Abortion Never-Neverland

Catholics are against abortion, so it stands to reason that Catholic Charities, an official service agency of the Church, would … Continued

Catholics are against abortion, so it stands to reason that Catholic Charities, an official service agency of the Church, would never encourage one of its clients to have an abortion. However, in January 2008, employees of the Richmond, Virginia branch of Catholic Charities signed the adult authorization for an abortion and actually took a 16 year-old woman to the clinic.

Although Bishop Francis DiLorenzo was informed of the pending abortion that had been arranged by Catholic Charities’ staff, he said he had been advised that he could not legally interfere with the abortion.

In June, the U.S. Department of Human Services announced its investigation the incident. Since Catholic Charities receives most of its funds from government sources, at issue is whether the agency violated the federal ban against taxpayer funds paying for an abortion. Although this is a regulation that the Catholic Church fought hard to write into law, it might be used now to defund Catholic Charities in Virginia. This would probably delight Evangelical groups looking for the money that was going to the Catholic operation. Moreover, it will likely please critics with a blood lust against anything connected to Catholicism.

Predictably, Bishop DiLorenzo fired the staff members who signed the paper for the underage woman and drove her to the clinic. The Bishop’s public apology did not give all the details, citing the need for discretion since the matter involves litigation. But that has not assuaged the demand from righteous-sounding Catholics for the bishop to be relieved from his duties.

I will leave others to pronounce on the Bishop, Richmond’s Catholic Charities and its staff. But I ask out-loud, “What circumstances would lead four Catholic Charities’ employees to arrange an abortion, when they must have known the Church’s opposition?” The 16 year-old is a Guatemalan undocumented immigrant and ward of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement. Assigned to foster care under Catholic Charities, she already has another child, which means that she conceived when she was about 14 and again at 16. What if her pregnancies are the result of rapes? What if the rapist is her father? What if the fetus is deformed, making adoption improbable? What if the mental state of the woman (I’m tempted to say “girl” here) has made her suicidal?

Now while it is unlikely that each hypothetical of this long list of applies, it is not impossible that some of them do. The recent movie, “Juno,” represented to the public just how difficult pregnancy is for unwed teenage mothers. And in the picture, Juno was a strong and emotionally supported mother-to-be. It would appear that this Guatemalan immigrant has few such qualities. In fact, she insisted she wanted the abortion, even after Catholic Charities advised her about alternatives. Another near-documentary film, “Gone Baby, Gone” presented the moral dilemma of keeping a child with its birth mother, condemned to a home dominated by promiscuity, addictions and drug-dealing. Without prejudging the mother-to-be, there is an underside to life beyond the margins and she may not have felt strong enough to meet challenges.

I am not justifying abortion, but I want to stress that Catholic teaching makes no exceptions, even for rape, incest or the grave mental health of the mother. Following the Catholic ban against abortion may demand heroic virtue. But, unfortunately, not all believers rise to the practice of heroic virtue. Rather than look to catechism for the solution, I prefer to ask, “What would Jesus do?” It seems to me that love rather than law should be the place where we begin to make judgments.

In the deepest quagmire of human suffering and moral conflicts, Catholics do not resort to “shunning,” as in practiced in some sects. Neither do we brand the sinner with a salvation-denying scarlet letter. We are Catholics: we have confession.

About

Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo is Professor Emeritus of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies at Brooklyn College and Distinguished Scholar of the City University of New York.
  • Athena

    Incoming flamewar in 5…4…3…2…1…

  • TJ

    Sounds like somebody would have benefited from access to, and familiarity with the use of, condoms.So I ask out loud: What if she would have practiced birth control? Of course, Jesus would have preferred that this girl not engage in intercourse, but it’s too late for that. So would Jesus rather that this girl be taught effective birth control methods and be given safe and easy access to them, or would he have her have another abortion in a few years?

  • Wakka Wakka

    TJ- assuming it was consentual, she had every right and capacity in this great nation to practice BC. Which she clearly didn’t, unless you count the abortion. So regardless of the ethics as pertaining to the Church, it’s not like *they* had anything to do with her not using BC, when if she was going to have pre-marital relations anyway, might as well have taken the proper precautions.

  • TJ

    Wakka Wakka, I don’t really dispute that although we don’t know if the Catholic church’s absurd stance on birth control played any role or not.The question I’m asking is what to do to prevent this girl’s next abortion. It seems to me that Catholics have a choice.. birth control or abortion. I understand that christians in general aren’t likely to engage in pragmatism when dogma is on the line, but this seems like a great place for them to give it a test drive.

