Monday, April 02, 2007

Seattle Reacts to Post-Abortion Story

Debbie Schneider's Guest Editorial in Friday's Seattle PI brought 65 comments in the "Sound Off" section.

The pro-abortion side trotted out the shop worn arguments -- It's not a baby. It was her "choice." It's her own fault since she didn't have sex ed or take precautions. Abortion is safer than childbirth. Post-abortive women are mentally ill, etc.

There were however some thoughtful comments from people who were sympathetic to Debbie and seemed to have true compassion. One person asked this question:
In regards to depression, does anyone know of any studies that compare rates of depression after abortion to rates of depression after child birth? Maybe post-abortion depression is simply akin to post partem(sp?) depression some women get after child birth.
The recent New Zealand study is one that may touch on that.

There was also this honest comment:
Speaking as someone who is rabidly pro-choice but just as rabidly anti-abortion in my personal life, I want to say thanks to Ms. Schneider. Hearing the views of someone who has gone through it gives me more pause for thought on the subject. I still come down on the side of pro-choice, but I believe the issues you raised are valid and worth discussion.
One man also identified himself as having 5 aborted children. His defense of abortion seemed based on the fact that he needed those 5 abortions at the time and the "Christian right" would have prevented them from happening.

Several post-abortive women also posted.

Valerie Jacobs of Project Rachel of Western Washington posted this comment in response to "WizardMan":
1) Abstinence is the only form of contraception that is 100% effective, even when used 100% appropriately. I have worked with many women who reported becoming pregnant while using various forms. Contraception is marketed and used as though it is a gaurantee of sexual activity without consequences. Teen women are not stupid or lazy for this. They do not need more sex education; they need different sex education.

2) According to Webster's, the definition of "fetus" is "unborn young." The definition of "embryo" is "an animal in the earliest stages of development in the uterus" [Gr. embryon, embryo, fetus, thing newly born.] To say that an embryo is not a human life is like saying a child is not a human life because it is not an adult. There is indeed a heartbeat at 18-24 days. At 43 days the brain coordinates movement. At 8 weeks all organs are functioning. At 9 weeks the unborn child has indivdual, uniquely identifying fingerprints. This is all well within the first trimester. Before the miracle of life became a political football, medical texts clearly stated that "a new human life begins at conception." Perhaps a few pictures would help WizardMan dispel his ignorance of these scientific facts. If he is not too lazy, I suggest he go to his local library.

3) To equate spontaneous abortion with induced abortion is like equating the devastation of an earthquake with exploding a bomb.

4) Shortly after an abortion women may experience either relief or devastating grief, which can include anger and depression (a form of anger directed inward). Until recently, the vast majority of studies took place less than 12 months post-abortion. This is the time frame we often see "relief" and "emotional numbing." When I reviewed the literature 13 years ago, what I found showed on average that 10% of women were affected in some significant way after abortion. Furthermore, I also found that individual studies showed that anywhere from 1% to 90% of women were affected. Much depended on what what was studied, ie depression, suicidality, etc, and when it was studied (how long after the abortion). Studies done further from the abortion event (3-5 years) yielded more and greater negative effects. This delayed result is exactly what is well known and recogized in the field of post traumatic stress disorder. Recently, an excellent long term study was completed by a researcher in New Zealand who describes himself as "pro-choice." Ground breaking in its scope, this study found a significant link between abortion and mental health and dispels the notion that this is due to prior mental health issues. Whatever "medical text" WizardMan is quoting from may have to be amended. Science will always eventually correct itself if it remains free from political bias.

5) WizardMan's last paragraph is so full of distracting, irrelevant and prejudiced characterizations as to be unworthy of response.

6) One final note. I have personally spoken to and worked with over 1500 post-aborted women (and a few men) to help them pick up the pieces of their lives and heal the scars following this "unchoice." Depression is frequent as is loss of trust in themselves and in relationships. Women's stories are often filled with anger toward men like WizardMan who are calloused toward the life their girlfriends carry and who abandon them emotionally with the politically correct response, "Well, it's your choice." In most cases, these relationships break up and the men involved remain oblivious to the emotional devastation left behind. Women often ask me, "Does he ever think of our child? Did he ever suffer as I have over this choice? It is incredibly healing when some of those women discover that, indeed, he did and does.

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