June 12, 2013

"S., who had never seriously considered adoption, was overwhelmed when Baby S., a healthy girl, was born in May 2012."

From a long NYT Magazine article titled "What Happens to Women Who Are Denied Abortions?" that concentrates on one 24-year-old woman.
“It was like, whoa!” S. recalled. “That first night was terrible. I was tired, and she was so hungry, and she had a very loud cry. They don’t tell you how hard it is to nurse your baby. You don’t know how painful it is for something to eat off you, and it’s pulling your skin.” She developed plugged ducts, a condition in which the breasts become painfully engorged with milk.

It’s not unusual for new mothers to have trouble breast feeding, but S. felt overwhelmed in other ways too. “This baby is such a crybaby, and I didn’t know what was going on,” she said. “I felt like she didn’t love me, like maybe she was mad at me.” S. watched bitterly as her family members held a contented Baby S. When S. held her, the baby would begin to cry. It went on like that for weeks. S. sometimes buried her head in her pillow, crying, when the baby cried. “Her tone was negative,” one of S.’s sisters remembers. “She would become angry, saying she wished the baby would shut up.”

121 comments:

Nonapod said...

The asshole side of me just thinks that people that self absorbed should just be forcibly sterilized.

traditionalguy said...

It sounds like she hated the baby that interferred with her and she wanted it dead. The baby inside her was aware of that rejection for many months and likely the baby will grow up affected by that fear of rejection.

Henry said...

From the article:

David reported that the children born of unwanted pregnancies had significant disadvantages.

Aborted children of unwanted pregnancies were unavailable for study.

prairie wind said...

Thank you, Henry.

Patrick said...

How could you possibly not feel overwhelmed when you've just had a baby?

traditionalguy said...

But whether fearing being hated and rejected by adults or not, the baby's chance to be born on earth and work out his/her destiny among some good people too, who are around somewhere, is Priceless.

They could name the baby The Count of Monte Cristo.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The baby senses on some level that you (the self absorbed twit in the article) wanted to kill her and failing that, senses that you hate her.

Anyone would cry in that situation. You child probably does hate you, you selfish bitch.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Every parent feels like this at times. Totally normal, according to the pre-birth classes we took.

No matter how overwhelmed and stressed you are, it's illegal to drown your baby in a bucket.

robinintn said...

"Women who are denied abortions". I wondered how they managed to find even a single woman who was "denied" an abortion, but then I read the article and realized they didn't even find one. They just found someone who didn't get around to it in time.

Gabriel Hanna said...

The woman in the article had many choices. She could have kept taking her birth control and got rid of her pets. She could have kept her drawers on when the ex-boyfriend came to visit.

It sucks to get cancer after a lifetime of smoking. It sucks to kill someone while driving drunk. But the choices were made, and the consequences followed. It would be awesome if we could live in a world where no unwanted consequence ever happened, but that world does not exist.

edutcher said...

Somebody should shut down the Gray Lady just to put it out of its misery. On grounds of sheer stupidity.

I mean, most women, whether they were denied the abortion they wanted or were perfectly sane, have had the same sort of medical problems since the dawn of time and survived.

Unless, of course, they read the New York Times.

Renee said...

Personally, one of the advantages of never being pro-choice is the always having a positive attitude towards your baby, even when it is an unplanned child and there are the first days that your vagina is sore, you can't pee straight, and your nipples are bleeding due to improper suckling, and sleep is sporadic.

This is when a supportive husband is the most awesome gift in the world. Seriously, my husband was (and is) great, too bad he doesn't wash floors.

I don't blame S., I blame the pro-choice culture that teaches us that the way out of this is to kill human life that is inside of us. It only leads to resentment, imagine looking at your newborn and thinking I should of aborted the child, because you are naturally and normally overwhelmed.

That's not the answer, the answer is have a positive supportive people around you.

gerry said...

¶ The pregnancy had crept up on S.

It jumped out of the bushes and impregnated her, I guess.

She was a strong believer in birth control — in high school she was selected to help teach sex education. But having been celibate for months and strapped for cash, she stopped taking the pill. Then an ex-boyfriend came around.

I'll bet she went to public school. Ever hear about condoms? Not too expensive, a lot cheaper than uterine evacuation, and a lot less trouble, too. ANd what we're talking about here is convenience, right?

For months after, she had only a little spotting, but because her periods are typically light, she didn’t think much of it at first. Then she started to worry. “I used to press on my stomach really hard thinking maybe it would make my period come,” she said.

She taught sex education.

Unbelievable.

Titus said...

I more interested in the Gay Lobby dosier at the Vatican that the old pope gave to the new pope who said was definitely true.

John said...

It is amazing what effect supporting abortion has on your morals. The NYT just wrote an entire story explaining how the world would have been better off if this child hadn't been born. How would you like to bet hat kid in a few years and read this article?

And of course the baby never asked to be conceived or born. Funny how her being denied an abortion is the reason for her hardship, not her closing her legs or taking responsibility for her actions. Nope.

In the end, there is no getting around the fact that the New York Times writer really wishes this child had never been born and is willing to write a full feature article explaining why her existence is such an affront. At this point the only thing keeping that writer from supporting the murder of the child is their fear of the social and or legal consequences of such an act. If the government came along and wanted to put the child in an oven, I have no doubt the writer would be happy over the prospect.

As wrong as the Catholic church is about some things, they are right about this. Once you embrace a culture of death, there is no going back. You fall right down the slippery slope to genocide.

Icepick said...

Funny, I didn't find the crying of newborns to be all that loud. It takes them a few weeks of practice and growth to really get it going on....

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The study acts like no one ever had an unwanted pregnancy before. Not every pregnancy or every child is looked forward to or eagerly awaited. I'm pretty sure by the time my Grandmother had her ninth child, it wasn't something that she was exactly thrilled about. Fortunately, she had 8 other children to help with the work.