  • dcp

    When you ask “What would Jesus do?”, do you mean before the abortion or afterwards. Because I don’t think you can even argue that Jesus would drive a 16 year-old to an abortion clinic. And I’m not too sure that birth control is an issue in this situation. She was pregnant at 14 and again at 16, plus she’s an immigrant. Sounds like she’s being taken advantage of. That’s the bigger issue.

  • SteveCO

    Not allowing exceptions to abortions is exactly why the Catholic law means nothing.It’s a misogynist law which many Catholics ignoring the rule at will. You see, the Catholic Church didn’t outlaw abortion until 1869, when an anti-Semitic pope named Pius II, I believe, outlaw allowing abortion until “quickening,” or first movement of the fetus.Unless your pope wants to explain that historic meeting, then the matter of credibility is involved, and the CC is quite short of that lately, what with child-molesting priests called by God to serve and hidden by Church officials at various “new” parishes, ignoring the old victims and rubbing their hands together at the new crop…er, flock. These are the dopes that don’t believe in sex education, birth control…or abortion. No wonder young people are clueless as to what the Church is trying to accomplish. No wonder they leave the church in droves. Incomprehensible man-control babble ain’t gonna cut it.

  • Ryan Haber

    Steveco, you wrote:”It’s a misogynist law which many Catholics ignoring the rule at will. You see, the Catholic Church didn’t outlaw abortion until 1869, when an anti-Semitic pope named Pius II, I believe, outlaw allowing abortion until “quickening,” or first movement of the fetus.”But really don’t seem to have a grasp of the Church’s history. Holy Church has ALWAYS forbidden abortion. The Didache, or “Teaching of the Twelve,” is an early catechetical and liturgical instruction whose likely authorship dates at between AD 95 and 110. Its chapter 2, verse 2, says:”2:2 Thou shalt do no murder, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not corrupt boys, thou shalt not commit fornication, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not deal in magic, thou shalt do no sorcery, thou shalt not murder a child by abortion nor kill them when born, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s goods, thou shalt not perjure thyself, thou shalt not bear false witness, thou shalt not speak evil, thou shalt not cherish a grudge, thou shalt not be double-minded nor double-tongued;”Show me the document in which Pope Pius II outlaws abortion in 1869 or thereabouts, and I will believe that you know more about the history of the Church than what one reads in the DaVinci Code and such wastepaper. It will be pretty hard, mind you, because Pope Pius *IX* was pontiff in 1869. The pontiff you mentioned, Pope Pius II, was pontiff from 1458-1464.We do not believe in using birth-control, abortion, nor infanticide in order to let our lusts run wild (or for any other so-called “reason”), and never have. We have numerous good reasons, with which many posters here at WaPo can make you familiar if you will ask.

  • Ryan Haber

    TJ,Did you know that according to the Alan Guttemacher Institute, Planned Parenthood’s research wing, about 70% of women coming to their clinics for abortion report having used birth control?

  • AK

    “You see, the Catholic Church didn’t outlaw abortion until 1869, when an anti-Semitic pope named Pius II, I believe, outlaw allowing abortion until “quickening,” or first movement of the fetus.”Technically correct but entirely misleading. Correct in the the Church didn’t call the killing of a pre-quickening fetus an “abortion” until then. Rather, the Church considered it “contraception.” And the Church always forbade contraception. So what we today call “abortion” has always been forbidden, but for slightly different reasons.

  • TJ

    Ryan Harber, according to quick review of their website, for 2000/2001 it’s 54% and not 70%. Of those 54%, 76% of pill users and 49% of condom users admitted that they used their method inconsistently in the month that they got pregnant. We’re left to guess at how many weren’t entirely truthful about it.We do need better birth control training, I agree. It’s good of you to highlight this fact.

