CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Feminism, Abortion, Childlessness, and Regret

Apr 27, 2012

The feminist worldview and related ideologies have a lot to answer for. They have convinced an entire generation of women that their main, if not only, purpose in life is to have a career. Everything else must play second fiddle to getting into, and succeeding in, the paid workplace.

Thus family life is put on hold, if not rejected altogether. The very strong maternal instinct found in women is suppressed, and the normal desire to form a family is squashed on the altar of feminist ideology. And of course a leading sacrament of this secular religion is abortion.

If – heaven forbid – a woman should fall pregnant in her pursuit of the successful career life, then there is always abortion to take care of things. Everything must be sacrificed in that corporate ladder climb – even unborn babies. And if the career in the end does not turn out to be all it was meant to be, one can always turn to IVF and the like and family life can again be put back on the agenda.

Of course these women are simply kidding themselves. Their biological clock has been ticking away all this time, and if they wait too long, even the various assisted reproductive technologies will not be able to bail them out of their predicament. Putting off childbirth is simply risky business.

Indeed, a majority of IVF treatments are for women over the age of 35. Having deliberately put off having children in order to reap the financial rewards of a career, many of these women now expect the taxpayer to subsidise their choices by paying for their IVF treatment. This is simply unacceptable from a moral point of view. Women who choose to make their own fertility difficult or impossible should not expect society to pick up the bill for their bad choices.

Recently some Monash academics echoed these concerns and said that women are using IVF as a “Band-Aid” for so-called social infertility. By delaying child-bearing because of social pressures, these women were creating a financial burden for the community and fuelling an entire medical industry.

But the burden to the rest of society may not match the burdens they place on themselves. Having bought the lie that a career will solve all their problems and provide them complete contentment and fulfilment, they eventually realise it has all been a sham and an empty promise.

But by then it is often too late, and most cannot get the family they now so desperately want. How many women have gone through this grief and disappointment? One story along these lines has just been published, and it is as representative as it is tragic.

Consider the moving story of Kate Spicer: “I’m childless at 42 and haunted by the baby I aborted at 18”. I offer here parts of that story: “Terminating a pregnancy seemed far cleverer than pushing double buggies in small-town Devon, which is what some of my peers were doing after their O-levels.

“Today, I feel more emotional, guilty almost, about that bundle of cells I got rid of. In the bitterest of ironies, that terminated pregnancy remains the sum total of my reproductive history. Throughout my adulthood, I have sometimes felt broody, but have never let myself dwell on it.

“Using logic and reason, I pushed these instinctive urges from my mind: you don’t have enough money, you don’t have a solid relationship, you have no career stability, men can’t be relied on, you are too insecure. The family unit — Mum, Dad, two children — looked dull, claustrophobic and suburban. I was in denial, but every now and again my real feelings would break through the tough-girl rationale.

“Once, at a smart wedding in Northamptonshire when I was about 30, someone handed me a newborn baby and my skin broke out in hot hives. In Brazil, I met a ten-year-old street kid. I fed him, let him sleep and shower in my hotel room, bought him clothes, and felt an overwhelming desire to protect and nurture him. I had never before felt such a forceful maternal instinct. These events were profoundly physical reactions, both shocking to me.

“Just around the time of my trip to Brazil, the ghost of my never-born came back to haunt me. I began imagining what he might have been like — a tall and sandy-haired boy, who would have been 17 at ?the time. I was 35, the age when the ?experts say your eggs and fertility start declining.

“It’s embarrassing to reveal these visions of my never-born son, and important to understand their significance. This imagined son was not some moral spectre come to punish me; it was my subconscious reminding me to wake up and face reality.

“My relationship with the boy responsible for that pregnancy lasted three years and ended badly. Since then, I’ve had nice enough relationships with some great men, but I never met someone I could settle with for longer than a couple of years. Yes, I was a commitment phobe.

“Ironically, from the age of 35 my relationships became even more unsuitable: a married man, a boyish party animal, a confirmed bachelor. Instead of trying to solve the problem, I was compounding it. Did I secretly not want children? More pathetically, I wonder if I thought that I didn’t deserve them.

“A niece and two nephews arrived in my life, whom, to my surprise, I love to distraction. They have bought into even?sharper relief the phenomenal love and caring instinct inside the average woman. I am not one of those women who knows they don’t want children: my problem is that I never knew parenthood was something that a woman had to fight tooth and nail for.

