I have already received feedback re: the View From The Sidewalk idea, and there is worry that this is no longer a "safe" place where women can come and grieve and relate. There is concern that the VFTS is going to be a religious platform for a certain "unqualified" individual to spew forth blue-faced "right wing" sermons. I neglected to mention that the VFTS writer has met the prerequisite: she has lost a child in an abortion.
Women with SICLEs often carry a set of rules with them that they don't even know about. One set of rules may relate to pregnant women (as I've discussed in the past). Another set of rules may apply to people who want to broach the subject of abortion with women who've lost children by it. I experience it myself. I tend to resent non-SICLE people who try to "help" me with my SICLE.
When we were doing all that Women's Health and Safety Act stuff at the capitol, there was a group of us fighting for the bill to pass. Many of us had SICLEs, and at one point I asked one of the more vocal people if she had lost a child in an abortion but she replied that she had not. I thought, "Well, what the hell do you know about it then." Turns out she's some kind of director for some crisis pregnancy center. I know the director of another crisis pregnancy center in my area, and she doesn't have a SICLE either.
I still think it's kind of nuts for people to place themselves in "distinguished" positions of helping people "heal" from something they have no clue about. And they can attend as many seminars and conferences as they want, but they will never have a clue, and people like me will never accept their "help". It would be like a white guy telling a black guy how to heal from the pain of prejudice. "What the hell do you know about it?" the black guy might ask. The white guy is lucky he doesn't get a punch in the mouth when he says, "Well, I've attended a few seminars and read a book on it, so let me tell you how you should deal with your pain."
(And don't even get me started on SICLE-less abortion advocates who demand that women be allowed to experience a hell they know nothing about and refuse to educate themselves on. "Shut up, shut up, shut up!")
In the entire 7 year history of my hated, hated SICLE, there has only been one non-SICLE person who I can stand to listen to on the subject of my own pain: Theresa Burke. I don't know what it is about her. She's listened to hundreds (if not thousands) of SICLE accounts, but I know other people who have placed themselves in abortion's confessionals and who still don't have a clue. I'm stumped, but I have to admit she's the only one on the outside I can talk and listen to.
Theresa wrote a book called Forbidden Grief. It talks about how society does not allow women to grieve children they lose in abortion, and I appreciate the validation, because it's so true. The personal stories are also very valuable because they let you know you are not alone. There are other people who have to live with horrible flashbacks and tremendous loss for the rest of their days just like you. However, I felt the stories were hand-picked to present the ol' hackneyed idea that "Everyone who aborts eventually finds healing." You see it in all the abortion "healing" videos/books: the horrible abortion story, the tragic aftermath and then, out of the midst of the dark and thundering clouds, healing descends on a warm, bathing ray of singing sunshine. Boom, your cookie-cutter abortion experience. This population of women may be overrepresented. In the very least, the population of women like me is underrepresented.
The fact is, not everyone who aborts a child hurts and not everyone heals. All our demands and representations will never change that.
At any rate (and I always know I have rambled when I say that), Patte is "one of us", and it has been my experience that most anti-abortion activists are.