But then I found Jesus. The end
Posted on November 18, 2010
Remember Forsaken, the Taunton “charity” Nadine Dorries name-checked during the parliamentary adjournment debate on a “woman’s right” to be brainwashed by religious anti-abortion types when they approach health services with a view to terminating unwanted pregnancies?
Well, not only does it turn out that Forsaken isn’t actually a charity, yet, I can also confirm, having finally got my sticky hands on a copy of their publication, that Dorries was also wrong/lying/dissembling when she described the organisation as “neither pro-life nor pro-choice: it is pro-women.”
Because it’s not, it’s really really not; it’s pro-life.
The first clue to where the organisation stands on this issue comes with the book’s preface, which has been contributed by Margaret Cuthill ( Bio from a pro-life conference she spoke at earlier this year – “Margaret Cuthill is a Post Abortion Recovery Counsellor. She has been working as a full time counsellor for British Victims of Abortion for 19 years“) from A.R.C.H Trust. That’s the A.R.C.H Trust that, as Polly pointed out in the previous thread on this, believes that anyone and everyone who’s ever been near a woman who’s had an abortion is at risk of catching the dreaded “after abortion trauma“:
If you have experienced an abortion, or been involved with someone who has, you may be struggling to come to peace with that decision. Many are affected by after abortion trauma:
- the woman who had the abortion,
- the person who paid for an abortion
- children that were told their lives would be easier because a younger sibling was aborted
- the friend who drove a woman to the clinic pregnant, and back home “un” pregnant
- the dad whose wife/girlfriend chose abortion against his better judgment, consent or even without his knowledge
- a school counsellor who scheduled the appointment
- the grandparent who talked, supported or drove their daughter to the abortion or may not even had known of their son/daughter’s pregnancy.
- a family member, friend, counsellor or clergy, who tried to talk a mother/father out of an abortion, and failed
- the nurse, clinic worker or abortion doctor who later regrets their participation in taking the lives of the unborn
Any of these people might suffer from after abortion trauma. YOU could suffer too! For many, emotions surface after the abortion experience, due to unresolved psychological, physical and spiritual aspects. Symptoms are similar to those in any post traumatic stress disorder.
Or the “ZOMG I’m tainted with the mark of the baby killer!!!” disease as it’s alternatively known by the religious right, in an entirely non-judgemental-not-trying-to-guilt-trip-women-in-any-kind-of-way kind of way.
In the introduction the mystery unnamed editors tell us:
“This book is about the reality of post abortion. The women who suffer in this way tend to feel forsaken, unable to express what they are suffering.”
and the book then continues with the tragic heart-breaking true-life stories of women who’ve had abortions, and who’ve gone on to regret it, but who’ve all then managed to finally find peace and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
So basically, in a nutshell, the stories in this book/pamphlet/anti-abortion-religious-tract boil down to: I was young. I didn’t know what I was doing. I had an abortion. I lived to regret it. But then I found Jesus. The end.
And then, just in case the happy-clappiness message of the book has managed to entirely escape the unsuspecting reader, the women’s stories are followed with this lovely, entirely non-judgemental Bible passage:
“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent (wo) man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.
The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
1 Timothy 1:12-17
Pete Doherty’s post abortion syndrome definition then follows, and the book ends with a list of two “National Organisations” which offer support to tainted fallen sinners who carry the mark of the baby-killer – A.R.C.H. Trust and Care Confidential, which are both, as we’ve already ascertained, pro-life anti-abortion organisations.
So, to get back to Dorries’s original statement to the House that Forsaken is “neither pro-life nor pro-choice: it is pro-women“. Remember when she said this to the parliamentary commissioner for standards: “I rely heavily on poetic licence and frequently replace one place name/event/fact with another“?
She really wasn’t lying. For a change.
They blame you if you do, they blame you if you don’t.
Support… I’ve heard of it, pity it doesn’t exist.
Out of interest, did your copy have the word “registered” as in “registered charity” tipp-exed out?
not forgetting that she said someone’s blog award should be given back because he printed misleading info.
it pisses me off. as i have said before, some women feel trauma after abortion, some feel relief, some feel something different. but being told you’ve done something hideous and stigmatised and “evil” and you need to be “saved” is going to be a lot harder to deal with, than being treated llike a human being with a right to control your own body.
did you see 4thought on monday? i nearly threw up my tea with the anti abortion doctor saying ‘doing abortion operations does something to a person’. it was horrendous!
