Saturday, October 30, 2004

Too Poor to Have a Child

Too Poor for a Child

“A friend” posted a compassionate comment:

"Why do you say you cannot afford children because you are poor?"

Friends, my only answer to that question is that I was faithless.

Many pro-abortion people, particularly those who are most emotional and adamant, are saying that abortion must be made available to the poor, who would otherwise be burdened by their children. They actually believe they are working for the good of the poor by supporting abortion. It is bunk, isn’t it?

It took me twenty-five years to realize it. I lived in fear of unexpected pregnancy, even when I was married, because I had no faith. Perhaps it was because my parents divorced when I was young, and my father abandoned his children, leaving us in poverty. It was during this time, after my father had left us penniless, that my own mother had an abortion, although I wouldn’t learn that until years later. And after her abortion, she found it easier to let her children go, as she did when she let my older brother, who has a serious mental illness, get kicked to the curb when he was just a teenager. There was no money to have him committed to an institution where he would be properly cared for. We, the few remaining members of my family, have lost touch with him. He is one of many, mentally ill and homeless, upon whom most of us don’t look. You, my friend who commented, are surely not one of those. I suspect you not only look, but you offer your hand and your heart to help.

Perhaps my irrational fear stems from my pregnancy and abortion, since one of the reasons used to justify terminating my child’s life was money – no one had the means to support me during my pregnancy, or so they said. No one had the money to send me away to have the child, and of course, pride kept them from wanting a pregnant daughter around the house. They flat out refused to support a baby. I had to choose between the curb and the child, and this was 1979. There were no crisis centers, Friend, not in my small town. If there was help, it was beyond my ability to find it.

So I learned that having children would require financial security, first. I was wrong, and this is my lament – that we teach people they should not have children if they don’t have the financial means to care for them. I waited in faithlessness to be perfectly secure financially, and as I said in my post, that day never came. That day will never come to anyone who is waiting for it.

Children are a gift from God, but one I rejected because I was never going to be able to provide a child with a secure home. To me, my life and my world were not enough to involve another person, to add another responsibility. I could barely care for myself, and I thought that would make me a rotten parent. Well, I already knew I was a rotten parent. You see, Friend, they convinced me to have the abortion to save my own future, which was supposed to be filled with promise. I was bright, so I was supposed to earn scholarships, go to college, and become someone of value. I initially agreed, as you can read in my story at When I wanted to reneg – well, it just wasn’t allowed.

But therein was the lie: the abortion robbed my child of a future, and it also took away mine. I compare myself to Judas Iscariot – after my betrayal, I tried to throw back the thirty pieces of silver. Yes, I went to college, and I have a degree. I have an undergraduate degree, a B.A., in psychology that I have never used – by itself, it’s a nice piece of paper. Instead, I became a staff accountant – but not a certified one, because I didn’t have the formal education. I simultaneously earned and sabotaged my future, that oh, so important future for which my child had been sacrificed. I went to work in a field for which I was over-qualified in some ways, and under-qualified in others. I succeeded only in avoiding success.

This is the ruin of abortion. I engaged in self-destructive behavior in many ways. Only recently has God blessed me with the strength to face the barren ruin that was my life, and only recently has He also blessed me with the strength and the means to use my sad example to tell people that abortion is simply not an option. It helps no one, it imparts no freedoms, and it relieves no burdens. I am still waiting to hear from the woman who is avidly and emotionally pro-abortion because she has been so helped by one herself, but I haven’t met her yet. I don’t believe she exists, but if she does, I really want to talk to her. The only pro-abortion marchers I see are women who don’t know what they are talking about – they’ve never had one. I admit I have a very hard time listening to them. They make me turn away with disgust, because they don’t have the experience.

Faithless. That was me. I thank God for my recent re-conversion, although it comes too late for me to bear children now. Faithless - it applies to everyone who says children should only be born to those who can afford them.

Two-thirds of the women who seek abortions are poor, young, of minority, and/or cite financial reasons for having an abortion, as reported by the Alan Guttmacher Institute – I should warn you before you go to their site that they are related to Planned Parenthood, and compiled their statistics at the request of the abortion industry. But this only serves to prove my point – women are being told they can’t have children if they can’t afford them. Children are being killed in the womb for lack of money. If this isn’t the greatest evil we’ve seen yet, I don’t know what is. By its very nature, because it targets the poor, the disenfranchised, minorities – abortion is intrinsically discriminatory. But instead of protesting about this, pro-abortion people applaud it. They think it’s good that the poor can kill their children to prevent a financial burden.

