Monthly Archives: February 2015
I’m sitting here so very comfortable, dogs at my feet and elbow, watching Downton Abby and musing on the amazing differences in women’s lives from then to now. Oh my heavens girls! How far we have come! Or…have we really?
In the latest developments in the saga at Downton, Edith is in a sad and painful place as she is on the outside of her daughther’s life because she had the girl out of wedlock. In her position as a Lady of the realm in Britian in the 20’s, she would be utterly ruined if she let that be known. It, at first, seemed to be such a distance between Edith’s prediciament and the modern take on that same event.
I wonder though.
Yes, we are in an era where a woman becomes pregnant, married or not, she wears clothes that cling to the “bump” to advertise her expectancy. The circumstances surrounding the event are so very arbitrary. She decides pregnancy is something she would like to try and it becomes a means of getting attention and in that approval. In 1920’s, here and England, it was a need to hide that one was not married. Call the Midwife addressed that reality on their Christmas special. Very, very much outside of society, of all the good things life had for those who adheared to the norm.
So the contrast is eloquent. Shame to bold showing off the bump. Seems to be good progress doesn’t it?
Let’s look at the real, nitty gritty reality of this event of out of wedlock babies.
The terrifying, shame-filled handling of it in the 20’s, and even all the millenium of mankind’s existance, was and is still very, very wrong. The horror stories of not only the mothers and what pain in all ways they were subjected to, the lives of the children were in too many places little more than slaves stuck in orphanages ruled by small minded people who used the circumstances of their birth to feed their own tiny egos. To say it was wrong is the ultimate understatement where these people were concerned. No excuses. Just deep sorrow and regret that anyone, especially babies and children should be subjected to suh abuse.
Fast forward to present day. As a society as a whole, we love to think we are so far from that sort of abuse of innocent children. We pride ourselves on how we as a nation take care of the young ones of our country. But do we??
This is a place where a woman can obtain an abortion right up to the day the labor pains start. If that is not the ultimate child abuse, then the discusion in the previous paragraphs is just a slight slap on the hand. In our schitzophrenic society we condone and sometimes encourage the murder of children in their mother’s wombs; but sentence a drunk driver who killed a pregnant woman and her unborn child for two murders. If that person committed vehicular manslaughter on two human beings, then the abortionist is committing manslaughter on babies.
Getting down to the essence of this; the reason for the abortion in the first place. It isn’t unplanned pregnancy, that is just a euphanism to cloud the truth. Any woman who has had a child knows, deep down inside of her heart, that every pregnancy is not planned by us mere mortals. Ask the woman who has been trying everything science has at it’s disposal to be pregnant and is still childless.
To me, the real reason that abortion happens is fear. Fear on the woman’s part of loosing her saftey as security of the life she has. Fear on the man’s part of being thrust into fatherhood when he deep down inside of himself, knows he isn’t mature enough to be a father. Fear drives the human to do some pretty amazing and sometimes awfull things. And the fear does not have to be real. Fear takes on a life of its own, it does not need any truth to be terrifying.
In that context, lets look at a scenario of a woman who finds herself pregnant. In that moment when she looks at the little plastic test and sees the “yes” her whole life has taken a turn different that she expected or planned. Her plan is now altered, forever.
How did she get here? Maybe, just maybe, it was a failure of birth control, maybe it was a miscalculation of her fertile time, maybe it is just not being connected to the act of procreation and the hard fact of her being in that position. Next she has to tell someone. Who can she trust with this information? If she is in a good relationship with the man who fathered the baby she will tell him. If not, she will tell a best friend or a family member. She is the very most vunerable at this moment. Not when the test comes back, but when she lets the information out. That is when the saftey and security of her life is tested.
Anyone who has walked the pavement outside of an abortion mill and looked at the woman who go inside has seen the desparation, the despair, the fear and the stark aloneness of those going inside. They go there because they cannot see any other option for them. They are told slick lies about “pregnancy tissue” and how painless and quick and easy it is. Even get a coupon for hundreds off the fee. A bargan, come on down.
How have we, this so called modern society we live in, gotten to this point? On a whim, in a place of fear and worry and insecurity we kill our future before it even takes a breath. We have raised up a generation of young men and women who have swallowed the lie. The young men are taught, shown at every turn, that going to bed with a woman is their “right of passage” and they are not responsible for any outcome of that phsycal act. Just give her some money and the problem disappears. The young women are taught and shown that their bodies are only for pleasure. There is no personal responsiblity in anything they do. Dress anyway, act anyway you will be able to get rid of the pregancy tissue and just sail on in your life.
When the lie gives over to the truth, when she wakes up in the middle of the night after a dream of her aborted baby, when she finds out she cannot have children because of scars and other problems from the abortion, when she sinks into dispair and medicates herself with substances, when she just can’t seem to have a meaningful relationship with anyone—then the truth is starkly in front of her.
But lets go back, just for a moment, to the moment when she tells the man she is pregnant. Instead of backing away from her, instead of being separate entities, lets say these two human beings come together for the new life given to them to care for. This doesn’t mean they absolutely have to get married, maybe they just don’t suit each other. It does mean they rise to the occasion together, they accept the personaly responsibilty and all that comes with it, to bring the future into the world.
When I was a young married woman my first pregancy was just like that. Full of promise, surrounded by love and joy. The boy came into the world surrounded by that joy and love. My second pregancy, one of those surprise ones, was not. My husband decided that he just didn’t want to be a father again. He only saw the things in life that would be delayed or even potentially removed for him to be the father of two children. He said to me “why don’t you just go get rid of it. It’s legal now”. That moment is burned into my whole being. Right as he said those devastating words, my son lept in my womb (very Biblical that). It was also the moment my married ended. (It was three years later that we gave up and stopped trying to resurrect the dead body of it). It was at the utterance of those fateful words that he rejected that deep unique essence of me. That rejection lead to fear that led to my leaving his wedding rings on top of his credit card, packing up my two boys (3 and 4 1/2) and leaving him. I am convinced we both have been struggling with the results of that day ever since March of 1974.
The one thing a woman can give to the world, the one thing that is her and the man’s creation that is totally unique and will never, ever be duplicated is a child. When her man rejects that creation, he rejects her whole being. She can pretend, she can bury that pain and rejection but she can never cancel it. It isn’t her total worth, (I can hear you muttering, Gloria Steinheim), it is something totally and uniquely beautifully hers. She can even convince herself that it is for the best, that another time I can be a mother. Sometimes that other time never comes.
So, how about this, all of us human beings in the world right now today; Let us champion, defend, protect, nurture and love the future in the new life given to us. The idea of not being responsible for our own personal actions must be jettisoned and replaced with true, honest maturity and growth. It isn’t the mistake, it is what one does with it that counts. And what makes for good character. Let’s teach, encourage, show and back the boys who become real men and step up to the job. Let’s teach, nurture, protect, help in the practical eveyday things for the woman who accepts and loves her baby and brings that child to their very first breath in this wonderfilled world.
In all cirmcumstances of the pro-creation of new life, it is not the baby who dictates those circumstances, it is the two people who created the baby. As my Gramma Hallie used to say “it isn’t the baby’s fault the parents are stupid’. It is not a complete mystery of how babies get here. Not in this so called enlightened world. By the time a child gets to 5th grade it is known how babies get here.
Women, stop being used and abused. You are worth the effort it takes to say “no”. Men, stop being little boys who want the cake but not the baking to get it. Immaturity grows old and wearisome. Time for both sides to be real, responsible adults. The future of the world depends on you finally growing into adulthood.