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impossible motherhoodA new memoir was released yesterday detailing the experience of a woman “addicted to abortion.” In the memoir, Impossible Motherhood: Testimony of an Abortion Addict. Irene Vilar not only admits to having 15 abortions in 17 years, but also chronicles the pathology that led to each intentional pregnancy and subsequent abortion. She claims her intention in writing the memoir is not to enter into the abortion debate, as she is adamantly pro-choice. Rather she and her publishers are promoting the book as a tale of female suffering, failure, and, ultimately, triumph that will inspire other woman.

However, with a foreword by feminist Robin Morgan and the less than subtle title, it is hard to imagine the book cannot contribute to the abortion debate. People are already beginning to take positions. Those on the pro-abortion side claim the memoir reaffirms only that all women have abortions for different reasons that laws cannot account for and that Vilar’s pathology is another indicator of the mental strain suffered by women in a male dominated society. Those in support of life, obviously, site the book as a fitting example of the barbarism of abortion and the violence it causes in the lives of woman and children alike.

Yet, what I find most appalling and disquieting about the memoir is how easily the lives aborted by Vilar are entirely ignored and her abortions equated to anorexia, drug abuse, and alcoholism. The publisher, Judith Gurewich, emphasized this point as she described her response to the memoir:

I never saw this story as having much to do with abortion, except that it happened to be the target of her pathology or her neurosis. Her behaviour is very, very similar to anorexia or bulimia. It’s some kind of an addiction where she wants to impose her own rule on her own body. The fact that, of course, this involves a more complicated target makes it rather different.

The memoir radically reconfirms how important it is for the pro-abortion community to refuse to acknowledge the tie between abortion and the life of a baby. And it even more radically confirms how necessary it is us to never stop reminding the world of the tiny lives lost with a woman’s right to choose.

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