Jonathan Swift, the author of Gulliver’s Travel’s, wrote a short story during the Irish Potato Famine. Please forgive me for not having the date and title handy at the moment – I will try to look it up. [The satire is entitled, "A Modest Proposal." Swift died in 1745] Swift’s story, an excellent example of pure political satire, suggested that the cure for the famine was to slaughter all of the Irish children under the age of two and feed them to the starving families. He said it would solve the problem in two ways: by providing food, and by reducing the number of mouths to be fed. His story was written in protest against those who were ignoring this great social problem of his time, but it might as well have been addressed to the pro-abortion groups who offer a similar solution to today’s impoverished peoples.

Friday, October 29, 2004


When I awoke yesterday morning, the first thing I did was log on to the blogger to delete my previous post, “A Voice in the Wilderness.” I had second thoughts about it, and felt it was too self-pitying in tone. I came close – and changed my mind. I second-guess myself too much as it is. So please excuse my lamentation if it does sound as if I’m having a pity party – an expression I heard from one of my favorite people, Father Benedict Groeschel of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. As he would say, if I was going to have a pity party, then I should have made tea.

Imagine my astonishment when, after deciding to leave the post as is, I discovered someone had kindly commented to it. Thank you, Coach, for being someone who cares – never “just” someone who cares. There are too few people in the world willing to show compassion and sympathy.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Voice in the Wilderness

Maybe you remember the song, The Sound of Silence, written by Paul Simon, performed by Simon and Garfunkel in the late sixties. The name of my website comes from a verse in the song:

“Fools,” said I, you do not know.
Silence like a cancer grows.
Hear my words that I might teach you.
Take my arms that I might reach you.”
But my words, like silent raindrops fell,
And echoed in the wells of silence.

I would like to share with you some of what it feels like to live and suffer in complete obscurity because of abortion. Will anyone hear it? I have serious doubts, but I am compelled to keep crying out anyway.

In 1979, my family and others who should have cared for me gave me one option to take care of an inconvenient pregnancy. The other option was to be homeless, pregnant, and barely sixteen years old.

Twenty-five years later, in spite of the pain, and the brand new suffering brought about by digging at my repressed memories, I started trying to heal myself by breaking my silence. I wrote my story for the Silent No More Awareness campaign. Inspired by reading it, my husband created a website on which to publish it. He also came up with a fund-raising idea that uses his business acumen to try to draw funds for pro-life efforts. This was an encouraging beginning.

So I continued my journey with hope that I could make a difference, save one child, save one woman from the most intense pain and guilt she will ever feel. I pray, in the most private moments of contemplative prayer, that the Lord will allow me to be crucified. The phrase, “Crucify me, Lord,” escapes the lips of my mind without my realizing it. But it is my wish. I ask, if it is His will, would He please make it all public – tell everyone that abortion doesn’t just kill the child, it mortally wounds the mother. Use me, Lord – put my suffering on a billboard for all of humanity to see.

With more prayer and more of God’s help, I could eventually tolerate watching Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, who used to turn me away with his graphic detail and fervor. I wrote to his group. I volunteered to write letters to the editor, and to do any other work for them they needed from my computer. I told them I have time, internet access, and a big mouth that they could use. I have watched his programs, particularly in the last weeks leading up to the election, and I hear him make request after request for help. I volunteered again, and again, and again, reiterating that I was already working on their behalf even though I had never heard from them about my efforts. I sent them copies of my letters to the editors for consideration and use if they want. I never asked for anything in return, but I did ask a couple of direct questions when I needed their expertise and received auto-replies instead of answers. Their auto-replies always include a request that I sign up to volunteer. They begged for help, I offered it, and no one heard.

I sent my story to the few family members I have left in this world. There has been no response from any of them. My husband let his, much larger, family in on it, directing them to the website, and explaining why he is also suddenly passionate about the issue. We “outed” me. Little to no response there, either, even though his sister used to volunteer in a pregnancy crisis center.

My husband has met already, and will continue to offer his help to, Virtue Media, to promote their efforts. But by the time he contacted them, they had already completed a commercial featuring post-abortive women who wanted to share their pain in order to prevent more suffering. They made the commercial in my own community – their offices are literally two blocks from my home. But I missed this opportunity to publicly denounce abortion as harmful to women.

I’ve written to everyone – pro-life people, newspapers across the nation, politicians, celebrities – letters, op-eds, pleas, questions – to no avail. I work hard, but no one acknowledges that I exist. I’ve written to the news programs, the talking heads who usually do more damage than anything else. I’ve touted the studies linking abortion and breast cancer. The results? Twice I’ve had a post published at EWTN’s Q&A by Judie Brown, but only because I supplied her with the appropriate text, saving her from having to repeat herself to the seemingly endless number of people who just don’t get it. (Judie Brown runs the American Life League – an excellent woman, website and operation). Still, I continued, thinking there is a way to be heard, to change hearts and minds. They don’t hear the unborn, so we have to show them the women. That’s my theory, anyway, but I didn’t realize it would be so hard – I cannot even make myself heard with the people who agree with me. What chance do I have with those who don’t?

