Heather King’s Poor Baby

You have to be a pretty interesting person to be able to write three short, funny and spiritually wise biographies before you’re terribly old. Heather King is onesuch. She describes herself as “an ex-lawyer, ex-drunk Catholic convert” and upon reading her book Redeemed, I promptly fell in love with her work.

Then I actually began to correspond with Heather, (and corralled her into sharing some great stuff with Patheos) and came to love her person.

Barbara Nicolosi has called her a “Catholic Annie LaMott” and I can see that comparison, but I think Heather is even more searingly honest than LaMott. She is simply a very fine writer, and a fierce Christian who has really worked her faith through the wringer of her own damaged places and emerged as something of a mystic with a bit of a mouth. It’s a powerful combination.

I have been such a poor friend to her, though. A while back — around the start of Lent, in fact, she sent me a copy of her new, short e-book, POOR BABY: A Child of the 60′s Looks Back on Abortion and, well you know, my Lent was really all about forty days of spiking fevers and sore throats that was so weird we have decided to call it a Lenten Virus and just forget about it. But fevers keep me from reading (or writing) as much as I like and I had Heather’s book at my fingertips for all this time, but only finally got to read it.

All I can say is, oh, my! I thought I would read just a few paragraphs and ended up gulping this important, staggeringly honest (I said she was honest) short book in one sitting. Heather writes here with such immediacy that you feel like your friend has just walked into your kitchen and starting talking to you while pouring herself a cup of coffee, and she’s telling you that, yeah, she’d managed to pull together a life she was pretty happy with but she’s been carrying this heavy ache and you know, she looked up the word keen in the dictionary and found it meant “a prolonged wail for a deceased person” and yeah, that’s it, that’s precisely what has been emanating from her heart and psyche, even through all of her successes and joy.

And she sits down at your table, coffee mug in hand, and you don’t want her to stop talking; you don’t want to interrupt this:

We’re very concerned these days that everyone is given a “voice,” but one person nobody wants to hear from is the woman who’s had an abortion. One side says: What I do in bed is my business; the other side says: You made your bed; now lie in it. The left doesn’t want to hear from the woman who’s had an abortion because to feel remorse, shame, or doubt is to betray “the cause.” The right doesn’t want to hear from the woman who’s had an abortion because you’re going to burn in hell so why should you matter? The priest doesn’t want to hear, particularly, from the woman who’s had an abortion because the issue is way too complex, multi-layered, and potentially time-consuming; women, as we all know, get weird around sex, men, and children; the priest, being human, probably hasn’t worked out all those things within himself; and besides, you’ve been forgiven, so let’s forego opening that can of worms and move on.

Even women, who will talk about anything, don’t talk about abortion. Women, who within five minutes of being introduced will know each other’s career and relationship status, family situation, taste in clothing, food, movies, books, and men, don’t talk about abortion. I think this is because women, of all people, know that abortion is a failure of love. Women know that if the guy with whom you were sleeping loved you enough, chances are you would have had his baby in a heartbeat. Women know that no matter how superficially relieved you may have felt immediately afterwards; no matter how financially, emotionally, and logistically impossible having a kid just then would have been; no matter how much sympathy they may (or may not) have for you and your situation, you’ve still gone against your deepest soul: against everything in you that is most precious, most worthy, most inviolate.

She takes a breath and you say, “keep talking, Heather, keep talking!”

Beneath abortion lies the split between men and women depicted in the story of the Garden of Eden; the rift decreeing that henceforward, we would all be baffled, bewildered, longing to connect; all aching for each other and afraid of each other. But how, as women, can we possibly expect to heal the split by overprotecting men; by bearing in our bodies, souls, and nervous systems a burden that should be theirs to share; by remaining silent; by pretending that sustaining this almost mortal wound doesn’t hurt and doesn’t matter; by confusing the private with the secret and furtive?

If abortion is so wonderful, why are we so reluctant to expose it to the light? Why, at the clinic, do they use the word “procedure?” Why, when gazing into the bassinet of our friend’s newborn baby do we not tend to exclaim: “Adorable! I aborted mine!” Everyone’s on board for the sex, but no-one likes to think of what transpires afterward for the woman who aborts. No long, hot kisses then. No delighted tandem gaze at the ultrasound: Oh honey, look at his tiny feet! Afterward does not bear looking at, thinking about, or in any particular remembering. That’s why for so long I had not wanted to know. My mind would go so far and no further.

