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The violence of abortion

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 Contents - Mar 2014AD2000 March 2014 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Lent 2014 and its practical application - Peter Westmore
Holy See responds to unfounded UN Committee attack - Peter Westmore
News: The Church Around the World
Pope Francis puts indelible mark on College of Cardinals - Peter Westmore
Whither religious education in Australian Catholic schools? - Peter Finlayson
The violence of abortion - Anne Lastman
The McCabe affair in context - Lucy Sullivan
Catholic Schools Youth Ministry Association: a new force for good - Br Barry Coldrey
Private revelations: Are they reliable? - John Young
What Jesus teaches us about prayer - Audrey English
None so blind: refusal to see the obvious - Fr John O'Neill
Books: TEN AFRICAN CARDINALS, by Sally Ninham - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Books: THE WORLD OF ST PAUL, by Joseph M. Callewaert - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: WHERE WE GOT THE BIBLE: Our Debt to the Catholic Church, by Henry G. Graham - Michael E. Daniel (reviewer)
Books: Order books from
Reflection: Archbishop Chaput's homily on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade - Archbishop Charles J. Chaput

Abortion by its very nature is a violent act. It is the intentional destruction of a very small child, by a doctor and with the compliance or insistence of one or both of its parents or significant others.

We now know that there are psychological sequelae to abortion. The woman experiences lifelong after-effects while the male is also affected but differently, generally through his sense of impotence in the matter.

For the male it is often the sense of helplessness at being unable to do anything to protect his child and this is then turned inwards to self-punish.

Prior to the birth of the baby the father has absolutely no rights in respect of the child. He cannot do anything to protect the life of his child and if the mother of that child does not want to keep, or give birth to that child then there is no-one who can prevent the abortion from happening. No-one, including the state, because the state has purchased into the argument by legislating that the life of that new individual while in utero has no value, and is therefore dependent upon the whim of the host body.

Legislation has not decreed that the relationship between woman and infant is symbiotic but at the same time the infant is independent and deserving of the utmost respect.

It has in fact decreed that the life or death of that infant is dependent upon the vagaries of the stronger of the two parties.

The violence we are daily fed through all forms of the media is symptomatic of the "just below the surface" violence within the community. There is a tension, which must be released and will not evaporate without leaving in its wake a disaster.

Perhaps an explanation of the response to abortion may shed some light on this state of affairs. Since the onset of the culture of the "pill" and "me-ism" the woman has progressively taken control of her fertility and her body. And indeed to be able to understand her body and to guard and protect her body as inviolate is a good thing.

However, this is not what has happened.

Unequal suffering

The woman has demanded control over her body in as far as her fertility is concerned, and removed from her husband or partner any right and responsibility for an act which has resulted in a conception.

This, while ostensibly "good" as far as some men and women are concerned, has ultimately failed all.

Today, whether he chooses or not, a man can walk away from his responsibility towards a child he has engendered.

Conversely, should he choose not to walk away from the responsibility, it can be forcibly wrenched from him so that he cannot do anything to change the situation. The removal of responsibility has not spelled equal rights, as has been suggested, but indeed unequal suffering.

The woman suffers lifelong anguish. Yes it's real. It happens even for those who blithely believe that it hasn't affected them. The man suffers loss of something of his essence, of his fatherhood, of his fathering, of his manhood.

For the woman, in her very being there is a rupture unlike any other.

There is a grief also quite unlike any other: the kind of wrenching grief which is the result of guilt; the kind of grief which is the result of the intent behind the loss; the kind of grief which says, powerlessness, hopelessness, utter despair.

That is the kind of grief which abortion leaves in its wake and is the legacy for the woman and man (either short-term or long-term) who have acceded to the abortion experience.

For the state and nation which has decreed that the killing of its future citizens is lawful, there will be other losses which cannot ever be recouped. For this state or nation, the beginning of its end is in sight.

Citizens begin their life as zygotes, embryos, fetuses, babies, young ones, adolescents, youth, and mature individuals. Citizens of a nation have not just been deposited there from outer space. They have been conceived and permitted to be born and to be members of the state, nation, and above all humanity.

Sadly what the states of Australia and globally other nations have done is to enshrine in statutes, laws which say that infants in the womb are not really human and when unwanted, disposable.

What a great tragedy that the women themselves have demanded their own extinction because at least 50% of infants killed are little baby girls.

Anne Lastman is the founder of Vic tims of abortion and is an abortion grief counsellor: 0408 175 033, PO Box 6094 Vermont South, Vic 3133.

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 27 No 2 (March 2014), p. 9

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