Skip to comments.Sarah Palin's Trig-ger: Is Post-Abortion Grief Driving Criticism of Pro-Life Gov?
Posted on 09/08/2008 11:29:58 AM PDT by Brookhaven
The very personal and often uncharitable criticism of Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin and her family evident in recent media coverage, and the lack of support from many feminist and child advocacy groups, may have a relationship to the collective grief, pain and guilt from personal involvement in the abortion of an unborn child.
When an issue strikes at a deeply repressed sensitive wound in a person, often the initial reaction is anger.
Every year in the United States, approximately 133,000 pregnant mothers will undergo routine pre-natal tests and receive what is called poor pre-natal diagnosis, or PPD. This means that their infant is afflicted with a chromosomal abnormality or a serious defect in a vital organ.
With the increase in genetic testing and fertility treatments there are growing numbers of couples facing these difficult situations. More than 90 percent of these pregnancies end in abortion. Studies indicate that more than 80 percent of prenatal Down syndrome diagnoses end in abortion.
Parents are often influenced by doctors, therapists, friends and family to see these children not as a gift, but rather a burden to be feared and eliminated. After abortion, the fallout from this loss places a tremendous strain on a couple as they struggle to come to terms with the shock and pain of their experience.
Phil Pedlikin, president of the Down Syndrome Association of Northern Virginia, said the coverage of Sarah Palin as the mother of a child with Down syndrome has been very mixed.
"We have found it frustrating that, even though Governor Palin has never suggested it, quite the opposite really, the emphasis of many reports has been on the 'burden' that she faces because her child has Down syndrome. Also, she is sometimes portrayed as a hero because of this additional 'burden.' We are not heroes because we have children with Down syndrome. Our children are the heroes," Mr. Pedlikin said. (Washington Times, September 4, 2008)
Governor Palin has been clear that despite the challenges Trigs condition will present, she and her husband Todd joyfully celebrate the gift of this precious life to their family.
But this very heartfelt, natural expression of love may be striking at a deeply repressed and painful wound in our culture.
Seeing the Palin family, in a very visible public forum, with an uncompromising and public pro life philosophy arouses deeply repressed feelings in post abortive parents, as well as media members, counselors, health care professionals, politicians and others who promote abortion rights, especially the abortion of children with challenges such as Down syndrome.
These powerful repressed feelings of grief, guilt and shame can be deflected from the source of the wound (i.e., abortion) and projected onto an often uncharitable focus upon the trigger of these painful emotions the Palin family.
We have also learned that Sarah's 17-year-old daughter Bristol is pregnant and will give birth to her son or daughter. This information has been exploited to attack chastity programs and the alleged glamorization of motherhood at the expense of contraception and abortion rights. But this completely misses a more crucial issue that once again our society struggles to face.
If Bristol Palin had quietly aborted, Sarah Palin would have been spared the politically untimely focus on this very personal family issue. The problem would have quietly gone away.
But Bristol, like countless post abortive women, would have paid a high price to protect her mother from the political heat that her pregnancy brings to the campaign. We know from our work with thousands of women who feel pressured to abort for various reasons that she would surely suffer many of the common post abortion symptoms; depression, promiscuity, drug and alcohol abuse, sleep disorders and relational problems. But she would have suffered in silence; no one would know her secret. No one would acknowledge that she has reason to grieve or have symptoms after abortion.
Sarah Palin would have lost not only her precious grandchild...she likely would have lost her daughter Bristol to the silent ravages of post abortion suffering.
The Palin familys decision to once again affirm the value of the unborn child, and support a decision to give life confronts the collective grief, guilt and shame of all who have participated in any way in the death of an unborn child.
What we can hope and pray is that Sarah Palin's story does not continue to feed a disgraceful media feeding frenzy fueled by our post-abortive culture and instead becomes a beacon of hope and healing.
The experience of the Palin family offers encouragement to other families facing challenging circumstances to value the gift of a child and to see the blessing and potential they represent, rather than a burden to avoid at all costs.
It is important to make the distinction that to affirm the value of the unborn in no way condemns those who have experienced the pain of abortion. Rather, this presents an opportunity to reach out to all who have been wounded by their participation in abortion with love and compassion.
We must invite our post-abortive culture to leave the dead end road of anger and personal attacks on families like the Palins. Instead, we need to travel the road of reconciliation, healing and peace as we work together to build a culture of life for all Americans from conception to natural death.
If you or someone you love is hurting after abortion, visit Rachels Vineyard - Healing The Pain of Abortion, One weekend at a Time www.rachelsvineyard.org.
Great minds ...
I can see the writer’s point, and there may be behind some of the media hype, but it’s not driving it.
> Rather, this presents an opportunity to reach out to all who have been wounded by their participation in abortion with love and compassion.
A bit late for that. The only people “wounded” by their participation in abortion are permanently unavailable to receive love and compassion.
Abortionists: always a day late and a dollar short when it comes to love and compassion. ‘Strewth!
However, I'm convinced that a lot of strident left-wingers are acting out of their own self-hatred. Many of these people have abortions in their past and they feel guilty about it. As a self-defense mechanism, they become very hard-over on the importance of abortion. "It's legal. It's right. There is no shame in what I did." Now, if the country were to decide that 40 million abortions was a holocaust, these people would have to come to grips with their past.
I believe that Sarah Palin (just by living her life) is a strong repudiation of the choices these people have made. They hate her for it. It's nothing she says. It's just the fact that she embraces life, and they know that they have embraced death.
Reaching out to these people in a spirit of reconciliation is the right thing to do -- but I bet that will often fan the flames of their hatred (which is self-hatred, re-directed against conservatives as a defense mechanism).