Having a baby, wanted or unwanted, IS going to change your life. It IS hard at first even when you are happy and planned to be pregnant. The baby WILL cry, poop, barf, never sleep. You WILL be depressed, tired, worried, feel inadequate and all sorts of other emotions swinging from one extreme to another. You just suck it up and do what you have to do.

None of this required a study or is even noteworthy.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Did they explain why she couldn't give her unwanted child to people who wanted the baby?

Pogo said...

What an inconvenience other people are.

Either they are not meeting my needs fully, or they seem to have their own agenda, and don't meet them at all.

I am the center of the universe; can't they see that?

John said...

She was a strong believer in birth control — in high school she was selected to help teach sex education. But having been celibate for months and strapped for cash, she stopped taking the pill. Then an ex-boyfriend came around.

I call shenanigans on that. That is a blatant lie. Birth control costs virtually nothing. And condom even less than that. She was so poor she just couldn't afford the pill? Bullshit. She was not on the pill because she didn't like taking it or wanted to spend her money elsewhere or just forgot to take it.

Remember, time and again major papers have been caught fabricating entire stories and people. Anyone remember the 11 year old heroin addict that won the woman the Pulitzer back in the early 80s? I would not be surprised if this entire story is a fantasy.

Inga said...

Surprise, babies cry. Grow up. Or take the pill like a big girl.

Pogo said...

They shoot horses, don't they?

jr565 said...


"David reported that the children born of unwanted pregnancies had significant disadvantages."

The children not born of unwanted pregnancies had even more significant disadvantages considering they were dead.

jr565 said...

She then got a new puppy. And that puppy just wouldnt shut up. And kept pissing everywhere and she got no sleep.
It was like, "Whoa, why wont this puppy stop barking and pissing?"

SteveR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SteveR said...

The baby is in survival mode, not love my mother mode. You learn to love the baby by giving, giving, and giving some more. I'm glad my wife was up to the role and still is, 23 years later.

jr565 said...

The woman said:
his baby is such a crybaby, and I didn’t know what was going on,” she said. “I felt like she didn’t love me, like maybe she was mad at me.”

MY guess is the baby felt the feeling was mutual. That the woman holding him was mad at her, and didn't love her. Not that babies can understand love, except on a primitive level. But I think they can understand someone who is cold or angry or aloof and distinguish it with people who are happy to hold a baby in tbeir arms.

Gabriel Hanna said...

The sad story presented here is not just an argument for legal late-term abortion--it is also an argument for legal infanticide. There is no problem S. had, which could be fixed by a late-term abortion, which could also not be fixed by drowning her baby in a bucket.

This is the problem with abortion defined as a the mother's right. If she has the right to abort the baby for any reason or none, at any time in the pregnancy, then there is no moral or scientific reason why she should not have the right to drown the newborn in a bucket.

Gahrie said...

When will this long nightmare end?

When will we finally find a cure for pregnancy?

Do it for the women.

El Pollo Raylan said...

She might be a mother but she sure ain't a mom.

Baron Zemo said...

Why not give the baby to someone who wants it?

gerry said...

Life is not embedded in a series of gently gradated authoritative structures: family, neighborhood, religious group, state, nation and world. Instead, it’s just the solitary naked individual and the gigantic and menacing state.

This lens makes you more likely to share the distinct strands of libertarianism that are blossoming in this fragmenting age: the deep suspicion of authority, the strong belief that hierarchies and organizations are suspect, the fervent devotion to transparency, the assumption that individual preference should be supreme.


Brooks' apparently un-self-aware listing of the tenets of Baby Boomer philosophy and its slippery moral slope subsumes this NYT story: if only she'd been able to kill her baby, to have her way, her life would have been OK. The problem is not libertarianism, however, it is libertinism with its denial of responsibility.

Remember, this pregnancy sneaked up on her.

The most awesome irony is that the dialectic of Baby Boomer philosophy birthed both a culture of irresponsible permissiveness and Snowden.

Methadras said...

Clearly this woman had no issue getting on her back, spreading her legs and being a cum dumpster. The consequences of said cum dumping are now an ablation upon her psyche. It is clear the baby neither cares for or wants this woman as a mother and likewise she does not want this child to be hers. Her actions and tone speak volumes to that. Better to find a home for this child before it ends up dead at her hands. We've seen this before.

Edward Lunny said...

Hah, how convenient, she completes all of the physical activities required to become a mother. Then, holy smokes ! , all of that biology stuff works out and 'shazam' she finds out that she's pregnant !
We won't tell the father, because......oh I don't know, she's an asinine idiot ? Heaven forbid he should be required to provide care/support for the child he is 1/2 responsible for.
She engages in sex, unprotected, despite being off of the pill and didn't bother to have her partner provide some protection. Stupid !
I love the comments by these ignorant, overly self important nitwits whom talk about her " choice ". Good grief, she let someone screw her, was a willing participant. She made her "choice". Several of them in fact, just like 99% of everyone else does. She chose to engage in behaviours that frequently lead to pregnancy. She chose to engage in these behaviours without any protection. She chose to ignore the potential outcome of such activities. Then she chose to not involve the father.
"feeding off of me" she says ! What the hell do you think those things are for ? You think that they are only for shoving in someone's face so you can get laid ? Jesus, how fucking stupid can one person get.
Your child is a life, an amazing person deserving of nurture, of love, of guidance. Children are not some cancer, some inconvenience to be extirpated or excised.

Sharkcutie said...

My God, the compassion expressed on this site is astounding!

Sharkcutie said...

My God, the compassion expressed on this site is astounding!

Doug said...

