Soccer Dad, who has a wonderful blog here, sent me a nice email agreeing with the points I made in my Biology will have its way post. He added an anecdote about Planned Parenthood: “The archdiocese of Baltimore announced that it would pay for counseling for women who had undergone abortions. Planned Parenthood objected. It was then that I realized that Planned Parenthood stood for a lot more than just freedom of choice. It stood for allowing women to be just as irresponsible as men could be. (I think that was a general point of yours.)”
First, he’s right that this Planned Parenthood story fits in perfectly with the point I was trying to make. Second, he sent me off on a rant about Planned Parenthood, abortion and the culture of teen sexuality that I thought was worth reprinting here:
I grew up very pro-Choice and still part ways with deep conservatives in that I’m unwilling to ban abortion entirely. What I’d like to do is change the culture. Hillary says “keep abortion safe, legal and rare,” but she doesn’t mean that last one, because she is unwilling to attack a sexual culture that inevitably means abortions will always be in demand.
Maybe I’m being incredibly stupid, but I do believe that if our culture stopped teaching high school, college and even middle school girls that not only does sex have no consequences but that it’s a necessary adjunct to the socialization, they’d stop having sex so much. If we went a step further, and said that self-respect, love, friendship and mature self-control all militate against jumping into bed, we’d have even less sex. In that social context, teaching matter-of-fact biology classes, akin to the ones I had when I was 14, which cover human reproduction and methods of contraception as part of that package, would not be incitements into bed. There wouldn’t be exciting and amusing demonstrations of candy-flavored multi-colored condoms being rolled over cucumbers. In my world, sex shows would stop coming to colleges, and Valentine’s Day would be about love and affection, and not about the Vagina Monologues.
I used to support Planned Parenthood when I believed that it was simply about helping adult woman make responsible choices about their sex lives. I’ve become very hostile to it now that I realize that it’s mission is to preserve the non-stop sex culture that rains down on our children.
As the mother of a 10 year old who is bombarded with nude pictures of Disney Stars, and Britney breakdowns, and Madonna kissing other women at awards shows, I loath the sex saturated culture we have become. I really wasn’t that aware of it before, because I came of age before it hit big time, and I didn’t have children in the right demographic until recently. Now that I see it, it disgusts me — and, as the parent of innocent, loving young children, it frightens me.
Soccer Dad was kind enough to send me the 199s article about Planned Parenthood, which I’m including here, below the fold:==============================
Catholics launch assistance project for after abortion -
Lead priest says 1 in 3 women have post-traumatic
Sun, The (Baltimore, MD)-January 19, 1992
Author: Sheridan Lyons
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore will launch today at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen a program to offer spiritual and emotional counseling to women traumatized by abortion.
A steering committee for Project Rachel is being selected under a project director named by Archbishop William H. Keeler. The director, the Rev. Blair Paul Raum, 46-year-old pastor of St. Patrick’s Church on South Broadway, is a certified counselor who said he works outside the church as a family therapist.
He said yesterday that the archbishop would formally announce the project at the annual Respect Life Mass at 3 p.m. at the North Charles Street cathedral.
In an interview at St. Patrick’s, Father Raum said “a very conservative estimate” is that 30 percent of women who have abortions will suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome, similar to the experiences of Vietnam War veterans, within 10 years of the procedure.
“With 30 million abortions since 1973, that’s 10 million women. There’s a lot of folks out there,” he said.
He acknowledged that the American Psychiatric Association does not recognize post-abortion stress syndrome, but said he believed the illness will be recognized as more women experience it and seek help.
James A. Guest, president of Planned Parenthood of Maryland, disagreed with that assessment last night, saying that the issue has been studied by the APA, the surgeon general and others “and there’s simply no credible evidence that this syndrome exists.”
“It looks like a group that’s vehemently opposed to abortion in the first place has invented a syndrome that doesn’t exist and attached a percentage to it that’s totally unsupported.”
But Father Raum said that studies showing women suffer no ill effects after abortions have focused only on the first year after the procedure. He added that “generally in the first years, she experiences a great deal of relief, because usually the abortion is had as the result of a crisis pregnancy.”
Next comes a period of denial, Father Raum said. “A very powerful defense, and she can move on and function very well.”
But, he said, “somewhere within that 10-year period, something breaks the denial: seeing a child that would be the same age; the anniversary of the due date; . . . the sound of a vacuum cleaner [if it was a suction abortion] and all this suppressed emotion begins to surface.”
The women begin showing signs of post-traumatic stress syndrome the way soldiers do, Father Raum said, through reliving the experience and suffering from sleeplessness and guilt that they survived while another died.
As a counselor, he said, he has seen 18 to 20 cases of post-abortion trauma in the past three or four years. He recalled, “Some women come and say, ‘I’ve been thinking about my abortion lately and it’s really bothering me.’ Others may not say it directly but are having problems with their marriages . . . and the root cause is that he wanted her to have an abortion.
“This is an issue at the very heart of being a woman,” the priest added.
He offered the example of a married woman who had had two abortions, six and seven years ago — the first because of marital problems that couldn’t take the additional strain of a child, and the second because she and her husband were both in school.
The woman experienced increasing tension with her husband, from whom she now is separated.
Then one Sunday during the Christmas season she was in church — which she had all but stopped attending. Father Raum said, “It was Christmas, a special season focused on the birth of a baby. She began to think about her children, the abortions . . . and her denial began to break and she began to feel a great deal of emotional distress.
“She decided to seek help with what she was feeling and a reconciliation with God, with the realization that what she had done was wrong.” The woman and he fasted and prayed, he said, and she celebrated the sacrament of reconciliation. She later planted a tree in memory of her aborted children.
Project Rachel — named in part for the biblical figure who mourned her children — began in 1984 in Milwaukee, he said.
The Catholic anti-abortion stance often makes a woman feel alienated from the church just when she may need spiritual comfort the most, Father Raum said yesterday. And belonging to a strongly anti-abortion denomination can be a factor in the post-traumatic stress syndrome.
But contrary to notions about damnation and excommunication, he said, “a good confession would forgive that sin [abortion].”
Although Baltimore’s Project Rachel will be a Catholic project at first, it will welcome clients of any faith. They will be referred either to a counselor or a priest.
Once the steering committee is appointed, he said, he plans to arrange for a toll-free telephone number to take confidential calls.
“For any woman who calls the line, we would attempt to address her need,” he said. “And we are looking down the line to expand beyond the Catholic Church, to offer more.”
Record Number: 1992019032
Copyright (c) 1992 The Baltimore Sun Company
UPDATE: At American Thinker, Steven Warshawsky writes wonderfully — and sadly — about the degradation of sexuality as viewed through the prism of the Spitzer court papers.