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‘Abortion addict’ draws pro-life sympathy

WASHINGTON (BP)–Irene Vilar’s “abortion addiction,” as she describes it, resulted in 15 of the lethal procedures in 16 years.

Her new book — “Impossible Motherhood: Testimony of an Abortion Addict” — will be released Oct. 6, and she says she has already perceived “an inkling of hatred,” Vilar told ABCNews.com in a telephone interview.

“I am worried about my safety and the hate mail,” said Vilar, 40.

“No book like this has ever been written,” she said. “I just imagine the ‘baby killer’ and I could be a poster child for that kind of fundamentalism.”

Although Vilar, a literary agent and editor based in New York City, aborted 15 of her unborn children, she has two daughters, 5 and 3, who are homeschooled, ABCNews.com reported Sept. 21. Many of her abortions came during a tumultuous marriage to a university professor about 30 years older than her.

If Vilar is sensing hatred, Tom McClusky, vice president of Family Research Council Action, wrote on the organization’s blog (www.thecloakroomblog.com), “I doubt it is coming from anyone in the pro-life movement.”

After reading the ABCnews.com article, McClusky wrote, “I am sure many would have the same reaction as me, one of pity for this poor woman who has had a troubled life, compounded by her multiple abortions.”

McClusky added that the ABCnews.com article “shows the failure of the abortion industry — highlighting what little counseling they do for women after one abortion, let alone multiple. While the abortion industry generally refuses to see an abortion as harmful to a woman’s mental health (let alone the damages it does physically) it is left up to the pro-life movement to pick up the slack by creating programs, like Project Rachel and Silent No More, to counsel women who have had abortions.”

“If wombs had windows, people would be much more reticent to abort babies because they would be forced to confront the evident humanity of the baby from very early gestation onward,” said Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

The ERLC’s Psalm 139 Project (www.psalm139project.org) raises funds to provide ultrasound machines for pregnancy centers across the country. Contributions to the project go totally for the purchase and placement of such machines, training for the nurses who perform the tests and minimal expenses for promotion of the fund.

Pro-life blogger Jill Stanek wrote at www.jillstanek.com: “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,” Stanek wrote. “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 open,” Stanek wrote.

Vilar may come close, however. An excerpt from her book posted on the Internet states in part, “Halfway through working on this book I got pregnant for the seventeenth 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 thirty-five years.”

Nearly half (48 percent) of all abortions in the United States are performed on women who have had at least one previous abortion, according to a 2006 report by the Guttmacher Institute.

Lauren Streicher, clinical assistant professor at the Northwestern University School of Medicine and host of a nationally syndicated radio show for medical professionals, “Reach MD,” told ABCnews.com that Impossible Motherhood is “an interesting book and she writes beautifully.” But, Streicher said, “by her very admission, she is a psychologically disturbed woman.”

The ABCnews.com article reported that Vilar, a native of Puerto Rico, “grew up in the shadow of her notorious grandmother Puerto Rican nationalist Lolita Lebron, who stormed the Capitol steps with a gun in 1954. Lebron served 25 years in jail for the crime until receiving a pardon from President Carter in 1979.” Vilar’s mother underwent a hysterectomy without hormone treatment as part of a mass sterilization program in Puerto Rico from 1955-69, ABCnews.com reported. Vilar’s mother subsequently suffered from depression and a Valium addiction and committed suicide when Vilar was 8 by throwing herself from a moving car. Two of Vilar’s brothers were heroin addicts.

McClusky, critiquing the ABCNews.com article, noted that it “neglects to mention that the coauthor, Rachel Jones, currently works for Planned Parenthood’s Guttmacher Institute. Instead the piece repeatedly uses Guttmacher statistics and talking points in an agenda to push for more contraception, and ultimately more federal funding for Planned Parenthood…. The story also relies on a widely discredited American Psychological Association (APA) report that found women do not suffer any mental health from abortions. One of the many problems documented by FRC [Family Research Council] and others is that the study failed to address women who have had multiple abortions, something an APA spokesperson admits.”
Reported by Tom Strode, Washington bureau chief for Baptist Press, and Baptist Press editor Art Toalston.

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