some of you have forgotten Christs greatest commandment “love your neighbor as yourself”

    John 4:

    1 Jesus[a] knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John 2 (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did). 3 So he left Judea and returned to Galilee.

    4 He had to go through Samaria on the way. 5 Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. 7 Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” 8 He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.

    9 The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans.[b] She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”

    10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”

    11 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”

    13 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”

    15 “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”

    16 “Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her.

    17 “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied.

    Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband— 18 for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!”

    19 “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. 20 So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim,[c] where our ancestors worshiped?”

    21 Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. 23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

    25 The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

    26 Then Jesus told her, “I AM the Messiah!”[d]

    27 Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked to find him talking to a woman, but none of them had the nerve to ask, “What do you want with her?” or “Why are you talking to her?” 28 The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, 29 “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” 30 So the people came streaming from the village to see him.

    31 Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Jesus, “Rabbi, eat something.”

    32 But Jesus replied, “I have a kind of food you know nothing about.”

    33 “Did someone bring him food while we were gone?” the disciples asked each other.

    34 Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. 35 You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe[e] for harvest. 36 The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! 37 You know the saying, ‘One plants and another harvests.’ And it’s true. 38 I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.”

  • A.Friend says:

    I haven’t read all the blogs, just the first several (and the long ones in brief). I am overwhelmed by the judgments and opinions expressed on a page that is to bring consoling and God’s love, to those who HAVE sinned and are reaching out for support and love.

    Apply your opinion to your life, allow those who are seek to be healed, to be heal (not receiving more guilt than is already suffocating them). Mark 2:17 “On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

    God loves us all, let us love each other. Please have a blessed day, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who have sinned against us.

  • girl says:

    I personally am against abortion I think its wrong is so many ways! killing a child for no reason! its pathetic! if you wanna kill a child thats your call! just think of it; your killing a helpless child because its unwanted! that is so wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Doris Beck Doris says:

    Thanks for honoring that cat! Much appreciated!

  • Cat says:

    Apologies for not getting right back to folks. I was out of the country in April, and didn’t check notifications until Doris’ reply.

    Angie, I’m pretty much asexual, so I had more of a choice than most of the population about whether or not to become sexually active. I did, however, find someone I loved enough to make an exception for. Neither of us want children, ever, but I don’t think that it’s reasonable to expect two people in a longterm relationship to remain absolutely chaste for that reason.

    But I do have to wonder about the people who take ideological positions that prescribe lifelong chastity for other people. Would you yourself be prepared to take that step for the rest of your life? Or are you expecting eventual fulfillment through the Christian-approved medium of procreative heterosexual marriage?

    As for the difference between an eighteen-year-old and a fetus, it’s a lot more than just a temporal difference. Even a newborn baby, with a virtually complete nervous system, isn’t as intelligent or self-aware as most of the animals we eat for food. (Note: I am NOT saying that babies are expendable; just that even at birth, they bear less cognitive resemblance to an eighteen-year-old than a lot of creatures that we DO consider expendable.) A fetus, at the age that the overwhelming majority of abortions are performed, has only the most rudimentary of nervous systems, but more to the point, it is utterly incapable of surviving apart from a woman’s body. Unlike an eighteen-year-old, a fetus is, biologically speaking, a parasite: a benign parasite, if you want children; a very un-benign parasite, if you don’t.

    As for motherly instincts, I don’t have any. I’ve lived with myself my whole life–trust me on this. I’ve been around babies, and they don’t make me smile. Neither do small children. I’m really not capable of smiling at them until they turn eleven or so, and can carry on a decent conversation. You assure me that I’d change my mind if it was my own, but would you really want to stake a child’s life on that?

    You ask, “why throw a childs life away because you are not ready to have a kid and because you are not mature enough to take responsibility for your actions. when later in life you will end up having a kid because your spouse wants one.”

    This makes some problematic assumptions. First of all, I’m 34, and I do take responsibility for my actions–which is one of the reasons why, if I got pregnant, I would get an abortion rather than have a child that I know I don’t want and can’t support. As for having a kid later in life because my spouse wants one, as I mentioned, my partner does not want children–even if he wanted them, I wouldn’t have them–and before I get too much later in life I hope to hit menopause!

