29 March 2012

Abortion Survivors?

"Our world is full of abortion survivors, whether the procedure was attempted on them or not; thanks to OCTOBER BABY, we can begin to understand and minister to this massive wound among our youth. OCTOBER BABY is a major blessing to our movement!"
Father Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life

A fellow blogger (thanks M!) recently drew my attention to this quote and I have had it on my mind so much the past few days I am blogging about it.

My issue is not (yet) about the movie which I have not seen and therefore cannot judge, although I am concerned about the content given the reviews I have read.

My issue is about how this movie is being used and of course with the statements by persons like this Father Frank Pavone.  The emphasis used in the first part of the quote, I added because this is what upsets me the most.

My question is how can this world be full of abortion survivors if termination WAS NEVER thought of, let alone attempted? Answer is simple, if there was no thought of abortion, then that child was never at risk and therefore not an abortion survivor.

Given the movie is about an adopted adult who is seeking for her identity and the truth of her origins, I can only guess the “abortion survivors” Father Frank is referring to is adopted persons.  Had he left the quote at “our world is full of abortion survivors” I don’t think I could argue that because I do not know what the statistics are however given the context of the movie and the rest of that quote, it leads me to think he is referring to adopted persons because it is assumed out there in general society that we natural mothers “chose life” and gave our babies away for adoption so we didn’t have to terminate them.

This is a HUGE misconception.  MASSIVE.  For myself, abortion was not even remote thought.  I rejected it as quickly as I rejected adoption (actually, as abortion was the first option offered to me, I rejected it swiftly followed by adoption).

There was never a question in my mind about what I felt was best for this child I was carrying.  Amongst the fear I felt about being pregnant and knowing the judgements that would come, I was also excited about being a mother.  I had dreamed about this since I was 4 years old although getting raped and falling pregnant unmarried had never quite featured in that dream, funnily enough.  So there was no way I was entertaining any thoughts about termination or abandonment for this baby.

I asked some other natural mother friends of mine on facebook if they had considered abortion… and the resounding answer was no.  And I would bet there are many, many adopted persons with mothers who also felt the same way.  The mothers I asked wanted to keep their children – adoption never featured on their radar either.  

Promoting adoption as a savior for children who might have been or might not have been terminated pregnancies is, very, very dangerous.  Adoption has nothing to do with a woman’s choice to end a pregnancy.  It really doesn’t.  Abortion refers to ending a pregnancy and the decision not to proceed with being pregnant.  Adoption is the decision not to proceed with parenting the child for whatever reason.   Yet time and time again, the pro lifers/anti-choice persons pit these two together and use guilt to force someone to do something they might not otherwise have done.

These same parties also like to bandy around another term (in league with adoption agencies) and that is “coerced parenting”.  COERCED PARENTING!!!  First time I read  this, I was in disbelief.  Because now they are turning something natural into something to be wary of.  They are making our natural instincts, that is, to birth and parent our own children, into something ghastly.  And that is mind-boggling and disturbing.

Many pro-lifers are also adoption agencies in disguise.  Their aim is to prevent abortions in the hope of getting those mothers to place.  It is a well greased scam.  The thing is, these pro lifers, despite their propaganda, do not care about mother or baby.  They only care about the bottom dollar.  Given adoption is a mutli billion dollar industry, it is only wise to see the connection between these two issues in the terms of money.    Thanks to Facebook, I have seen pages and groups rise and fall that have been operating under cover as “support groups” for young pregnant mothers and they talk about “choosing life”.  They then suggest adoption… it is all part of the same wheel that turns to create more profit, more customers.  Those that are caught in the tangled webs they weave are the losers – the mothers, the babies and in some cases the more naive PAP’s.

Earlier in the post I raised the point our children were wanted and we planned to keep our babies.  How do mothers end up going from adamantly wanting their baby to placing them?  Although I have previously linked this post, Coercion not choice, it is the answer to this question and anyone considering adoption (ie adopting) should read it so you do not become part of this cruel and barbaric practise which is tearing families apart.   

In relation to the abortion survivor issue, please do not assume our children were ever saved from abortion because they were not.  Our children are not abortion survivors.  They are our much loved, much wanted children and they were taken by a system who didn’t care for us and who failed us and our children as a whole.   Adoption is not the alternative to abortion.  It is a painful road with no end in sight.  Adoption is a permanent state whereas the issue of becoming pregnant early is not permanent, not really.  It is daunting, sure.  But adoption is forever and that means the pain it causes. 
Although not a personal fan of abortion, I would never ever judge a woman for choosing that route and I have even suggested it to women as a choice which is something I would never have done prior to losing my daughter. You know what changed that for me?  Adoption.  So to all you pro lifers out there who are promoting the lifelong pain of adoption: you are also creating more fans of abortion because there is nothing in this life that could ever make up for the pain of losing a child to adoption.  Nothing. 

