Abortion

Confessions of a Self-Proclaimed "Abortion Addict"

| by Jill Stanek

Irene Vilar is no pro-lifer.

About her upcoming book, Impossible Motherhood: Testimony of an abortion addict, which tells the story of her 16 abortions in 15 years, Vilar writes on her web page:

Impossible Motherhood is committed to eliminating the stigma of abortion by creating new ways to talk about abortion honestly and publicly. It understands the complex moral decision making surrounding a pregnancy decision and how devaluing to women's real experience is any bumper sticker approach to choice....

The aim is to celebrate the transformative power of pregnancy and envision a world in which abortion is understood as a moral decision without stigma.

But Vilar seemingly says the opposite in a book excerpt published online:

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A police officer saw a young black couple drive by and pulled them over. What he did next left them stunned:

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A police officer saw a young black couple drive by and pulled them over. What he did next left them stunned:

My own account can't resolve the moral dilemma of my actions. Yet, I want to understand the spell a pregnant body exercised over me, my flawed desire to become someone, or something else.... My promise to the reader is to deliver an account of my addiction, a steady flow of unhappiness, the X-ray of a delusion, and ultimately, the redeeming face of motherhood.

Halfway through working on this book I got pregnant for the 17th time. I don't think I would have been able to give birth without the call to accountability and self reflection that writing this story demanded. My daughter became the coherence emerging from the shameful mass of 35 years.

Yes, I was an abortion addict and I do not wish for a scapegoat. Everything can be explained, justified, our last century tells us. Everything maybe, except for the burden of life interrupted that shall die with me.

Vilar's publisher is Random House, and the release date is October 6.

Vilar may say she does not intend her book to become one big pro-life talking point, but pro-lifers are really the only ones who can talk about it. I've checked the blogs, and although it's still early, only pro-lifers are writing about Impossible Motherhood.

It will indeed be impossible for pro-aborts to really say anything other than "Atta girl" when writing about Vilar at risk of indicting abortion altogether. There can be no difference between 1 abortion and 16, or there is something wrong with it.

To pro-aborts abortion can only be another form of birth control. If it is anything more, they open a door they don't want to.

And if abortion is safe, then 16 abortions are safe x 16.

If aborting one's child is no more mentally imbalanced than taking a bc pill, then a mother aborting 16 times is a psychological powerhouse.

Still the ABC News article today on Vilar and Impossible Motherhood is full of evidence that there are consequences to the choice...

Although her personal history is unique, Vilar hopes through her painful memoir to trigger a public discussion on abortion and what leads women - even after the feminist movement - to use "procreation as power."

"Everybody is having babies, Hollywood has even developed some sort of motherhood fetish," said Vilar. "Yet, women are repeatedly told that they must be everything but mothers, everything but someone weighed down by motherhood."...

An American Psychological Association task force concluded that mental health problems are "not a direct result" of choosing to have one abortion.

But the 2008 report did note that many "confounding factors might indicate mental problems" in women who have repeat abortions....

Vilar's pregnancies became compulsively self-destructive: After her 9th and 10th abortions, she "needed another self-injury to get the high."

"In the beginning I was taking pills and I'd skip a day or two or give up one month," she said. "I'd think I'll be better next time. But slowly, my days took on a balancing act and there was a specific high. I would get my period and be sad, then discover I was pregnant, being afraid, yet also so excited."

Vilar said many women who have repeat abortions show a certain "recklessness."

Such was the case with Mary, a FL college student....

"I felt like we were committing murder, that I was killing something that I wanted," said Mary. "I felt like I should feel the pain. I wanted to physically suffer."

After 3 abortions, she was left with lingering health problems and her doctor suggested she might not have a child again.

"When I was 21, it seemed easier," she said. "It was. It has a lot to do with my mental state about the situation. It feels like there is no healing for this."

Vilar, too, was warned by her doctor that she might never carry a child to term.

Women who have had multiple abortions face a potential risk for cervical damage and uterine lesions which can compromise future pregnancies, according to Dr. Louis Weinstein, chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia....

In Vilar's case, her 17th and 18th pregnancies were healthy ones, and her daughters are now thriving at 3 and 5....

Her story is a reminder that more needs to be done to educate women about the proper use of birth control and providing better access, according to Dr. Lauren Streicher, clinical assistant professor at the Northwestern University School of Medicine.

[JLS comment, Oh, please. There was no post-abortion instruction at mills after abortions, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16? She left the place with no month's supply of birth control pills each time?]

"This book really isn't about using abortion as birth control," she told ABCNews.com. "She is unconsciously sabotaging contraception for self-mutilation. It's a way of escaping feeling empty."

"It's an interesting book and she writes beautifully," said Streicher, who hosts the nationally syndicated radio show for medical professionals, Reach MD. "But by her very admission, she is a psychologically disturbed woman."...

But Vilar blames much of her poor choices on a hypersexualized society that at once values the perfect mother, but also expects women to be sexually attractive to men and to achieve professionally.

"Women have a deep need for agency, for purpose and direction and society is not providing natural and healthy channels for creative action," she said.

"In school and on TV, every message I get is what I am doing as a mother or wife is wrong," said Villar. "I should be thinking about a profession and not mothering. Everyone is having babies, and yet they don't want to care for them.

"Are many of the repeat abortions in part an embodiment of this mixed message? A lost, ambivalent attempt at an act of agency that cannot find its proper vessel? "