The fact is you get crucified if you have the kid; you get crucified if you don’t. Fire or fire. The redemptive suffering of taking responsibility for your actions; the neurotic (because avoidable) suffering of failing to. I just don’t see any way around this. I don’t think there is a way around it: hence, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. The cross—which I mention partly because as I said, I’m a Catholic (I converted, for the record, after my abortions) and partly because we claim to be a Christian nation—is a picture of the human psyche. Jacques Fesch was a Parisian who shot a cop, was sentenced to death, and had a conversion experience in prison. “It’s only a short time since I really understood what the cross is,” he wrote before going to the guillotine in 1957. “It is simultaneously miraculous and horrifying. Miraculous, because it gives us life, horrifying because if we do not bring about our own crucifixion, we have no access to life.”

This is one hell of a read. It is brief but unique in voice, unique in insights; it is brutally honest in precisely the way the world needs to encounter a bit of brute honesty, right now, and it is something of a treasure because it flings about realities that every pro-choice and pro-life person — and everyone who thinks they’re “on the fence” needs to confront.

It is in a word, brilliant. Thank God it’s only 28 pages long. More truth we might not be able to bear all at once.

Keep talking, Heather King. Keep talking.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Jeannine

    “The right doesn’t want to hear from the woman who’s had an abortion because you’re going to burn in hell so why should you matter?”

    I am a pretty conservative person, but I just don’t feel that way. AT. ALL.

    The mother and the baby BOTH MATTER. INFINITELY.

    What a gigantic pack of lies people are being told about love and sex. What pain and suffering are caused by living in lies, and how hard it can be to come into the light.

    ["you’re going to burn in hell so why should you matter?" -- These days, it's not a common sentiment. I think she has in mind the sorts who carry around "God hates fags" signs. You know, those really far-right folks at the extreme? _admin]

  • http://laurasslowgrowth.blogspot.com Laura @ Show Me a Day

    Just read this last week: so glad to see her getting some press.

    Jeannine: I know that most pro-lifers do view the mother and baby as infinitely important, myself included. However, a few bad apples have spoiled the bunch, at least in the secular worldview. And sadly, my (even more tragically) liberal sister agrees. I think Ms. King’s book is a radical evangelization of the pro-choice, taking them where they are at the beginning and bringing them to a whole new place, fraught with questions, by the end.

  • Marilyn H

    I, too, am a pretty conservative person and I agree with Jeannine. Never, ever, have I not wanted to hear from a woman who’s had an abortion. A very close friend of mine confided in me about her abortion and her ongoing pain. What kind of Christian would recoil from that? I’ve also never heard from any priest that he doesn’t want to counsel or hear the confession of a person who’s had an abortion.

    I’m sorry for Heather if that has been her experience, but it seems to be too broad a judgment. Rachel’s Vineyard, the Sisters of Life, Silent No More and many other pro-life centers are ready and willing to speak to women who are still suffering. They are also trained for that sort of counseling which many lay people, conservative or liberal, are not.

    [Marilyn, see my comment to Manny. This is all true, now. It was not always the case -admin]

  • Gail Finke

    I love Heather King. Jeannine: I think she does equate “the right” with “the far right.” Certainly the people I know who one could say are part of “the right” don’t feel that way at all about abortion. Heather is one of those people, I think, who was leftist and is now kind of “beyond all that” but has something of a leftist outlook still. I don’t know if I said that very well. I think she has suffered a lot and the lessons of her suffering are profound, but it doesn’t make her an expert on politics.
    You know who both “the right” and “the left” want to hear from even less than women who have had abortions? Men whose children have been aborted. They aren’t supposed to care one way or the other, and they certainly aren’t supposed to “keen.” But they do. Not all of them, of course. But the ones who do are invisible. A lot of people have been scarred by 50 million plus deaths, and our society refuses to acknowledge that any of the exist.

  • http://jscafenette.com Manny

    I’m very conservative and I agree with Jeannine too. Heather is making a strawman argument there. That position doesn’t exist, at least not from most Conservatives. I can’t say I’ver ever heard that line of argument.

