By Dave Andrusko
Editor’s note. While my family and I are on vacation, we are running some of our favorite NRL News Today stories from the last four months, entries from our “Roe at 40″ series, and an occasional update.
It is not the least bit surprising that an essay in which Beth Matusoff Merfish lauds her mother for having had an abortion before she was born would generate a lot of response.
Pro-abortionists see this strange response (what I described as both “threatening and ghoulish” http://nrlc.cc/1b7lcLr) as further evidence that abortion in a perverse sort of way strengthens familial bonds
Pro-lifers are more than anything else saddened. A baby’s life was lost and her/his sister concludes that the choice to end that existence “was the right one” for Merfish’s parents who as an unmarried couple in 1972 “were thoroughly unprepared to be parents.”
A very interesting pro-life response “My Mother Regretted Her Abortion” appeared in The Atlantic Magazine yesterday. Prisca LeCroy’s insights are fascinating for reasons that will quickly become obvious.
Merfish tells us that even though she and her mother had been busy activists–having “ volunteered at Planned Parenthood and canvassed for candidates who supported abortion right”–she never knew about her mother’s abortion until she was in her twenties. Merfish tells us she was “shocked” but after a few years ”knowing made me even more proud of her and more determined to defend reproductive rights.”
Like Merfish, LeCroy was an activist—but a pro-life activist—whose parents were very active in the Movement.
And like Merfish, LeCroy did not learn about her mother’s abortion until later in life. (“Worried that confessing her own mistakes might have the perverse effect of making me more likely to repeat them, my mother waited to tell me until I was in my early 20s.”)
Just as Merfish was busy promoting pro-abortion candidates but not knowing of her own mother’s abortion, LeCroy writes, “I did not know as a young child stuffing envelopes with pro-life literature or distributing pro-life voting guides before an election day that among the millions of lives lost to abortion was my own half-sibling.”
The essay is so much worth reading in its entirety let me make just two points.
LeCroy eloquently explains why women don’t talk about their abortions. Pro-abortionists agree they don’t but come close to implying that this is an act of treason. Merfish puts it more affirmatively.
By “emerg[ing] from the captivity of shame,” she tells her readers, they have the “power to cement in the minds of your communities and families the importance of reproductive freedom.” Put another way, there is safety (and power) in numbers.
Pro-lifers never try to force women to tell their abortion story. Unlike our opponents, we are interested in individual healings, not promoting a voting bloc.
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Which is why LeCroy’s explanation of how her mother came to grips with her abortion is so important—and so different from what pro-abortionists peddle. Let me quote a pivotal paragraph from LeCroy, referring to her mother’s talk at a 2013 National Right to Life Convention workshop:
“As my mother told the audience that day, she did not begin to heal until she understood the reality and victimhood of her aborted child. She realized that whatever hardship the baby might have caused her, it could not compare to the pain she was suffering in the wake of abortion. As long as she rationalized her choice with the notion that having a baby would have ruined her life, her secret grief festered. But one bright afternoon at her kitchen table, a moment of realization came full force. There was no moral basis for her abortion. Her so-called choice had ended the life of an innocent human being who was her own child. When she embraced these difficult truths, she was finally able to acknowledge her grief, find the peace she longed for, and begin the healing process.”
The pro-abortionist wants the post-aborted woman to continue living a lie, and leave her in emotional bondage. The pro-lifer desires to help acknowledge the truth and set her free.