Catholic Culture Liturgical Living
Catholic Culture Liturgical Living

a narrative of sin and atonement

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Jan 21, 2007

"Is There a Post-Abortion Syndrome?" asks Emily Bazelon in the New York Times Magazine. The question is never answered directly. Instead, by a kind of asymmetrical condescension, we learn that many disturbed women (especially less-intelligent women, she doesn't say) like their disturbance reduced to terms they can understand. The concluding paragraph:

And then there is the relief in seizing on a single clear explanation for a host of unwanted and overwhelming feelings, a cause for everything gone wrong. When Arias surveyed 104 of the prisoners she had counseled in 2004, two-thirds reported depression related to abortion, 32 percent reported suicide attempts related to abortion and 84 percent linked substance abuse to their abortions. They had a new key for unlocking themselves. And a way to make things right. "You have well-meaning therapists or political crusaders, paired with women who are troubled and experiencing a variety of vague symptoms," Brenda Major, the U.C. Santa Barbara psychology professor, explained to me. "The therapists and crusaders offer a diagnosis that gives meaning to the symptoms, and that gives the women a way to repent. You can't repent depressive symptoms. But you can repent an action." You can repent an abortion. You can reach for a narrative of sin and atonement, of perfect imagined babies waiting in heaven.

These poor dears need something simple and consoling, and it would be pointless to deprive them of a comforting illusion. Got it.

Note that what Bazelon's academics say about Post-Abortion Syndrome the post-modern academy says about religion full stop. Probably not a coincidence.

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