“Surely, I used to think, getting pregnant is as easy as falling off a log. Only for teenagers, though. For older women, it’s all about the costly indignity of the fertility medicine merry-go-round, which I simply can’t face — or afford.  To have a child at my age, it seems you have to want to get pregnant with the same zeal as the goons on The  X Factor who chase fame — and I’m not made of that stuff.”

She concludes by stoically trying to accept her situation – but her pathos and grief obviously remain: “This truth is one that a lot of women at the end of their fertile years are in denial about it, and it can be pathetic to watch their desperation. I will not let myself go to that place. I was a teenager who got pregnant by accident and had an abortion, as any sensible girl did in those days. I think about my lack of children, in a low-level way, all the time. That lack is always with me.

“The alternative to parenthood is not yet apparent to me. Perhaps the authorities will consider me a useful adoptive parent. Perhaps my nieces and nephews will be spoilt for love. For most people, the final years of life are all about immediate family. My old age could well be miserable. I was sitting at my granny’s side when she died: when I die, it’s quite possible there will be no one with me.

“It would be easy to feel sorry for myself, to reproach myself for my decision to abort the baby I was carrying at 18 or to desperately chase the dream of motherhood at the age of 42. Instead, I have decided to accept my situation with grace — it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than five rounds of IVF.”

Millions of Western women can now offer similar stories. The feminist revolution and the abortion panacea are shams and mirages, having deceived and harmed countless women. How many more must suffer?

www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2135145/Im-childless-42-haunted-baby-I-aborted-18.html

[1292 words]

14 Responses to Feminism, Abortion, Childlessness, and Regret

  • What a moving article, a must read for all young women.
    Peter Michie

  • Thanks again Bill.

    What I will never understand is how a Christian, whose faith is based on the historical and real events of the incarnation of God as a “little” human in the womb of Mary…could treat the topic and reality of abortion lightly or dismissively.

    The other thought I often have, is the obvious warmth and safety and miracle of the mother’s womb. Surely, for a little person this is the safest place on earth? Food, protection, warmth…all in preparation for that great birthday!

    It seems impossible to celebrate the wonders of the Annunciation or Christmas and yet be quiet on abortion.

    Peace

    Luke McCormack

  • The story you relate here touched me Bill. We had fertility problems, plus a couple of miscarriages, but we did receive one son when I was 30. He is a gift from God. Then we adopted a son from Sri Lanka 5 years later, he is also a gift from God, and due to present us our 5th grandchild next week. We love our children and grandchildren, and we value the gift of childbirth.

    As a professional counsellor, I counselled women who felt guilty about having abortions. One chose to do so, the other was pressured into it by the father’s parents. My guidance to them was similar to the story you present today: I suggested to them that they write a letter to their lost child, reminiscing about what their lives may have been like, and apologising to them for the choice they made. They could then burn the letter and pray over it, as a symbolic release and forgiveness to themselves.

    I hope and pray many young women see this article and are sufficiently swayed by it to not make a choice that will affect them so much later on.

    John Bennett

  • Anyone can feel moved by this woman’s story. She is sensitive to her losses and her mistakes. But let us not have our clearer sight overwhelmed. She, like most of her ‘sistas’ walked into this with eyes wide shut and mouth wide open.

    Women in General have flocked to feminism, accepting all the misandric drivel along with the promises. They have happily supported the idea of family destruction and the reduction of the value they attach to both children and men. They have supported and in many cases demanded the plethora of laws that have systematically destroyed the family. She may have gushed out her questionable compassion on her nephews and a homeless boy, but with her far more powerful voice and longer term actions she has joined the crowd that demand the Policies and processes that rob small boys of their boyhood, distance them from their proper role models – fathers – and villify their future manhood.

    What is heartening is a clear example of the continued presence of some goodness and human sensitivity in the depths of her being. They were not meant to be a punishment, but provide us with a sound lesson that such distancing oneself from Truth and our proper Nature, has consequences.

    I weep for us all.

    Chris Langan-Fox

  • Chris, I commend this woman’s courage. She does apparently not yet know the gift of forgiveness by her maker, which alone would heal her self-inflicted wounds and without which not many people are able to face the pain of hurt pride and reopened hurt without reasonable hope of healing. I think, therefore she has shown much courage. I pray she will continue on the road of honest evaluation of reality and find the equally real offer of forgiveness extended to all of us by God through Jesus.