    Even if it was the case–if I was just starting out, lacked maturity, and thought I might want children later but not now–all this would still not be a good reason to compel me to have a child. If I knew I lacked maturity, knew I lacked resources, and didn’t want kids yet, it would be wildly irresponsible of me to have a kid. Yes, yes, there’s adoption, but that’s nine months of discomfort, danger, economic hardship, and potential humiliation. If people want to do that, that’s admirable, but you can’t require it of them. The ones who really don’t want to carry a fetus to term will find a way to get rid of it. The question is whether they can do it safely and legally, or have to risk their lives in a back alley somewhere.

    In response to your letter from a fetus–having someone to love you unconditionally isn’t really a good reason to have a child. Especially if, as the speaker suggests, you don’t have a lot of resources. Raising children takes a huge amount of time and money. You have to be able to give them that, before you ever start thinking about what you can get from them.

    You suggest that abortion is tantamount to murder–that it should either be punishable with jail time, or that murderers might as well be let free. This is a faulty analogy. For one thing, they are radically different acts: murder is the act of willfully causing the death of a human being, while abortion is the removal of unwanted, non-sentient tissue from one’s own body. Secondly, one of the reasons we jail murderers is to protect the rest of the population. Presumably, a woman who gets an abortion is not a danger to the population at large. Finally, if we are going to evaluate abortions as murders, then the woman can claim, in every single case, that she acted in self-defence, to prevent the invasion and hijacking of her body.

    Doris–I’m sorry about the amount of loss in your life, but I respectfully disagree. If I found myself pregnant, and legal abortions were not an available option, the outcome would not be one more child alive in the world and waiting to be adopted by a loving family. I–and many other women–would have to resort to an illegal abortion. We’d be risking our lives. We’d be risking jail, too, but I would honestly rather go to jail than be forced to bear a child.

    But I appreciate, and will honour, the admonition not to let this discussion descend into yelling and name-calling. I feel very strongly about this issue, but there are some things that are too important not to discuss civilly.

  • Doris Beck Doris says:

    It’s obvious that this is a very hot topic of discussion and that there are people who feel strongly on either side of it. As a mother and grandmother who lost babies and grandbabies, I can say that without a doubt that there are so many people out there that are waiting to adopt children that if there wasn’t abortion, those children would be alive to be placed in loving homes.

    Having said that, arguments generate heat, and not light so let’s not call each other names or yell at one another on these comments.

  • susan says:

    this conversation is getting ridiculious (ITS IMMORAL AND EVERYONE WHO ABORTS SHOULD BE PUNISHED AND PUT IN JAIL.) its not there fault abortion is there to help, if there wasnt abortion there would be to many kids on the streets or dying because not everyone can look after a sprog.

  • angie says:

    ok you guys say abortion is ok because it will be growing into an unwanted invirment well unlike Darren i will get into a heated argument because the child did not ask to be brought into this world you guys decided to be sexually active and their was your consequence. Cat you say that the parent could of been successful if she was not pressured into having a kid well who pressured her into having sex maybe the 1st time if you are pressured its an excuse and you notify law inforcement after the time you have a choice and there is no excuse. How many parents keep their child even if they were rapped? how many children dont already grow up in a bad house hold but yet overcome that and become great kids. its stupid to make excuses for people who cant take responsibilities for their actions and im sick and tired of hearing that it is ok. if you guys are so ok with it minus well write a letter to the president so he can let go all the murders who are in jail and who has killed a human being. Im dicusted with people who want to abort because they are here living in this world thanks to their parents who probably werent the best but they were there. you guys just think its ok to make a mistake and get rid of it like a toy you just pick up and throw away when ever you want to because it doesnt have a heart a mouth and someone to defend it. then you can keep going with the same routine day by day throwing something away just because you think its ok. ITS IMMORAL AND EVERYONE WHO ABORTS SHOULD BE PUNISHED AND PUT IN JAIL.!