    [I must be older than you guys. I can remember a time when -- from some conservative and Christian quarters -- women who had abortions were treated exactly like that. Not everyone remembered Mercy when abortion first became legal. In fact, I really credit the Catholic church with remembering and preaching Mercy when others really were just either silent (which implied support for abortion) or wholly and most unmercifully condemnatory. The reality of today, which is a true openness to the stories, pain and grief of post-abortive women rendered with a reminder of God's mercy, was not always the reality. -admin]

  • http://www.lorrainevmurray.com Lorraine Murray

    I love Heather’s writing, and as a woman who also had an abortion, I can relate to so much of what she says. When I came back to Catholicism, I was astonished to find that the Church actually offered forgiveness and healing to women like me — through a group called Post Abortion Treatment and Healing (PATH). I expected priests to shake their heads sadly at me, but they offered me mercy. I expected other women to shun me, but they accepted me. Still, the hardest part is forgiving yourself, and this can take many years. The words of Jesus from the Cross, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” were so helpful to me, because, like Heather, I was not a believer when I had the “procedure” and really didn’t understand what was at stake.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    I can’t resist pointing out that Fred Phelps, the leader of the “God Hates Fags” “church”, is, apparently, a registered Democrat. He’s also a lawyer, and has brought lawsuits against those who’ve disagreed, or threatened him, when he and his “Church” (which mostly consists of his family) show up to protest military funerals and the like. (He showed up at San Diego Comic-con once, and the nerds and geeks, rather than threatening him, counter-protested him, carrying signs saying stuff like, “DESTROY ALL HUMANS!” “THOR HATES TWILIGHT FANS!” and “GOD LOVES EVERYBODY!” (a sign carried by a man dressed up as Jesus.)

    Not being able to sue anybody for the big bucks here, Fred simply left.

    I don’t know what you’d call this guy, but “conservative” doesn’t seem to suit; I’d just say he comes from, “Planet Fred”, or, maybe, “Planet of Shyster Lawyers”, and leave it (and him) there.

  • Esther

    I’m going to add to the chorus here – I think Heather King is a treasure. I’ve read Poor Baby and think it is good. I see flaws in it – but it’s still good. So it’s unfortunate that she mischaracterizes pro-lifers – I mean – really sad and rather unjust. I’ve been involved in prolife work for 30 years and have never met a prolifer who fit her caricature. Most have been personally touched by abortion in some way, as a matter of fact. It’s really too bad that she is perpetuating that stereotype.

  • Dad of Six

    “One side says: What I do in bed is my business; the other side says: You made your bed; now lie in it.”

    I’ve read the admin comments above. I’m 53, and have been involved in the pro-life/RTL/PFL/Praying at clinics/Crisis Pregnancy Centers for at least 20 years. Never have I run into someone spouting such looniness. Maybe before Roe v. Wade…maybe. If I were her, I would have at least contacted Rachel’s Vineyard before writing this book. They have helped untold numbers of post-abortive women.

    And the caricature of priests! The most knowledgeable men about human sexuality I know are priests.

    The rest of the excerpts are interesting, but what other strawmen are lurking?

    [Really? You don't know any priests like that? Sadly, I do. Not many, but yeah, some. -admin]

  • YouGoAnchoress

    The subject of abortion almost never comes up in my circle of female friends and acquaintances (most of whom are of a liberal bent). My instinct tells me that–statistically speaking– there must be some abortion survivors among them, but I suppose I will never know. So many women (and men) are walking around in pain. Heather King’s book excerpt is a clarion call to anyone looking for healing on this issue.

  • Gail Finke

    At the risk of taking this thread on forever, I graduated from college in 1986. I remember a Lyndon Larouche supporter with a table at one of our school’s political information days who told me that anyone who had an abortion would go to Hell. He had some other very interesting views as well! Unfortunately, for years he was the person I thought of when I thought of the prolife movement. It took me actually meeting prolife people to find out that they weren’t all like that and, in fact, in all the years since I have never met anyone else who was. I never had an abortion and the guy made a huge impact on me. Perhaps Heather met someone similar, or even just saw one on the street or on television. It only takes one, I think, to color your view, and if you did have an abortion, I imagine the impact would be much greater.

  • YouGoAnchoress

    Oh, and I love the part about abortion being “a failure of love.” Beautifully put.

  • http://abbey-roads.blogspot.com/ terry nelson

    She is an excellent writer – sometimes unsettling so. She strikes me as a necessary voice and perspective for Catholics. I love it that the editors of Magnificat have recognized that.

  • Bill M.

    I lunge for everything this woman writes; I actually feel safer sharing the world with someone so honest. And she is bitterly funny but always kind.

  • Caroline Walker

    Yes, Heather is a wonderful writer. There was a time not so long ago that magazines like Esquire and Vanity Fair might publish such a well-written, thought-provoking piece. Back in the 70′s, Esquire published “Jesus Rediscovered” by Malcolm Muggeridge, and it changed my life.

