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By Anne R. Lastman

Reviewed by Charles Francis

At the Federal election last November, Kevin Rudd did not hesitate to tell the Australian people what he thought was wrong with our country, but failed to mention what in the future may prove to be the greatest problem of all - the Australian abortion holocaust.  This very important issue has, however, been fully and incisively explored and analysed by Anne Lastman in her book, “Redeeming Grief",  launched late last year.

Anne points out that today "Nations do not fight one another often in a visible war.  Nations are fighting themselves in an invisible and deadlier war.  Deadlier because nations are killing their children, their future, their citizens".  In Australia at the present time approximately 90,000 of our future citizens have their lives terminated by abortion each year.  As Poland's former Deputy Prime Minister, Roman Giertych warned:  "A nation which kills its children is a nation without a future.  A continent which kills its children will be settled by people who do not kill theirs".

The loss of so much potential energy,  talent and initiative is only part of the destructive process which Anne depicts.  Since 1996 she has conducted her clinic "Victims of Abortion" which treats people psychologically damaged by abortion.  Anne has now treated more than l,000 patients, mainly women, but some men also.  Working as she does at the coal face, Anne is very well qualified to set out in the clearest terms much of what she has seen and learned.  Abortion damages far more than the women who are its victims.  It devalues women as women, making men increasingly disrespectful of women and  callous.  It hits right at the very essence of the relationship of men and women,  putting society on a downhill slide and ultimately gnaws at the heart of the nation itself. 

Anne has analysed with deep insight the many and complex problems created by abortion and her analysis is extremely valuable.  Most Australians  (including doctors)  are quite inadequately informed on these problems but  within  "Redeeming  Grief" there is a huge wealth of knowledge which needs to be spread throughout our community.  Those who are now considering legalising all abortion need to acquire this knowledge so that any decisions they make are not based on our current ignorance. 

Among many problems  with which Anne deals fully are post-abortion trauma and the resulting  damage spiritual and psychological, which may continue over many years.  Anne's strong Catholic faith plays a major part in her pursuit of the healing process.  Many of her patients find it difficult to believe they can ever be forgiven for the sin of killing their own child.  Intentional death, especially the intentional death of a child creates spiritual chaos.  For many it is an abyss from which there appears no exit. 

Anne cites passages from the Gospels to prove (as with the woman caught in adultery)  that there can be forgiveness.  For those suffering from post abortion psychiatric disorders Anne demonstrates that the Church is powerful in terms of healing.  It can pray, intercede, rebuke, embrace and heal, but most of all, it can dispense grace and forgiveness.  Christian teaching thus plays a very important part in the healing process.

"Redeeming Grief" is a very important and  timely book.  I can only hope it will be widely read.  In the present situation in Victoria when some government politicians are suggesting that all abortions be legalised,  Anne's book demonstrates the inevitable evils which will result.  In particular, I hope our parliamentarians will become familiar with the complex and disastrous problems caused by abortion, which "Redeeming Grief" depicts so incisively.

Charles Francis is barrister and former MP in the Victorian Parliament.





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