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Abortion in America: A Personal Journey
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Abortion in America: A Personal Journey

Four and a half months

“We went ahead with the abortion of our first child and, after a short recuperation, life went on as before. At least it felt as if went on as before.”

 

Did you ever have to make up your mind?
Pick up on one and leave the other behind.
It’s not often easy and not often kind.
Did you ever have to make up your mind?

— The Loving Spoonful

No Answers Here. Just Observations and Anecdotes

Like most serious people in America today, I’ve had to struggle with my views on abortion. You are required, in this deadlocked and soul-locked society to have a view on this issue. “I don’t know” just wont cut it. You’ve got to know. It says so right here in America: The Instructions.

But what do I know about Abortion? Here’s what I thought I knew then and what I think I know now. Why today? Because I read the news today (Oh boy). And the news is only too happy to tell me that January 22, 2019, was the 46th Anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that released the crushing Abortion juggernaut to roll over the soul of America.

Abortion is, as we all know, one of the 25 or 30 third rails of American politics. So what? A President must prove to the American people that, from time to time, he can reach out and touch a few of these rails with both hands. I wouldn’t want a man as President who couldn’t do it. And yet….

Political pronouncements on abortion always have the whiff of Prufrockian diffidence about them:

There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

The Vexation and the Fear. The Abstract Issue and the Real Child

Abortion is one of our most vexing issues.  Like a satanic Energizer Bunny,  it just keeps going… and going… and going. There’s no good in it and no good end to it.

It is currently resolved one way, in favor of choice, but the palpable, visceral fear of those who support choice no matter what has been that one Supreme Court appointment could overturn Roe v. Wade. The fear from the other side is now that one Supreme Court appointment the other way could set Abortion in stone. I’m not so sure about that, not sure at all, but the energy source here is fear and fear is a big motivator, especially if you are on the Left in America these days. Indeed, fear and hate seem to be driving most of the concepts coming out of the Left lately which is why I distrust them so deeply.

On abortion, my view has shifted over time. It shifted most palpably after the birth of my daughter. Something about birth makes you realize the stakes involved in the abortion issue in a way that was merely abstract before.

It seems to me that if the issue remains, or is contained, as an abstract notion (What would you do if…) then “choice” — given the agnostic temper of the times — remains paramount. In the abstract. we’d all like to be given a choice and not a mandate — from the state, from God, from our society, or from ourselves. We’d all like to go through life doing what we want, when we want, with no consequences. You know – “No judgments, man,” “Hey, no blame, Dude,” “No problem. It’s all good.” Alas, abortion is not an abstract procedure or some harmless gedankenexperiment, although many of the more virulent Pro-Choice people would like it to be thought of in that way.

My own experience has been that when you are confronted with the abortion issue after having nurtured a child, abortion is no longer an abstraction — i.e. “Resolved, all women should be able to control their bodies without interference” — but becomes more concrete — i.e. “Resolved, all women should be able to control their bodies without interference including ending a life within them at will.”

It seems to me that (absent the usual banal disclaimers involving crime, rape, incest, danger to the mother, etc.) the abortion issue splits between those who base their position on the abstract notion of choice, and those with more concrete experience — parents. This is not to say that those with children who remain pro-choice are caught in an abstraction, quite the opposite. I place them in the latter camp. It is to say that, no matter where they stand on the issue, the opinion of people with children has more standing, to me at least, than those without children. Parents have, to use an expression not without irony, “Real skin in the game.”

Beginnings: Life and Human Life

Evidence that life begins at conception is obvious and conclusive. If an egg has become a zygote that zygote is alive that life is on the path to a person. This is how babies are built. Once fertilized and viable, a zygote will become — barring misadventure or intervention — a blastula, a gastrula, a pharyngula and so on, but always alive. Life is a property both the egg and sperm possessed and the result of that union possesses life by definition and will grow. No life, it does not grow. With life, it grows. Life begins at conception. Full stop. Period. End of discussion.

When human life begins is harder to know.

Certain lower life forms can already be grown to term from zygotes in artificial environments by our scientists, and it is foolish to think that human life will be immune from our technologies in this regard, unless by decree — and even that is foolish. American policy may currently be squeamish and retrograde in this regard, but other cultures are neither so religious nor so delicate. And there is every indication that an Obama administration will want to play catch up with this ghoulish science. The Left’s love affair with eugenics is an ancient and fundamental perversion in a political philosophy that is no stranger to perversion but rather seeks to embrace it in all its forms.

