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Abortion Pain

Fr. John Breck

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This past summer we ran a column in this space on the theme "Torture in the Womb," which spoke of the acute pain a child in utero experiences during an abortion. Recently a significant number of articles have appeared, in medical journals and in the popular press, providing further evidence that unborn children are sensient beings from at least the 20th week of the pregnancy, and probably much earlier. For them, abortion can only be experienced as "cruel and unusual punishment" for the simple fact of being alive.

A number of Orthodox Christians have been especially concerned with another aspect of abortion pain: the anguish experienced by so many "aborted mothers" who suffer from what is now called "post-abortion syndrome." Vera Faith Lord of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese has dedicated herself to providing both information and consolation to women who, like her, have undergone an abortion. She has founded "Alpha-Omega Life," an organization that recognizes that there are "aborted fathers" as well. Vera travels the country, speaking to groups who are open to her vital message. (She can be contacted by the following means - phone: 410-761-8027; e-mail alphaomegalife@pghmail.com; mailing address: 343 Gatewater Court #202, Glen Burnie, MD 21060.)

For many years Father Jason Kappanadze has been active in the Orthodox pro-life movement. Recently he posted the following item on an internet forum list. Its insights regarding the pain experienced both by aborted infants and "aborted mothers" should be of interest to "Life in Christ" readers, as to anyone who is concerned with the social, medical and moral consequences of Roe v. Wade.

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Norma McCorvey's (Jane Roe's) hope of reversing Roe v. Wade by appealing the original Supreme Court decision, was denied in federal court this week. But certain new realities have been made their way into the mind of at least one federal judge and emerged in the written decision. This excerpt from a recent "National Review" article describes this:

What was surprising, though, was Judge Edith Jones' powerful five-page separate opinion. While Judge Jones agreed that the court had no power to reopen the original Roe decision, her opinion assures that McCorvey's arguments did not fall entirely on deaf ears. Calling the original decision, an "exercise in raw judicial power," Judge Jones observed that McCorvey's voluminous new evidence "goes to the balance Roe struck between the choice of the mother and the life of her unborn child." Citing both the testimony of post-abortive women and scientific studies, Judge Jones reasoned that the evidence "suggests that women may be affected emotionally and physically for years afterward and may be more prone to engage in high risk, self-destructive conduct as a result of having had abortions." The same evidence took aim at the myth of a close collaborative relationship between abortionist and patient. Testimony of workers at abortion clinics showed that "women are often herded through their procedures with little or no medical or emotional counseling." Indeed, one former abortion clinic worker described how abortion physicians she worked with would work on commission and perform 10 to 12 abortions per hour.

If you'd like to read the entire article, here's the link. http://www.nationalreview.com/coffin/coffin200409160630.asp

Read this article on the Orthodox Church in America website (new window will open). Reprinted with permission of the author.

Posted: 11/25/04



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