Smacking away the hand meant to soothe

I wasn’t going to post regarding this article, but I find I really must, if only in the hopes that its author, Maria Eftimiades, will see my post and understand that her own prejudicial assumption puts out hurtful misinformation about a group of people doing good work.

Discussing her choice to abort her son upon learning that he had Down’s Syndrome, Eftimiades wrote: I’m sure pro-lifers don’t give you the right to grieve for the baby you chose not to bring into the world (another euphemism, although avoiding the word “abortion” doesn’t take any sting out of the decision to have one).

Apparently Eftimiades does not realize that it is with the pro-life community that one finds most, if not all, post-abortion grief therapy programs, which is not surprising when you consider that it is precisely the pro-lifers who understand that she is grieving a LIFE.

After Abortion links to tons of such organizations.

Just as she is “sure” that “pro-lifers don’t give you the right to grieve for your baby,” I am quite sure that Eftimiades would not care to be judged on her decision, and yet she is judging (in real ignorance) a whole group of people who are committed not to judging her, but to helping her through her pain and grief. She effectively smacks away the hand meant to help, because she cannot get past her own prejudice and judgementalism. The chances are very good that she does not know many pro-life folk, and all she has to go on is the media caricature that puts us somewhere between Randall Terry and Carrie’s Mother. But she is a grown-up, mature woman; she could learn more about pro-lifers, if she wanted to.

Eftimiades is a journalist. Perhaps her experience will someday make her curious enough to check out the reality of what pro-lifers “allow” women who have had abortions.

For the record, here are some very fine organizations, doing terrific work with women grieving their lost children.

Rachel’s Vineyard
Hope After Abortion
The Bridge
Ideas for Healing
Hope Alive
Abortion Recovery International Network

“Rachel mourns her children; she refuses to be consoled because her children are no more. Thus says the Lord: Cease your cries of mourning. Wipe the tears from your eyes. The sorrow you have shown shall have its reward. There is hope for your future.”
-Jeremiah 31:15-17

UPDATE: An excellent letter to NRO on this story.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Jimmie

    Having read that article, I’m trying to figure out what it is, exactly, that she’s grieving.

    She seems to consider her aborted fetus as not actually a human being, and now, having made a choice to dispose of her defective property, she wants to grieve it?

    That doesn’t make sense to me. To be completely blunt, she can’t have it both ways. She either killed a child – for whatever reason – in which case she’s entitled to grieve, or she threw away some bad property, in which case she has as much reason to grieve as she would if she had thrown away a broken television set she had just bought.

  • Jimmie

    Having read that article, I’m trying to figure out what it is, exactly, that she’s grieving.

    She seems to consider her aborted fetus as not actually a human being, and now, having made a choice to dispose of her defective property, she wants to grieve it?

    That doesn’t make sense to me. To be completely blunt, she can’t have it both ways. She either killed a child – for whatever reason – in which case she’s entitled to grieve, or she threw away some bad property, in which case she has as much reason to grieve as she would if she had thrown away a broken television set she had just bought.

  • pendell

    Last week, during the fevered election campaign, I saw a young lady with Down’s syndrome and the biggest smile handing out flyers for a candidate. She was so cute my heart went out to her, even if her face was kind of twisted. If she was the only thing I’d had to judge her candidate by, I’d have voted for him in a heartbeat.

    But I knew one additional fact: The candidate she was supporting was pro-choice, and had made abortion one of the chief differences between him and his opponent.

    I wonder if she realized that the people she was giving her support to were working to ensure that many, many babies just like were would never see the light of day.

    I wonder. And I’m sad.

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.

  • pendell

    Last week, during the fevered election campaign, I saw a young lady with Down’s syndrome and the biggest smile handing out flyers for a candidate. She was so cute my heart went out to her, even if her face was kind of twisted. If she was the only thing I’d had to judge her candidate by, I’d have voted for him in a heartbeat.

    But I knew one additional fact: The candidate she was supporting was pro-choice, and had made abortion one of the chief differences between him and his opponent.

    I wonder if she realized that the people she was giving her support to were working to ensure that many, many babies just like were would never see the light of day.

    I wonder. And I’m sad.

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.

  • TheAnchoress

    I think it’s not that easy, Jimmie. She never refers to the child a fetus, but always as her baby. If she says she is grieving, I’m going to take that at face value, as I would with anyone.

    The fact that this woman felt comfortable controlling whether her son lived or died is a little chilling to me, but that is our society – there are whole swaths of people who do not ask themselves the bigger questions about life and abortion, but who settle comfortably into the “my body, my choice, that settles it” mindset.

    It’s very likely this lady knows no one who is pro-life and has not been exposed to much pro-life thinking or reasoning to get in the way of her choice, and it is a choice many women make, particularly if they are not feeling brave or strong or supported. That’s where faith comes in and helps out a lot.

    This lady is not Amy Richards casually discussing her abortions as though she was talking about washing a car. If she is relating grief, I don’t think it behooves the pro-lifers to sneer at her about it.

  • TheAnchoress

    I think it’s not that easy, Jimmie. She never refers to the child a fetus, but always as her baby. If she says she is grieving, I’m going to take that at face value, as I would with anyone.

    The fact that this woman felt comfortable controlling whether her son lived or died is a little chilling to me, but that is our society – there are whole swaths of people who do not ask themselves the bigger questions about life and abortion, but who settle comfortably into the “my body, my choice, that settles it” mindset.

    It’s very likely this lady knows no one who is pro-life and has not been exposed to much pro-life thinking or reasoning to get in the way of her choice, and it is a choice many women make, particularly if they are not feeling brave or strong or supported. That’s where faith comes in and helps out a lot.

    This lady is not Amy Richards casually discussing her abortions as though she was talking about washing a car. If she is relating grief, I don’t think it behooves the pro-lifers to sneer at her about it.

  • Jimmie

    I’m not at all sneering at her grief. I just want some honesty about it. It seems to me that she’s proud of the pragmatic choice she made, yet wants us to sympathize with her as if she hadn’t chosen the pragmatic way.

    Perhaps it is that she sees that these two things are really at odds and perhaps that’s what drives her anger. I don’t know. I just know that I’m not inclined to be sympathetic to her. I”m sure that makes me a clod, but I can live with it.

  • Jimmie

    I’m not at all sneering at her grief. I just want some honesty about it. It seems to me that she’s proud of the pragmatic choice she made, yet wants us to sympathize with her as if she hadn’t chosen the pragmatic way.

    Perhaps it is that she sees that these two things are really at odds and perhaps that’s what drives her anger. I don’t know. I just know that I’m not inclined to be sympathetic to her. I”m sure that makes me a clod, but I can live with it.

  • http://www.marchhareshouse.blogspot.com March Hare

    “Eftimiades wrote: I’m sure pro-lifers don’t give you the right to grieve for the baby you chose not to bring into the world”
    .
    I find it odd that she used the word “baby.” That is a word (and a fact) that most strident supporters of “choice” don’t use at all. For to recognize that the aborted is a “baby” is to recognize that what was disposed of is more than a simple “lump of tissue.”

  • http://www.marchhareshouse.blogspot.com March Hare

    “Eftimiades wrote: I’m sure pro-lifers don’t give you the right to grieve for the baby you chose not to bring into the world”
    .
    I find it odd that she used the word “baby.” That is a word (and a fact) that most strident supporters of “choice” don’t use at all. For to recognize that the aborted is a “baby” is to recognize that what was disposed of is more than a simple “lump of tissue.”


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