The crux of the abortion dispute is, as mentioned above, the question of when human life begins. At this point, we all know the opposing political and religious positions. At some point, human life begins and the fate of the fetus is either at the absolute will of the mother or it is not. Nevertheless, it is still hard to say exactly when humanness happens since:
1) We do not agree on the term “human,” and
2) as a result, all evidence on this issue remains anecdotal once you strip away the slant of the “research” that supports your preferred result.

A Small Island of Agreement

Still, a modicum of progress in this politically-religious or religiously-political cleft stick has been made.

We seem to have found some small island of agreement in the fact that children who can survive premature birth are good indicators that human life began sometime previous to the time they were delivered. This is an inch of progress, but I don’t look for people to set a date certain for “human life begins” anytime soon.

The two sides now seem to be that, on the one hand, all human zygotes are human life in potentia, ergo all zygotes are babies. This treads awfully close to the “every sperm is sacred” territory and I’m not sold.

On the other hand, the extreme opposite side seems to be saying that up until the moment a woman delivers a child it is but a fetus and remains her sole property to dispose of at will. I’m not ready to buy this either, nor do I think most women would endorse a proposition that seems to argue from the concept of human slaves and chattel. This is a concept women have been pretty vigorous getting rid of when it comes to women.

Either way, I’m left not knowing, but knowing that I’m not alone in my ignorance. Yes, we do know a certain amount about when higher brain functions arise but is a higher brain function some sort of real sign of human life, or a concept that is merely attractive to the intellectually insane? It seems to me that wise people also know, first and foremost (and what the last 10 decades of our tremendous expansion of knowledge are a testament to) is that what we know most certainly is that we do not know very much at all. And I don’t mean that to be a cute little circular statement, but the foundation of wisdom – the highest form of knowledge.

Abortion: The Buckminster Fuller Gambit

Some time ago, in another online venue, a thoughtful person advanced Buckminster Fuller’s proposition: “‘the status of an ‘individual’ [is] established as soon as there is ‘consciousness of otherness.'” I’ll allow that Buckminster Fuller was a brilliant man, if not the one I’d turn to for his track record of being right (As anyone who has lived in a dome can attest.). But for politeness sake, our discussion went on from there. My remarks were:

‘Otherness’ strikes me as a bit fuzzy. Almost as fuzzy as ‘consciousness’ but I’ll say I accept it for the present. Suppose the fetus that, in its development, recapitulates the fetus forms of lesser orders and at some point comes to a ‘consciousness of otherness.’ We really do not know, and we really, as far as I can see, cannot know what the instant of such an awareness would be. If the ambiguity of life and a human beings general development once born is any guide it could be at any random moment within a certain time range. The fetus as embryo might have a knowing of otherness — that which is not what it is — but it is a purely poetic exercise to suppose this. Indeed, it nothing but a leap of faith.

Does a fetus only achieve the knowing of otherness when, as an infant, it says ‘mama,’ or does it know it at some point in the womb? That point would be the nub. Since after that point the abortion would amount to the ending of a human life and before that point it would be a mere medical procedure? I can realize that rationally, but I don’t have to like it. Indeed, I do not like it.

And my visceral dislike of it signals to me that what I really feel is that, regardless of any right to freedom of choice what is happening in an abortion is still wrong.

The “wrongness” of abortion does not put it beyond that pale or make it into something that is de facto illegal. We do many wrong things for a ‘better’ result in life, but that doesn’t eliminate the wrongness of the action. It is mere mitigation of doing evil for the sake of some future good, where the good is not foreordained as the outcome, but only theorized.

To argue that everyone must stand up and assert that there is nothing wrong with the “right to choose” seems to be asking for vindication rather than toleration. I don’t think it is wrong to pursue your rights, but don’t think the pursuit of this right leads you to right action. While having the right to choose may be one of those derivative rights constantly being discovered by those that mine the subtext of the Constitution, that doesn’t mean you get to have a pat on the back and a big cheer from society. Unless, of course, you want to have the kinds of medals and awards that were once given out in socialist dictatorships for following the instructions of the state to limit your children to one (and throw away the girl children while you’re at it.)