Well, at least there's one pro choice advocate who admits that an abortion is “ ...murder(ing) my unborn child” as she texted to her sister.
Come to think of it - there are two or three, if you consider that the NYT writer and her editor chose not to change the phrase "murder my unborn child" to "terminate my pregnancy".
Oh, right - then there would be no need for her to wonder if God would be mad.

Chip Ahoy said...

My sister-in-law had a similar dealio where the baby suckled too hard and cried all the time, and I mean all the time, and I go, what's wrong with your baby, Dude, it's crying all the time, and James goes, I don't know. Well how come your wife's using a pump instead of going au nah tu rall? And he said because the baby gnaws and it hurts her too much.

(You'd think a simple whap would handle that. waa waa waa suckle suckle whap waa waa suckle suckle whap waa waa suckle suckle whap waa waa suckle problem solved.)

samanthasmom said...

I think there would be a lot of sympathy and understanding here if the dimwit said, "Having a baby and taking care of it is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I need some help." Most first time mothers are overwhelmed some of the time. That's where fathers and grandparents and aunts and best friends step to the plate. But there's whining and then there's whining.

Patrick said...

S. now says that Baby S. is the best thing that ever happened to her. “She is more than my best friend, more than the love of my life,” S. told me, glowingly. There were white spit-up stains on her green top. “She is just my whole world.”

ricpic said...

If a mother thinks the baby doesn't love her she should hit the baby hard until it does.

Bob Ellison said...

Interesting editing. "S. (her first initial) lived alone, with her dog and her parrot, and it was late at night when she read the results." That appears several paragraphs in, as the second sentence in a new paragraph. Too many hands on this copy.

Titus said...

Women who want abortions should be flushed down the toilet with the babies.

That should stop abortions.

chrisnavin.com said...

Oh but Mr. Hanna, that world does exist, if you just believe!

Believe in rights
and social justice too
Blacks, Latinos, The Government and Whites
the ideology will be the glue

The ideology will be the glue!

Geoff Matthews said...

Anyone take S aside and tell her "This is perfectly normal, this is perfectly healthy"?
My youngest showed a clear preference for his mom. Any reason I should take it personally? Hell no! As his father, I have a job to do, regardless of what he thinks of it, or me.

Achilles said...

And this woman is allowed to vote. Now we have Obamacare and a police state. Isn't public education grand?

Beach Brutus said...

From Page 6 of the Article - the author provides a "happy ending" for another woman, "J" --

"Two weeks later, J. and her partner went to a more specialized clinic in Tulsa and were told that J. was actually 23 weeks pregnant, past the clinic’s gestational limit. J. cried in the parking lot. She and her partner drove to Texas, where she missed the gestational limit again. Finally, in New Mexico, J. was able to terminate her pregnancy. A month later J. got a job operating heavy machinery at a manufacturing plant for $15 an hour. She had been applying for the past six months. If she had had the baby, she said, she wouldn’t have been able to take the job. “They wouldn’t have even looked at me.” "

Pogo said...

When human life gets this cheap, it's nothing to force a vaginal ultrasound.

Because you're just another piece of meat, like the 'products of conception.'

The coerced examinations are only just beginning, under Obamacare.

Amazing what people can do to each other when life doesn't matter.

JAL said...

“I felt like she didn’t love me, like maybe she was mad at me.”

Well apparently this worked out for her -- but the statement above gave me more than a little pause.

Since when is it the -- new born / several month old / whatever the age is-- baby's *job* to love the mom?

Narcissists made crappy parents. Which bring me to thought #2 which is -- wait till the kid develops her own take on things. Lady, more trouble coming.

But then since there appear to be family and friends who care for the baby even if it did spit all over them to start with, maybe the kid has a chance.

Third thought: Minor children aren't supposed to be our best friends.

Skeptical Voter said...

Look I've got sympathy for Ms. S. My own daughter just had her first baby two days ago. She's in a hospital; her husband is there and is a perfectly trained young wussy of a husband. He's changing the nappies, changing the kids clothes, handling spit ups etc. And there's some initial problems with breast feeding etc. I mean the kid is just two days old. It'll all work out in a few days and she'll head home to a nice house, a supportive husband and nearby in laws.

Ms.S has a little tougher row to hoe. I'm not going to dump on her because she made some bad choices---but I'm also not going to turn into a puddle of mush.

It's sometimes true that life's a bear--and then you die. Ms. S is not the lone ranger in that regard--other folks have, or had, it rough as well.

Jane said...

Wow -- extraordinary comments in the NYT article. "I wish my teen parents had aborted me." and "Abortion is a more responsible choice than giving the child up for adoption."

David said...

“I felt like she didn’t love me, like maybe she was mad at me.”

Here is your starting point for analyzing this situation. The woman is astonishingly self focused. I wonder if she has ever taken real responsibility for anything? And where was (is?) "boyfriend." Sounds more like a fuck buddy to me.

Sorry, Ladymom, but even this article perpetuates your skating past responsibility. It wasn't lack of an abortion that got you here. It was your own actions (and inaction.)

Do the world a favor and allow this child to be adopted by someone who will love and nurture it. If you want ever to be worthy of the child's love, you should do this. Otherwise you are just destroying a life, in a much more prolonged and painful way than through abortion.

Then vow not to get pregnant. Ever again. God will understand.

David said...

In other news, 60% of the children in Richmond, Virginia live in single parent homes. 86% of African American children.

Carl said...

Pretty stereotypically female, to blame others -- here, a newborn baby, forsooth -- or "the system" when you're a fuckup.

AllenS said...

Where was Gosnell when you needed him?

President-Mom-Jeans said...

Despicable woman, despicable newspaper.

Fuck them and their readers.

El Pollo Raylan said...

OK, I read the article looking for an answer to why no consideration of adoption. It's still conspicuously missing.

Is there some kind of stigma attached to the adoption route that is worse than unwanted motherhood? Or is it a money/Julia thing?

