Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Just Stories . . . of Abortion.

Abortion is a hot button issue. That makes it difficult to talk about. Talk about, not fight about, which is all people seem to do these days as everyone wants to defeat their perceived enemy rather than talk to fellow human beings. I think of what George Bernard Shaw said, "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."

I read this article in The Irish Times. It’s not pro-life, or pro-choice, or a bunch of opinions, arguments, and theories, it’s just people telling their stories. It’s the reality behind the rhetoric. The gut-wrenching, heart-breaking reality that reminds us that at the heart of every story is a living breathing human being not much different than ourselves.

My first experience with abortion was when I was about 14 and I was the emotional support for a woman who had one. I wasn’t the father; the father wanted nothing to do with it. I was the emotional support for two more women before I was 23. In each case the father felt that it wasn’t his problem, which was part of the reason why they felt that they had no choice.

My feelings on the issue aren’t as black and white as they once were. But my feelings for each of those women remain the same, as my level of compassion for the place they found themselves in. I know that at least one of them still struggles with the choice she made, 20 years later.

Who they are doesn’t matter, and I’ll never say, it's not my place; even talking about it now makes me feel like I’m somehow betraying their confidence. But, I feel, with any difficult choice, it’s best made when it’s well informed.

Like with any emotionally traumatic experience it’s better if you talk about it so you don’t bottle it up and so that others can learn from your experience. It’s been my experience that if it makes others angry or uncomfortable that usually has more to do with them not wanting to face something in themselves, and what you’re talking about brings it closer the surface. It has very little to do with you, but you’re the messenger and we all know what so often happens to him/her.

What I feel is that we need to let each person tell their story (more than give their opinion), as they felt it to be, without judgement. The article did just that.

The truth can look after itself, when it’s allowed to be heard.

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