Thursday, November 17, 2005

Killing Born Babies to Live as You Wish

Memeorandum picked up an article by Maria Eftimiades, published in yesterday's Washington Post. Eftimiades is a reporter for People magazine; she wrote her essay about the abortion she and her boyfriend decided to have after they found out the fetus had Down's Syndrome.

While I have no doubt there can be joys and victories in raising a mentally handicapped child, for me and for Mike, it's a painful journey that we believe is better not taken. To know now that our son would be retarded, perhaps profoundly, gives us the choice of not continuing the pregnancy. We don't want a life like that for our child, and the added worry that we wouldn't be around long enough to care for him throughout his life.

The major thrust of the piece is the advice she was given by friends and family to tell people who knew she was expecting a baby that she had had a miscarriage. They, and she, were afraid she would be judged harshly if it was known she had chosen to end the pregnancy.

In the end, she decided to tell the truth -- a brave choice, it turns out. Three bloggers commented on her post (at Memeorandum, at least), all three "pro-lifers." To her credit, one of this number, the Anchoress, does not attack Eftimiades; she takes her to task, in a kind way, for saying that pro-lifers "... don't give you the right to grieve for the baby you chose not to bring into the world."

The Anchoress responds:

Apparently Eftimiades does not realize that it is with the pro-life community that one finds most, if not all, post-abortion grief therapy programs, which is not surprising when you consider that it is precisely the pro-lifers who understand that she is grieving a LIFE.

Of course, what the Anchoress herself fails to understand is that when Eftimiades writes that she grieves for the baby she chose not to bring into the world, she is not saying that she regrets ending the pregnancy.

The pro-life community's "grief therapy" comes with a heavy dose of guilt-tripping. It comes with the assumption that a fetus is a person and that abortion is murder. I doubt that pro-lifers like the Anchoress would approach grief therapy for soldiers traumatized by memories of blood-covered dead women and children with body parts blown off by bombs with the same assumption that the soldiers had committed acts of murder for which guilt was an entirely appropriate emotional response.

The other two blogger-respondents obligingly confirm Eftimiades' expectation of pro-lifers' lack of sympathy or compassion.

Heather at And Rightly So! is really worthy of nothing more than laughter. She notes the advice Eftimiades received to tell people she miscarried, and twists it into an admission of guilt:

Now why would you choose to tell such a lie? What are you trying to hide from? What is your problem?

Does it need to be said that Heather and people like her are why Eftimiades would "choose to tell such a lie"? Or that her "problem" is being savagely attacked by hypocritical bigots like Miss Rightly So? This perfect idiot mocks Eftimiades for her reluctance to tell acquaintances about her pregnancy because she was not married and because she feared insensitive questions, demanding to know why Eftimiades is so worried about the opinions of others:

Sounds like maybe you're a tool Maria. To be so occupied with what others think ... so concerned about appearences and all that. It's no wonder you decided to have the abortion: After all, what would people say to you if your had a child with handicaps?? They might question your decision to get pregnant in the first place, right?

Does this Heather person know how incredibly stupid she sounds? Although I agree with her completely about what a waste of time and energy it is for Eftimiades to be concerned about how she appears to fools who think they have cornered the market on truth and morality.

And finally, this, from Southern Appeal:

From the "It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish" files:
[...]
What an unbelievably monstrous piece (and decision). But this is what happens in a culture that is steeped in radical individualism. It's all about Miss Eftimiades and her precious comfort zone (i.e., lifestyle). Heaven forbid that she and her boyfriend actually be required to make sacrifices for a "mentally handicapped child." But hey, why should they? I mean, it's not like a retarded child would have any kind of life worth living, right? As for it being a personal decision, Miss Eftimiades is right about that much. It's always personal when you decide to murder your unborn child.

Would that be the same "radical individualism" that declares society owes its members nothing whatsoever, that it's not the function of government to ease human suffering or protect human rights or address human needs? Would it be the same "radical individualism" that says no one owes you anything, you're in this life on your own, and if you can't make it, then go die in the street because we don't care?

Would this idea of "making sacrifices" for your children be coming from someone who supports the guy in the White House who doesn't think anyone in America should have to sacrifice anything during wartime except soldiers and their families? Would this individual who thinks it's terrible to want a "comfort zone" or a "lifestyle" be the same individual who (no doubt) supports the war in Iraq because the war is "protecting our way of life" (i.e., lifestyle)?

Oh, and let me just add that I found it quite ironic to read Southern Appeal's resident Elmer Gantry spout Mother Teresa quotes ("It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish") immediately after seeing fervent appeals (at And Rightly So!) to support the men and women who often find themselves killing children (and their mothers) so that Americans may live as they wish.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

There are some pro-lifers who do try to be consistently pro-life: Anti-abortion, anti-death penalty, anti-war, anti-poverty. True, for too many, abortion is the only issue that matters. But not for everyone.

Anonymous said...

This discussion is very painful for me. My husband and I chose to terminate a much-wanted pregnancy after my child was diagnosed physical deformities which were not compatible with life. Our child would have died at delivery. Deciding to terminate the pregnancy and end my child's life was the hardest thing I ever did. I chose to deliver our child, rather than the D&E procedure, so we were able to hold our child and say goodbye. All of the prenatal diagnoses were found to be accurate, plus more deformities that the doctors could not see in utero. I was lucky to get good prenatal care and discover the baby's problems early on. The laws limiting late term abortion nver have any exceptions for the life of the child -- only if it is affecting the health of the mother. My nightmare is what would have happened if we had not found out when we did....would I have had to carry a child to term, knowing that the child would die? As it was, I had to go to another state to find a doctor who was willing to induce the delivery, a prospect that frightened me as to the reality of access to abortion today, a topic people rarely discuss. Why should the government have the right to tell me that I must be required to continue carry a child who will not live outside the womb?

mary said...

It is too sad that maria Eftimiades chose not to have her child. Because when she terminated her child, she killed "I love you mommy", a hug in the middle of the day for no reason, a little child telling you how happy she is, a smile, a sense of pride when they do something that they have worked so hart to attain, she killed the sweet kiss of a child that loves you unconditionally, who likes cartoons and chicken nuggets, who can sing country music and knows how to sing the hail mary in spanish. I know because I have a Down Syndrome child she is five, and yes I knew before the birth but my husband and I chose unconditional love.