Ladies?

Amartel said...

What a disaster of a human being. Just a quivering mass of feelings with not two brain cells to rub together. On the plus side, at least she knew that she was contemplating killing a child, albeit an unborn one. This guilty knowledge probably accounts for her delay in seeking an abortion in the first place, her decision to get abortion counseling, and her subsequent inability to get her shit together to go to a different clinic. That's something. Actually, in 2013 Idiocracy, that's a lot. Now the right thing to do would be to find a nice family to adopt the child because this silly person is not ready for parenthood.

harrogate said...

The sanctimony on these boards is as high as anywhere on the blogosphere. Pick a thread, any thread.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I know harrogate, we should totally wave our pompoms over ever soulless defective human being who vomits up a sob story in the NYT.

El Pollo Raylan said...

That sounds resentful, harrogate.

El Pollo Raylan said...

@Ms Pants: Harrogate sound generically offended with the entire blog.

Lyssa said...

If I could change just one thing about, I don't know, our culture, our society, human nature, I would change it to make the normal and presumptive course of action when a woman gets pregnant under bad circumstances be adoption.

If that were the norm, think how many people's lives would be improved and even saved. The babies would not only live, but they would grow up in a much better home, with better resources and be far less likely to become negative forces on society later in life this would likely save more lives and far more resources. Everyone, the babies, the bio mothers and fathers, and the adoptive parents who might otherwise not have been able to have children, would benefit.

The fact that we don't do that is horrible.

Freeman Hunt said...

“God knows your heart, and I understand that you are not ready,” her sister texted back. “I think God will understand.”

This sister probably isn't the one to call for advice.

Freeman Hunt said...

The pregnancy had crept up on S.

I just started reading this article, and I'm already laughing out loud. That's hilarious. Joshua Lang, you are an entertaining one if nothing else.

n.n said...

By the age of 24, a woman, and a man, should be well versed in human biology. It should come as no surprise that the potential outcome of sex is conception of a new human life. It should also come as no surprise that a human life early -- especially early -- in its evolution is demanding and needy. That knowledge should be easily inferred from human biology.

The real story here is that what should be common knowledge seems to, in fact, be lacking. This calls into question the grade school education received by this woman. What, exactly, are they teaching in American schools? The confusion over the basic terms and circumstances of reality is unexpected.

That said, congratulations to S. for accepting responsibility to raise a new human life. She made the right choice in order to preserve the value of all human life, including her own. As an individual who is responsible for her actions, she has also confirmed her right to enjoy liberty.

sydney said...

The author lost me at "she was working five part time jobs" and still couldn't support herself. Yet she has two pets. I suspect hyperbole.

AllenS said...

Famous quote --

"A cigar never knocked anyone up." -- BJ Clinton

Dante said...

I had a friend whose wife had Post Pardum depression. He said she had to be hospitalized and anesthetized. The baby had to be kept away from her because she wanted to kill it.

She's fine now, and a loving mother.

Missing from Ann's excerpts:

The thought of losing Baby S. made her sick. From that point on, she no longer buried herself under the pillow when her baby cried. She didn’t let Baby S. out of her sight.

S. now says that Baby S. is the best thing that ever happened to her. “She is more than my best friend, more than the love of my life,” S. told me, glowingly. There were white spit-up stains on her green top. “She is just my whole world.”

Joe said...

A few observations, which may be relevant:

1) Babies are not all the same. My oldest was a devil spawn--from birth, she was determined to live life on her terms. For example, she refused to cry after being born and in the nursery. It annoyed the crap out of the nurses and cracked up her pediatrician. (She never relented. Fortunately, her daughter, while the cutest child on the planet, is even more stubborn, smart and blunt than her mom.)

By contrast my oldest son was as calm as the summer's morn (until he hit puberty and lost his mind>) He slept through the night the second day home from the hospital.

(Oh, and only the youngest went along with breast feeding, though even she would have starved to death without supplemental formula [and yes, my then wife produced plenty of milk and women who have weaned may know what that is like.] The other three wanted nothing to do with it.)

2) Postpartum depression is real and can be quite extreme. I imagine it would be even more extreme if the child wasn't wanted.

3) Just because you are a woman doesn't make you a good or even decent mother. A lot of mothers are terrible at it. Some are good with babies (my mother and ex-wife), some are good with teenagers.

When a teenager, a friend of mine used to babysit for a very religious neighbor who discovered after having three stair step children that she lacked the temperament to handle very active toddlers and youngsters. When feeling overwhelmed and her husband was gone (he was a doctor) she'd call up my friend, he'd come over, she'd go sit in her car, listen to music and relax and recharge.

4) There are signs that the mother in this case has a borderline personality. Without a husband around to terrorize, she's terrorizing everyone else, including her child. My armchair opinion is that for the sake of the kid, the mom needs to put her up for adoption.

Dante said...

The article spends a lot of time justifying the article's approach. I question it, for the following reason.

The set of women on the one side were those, who for whatever reason, waited until the last minute to seek an abortion to be told "You can't have one."

This selects for a set of irresponsible women, and the excuses for not getting an abortion earlier are still present later:

"Women cite not recognizing their pregnancies, travel and procedure costs, insurance problems and not knowing where to find care as common reasons for delay."

All but not recognizing their own pregnancies has the same issue regardless of "when."

Tellingly, "I wasn't sure I wanted an abortion" does not make the list!

So in my view, the set of indecisive, irresponsible women is compared to the group of decisive, responsible women.

How does one control for that?

ironrailsironweights said...

On a different note, there was a recent discussion here about Sarah Murnhaghan, the 10-year-old whose quest for an adult lung transplant became a big controversy. She had a transplant earlier today and first reports say she's doing well.

