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Nothing’s Shocking

It is a sad commentary on the state of our world that stories like this one (warning, .pdf) (via the Population Research Institute) barely shock us anymore. The gist of the story is as follows: a Massachusetts woman, identified in court pleadings only as Mary Moe, is pregnant with her third child. She aborted her first child. Sometime between this abortion and the birth of her second child, she suffered a “psychotic break” and was diagnosed with shizophrenia and bipolar mood disorder, for which she takes medication. Reading inbetween the lines, it is reasonable to assume that the woman’s first abortion may have been a contributing factor in her mental illness:

The GAL report and the record generally provide additional background. The defendant suffered a psychotic break when she was a college student. Thereafter, she believed people were staring at her and stating that she killed her baby. She becomes agitated and emotional when discussing the pregnancy that ended in an abortion.

Now that Moe is pregnant for the third time, her parents went to a probate judge in Massachusetts in an attempt to get a court to force her to have an abortion, apparently on the theory that the medications Moe takes for her mental illness would be harmful to Moe’s unborn child. Somewhat unsurprisingly, given this history, Moe went to great lengths in front of the judge to avoid having an abortion forced on her, claiming devout Catholicism (a contention that her parents dispute) and denying that she even was pregnant.

Somehow the judge, a Dukakis appointee, got the idea that the best thing for this poor woman would be to force her to have another abortion (because the first one clearly worked wonders for her mental health). This despite the fact that the guardian ad litem appointed by the judge had found that if Moe were not suffering from mental illness, she would not herself choose to have the abortion.  The judge astoundingly ordered that Moe’s parents should get her to the abortion clinic even if Moe had to be  “coaxed,   bribed, or even enticed … by ruse[.]” Additionally, even though no one (including Moe’s delightful parents) had asked for this remedy, the judge sua sponte ordered that once Moe’s parents had successfully conned her into the abortion clinic, Moe must be sterilized so she could never get pregnant again.

Thankfully, the probate judge was overruled on appeal, mainly for failing to make appropriate factual findings and failing to appropriately consider the recommendations of the guardian ad litem. Thus, in this one case, the appropriate result was reached, but reading the judge’s opinion, a different set of circumstances might very well have permitted “Mary Moe”‘s parents to force her to have an abortion against her will. This is the inevitable consequence of a society that has accepted the false premise that under certain circumstances, abortion is the only choice a sane person would make. Such a premise should be rejected by anyone who is truly “pro-choice,” but happily too many who claim to be “pro-choice” let the mask slip from time to time and show us all that when the chips are down, they really are pro-abortion, and nothing else.

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