I sent Forsaken the following message:
‘In 2008, a team at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore reviewed 21 studies involving more than 150,000 women, and determined: “The best quality studies indicate no significant differences in long-term mental health between women in the United States who choose to terminate a pregnancy and those who do not.” Dr. Robert Blum, the senior author on the study, stated: “The best research does not support the existence of a ‘post-abortion syndrome’ similar to post-traumatic stress disorder.” The researchers further reported that “… studies with the most flawed methodology consistently found negative mental health consequences of abortion,” and wrote: “Scientists are still conducting research to answer politically motivated questions.” ‘
I’ve had nothing back from them yet.
This surprises me not a jot. Dorries’ commitment to the unblinking light of truth is as Jeffrey Archer’s contribution to fine literature. Your omission of it speaks volumes, but just to be clear, I take it any references to hard science e.g. studies, papers, journals etc are thin on the ground? If there are any cited studies it’d be great to have a list so they can be examined and debunked if warranted.
jimh76 – No, Tim had already scraped the Tipp-Ex off by the time he passed it on to me.
Dan The only “study” mentioned is the Pete Doherty one. Oh and there’s a quote on the back cover from Dr. Alfred Bongioanni, professor of obstetrics at the University of Pennsylvania, which is a quote you can find all over the Internet if you google his name (so I’m assuming they didn’t actually approach him to endorse the book):
I see – sorry, I didn’t realise you had Tim’s copy – I ask because, by my reckoning, if anyone recieved a copy of the book with the statement that it is a registered charity, that they may add the commission of a criminal offence to the moral ones they commit in their writing. http://www.charityfacts.org/charity_facts/index.html seems to suggest that registration places a number of constraints (re: campaigning and political activity) that they may not like.
I’m not surprised at Mrs Dorries choice of reliable supporter – but I’m saddened that such an intensely personal decision, which means different things to different people is politicised in this way.
I abhor the construction in which we all “acknowledge” that “some” women regret their abortions or are upset/traumatised by them. While it’s generally accepted that “post abortion syndrome” is a fanciful invention, I still too often see pro-choice commentators implicitly give credence to the assertion that abortion is somehow more “serious” or “upsetting” than any other medical procedure, presenting it as fact rather than the opinion (wish?) it is.
My hypothesis is that any adverse psychological effects of an abortion are socially determined; therefore that if you went to a country where anti-abortion rhetoric and propaganda were rife, and the media did not indulge the hand-wringing and special pleading over it, a vanishingly small number of women – the genuinely devout, for example, or those with eagerly desired pregnancies who had to terminate for medical reasons – would report any trauma from the procedure.
This is borne out by my experiences talking to and reading women who’ve had abortions (as well as being one). Those who had not been heavily influenced by modern anti-abortion tactics tend to feel not only the relief you’d expect them to, but also a variety of other positive emotions: pride in taking control of their destiny, triumph over what they see as an unlucky break that could have screwed up their life, a renewed sense of liberation and freedom to get out from under the cloud of potential parenthood, even a sense of rebellious independence and rule-breaking (the rule in this case being “all girls want to be mummies”, not “abortion is bad”).
Conversely, if you’ve internalised the message that abortion is “killing” your “child”, as most women living in the US and increasingly women living in the UK have done (thanks to the likes of Dorries and her mendacious friends – or even just through watching movies like Knocked Up and Juno), you’re going to feel like shit about it when you come to make the decision yourself.
And this is not at all unlikely, because about a third of all women in the US will have an abortion at some point in their lives. Not surprisingly, the fact that there are more people in the US who identify as Christian than not means that more self-identified Christian women have abortions than non-religious ones. I bet they’re the ones who really have some shit to deal with, but that has nothing to do with abortion and everything to do with the propaganda they’ve absorbed.
Which is why we should reject out of hand the term “pro-life”. Even “anti-abortion” doesn’t really cover it, because people like the ones Dorries referred to don’t just want to prevent women from having abortions: what they’re really after is making women feel like shit. Which means that the accurate term is “anti-woman”.