Peter

drozz said...

otherwise known as "normal baby behavior"

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I was too harsh in my comment. People aren't perfect and are doing the best they can in a world that constantly feeds them lies. But I'm still mad at the NYT for furthering the "motherhood as heinous affliction" meme.

harrogate said...

El Pollo Raylan,

You're right, that's a good point. Sanctimony *does* sound resentful.

MaxedOutMama said...

Boy, I am amazed at the people slamming the mother. From the article:
[b] S. now says that Baby S. is the best thing that ever happened to her. “She is more than my best friend, more than the love of my life,” S. told me, glowingly. There were white spit-up stains on her green top. “She is just my whole world.”

When I told Foster S.’s story, she wasn’t surprised that S. ended up bonding with her baby. “That would be consistent with our study,” Foster said. “About 5 percent of the women, after they have had the baby, still wish they hadn’t. And the rest of them adjust.” [/b]

It's not rare for women to be overwhelmed by their first baby, or to have problems with breastfeeding. It wasn't right for her and things improved when she started giving the child formula.

glenn said...

Actually I saw Jill Whats her Face the managing editor of the NYT on Bob Schiefers ego wash Sunday morning. She's a twit. Maybe a supertwit. She needs more TV exposure so the folks who sleep in Sunday morning can see and hear her.

MaxedOutMama said...

Mary - I'm saying that the stat given confounded me, but mostly that quote was to rebuke those who claimed that the woman was terrible person and mother.

It just kind of irritated me when people wrote that. I think without reading the article?

Many commenters seem to be ignoring the story in favor of pushing their own theories.

Saint Croix said...

The A.P.A. report from 2008 concluded that, among adult women with unplanned pregnancies, the “relative risk of mental-health problems is no greater if [women] have a single elective first-trimester abortion than if they delivered the pregnancy.”

Abortion social science is really, really bad. Imagine calling up a stranger and asking them if they've had an abortion. I would suggest that people who are willing and open to talk about their abortions are quite different from people who are not. So there is all kinds of bias and bad science out there.

In Finland--where everybody can have a free abortion paid for by the state--they have a statistical database you can check. So while most social science is hopelessly soft and untrustworthy (my opinion), this sort of statistical study is probably closer to the truth.

Like the NYT, these researchers are utterly pro-choice. But unlike the NYT, the authors of the Stakes study found that mothers of newborns were far happier than aborting moms. In particular look at the suicide statistics.

Dante said...

MaxedOutMama:

I'm with you, and noted the same thing above. When my wife gave birth to our first, she looked at our first born with confusion, not knowing what to think of the thing. She then wanted nothing to do with the kid, and spent more time deciding what she wanted for breakfast.

When the second one came out, it was "Oh, Baby!" She now understood.

Dante said...

Someone who didn't read the article OR the post states:

So MaxedOutMama , you're saying the moral of the story of What Happens When Women Are Denied Abortions is that they eventually adjust to reality, bond with their living offspring, and eventually come to accept their role as biological mother caring healthily for their living child?

Amazing.


That's what happens to 19 in 20 of cases where the woman was denied an abortion due to the rule of law, according to the author of the study. The denied bond with their babies, and are glad for them. 1 in 20 wishes they had had an abortion.

Whether it's the moral of the story or not, and whether you like it or not.

Saint Croix said...

Emily Bazelon writes about "post-abortion stress syndrome" in the New York Times. Bazelon, of course, denies there is such a thing. But she's interviewing pro-life grief counselors, so it's an interesting read despite her biases.

There is also an interesting symposium of pro-lifers responding to the NYT article.

Post-abortion stress syndrome is denied by the medical establishment, so women who have had abortions have been forced to create their own website so women can have some sort of grief counseling.

Naomi Wolf wrote about this subject in the New Republic a decade ago, article reprinted here.

Dante said...

Like the NYT, these researchers are utterly pro-choice.

I'm pretty pro-choice, but do not delude myself that major life choices like this can not imprint and cause major problems.

See what's going on? The position one holds now creates a filter in others. Why should one have to predicate a study with "I'm pro-life, and here are the results of this study."

Why should one have to say "I'm a black man, and the culture of black society is a disgrace, and individuals need to act responsibly."

The biggest shame is in the sciences. It's not only the social sciences, bias is affecting pharmacological studies too, according to an article in Nature. And then there is AGW, etc.

Articles ought to be written clearly, without bias, or exclusion of elements that lead to bias.

I've mentioned before that Ann's intent is sometimes difficult to discern, as she is a complex and intelligent person. However, I wonder why she excluded the parts of the excerpt from the article that showed the child added meaning to the woman's life, and kept only the parts in which the woman was complaining. I sympathize with that woman's situation (though not the part about her getting pregnant).

Seriously, swelling really hurts, and I can't imagine what it must be like for breasts pump and pump milk with no way for it to get out. Along with the financial pressures of the entire family!

The really good news is the family came together in the crisis, and S is now very happy.

Saint Croix said...

Even “later abortions are significantly safer than childbirth,” she says...

(In the National Right to Life’s five-part response to preliminary findings of Foster’s study, which were presented at the American Public Health Association conference last year, the group noted that the ill effects of abortion — future miscarriage, breast cancer, infertility — may become apparent only later. Reputable research does not support such claims.)


The New York Times writes like Pravda. Reputable research underlies all three of those claims.

Why is it UK newspapers are more honest?

Roe v. Wade has so politicized abortion that we can't get honest science out of our cancer researchers. Consider, for instance, what happened to Louise Brinton, who co-authored a study linking abortion to increased risk for breast cancer. She was hounded by abortion advocates on both sides and now refuses to speak on the issue at all.

And of course it's well-known that abortion leads to Asherman's syndrome and increased risk of infertility.

