"You, the brother I have never had ...": the subject matter of a well known and moving song. Nobody would ever portray that imaginary brother under the traits of a bank robber, a quadriplegic, a druggy or a Down's syndrome child, but after having seen Rainman. Imagination, to fill our emotional gaps, makes up an abstract figure which does not correspond to an only human and never perfect person in all aspects.
Wanting a child, doesn't mean repressing our dreams that could only lead us to deception? A human being is as unpredictable as life itself ; therefore after having wanted him/her, and -admitting it would be possible to want him/her only- can we do otherwise than accepting him/her as he / she is?
A CHANGING LEGISLATION
However, in our times, taking as a starting point the idea that it is possible to "have a life of one's own " as well as that of others' , particularly sexual life, within the frame of conception of the "pro-choice" society, there is a generalization of a eugenicist idea of what is not anymore recognized as procreation : the choice then extends to the characteristics of the future children who will have to comply the next triple commandment: "when I want", "as I want ", "like I want him/her". The changes in legislation combine with those of sciences and technique to allow our contemporaries "select" their children: All this began with the provisions of the Veil (a Health Minister in France) on therapeutical abortion, associated with prenatal techniques; this selection is so heartless because the law has not established precise criteria to separate "sheep" from "goats".
This eugenics derives from artificial procreation, above all because of the financial and psychological cost (which is very hard for couples) of having recourse to these methods: after so many efforts it is out of the question to obtain a defective "product".
Therefore abortion is, on the one hand, a means of exclusion of the undesirable child, in consideration of distress (sometimes real) of the mother. On the other hand, psychologically speaking, it is more than a simple accident: its consequences on the mother behavior towards the other children let's call them "survivors") who will be born later, may be the reflection of implicit eugenics. That is the aspect we intend to consider.
THE POST ABORTION SYNDROME
A post abortion syndrome appearing, in many occasions, several years later, in women having had an abortion with a depressive condition and the collapse of immune defenses, has been reported according to the findings of pediatricians and children psychiatrists, among which is doctor Marie PEETERS (pediatrician, consulting doctor of the Necker hospital). She states that, even before the specific appearance of this syndrome, the doctors may discover that a woman is suffering the consequences of an old abortion because of several signs: she shows "something in her eyes as the expression of a child shouting for help" ; this woman does not listen to people and it is difficult to have a dialog with her, because she is not in peace, above all, abortion has strong repercussions on the relationship of a mother and a child: that the mother is lost as regards a child she does not very well know how to take care of, or that she makes this child a substitute to whom she attaches and who has not the possibility to explore the world surrounding him/her.
This attitude is evident in women whose child is born after several abortions, pregnancy in this case, has been particularly difficult: the woman goes overt at the same time the preceding pregnancy and the abortion that put an end to it.
The child that is born is then particularly precious; he is expected to be manageable and well behaved; which he/she will be, undoubtedly, until he/she is a teenager where opposition appears, also rebellion against a very possessive attitude of his/her parents.
It is not reassuring to be a "wanted child", says Marie PEETERS. The child instinctively knows that he/she is a "survivor", and it happens that, even without being informed of the abortion or abortions her mother has undergone, the child when requested to draw his/her family, adds other children to the survivors, exactly corresponding to the number of aborted brothers or sisters. Is this the confirmation that the so called family secrets are very frequently open secrets? Or the indication of an instinct comparable to the one that allows a child to feel that her mother is expecting a baby well in advance than he is told about it? This fact has been established long time ago.
The confession of a previous abortion from the parents themselves would be an unbearable suffering. Therefore fear will be strongly installed in the child's mind, above all in certain families in which things are told straight and to the point: for example, with the ultrasound scan of the expected baby, a family meeting is held with the other children; and the parents would decide: "this one does not comply with the standards, he/she is abnormal, we are going to abort him/her".
In such a context, the child himself understand that he risks to become a failure himself, a source of deception for his parents. Perhaps in school, the "schoolmates" have already asked him "Hey, you, have you been wanted?"
Thus, the child feels the effects of the eugenicist eye of his/her parents which reflects on him/her through a kind of self-eugenics. They aren't but attitudes, ways of looking at the situations, words... However, is it exaggerated to think that in certain cases, it is possible to come to violent terms when exceeding the frame of discussions, a mother could possibly tell her daughter, in a moment of anger: "I should have aborted you". Haven't we gone far enough, beyond the limits of unbearable? After all, it had been supposed that by suppressing unwanted children, there weren't going to be anymore battered children; in fact it was not like that: the curve of physical abuse on minors seems to increase with the same rhythm than that of abortions. Marie PEETERS reminds us that very deep bonds of love join the mother and the child well before birth, and these bonds protect, in some way the child, thus avoiding, for example that the obligation of getting up in the night to breast feed or bottle feed a yelling baby is felt like a burden. But what would happen if these love bonds are badly damaged by abortion, if the mother or the father (also hurt by abortion) transform this wound in anger, in aggressiveness?
THE CRY OF THE DEFENSELESS CHILD
It is possible to establish with concern that the cry of the defenseless child always obtains an ambivalent answer, between compassion, which is the one that is logic in human beings and violence or anger that come from the depth of our animality. Would it be possible to arrive at a stage where a sort of a posteriori eugenics, for example against that child that would be designated the ugly duckling of the family, or would this violence be exerted against all the surviving children after having been exerted against those who it was impossible to see yet? At any rate, the shadow of the children dead is always present in the life of those who are implicated in their disappearance, and who have decided not to allow them to enter the world of the living, even if the consequences are not always so tragic. This is the reason why, in the specific therapies, the only that can provide a true cure, the first step is requesting the mother to kiss their babies goodbye after having "given them back their true human face". It is necessary that she really goes over the death of the child through the stages of the abortion, so that this death appears as final, and is really accepted. Thus, after having given back the aborted child his/her total human condition, the other children have all chances of being less "wanted" and better accepted.