Beelzebub3, that’s awesome – do you have a link to that research by any chance?
MarinaS Here are a couple of studies that disprove the whole post abortion syndrome nonsense;
American Psychological Association Taskforce on Mental Health and Abortion
And the Johns Hopkins study already mentioned.
‘My hypothesis is that any adverse psychological effects of an abortion are socially determined; therefore that if you went to a country where anti-abortion rhetoric and propaganda were rife, and the media did not indulge the hand-wringing and special pleading over it, a vanishingly small number of women – the genuinely devout, for example, or those with eagerly desired pregnancies who had to terminate for medical reasons – would report any trauma from the procedure.’
Yes x 100
And as always, Unity has done a great job in investigating all the so-called evidence of “post-abortion syndrome”:
Dorries’ Abortion Risk ‘Plethora’
If I were to be found pregnant tomorrow (I wont be, but just imagine for a moment I was) it would be as welcome to me as a carcinoma, I would have no hesitation in having it excised from within me. I cant imagine feeling anything other than pure relief that the growth is gone and anyone trying to tell me otherwise would be dealt with swiftly, probably just the two words, the second one being ‘off’.
I can also say, that I have never felt any after abortion trauma at all, and that’s despite spending lots of time with lots of women friends and colleagues who have had abortions. I have however spent many hours supporting women friends with post natal depression – and I know which one I would prefer.
MarinaS – your comment is fantastic and should be shouted from the rafters.
Amongst the many awful things about this organization, and ones like it, is that, despite the ‘caring’ way they present themselves, the brutal truth is they actually *want* women to suffer trauma after an abortion. They need them to, because they’ve already decided they should.
Sorry this is off topic (I haven’t even read this whole post all the way through, let alone the comments), but it made me feel again like saying something I feel like saying sometimes and then just end up forgetting to actually say – I love your blog and your comments!
What a lovely thing to say! Thanks Joan 🙂
My own mother was advised to consider termination as she’d had some medical procedure or another before she knew she was pregnant with me – do I have The Post-Abortion? Save me Jeebus!!
Sorry if this is off-topic, but discussing abortion with my (male) partner has been interesting. I think few people are really that well-informed. He originally told me that he didn’t think women should be stopped from having the procedure, but there was still “the moral issue”. It then came out that his mother had had an ectopic pregnancy in the past, he told me she had to have “an operation” to correct it and honestly didn’t realise that this was in fact an abortion, which, had it not been preformed, would have meant he or his brother would most likely never have been born… Thankfully he is now better informed (says she, modestly!) on the importance of reproductive rights and those who wish to take them from us.. i.e., Dorries and dancing queen Widdecome.
P.S, MarinaS, I completely agree with you about doing away with the term “pro-life”. Anti-woman and pro-forced-pregnancy would be more accurate.
Does anyone else find the cover of that book at least a little disturbing?
Perhaps the actual solution is for women who have had abortions to “find moisturiser” rather than “finding jesus”? Olay may actually have missed a great marketing opportunity here. And dear gawd, what about the poor men suffering this post-abortion trauma, do they get cracked as well?
Hopefully the book answers these concerns. But I won’t hold my breath.
Thanks Cath for the awesome links. (and everyone else for the kind words!)
I may be very lazy and edit those into my above comment for a “cake mix” blog post. Please don’t judge! 😀
“Pete Doherty’s post abortion syndrome”
Dear baby Jesus, I thought there was something ELSE the tosser formerly of the Libertines had done, but turns out it’s not him.
BTW can I suggest the term ‘pro forced pregnancy’ rather than ‘pro life’. I think it’s more accurate, especially since a few ‘pro lifers’ have killed people.
Still struggling to come to terms with PAT by the way. I find drink helps.
can I suggest the term ‘pro forced pregnancy’
I can get on board with the more accurate term.
Yep, I think pro-forced pregnancy is definitely more accurate. It’s a bit of a mouthful though – I’m just trying to think now of ways to bring that term into chants etc for demos. Feel free to make suggestions…..
