Our Lady of the Wayside

Our Lady of the Wayside
Protect Expectant Mothers and Their Babies


Monday, 7 June 2010

The Unwelcome Guest

'Don’t you know that some unplanned children are made to feel guilty everyday of their lives because they weren’t wanted?’ A pro-abortion doctor said this to me.

And yes, I have witnessed how some ‘unplanned children’ are made to feel culpable for their conception. Many of my contemporaries in Ireland, born around the same time as me in the mid 1980's have been dragged through the guilt mire by their parents on account of the ‘inconvenience’ of their conception.

I mention the time period of the mid 80s, and this is crucial. Prior to 1980, contraception was prohibited in Ireland. In 1980, a government Act went into operation, allowing for contraception to be obtained only with a medical prescription, "for the purpose, bona fide, of family planning or for adequate medical reasons".

Physicians and pharmacists who had moral objections were not forced to write or fill such prescriptions. A contemporary of mine ‘Monica’- Monica's her mother got a prescription for the Pill in 1982, and used the Pill for both ‘medical reasons’ and for contraceptive purposes. Thinking the Pill was foolproof, she embarked on sexual relationships with different men, until she met Monica’s father and developed a more serious relationship. To her utter shock she became pregnant with Monica, and the pregnancy posed a risk of serious embarrassment, not least because Monica’s father was teaching religion in the local secondary school. Monica’s mother was conflicted between keeping the baby and 'going to England' (a colloquial term for having an abortion).

Monica’s father was totally opposed to this, and even mentioned that if it came out that she had had an abortion, the shame of that would outweigh the out of wedlock pregnancy. Monica’s mother felt contemptuous of the child; she was the first woman in her family to have ever used contraception, and she had felt so powerful and invincible. She hadn’t wanted ‘this thing’, and really, settling down early with the local schoolteacher wasn’t where she had imagined her life would lead!

Monica was born, to the delight of her father, who throughout her childhood lavished her with love and took her to the sacraments. Monica always perceived a gap between her mother and her, a sort of coldness that made her feel at fault. When Monica was ten her brother was born, and Monica heard her mother telling people proudly that she had had ‘a good break’ between Monica and her brother, and that he was ‘planned’.

Monica had rough teenage years and sparred a lot with her mother. She knew at this stage that her parents had married because her mother was pregnant with her, and wondered if her mother held it against...her. Even if her mother didn’t consciously hold it against Monica, there came one vicious argument when Monica’s mother did say ‘I could have aborted you, you know! I was pregnant by mistake.’ There were a lot of tearful apologies afterwards, and Monica’s mother took back everything she said, but Monica carried a deep scar.

Under the guidance of her mother, and behind her father’s back, Monica went on the Pill and her choice of boyfriend was random. Call it history repeating itself, but Monica became pregnant. You could say that Monica could have done what her mother did and given birth to the baby, but she didn’t. She didn’t want her baby to be made feel like the unwelcome guest. I got to know Monica a year after her abortion, I never made known my pro-life views, but she knew that I wasn’t on the Pill and said to me once, ‘you know abortion isn’t wrong at all, the yoke [the baby] was never meant to be there anyway, because I used contraception.’

But she had learned a lesson from her mother that ‘unwanted’ children have no status.

Mary O'Regan

No comments:

Post a Comment

Join Us In Prayer And Fasting