“You can be right. You can be dead right and bring death to all those around you.” Jean Vanier
Friday, 4 September 2015
As Pope Francis makes provisions for priests and abortion, we must invoke Day's intercession
Mary O ' Regan writes:
In her youth, Dorothy Day was surrounded by many influential voices who encouraged her to be sexually active before marriage. Emma Goldman egged her on to try ‘free love’, but Day was reluctant to let go of her natural inhibitions and start sleeping around. Later Day would write in her own autobiography that she had been repulsed by Goldman’s many sexual affairs. A dear friend of Day’s, Peggy Baird tried to sell Day on the idea that extra-marital sex was a good thing because it broke down barriers between men and women. Baird was unnerved by Day’s unwillingness to give in to sexual desire.
As a 21 year old, Day did, however, have a dalliance with another journalist, and became pregnant as a result. The fellow was a cad and pressurised her to have an abortion, and in September 1919, 86 years ago this month, Day made a decision that she would bitterly regret for the rest of her life. She had an illegal abortion. Afterwards, Day was weighted down with a guilt-fuelled depression. Reflecting on Day’s distress, it calls to mind Pope Francis’ words this week, when he described post-abortion women as bearing, ‘the scar of this agonizing and painful decision’.