Thursday, February 10, 2011


It's 2011, and as Solomon noted in Ecclesiastes, there is nothing new under the son. Oh, technology may be rocketing forward and changing the outer shape of those living in "developed" nations, but the essence of the human heart remains corrupt.

If you need to ask for some evidence, better just ingest some caffeine because you're clearly not quite awake. Click on a news site; read the paper; catch a news broadcast. You won't have to listen very long for a story to affirm my assertion.

A few decades ago, when I was involved in a campus ministry, the pastor would frequently open a Sunday worship time with "A Reading of the Record of Our Sin and Folly." And then he would open a recent newspaper and start reading headlines. It only took a short time before I started making the connection between what was happening in the world: local, national and international, and the fact that so, so much of that news fit the categories of sin and folly: "Murder-Suicide Rocks Town"; Middle East Peace Talks Break Down", and on and on. You get the idea.

Yet despite the rolling caravan of headlines and sound bites that benumb us, I still was not prepared for an opinion piece I stumbled upon this moring. The author of this blog post, Sasha Brown-Worsham, seems to be taking herself quite seriously when she references a "study" and then concludes that "Having a Baby is Harder on Sanity Than Abortion".

I wouldn't blame you if this statement defies your standards of credibility. It did mine. But, here's the link:

And here's the lead: "In news that is unlikely to surprise much of anyone, having a baby is much harder on a woman's mental health than having an abortion. This comes from a Danish study published by the New England Journal of Medicine.

Seriously? Setting the question of morality aside for a moment, can anyone really accept this as a scientifically justifed assertion? So the implication here is that willfully truncating the essential process of reproduction--a process upon which the perpetuation of the race depends, and which certainly qualifies as one of the most primal of human functions--is better for female mental health than bringing forth life?

Have you thought this through, Sasha? Because the logical extension of your statement is that maternal mental health and generating new life are incompatible. what does one make of the past several millennia in which generations have been conceived and birthed--right up to TODAY, as a matter of fact--and yet the vast majority of mothers do not occupy mental institutions.

And in case anyone doubts my own credibilty, I have birthed and am raising five children. Is it easy? Well, even noting that definitions of "easy" vary tremendously, I would not characterize motherhood as easy. I've found that very few worthwhile endeavors really qualify as easy.

But violating one of the essential prerogatives of womanhood--childbearing--is easier? What context are you speaking from, Sasha?

As I understand what you offer as scientific evidence, the measure of sanity is based on the number of mental health treatment appointments sought by mothers as opposed to those of post-abortive women.

Here's the quote, as excerpted from The Huffington Post:

Researchers compared the rate of mental health treatment among women before and after a first abortion. Within the first year after an abortion, 15 per 1,000 women needed psychiatric counseling – similar to the rate seeking help nine months before an abortion...while first-time mothers had a lower rate of mental problems overall, the proportion of those seeking help after giving birth was dramatically higher. About 7 per 1,000 women got mental health help within a year of giving birth compared with 4 per 1,000 women pre-delivery.

There are too many questions to ask here, but a few are: (a) does the number of women SEEKING mental health treatment really equal the number of women NEEDING it? (b) does this "data" make any allowance for the pervasiveness of human denial? shame? immaturity? fear? (c)is it sound science to base so sweeping a conclusion on a study based on a brief snapshot of time in the life of young women who have years of life ahead in which to carry the knowledge that they ended the life of their own baby?

Permit me to doubt.

The majority of women I personally know who have had abortions have sought post-abortive counseling to come to terms with this chapter of their lives. Achieving resolution and, more importantly, coming to realize they can be forgiven and must forgive themselves is not instantaneous...but it is possible and well worth it, as several have testified to me.

Those who choose to "go it alone" in bearing the burden of abortion... the ending of a life they did not conceive on their own, afterall... often reap consequences, whether suppressed or acknowledged. They rob themselves, not only of the joy of bringing forth new life, but of the healing that can come when the truth is acknowledged and processed with a counselor who likely cares more the young woman than she does for herself.

Some time ago, I heard a couple of statements, both made by persons whose credentials and expertise affirmed their fitness to address the subject:

(1)Irrefutable evidence from anthropology demonstrates that no society has endured that did not place value on women and children. This is axiomatic.

(2)In the context of the reported rate of abortions per women in the former Soviet Union--average was 8 abortions each--came this conclusion: a culture that evidences the degree of hopelessness and insufficient desire or energy to replace the current generation is a culture with little future.

Which brings me back to King Solomon's musing that "there is nothing new under the sun."

And perhaps the definitive example of that is the human heart...the heart that not only takes an unborn life, most often for the sake of convenience and selfishness, but then tries to convince itself that this is an action that preserves "sanity."

"The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?"
Jeremiah 17:9

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