My own experience tells me that the child knows the other in the womb before birth. The movements of the child in the womb. The reactions of the unborn child to music or other external stimuli all tend towards this. I’d say, without really knowing, that the fetus knows “otherness” certainly at some point within the last trimester. I suppose that most reasonable people who have been through a pregnancy to term would agree with me.

Okay, it knows other in the last trimester. How do we know? We know only because the child is at that point capable doing something that *we* perceive as knowing the other. But is it capable of this knowing before it can exhibit behavior we can perceive? Is it in some sort of coma state where its knowledge is in advance of its ability to act on it? Probably. And if so, how far back into gestation does this ability to know go? Is it possible to know the other before being a viable fetus that can live outside the mother? This we do not yet know and we may never know.

The Death Camp Book

But…. but… something persists in me from a book read long, long ago concerning the Death Camps during the Holocaust. I read this history more than forty years ago as a teenager and have not read it since. I read it so long ago that I cannot remember the title but retain trace memories the photographs of Dachau in the center that shocked me out of childhood. I also remember one particular passage. I find it strange that, given my youth at the time, and the thousands and thousands of books since, that this passage should stay with me.

I cannot quote it but its import went something like this:

The person being interviewed was a female concentration camp survivor. She survived by being ‘of use’ to the camp. This ‘use’ was to take the unborn, the aborted, the babies, the infants and the small children (dead or alive, I’m no longer sure), and throw their bodies into the ovens. At the end of this passage she reflected (in paraphrase): “Were we throwing another Mozart or Moses into the flames? We’ll never know.” And that not knowing was her enduring hell.

The Lost Children I’ll Never Know

Early in my first marriage, involved in my career, and my first wife involved in hers, she became pregnant. Because we still thought of children in the abstract, we “agreed” to have it aborted. It seemed like the “sensible” choice at the time. We told ourselves we “weren’t ready” (Who is?). We went ahead with the abortion of our first child and, after a short recuperation, life went on as before. At least it felt as if went on as before.

Two years later, my first wife became pregnant again and this time we “were ready.” We moved back from Europe, got jobs, got settled, and had a little girl.

Being at the birth of your child is an amazing thing. Stunning. You feel your whole previous life close like a giant circle coming together. You feel another circle begin.

Two years after my daughter’s birth that my wife told me one day that she was pregnant again. She had been raising our daughter for two years and was not, she said, ‘ready’ for another. This time, though, my mind and soul had changed. I was not in such an abstract frame of mind about abortion.

Money was short, my future uncertain and I was fearful of another responsibility as large as another child, but I loved the daughter I had. I hung back. I wasn’t sure. But then my wife reminded me that it was her body and she had “a right to choose.” My choice was not to be a hypocrite– a churlish choice as I now realize — but really the only one open to me, as I was only the father.

And so, with my support, she went ahead at a hospital in Massachusetts on what I remember as a particularly raw late Autumn day. Although it was her right to choose, the decision was ours and I was fully complicit. Perhaps if I had earned more money or been more confident of my future, she would not have seen it as a necessity. I don’t know. I just know that that is the way in which I participated in what I have come to think of the loss of my third child. “Loss” makes what was done sound less awful even if it was not. That it was shameful and wrong is attested to by the fact that, once done, we never spoke of it again.

All this was long ago and far away, but still, today, here on a different coast and in a different life, I think at times, usually late at night, about those two “losses,” those two choices, to which I agreed. And in those dark nights I can almost see the ghosts of what those two children might have been, might have become.

Were they, maybe, another Mozart or Moses? Not likely. Almost certainly not. Be that as it may, at some point they would have become two of my children, and I do not know, still, at what point that would have been. I do know that ending those lives was right and wrong, and rightly and wrongly, I was complicit in their destruction. It was my choice too.

If I knew them, would I miss them, would I mourn them? The question is absurd. With abortion, you never get to know what you are missing. That’s part of the deal.

And that, leaving aside all our abstract notions and the tidy ideas about consciousness and otherness, is the private hell everyone involved in an abortion enters. It’s not a hell you’re in and then walk out of, but a hell that burns within you forever.

And there are no fire escapes.

Woman holding ultrasound picture of her baby

[January 2009]

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Patvann August 25, 2019, 1:30 PM

    He/She might not have been not another Mozart or Einstein (because there will NEVER be another Mozart or Einstein), but they might have been a better version of you.
    -Which as a parent, is our one and only goal.