Geez, what a rag the NYT is. 4 pages of Pravda, then surprise ending with the news that babies actually make moms happy.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Dante and MaxedOutMama are essentially saying that we all "Breitbarted" the NYT story: we only heard the vile selfishness of the first part of the story without listening all the way through to the happy ending where she denied the all of the selfish feelings and thereby all of the selfishness of everyone else too.

How sanctimonious of us

I still want to know why a discussion of adoption is verboten.

Dante said...

El Pollo:

Dante and MaxedOutMama are essentially saying that we all "Breitbarted" the NYT story, . . .

How sanctimonious of us


I'll say it another way. In your initial comments, you didn't read the whole article, but presented your own conclusions based on excerpts from Ann. You jumped on this woman, who was under what seems to be a lot of duress, for perhaps her own irresponsibility, but didn't read the rest prior to making your conclusions.

Whether that's your fault, or Ann got you to think that way about this woman's situation is up to you to decide. She is just an "S" in some article, so it's not like she is going to take your comments personally.

Incidentally, they did mention adoption in the article: 1 in 10 women who were denied an abortion gave their child up for adoption. How much of that 1 in 10 is from the 1 in 20 who still wishes she had had an abortion is not addressed.

Michael K said...

"If you only knew about women what you'd read in that paper, you'd think they're all genetically stupid or something."

The saddest thing I've ever read was an article in the NYT by some jerk whose girlfriend was going to have an abortion the next day. As they had dinner, she declined wine because "It might hurt the baby." The baby she was going to kill the next day.

He actually was paid for writing something that showed he could not see past his own self absorption to realize how reluctant she was to have that abortion. I sure hope she broke up with that jerk and found someone else. I doubt that she did.

SOJO said...

What about all the guys that have punched their pregnant wives and young children because they couldn't stand the noise?

Ok, she hates her baby ... for now ... and we desperately count on mothers to be better than this, to be less selfish than other people. But she's not punching the kid.

Disclaimer: I'm pro-choice - as in pro-abortion, but I'm fairly supportive of sincere pro-lifers. Not the sideline, armchair bitchers, but, for example, people like Sarah Palin who walk their talk at the same time as not judging those who choose differently I really admire.

Dante said...

The real story here is that what should be common knowledge seems to, in fact, be lacking. This calls into question the grade school education received by this woman. What, exactly, are they teaching in American schools? The confusion over the basic terms and circumstances of reality is unexpected.

There's a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.

Saint Croix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saint Croix said...

Why should one have to predicate a study with "I'm pro-life, and here are the results of this study."

Journalists want to know your bias. If you're pro-life they will ignore your study. If you're pro-choice, they will publish your study. Unless your results indicate that abortion is bad, in which case they will ignore your study.

The most obvious clue to pro-choice bias is when the result happens to conclude that abortion is just like childbirth.

Now maybe abortion is better than childbirth or worse than childbirth, but to conclude over and over that abortion is just like childbirth is asinine. And yet you see this over and over. "No difference between abortion and childbirth." Ha!

Dante said...

Journalists want to know your bias.

My complaint is that bias influences what ought to be facts. It's difficult enough to operate in a world of facts, but when you have to filter them because of bias, it becomes even more difficult.

It's also dangerous. We need to be able to trust the accuracy of articles, assume the press isn't on one side or the other, trust when scientists draw conclusions in peer-reviewed studies, but the unfortunate truth is we can't.

It leads to a distrust, an alienation, and a jaded view that is really bad for society.

TMink said...

What a shame that there are not ways to reliably prevent pregnancies.

Oh wait, never mind.

Trey

SOJO said...

Does everyone here currently love and protect someone in their life with the mother's love many are condemning her for not having to an indealized extent?

If not, then get going and she won't bother you as much.

William said...

In other contexts it is said that the more information the patient has, then the better it is. Why is it so necessary to withhold the ultrasound image from women? Shouldn't that image be part of the decision ladder?......Here are two stories: One woman changes her mind about having an abortion after seeing her baby's little hands on the ultrasound. In the other story, a sixteen year old girl is made to carry her rapist's body to term because of late term abortion restrictions. Which story do you think makes the front page or, for that matter, even gets in the paper.

Henry said...

Dante wrote: The article spends a lot of time justifying the article's approach.

That's very to the point.

I was thinking more about the article on my train ride home. The research may be accurate and it may be valuable. The women profiled did have agonizing decisions to make and deserve sympathetic treatment.

But there's still something chilling about the reporting. It is, I think, the effort Joshua Lang spends in portraying S. as a victim: first of her pregnancy, then, more disturbingly, of her new born child.

The baby is made a monster, a changeling escaped from the Roald Dahl Omnibus.

Poverty is hard. Pregnancy can be hard. Caring for a newborn is overwhelming. Yet there are many ways to tell this story with humanity and love. Black humor helps (see Anne Lamott's Operating Lessons, for example).

But Lang wants to tell a political story and the political story has no room for the baby. Lang's writing is cold and slippery. You can see how he avoids assigning agency. You can see how he sets up S. by editing her most anguished confessions into a litany of complaint. You can see how he defines S.'s economic troubles in terms of "being denied an abortion" as opposed to "raising a child."

And for what? To make a case for the legality of late term abortion? The only way Lang finds do so is to deny agency, to deny humanity, to render invisible the viable child. His best, final, argument is narrowly economic, a utilitarian grasping of straws. The sum is a profound failure in moral imagination.

Dante said...

Which story do you think makes the front page or, for that matter, even gets in the paper.

Or, for that matter, children who survived an abortion attempt, and lived. Here is one such example.

One might also wonder why Hollywood doesn't make a movie about such a life either. It's full of all the drama Hollywood loves, and I would bet it would be a huge hit.

Dante said...

Henry:

You can see how he defines S.'s economic troubles in terms of "being denied an abortion" as opposed to "raising a child."

