Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Don't Help Me, Rhonda
This particular rant centers around an article in last Sunday's New York Times Magazine, "Is There a Post-Abortion Syndrome?" and the evangelical efforts of a woman named Rhonda Arias. Long story short: "This movement encourages them to pinpoint their abortion(s) as the fountainhead of all their disturbance, a devastating act they committed in powerlessness and ignorance, one foisted on them by a no-good man, by an evil lying abortionist who told them it was only a 'blob of tissue,' by a callous culture."
The article describes a revival-type meeting Arias conducted at a prison. Here's my favorite part:
“I want to ask you a question,” she said. “If you found yourself in the situation of another crisis pregnancy, would you consider abortion?”
“No!” a chorus shouted.
“Can you see yourself living a life of chastity when you leave this place?”
This time, the response was muted.
The main problem with pinpointing abortion as the cause of all dysfunction in your life (and then repenting it as a one-shot deal at clearing up your life) is that, as sad and regretful as this choice can be, it's often a symptom.
I had a friend--and no, I swear it wasn't me--who constantly asserted that she wanted to be unattached and totally devoted to her career, yet she would get pregnant by every neurotic, commitment-phobe guy she hooked up with.
And she was seldom without a boyfriend, or, more accurately, guys she referred to as "my boyfriend" who said "don't call me your boyfriend." Guys who said stuff like, "Well, I can't be with you for your abortion because I have a date, but don't worry, it's just like getting a tooth pulled!" (My advice to her was to pull all his teeth and give him an abortion.)
For all that this friend set great store by her therapist's words, I have to wonder what kind of shrink, and what kind of patient, wouldn't get this message: "Your body is telling you something that your mind doesn't want to hear! Maybe you should get the act together for a consultation and start taking responsibility for what you want."
With all that I'm reevaluating in my life right now, I'm thankful that I've never had an abortion. Not just because I would forever be asking myself if I'd done the right thing, but because I wouldn't want there to be the slightest scintilla of a chance that I'd be vulnerable to being a useful idiot for this Arias character. My choice would have been my choice, as personal to me as my fingerprints and based on the circumstances of my own life. I may have needed help from time to time changing my thoughts and changing the circumstances, but to the best of my capabilities at the time, they were mine. And neither the Pro-Choicers nor Pro-Lifers can exclude those circumstances from the warp and woof of my life to make me a poodle for their cause.