  • Richard August 25, 2019, 1:56 PM

    Although it was her right to choose, the decision was ours and I was fully complicit. +++++++
    A rather damning choice of adjectives. “Supportive” would’ve done, but you didn’t weasel out as many surely would have.
    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/complicit
    Clearly, the intervening years have brought you periods of deep introspection. There is tremendous power in Forgiveness. Though the following may seem cliche, it is not intended to be: Have you asked the two children involved for forgiveness? I am treading very lightly here, as I neither know you, nor wish to judge you. God knows I have a veritable log jam in my own eye so I am not one to be removing the specks from other’s eyes. That said, I do believe spiritual pain, while not penance, can lead to it, if you’re willing to embark on the journey.
    In visiting your website, it has always seemed to me that you are a decent human being. The fact that you remain haunted by decisions made much earlier in your life, I consider, speaks well of the condition of your soul. I’d be very troubled if you didn’t feel anything at all.
    I wish you well, Gerard and ask your forgiveness if I have transgressed.
    https://tinyurl.com/y4t8w5bc

    • gwbnyc May 3, 2022, 12:43 PM

      *Clearly, the intervening years have brought you periods of deep introspection*

      the curse and blessing of age.
      I have memories that I would try to stop by putting my hands over my ears and shouting. Sitting with them through the pain, guilt, and humiliation came hard and exhaustive. Time allowed them to be absorbed, ingrained as a tree grows around a knot. The regret is still there and sometimes roused. The knowing realized is, luckily, worth the pain it wrought as that is all I’m allowed of it.

  • John Carter August 25, 2019, 3:48 PM

    I … just do’t know how any sentient being could ever be pro-choice. I’ve been adamantly pro-life since I first thought about the issue, at around 16 or 17 years old, I’d say. I’m 58 now and abortion is my hot button issue.
    To not believe in the sanctity of life is barbaric and sub-human.

  • John Carter August 25, 2019, 3:54 PM

    Also … I’m not sure why you even wrote this piece.
    There are some things that should be kept between you and God, and I think this would be one of those things.

    • gwbnyc May 3, 2022, 12:56 PM

      To God, yourself, and another human being is an ancient structure.

      • Gordon Scott May 3, 2022, 1:09 PM

        Yes, exactly so, gwbnyc. It is, among other things and in other words, a foundation of 12-step programs. One of the reasons for such programs is to help addicts come to terms with what they did, and how to live with that.

    • Julia Atkins May 6, 2022, 5:54 PM

      I thought about this comment and Gerard’s story for a few days before I decided to post. You ask a good question, and, simultaneously, it is important to know his story. Because, to understand how we got here, means, that so many of us, allowed it to happen. By the time my generation came into adulthood, abortion was as accepted as premarital sex and living together. I didn’t have an opinion on it for years, and while I did not have an abortion, it was something I felt that I could do. It’s horrifying, it’s tragic, and it was that commonplace within culture by that time, we had no idea what we consented to.

  • Hale Adams August 25, 2019, 4:57 PM

    John Carter writes:

    Also … I’m not sure why you even wrote this piece.
    There are some things that should be kept between you and God, and I think this would be one of those things.

    I can understand a certain “ick” factor on your part, John — I learned long ago (wrongly, I think, as the years pass) that “what people don’t know about you can’t be used against you”. Caution is one thing, but paranoia is quite another.

    I think what God wants is a contrite heart. Gerard has things he has to answer for come Judgement Day, just as we all do. Maybe in this case, things would have been better handled under the seal of a Catholic confessional; on the other hand, by going public, Gerard may be doing his small part to get people to ‘fess up to their own wrongdoings, however great or small.

    As I understand it, the only thing God cannot forgive is a refusal to accept His forgiveness. Accepting that forgiveness, I suspect, is a supremely difficult thing to do — a soul truly consumed by Pride would not be able to summon up (if that’s the right way to put it) the humility to throw himself (or herself) at God’s feet, fully prostrate, and beg for mercy, and even one only mildly infected by Pride is in mortal danger. The scary thought for me is how much I (and perhaps many others) are perched on a knife-edge — caught between going full prostrate at God’s feet, or instead turning my back on Him and marching off into the Outer Darkness.