  • Roz Smith

    Like Fred Phelps, Lyndon LaRouche is also a Democrat.

    Last year I ran across a great story of how a small town conspired to foiled Phelps. When he and his followers tried to go to the serviceman’s funeral they found that every vehicle with out of state plates in their motel parking lot had been boxed in with abandoned cars and pickups. They called the local sheriff and were told it might take hours to clear. It seems all the tow trucks had just been sent to a multi car accident called in from the other end of the county.

  • http://jscafenette.com Manny

    “I must be older than you guys. I can remember a time when — from some conservative and Christian quarters — women who had abortions were treated exactly like that…”
    -Anchoress

    I’m fifty. How old are you? :-P

    No I don’t recall ever condemning or hearing of women being condemned to hell for an abortion. Now I know the tone toward pro-abort people is harsh, and perhaps that gets smeared with actual women having abortions. Perhaps I’m a man and not subjected to an actual condemnation. I can’t speak for people’s interactions with others, but I still maintain that Conservative argument (say through National Review and other Conservative mediums) ever put forth a line of argument that condemned women who had abortions. The criticism was directed on the political position, not the actual act.

    That being said, abortion is a mortal sin. Is it not? If so, unrepentent mortal sins are grave.

  • http://jscafenette.com Manny

    By the way, I keep forgetting to mention this. I’m not picking on Heather King per se. I love Heather King’s writing. I don’t care what her political positions are. God bless her for her honesty and love of God.

  • http://www.lorrainevmurray.com Lorraine Murray

    Even though millions of women have been through this, Heather is absolutely right in saying that it is RARELY, if ever, spoken of. The fact that it is kept so secretive reveals what we already know in our hearts about how wrong it is. I wrote about my experience in “Confessions of an ex-Feminist,” and it was so painful to admit the truth. For me, though, the experience was the first chink in my (radical) feminist armor because none of my feminist tomes had prepared me for the emotional repercussions of this “procedure,” –and over time, that realization brought me home to Christ.

  • a sinner

    There is no doubt that Heather King ‘felt’ that she was ‘going to burn in hell’ according to the right. She may have had someone say that to her face, saw it on a sign, read it in a newspaper, whatever. She may have even thought it or felt it due to her own conscience nagging her–whether she was a Christian or not. The dignity of life itself is something written upon ALL souls. Heather may not have met a real live person that told her that she would go to hell but I’d bet that she herself thought she should go to hell and could not really figure out why. Am I saying she should burn in hell? OF COURSE NOT! I am only saying that from my own personal experience of sin, I was the one ready to condemn myself to the lowest place ever….and in that mindset, I just KNEW that there were others that would do the same. It is only age, experience and the gift of the Holy Spirit, wisdom, that I can say that I was the first one to cast the first stone upon myself. I think that is what Heather and so many others have done. That is why getting help and healing from an abortion is so very important. I believe sinners who come to realize that the ache within themselves is the sin have the toughest time forgiving themselves.

  • Peggy m

    I also love the insight that abortion is “a failure of love”. the failure is all around an abortion, not just the father for the mother, but also the mother for her child, adults for children, families for their offspring, society for its future, civilization for its persistence. I retain that image in my head of Saturn feeding on his children.

    i wonder at the willingness of pro-choice people to fool themselves—the constant use of euphemism is a dead give-away. how do people live this way, denying truth to themselves? I would have to be certain that abortion is morally neutral—considering what is at stake—and thus would easily admit to having one, just as I would discuss the removal of wisdom teeth or insertion of contact lenses to correct my vision. Why would I object to a sonogram (any other “procedure” seems to include sonograms, x-rays, MRIs, shared with the patient) or express the hope that abortions would be “rare” if I did not consider them murder? there is an awful lack of honesty. I wish people would act like grown-ups, and admit what they are doing or advocating.

  • Momof6

    I suspect that the extreme censure of those who’ve had abortions is something one doesn’t hear unless one’s had an abortion.

    I’ve never had an abortion, but I did commit the faux pas of getting pregnant with my first when I was 19 and unwed. This may be considered a lesser sin by some, but for those who care deeply about appearances and the motes in other’s eyes, it was probably the greater sin.

    I am guessing the majority of people would say they would be nothing but kind to an unwed mother; but there were quite a few people who were terrible to me. I probably could have avoided the mean ones if I hadn’t stubbornly kept going to church.