12 March 2012

Forced Adoption

I have tried to type this post several times over the past couple of weeks since the report from the Inquiry into past adoption practises was handed down.  Following the media content, there have been many comments regarding this issue.  And, to my horror, there have been many who feel it is an okay practise to take a mother’s child based on her age or marital status and some have even said they wish it was still happening.

Deep down, I understand this comes from ignorance and a choice to stick their head in the sand.  However it is alarming and hurtful to know the attitudes that caused almost complete destruction to so many lives, is still around.  But I also then questioned what people think about when they hear about apologies and holding governments ‘responsible’.

As humans, we all crave, at some point, acknowledgement for wrongs and injustices.  It is in our nature.  We want those who have perpetuated whatever wrongdoing to somehow accept their part and say sorry.  It is in this we are able to find what we need to move on in whatever way that is for each one of us.  When we are denied and invalidated by them and anyone else, the power of that injustice will hold something over us – whether large or small is to do with the individual.

Forced adoption is basically a form of kidnap.  When a mother is subjected to any sort of bullying, coercion or threats which have the effect of separating her from her child against her will, it is more or less the same as if someone walked in and took her child. 

For those out there who like to judge a woman who is pregnant without a band on her finger or appears young, there are a few things you should know.

First, and most importantly, it really is none of your business what is going on in her life.  Her body, her decisions are hers and hers alone.  You do not have the right to judge her, it really is that simple.

Secondly, no mother deserves to have her child taken from her just because she is young, unmarried or both.  No one can predict how a person will parent.  Being a good mother is not reliant on how old you are, where you come from, how much money you have in the bank, what car you drive, where you went to school, who you married, who you know, the college/university you went to, what house you own etc.  There is plenty of abuse in homes with parents who look good on paper.  And a gold band does not a good mother make.  Abuse has also occurred in adoptive homes.  Being adopted incidentally, does not guarantee a person a better life.  It just offers a different life.  I read stories where adopted adults talk about being grateful for being adopted because they find their natural families and don’t like them for whatever reason… how do they know though what their experience would have been?  Because of adoption, they missed out on what that was.  This is not meaning adopted persons shouldn’t love their adoptive families –just pointing out no one can ever know what their life might have been and therefore cannot dismiss it as being any good because in order to do that, they would have first had to live that life.

Thirdly, just because a mother may need to be on welfare for a certain period does not mean she will be there forever.  And regardless, again it is not your business.  There have been plenty of teen mothers who have made use of the welfare system and used that time to study, gain qualifications to start a career. I should also mention there are plenty of mothers out there who are on welfare because their marriages have broken up and they have had no choice.  Because men do walk out on their families and marriages break up.

Finally, who died and made you judge, jury and executioner?  Women do not become pregnant on their own.  It takes two and sometimes, a woman becomes pregnant through rape or incest.  Where is the heat on those males who have played a part?  And where is the justice for those fathers who actually wanted to parent and were denied by the same government policies?

Forced adoption is wrong.  And in many cases it was/is illegal.

So why do those who were/are victims of forced adoption want the government to apologise? It really isn’t rocket science.  Anyone with a conscience and a heart could figure it out in under a second.  Acknowledgement.  Acceptance.  To tell the world these women didn’t abandon their babies like many think and state – that they never “gave them up” as the saying so wrongly goes. 

Why the government?  Because despite many who like to blame “the mores of the time”, parents, society etc, there was only one department who could sign off on the adoptions and that was the government in the form of social workers.  Not to mention the state run hospitals who were party to this.  They knew it was wrong.  Forcing separation of mother and baby has always been known as wrong.  Just because something was practised on a large scale does not mean it was “just the times”.  Wrong is always wrong.

Obviously I am aware this will not cover many criticisms people have of what mothers like me are asking for.  And there will be those who choose to ignore the truth because it doesn’t suit them or, they don’t want to believe it.  That’s okay though because we know what happened to us.  And we know it was wrong. Those people choosing to ignore it or shut us down are telling us more about them and what they are like as a human being.  

We live in a world where people are cruel and so women like me suffered.  They were not just “trying to do what was best”.  They were systematically destroying young women and treating them shamefully and outright, cruelly.  They were punishing us and telling us we needed to suffer.  There is no excuse for what was done then or since.