In his book “The Nine,” Jeffrey Toobin says:
“While we find no reliable data to measure the phenomenon,” Kennedy wrote, “it seems unexceptionable to conclude some women come to regret their choice to abort the infant life they once created and sustained.” Small wonder that Kennedy found no such data, because, notwithstanding the claims of the antiabortion movement, no scientifically respectable support existed for this patronizing notion.
Place to one side the fact that (as Toobin knows damn well) if anyone tried to conduct any kind of scientific study regarding abortion, it would be bitterly opposed by NARAL et al. on privacy grounds.
Is “scientifically respectable support” really necessary for the proposition that “some women come to regret their choice to abort the infant life they once created and sustained”? Does Toobin truly think that no women regret their abortions?
If so, let me set him straight.
I recently wrote a post linking a piece I had seen in the Daily Mail, which quotes women who have had abortions. Of the six women whose abortions are recounted in the piece, four regretted their decision. Let me remind you of some of their quotes:
Today, I still have a huge sense of loss and feel that we did the wrong thing. Mike and I are still together, although the abortion nearly split us up.
I hope that one day we’ll get married and have children together – but I will never forget. Even today, I see pregnant women or happy young mothers with their babies and think: “That could have been me. It makes me cry.”
My abortion haunted me for years afterwards. . . . When [my baby] was born in August of this year, I was thrilled – but when I look at her I sometimes think of the pregnancy I terminated.
Doctors haven’t confirmed a link between my abortion nine years ago and the subsequent miscarriages, but I can’t help but wonder if they’re connected – and inside I do sometimes blame myself.
I was given a pill and then a pessary the following day, which induced a miscarriage. I was not prepared for what followed. After eight hours I gave birth to a small but fully formed baby.
As I watched the nurse carry it away in a pool of blood, I felt so hollow at the waste of a life. I could clean the mess off me, but couldn’t wash the guilt from my mind.
When I came to, I felt devastated about what I had done and immediately regretted it. I went home with this aching, empty feeling.
Alan didn’t wait long before cutting his ties with me and I fell into a deep depression. It took me so long to get out of bed each morning because I had to imagine I was dressing and feeding my lost baby. I gave him a name, Patrick.
One night, I wrote letters to my family and friends and took an overdose of antidepressants. But it wasn’t enough – and the next day I was woken by the phone. It was Alan, who realised I could barely speak and called an ambulance.
After writing this post, I got comments from a number of women with similar experiences. For example, one woman said:
My best friend 1st year of college was suicidal cause her s.o. pressured her into two abortions. I visited the graveyard w/her where she grieved her child.
At age 16 I made the decision to terminate my unplanned pregnancy. Is it really a decision when a 16 year old makes it? In retrospect, I don’t think so. My priorities were so shallow I couldn’t see beyond the next month, the next year.
That was 25 years ago. Do I still think about this child? Yes. Do I regret the “decision” I made? Yes. . . . I will never forget or forgive myself for taking the life of my own child.
And our friend Rightwingsparkle wrote an excellent post which noted:
In these many years I have heard many post abortive women speak and their anguish is hard to hear. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece was on Fox News the other night describing the pain of her 2 abortions. She is an active pro-lifer now. Norma McCorvey, Jane Roe of the infamous Roe v. Wade case is an active pro-lifer now, she describes how they used her in that court case and told her to lie and say that she had been raped.
Maybe I have found the only women who regret their decision, among the tens of millions of abortions that have occurred since Roe v. Wade was handed down. I rather suspect there are more — several hundred thousand more, if not millions. But I can’t prove that.
So no, Mr. Toobin, I have no “scientifically respectable support” for Justice Kennedy’s “patronizing notion” that “some” women regret their abortions. All I have is quotes from actual women themselves.
As the kids say: Duh!