Underwood: Get your politics off my grief

May 2, 2011 Read more: New York Daily News

In a boldly improvised speech on the House floor in February, Rep. Jackie Speier admitted she had "lost a baby." Markai Durham , star of MTV 's " 16 and Pregnant " abortion special, feels "sad from time to time," and on NBC 's " Friday Night Lights ," Becky still dwells on her termination.

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TBurke

Levittown, PA

#1 May 6, 2011
As a ministry dedicated to enabling women to process feelings of grief following an abortion, we naturally read Kassi Underwood’s May 2 column in the New York Daily News,“Get your politics off my grief,” with interest. Ms. Underwood’s description of her own symptoms following abortion resonated strongly with the stories of thousands of
women who have gone through our healing weekends throughout the world. Just as importantly, she described the lack of support and the reactions of suspicion she received when she attempted to share her emotions with others.
We were troubled, however, by Ms. Underwood’s claim that the Rachel’s Vineyard facilitators use the retreat as a platform to encourage participants to engage in political lobbying. This has never been a component of the retreat program, and for a very good reason: Any focus on politics or any form of activism (pro-choice or pro-life) would sidetrack the arduous work of grieving – in particular confronting the complicated grief
associated with the loss of one’s irreplaceable child in order to reconcile the experience
and find meaning and peace. That is a deeply individual, personal, spiritual and psychological process. Any other focus could easily derail the critical work of grief – which is the singular mission of Rachel’s Vineyard. All our retreats are facilitated by professional counselors, psychologists and other licensed specialists in mental health.
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