The Jewish Woman

Abortion is an Empowering Experience? Just the Opposite

Ynet. published an article titled “Abortion is an Empowering Experience.” The article told the story of a woman who had induced abortion because the fetus in her womb was lifeless, and now she encourages other women to do abortions too. What caught my eye was mainly the title, which probably was seen by hundreds of thousands of surfers, and which followed the media line that encourages abortion. Is it any wonder that the amount of abortions in Israel is just appalling?

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To illustrate my feelings, let me bring my own story. One fine day, a year after we were married, I had a miscarriage. It was horrible. When the fetus miscarried, our hopes and joys crashed too. “You will surely get pregnant again soon,” the doctors promised us. But it did not happen. We began to worry, and indeed after a series of tests we were told by our gynecologist, “You may not be able to have children, at least not the usual way. You will need treatments.” Her words shocked us. Fertility treatments? How did we get to this? All we wanted was to start a family and to fulfill the first commandment in the Torah. But, yes, it turns out that bringing children into the world is not something which should be viewed as simple and natural. It is beyond nature, it is miraculous and divinely-given.

We began a series of exhausting tests. The constant feeling was of strangers, even if they are medical personnel, intervening in your private life and getting involved in your most sensitive and intimate issues. Add to this, of course, the comments of “friends” — “Well, what’s going on? Don’t you want children?” Every word or every glance directed at the stomach, were like a stab in the heart. Every day it would break our hearts anew.

The days passed. The treatments, accompanied by the Puah Institute, had already become part of our routine. Beyond our natural efforts, we began to pray and read many Psalms, and it got to a point where I finished the whole Book of Psalms every day. We prayed a lot to our Creator, and asked us to sweeten the divine judgment against us, so that everything will be with kindness.

In between, when I heard about women who did an abortion, or organizations and people that encourage abortion, I was get the chills. How could they? I thought to myself. At those moments, I would think to myself: they are lucky ladies, who were given children naturally, without needles, without doctors, without invasive tests —  how could they just give their baby up? How do they just throw out the gift they got? Maybe they should go to the fertility clinics in hospitals where they will see all the broken-hearted women who are anxiously hoping for the day that they will embrace a baby. I believe that all women who have gone through this feel this way, because they realize that no one can promise them they will ever achieve the honored title of ‘Mother.’

By the grace of Heaven, after a few months, I became pregnant and had a healthy pregnancy. Of course we didn’t stop praying. We continued to read the Psalms, and entreated that everything will go well. Finally, our son was born, and our joy was huge. He was born at the beginning of Shabbat, and immediately after his birth, my husband and I celebrated a Kabbalat Shabbat service, that we will never forget.

Every time I look at him, I think to myself, what a wondrous child! A complete miracle, a bundle of Divine Providence. When he sits in front of me, with his sweet, innocent smile, I wonder how anyone could argue that abortion is an empowering experience? The reason it infuriates me is simple — abortion is an experience of loss and emptiness, of death occurring within a woman’s body. It is worse than misleading to present it as an feminist experience that “will upgrade your life”, as the media sometimes tries to claim. I am sure that every woman who has experienced a miscarriage, feels sorrow and pain. I have no doubt about it. I’m sure she did not feel empowered, but more fragile and vulnerable.

So what empowerment are you talking about?

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