  • angie says:

    cat,
    ihave been reading your posts and i believe that if you are conciose that you dont want to have kids then why are you being sexually active? you also said that you would consider abortion if our society doesnt allow murder without punishment why would abortion be treated any diffrent? you know that the only difference between an 18 year old and a fetus is only 18 yrs but no one sems to matter. you say you are not a nurturer but in reality you dont know this for a fact until someone is living in you and you no longer feel alone when the rest of the world walks out on you. he/she will make you smile when ur sad. Then thats when ur motherly instinks will kick in and you will know that your role is to love and care for your child but if you dont take responsibility for your actions you have failed. Many people will agree that abortion should be your choice because its your body but why should a child suffer just because women and teenaers today believe they are mature to be sexually active when they know the consequnces. why throw a childs life away because you are not ready to have a kid and because you are not mature enough to take responsibility for your actions. when later in life you will end up having a kid because your spouse wants one. I just wanted to share an attention grabber for abortion that i am writing for my english class tell me if it caches your attention
    Hello world!,
    I am a three week old fetus who was flushed down the toilet by my mommy because she did not want to give me a chance to make her smile when she is sad and confert her when my daddy walks out. I would hve been their by her side but she never thought how much i would have helped her out in life!
    Sincerly
    – A 3 week old fetus
    I believe that abortion its just an excuse that does not answer societies call for unwanted childhood. if murderers are arrested each day and rott in jail why should anyone be granted the right to end an unplanned pregnancy? if many claim only god can give life and only he should take it. abortion is just selfishness and their should be a punishment

  • kaylee says:

    abortion helps the child because it could be brought up in a bad environment then its not going to have a good childhood

  • Cat says:

    Sorry for losing track of this thread for so long; I plead schoolwork.

    Anyway, returning first to Darren’s point that the concert violinist analogy is problematic because except in cases of rape, people choose to have sex. That may be true…but say they’re screening candidates to be hooked up to this concert violinist by looking at symphony attendees. And they’re even quite clear about it: you get a card, with your ticket, that informs you that if you want to enjoy the beautiful experience that is the symphony, you run the risk of getting a concert violinist hooked up to your kidneys…unless you check the box that says you don’t want that, and return the card. So you check the box, and return the card, and someone makes a computer error, and the next morning, there’s that darned concert violinist. People use birth control, and some methods work better than others.

    With regard to personhood, I think that consciousness, or at least the capacity for consciousness in the case of comatose patients and lecture attendees, is a fairly integral part of it, but I do prefer to err on the side of caution. However, what makes a human a person and what makes them unkillable aren’t quite the same issue. Although I would make exceptions for euthanasia if people demand it, what makes a human no longer killable, in my eyes, is birth. That’s not an arbitrary marker; it’s the point at which they stop being part of another person. That’s several months, if not years, shy of their developing their own personhood as I understand it. And as far as slippery slopes go, I’ve never heard of anyone seriously suggesting postnatal abortions. :)

    As for the wonderfulness of abortion–compared to the alternative, it really is. I’m not talking about babies and mommies and bonding and all that…I mean, the back-alley butchery that happens when abortions are illegal or unavailable. There are some people who don’t want to become mothers, period. The question is whether their needs are going to be met safely or unsafely.

    Carann, if a woman chooses to tell her sisters, brothers, father, grandparents, etc. about the abortion, then maybe they will be affected. Heck, maybe some of them will be relieved. But it’s still the woman’s body, and the woman’s decision. No one else has the right to force her. Even if she hands the kid off to adoptive parents, that’s nine months that she has to carry it around. Nine months as an incubator, a very obvious one, with all the attendant risks and medical problems. If you want it, that’s great; if not, it’d be like something out of a horror movie.

    I’m not sure, though, that I can credit the argument that a baby might grow up to be a future political leader or the person who cures cancer. I mean, she might equally grow up to be the next Charles Manson, but I wouldn’t try to support a pro-choice argument with that. I don’t think you can sacrifice a person’s ACTUAL well-being for someone else’s POTENTIAL success or failure. Heck, what if her mom could have been a political leader or the person who cured cancer, if she hadn’t been pressured into carrying that unwanted pregnancy to term?

