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Poor Baby: A Child of the 60's Looks Back on Abortion
I came of age during the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. I’m a former waitress, an ex-lawyer, a sober barfly, a Catholic convert, and a self-supporting writer. I’ve been financially independent all my life. But I’ve never much been able to reduce the mystical to the political. I’ve never been much moved to call myself a feminist. The feminists had said that sleeping...
I came of age during the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. I’m a former waitress, an ex-lawyer, a sober barfly, a Catholic convert, and a self-supporting writer. I’ve been financially independent all my life. But I’ve never much been able to reduce the mystical to the political. I’ve never been much moved to call myself a feminist. The feminists had said that sleeping around would be empowering. The feminists had maintained that “choosing” would make me free. The feminists had asserted that there’d be no repercussions. The feminists had been wrong. That I’m for life—and against abortion, war, the prison industry, capital punishment, and hypocrisy—is a given. That I’m for life is why I suffered, in silence, in guilt, sorrow, for over twenty years. Even women, who will talk about anything, don’t talk about abortion. But I do, in this 10,000-word essay that I hope might open the door to a new way of thinking about and talking about this difficult subject. Because abortion is not a political issue; abortion is a mystical issue. Abortion is a matter of emotional and spiritual poverty, of what we inherit from our parents and what we pass on to our children, of what we absorb from a culture that is saturated with violence. As Dostoevsky’s observed: “Love in reality is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to love in dreams.” "Poor Baby" is the tragicomic story of a harsh and dreadful thing. May it shed some light on our collective yearning for love.
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