Portrait of an abortion addict

Years ago, she wrote that an 11-year period in which she had 12 abortions was “the happiest” time of her life. Looking back, she diagnoses the person she was as “a deluded creature in suspended animation.”

Now she can impose a sort of logic on what happened. “When one is looking for a strategy of survival one uses what makes sense, with whatever limited tools one has, in a sick way,” she says in an e-mail one evening after returning to her home in Colorado. “Abortion happens to be the target of my addiction, or to be more precise the target of my pathological adolescent rebellious strategy.”…

Between sips of a Montepulciano, Vilar says she knows that as she arrives in any town — she visited Washington on her decidedly low-key book tour — she is “fated to be misunderstood.” Her book, she says, is an exercise in “self-accountability,” a chronicle of what she calls a “shameful” period of “recklessness and stupidity” when she “abused her rights.”

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