Heather King is an ex-lawyer, an ex-barfly and a Catholic convert with three memoirs: Parched; Redeemed; and Shirt of Flame: A Year with St. Thérèse of Lisieux. She lives in Los Angeles and blogs at shirtofflame.blogspot.com. Visit her website at heather-king.com.
Poor Baby: a Child of the 60's Looks Back on Abortionby Heather King
I came of age during the '60's and '70's. I'm a former waitress, an ex-lawyer, a sober barfly, a Catholic convert, and a self-supporting writer. I've been financially independent all my life. But I've never much been able to reduce the mystical to the political. I've never been much moved to call myself a feminist. The feminists had said that sleeping around would be empowering. The feminists had maintained that "choosing" would make me free. The feminists had asserted that there'd be no repercussions. The feminists had been wrong.
That I'm for life-and against abortion, war, the prison industry, capital punishment, and the destruction of all that is most precious in us and the people around us-is a given. That I'm for life is why I suffered, in silence, in guilt, in sorrow, for over twenty years.
Even women, who will talk about anything, don't talk about abortion. But I do, in this 10,000-word essay that I hope might open the door to a new way of thinking about and talking about this difficult subject. Because abortion is not a political issue; abortion is a mystical issue. Abortion is a matter of emotional and spiritual poverty, of what we inherit from our parents and what we pass on to our children, of what we absorb from a culture that is saturated with violence. As Dostoevsky observed: "Love in reality is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to love in dreams."
"Poor Baby" is the tragicomic story of a harsh and dreadful thing. May it shed some light on our collective yearning for love.
NOTE: POOR BABY is a 54-page essay, not a full-length book.
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