  • Carann says:

    Just to let Cat know that abortion also affects the sisters, brothers, father, grandparents, etc. of an unborn child. The decision is not just about the woman’s body. Also, there are adoptive parents waiting and longing for a child. They will give the baby a family. The child could grow to be the next President of the U.S. or Research Scientist who finds a cure for a terminal disease. I do not believe that we have the right to interfere with the intended purpose of any human being–preborn or born.

  • I’ve never heard of abortion being “wonderful” before. How is it wonderful? Even those I know who are pro-choice think the number of abortions that occur should decrease. The only argument I can think of is the presumption that it would be better for the child to not be born because they are unwanted. But I think most people who were adopted would disagree with this, such as the child my pastor and his wife adopted who is now a healthy and happy young boy.

  • Claire Colvin Claire says:

    Kaylee,

    I don’t I understand how abortion “helps the child”. I’ve seen arguments in favor of abortion that claim a fetus is not a child (I don’t agree with that) but if you believe a child is involved in abortion, how can death be the best thing for that child?

  • kaylee says:

    I think abortion is a wonderful creation because it helps lots of people out the mother, the father and even the child.

  • Deebee says:

    Glad you found this site too Edmund! it’s a great place to come for info and community.

  • By far the most concise and up to date information I found on this topic. Sure glad that I navigated to your page by accident. I’ll be subscribing to your feed so that I can get the latest updates. Appreciate all the information here

  • Hi Cat,

    It sounds like we agree that the act itself of carrying an unwanted baby to term is virtuous. If the person then acts unvirtuously afterwards, then that is the unvirtuous part. Since there are always other options to deal with unwanted children there is no need for such actions. Unfortunately many people are unaware of such options! Hopefully someone reading this article and comments in the future will learn that such options are available and be willing to consider them.

    I’ve heard the concert violinist example before, though I can’t recall where. It’s a cogent analogy, but an analogy is only valid if it is in fact analogous to the situation it describes. In this case it’s not because (except in case of rape as already noted above) in the analogy the violinist was hooked up without consent. To make it analogous, it would need to be modified to say something like “Suppose you woke up one morning after sleeping in a particular place and found that a concert violinist was hooked up to your kidneys. You knew that by sleeping that place that this was a distinct possibility, but chose to do so anyways.” When properly formed in this way, it doesn’t matter whether he asked to be hooked up or not, it would be unethical to remove him. So it is not analogous to the unborn situation.

    This does raise an interesting point though. This hypothetical violinist has kidneys that are no longer functioning. Is he less of a human person due to that fact? Or is a human who has leprosy and therefore has lost the sensation of pain less of a human person? Or if a person is in a coma and/or lacks basic motor skills, are they no longer a person? The basic question is, what makes a human un-killable? Their physical abilities, or is it their intrinsic nature? If it’s possible to define a human and not being a person, without any non-arbitrary way to differentiate between them, it seems like a potentially dangerous slippery slope.

    Basically what I’m suggesting is that the unborn is not merely a “scrap of human tissue” … if you find a fetus described in that way in any medical textbook, please let me know. It is in fact a human person (complete in itself) at an earlier stage of development.

  • Cat says:

    Darren, no problem at all! I moved on Tuesday, so I haven’t been online much.

    I will concede that a fetus is human, insofar as it has human DNA and is not any other kind of creature. But the same can be said of any scrap of human tissue. Is a fetus a human person, though? I don’t think it is. During the first trimester it simply doesn’t have the neurological apparatus to be a person, and even beyond that, it doesn’t have the wherewithal of some farm animals, which we have no compunction about killing for our own self-preservation.

    I forget the name of the philosopher and the textbook is still packed, but there is also an argument for abortion that does not depend on the ontological status of the fetus in order to work. It goes thusly: suppose you woke up one morning and found that a concert violinist was hooked up to your kidneys, his own having failed. He’ll die if you disconnect him, and concert violinists most certainly are persons, and perhaps he wasn’t the one who asked to be hooked up to you…but then, does a person have the right to invade and use your body against your will?