When I saw the image of Palin holding her Down's Syndrome son in her arms I immediately said to my wife, "Wow, so many women who aborted Down's Syndrome babies must be thinking about their abortions now."
The abortion causualty count is always 1 dead and 1 wounded. The real villian is the ‘provider’.
You are flat out wrong about that. I can tell you have never truly known someone that has had an abortion.
When NOW talks about choice, the fail to mention it isn't always the woman's choice. Boyfriends, parents, even school/government counselors can (and do) apply a tremendous amount of pressure on women.
Imagine you were 19 and pregnant. Your boyfriend (who you thought actually loved you) is telling you you had better have an abortion or he'll leave you. Your parents are pushing for you to have an abortion. The counserlors at your school tell you the best thing to do is have an abortion and "it will all go away like it never happened."
Is it reasonable to expect a 19 year old girl to stand alone against pressure from every side?
I'm as pro-life as anyone (and probably more so than most that say they are pro-life) and I'll tell you right out, next time learn a thing or two before you stick your foot in your mouth.
Those who have procurred abortion, or encouraged others to do so, or, usually, both,
have a huge psychological need for there to be no indication in society or law that what they did was wrong. Any indication that it might be wrong (such as the word “rare” in the DNC platform) is pointing out that they MURDERED an innocent baby.
This is why they become “activists” to make sure to spread the word and vehemently claim that there is nothing wrong with abortion.
It’s sad when, in their “activism”, they encourage others to murder their own babies, and inflict the lifelong torment on others as well.
And take our tax money to do it.
What I do not get about the Dims going nuts about Palin and Trig is the fact that if the Dims are so into 'choice' well....it was Palin's 'choice' to have Trig which supposedly is the point of 'choice'. End of discussion on the matter from the Lefties as far as I am concerened :)
Sarahs’ experience with Trig may inspire a lot of women to not have an abortion. Who knows. She may have saved hundreds maybe thousands of lives.
Yeah, that’s a biggie to me.
That one triggers the idea that we, as Christians, are not to obey government edicts that force us to do what God forbids.
IF you look at some of the women who lead this charge, it makes you wonder are they really doing this to rationalize an abortion they had in the past?
The vast majority of women who aborted Down’s babies had to feel a pang when Sarah talked about her “perfectly beautiful baby boy”. There is no way any woman with a heart didn't hear that and look at that picture, and deep inside, didn't feel deep emotion.
The thing is, people of conscience feel grief and regret. But superlibs feel anger and avoidance. I know, I've seen it. I've seen girlfriends who have had abortions unable to talk to me after I had my baby. They have to justify, and no matter what, they end up feeling, at the least, weak.
In some people that translates to hate and rejection. They project, thinking such a person is responsible for their twisted feelings and is purposely making them unhappy and uncomfortable.
Because, no matter how they cover it up, they destroyed their child to be because they couldn't handle it somehow. They can't get away from that.
> You are flat out wrong about that.
> I can tell you have never truly known someone that has had an abortion.
Fat lot you know. I have known several abortioners, and without exception they are shallow, selfish people unworthy of the spirited defense that you seem to insist is their due.
And what’s worse, they are unrepentant and they see themselves as “victims”.
I see neither reason nor excuse for turning sentient people into “victims” when they choose to kill other helpless human beings. They are not “victims” but rather “killers”.
The true victim was disposed of with the medical waste on the last day of his/her short life.
Abortioners deserve opprobrium, not support for their evil deeds.
If they are no longer considered “incompetents at law” (which handily takes in most people of child-bearing age) they are old enough to understand Thou Shalt Not Kill.
> Is it reasonable to expect a 19 year old girl to stand alone against pressure from every side?
Yes. Not only is it reasonable, it is moral, ethical and responsible. Sorry, ma’am — I guess one of the areas in which we differ is that I insist on treating adults like adults. At 19 she is no longer a girl, but rather a woman.
Is it reasonable to expect a 19 year old man to stand alone against peer pressure from his gang mates not to do a drive-by shooting?
You see, to me there is no difference. Killing is killing. And killing is a Sin. And abortion is usually killing in order to avoid a consequence of another Sin: that of fornication, or sex out of wedlock.
> I’m as pro-life as anyone
Evidently not. Perhaps you are not as pro-life as you should be?
> (and probably more so than most that say they are pro-life)
Demonstrably not moreso than I.
> and I’ll tell you right out, next time learn a thing or two before you stick your foot in your mouth.
I will keep your guidance in mind for the next time I do stick my foot in my mouth — which isn’t this time.
I think it is lamentable that perfectly good Conservatives like yourself can put away their moral compasses whenever it suits them: in this case over the emotive issue of Abortion.
Sorry, ma’am: one of the features of Free Speech is that we all have the right to differ. And one of the responsibilities of exercising that right is to have the courage of one’s convictions. In this case I believe you are tragically mistaken, and I stand by my earlier post.
You and I clearly disagree. And it is probable that we may never agree on this matter.
There it is. Just like that.
I have to add, IMHO, when you see women anchors and commentators going absolutely berserk over Sarah Palin, those are the ones that had abortions they knew they didn’t really have to have.
Well aren’t you the holier-than-thou self-righteous snob.
Everyone has a conscience - some just sear theirs shut.
Everyone also knows right and wrong, and when they do wrong, they can recognize it, have their conscience convict them of it, and seek to right the wrong and repent from doing it again.
However, how do you “right the wrong” of killing the unborn?
If you don’t understand that there is a loving God who will forgive you, then you’re stuck,
and the only thing you can do is to vehemently declare that what you did is NOT wrong, and work to warp society such that you are not faced with the wrongness of your “choice”.
> Well arent you the holier-than-thou self-righteous snob.
If that’s what “Pro-Life” means to you, then I guess I’m guilty as charged.