Monday, March 14, 2005

No Room on the Earth

For the first time in their e-newsletter, the Silent No More Awareness Campaign is actively encouraging women who have not yet shared their abortion testimony to do so. Their newsletter has been reprinted in its entirety at this blogspot (my thanks to After Abortion for the link).

Over the last year of working to find a voice in the pro-life movement, I found that breaking my silence about the pain of my abortion has helped me begin to heal the wound. It is my hope that others will read about my experience and make a better choice for themselves and the women they love. If asked, then, I would encourage other women who have these feelings to join the crusade. Open up, and tell other people how abortion has affected your life, for good or ill. Sadly, it doesn't even matter if you are drawn to testify in the “I’m Not Sorry” campaign. In those chilling testimonies the atrocity of what abortion is and what abortion does cannot hide any more than it can be hidden in the outpouring of grief-stricken women who do acknowledge sorrow and regret.

But sometimes I wonder if what I am doing is simply another form of denial, at which I excel. Certainly, when I look back at the subjects I have tackled, I wonder how much of the truth I still hide from myself. What is the gist of what I have been writing? Abortion hurts women. Women deserve better. Abortion is a form of self-abuse. Abortion is a crime against women in poverty. Abortion forced on a young mother is another method of child abuse (well, that story is still to come). Abortion disenfranchises men from fatherhood by stripping them of their rights to their own offspring. Look at all the victims and all the ways they are victimized – but something is definitely missing.

No where in these statements do I address the primary reason why abortion is and does all of these things: abortion kills an innocent person. Sometimes, as I did this morning, I read something that penetrates the layers of philosophy, theology, and science that I have been using to coat the truth with something more palatable.

In “Remembering Thomas,” the father of an aborted child writes of what he knows is missing:

“He won't be lying on the grass by the tent at night looking at the starry sky and saying, ‘What's that one called, Dad?’ Because there was no room on the Earth for Thomas. He's dead.”

He’s dead. That simple line brings it all into focus. His child is dead. My child is dead.

I can’t sugar coat that. It’s an ugly truth that I cannot hide behind any number of fancy words or philosophical speculation. A human life was snuffed out twenty-six years ago, whatever date it was (which I still can’t recall no matter how hard I try). He, if he was indeed a son, would be twenty-six years old sometime in the winter of this year, December, I think.

I wonder what he was like. Not what he would have been like – he lived, after all. He isn’t a “would-have-been.” He was. He lived, even if it was a brief life. He had a personality already determined in great part by his genes, which were formed at conception. He had talents and skills, even if he never had a chance to grow into employing them in this world. He was like me in some ways, and like his father in others, and like himself in his own unique, and not-to-be-repeated way.

He lived, and then he died. I welcomed him into the world while he was still in my womb even as I feared he would never see the light of day. How could I have done that? And having done that, as so many have suggested, why don’t I just find a way to live with it? Be comfortable with yourself. "You did the best you could under the circumstances. You wouldn’t have this or that today, you wouldn’t be here or there, yada yada," none of which is truly known. It’s all speculation, just as it was all speculation that led to his destruction. What isn’t speculation is that he lived, and then he died, and that I am responsible for both of these facts.

Abortion is all of the things I have said it is. It is abuse. It is the most violent action taken against women in thousands of years of human existence. It is the destruction of fatherhood. It is a punishment for those who live in poverty. But above all of these things, I must remember that abortion – my choice - killed an innocent human being who had every right to be born, and who had every right to expect me to see to it that he was. I am his mother. There was more than enough room for him on earth, but he is dead.


At 3:48 PM, Blogger ashli said...

man, i'm faklempt. good job.


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