Tuesday, February 01, 2005

A Must-Read, especially for the ambivalent

Today’s recommended reading is “The Ambivabortion Rant,” the first of three parts written by a blogger who was kind enough to invite me to read her work. I am impressed by her grasp of the complexities of abortion, before and after.

“The simplest central tenet of feminism – that being female is a full human plenitude, not a shameful lack – had saved my soul. Abortion, I believed, was a woman’s business. My body, my choice. Case closed.

Then I had one.”

She is a self-described pro-choice woman who has come to understand that the life lost in her womb was a separate, real, individual human being, even while she struggles with the practicality of the choice she made not to have a child at that time in her life.

Her post-abortion dreams inspired this heart-wrenching poem for her lost son:

“My ghost son keeps pace with me,
long-legged as I am.
He’s twelve, or would be,
the age he was when he left me
in the third dream, in the subway,
lifting his cool boy’s hand from my shoulder
and crossing the stream.”

Still, our AmbivaBlogger is torn by the rationale that led her to abortion – the quality of life for the woman who must bear the child or destroy it:

“The truth about abortion is that sometimes an embryo’s right to life conflicts with a woman’s right to live. And yet to cancel one or the other cannot be the answer.

And that means that just as the Right can’t wish away the real woman – so newly and precariously the owner of her own life, with consequences that will ripple out to the ends of the earth – the Left can’t wish away the real embryo and fetus.”

“Sometimes two opposing truths have to be held in mind at once.”

The paradox of life – the truth is always inside the paradox, and it is our own limitations that keep us from finding the center. I would add one caveat – the lives of mother and child do not have to exist in opposition of each other. The answer is not in destroying either life, but in creating the circumstances that will support both lives. A woman is not merely a vessel for reproduction. But neither is her reproductive role a thing to be feared or rejected. It is part of who we are as women, to nourish and protect. When did we start telling women that they had to become like men in order to achieve equality? This is a biological impossibility – hence our feelings of inadequacy and failure, which sometimes feed our desire to abort the fullness of our womanhood and our children.

Her thoughtful essay has invited calm and cool commentary, the kind of dialogue that inspires solutions instead of ill will and hatred, as so many do. I will wait for the other two parts before commenting further. Her insight is developing, and her writing is skillful. I know I don't have to ask you to be kind in your comments, because my readers are compassionate. She is post-abortive and deserves our attention and respect for her feelings. She has given us another opportunity and forum in which to discuss it, and for that I am grateful.

Read the whole story at:



At 6:16 AM, Blogger GrannyGrump said...

Thanks for the link. I posted some recommended reading that I think she'll find fascinating:

"When Abortion Was a Crime," by Leslie Reagan
"Abortion Rites," by Marvin Olasky
"Aborting America," by Bernard Nathanson
"Real Choices" by Frederica Matthews Green
"The Search for an Abortionist" by Nancy Howell Lee
"In Necessity and Sorrow," by Magda Denes

Actually, I recommend these books to everybody with any interest in abortion. I think they give the thoughtful person enough to bring them around to being prolife eventually! Once they start thinking and trying to answer, "What is right? What is true?" if they're honest with themselves they'll come around.

At 6:49 AM, Blogger Silent Rain Drops said...

I have corresponded further with AmbivaBlogger, and she does believe abortion in the first trimester is okay. With an open mind, she understands that I do not.

I am looking forward to good discussions when Part Two of her essay comes out, the kind that will reveal the truth that life begins at conception.

At 2:58 PM, Blogger Emily said...

You're doing a great job with this blog. Keep it up!

At 4:35 PM, Blogger GrannyGrump said...

Norma McCorvey's first break from the official prochoice stand was to oppose abortion after the first trimester. She came around.

You can't have both heart and head fully engaged and still support abortion. This woman is sorting it out. She'll get there! Prayers for her and others like her!


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