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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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:: Saturday, July 16, 2005 ::

I am so furious about this article that it brings me to tears. It reminds me of this. The answer is not to vilify women who have already taken ownership of their tragedy, so much so that they are willing to flay themselves for a public who might respond hatefully.

Hollowell repeatedly uses inflammatory language to drive the knife of blame in deeper. She does not understand the SICLE and her seeming "authority" is particularly vexing.

"Rowan's mother, Angele, thought she wanted an abortion."

If she knew Angele she would know that Angele did not "want" an abortion. I did not "want" an abortion. Who "wants" an abortion?

"Reportedly, the laminaria cannot be removed even if the woman changes her mind. She must return for the subsequent completion of the abortion."

Patently untrue. It is potentially dangerous to disseminate this kind of misinformation. Women change their minds. Laminaria can be removed, affording the mother a chance at a successful pregnancy outcome.

"Despite the calculated decision to end her son's life, he was born alive."

"Calculated decision" is neither compassionate nor completely accurate. There were a lot of "calculations" going on in the midst of Angele's crisis. Abortion was not the first choice. It was, in fact, the last thing on the list. "Calculated" evokes shades of coldbloodedness. For many women, perhaps even most, abortion is more complex than an unfeeling woman walking into a facility and asking to have her child butchered. I don't think that portraying a reported quarter of our fellow women as emotionally inferior is entirely accurate nor does it help anyone.

There is a lot people don't know about Angele and the lengths to which she went to try and have Rowan. But, OK, she ended up the stirrups anyway. What now?

Blaming her is futile. It is a stick that beats down a woman already groaning under the weight of her SICLE. It is unnecessary, gratuitous. It's a "God hates fags!" poster at Matthew Shepherd's funeral. Furthermore, the approach sends at least some hurting mothers running into the arms of abortion supporters who may not be telling the truth, but who will at least refrain from pummeling them when they're so desperately down. These groups offer a brand of sympathy and acceptance, and in the midst of despair some moms are willing to meet the terms of any form of comfort even if it costs them something personally.

"I for one am not prepared to extend an immediate healing hand to Angele; at least not until I hear her take ownership for her actions."

Only Christ can expiate Angele's SICLE. Angele is not required to give account to Dr. Hollowell.

"To my mind, Angele premeditated the murder of her son. She traveled to Florida from her home state to seek a clinic experienced in late-term abortions. She got educated on the process and chose the method of his execution ? stillbirth."

One may have a manifold of snappy titles, but if one has not love...
While Hollowell's statement is technically true, I am disappointed in her apparent lack of grace . While crisis rationale doesn't make abortion right, those of us with SICLEs can understand and identify with Angele's mental "back-and-forth" in a period of great and terrible desperation.

She was in a crisis. Abortion is legal. Everyone was telling her to abort. Professionals were telling her to do it. Perhaps it seemed she would almost be an idiot NOT to do it. A cruel idiot at that... inviting ages of torment into the lives of her children. Oh, what to do? What to do?

Perhaps she came to believe that she had a responsibility to abort. Perhaps sacrificing so much to keep Rowan was even somehow twisted into a sort of perceived selfishness. She was in a terrible, desperate situation that goes much, much deeper than Hollowell is willing to go. It's easier to point a finger than to sit down and listen, to try and figure out what would cause a woman to choose this. It takes time, effort, and genuine concern to attempt to figure out how to solve such a problem that similar problems might be circumvented in the lives of others... others, by the way, who aren't bothering to talk or reach out, precisely because of responses like Hollowell's.

"Inexplicably, digoxin was never administered. Without the fatal injection, Angele had to know he could be born alive."

Angele has not spent her life in the abortion industry and is not terribly familiar with second trimester abortion techniques. Plus, she was lost on auto-pilot inside the numbing void that enabled her to "solve" all her problems with the advised, advised, advised abortion.

Like most of us, Angele was rather naive about abortion, thinking that perhaps she had misunderstood the process and had been given the digoxin in the I.V. She was under the impression that the digoxin would simply target Rowan's heart and "put him to sleep". (George Tiller's staff tells women that digoxin turns their children into angels.) It never dawned on Angele that facility staff wouldn't do what they were supposed to do as "medical professionals". She trusted them implicitly.

