In a book that collected essays about abortion, editor Phyllis Tickle describes her children:
“There are seven of them now, children of my body and fruit of our love, Sam’s and mine, for almost four decades of mated life.
But there are others as well, the children who haunt me and for whom, even in this time of my advancing age, I mourn and whose demise I have never accepted. They are the dead ones, the babies whom I miscarried, for I did miscarry. Over and over and over again I miscarried, until it seems that for every child we brought to term, three had been lost.
Most of them were lost to me in a flood of waste and blood when they were halfway toward safety. They were lost as children whose sex and shape I could plainly see as they floated away from me in the commode where I had to flush them or the old newspapers in which my hands had to wrap them, for in the 1960s and 70s they were children only to me.
To the world beyond my cramping heart they were a medical accident of routine occurrence, part of the byproduct of active living. The church said no words over them and perceived no loss from their namelessness; medicine reduced them to statistics in the record of my parity.
But I could never so reduce the memories of the swirling waters carrying my children away to sewage plants, nor could the shadows of their presence ever be exorcised from the dining tables of Christmases and Thanksgivings, of birthdays and anniversaries.”
Phyllis Tickle, ed. Confessing Conscience: Churched Women on Abortion (Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon Press, 1990) 10 – 11Share on Facebook