Monday, May 16, 2005

AARP Finds the Silver Lining in Abortion

In the May 2005 (Vol. 46, No. 5) issue of the AARP bulletin, the following “blurb” appears on page 4:

Nifty Fifty. South Korea’s policy on family planning has caused the birthrate to plummet so dramatically in the last decade that the country is now the most rapidly aging place in the developed world. This will severely strain the retirement system, but there will be a silver lining of sorts for South Koreans in their early 50s: By mid-century, they’ll be considered young.”

Isn’t that a lovely thought? Of course, “family planning” is a euphemism for abortion as well as contraception. But according to AARP, I can sleep easier tonight knowing that the 4,000 abortions to be performed in the U.S. today will thin the herd of young people so I can feel younger in comparison, even as I age. Have we finally found the fountain of youth?

My actual response was a little different, though, emailed to AARP at

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Your suggestion that those who are aging can find a silver lining in South Korea's "family planning" success is disturbing (May 2005, page 4).

South Korea's family planning policy includes legalized abortion (with a particular and irresponsible emphasis on the abortion of females, as is common in China). As of 1996, South Korea's abortion rate was one in four pregnancies. In the United States, we abort nearly one in three pregnancies. While you acknowledge the strain this "population control" is putting on the retirement system in South Korea, where is the same statement about our own troubled Social Security system? Having been designed so the younger generation supports the retired community, it is only obvious that killing one in four taxpayers before they are born will eventually lead to insolvency.

Instead of noting this similarity, however, you encourage older people to be pleased to be young in comparison to the rest of the population, a selfish, me-oriented philosophy that is part and parcel of what is wrong with this nation today.


Mrs. Julie Shockley

Perhaps it is only after we of the Roe v. Wade generations have finally lain down and died that our nation will be free of this parasitic attitude. May God bless the young and hurry along the changing of the guard.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Awakening on Mother's Day

“My partner and I regret that we had to make the decision that we made, but we will never regret that decision. It's a subtle difference, but it's as important and undeniable as life itself.”

Strange statement, I think. The difference is too subtle for my poor addled brain to understand. Awakening returned to her abortion blogspot briefly about a month ago. What prompted her return? She had her abortion, and as she describes, she’s perfectly comfortable with her decision. She visited with friends who have a new baby, though, and for some reason that drove her back to her abortion blogspot. It brought to mind her own abortion and her own child. Why would seeing a newborn baby bring Awakening back to re-affirm her choice? If we are to believe what we are told, there should be no connection between the living, newborn child and the aborted “tissue.”

But bring her back it did. She saw the perfect little family: Mom, Dad, and Baby. And so she thought about motherhood and her abortion. I thought about Awakening on Mother’s Day, even in the middle of my own little pity party, which I throw for myself every year at about this time. Having been rendered childless by choice for having made the ultimate Choice, I don’t have any pleasant distractions. There are no flowers, no cards, no letters, no children who feel obligated to call me even though I am a pain in the ass, so I don’t really enjoy Mother’s Day. This year, I thought of young Awakening, and wondered how she felt when she awoke on Sunday morning. Did she imagine how things might have been? She would still be pregnant if she had made a different choice. Does she understand what I have been grappling with for two and half decades? Dear Awakening, did you get a card for Mother’s Day? Because you are a mother, poor soul. I am a mother, too, as much as it truly sickens me to think of it. I am a lousy mother. But when the Celebrant asked all of the mothers to stand for their blessing at Sunday’s Mass, did I? No. I could not. For the life of me, I could not stand with the other mothers. I am a mother, but I don’t deserve the title and the blessings that come with it on the second Sunday each May. I didn't let my children live.

I recently read Jennifer O’Neill’s post-abortion healing book, You’re Not Alone – Healing Through God’s Grace After Abortion. She includes an I.D. Checklist, asking the reader to determine how he or she experienced abortion. Select one of the following: mother, father, grandparent, sibling, family member, etc. I read the list twice without finding anything to check for me. “Where am I? There must be a typo,” I wondered. Seriously – I was confused. I read the list a third time. It took me another complete reading, and then the light went on: “Hey, idiot. You were the mother. Mother. M-O-T-H-E-R.” Well, duh.