    Gerard’s transgressions are against God, not us, and they are not ours to forgive. But however toe-curling his writing here is, he is setting a good example.

    My two cents’ worth.

    Hale Adams
    Pikesville, Maryland

  • rabbit tobacco August 25, 2019, 5:39 PM

    bottom line: a nation that kills its young is doomed.

  • ghostsniper August 25, 2019, 5:58 PM

    John Carter said: “I’m not sure why you even wrote this piece.”
    ============

    There are messages to be found everywhere and sometimes they may not make sense. You may not even realize a message is a message. But your brain will store that message for you, as you have no choice in the matter, only to restore it for you sometime in the future. Then, the message may have a different meaning for you. We are all changing all the time and who we are 10 years from now will be different than who we are today. Because of all the messages we encounter everyday that shape us.

    I have been back and forth a time or two on my thoughts pertaining to abortion but for the past 20+ years I have been pro life and will most likely stay that way. I understand there are serious consequences no matter which choice is made, but I believe in erring for life. If you err the other way it can’t be undone.

    • Fletcher Christian May 4, 2022, 7:39 AM

      Erring the way you appear to prefer can’t be undone, either.
      Some comments on the very early stages:
      The view of some appears to be that an unfertilised egg isn’t human but when the sperm has got into the egg, it is. Hmmm…
      Many, perhaps most, fertilised eggs never implant. Is that a human being dying?
      Related to that: At least one form of contraception isn’t even designed to prevent conception; it prevents implantation. IIRC these forms include the “morning-after pill” and IUDs. Should, then, pharmacists and those who implant IUDs be viewed as abortionists?

      As for later stages, we also have the issue of grossly damaged foetuses. Such as, for example, ones with anencephaly – which means that the foetus has no trace of a brain, will never have one, will not live for more than a few minutes after birth and in any case, will never be human for even a second. Should a woman be forced to undergo the disadvantages and dangers of pregnancy and birth to bring forth that?

      • ghostsniper June 24, 2022, 1:57 PM

        Fletcher sed: “…will never be human for even a second.”
        ======
        If it is not human, than what is it?

        Fletcher axed: “Should a woman be forced…”
        ======
        She already made that decision, no one forced her.

  • JoanOfArgghh! August 25, 2019, 6:57 PM

    I read this when you wrote it 9 years ago. I have never forgotten it.
    As to why you wrote it– you had to.

  • H August 26, 2019, 3:36 AM

    I’ve made the trip around the Sun a few times, and learned a thing or two. Maybe three but not much more than four things on a good day, and some days even less.

    Those that can, do.

    Those that can’t, teach. Or go into politics, or on the public dole, but then I repeat myself.

    Those that write, couldn’t stop the signal if you amputated their fingers. They’d pick up a pencil with their teeth if that was the only way they could write. And I wish I had that fire in my belly for word-smithing, but I don’t, because I’m too lazy for that kind of manual labor. Thinking for yourself is hard work.

    GVDL hangs it all out there, without a net, and God bless his courage, for which I’m grateful.

  • Simple Man August 26, 2019, 8:00 AM

    What, pray tell, is the fetus if not human? Dogs make dogs, cats make cats, and humans naturally only reproduce humans. The embryo has 46 chromosomes, the number characteristic of the human species. At conception, its “DNA is set and most features are determined, including eye color and blood type.”
    https://www.babycenter.com/2_inside-pregnancy-your-babys-dna_10354440.bc
    Also, “To begin with, scientifically something very radical occurs between the processes of gametogenesis and fertilization, the change from a simple part of one human being (i.e., a sperm) and a simple part of another human being (i.e., an oocyte, usually referred to as an ‘ovum’ or ‘egg’), which simply possess ‘human life’, to a new, genetically unique, newly existing, individual, whole living human being (a single-cell embryonic human zygote). That is, upon fertilization, parts of human beings have actually been transformed into something very different from what they were before; they have been changed into a single, whole human being. During the process of fertilization, the sperm and the oocyte cease to exist as such, and a new human being is produced.”
    https://www.princeton.edu/~prolife/articles/wdhbb.html
    “Please note that the scientific facts presented here are not simply a matter of my own opinion. They are direct quotes and references from some of the most highly respected human embryology textbooks, and represent a consensus of human embryologists internationally.” References at link.
    https://www.princeton.edu/~prolife/articles/wdhbb.html
    The fetus is a living, human person at a particular stage of development from day one. This person will continue to grow, develop, and change physically after he is born, for his entire life. It doesn’t take either religion or science to explain this, although both can. A farm boy could tell you this.