    I was about to say that of course I agree it’s virtuous to voluntarily carry an unwanted baby to term, but upon reflection, I’m not sure that it is. I suppose it depends on what you do next. I have a few friends who were unwanted children, and the very last word I would use to describe their mothers is “virtuous”! Maybe it started out that way, but it turned into something hard and bitter and ugly very soon after. It’s good to hear about the drop-offs, at least, and I’m sure that we have something like it in Ontario.

    I would love to flesh this out some more, but this is the only working computer we have at the moment, and my beloved is waiting to get onto it…

  • Hi Cat, sorry for the lateness of my reply! It slipped my mind!

    It seems like the conversation keeps coming back to the same question: What is this thing being aborted? One philosopher put it this way: “If the unborn is not a human person, no justification for abortion is necessary. However, if the unborn is a human person, no justification for abortion is adequate.”

    So in the first example, “that’s even more of a reason to protect a woman’s choice: can you imagine being compelled to carry a stranger around inside you for nine months, against your will?” The thing is, if this “stranger” is a human person who, through no fault of his/her own, is currently developing in the mother’s womb, is it right to kill them? It’s not their fault that they are there. (Now certainly there is the very real problem of rape, which is a serious moral and criminal tragedy, but according to Planned Parenthood’s own numbers about 1% of abortions occur for that reason; so even if we say for the sake of argument that abortion would be allowed in those cases, this still leaves around 99% of abortions.)

    In terms of where to draw the line, I can’t see how being a human person could be a “spectrum”. It seems like it’s one of those things that you either are, or aren’t. It seems dangerous to say “This human [being, entity, thing?] doesn’t count as a human person.” And if we aren’t sure if it is a human person or not, then we should err on the side of caution and not kill it. If I have a gun and am about to shoot at a box, if there’s even a slight chance that there’s a person in that box, you would stop me from shooting at it. So even if there is a possibility that this thing is a human person or not, I would say we should not kill it.

    That said, I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to carry a baby to term (I’m not even going feign trying); especially one that a woman doesn’t want! But if this really is a human person, it seems like doing so would be the kind of commitment that would be virtuous to make. And there are options after birth. A friend of mine created babydropoff.com to let people know that “All 50 states now have laws allowing parents to abandon unwanted babies safely and without fear of prosecution.” (“Abandon” in the sense of leaving them with competent caregivers at a hospital or other such location.) It lists what to do in each state. I don’t know what the law is in Ontario but I hope that there is something similar set up. There are many organizations that can help too.

  • Cat says:

    Darren, although a newborn is still dependent, it’s not necessarily dependent on its mother. It’s not a part of her body anymore. As for DNA…I’m not sure to what degree DNA confers personhood, but it strikes me that that’s even more of a reason to protect a woman’s choice: can you imagine being compelled to carry a stranger around inside you for nine months, against your will?

    With regard to the anxiety surrounding late-term abortions, I know where I put my lines, but culturally speaking, the first trimester seems to be the closest we can manage to reaching a consensus. I guess it can be likened to a spectrum. It’s hard to fix the point at which one colour becomes another in a way that’s going to please everyone, and there’s a sense in which any decision carries a certain amount of arbitrariness, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t clear examples of each colour. The first trimester seems like a pretty clear example; much later, and people want there to be a good reason. I can respect that.

  • Hi Cat!

    It sounds like you’re saying that it is at birth (when the baby leaves the mother’s body) that it becomes a human being. Hence, it is only a potential human being because when it is still physically part of the mother it shares her personhood and has not yet become an individual person.

    I wonder though how a change in location (from womb to outside world) results in a change in ontological status. From the beginning, the baby’s DNA is unique from its mother’s, so physically at least it is a unique individual. How does passing through the birth canal change its status as a person? Yes, the unborn is entirely dependent on the mother for sustenance during pregnancy, but it remains entirely dependent for sustenance after birth. And its development continues after birth as well, both physical and mental.

