On Sept. 13, 2011, Ann Kingsleigh posted a piece titled “How My Abortion Enabled Me to Be a Better Mother.” She confesses, in detail, how at 24 years of age, already with one young child, she found herself without a husband, and pregnant by an obviously casual relationship.
I am filled with compassion and sympathy for Ann, and the situation she found herself in, as I am for so many women who find themselves in similar predicaments. It probably seems offensive to some to refute her opinion that she is a better mother since she aborted one child in order to better care for another. Popular wisdom and reason would wonder, “How could a woman in such a situation as this, an unwanted pregnancy at a time when she is already overwhelmed financially and emotionally, not consider an abortion?” (I noted that Ann, like most women in similar circumstances, did not even briefly mention adoption.)
I am here to say that, sadly, however, aborting one child in order to care for another, does not make one a better mother. Ann’s problems go back much further and deeper than this incident of an unwanted pregnancy (which has ended tragically). Ann’s predicament is what has become a not unusual result of the plight of women in our western culture, which, more and more, proclaims itself free from morality, free from living purely, and free from answering to any higher authority or sense of right and wrong than one’s own, often poorly-formed conscience.
Ann proclaims her sense of this false freedom in the ending sentences of her post, where she states that she is glad that she had the “right to choose what was right” for her family. Ann has an interesting, and all too prevalent, idea of truth, rights and freedoms. But is choosing abortion really freedom?
No, Ann’s abortion was the result of a slavery, of allowing herself to be used and degraded as a woman (both by society and by the men she chose to have in her life), and of having what she perceived as no choice, now that she had made a string of poor choices, born out of a lifetime of influences and experiences that formed her mind, her morals, her psyche.
The prevalence of abortion in our culture, which is indeed deadly in so many ways, is the inevitable result of decades of poor education, false or nonexistent spirituality, pop culture, distorted thinking, and a selfish, self-gratifying and contraceptive mentality that is now so ingrained—and is indeed mainstream–in our society and remains largely unchallenged except by a few, lonely voices. Abortion often is the fruit of meaningless, selfish, promiscuous, and distorted sexual unions, of trying to find a shortcut to the comfort, solace, and joy of true, life-giving, mutual self-donative love in the context of a loving marriage. The fact is, there are principles and laws which govern the physical and spiritual world, and to reject them, for example, by being promiscuous or otherwise careless with our sexuality, is to open ourselves to abuse, bondage, illness, and other evils (even the evil of killing one’s own child), as we see in Ann’s example.
I can see it all over Ann’s post, that her mind has been well formed by media and entertainment industry ideas of marriage, of happiness, of support, of rights, and of freedom. Her own mother, for example, out of a depraved sense of compassion, helped her to go through the medical abortion process. What more can be said about her probable moral upbringing? Further, I can see that Ann does not believe that there IS truth, as revealed in her “last, desperate prayer to whatever higher power was listening” and in the proclamation that she was thankful that she had the right to choose what was “right for our family,” as if “right” depends on circumstances, situations, and feelings, rather than an objective reality of right and wrong, of truth.
Further, Ann claims that her partner (the father of the unwanted baby) was “amazing” and “supportive” (with much agreement from commenters). This is how low the bar has come in our culture. A man used her and her body as an object of pleasure (as she did him and his body), then drove her to a clinic, paid for her to abort his child, and subsequently ended the relationship. This is an amazing man? No, an amazing man is one who understands true love, who respects a woman enough to not take from her what she should not give, and one who has control over his instincts and desires, not putting the woman he loves and his potential children in such a predicament, until vows and promises have been made to love and care for each other and each other’s children, come what may. That would be, and is, an amazing man.
It is clear that Ann chose abortion because she felt she had no other choice. Her choice was not made out of freedom, it was made out of slavery. Ann, one of millions upon millions, is a slave to the thinking, attitudes, and mindsets in our culture that helped bring this whole experience and her circumstances about: that sex is simply for pleasure and can be enjoyed whenever one wants, that men need not be responsible or married to a woman to enjoy sex with her and vice versa, and that the only sin surrounding sex is to not protect oneself adequately against disease or unwanted pregnancy. These ideas and philosophies are enthroned, institutionalized, promoted, and perpetuated by organizations such as Planned Parenthood, our federal and local governments, our healthcare systems, mainstream media, and on and on to a people who more and more accept them almost unquestioningly.
Ann, finding herself with a young child from one selfish union (as evidenced by the fact that her husband left as soon as things were no longer gratifying for him) and another child resulting from a second selfish union, and not having the faith, strength, or resources to know what to do at this point–now that the house built on sand had collapsed from the water bursting against it—has what she perceives as no other choice but to abort her child.
If she remains on her current path, I imagine that someday Ann will sit her daughter down and tell her of the very difficult choice she had to make, and how important it is that women have this choice. And she will perpetuate the slavery and the bondage that she herself has been victimized by. And this bondage will be carried onto the next generation (which, tragically, already has happened very concretely for her second child).
Abortion is death. Ann may feel good now about it, because she is relieved. However, the sad truth is that eventually this will come back to her. She will have to deal with it sooner or later, because a woman cannot be unmarked by aborting her own child. I am glad that Ann has found some financial stability and a career she loves and is enjoying her older child. I am glad. But I lament at what a great price this all came to her—that one, unrepeatable, precious life was extinguished. It did not have to be this way.