Headlines grab the attention like a hungry dog will grab a piece of meat; like this one I saw in a national newspaper: I WISH MY MOTHER HAD ABORTED ME. This headline is an attention grabber, even if you have no interest in the abortion debate. If this article had that disturbing headline, then soon as you saw it, you might think it reflected my sentiments, and you probably assayed a judgment; like poor soul or how sad or how pitiful or something of that sort.
No! No! No! Absolutely never. Such a headline does not reflect in any way my personal feelings about abortion and it does not reflect a rational person's sentiment that is free of ideological bias and wish to engage the subject in a sensible, thoughtful manner. This is like a lot of sob-stories that are meant to arouse passion and heat and sometimes they are more fictitious than real and mostly aimed at being a spoiler or else to present a contrary view to comply with editorial policy. I think it is only fair to give some context to this headline.
This headline came from an article written by Lynn Beisner in the Guardian (guardian.co.uk) Wednesday 15 August 2012 11.00 BST and I read it with a heavy heart and not a little angst. You may well understand my heavy heart because that may very well be how most people will feel after reading the article, but why the angst. Let me explain.
First, let me make it clear that the headline was not a bogus headline, a sub-editor's ruse as so many tabloid headlines are, but a genuine headline that accurately reflected the body of the article and was a direct quotation from the writer. The writer wished it to be known that she sincerely wished that her mother had aborted her.
Second, this article was printed in the Guardian online, a London paper whose politics is left of centre and espouses an ideology in sync with the left-wing, and generally is supportive of the Liberal Democrats in the U.K. Most liberal/left-wing ideologues support abortion and they would find nothing wrong with the tone and thrust of the article but to many of us that article arouses a great deal of anguish and a lot of pity. Remember that the writer, Lynn Beisner, acknowledged that she has children and a partner (whatever partner means) and leaving aside for now the question of the rights or wrongs of abortion, let us for a moment pause and see the inferences of what she said.
The writer wished the world to know that she is not thankful for her existence. This is mighty puzzling. One can perhaps rationalize if Lynn Beisner was a despicable criminal and was about to be executed having brought much shame on herself and her family; or if she was terminally ill and in great pain and regretted she ever lived; or something of that sort. But she is none of these things and is living a normal life with her family.
Does she not appreciate life, the value of the soul and the divine spark that battles for survival against the odds and triumphs? The Bible tells us that in all things give thanks and even those who have physical and mental challenges should give thanks. Even if you are not a believer, every day you are alive you should still give thanks for life is precious and the ability to laugh and smile, to love and be loved to be happy and enjoy the time spent here is simply divine. Both the Old and New Testament concurs with this, "It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD..." (PSALM 92:1), "In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you " 1 THESSALONIANS 5:18. To be unthankful and mean spirited towards your life and the giver of life is both deceitful and truly distressing.
The writer wished the world to know that she preferred her kids never existed. What a message to send to your children. There would have to be something extraordinary in the make-up of a woman who would, if given the choice, prefer she and her children did not exist. Who on earth would want to rob a child of the joys of childhood or the excitement and relish of youthful living or the goals and achievement of adulthood?
What parent would not want to see his or her offspring develop and do something magical and enjoy the moment to the hilt as we have just witnessed at the Olympics? To not to want your children to exist and have the opportunity to experience such speaks to a waywardness and a mindset that truly boggles the mind.
But there is a third thing this writer implied. The writer wished the world to know that she does not appreciate nor value the tremendous sacrifice of her mother and all the poverty, suffering, trauma and everything else that came her way. The writer admitted and I quote," It is true that in the past 12 years, I have been able to rise above the circumstances of my birth and build a life that I truly love...Even given the happiness and success I now enjoy...".
This is the trouble with ideologues for in trying to make a case that is without merit they end up destroying something of great value and intrinsic worth. The proper headline for this article, and the tone and thrust of the article should have borne that out, should be something like this: Not aborted girl battles the odds of success or My mum had reasons to abort me but I'm glad she didn't.
Nothing on this earth should ever stop us acknowledging and appreciating the efforts of our parents to give us a good life. Yes it is absolutely true that some parents are hopeless, severely incompetent, shoddy parents who are not fit to raise children. But do we really know of their private agony for their failures? Do we really know the times that they went without so we could have food and clothes? Do we really know the times that they begged others for favours and the many times they were insulted and abused and made shameful for us.
Many bad parents never had the opportunity to acquire parenting skills and their regrettable behaviour towards their children never sprung from malice and vindictiveness, but most often from sheer ignorance, horrific stress and a resounding lack of ability. These very parents, when they witness their children succeed, in spite of their own stoicism often break down in tears as if to say, "O thank God you made it in spite of me." Have a heart, the vast majority of parents are not that bad.
Abortion is wrong except when used to terminate a foetus conceived through rape, incest or when the life of the mother is at stake. It is then still unfortunate but acceptable on the grounds of choosing the lesser of two evils. Abortion as a lifestyle is truly abominable, should always be a criminal offense and can never stand up to the morality test. The real problem here is that some people want to abandon themselves to utter sexual depravity, Western-style decadence and when they come unstuck with an unwanted pregnancy resort to the convenience of abortion.
The pro-choice lobby has a very good choice that they are not advocating. They should be telling their colleagues and friends to choose safe, responsible sex within a serious, settled relationship also known to the rest of us as marriage. Muslim women and women of the East value their virginity and keep sex for marriage so this is nothing extraordinary. This is also happening in the case of a majority of young women in some countries in the West. May this trend continue.
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