And talking of demos, that reminds me:
Strictly Protest Time
This Thursday, 6.30pm, Royal Overseas House, Park Place, St James’s Street, London.
I find it just a bit tacky that a pro-forced-birthing dinner is held on International End Violence Against Women Day (25 Nov).
Particularly as childbirth is still an event with many health risks including death, and to force all women into it illustrates an anti-woman stance.
Here’s the deal. If they want to outlaw abortion, then the very thing that causes pregnancy should be regulated – PIV sex – unless for procreation. This would entail legislation that requires written consent from the female partner, and agreement that he will be financially co-responsible for life fo any resulting offspring. Any PIV sex without this signed agreement could potentially be regarded as rape and prosecuted. Males cannot have it both ways, either they take equal responsibility for the consequences of PIV sex, or allow women the full options of dealing with it.
Cath, I just spotted the quote in your side column:
“Sex-negative feminism consists of, what, Andrea Dworkin and that weird Cath Elliott woman at the Guardian?” Someone on the Internet
So, omg! Better add me! LOL
Fascist? Anti choice seems just fine to me actually. Does what is says on the tin.
PS you are obviously in distinguished company, oh sex negative one.
Anti choice is what I call it, ’cause that’s what it boils down to for me.
That’s why I put it up Polly. I’m sure it was meant as some kind of insult, but, well, I’m not insulted by it at all. Quite the opposite in fact 🙂
I’m just surprised there are only two of you, I thought we were all ‘anti sex’ if we didn’t enthusiastically endorse BDSM/porn etc. Personally I’ ve always admired the phrase ‘sex neutral’ coined by IBTP.
There’s loads of us really. In fact, we should make our own list! (yes, I am a bit anal about making lists, I admit it). And yes, I think the definition of ‘anti-sex’ is basically anyone who’s ever expressed the view that porn, BDSM and prostitution might not be as allegedly “empowering” to women as the patriarchy and its apologists would have us believe.
Actually I think the definition of ‘anti-sex’ is even more straightforward than that. I think it’s: “anyone who can use the word patriarchy in a sentence, without flinching.”
There was a very (unintentionally) funny piece yonks back by some ‘sex positive’ blogger or other (no idea where so I can’t link) that said you didn’t have actually have to be having sex to be sex positive, and listed among other reasons a woman might not be having sex, that she’s (post)cmenopausal.
Cos obviously old dried up hags don’t have sex. Gosh some people do take themselves seriously though.
menopausal no idea where the stray c came from.
As an aside since charity HAS a legal definition, if an organisation raises funds by claiming to be a charity when it isn’t registered as one, it would surely be obtaining money by deception? If by that most people would assume it implied they were a registered charity?
Oh and saying people are stalking you if they’re not is of course defamatory. And quite possibly actionable.
I think there’s a time and a place for organisations to offer support for INDIVIDUALS suffering after abortion, both mentally and physically, and for a multitude of personal reasons, but absolutely no place for an organisation that tries to heal a race of people united only by their choice to terminate a pregnancy. It’s not a sinful disease, it’s a choice, and one which sometimes ends up being the wrong one, and sometimes the right one.
As an aside since charity HAS a legal definition, if an organisation raises funds by claiming to be a charity when it isn’t registered as one, it would surely be obtaining money by deception?
That would have been one of my main points initially. As I have worked for several charities, I can spot a faux charity trying to make out they are when they aren’t.
It’s a tough call though between which is the greater ‘crime’. To posit the organisation as a legit charity, or to give a flying fuck about the welfare of women with a clear anti-abortion agenda.
Ooh seen this?
Oh diddums, sent home on full pay. Oh, teh horrors! Such mistreatment!
Compare to sentencing a woman to look after an unwanted sprog for 20 years.
Dorries is sticking her nose in again.
She is getting as bad as the ECP as far as turning up everywhere.
Ah but you missed the best bit!
Dorries has thanks to her “husband stealing” and general slagging off of her current squeeze’s ex wife as an unstable alcoholic been lambasted by the Mail. Jan Moir and Ann Atkins!
Second linkie coming up to avoid the spamulator.
The Conservative MP Nadine Dorries also opposes BPAS’s challenge, claiming it would send out a message that you can use abortion as contraception.