    As you’ve rightly noted, abortions after the first trimester are rare. But if the unborn does not become a human being until after birth, why bother protecting a non-human being by placing conditions on late-term abortions? If these restrictions are due to the fact that at some point late-term the status of the unborn changes, we need to define an observable and non-arbitrary point which this changes, since if at any point we’re not sure whether this thing is a human being, we should err on the side of caution and not kill it. That’s why I find it difficult to call the fetus a “potential” or developing human being. That process of development begins at the earliest stages of pregnancy and continues in an unbroken stream of development through pregnancy and after pregnancy.

  • Cat says:

    Darren, I’d say that the fetus’ ontological status is that of a potential human being, and the moment that changes is birth. I realize that there is a point at which the fetus can survive outside the mother’s body, but while it’s in the womb, it’s still part of the mother’s body. If she wants to say that what’s in there is a full human being, well, it’s her body, and she gets to choose.

    I think, though, that the spectre of the fetus that is technically viable outside of the womb is raised in abortion debates far more often than it occurs in real life. Viability starts late in the second trimester. The vast majority of abortions are performed in the first trimester, when the fetus doesn’t have the nervous system of a vole. And virtually all late-term abortions are performed only when the mother’s life or health is at risk. Even prior to American legislation (which left out the exception for health), physicians’ professional organizations placed that condition on the procedure. So, I’m comfortable with birth being the point at which a fetus becomes a human being.

  • Cat, I was wondering, in your first post you wrote, “I support kids in theory, and think existing ones should be protected”. I think this is something we all have in common, we want kids to be protected.

    Where we differ, then, seems to be what constitutes a “kid”. If what is aborted is a kid, then it seems that it would be wrong to do so. However, if what is aborted is not, then it seems perfectly alright to do so. The reason I am focusing on this issue is because the topic of abortion can be quite emotionally charged, so it can help to focus on what seems to be the main question: What is the unborn?

    So it seems you’re suggesting that at some point, the unborn becomes a child (kid) and therefore should be protected. I was wondering when would you say this change (not a kid & can be killed -> to -> kid & can’t be killed) occurs, and why?

  • Deebee says:

    Cat, I guess that is where we will have to agree to disagree. You say that ‘there is no reason why an abortion should affect anyone other than the woman.’

    There is another life involved, the life of that baby and it isn’t just about the woman and her body. But as I said, let’s agree to disagree on this one since I don’t want to get into a heated debate.

    I have cried with women who have lost babies after feeling them kick and holding them in their arms and seeing how perfect they are while at the same place in their pregnancy another woman had an abortion. There are two lives to be considered.In the case of the second woman she thought it was just her decision but now is going through exactly what this author describes.

  • Cat says:

    Deebee, of course I’ll take every action I can to avoid getting pregnant, but no form of birth control is 100% effective. People can do everything right, and still wind up in trouble. And if confidentiality is maintained, there’s no reason why an abortion should affect anyone other than the woman.

    I know there’s a prevailing sentiment that abstinence before marriage is the best practice, but if even if I were to get married, I still wouldn’t want kids.

    I just object to being told that abortion is against “our nature.” So are heart medication, central heating, and the criminal justice system–and certainly, the situations in which those things are needed are less than ideal, but when we need them, suddenly going against nature doesn’t seem so bad.

  • Deebee says:

    Cat, good for you for knowing that you are not a nurturer and probably shouldn’t have children in that case. Hopefully in light of that you would take action to ensure that you don’t get pregnant.

    What this author is saying is that abortion is never a simple medical procedure, but rather leaves a mark on the lives of many. What some would consider a simple decision that only impacts me, is actually much larger than we could ever imagine.

  • Cat says:

    I’m female, and I most certainly WAS NOT created to be a nurturer! I support kids in theory, and think existing ones should be protected, but I don’t have a maternal bone in my body, and if I were to find myself pregnant, I would not hesitate to get an abortion. If other people want to choose to have kids, that’s swell…but I choose not to, and I don’t want anyone messing with my decision.

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