Russell and Duenes

On being “pro-woman”

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I’ve been reading Dr. David C. Reardon’s book, Making Abortion Rare: A Healing Strategy for a Divided Nation, where he makes the case that the pro-life movement needs to focus much more attention on the post-abortion mother. I’m tracking with him so far, and I thought this comment by Dr. Julius Fogel – a psychiatrist and obstetrician who has performed over 20,000 abortions – worth pondering.

Every woman–whatever her age, background or sexuality–has a trauma at destroying a pregnancy. A level of humanness is touched. This is a part of her own life. When she destroys a pregnancy, she is destroying herself. There is no way it can be innocuous. One is dealing with the life force. It is totally beside the point whether or not you think a life is there. You cannot deny that something is being created and that this creation is physically happening…. Often the trauma may sink into the unconscious and never surface in the woman’s lifetime. But it is not as harmless and casual an event as many in the proabortion crowd insist. A psychological price is paid. It may be alienation; it may be a pushing away from human warmth, perhaps a hardening of the maternal instinct. Something happens on the deeper levels of a woman’s consciousness when she destroys a pregnancy. I know that as a psychiatrist.

Reardon is no doubt right when he says that the good of the woman and the good of her child are inextricably bound. The mother will make the ultimate choice about what to do with her baby, but we can make choices to help these mothers. I’m looking forward to hearing more from Dr. Reardon on how we can do so.



Written by Michael Duenes

October 13, 2009 at 5:02 am

Posted in Bioethics, Duenes

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