Sunday, March 25, 2012

A message we don't want to hear

In The profound complexities of informed consent to abortion, Margaret Somerville tells us about a woman who has had an abortion, and who subsequently struggles with her decision.

It is a sad story, typical of many women we hear about, who have abortions and regret them afterwards.

The woman Anna (not her real name) regrets her decision, and tells us why. She had no support systems. She was told to "get on with it - have an abortion". Anna tells us she is "terribly upset". A nurse tells her it's just a clump of cells. And on and on it goes.

Dr. Somerville goes on to explain the complexities and importance of real informed consent, which didn't seem to happen in Anna's situation.

The story is well worth the read.

What I found surprising and deeply disturbing though, were some of the comments posted on-line about the article. Many of these anonymous comments were from people who we can only assume are "pro-choice".

Instead of showing any compassion for the woman involved, these comments try and make Anna out as some kind of moron because she regrets what she has done. It seems that should a woman actually regret her abortion and end up concluding that all the ways she was supposed to feel don't ever materialize, then she is somehow stupid and worthy of scorn.

This is very confusing. "Pro-choice" people keep telling us that they care for the woman. Isn't that what they tell us over and over again? And that all pro-lifers care about is the unborn child?

But that's not what these comments are telling us. They are telling us that unless a woman is happy with her abortion, unless a woman actually celebrates her abortion, then there must be something wrong with her. These commenters are not supporting the very woman they keep telling us they care about.

So what's happening here? Why are these commenters shooting the messenger? It's because Anna is the messenger of a message they can't bear to hear. Hearing the message, and acknowledging that what happened to Anna does occur, would challenge their convictions that having an abortion is no problem at all. That maybe they are wrong. And this they cannot face.

1 comment:

  1. These attacks show how un-pro-choice these folks really are. Only one choice is acceptable for them. If someone takes issue with that choice, they become moralistic to the point of rudeness. Bravo to Anna for unveiling what abortion often means for women, and to Dr. Somerville for bringing reason into an issue so tied to emotion. Thank you Pat for keeping us all honest time after time. Someday reason, justice and true compassion for women and babies will prevail.