You have to read the whole description of "S"'s reaction to her baby. It's a pretty poignant portrayal.

She was alone. Her parents lost their home to foreclosure. Her breasts were plugged, leaving all the bounty of her milk to swell her breasts. And most importantly, she had no mate. He was with a new woman.

My imagination runs about what kind of person this is. I imagine someone much like the Obamaphone lady. Yet, there are some very amazing glitters of humanity here.

Her sister took in the whole family, and gave a room up to her and her baby.

Her parents lived in the basement, with "Twenty years" of stuff. So one gets the sense of inter-generational irresponsible behavior.

The foreclosure thing makes me think of minorities, encouraged by government action, to buy into homes they could not afford.

But in the end, it is the compassion of the sister that brings light and warmth to all.

I think the government has a lot to do with this tragedy. I think the press has a lot to do with this tragedy. Because, despite that "S" now has a fulfilling life of love, probably as a young mother, she has no means of support.

Her sister, and probably the government (i.e., taxpayers) are supporting her, and in an odd way encouraging this out-of-wedlock behavior, and the irresponsibility of her parents.

I hope this child grows up well, and becomes a net positive for society. But what chance of that is there? Our government continues to promote poor behavior and punish those with good behavior.

Behavior is not top of mind with our government, except when it comes to votes.

Zeb Quinn said...

What we have here , according to the NYT, is a society (the US) where the young women are wholly unfit for motherhood, so their babies must therefore be aborted. The first such society in human history? Hey, no big deal, just feel empathy.

Scott M said...

It would be awesome if we could live in a world where no unwanted consequence ever happened, but that world does not exist.

It did until that Eve person gave the first of us that fucking apple...

John Lynch said...

No conception in this article that perhaps poverty and illegitimacy have a common cause in the collapse of family life.

Liberals don't want to look at the causes of this woman's behavior, which lie in a lack of self-restraint or socialization. We refuse to criticize people for any sexual choice they make, but our only solution to the obvious outcome is that they abort their children. Isn't this a bit fucked up?

Here, have condoms and have fun! Oops, it broke, now you have to make the biggest choice of your life but it's OK because there are too many poor people anyway.

Sex ed isn't cutting it. Might want to talk about how to have a family instead.

Conservatives don't get that individual choice requires some context. You can't make correct choices about major life decisions without some kind of guidance. What's obvious to middle class people is opaque to the underclass. You can't depend on individual choices if entire classes of people grow up in societies where family life doesn't exist.

Achilles said...

Saint Croix said...

"Roe v. Wade has so politicized abortion that we can't get honest science out of our cancer researchers. Consider, for instance, what happened to Louise Brinton, who co-authored a study linking abortion to increased risk for breast cancer. She was hounded by abortion advocates on both sides and now refuses to speak on the issue at all."


Easy fix. Remove the government from the equation. Then we could all talk about it like civilized people. If you want to reduce the number of abortions get involved in faith programs and help people rather than resort to government coercion.

Instead, we involve the government and the majority gets to impose itself on the minority. Now it is politicized and we are divided. And not only that we get to be forced to pay for other peoples abortions because that is what the majority decided.

This is the result of big government conservatives.

tmitsss said...

Now imagine reading this article through the eyes of someone who could not have children

Renee said...

"Sex ed isn't cutting it. Might want to talk about how to have a family instead."


You're right. It's also conversation, about what a healthy relationship looks like and modelling it for children/teens/young adults.

From Leah Libresco


"As a result, we sure didn’t design a new comprehensive sex-ed curriculum, but I noticed something that might help defuse that fight a little. When we talked about what sex ed was meant to accomplish, we all brought up very different goals:
Public health: Reduce the transmission of disease, give students tools to reduce their risk, make risks visceral enough to constrain risky behavior, etc
Integrating sexuality into life: Oh gosh, what’s happening to your body, what should you make of your sexual feelings (in more contexts than sex-having), counteracting sex-makes-you-dirty/worthless
Gender relations: Counteracting prevalent harmful narratives (women’s sexuality is depraved/disgusting), do broad gender differences mean we should use slightly different framings?
Romantic relationships: Now that sex is on the table, how does it fit into what you’re already doing to respect a partner? What are common emotional risks and pitfalls? What are good safeguards?
Philosophy: How has sex/eros/love been treated across cultures? How do you know which tradition had it right (if any)? How can sexuality be a lens on what it is to be human?"

Ann Althouse said...

As to why I put up what I did (and why I linked to this article at all):

1. It's "a long NYT Magazine article" about abortion, so I'm interested in figuring out what the NYT is trying to do. Why focus on this one person? What's their game? That was my first thought, seeing this article, which I still haven't read in full.

2. I did a search in the text for the word "adoption" and found the line that's the post title. My reason for doing the search was that I'm inclined to think that a woman who fails to make it to the abortionist before it's too late has already made a choice of a kind and the morally fair thing to do is put the baby up for adoption (unless continuing the pregnancy is significantly damaging to your physical health). So I extracted some of the text around the "adoption" quote.

3. I thought people would like discussing this. I wasn't trying to tell you want to think.

Henry said...

@Dante -- The story you describe is in there. If I didn't make myself clear, I think one reason the article comes across so cold is the author's determination to suborn that story to the political narrative. Acts of love, compassion, and sacrifice -- particularly by the sister, but also by S. -- are all flattened into a single narrative of despair. Joshua Lang does a huge disservice to his sources.

Saint Croix said...

Easy fix. Remove the government from the equation. Then we could all talk about it like civilized people.

Fitting that you call yourself Achilles, because you have the classic mentality of a pagan from the BC era. So to you "civilized people" own slaves, rape young boys, and discard unwanted babies. Nice!

Saint Croix said...

Althouse makes fun of me for bringing up the pagans. But she fails to admit that Roe v. Wade cites Plato and Aristotle for the viability doctrine.