I found “Jane Roe’s” website, and her legal appeal to have Roe v. Wade overturned. I printed out the forms to join the fight, and then found I was too late. I have no voice in the courts, either.

If anyone is listening, please correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t hear any coat-hanger-waving women shouting how proud they are of the abortions they had. I hear and see well-fed wealthy white women, who would never choose such an act for themselves, or who may never choose it for their daughters or granddaughters. They don’t have to, because they aren’t poor. But they are adamantly shouting for abortion as a solution for poor people who cannot afford their children. They are heard. Well, here am I, also a well-fed white woman, literate, well-spoken, well-educated, and a perfect example of post-abortion stress syndrome. I had the eating disorders, psychosomatic illnesses, substance abuse (alcohol), and suicidal, self-destructive behavior. I became a cutter in my thirties, and I have a map of scars on my body that show the pain and self-hatred I couldn’t verbalize. I can’t be heard over the hanger-wavers, because they are fat with money, and money is what gets attention. No one wants to look at the scars or the damage done to obscure poor women and children. No one listens.

I'm not dirt poor, not like most of the poor in our world, but poor, nevertheless, by most American standards. I never had children because I never had enough money. What I didn’t realize in my youth was that there was never going to be enough money, and this is the damage we do to men and women when we tell them they cannot have God’s greatest gift because they lack material means. Solely because we were poor, I was grievously harmed by my family. If we had had money, they could have sent me and my shame away. And if Roe v. Wade had never happened, I would not have had an abortion, and I would not have been grievously harmed by my government. My parents thought they were law-abiding citizens. There would not have been a back-alley abortion. But because it was legal, my unborn child and I were victimized.

My child was not inconvenient to me. He was not unloved or unwanted by me. I knew he was alive there, in my womb, and that he was a real person. I knew I wouldn’t be able to care for him, and I wanted to have him adopted, but no one listened to me. No one is listening to me now.

What about my parish, you might ask? Forget about it. I heard the word “abortion” in a sermon once in the last 14 months of faithful Sunday attendance, and that was from one of the retired priests who come to help us out in the winter months. My Bishop won’t withhold the Eucharist from public officials, and my priest personally told me he feels the same way. I do not receive Communion because I am not in a Sacramental marriage as the Church defines it. So I don’t profane our Lord. But famous people may not only profane His precious Body and Blood – they can publicly declare heresy. Of course I’ve been praying for them. I have joined the Oremus network, and I pray with them in obscurity every day. I’ve been faithful to that, with God’s help, and haven’t missed many prayers at all, even when I’ve been quite sick in the last eight weeks. I have also kept on writing in spite of this chronic illness, though it causes me great pain to sit at the computer for long hours. I offer God the pain, and I pray and pray it will be worth it.

My husband went to Mass with me recently. During Communion, I do not look around. I stay in my pew, trying to stay out of the way of those who are going by me to receive our Lord, and I reflect on my unworthiness. I am not even as blessed as the hemorrhagic woman, able to touch the hem of His garment. Instead, I pray to Our Mother. She is human, and she can take me by one hand, and hold His with her other hand. This is my only link to the grace of Jesus Christ. My husband looked around when everyone else was going to receive His most precious gift, and he told me later that we were the only ones who did not get in line. We have hundreds of attendees in one Mass. I admit I was flabbergasted.

I’ve been to Confession on Saturday afternoons – the only time it’s even offered – and there are fewer than twenty people who show up. Am I to believe the hundreds who received Communion last Sunday were in the appropriate state of grace? I seem to have been the only sinner in attendance. That may require notice to the Vatican, because something undoubtedly supernatural is happening in my church if all of these people are so without sin. It is particularly distressing to watch the wealthy and famous heretics partaking with seeming impunity (impunity in this world, at least).

I fight discouragement and even despair daily. After all, who am I? I am unworthy. That is probably exactly why I deserve to live in painful silence. So how can I complain to my parish priest that we never have an intercession for the unborn in the Liturgy? We pray for soldiers, we pray for the sick, we pray for the dead, we pray for world leaders. But we never pray for the unborn, even though there is a monument in the church yard to their souls. It is the closest to a grave marker that I have for my child, but it may as well not be there. There is only one Sunday left before the election, and they are not going to say anything about abortion at all, even if I write and ask them to. I am losing hope. I wrote to my Bishop to ask him why we are so ambiguous on the subject. I didn’t even get a form letter in reply.

