Grief after induced abortion is often more profound and delayed than grief after other perinatal losses. Grief after elective abortion is uniquely poignant because it is largely hidden. The post-abortion woman’s grief is not acknowledged by society because the reality of her child’s death is not acknowledged. In order to gain her consent for the abortion she has been told that the procedure will remove a “blob of tissue” a “product of conception”, or a “pre-embryo.” She has been assured that her “problem will be solved” and that she will be able to “get on with her life” as though nothing significant had happened.
Yet the pregnant woman knows by the changes in her body that something very significant is happening to her: her menses have stopped, her breasts are enlarging, she is sick in the morning (or all day long), and she knows that the process which has begun in her will most likely result in the birth of a baby in nine months time if allowed to run its course. She is aware of the expected date of delivery and she has often thought of a name for her baby as she has begun to picture the child as he or she would be at birth (Bonding begins very early in pregnancy.). All of these feelings and fantasies about her pregnancy must be denied in order to undergo an elective abortion. The pregnant woman is asked to deny the fact that she is carrying a child at all!
Theresa Bonopartis relates her true story in her book, Divine Mercy In My Soul:
I could feel the baby thrashing around as his skin and lungs were burned by the saline. He was dying. Labor began. After twelve hours of labor, alone in the room, I gave birth to a dead baby boy.
I looked at his tiny feet and hands. All…
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…hat they have committed ‘the unforgivable sin’ and fear God’s anger.
Women who have had an abortion often have many questions, the answers to which are indispensable to beginning the healing journey. Can God ever forgive me? Can my child? Can I ever forgive myself? Will the Church let me stay when I confess this sin? Will this horrible pain ever go away? Is healing possible?
The answer to all these questions is, of course, YES!
Bishops, US Catholic. “Bishops’ Official Notes Coverage of Post-Abortion Program.” http://www.nccbuscc.org/comm/archives/00-084.htm
Bonopartis, Theresa. Divine Mercy In MY Soul. http://www.hopeafterabortion.org/hope.cfm?sel=C18L
“Stories of Healing.” http://www.hopeafterabortion.com/hope.cfm?sel=JHY7
Comparing the Wise Men of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and SHE
The Wise Men of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and SHE
I have heard it said that a smart person learns from his own mistakes but a wise person learns from the mistakes of others. In the two books, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and SHE, we have two characters that emerge as wise men. In Jekyll, it is the character of Utterson, the stoic but curious lawyer, and in SHE it is the character of Holly, the stoic but curious academic. It is interesting to note that neither character chooses this fate of wise man, but rather has it thrust upon him through fate and curious circumstances. It is because of their high moral character that they are selected to bear witness to extraordinary events. The question is, how far are we willing to go to push the bounds of knowledge; when do we stop being smart and start being wise?
Curiosity begets the quest for knowledge and curiosity is essential to these characters, “If he be Mr. Hyde, I shall be Mr. Seek”(Jekyll, pg 8), Utterson thinks to himself as he begins his journey. In order to become wise though, it is important to avoid being consumed by that which you seek. Instead, it is crucial to bear witness to that which either limits us or somehow gives us a greater understanding of ourselves. Holly at first is skeptical. “Anyway, I believe the whole thing is the most unmitigated rubbish. I know that there are curious things and forces in nature which we rarely meet with, and, when we do meet them, cannot understand. But until I see it with my own eyes, which I am not likely to, I never will believe that there is any means of avoiding death”(SHE, pg 46-47). I wonder if Utterson would not have responded similarly had he known what depths he was about to plumb. Nevertheless, Holly takes up the quest in the name of duty and adventure or maybe it is just plain curiosity.
These two characters share a common purpose in that they have both been entrusted with something valuable yet perplexing. For Utterson, it is Jekyll’s will and for Holly it is the chest given to him by Vincey as well as the responsibility for his only son Leo. This idea of trust is important because the wise must be of a certain moral character as well as educational background to accept knowledge that will extend the bounds of reason without corrupting that which they learn.