Most Greek thinkers, on the other hand, commended abortion, at least prior to viability. See Plato, Republic, V, 461; Aristotle, Politics, VII, 1335b 25.

Saint Croix said...

And of course citing to Plato and Aristotle makes no sense in the modern, narrow definition of "viability," whether or not an unborn baby can survive in a neonatal intensive care unit. Ancient Greece did not have NICUs!

But his citation does make sense in a broader definition of "viability," which is to say, survivability.

Babies cannot survive on their own. They're not autonomous. They cannot reason with Achilles. That is why Plato and Aristotle thought it was okay to abandon them to die.

Blackmun cites to infanticide in his opinion! Without bothering to think about infanticide or where his viability rhetoric takes him.

Tarzan said...

All of this discussion reminds me so clearly of the one lesson (besides touch typing) that I really took away from high school.

A science teacher with a quirky sense of humor drove home this simple lesson:

"The reproductive system, from beginning to end, is designed to work."

There is so much glamour, seeming complexity and even outright athleticism associated with 'recreational' sex that it's very easy to forget that one very poignant lesson.

I never forgot it.

I didn't always live by it, but when I suffered for that I knew exactly who to blame, and it wasn't society, sexual politics or the girl or anyone else.

acm said...

Great. She had comprehensive sex ed, even did so well that she was asked to help teach. But she still didn't know enough to monitor her ovulation when she didn't have her magic hormone pills, and she just couldn't figure out why pressing on her belly (in the weeks/months after having unprotected sex) didn't make her period start? Fantastic. That's not a jab at her, though---whatever school was charged with teaching her biology, let alone sex ed, truly failed.

Really, though, I hope this study about children born after abortions were "denied" includes adoptees. Otherwise, what good is it? To be denied an abortion here in the US, you are either desperately broke, too young to make your own medical decisions, or too, um, something (dysfunctional? ignorant? not really a nice way to put it) to notice pregnancy symptoms and do something about it over the course of 4 months. We already know that being raised by a teen, a poor person, or a dysfunctional person puts you at a disadvantage. It's not an insurmountable obstacle, but, yeah, not ideal. Looking at adopted kids whose biomoms pursued adoption might tell us a tiny bit more about something like the role of stress hormones in fetal development, whether babies really can sense their mothers animosity before they are born, or something.

acm said...

Er, that should say "adopted kids whose biomoms pursued abortion".

Saint Croix said...

Imagine Mom spending the rest of her life trying to hide this article from her child.

n.n said...

Saint Croix:

The liberal or progressive paradox, which isn't. Their concerns are centered around their personal wealth, welfare, and convenience. Their perspective is often marred by the selective nature of their ideologies.

As for "viability" or survivability, many, and perhaps most, people would fail that test without subsidies (e.g. welfare), direction (e.g. entrepreneur/pioneer), or assistance (e.g. capital investments). Drop people off in an unimproved land, especially an area with a suboptimal environment, then we will know the real "virtue" of the viability doctrine.

Civilization has dulled people's senses and inflated their egos.

n.n said...

Dante:

I agree with a need to distinguish between knowledge and practice. There were some terms in the article which lead me to believe the issue is the former; but, there is still the question of cause and effect relative to the individual.

Our government continues to promote poor behavior and punish those with good behavior.

They normalize behaviors which sponsor corruption and then people wonder why dysfunction is progressive.

Jane said...

If you do a study on the financial impacts of an unplanned pregnancy, or even of a planned pregnancy, you're going to find that, for most people, having a child makes one financially worse off. That's rather obvious. Yes, of course, the woman who got the abortion doesn't have childcare expenses or any of the other myriad of costs associated with raising a child.

If you believe that an abortion has no moral significance whatsoever (or a little post-birth neck-snipping, for that matter) than this is reason to say that any woman not in a strong financial position should choose the neck-snip. If you believe that abortion is morally troubling (even if more along the lines of animal cruelty than murder, as many people do), then the question really has to be not just, "does having a child bring financial hardship?" but "is having a child truly devastating for a woman?" (Plus, I find the concept that abortion is more "responsible" than adoption, because then you know for sure the kid is dead rather than the imagined risk that the adoptive parents are satan-worshippers or pedophiles or some other "fate worse than death", to be pretty awful.)

Mary said...

"You jumped on this woman, who was under what seems to be a lot of duress, for perhaps her own irresponsibility, but didn't read the rest prior to making your conclusions."
------------------

There's a time limit on computer time, and we're not interested in paying the NYT to read their stuff.

I read a lot of book reviews too, but choose not to read the entire book. Sue me?

Mary said...

ps. She still comes across as a dumb bunny to me. Who'da thunk a woman would eventually bond with her living child?

Duh.

This is the NYT trying to write on a topical topic, and appease pro-lifers. See -- she ended up being happy, as do 19 out of 20 women legally denied an abortion...

(You didn't have to read all the details contained in the entire story to opine on the dumb bunny way she became pregnant in the first place...)

Mary said...

"Whether that's your fault, or Ann got you to think that way about this woman's situation is up to you to decide. She is just an "S" in some article, so it's not like she is going to take your comments personally."
--------------

Let's just hope she's a real woman, and not some compendium of made-up people the writer knows....

Mary said...

"You jumped on this woman, who was under what seems to be a lot of duress, for perhaps her own irresponsibility, but didn't read the rest prior to making your conclusions."
------------------

There's a time limit on computer time, and we're not interested in paying the NYT to read their stuff.

I read a lot of book reviews too, but choose not to read the entire book. Sue me?

kentuckyliz said...

A nation of privileged only children has fits when they have babies...those selfish little brawling brats! It's the sibling rivalry they never had.

Because y'know contracepting ourselves into oblivion is SWPL.