I’m going to sidetrack a bit today from the bailout stuff, to gripe about “mommy lit.”
Last winter, I ran across an ad for a publication called “Brain, Child–the Magazine for Thinking Mothers.” Looking for something like this, and tired of all the fluff found in traditional “mom” publications, I decided to try it out for a year. It’s not all bad–some of it is quite good. It’s basically a selection of essays written by women across the country relating to such issues as simple as potty-training, to more complicated issues as being parents of adopted transracial children. Of course, sometimes I agree and sometimes I do not, but that is true of any magazine. But, I’ve generally found that such “intellectual” publications generally take a very cynical view, and feel that in order to be “intellectual,” one must blindly admit to being pro-abortion, no matter what. It’s ironic to me, in that these “intellectual moms” writing for mothering and mom-centered magazines, seem to be at war with their unborn offspring.
Along this line, an article in the latest publication literally sickened me. The article, titled “Somewhere Near the Bottom,” was written by a woman named Elana Sigall, and it detailed the series of events that led her to abort her third child. The intro stated, “What are the ‘good’ reasons for having a baby? What are the ‘good’ reasons to have an abortion?” At one point in the article, she almost rejoiced that the level of her Hcg (the pregnancy hormone) was abnormally high, because this would have ended her “dilemma”: It would have meant a definite abortion, as high levels of Hcg “sometimes” indicate birth defects such as Down Syndrome. I’m not joking: it was that callous. She lamented that she felt she was having to make a choice between “this new baby and me.” If she had this baby, she would have nothing to show for turning forty “except three children in diapers and a one-night-a-week job.” She “agonized” for weeks over her decision. She was happily married, and her husband, Michael, “wanted the baby very, very much–” the only item under her “cons” list. She went to the abortion clinic the first time, and they did the ultrasound, only pointed it away from her (a common practice; for the mother to see the baby almost always means she will not go through with the abortion.) Michael could see the ultrasound, and she could see his tears as he looked at his small son or daughter. She didn’t go through it at that point.
She debated for a long time. She lamented the fact that her middle child would have to move in with the oldest, and that the new baby’s room would have holes in the wall from his stuff. She went to the abortion clinic four times in all, and backed out the first three. On the third visit, they are on the elevator, and Michael is crying. Here is their conversation on the elevator:
“I just keep thinking about the baby. But I know that I have to think of you. That’s my priority. You have to be there for Talia and for Julian.”
She said, “The baby has gotten off to such a bad start.”
He replied, “Really? I was thinking just the opposite. That baby’s a fighter. Been here three times already and still around. I love that baby. I can’t wait to hold that baby.”
They leave, go out to dinner, and then it was decided that she go back, without Michael, as “she had to do it alone.”
She goes through with the abortion. They had to administer general anesthesia, because she was so far along. She woke up sobbing uncontrollably. She said, “The grief found me quickly. I was one hundred percent sure I had done the wrong thing. All of my reasons for feeling hesitant seemed trivial and surmountable, especially compared to these new horrible feelings. Once the pregnancy was over, I could conjure up again all of the reasons that I loved having children. That was, in an odd way, a relief.”
Contrary to what one might think, she ends the essay by chastizing women who “shrink from acknowledging their own abortions.” She quotes feminist political activist Barbara Ehrenreich: “You can blame a lot of folks, from media bigwigs to bishops, if we lose our reproductive rights, but it’s the women who shrink from acknowledging their own abortions who really irk me…The freedoms that we exercise but do not acknowledge are easily taken away.”
In other words, let’s advocate and push on women a practice that truly harms them–both physically and psychologically–and then throw them under the bus when they are broken about it afterwards. That doesn’t sound like genuine “feminist” concern for women. It sounds like blind political ideology to me. And incredibly evil.
The whole essay indicated to me the faulty logic of the abortion movement; a movement that continually fails to acknowledge a great Truth: all life is precious, no matter what the circumstances. To argue that “all babies deserve to be wanted” is to gloss over the fact that “all babies should deserve to be granted a chance at life,” and deserve to NOT be torn apart limb from limb in their mother’s womb.
Sigall concludes, “In the hierarchy of abortions, mine must be somewhere near the bottom–under women with no job and no education and no husband and no money and under women with the education and money and desire to find out that a fetus has birth defects.” She goes on, (unbelievably), “But the right to choose cannot be measured against an objective set of ‘good reasons;’ we cannot embrace any argument that ranks some choices as less ‘sketchy’ than others. Would we rank the reasons for wanting children–what about ego satisfaction, loneliness, wealth transfer, extra help at home, boredom?” In other words, for Sigall, there cannot ever be any solid moral ground when it comes to abortion. Any reason is a good reason to have an abortion–no matter how trivial.
The entire essay was made more horrific by the continued acknowledgment–by Sigall and her husband–that the “baby” was just that–a “baby.” A living, breathing, separate, unique human being with its own soul apart theirs. They were entirely aware of this: it wasn’t just a “mass of tissue” to them, which somehow makes the idea behind the abortion movement a little more palatable. If pro-abortion people truly thought that a baby was just a “mass of tissue,” then one could perhaps understand their point of view a bit more. (Not make it right, though.) But technology has made it impossible for even the most pro-abortion among us to persist in this faulty belief. And that’s what makes today’s abortion movement so utterly despicable.
In the afterword of the article, Sigall states that the essay is “a celebration of the children I have. For me, it is a kind of love letter to them. It is about how much I needed to want each of them, and how much I do.” So, I suppose that it might also be called an anti-love letter to the child she aborted. Apparently, for Sigall, the decision to end a child’s life in the womb should be solely dependent on the passing whims of the mother who carries that life–and nothing else. Perhaps Sigall shouldn’t be surprised if, one day, her own children deem her as too much of an inconvenience to support in her old age, and to end her life in response to their own whims.
I feel sorry for Sigall. The child whose life she ended will haunt her for the rest of her “enlightened” life.