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my view from the prison of a SICLE (Self-Imposed Child Loss Experience) due to debilitating maternal disease
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:: Thursday, April 14, 2005 ::

Lots of interesting subject matter going around out there right now. So much I want to comment on. (All hail Aa for dang near every link on this entry.)

Naaman and Aa have been talking about Beninato's site and blog. Beninato has been the talk of the town since her interview with World. Personally I LOVE this woman! Her site is great! Especially the gateway photo that reminds us all that 1.15 million people marched for abortion and were "not sorry". I like the photo because it, along with some exceptionally sloppy photoshopping, allows for a convenient representation of the people killed, at least in part, by the advocacy of those comparitively few marchers:

Beninato's blog is just as fabulous as her site, and I hope she keeps it up... because the average American, from the very marrow of her bones, recoils from the attitudes of Beninato and her gang of mothers who feel no ethical conflict regarding killing their own children.

Chair of the National Counsel of Women's Organizations, Martha Burke, says:

"I think we’ve clearly lost the terminology war. They keep coming up with very reasonable-sounding restrictions, and we are unable to counter that. … The movement is in a bind."

Because of things like technology (click on ultrasound link in top bar) and continued (graphic warning:) "photojournalism", apparently, lyin' ain't working for the "choicesters" anymore. So it's not surprising that the new move is to simply embrace the truth:

"I killed my child... and I'm OK with that."

Well, BRA-VO. Paint a giant abortion-advocacy flag with those true crimson colors and raise it smashing through the roof of sanity. Fly it over America, because those of us who oppose the bloody agenda need all the help we can get. I don't care how "not sorry" a mother feels; the abortion cause is an ugly pity and its pride is a major turnoff.

Despite what some abortion advocates might convey, post-Roe kids, the ones that survived, have been nursed on the teat of "choice" unto adulthood, suckled on deceptive slogans that had us believing that abortion was freeing, liberating, equalizing, sacred, a right. (And rights are good, aren't they?) Ridiculous, but we bought it anyway, because it was in our school books, in our movies, and on the lips of our mothers as they simultaneously kissed us and sent our siblings to the dark halls of death.

I don't know about anyone else, but I grew up reading Our Bodies, Ourselves and I don't recall even ONE quote, in the chapter on abortion, from a woman who felt negatively about her SICLE. I only read good things and saw photos like (graphic warning:) this one. (They didn't have 40 million of (grapic warning:) these to dump on the balance.) Such portrayals left one with the sense that abortion did involve something, but perhaps it was more a medical procedure than anything else. More like pulling a tooth than pulling the plug.

I am mainly to blame for my SICLE (self-imposed child loss experience). Despite the glossy packaging, despite the slogans and terminology, I should have known better. It was thoughtless of me. But as I say, "pro-choice" was Mother's milk, and I grew up on it. I was deceived. Period.

So it's about time America's little girls started hearing that there just might be something wrong with abortion. It's about time women who have experienced the tremendous emotional morbidity speak up. Abortion as a glorious right was the status quo. But abortion's "marks" are now making bridges of their grief so that other women will have the chance to walk over the black and endless pit without falling in.

Ultimately, my deep regret and another's strong impenitence don't account for squat. I live in an area where people still tie a litter of puppies in a burlap sack and drop them in the local river without batting an eye, without being sorry. While this reflects on the individual's nature, it does not reflect on the nature of the act itself. If the person is sorry, if the person is not sorry, it remains a heinous act either way. Some things are right, some things are wrong. Some things really are as simple as that.

I know a 5-month-old right now. His birthmother lives in poverty and has no interest in putting her son first or doing anything to change the circumstances of her life. She has five other children, all by different dads, all taken away from her by the state, all adopted out. Her little boy has been taken away from her several times since his birth, and she often willingly, temporarily relinquishes him to the state (in lieu of paying for a babysitter). When in her care the baby sleeps in his carseat which is infested with "Palmetto bugs"... which, here in Florida, is a nice way of saying "big arse cockroaches". While he sleeps they munch on his tiny body. He has sores from being bitten by the vermin where his mother lives (with boyfriend-of-the-week): in a rat's nest above a slummy game room. This is when she is not living in a homeless shelter and simultaneously trying to get pregnant. The state doesn't have a problem with the roach bites, because poverty is not a crime. Her five-month-old will spend his infancy going back and forth between his birthmother and foster care until one or the other gets him for keeps.

His birthmother is not sorry.

When I see this little fellow, I scoop him up and wrap my arms around him. My heart aches for him as I look into his eyes while speaking softly and stroking gently his fuzzy temples. Though he is in a terrible situation and I hate it, nothing in me wants to kill him to get him out of it. His life is a living hell; he is literally roach snacks at the moment. Even so, I dare say most abortion-supporters would not advocate killing him. But this is what we are talking about. This is what we are ALWAYS talking about when abortion is the subject.