    • Fletcher Christian May 4, 2022, 9:19 AM

      A randomly chosen cell in your liver has a full complement of chromosomes, too; the same as the rest of you, unless there is something odd going on. Is that cell human?

      • Simple Man May 5, 2022, 5:08 PM

        When that random liver cell produces cells, tissue and organs directing its own development to a more mature stage of human life in an organized and coordinated process, then that liver cell is human. Until then, it’s just a liver cell. But of course, a cell in your liver is a human liver cell. It’s not a dog liver cell or a cat liver cell.

  • the Jacksonian Grouch August 26, 2019, 8:30 AM

    VDL, there are millions of fellow souls – Millions! – who having made the same decisions, now hold them inside, between they and their God, and not opening them to view by others. I believe that God, my God, the God of Abraham, the Creator – has enough forgiveness for all of us who ask for it and seek Him. Whatever the regret we have marked our souls with.

    And sir, I believe you share this with us and with Him, and your gesture is one of Agape Love. For Him… for your children who, though lost to this life, rest in the Hands of He who offers life eternal… and finally, it is Agape love for us, your fellow man.

    Que Diós siempre te Bendiga, VDL… y que siempre te mantenga en la Palma de Su Mano Derecha.

    The JG

  • K August 26, 2019, 11:05 AM

    The question of abortion is a lot less mysterious than many have thought. To be sure the moment when two gametes unite to become a human zygote (already a human being) is a mysterious, indeed miraculous, event. There is even a brief flash of light at the moment of conception. The event is so utterly unlike anything else that happens in the life of the human being that there can be no alternative: the point at which we become human beings is at conception. (The zygote is human; it has human DNA uniquely its own, and it is alive: so … human life.) We all remain that human being until death. This is now fully established as scientific fact. Those who would turn the moral question on when we become a person have already divided the human race into two groups; one that may be killed and the other that may not. There is no way, ever, to limit the former to the unborn. Every time a bioethicist comes up with a list of properties that you must have to be a person, it is a unique and arbitrary list. More importantly no such list is ever containable. It will will always expand. Just ask pro-abortion Professor Peter Singer who has been advocating for infanticide for decades.

  • Vanderleun August 26, 2019, 12:33 PM

    “To live outside the law, you must be honest
    I know you always say that you agree”

  • wildman September 7, 2021, 9:28 AM

    if i recall correctly the primary argument with abortion was the privacy of ones own body. that being the case, whats with all the laws on drug use?

    • Fletcher Christian May 4, 2022, 7:41 AM

      Many people are consistent on this issue. In that they believe in drug use being legal, too.

  • Callmelennie September 7, 2021, 9:51 AM

    I was the fifth baby in a six year period ending in 1955. There followed a four and a half year period ending in May, 1960 with no new additions. Then came three more girl babies in the next four years. My mother was almost 40 for the last one. To this day, the older siblings refer to these three as “The Little Girls.” .. Oh, and did I mention we were Catholics.

    Although nothing was ever said about the interval, any woman reading this knows what happened — Mom lost at least one baby, perhaps two (Mom admits to one; sisters say two) Moreover, Mom was also hospitalized the Chinese flu bug of 1957 which may be the reason she lost her baby

    Because we were Catholic, a hysterectomy was strongly disapproved, so once Mom recovered from this shock, she went rigbt back to babymaking, even though she already had six children. In our day and age, the Church teaching against hysterectomy would be viewed as oppressive and medieval. Indeed, “The Little Girls” are of this opinion, even though thrse teachings are directly responsible for their very existence!! Even though their mother was an inordinately cheerful woman who lived on until 2015.

    One of the reasons I never bought into Boomer leftism was that I noted so many astounding non sequitors amongst my many siblings. They disdain the Catholic faith, even though Catholic schools gave them the advanced education that allowed them to breeze thru colleges. They disdain Dad, a doctor with a Mensa qualifying IQ who undoubtedly is the reason Mom survived that dark period of the Late Fifties. In sum, deep inside their competent adult selves is a bratty boomer adolescent

  • LadyBikki September 7, 2021, 11:45 AM

    I am a Catholic whose church has left me. That being said, it’s not my place to judge since I am as big a sinner as the next person.
    I do believe that there is a soul at the moment of conception. But I also believe that the soul of a child, conceived but not born alive for whatever reason, be it aborted, miscarried or still birthed, goes straight back to God.
    His perfect incorruptible angels.

