Thursday, September 1, 2011

The unholy sacrament of abortion—UPDATED

If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.
Florynce Kennedy (1916-2000), Abortion Rap

This story from Abby Johnson has been making its way around. Let me shorten it a little:

Despite her obvious distress, the woman had insisted to Abby that she had to have the abortion today. Now. But even sedation didn’t relieve her tension; she cried even harder. When the doctor asked her why she was crying so much, she sobbed, “Because I just know this is a sin.”

The doctor, holding her hand and smiling gently, replied, “No. It is not your sin. It is mine. I will take on your sin. I commit the sin. Not you.”

As Patrick Archbold sardonically remarked, “Now playing Jesus, the guy with the wire hanger.”

Unfortunately, it’s difficult if not impossible to track down the number of women suffering post-abortion syndrome. Not all the symptoms show up, at least not all at the same time. In many cases, the woman can’t relate her symptoms to the abortion. And then there’s flat-out denial … like the New York pro-abortion columnist who confessed earlier this year that she was glad she miscarried so she wouldn’t have to go through her third abortion, believing she would probably have ended up killing herself sometime afterward — and yet she continues to promote abortion rights.

As Elizabeth Hillgrove said about Yaz’s side effects, “Put that in my shopping cart, right away!”

In Douglas Adams’ Life, the Universe and Everything, the central characters travel in a spaceship which is protected from visibility by an “SEP field”. SEP stands for “Somebody Else’s Problem”; if someone actually notices the ship — which, as Adams describes it at one point as resembling an up-ended Italian bistro, would seem pretty likely  — the person would be caused by the field to dismiss the improbable sight as “somebody else’s problem”.

This must be the same field that hides from our sight the women who are emotionally coerced into abortion by the fathers, their family, their friends and/or their employers. This must be the same field that hides access even to basic government social support legally available to all underprivileged women, far less the innumerable non-profit organizations, so that poor women feel compelled to abort children they can’t afford to support on their own.

Don’t get me wrong; there are many abortion advocates out there who tacitly acknowledge the difficulty of the abortion decision and admit that it’s a traumatic procedure. But they say it with precisely the same pious disinterest that a business executive might regret the “painful necessity” of throwing American employees out of work while his company outsources their function to India or the Philippines: Yeah, it’s tough … but it’s Somebody Else’s Problem.

In contrast with the “safe, legal and rare” folks, we have the radical, hardcore supporters who just care about its legality — safety and rareness be dashed. For decades they’ve resisted even the most reasonable of safety precautions as attempts by pro-life “misogynists” to restrict access.

It was no surprise, therefore, when the Philadelphia grand jury investigating Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s little shop of abortion horrors discovered that the Pennsylvania Department of Health stopped inspecting abortion clinics in 1993 “for political reasons”. In their own words, PDH “literally licensed Gosnell’s criminally dangerous behavior,” because they were either too cowardly to risk censure by the liberal establishment or too corrupt to execute their legal function.

Or consider the viciousness with which they resisted and foiled laws requiring parental consent for girls too young to consent to tonsillectomies, far less major invasive procedures. Somewhere along the way, it became more important to protect access to abortion for victims of forced sex than to protect young women from rape or incest. Little to no tracking of post-abortion health complications exists because it’s more important that they have abortions than that they suffer no ill effects such as synechia, hepatitis, or any other of a host of damages that can lead to loss of life, health or future reproductive ability.

(The most haunting words I have ever read or heard: “I killed the only child I will ever have.”)

Of course, there are an unholy host of social dysfunctions to which this nominally Christian nation takes the un-Christian attitude, “That’s Somebody Else’s Problem, not mine.” If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead” (James 2:15-17).

But the pro-abortion faction’s radical dissociation from every physical, emotional and social consequence of abortion to the women who are damaged by it only highlights the hypocrisy of plugging it out of a pretended concern for women’s health. Abortion is not “safe”, even when practiced by a licensed, skilled and concerned surgeon. Any slight decrease in mortality risk among young women, when compared to live birth, is more than offset by the increased risks of long-term damage and future health problems such as breast cancer.

But to the radical feminists who dominate the abortion hardliners, the “right to choose” is both the foundation and capstone of women’s equality. Without it, to hear them tell it, Oprah Winfrey could never have become an entertainment-industry powerhouse, nor Hillary Clinton a serious contender in her own right for the White House … though you will never see a convincing scientific demonstration of this “fact”.

And it’s no longer enough that women be “allowed” (socially frog-marched) to kill their unborn. Health providers must be compelled to provide, perform and assist at the service, to check their consciences at the hospital door. Citizens must watch their tax dollars spent to provide it to women without means.

Yes, abortion is an unholy sacrament, the offering of a spotless lamb for the sins of the woman. But the god to which the lamb is offered is Moloch.

Update: September 3, 2011
On Thursday, Sept. 1 (according to, the British Journal of Psychiatry released a study done at Bowling Green State University by Dr. Priscilla K. Coleman showing an 81% increase in mental health issues among women who underwent abortion. The study also purports to show that almost 10% of all women's mental health issues are directly linked to abortion.

In order to avoid any allegations of bias,” Dr. Coleman explained, “very stringent inclusion criteria were employed. This means every strong study was included and weaker studies were excluded.
“Specifically, among the rules for inclusion were sample size of 100 or more participants, use of a comparison group, and employment of controls for variables that may confound the effects such as demographics, exposure to violence, prior history of mental health problems, etc.”
This makes Dr. Coleman’s study the most comprehensive of its kind to date.
I might be more cheerful about this had the report been under any name but Dr. Coleman's. Unfortunately, her previous work has been challenged on methodological grounds, according to the (somewhat biased) article on her in Wikipedia. This, in turn, leads me to question the stringency with which the peer-review system — the guarantor of scientific reliability — is applied in the social science disciplines; if it were working as it ought, any errors Dr. Coleman has made in the past ought to have been caught prior to publication. On the other hand, if the peer-review system is working, and was working for Dr. Coleman's previous work, then how are challenges to her methodology getting into print? So, as in other topics, conflicts reduce to "my researcher can beat up your researcher" ... and give us more reason to avoid putting too much trust in scientists.