The issue isn't one of feeling sorry or not. The issue is whether or not it is ok to take a child's life away from him/her. My sorrow will not end abortion, and another's remorselessness will not perpetuate it, not ultimately. Ultimately, the children will end abortion with their very humanity. I have to believe that there will come a day when even the most selfish among us can deny it no longer.

Some of us are scared having watched Terri Schiavo starved/dehydrated to death, but I believe, in a rare hopeful moment on my part, that these are the things that will collectively push America's conscience to the edge. And hopefully there will be a long-overdue backlash such as America's duped nihilists have not yet seen. In short, I cling to the hope that there is going to be a day where it's all we can stands, and we can't stands no more. Because we're killing children and disabled people now, and I'm not sure how much lower we can go as a nation.

I digress.

Speaking of speaking out, a related issue has been raised by Sydna regarding the type of women who should (and should not) talk publicly about their SICLE. I am fascinated by the concept that some are not fit for talking about their own experience and found the article really interesting. It cheesed me off, but I was fixed for the entire piece.

One of the requirements-according-to-Sydna, was that the speaker should be one who shows no emotion or, at least, one who does not cry or experience vox fluctuations that might be deemed emotional or frought with anger.

I nominate these two for post-abortion speaking:

Confidentially, I always bawl when talking about it publicly. I can't help it. I try not to. Prior to going before a committee, the self-administered pep talk goes something like this:

"Listen here, Cookie. Keep it dry. After all, some of these people are abortion advocates who would still be here on behalf of abortion even if you had died and the abortionist had stuffed your body down the garbage disposal in pieces. Your baby was just a "fetus" to them. The occasional dead mom is a shame but, to them, ultimately collateral damage, the price paid for full access... otherwise they'd be fighting for stringent health regulations and they're not. They're fighting against them. So don't give them your innards, girl, that secret place where you're broken down. They'll see you bleeding. They'll go for it. So toughen up. Bite the bullet. Throw your 'pickled punk' on the table and walk away."

And then I take the stand. And here's how it goes:

"My name is Ashli ******, and exactly eight years ago my husband and I...

my husband and I...


(Self-talk going on in head: "Get it together girl. You're blowing it. You're sucking full-on. Just spit it out!)

My husband and I lost our first child in a second-trimester abortion at Orlando Women’s Center due to a severe debilitating pregnancy-related maternal illness."

I stumble over that first sentence. My voice lowers ten octaves. I could tell it a million times and I would have the same tremendous difficulty pushing the words out for God and everyone to hear:

"I killed my child."

Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it. Who wouldn't be delighted to say these words? Who wouldn't be proud to wear that on a T-shirt?

Blogging it, tapping away in haloscan, writing about it... it's vaporous. Semi-safe. Not as evocative as standing up and naming it; presenting in front of warm bodies and emptying my nasty little pockets down to the linty liner is a different beast altogether. I warned a friend of mine who wanted to speak at a Silent No More rally.

She told me she could handle it, that her three aborted children were really only an issue to her because, after converting to Christianity she knew, on a spiritual level, that it had been wrong. (Yes, she said that, so yes, that is the mindset of some.) She informed me that outside of that, it just wasn't an issue for her personally, so there was no emotional component at all. I was curious about her reasons for wanting to speak at this rally. I guess it was purely religious motivation. Anyway, she went.

When she arrived, everyone was given a rose to hold in memory of their children. Something about this rose knocked her off her feet. Looking at it, fingering it, she realized all at once that the kids who were gone from her life were real. The chick who distributed the roses wasn't looking for this response; she was just trying to be sweet, comforting, honoring. But the floodgates opened. My friend turned to me with the wind knocked out of her. "I haven't dealt with it," she panicked. "I haven't dealt with it!" The tears came, but she could not be dissuaded. She spoke, faltering a little. She was heard by others and herself.

The point is, every woman who aborts her child has, especially, the right to speak about abortion, her own experience in particular, whether she is nuts, the sanest person on earth, whether she can sinch that figurative girdle tightly around her emotions as she speaks or whether she clouds up and rains all over her testimony, be she professional with a command over ten-dollar words, non-professional with a pocket full of nickel words, religious, non-religious, abortion-advocating, abortion-opposing, you name it. None of it, I think, will help or hurt abortion as law. That can only happen with a judicial review of the evidence regarding the nature of the unborn child. That is not what speaking out is about.

Speaking out is a way of balancing the very public scales that have been tipping in favor of death and private sorrow for more than 30 years now. It's a way of challenging the status quo and an opportunity to issue the warning that, while some are admittedly feeling no pain regarding their stint in stirrups, perhaps the listener should think twice before assuming the position, because she just might be sorry.

:: ashli 7:50 PM # ::

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