    Bill, it concerns me that IVF is government funded and programs like “fertility care” are not. I wonder if this has to do with the powerful lobby of drug companies. Fertility care offers natural ways of increasing fertility without creating “expendable spare embryos”. It is expensive and yet the waiting lists are long as there are not many practitioners available in Australia.

    Many blessings,
    Ursula Bennett

  • Observation: at the time she got pregnant, her parents were separated and her mum getting re-involved. It’s not a hard-and-fast connection, but there’s certainly a pattern of instability passed from generation to generation.

    That said, 20 years later her father (I assume actual father from the context) gives her wise advice.

    Andrew White

  • The left is claiming that we are waging a war on women. Judging by the words of that women it is clear they are the ones who are waging a war on women sine it is stopping them from doing what God had intended. Motherhood is a beautiful thing and something that should not be stopped.
    Ian Nairn

  • Wow. great article. We kind of have the opposite problem in our neighbourhood, where women are having children without men, money, self esteem, or commitments. Both are very sad and thorny issues.
    Ben Mathewson

  • A few years ago my wife worked with a young girl of around 18-19 years of age in the same predicament as this lady was when she was younger. She was pregnant, and had a number of other people around her, including family, suggesting abortion. It was all downhill for the unborn child at this stage until she spoke to my wife, who was also pregnant at the time with our first son. My wife was able to speak into the girl’s life with truth. The girl wanted the child (as did her boyfriend) but was being swayed with the bombardment of bad advice from everyone else around her. Needless to say my wife’s encouragement and support meant that this girl will not have to go through, in 20 years time, what this 42 year old lady is going through. So there’s a win to lift us up. P.S. my wife was only working there briefly on a temporary assignment, so I think God had my wife in the right place at the right time. Praise God.
    Steven Harrison

  • Dear Bill, An excellent article which should be required reading amongst high school students. I can sympathise to some extent with Kate Spicer for her self inflicted misery because it is too easy these days to be tempted and follow the way of the world because the pressure is so strong. It crossed my mind yesterday on Good Shepherd Sunday how sheeplike human beings really are. You only have to look at the amount of people following the fashion for tattoos! Psychologists would call it the herd instinct. Kate Spicer said having an abortion was considered the ‘smart’ thing to do just as pursuing a career was considered ‘smart’. In reality neither are ‘smart’. We have a PM who exemplifies the flawed feminist ideology perfectly. I suppose a feminist PM was inevitable because of the influence feminism had on most women in Australia. I was born in 1936 so I was always sure of my worth as a woman and felt no need to be ”liberated’. The education I was fortunate to receive then boosted that confidence even though it is now criticised as inferior.
    Patricia Halligan

  • I never understood the full horror of abortion until my unmarried daughter confessed she was pregnant. She gave birth to a most beautiful child and they lived with us for three years bringing much laughter into the home. To think my grandson might never have had a chance to live – words fail. Every year around 100,000 lives are snuffed, lives of individuals who have never been before and never will be again. This is a crime against humanity and an insult to God.
    Antonia Feitz

  • A few years ago, my then nine year old son asked me what abortion was. Clearly but with some trepidation, I told him. He nodded and seemed to accept what I said and resumed his previous activity.

    That night, as I was putting him to bed, he began to cry. I asked him what was wrong. He replied “I feel so sorry for those babies who don’t have a chance at life”. We wept together and hugged. I asked him never to forget how he felt at that moment and when he was a man, to be a voice for those who can’t say a word.

    My nine year old boy got it, understood the huge evil that abortion is. How is it so many cannot see?

    Lucy Zubova

  • Thank you Bill,
    What a profound reflection on the bad decisions people make. Male and Female, but the story of the women in you article has made me love my children and grant children even more then ever. I am not old yet, but this story makes me look forward to the last days of this life, with someone to hold my hand and kiss me farewell.
    It was great to hear your convincing talk at the Life Center in Perth. With the crescendo of screeches coming from the protesters outside, you subject became all the more real. More persecution is around the corner.
    Bill Heggers, Perth

  • Oh how I pray that we can nurture our young men better, so that they would be more desirable to woman in relation to marriage and family. Our men seem immature, only seeking quick fixes, blase` in social responsibility and generally not marriage material. I do not hold much hope for my own precious daughter as the few good ones are not fun enough for her, yes, she requires a wise good man, who will treat her with respect so she will be the wife he deserves.
    John Archer

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