Finally some practical help for abandoned pregnant women so that those who do not want to have an abortion do not have to.
But it took a Kiwi bishop to come up with the
sensible but obvious solution of providing financial and other possible aid to such women.
New Zealand has always been ahead of its time as far as women are concerned. It was the first country to give women
the vote. Now 38 Kiwi women have chosen to accept Auckland’s Bishop Patrick Dunn’s offer of aid so they don’t have to have an abortion.
It may be crass to say so, but it is also appropriate – the bishop has
‘put his money where his mouth is’. And in the best possible way. In doing so he has allowed life where there would have been death and grief.
Interestingly, not all the women concerned are single. Some
already have families and just felt they could not afford another child. The bishop’s offer is not confined to Catholics either. He pledged to help (any) pregnant woman 100 per cent.
The world of loneliness
and despair of the abandoned pregnant woman is still not well known enough to men. Well, one hopes it isn’t or else how could they abandon their girlfriends when this quite logical result of physical love occurs?
Most women have women friends who in quiet late-night chats have told them their terrible tales of abortions they never would have had if – to recast an old song – their man had stood by them. The country
classic tells women to Stand by Your Man. Maybe it’s time men stood by their women.
If anyone has doubts about the unwillingness of many women who undergo abortion to do so, a quick read of Melinda Tankard
Reist’s book Giving Sorrow Words will soon dispel such doubts.
Ms Tankard Reist wanted to break the oppressive silence surrounding abortion trauma. She, quite rightly, sees abortion as a form of violence
against women. These women were told, she says, that ‘babies are forever’. They discovered too late that so is abortion.
The Sydney Catholic Church has recently made some moves to help such grieving women.
Broken Bay Diocese has just embraced Project Rachel – a Catholic counselling service aimed at helping those many women racked by guilt over abortions that may have happened over 20 years ago.
its shame now boasts 100,000 abortions a year. We are failing Australian women and their would-be children.
Right to Life has dubbed these 100,000 children-that-will-never-be the “lost generation”. How truly
tragic and how truly crazy that it may take what is fast becoming an abortion epidemic to bring the Western world – and Western men – to their senses and make them take this most fundamental of women’s and
humanity’s concerns seriously.
Should we fail to do so, we may soon find ourselves singing not ‘where have all the flowers gone?’ but ‘where have all the children gone?’
LEST WE FORGET
And indeed, we have at times forgotten. Of course, we’ve welcomed home the returning war veterans – the first few boatloads of them, anyway, But later returnees have
commented on the glassy-eyed indifference as they waved to unresponsive people in the street, so glad were they to be home. Was it compassion fatigue?
This, of course, is unworthy of us. These men and women
gambled their lives for us. But the Anzacs are big enough to overlook this. Their experiences have placed them in in another world which cannot be ‘explained’ in ordinary discourse.
This is especially true of
the Vietnam veterans, This was labelled “the dirty, unwinnable war” The honouring of the Vietnam veterans was tardy, but right and sincere. The same unselfishness shines from them as from the veterans of Gallipoli,
World War II, Korea, ‘Desert Storm’, Bosnia and East Timor. How the list has lengthened since.
Fr Eugene Stockton, in Landmarks, writes of Anzac as our secular version of the Paschal Mystery. We can resonate
with this. We are swept up in the mystery of love in these men and women transfigured by a love that inspired them to surrender life generously, prodigally for the ones they loved and what they thought was right.