  • Brewvet September 8, 2021, 3:39 AM

    As it takes two to tango and said zygote carries 50% of the father’s characteristics I believe that it should take the sworn consent, after counseling and ultrasound, development photos, etc., of both parents (or at least both genetic donors) to permit abortion. The female shouldn’t have the final say so.

  • Dirk May 3, 2022, 10:56 AM

    I see the LEFT have achieved their objective.

    Is no pain greater the matters of the heart. It hurts to the bone. This kind of hurt goes even deeper.

    So forgive me for asking, just what is the solution?

    FYI, i respect every opinion shared here.

    This entire issue was not released out of concern, but purely political reasons. The left now have their talking points baked in, this just flipped the mid terms on its heads. Brilliant actually.

  • Jim May 3, 2022, 11:55 AM

    “And that, leaving aside all our abstract notions and the tidy ideas about consciousness and otherness, is the private hell everyone involved in an abortion enters. It’s not a hell you’re in and then walk out of, but a hell that burns within you forever.

    And there are no fire escapes.”
    As honest as it gets.
    which ever side ‘wins’, the reality is that women will still get abortions. There are no easy answers here, none.
    Any one who has been involved in an abortion is marked by it. There is no escape.
    “Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget 
falls drop by drop upon the heart 
until, in our own despair, against our will,
comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.” Aeschylus

  • El Polacko May 3, 2022, 12:38 PM

    The people most enthusiastic about killing their offspring for their own convenience are also the loudest voices behind the homo and tranny fads consuming the kiddies these days, which by their very nature prevent their reproduction.

    Our adversaries are working as hard as they can to render themselves extinct.

    If this decision really does come down, abortion will not disappear; it will be left up to the states as it should, and you’d better believe that the bluest of the blue states are already laying the groundwork for making their jurisdictions the go to state for killing your babies.

    California’s Governor Hair Gel has already proposed making unrestricted abortion access state law, and some in CA government have floated the idea of paying for the transportation and lodging of abortion customers from states where its prohibited. I can just see the ad campaigns over the horizon.

    Abortion literally cannot be stopped without the imposition of a religious police state, so the only thing pro lifers will be able to do is continue to reach out to the parents with alternatives, like adoption, and then pray for the immortal souls of those not born and the parents that discarded their offspring like a cancerous tumor.

    I think it was Ben Shapiro who pointed out on a Joe Rogan podcast the the only people in the modern world that are reproducing above replacement level are devout Christians, Jews & Muslims so its just a matter of time.

    Over sixty million American babies have been slaughtered since Roe vs. Wade became the law.

    Democrats would be winning a lot more elections if they weren’t actively killing themselves off.

    “I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born.”― Ronald Reagan

  • Joe Krill May 3, 2022, 12:41 PM

    Abortion is murder. It is that simple. It is premeditated. It is deliberate. The human that is being murdered does not have the capacity to fight back nor does it have the capacity to tell the murderer that the pain of being ripped and sliced apart was not part of the bargain when conception took place. The human that is being murdered, is, up until the time of the murder, dependent upon his/her mother to nurture and protect him/her from harm. The supposed father who got his jollies off creating the child, he is just as guilty, if not more. It is a man’s place to protect the woman and child. It is a shame that there are too many males walking around thinking that because they have a penis it makes them a man.

  • SteveS May 3, 2022, 2:19 PM

    A comment from LadyBikki, Sept.7,2021- “But I also believe that the soul of a child, conceived but not born alive for whatever reason, be it aborted, miscarried or still birthed, goes straight back to God.
    His perfect incorruptible angels.”
    Gerard, I really relate to this essay. My wife, and I, had two abortions in the early 1980’s. We were young and told ourselves that we weren’t ready to be parents either emotionally or financially. We later, in 1989 and 1994 had two beautiful and perfect daughters. (perfect in the physical sense). I remember at the time believing that those two beautiful souls had been returned to God and then He had returned to us when we were better prepared to be parents. Was it only intellectual rationalization to assuage my guilt? But if those two souls did return to God why couldn’t He have returned them to us? The gift of
    these two amazing young women has made it easier to live with.

