Words always matter, but never more than when you casually mention you would have aborted your son

By Dave Andrusko

I suppose you can categorize cruelty in multiple ways, beginning with the most obvious: deliberate versus the product of being oblivious to any and all cues, any and all consideration to how your behavior will (realistically) be received.

Enter an entry at Slate Magazine’s “Dear Prudence” column. 

“Dear Prudence is Slate’s advice column, where Prudie [Danny M. Lavery] responds to your questions about relationships at home, work, and beyond,” is the thumbnail description. The difference is this particular sampling is “an edited transcript of this week’s Dear Prudence live chat, guest-hosted by Dan Kois.” 

Whomever…

The first headline reads “Help! My Sister-in-Law Has No Problem Saying She Would Have Aborted Her Son.” The writer’s sister-in-law has no compunction about casually mentioning that she would have aborted her three year old son (the writer’s nephew), except that her husband “tricked her into missing the appointment.” 

Evidently, the dad is just as oblivious to the possible fall out as the mom. The father “thinks it would be no big deal if their son does eventually find out.” His sister says simply, “I disagree.” (To be fair, he has to navigate what would be his wife’s reaction if he were to tell his sister he sure wishes his wife wouldn’t say such things.) 

On the very plausible theory that “if she is so willing to share it” the nephew may find out about his near-death, the boy’s aunt (whose missive is identified as “Wish I Hadn’t Heard This”) asks how can she “convince them to never speak of this again?” 

 “Prudie” [Dan Kois] says, well, he says a number of things. The boy is not your kid. True. You can’t convince the parents to stifle themselves. Possibly true as well. “Indeed it’s not even your job to do so!” I don’t believe that is true at all.

Like everything else in life, it’d be how the aunt/uncle approaches the couple. They may be perfectly nice people but galactically insensitive/self-absorbed/unaware to the devastating impact of such cold-blooded expressions. 

For instance, does the mother not grasp that her willingness to say this out loud is likely a product of her resentment toward her husband? That if the boy does learn that he was nearly aborted, it’s not likely he will breeze by it just because it’s “old business” and besides he’s alive? And that if there is strife, he blames himself?

Pro-abortionists insist all the time that when they tell their living children that they aborted one or more of their siblings, the children act as if what they did was the equivalent of recycling. No harm—to them—no foul. Move on. That was, is, and always will be utter nonsense. 

First and foremost, they have to ask themselves why wasn’t I aborted? How and why did I luck out?

There is no “distance” for the nephew whose mom “casually mentioned that she would have aborted my now 3-year-old nephew, but my brother tricked her into missing the appointment.” It’s not somebody else but himself who was supposed to be aborted–and he is incredibly lucky to be alive.

“Prudie” ends by remarking,” Be the best aunt you can be and perhaps can help you scrub this memory from your brain.” [Lacuna, Inc. “is a medical corporation specializing in targeted memory erasure.”]

The issue, however, is not whether the aunt can erase the memory. It’s the impact on the boy, whether he learns early in life or much later.

Because that is not a memory that can be erased.