This is what it is like to be a voice crying in the wilderness, I suppose. This is what it is like – writing letters to people you know will not hear you. If you who read this have an audience of any size, you have a voice, and I pray you use it and appreciate it. I pray with desperation to have a voice of my own. I prayed to have a voice when I was 16 and no one would let me do anything but submit to the murder of my child, and I am still praying for a voice 25 years later. The most likely end for me is to die in obscurity with all of my warnings and admonitions unheard, and all of my suffering and the suffering of my murdered child is for nothing.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Abortion is a health problem as well as a social evil

Please check the Elliott Institute’s website for an article entitled, “Forced Abortion in America.” Many young girls and women are being victimized, either coerced into abortion by those closest to them, or at times escorted to the abortion clinic by the same men who are molesting them, in order to hide the evidence of their crimes. The abortion clinics make no effort to counsel a girl or woman once they are in the door. They have no interest in her full consent, or even if she was legally of age to have been sexually active. Their goal, a very lucrative one, is to make money.

There are sixteen statistically significant epidemiological studies linking abortion to breast cancer. It increases a woman’s risk by more than 50%, and is particularly virulent if it is the first pregnancy that is aborted. If you recall the uproar when one study showed an increase in this cancer from hormone replacement therapy by just 26%, you will understand why the silence about abortion’s harmful effects disturb me.

About 80% of domestic violence victims report that their mates shift the focus of their beatings from her head and face to her stomach when it’s discovered she’s pregnant. The leading cause of death in pregnant women is HOMICIDE. This is not a religious issue, nor is this a made-up fact. NOW reports this on their website, and they are avidly pro-abortion. Why wouldn’t a man already prone to violence resort to it to end a pregnancy and burden he doesn’t want, when his own government sanctions it, and apparently everyone else is doing it? So he blames the pregnant woman, and gets rid of his problem as he is taught to do. If only she would just get rid of it, he would not be burdened with child support. This is, strangely enough, discrimination against men: they cannot decide whether to become fathers – it is forced on them if the woman doesn’t want an abortion.

Two-thirds of those who seek abortions are poor, young, and of minority. Eight of ten surveyed by the Elliott Institute would have made another choice if support had been offered to them. Thousands of women have publicly declared their pain, and who knows how many are still hiding it in shame.

Post-abortion-stress syndrome exists. It causes substance abuse, suicides, self-destructive and self-abusive behavior, repeated pregnancies (and often repeated abortions), promiscuity, and stress-related physical illnesses. No one talks about it, and even therapists try to disregard the evidence because they want to believe that abortion is good for women.

One of every four pregnancies today ends in abortion. Every day, 4,000 women walk into an abortuary and come out more prone to develop breast cancer and mortally wounded in a spiritual and emotional way they will not be able to describe, because they are not allowed to grieve their loss.

Perhaps you heard that “Jane Roe” is trying to have the Roe v. Wade decision overturned. In the evidence they had to consider, the judges realized that abortion is now more harmful to women than childbirth. Few people know that the Roe v. Wade decision contained a caveat – as long as abortion is safer than childbirth, it is made available. This isn’t true anymore. Additionally, abortion to save the life of the mother is practically non-existent thanks to neonatal technology, and partial birth abortion, killing a viable fetus in the womb, is never medically required and more dangerous than childbirth, according to a recent statement by the American Medical Association. These babies are delivered and saved by heroic efforts in one room, the room containing the wealthy, privileged mother, and destroyed in the next room, the one where we find our American brand of “untouchables.” Poor people. Women of color. Children and women of color, in poverty, forced to choose death. It is un-American.

Our Supreme Court is fallible – you will recall the Dred Scott case. One of the Texas judges responding to the Roe v. Wade appeal, who unfortunately had to reject it because a reversal would have no effect on Texas law, wrote the following in her recent decision:

"Hard and social science will of course progress even though the Supreme Court averts its eyes. It takes no expert prognosticator to know that research on women's mental and physical health following abortion will yield an eventual medical consensus, and neonatal science will push the frontiers of fetal "viability" ever closer to the date of conception. One may fervently hope that the Court will someday acknowledge such developments and re-evaluate Roe and Casey accordingly. That the Court's constitutional decision-making leaves our nation in a position of willful blindness to evolving knowledge should trouble any dispassionate observer not only about the abortion decisions, but about a number of other areas in which the Court unhesitatingly steps into the realm of social policy under the guise of constitutional adjudication."

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"Thus says the Lord of hosts: 'Consider, and call for the mourning women to come; send for the skilful women to come; let them make haste and raise a wailing over us, that our eyes may run down with tears, and our eyelids gush with water.'" Jeremiah 9:17-18