  • bob sykes May 3, 2022, 2:49 PM

    As a matter of biological fact, life, all life, began 3.8 billion years ago. Both the sperm and egg are fully alive before they merge. Whether a human soul is created at fertilization is a theological issue, as is the existence of souls.

    Repeal of Roe will not eliminate abortion or make it illegal. The matter reverts to the states. That is the most desirable outcome.

    My personal opinion is that abortion has eugenic outcomes, and it is desirable on those grounds.

    • TwoDogs June 24, 2022, 5:26 PM

      Yes, nobody is forced to have an abortion so the eugenic component of it is OK. The great majority of those that do have one make a positive contribution to our society by doing so. We can only build and staff so many prisons.

  • oldvet50 May 4, 2022, 5:35 AM

    I’m a conservative and believe in the right to abortion. I believe in the woman’s right to choose.
    Every woman should be able to get an abortion but only in the case of rape, incest, or mother’s health. Every woman should be able to choose with whom, where and when she has sex.

  • oldvet50 May 4, 2022, 5:40 AM

    I live in Florida and could never understand why we protect, by state law, fertilized turtle eggs but not fertilized human eggs. Maybe that’s why there are all these jokes about Florida people?

  • Gordon Scott May 4, 2022, 12:13 PM

    Oldvet50, it’s the same reason a 13 year old girl cannot get her ears pierced or a tattoo without the permission of a guardian. And many tattoo artists won’t work on a minor even if the parent approves.

    But she can choose to have her breasts removed and take drugs that will render her sterile, and the school and the state will force the parents to comply with this.

  • ghostsniper June 24, 2022, 2:00 PM

    It never was a right, it was a privilege.
    Learn the diff.

  • LP June 24, 2022, 5:09 PM

    Your piece is profound in its honesty. Thank you for sharing. It’s so hard.

    I just want to make the point that you aren’t really wholly culpable Gerard, not entirely, because if abortion hadn’t -at that time in history -been held up as some kind of sacrament to all of us, you may not have been drawn into it. And if – this is really the point- the Supreme Court of the United States hadn’t set forth as an example for all of the United States citizens, you and so many others may not have been drawn into it.

  • Lagman June 24, 2022, 6:22 PM

    I see that picture / image – “Our Bodies Ourselves”. Which book I purchased for a few then friends with whom I wished to express understanding. … I am ashamed.

    What we (our society; whatever that means) have lost over the last 65 – 70 years is “trust”.

    There is no denying that when there were fewer of “us” we were forced / it was easier to “trust” what our extended “family/neighbors/community” offered. If only long enough to realize – perhaps they did not have the answer either, but were sufficiently concerned to dare to be wrong. … And, that was in many instances sufficient to cause wonder – “Do I or my friends (or their friends; or my ‘teachers’) have the answer ? … I wish the world was ‘simpler’. … God, Let me avoid the Question.”

    I expect some of the chronic philosophers will muster a response. But, perhaps my expressed thought should first cause pause – imperfect as language is – …

    Has “humanity” in these United States of America and the “Civilized World” (including all the other socialist tyrannies) lost focus on the purpose of Life, itself ?

  • Lagman June 24, 2022, 6:25 PM

    I see that picture / image – “Our Bodies Ourselves”. Which book I purchased for a few then friends with whom I wished to express understanding. … I am ashamed.

    What we (our society; whatever that means) have lost over the last 65 – 70 years is “trust”.

    There is no denying that when there were fewer of “us” we were forced / it was easier to “trust” what our extended “family/neighbors/community” offered. If only long enough to realize – perhaps they did not have the answer either, but were sufficiently concerned to dare to be wrong. … And, that was in many instances sufficient to cause wonder – “Do I or my friends (or their friends; or my ‘teachers’) have the answer ? … I wish the world was ‘simpler’. … God, Let me avoid the Question.”

    I expect some of the chronic philosophers will muster a response. But, perhaps my expressed thought should first cause pause – imperfect as language is – …

    Has “humanity” in these United States of America and the “Civilized World” (including all the other socialist tyrannies) lost focus on the purpose of Life, itself ?