I have been thinking a lot about Awakening since I discovered her return a few weeks ago. I thought she had long since abandoned her abortion blog and the need for it, but I was wrong. Awakening is facing triggers now that make her think of her pregnancy and the conditions under which she and her partner decided to end their child’s life. Now she is facing other mothers with no child of her own in her arms. She would talk to them about her pregnancy if she could, I bet. Perhaps she would like to discuss morning sickness. Cravings. Quickening (btw, Miss O’Neill, in a book aimed at post-abortive women, you might want to reconsider using words like “quickening” that are pregnant with alternative meanings, if you get my drift). Or prenatal care. But none of those things apply to her anymore.

Answer me this: If we make a choice with which we are satisfied, and about which we have no doubts, how many times do we need to revisit the decision and reaffirm it?

Another subtle difference that I noticed, but Awakening doesn’t, is that her recent post doesn’t include any reference to the Great Love she shares with her partner. Her pre-abortion blogs were filled with doey-eyed descriptions of her soul-mate and their undying Love. Her latest? Well, he’s not a soul-mate in this one. He’s just her partner now. A partner in crime, perhaps? We will see, and unfortunately, so shall Awakening. On average, according to Miss O’Neill’s book, it takes sixty-two months for a woman to experience post-abortion regret. Awakening is still in the dream-state, I think. Go on, girl. Keep telling yourself that it was the right thing to do under the circumstances. Don’t forget, if you hadn’t had your abortion, you wouldn’t be where you are today – that’s a good rationalization, too. It will help to think that for a little while, at any rate – or at least you will believe it helps you.

Eventually, though, morning comes, and brings the truth to light. Maybe it's Mother’s Day morning that dawns, and we will awaken alone, in the knowledge that the opportunity to be beloved to another person in that role, on that day, has been terminated, and we are unloved because of our own choices. Eventually, it may seem as if the entire world revolves around motherhood, which becomes an exclusive club to which we don’t belong. Many women get pregnant again very soon after an abortion. Is it possible we are desperately trying to regain the identity that was sucked out of us? Well, duh.

I could write reams about aborted motherhood. Some day I probably will. In the meantime, Happy Mother’s Day to those who have earned that honor and title.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

eBay? Yes, way!

The headline in my diocesan newspaper, The Catholic Sun, startled me: “No way, eBay.” I read on with trepidation, and became quite angry.

Some of my readers may be aware that I used eBay to become Silent No More. I auctioned my first guitar, and we donated the proceeds to Virtue Media, who create pro-life television commercials, including one for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. More importantly, we used the eBay marketplace to raise awareness about the harm abortion causes in some women’s lives by publishing my testimony in the ad. It was a positive experience, without a doubt. I received no hate mail whatsoever, which surprised me, and I received several e-mails that were encouraging and kind. I still hold the eBay community in general in high esteem for this reason.

I was prepared to withdraw our association with eBay after reading the article (which appeared in the May 5th issue of The Catholic Sun). Two different individuals have attempted to auction the Blessed Sacrament on eBay. One claimed the host had been consecrated by Pope John Paul II. For those who are not Catholic or unaware, it might help to explain that in the Catholic faith, the consecrated host is the body of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is to be treated with the utmost reverence. Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist in each parish are taught to make sure the host offered to the Communicant is placed in his or her mouth immediately. It is not to be taken away from Mass. To sell the body of the Lord is sacrilege.

The Sun reports that "several dioceses have contacted the company and hundreds, if not thousands, of concerned Catholics have placed phone calls and sent e-mails. Also nearly 34,000 people have signed an online petition urging eBay to change its policy." I logged on to sign the petition this morning, at , and learned that eBay had issued a statement – here is an excerpt:

“We understand that the listing of the Eucharist was highly upsetting to Catholic members of the eBay community and Catholics globally. Once this completed sale was brought to our attention, we consulted with a number of our users, including members of the Catholic Church, concerning what course we should take in the future should a similar listing appear on our site. We also consulted with members of other religions about items that might also be highly sacred and inappropriate for sale. As a result of this dialogue, we have concluded that sales of the Eucharist, and similar highly sacred items, are not appropriate on eBay. We have, therefore, broadened our policies and will remove those types of listings should they appear on the site in the future.”

Visit the boycott website to read eBay’s entire statement and to learn how you can thank them for their swift and respectful response.