Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Addiction Label

There are all sorts of things one can be addicted to - smoking, alcohol, drugs, pornography. There's a "sickness" for everything nowadays. Caught in a tight spot with a credit card company? Blame your addiction to spending and declare bankruptcy. Say something racist to a police officer? There's always alcohol addiction to pin it on.

This is not to minimize the devastation brought about by true addictions, but when the repentance for every sin is to make a trite apology and then run off to rehab for a few weeks, or to label bad behavior as a sickness to shift the blame away from one's own actions, then it's a problem. Calling something an addiction does not absolve one of personal responsibility.

But, in today's blame culture, where seemingly everything can be forgiven just by saying, "I'm addicted", why not shout your sins from the rooftops? If everyone understands that you just couldn't help yourself and offers sympathy to soothe your guilty conscience, why not share your dirty laundry with the world?

I'm not sure if salving her wounds with the excuse of addiction was the motivation for Irene Vilar to write a memoir about her experiences, but whatever her reasoning may be, her story is one so horrifying and so disgusting that any reasonable person should shrink from pardoning her actions.

Between the ages of 16 and 33, Ms. Vilar terminated fifteen pregnancies. That's fifteen human lives destroyed at the rate of nearly one a year. She blames it on the fact that her husband at the time did not want children, and, unable to stop herself from experiencing the thrill of conceiving and its attendant possibility of motherhood, she "forgot" her birth control pills again and again. But, as the tendrils of post-conception fear wrapped their way around her heart, soon the reality of the situation would settle upon her and, in panic, she would seek out an abortion.

"Of course, this did not mean I wanted to do it again and again," she says. "A druggie also wants to stop every time."

Well, that may be true. But we are not talking about a needle and some heroin here. We are talking about human beings with beating hearts being sucked away to make room for their mother's next conception "high". I don't care what your stance on abortion is or whether or not you think it should be legal. The fact is that this story should disgust everyone, NARAL-ite or not. It is a tragedy that the sacredness of human life has been diminished to such depths that it is acceptable to participate so cavalierly in its destruction. But, even more tragic, is the fact that labeling that destruction as an addiction allowed someone to write blamelessly about it afterwards.

When a label can excuse even the taking of human life, truly, we could not sink any lower.

3 comments:

Megan B said...

Wow, that's horrible.

cristie said...

very hard to imagine. ccc

Kristin said...

Just unbelievable. Goes to show how numb to any pangs of conscience a person can become.

And...yay, Bonnie's back!