Instead of taking myself to the nearest hospital, I stupidly sat in a hotel tub waiting to see if I would bleed to death or survive. Why? Because the friendly neighborhood abortionist told me to. I complied like a "good girl"; give me my Scooby snack.

"Still determined to end his life,"

More volatile language.

"At the sight of him alive after delivery, yes, she cradled him and told him she 'loved' him."

Ah, the word "loved" in quotes. Hollowell makes the point I blogged a little over a week ago. How on earth could a mom with a SICLE "love" her child? Well, she can't, of course. She doesn't deserve to. She can only feel guilt, saith too many participants of the "pro-life" movement.

Perhaps this is why the logic is: remove the woman's guilt (via the death of Christ) and voila! She is "healed". Or should be. Or better be. (Even though the same "pro-lifers" concomitantly remind those considering the SICLE that they will always be mothers even if their children are dead.)

Is it so hard to understand that we as a society have been convinced that killing is kindness? Does anyone really believe that Mike Schiavo thinks that "letting Terri go" was mean? In case anyone missed it, here in America, we are being taught to love one another to death.

Angele loved Rowan more than anyone else ever could. Angele made a bad choice in a crisis. A bad choice that she owns. A bad choice that she is trying to expose to anyone who will hear. A bad choice that she is trying to dissuade anyone else from making. A bad choice that America has legalized. Legalization sends a message. Smoking pot is illegal. Illegalization sends a message. Illicit drugs are bad. "Abortion is just a personal choice... one that is only personally bad to personal people who have personally silly beliefs."

Think of what we have been taught since Roe v. Wade. Think of the children who have been nursed at Roe's teat by our government, by liberal parents, by friends, physicians, etc. Blaming Angele is fruitless. Examining the problems and the ways to ameliorate them is not. Shift the focus; Learn to love.

"Yes, she called for help and no one came or answered. But her response reeks more of fear and guilt than love."

Love denied. Fear and guilt on the other hand, yes. Sure. A given. But love? Prohibited. Angele's response, we are told, reeks. More language. Hollowell's personal disgust is evident, punitive fruitlessness.

"Bottom line, if she really wanted him alive she could have – should have – gone directly to the hospital when she went into labor. (Angele has two other children, so she knows something about giving birth.) "

Hollowell also asserts, as did Angele's facility of choice, that the laminaria could not be removed, that Rowan's fate was already sealed, so the comment is not only contradictory but terribly unfair.

Angele, really wanted Rowan to survive. From the start. She didn't know how to accomplish it. The world was telling her she couldn't. She was in a crisis. She wasn't strong enough, spiritual enough, moral enough, name your frailty. She was human and duped. Milk-drunk from Roe's blood-tinged repast.

How many abortion supporters would think twice about supporting abortion if they came face-to-face with a child, aborted in the second trimester, drowning in the toilet of an abortion facility? One? Two? More? Roe works because no one sees (and no one wants to). A dying baby in a toilet is a crash course in truth. So many of us need it. Angele is only different because she actually got it.

"But Angele cannot hide behind their inaction, callous hearts and criminal acts. She is responsible for her choice and no amount of finger pointing will change that."

(Would that Hollowell had refrained from finger pointing.)

Angele is not hiding. She voluntarily opened herself up to the type of negative scrutiny evidenced in Hollowell's composition. If there were a rooftop Angele would be shouting on it. The media doesn't want to hear it; they're not piping it into your living room, and "pro-lifers" are sitting on the story for whatever reason. Perhaps this one's too controversial for seat-warmer Sunday. Perhaps it's too lacking in the feel-good factor. Maybe it doesn't have a good beat that you can dance to. So where does Angele go but deeper and deeper inside of herself?

"As for Rowan, my heart does ache. He suffered brutally and died at the hand of his own mother."

It takes a village to abort a child, but granted, Mom is kind of a key player. This is the SICLE. We live it without anyone having to point it out.

While it can be said that Hollowell will never feel for Rowan what Angele feels for Rowan, a contest should not be made of love. If we love, we work together for the good of all. This tragic circumstance should be pause for serious reflection, a massive session of brainstorming so that solutions might be found, that another might be helped, that it never happens again.

"But Rowan joins the ranks of thousands of children who die each day by abortion"

And his mother joins the ranks of millions of mothers who are hated by people who lack compassion, love and grace.

:: ashli 1:57 PM # ::

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