    And the “failure of love”, yowza! yes, that goes straight to my heart. Oh, the many people who disdained me, not just because I was pregnant, but because the baby’s father didn’t want me anymore.

    Of course, after the baby’s father changed his mind in the 11th hour and decided he’d like to marry me after all, many of these same people then told me I’d be a great mother. The only thing that had changed was whether someone wanted me or not.

    Thus, my heart goes out to women who abort. I know how it feels to have “good” people remind me that I wasn’t worth much in the first place, the same good people who do all the right things at church and otherwise look like really nice Christians.

    So, yes. They’re out there. And there are nice people too, and people who don’t really know what to say, and people who judge but keep their lips clamped, and some few angels straight from God. Thank heavens for the angelic ones!

  • Corita

    I think it is fair to characterize the “one side” as saying “You’ll go to Hell”– not because I know any prolifers who treat abortive women badly, but because of the way that many pro-life people talk casually about the “abortion mindset” and “abortion being just an easier way to have promiscuous sex” and the secular viewer who reads, “That being said, abortion is a mortal sin and unrepented mortal sin is grave…” and can’t put it into a charitable context.

    See? It’s not the outward deeds or direct words of the actual in-the-trenches prolifers (anymore, Thank G-d) but the casual ease with which many people, in public conversation treat lightly or dismiss the suffering, confusion and desperation of actual abortive women.
    Younger people– high school age, in particular– can be prone to this just because of their inherently judgemental mentality and their lack of life experience.

    But I have found myself more than once*begging* my fellow prolifers to stop speaking casually about the selfishness and sluttiness of women who seek abortions, or talking of post-rape pregnancy as “just nine months, what is the big deal?” or– this one really gets me– when Catholics toss around St. Gianna Molla’s name as if knowing her story makes it somehow easier for someone to continue a scary pregnancy, as if those people who have never faced that actual possibility have any right to condescend to someone who could consider an abortion in those circumstances.

    So, it’s not the actual act of saying, “You are going to Hell.” What is real now is the lack of charity, the total conviction that the moral imperative of Love that is “prolife” is seomthing you can speak quickly and easily about, as if the Cross is easy, and as if other people’s crosses can be summed up in some prolife talking points and dismissed.

  • Holly in Nebraska

    I agree with some of the other commenters. She paints with some broad strokes and puts almost everyone into a few categories, all of them filled with people who just don’t understand her and don’t want to. It’s like she doesn’t want to give anyone a opening to feel sorry for her, but then complains of not getting any mercy. A lot of people care about women who have had abortions. If she hasn’t met any, I do feel sorry for her. It may be the case a long time ago that people were cruel, but if she knows that, she shouldn’t stick to outdated stereotypes that make her a victim and which don’t give any credit for Christian feelings to anyone else.

    I feel reluctant to criticize because she is obviously in pain and I don’t mean to belittle her pain. However, when she writes something like, “The fact is you get crucified if you have the kid; you get crucified if you don’t,” she is describing a world I don’t know. I hope that world stayed in the 60s.

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    @Corita

    In no way was I being uncharitable toward women who have had abortions. It is just as grave a mortal sin for a man to participate in an abortion. Thank God I never participated in someone getting an abortion, but when I was young and stupid I could very easily have if the circumstance had presented itself before me. To not point out that it’s a mortal sin for both men and women would be doing all the readers a diservice.

  • Corita

    I didn’t mean to say you were being uncharitable to particular women. I used your comment as an example of how something that was tossed off to make what you meant as essentially a clarifying theological point, can be seen by someone more secular-minded (esp. nonCatholic) as being a kind of Freudian slip revealing the “real” judgement inside of you. Or some other angry/confused/mistaken thing.

    *But* my larger point was that we have to be very careful about how we toss these things off. How we speak lightly of what is very serious.

  • Mark Greta

    I might be missing something here. It seems to me it all depends on the context a woman who has had an abortion presents herself. Most of those we hear in Church or connected to the pro life movement come with the idea in mind that they have done something wrong and are seeking to find mercy. However, we also have in your face women who have had abortions and see absolutely nothing wrong with it and are willing to do it again if necessary. It would seem to be that if that continues, they are going to find themselves in serious trouble in eternity. However, we would hope that they understand that Christ never gives up on them and we should not either.

    Nor should we minimize what the death of 54 million babies have done to the culture or to the women who have had those abortions. It is the culture of death that surrounds this grave evil that seems to penetrate into the very core of America today. Mother Theresa and Pope JPII spoke often of this culture of death.