She is also concerned that young girls having early medical abortions would feel isolated and frightened.
Ooh dear. Logic FAIL. Young girls won’t feel “isolated and frightened” if they’re forced to stay pregnant and maybe have a child they don’t want at a young age? Dorrie is also ignoring the fact that one reason BPAS want the law changed is that the second lot of pills start to work at once, so you could be stuck on a crowded train or bus in pain and experiencing heavy bleeding. I think everyone who’s ever menstruated can see why that wouldn’t be an ideal situation. And nobody is suggesting that women shouldn’t be offered the option of undergoing the procedure in the clinic if they want to.
Also the ONLY objection I can see to ‘using abortion as contraception’ is that it’s taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut, and may have physical side effects.
BUT abortion does the same thing as contraception. It stops you having a child when you don’t want to. IF anyone is using procedures like this instead of contraception, there is clearly a problem that needs to be addressed in terms of basic education and looking into other background factors that may be preventing that individual using contraception.
But, you only think repeated abortion is a bad thing if you think abortion is a bad thing. There’s absolutely no bloody logic whatsoever in saying ‘well one is ok, but 2 is pushing it a bit, and as for 3, what kind of slut are you?’
I was at school with a girl who was pregnant SIX times by the time she was 16. Now I do wonder in retrospect what the hell was going on there and why social services weren’t involved.
But the point is you CAN’T use abortion as contraception – because conception has already occurred, and it’s that whole nature of time thing again. You can use it INSTEAD of contraception, but I can’t see anything morally wrong with that personally. It’s just not desirable because the physical risk to a woman’s health of abortion is likely to be (slightly) higher than using contraception, and also, if we’re talking the NHS, because it’s a more expensive way of tackling things.
Let that be a lesson to married women everywhere. It’s every man’s right to have his ‘festive lunch’ cooked for him!
If my husband (not that I’ve got one) had run off with Nadine Dorries, I’d have myself hooked up to a vodka drip.
But couldn’t he have basted the turkey?
You can use it INSTEAD of contraception, but I can’t see anything morally wrong with that personally. It’s just not desirable because the physical risk to a woman’s health of abortion is likely to be (slightly) higher than using contraception, and also, if we’re talking the NHS, because it’s a more expensive way of tackling things.
I think the “using abortion as contraception” is one of those big red herrings (as you say, conception as occurred, so logic fail right there). But, most women are going to find that chemical/surgical abortions are generally not the walk in the park the pro-lifers make it out to be. Both methods would bring on heavy bleeding and probably severe cramps (I have to guess, never had an abortion as such, only a D&C). Most women are going to find that contraception is the better alternative over repeated abortions, not because of any moral BS, but purely on the physical effects. I would imagine that a chemical abortion would also fuck up your hormone balance for at least two months as well. Hardly ‘convenience’.
The obvious benefit for the patient in taking the second dose at home is the convenience of being at home when the cramps start, so you can curl up with a hotwater bottle or whatever, and not endure a packed tube or bus ride home whilst feeling like utter shit. The benefit for the NHS, is saving the cost of the second visit, which is unnecessary, and puts more strain on the system.
As for Nadine, I wonders what Heyseus has to say about her adulterous ways? I believe that may be covered in those Commandment thingys, but I don’t recall abortion being listed in the Commandments.
Whoops, religious-nutter *fail*
Thou shalt not commit adultery. It’s a mortal sin apparently
Tories in general , and Gideon in particular, may also want to take a look at these two sins
Taking advantage of the poor (Exodus 2:23)
Defrauding the workingman of his wages (James 5:4)
Thanks for the sin list.
I do find these religious types very contradictory and picky-chosey with their religious beliefs.
The bloke that Dorries has taken up with is Catholic, so the obvious adultery is already on the cards, plus he gets the bonus of not being able to divorce (I think the catholics still hold to that one?). Looks like he has clocked up “mortal sin” already.
The “mortal sin” list covers abortion (oh noes!!!), so really, none of them should be humping-for-fun, contraception is a no-no for catholics as well.
It’s all a bit weird though, because they go on about the “not killing”, so technically they really should all be vegetarians, it is speciesist to be otherwise.