Saturday, September 01, 2007

Well, at least they're talking about it....

Head to Head: Abortion Counseling. From PBS / NOW.

We asked Linda Cochrane and Faye Wattleton the same nine questions to bring greater insight into both sides of the post-abortion counseling debate. Cochrane is the author of "Forgiven and Set Free" and a consultant on post-abortion recovery for Care Net, an organization of over 1,000 Christian pregnancy centers. Wattleton is president of the Center for the Advancement of Women, a women's advocacy group, and a former president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

I often found myself wanting to smack Faye Wattleton upside the head and tell her to open her eyes and her heart to the suffering of women who don't find that abortion fills them with "relief" and "happiness". I doubt that they're in the minority, judging from the blogs women have posted during and after their abortion decisions. Even prochoice women often suffer horribly. But their suffering doesn't seem to enter into the equation for Faye. She had her "choice," all is rosy. If she's troubled, she's a freak and we don't need to pay her any more mind in framing public policy than we have to take dicephalic twins into account when framing laws on issuing drivers licenses.

And I wasn't too thrilled with some of Linda Cochrane's answers, either. But I'm glad that PBS is at least covering the issue.

HT: Suitable for Mixed Company


Anonymous said...

Sorry to go off on a tangent and hijack this post.

Do you believe young women have access to enough information about the implications of getting an abortion?

Faye Wattleton totally evades the question.

Linda Cochrane answers,

"Many women are told that abortion is a minor surgical procedure after which many experience relief. What they are not told is that many of these same people proceed to struggle with their decision for 10, 20, and 30 years.
Every year, approximately 15,000 women and men participate in post-abortion recovery classes offered at Care Net pregnancy centers."

Why is this happening?

I have read many cries for help and messages of despair on internet post abortion support message boards. Here there seems to be very commonly reccurring reasons for and reasons which excascerbate PAS. As they are so common, why weren't they addressed before an abortion took place? Why aren't they being addressed now if this could prevent PAS?

1. During their pregnancies women have experienced blinding FEAR and PANIC about how they were going to manage. Looking back with hindsight, women who thought that they were sure that they wanted to abort, (therefore no analysis or lengthy discussion about the decision was deemed necessary Would the standard clinic counselling have helped anyway?) Now they see that they wanted to get rid of the fear and panic, not the baby.

2. Women feel that they have been deceived by clinic counselling and literature which re-terms the baby as products of conception, contents of the uterus, or tissue. The procedure of how the baby is removed is inadequately desribed/explained. Young girls who abort their first pregnancy believing these euphamisms, then later realise they have been lied to. This realisation can trigger horror, guilt, panic and depression. These terms are only used inside the abortion industry, it is the language of choice.

3. Aside from real coercion, women feel that they have been subtly coerced or manipulated in an effective way. They have felt especially vulnerable to suggestion and manipulation and what is expected of them from other people, in regards to their own baby.

4. There are descriptions of chemically induced abortions. Women typically state, I did not realise my baby would be so beautiful. I felt a rush of love when I saw my baby, that I had not felt before. I have just realised what I have done. How can you prepare a women for how she might feel about this even if you were to try?

Women who were 8 weeks pregnant plus, who have taken RU486, are completely distraught that they have seen a baby.

5. This particular internet message/support board contains sections for different circumstances. I have just read "The poor pre-term diagnosis" section. Someone has written, "genetic doctor forced us into it, if he only knew the pain."

A lot of women have been posting these messages for years, never moving on.

The fact that women feel that they, along with their aborted babies will be disparaged, ridiculed or savaged for grieving and feeling guilt over an abortion, adds to distress that was created by the abortion. Women fight with themselves due to others trying to force them to remain silent. But the denial of trauma after abortion thrives on this silence, as this silence is useful to the abortion industry.

There could be much more effective ways to screen out those women who are likely to suffer from PAS.

A questionnaire could be made available to assess the probability of developing PAS. Perhaps women could watch a video taped abortion to see how they thenselves might cope. Accurate information about foetal development should be provided.

Sometimes women need RELIABLE help to be shown EXACTLY how the panic and fear can be taken out of their specific situation, etc etc.

Christina Dunigan said...

Now they see that they wanted to get rid of the fear and panic, not the baby.

And I think you've nailed it there, just as Ashli only wanted to get rid of the debilitating physical syptoms, not the baby.

I wrote about this quite a while back in Stress and the Abortion Decision:

1. Ambivalence, and even rejection, is common in early pregnancy, and just means that the woman is going through a normal phychological process. But abortion clinics and the abortion lobby treat the early ambivalence and rejection as if it's some sort of proof that the woman is not ready for motherhood. All that it really means is that she's human. But they lie to her and use her normal temporary stress to sell her a dead fetus.

2. People in a crisis mode don't think clearly -- and they're not in a good space for processing new information. This is not unique to women who are pregnant at a stressful time, and it's no more "belittling" or "condescending" to recognize this than it is for a counselor to remind a recently bereaved person not to make major life decisions until after the crisis.

It's deplorable that the abortion lobby keeps this information under wraps, and the truly prochoice need to join with the prolife to get this information out to where it's common knowledge, so that women facing a stressful pregnancy can already know that panic and getting into total "flight or fight" mode are normal and will pass.