    Those that support this holocaust of infants in any way are assisting in keeping it alive and well. They are not only killing the babies, but killing the very soul of the mothers. Is there anything more pathetic than being personally opposed, but support the political party of death? It is far easier to be charitable if you have 10 women who make a mistake and kill the innocent child. It is another thing when 54 million are killed and 4,000 more are added each day. If Catholics in this next election deny votes to any party or candidate that supports keeping abortion legal and thus supporting the 4,000 a day slaughter, the party of death will be put on notice and be a minority party. The winning party can work to get judges on the bench who will end this holocaust. Once that is in place, we still have a lot of problems to work on, but we will have moved closer to God and with his help can begin repairing the damage and putting programs in place to promote life and children and the mothers in need out of love. Right now, attempts to use secular big government solutions to help moms has not worked but exploded in death. We need to become one nation under God to ever hope to fix the mess we have created. But it is not the individual mom that needs to be our focus, but the evil within all of us that sat back and allowed the holocaust to continue. I hope a grandfather never loses his most preceious granddaughter to an abortion mill along with her child. You know, the ones that the party of death wanted to make so we would have rare and safe killing of the child.

    Sorry if this sounds harsh and unloving, but love that allows grave evil to run rampant is a misguided love. I have held moms in my arms who have had abortions sobbing away and love them as my own, but I hate the sin with a passion for her sake, for the world that has been moved further from God, and for the sake of my Lord who created the life and wanted it returned to Him in heaven.

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  • Suburbanbanshee

    She’s giving a point of view from at that time, in that place, in her head.

    I hate to point this out, but if you’re a depressed person or having problems, a lot of what you think about the world isn’t true, isn’t fair, isn’t exact, isn’t right. But that distorted glass is all that you have to see through, and it colors your whole world nasty.

    And at that moment, if Mother Teresa and Jesus and the Pope and Superman were all knocking at your doors and windows, bringing you every kind of help, you might not see them or hear them or understand what they say. You would only pay attention to the people who looked like the world of the distorted glass, and they are usually not even as nasty as you are to yourself. But you remember them and forget the rest.

    So yes, she is telling the truth, and yes, that’s probably not how things were, even back then. But it’s what she knew and saw and heard, so don’t be saying that she was lying about it. Depression is what was lying to her back then, and bad encounters with people in bad moods are what you think is corroborating evidence when you’re depressed.

  • Suburbanbanshee

    Of course, that doesn’t mean that Mother Teresa and the Pope and Superman and Jesus should stay home. It’s just that you have to be persistent and creative in that sort of situation, and understand that you are dealing with someone not at their best or most reasonable. We understand that about people who haven’t had their coffee, but not so much about other things.

  • Kristen indallas

    @Manny and Dad of 6,
    I’ve got to back up Anchoress here. I’m 30 so I’m not speaking about te early days of abortion… that mindset is still out there is some pro-life crowds… Today. Not all, there are people doing great great work, but there are other people (usually quite young) that propogate the stereotype. My thought is the older you get, the more informed you are about both sides of the issue and are able to approach it with some grace. Young pro-lifers and pro-choicers seem to have very boiled down ideology (ie. “I’m right, your a misognist” “No, I’m right you’re going to Hell.”) The girls that are contemplating abortion are generally young and unfortunately they don’t go to Rachel’s Vinyards or their priests for support… they go to their peers. And that dichotomy of left and right the author describes is still very prevalent. (I say this as someone who was in HS <15 years ago and taught High schoolers quite recently, several facing unplanned pregnancies)

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    I still don’t know what I said that was wrong. Perhaps someone can boil it down for me. There was never a philosophic/political argument to my knowledge that condemned women who had abortions. The condemnation was on thosae that supported abortions. Now most women have abortions I would imagine support the notion of abortion, at least at the time of their abortion. So it’s quite possible that that got blurred together. And no matter how you slice it, if you are a Catholic, abortion, either having one or supporting someone to have one, is a grave, mortal sin.

  • doc

    It sounds like the subject of this piece, like The Anchoress herself, prefers to hold a cartoon version of the Pro-Life movement in her mind. Like many here, I have been involved in the battle against abortion (D) for some years now. I have never once encountered this cartoon version pro-lifer in person or in anything I’ve read. It’s as if our hostess must draw some moral equivelency lest anyone suspect she may be a Republican (this notion seems to make her very uncomfortable).


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