  • Ryan Haber

    Prof. Stevens-Arroyo,You have a knack for obfuscating, rather than clarifying issues. “Rather than look to catechism for the solution,” which is to say, “Rather than look to the faith and morals of Christ’s holy Church,” you prefer to ask, “What would Jesus do?”You are a professor. Do you really need someone to point out to you that WWJD is a question, and not an answer?Of course almost no believers have heroic levels of virtue. I certainly don’t. That’s not the point. St Paul writes to the Corinthians, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it,” (1 Cor 10:13). We NEVER have to sin. God always provides a good way out of difficulty.”I am not justifying abortion…”Really? What are you trying to do then? Put aside the catechism, which is to say the faith and morals of the Church, in favor of vague questions and hard circumstances? If that isn’t begging for more abortions, I don’t know what is!”It seems to me that love rather than law should be the place where we begin to make judgments.”Professor, this sort of wan statement saturates so much of your writing. Haven’t you ever read it written, “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them,” (Mt 5:17)? The moral law is not swept away by love, but fulfilled in it. Christ did not come to abrogate justice, but to enable us to fulfill its demands, and to provide forgiveness when we fall short. That forgiveness in itself in no way implies that there is no sin, nothing to forgive. Quite to the contrary.One gets the feeling, in any event, that when you write “love,” here, you must mean a sentiment of affection and an attitude of kindness. That is not the perfect love, though. “No man has great love than this: that he lay down his life for his friends,” (Jn 15:13). Love is to will the good of another, even to the point of willing to sacrifice ourselves. If you want to judge with love as the standard, beware, Professor. Love is a much higher, harder thing than mere justice. What was the Guatemalan woman willing to sacrifice for the good of her child, one must ask, if we are to judge by love. What about those workers – what were they willing to sacrifice? What about the Reverend Bishop? The problem with the scenario is precisely a problem of love, Professor: nobody was willing to get loving when the loving got tough. So instead they took the easy way out and killed, aided the murder, and turned a blind eye, to the destruction of an innocent child. That, with public funds and under the auspices of holy Church’s care! It is a betrayal of public trust and a sacrilege.To endure hardship without taking the easy way out takes a great deal of faith, Professor. You must know that. But it is not impossible. Because it is difficult, does not mean that we as a Church should allow ourselves to become complicit in sin – especially in such a grave sin.Here’s how the dialogue should have gone, in rough terms:* Woman Seeking Abortion: “Hi. I want an abortion.”Hard and harsh? No. Realistic. We are Catholic. We do not provide abortions. Life’s hard? Let us help if we can. But WE DO NOT DO ABORTIONS, we do not do them in a plane, we do not do them in a train, we do not do them here or there, we do not do them ANYWHERE. We are Catholic. What good would they have done by turning the woman away? Apparently none. Except maybe they would have at least told her that to kill a child is wrong. Would they have felt good about the situation? Maybe not. In some situations, it’s impossible to walk away feeling good. It is a real act of faith to do good when it doesn’t feel good, and when one can’t see what good it does. It is an act of trust in God Almighty to let him rule the universe, without saying, “Right, well, He couldn’t have known, when He made human life sacred, that a poor Guatemalan woman would want to kill her baby. If He had known how poor she’d be, He would have made an exception.” Of course God knows and cares.Those Catholic Charities workers showed a shocking lack of faith and morals – all that they apparently had left was squishy sentimentality. Defending them by saying that “Life is hard,” is just silly. EVERYONE’s life is hard. One of the greatest line from a movie, in my opinion, is from the Princess Bride:”Life IS pain, Princess. Anyone who tells you differently is selling something.”Is that nice and pleasant? Nope. But it’s real, and reality has to be the basis of everything we do, or else we’re gonna hurt people. I’ll put my money where my mouth is. I live on 2/3 of my take home income, and bank over a thousand dollars each month. I can easily afford to support a woman and child. If anyone out there is contemplating an abortion, please let me provide for your expenses and support your child, either in your care, or in the care of another. Please do not kill your child, even though it seems so much better. Please email me at withouthavingseen at gmail dot com. It won’t be easy, but you won’t regret letting your child live.

  • BGone

    The Catholic church’s strategy for taking over the world is making birth control a sin thus causing Catholics to have babies they wouldn’t have otherwise. Since the parents are Catholic the church gets first crack at installing it’s demon on their nebol bridges making them Catholics for life. Every Catholic is perfectly willing to have the pope as king of earth while we await the return of Jesus.The idea is to make as many Catholics as possible all else be damned. To do that things that interfere, practicing birth control and abortion in any form are made mortal sins.It’s a positive feedback system. The church defines sin and sin defines the church. The proper sin(s) lead to rule by church leaders. What Baptist doesn’t want Billy Graham to decide the law of the land? What Catholic doesn’t want the pope to decide the law of the land? God’s law is the highest law there is.Bring the seven deadly sins into the court room and throw truth out for lies that cause people to believe are moral. Scooter Libby is pardoned while a woman getting an abortion must be stoned to death.Religion, all religion is the great enemy of democracy, economy and mankind in general. It’s just a matter of time, assuming there’s time left, until the human mind evolves to the point of understanding religion. What happens then can not be expected to be pretty, starving ministers in the unemployment line and on the welfare rolls.In the mean time they vote the abortion issue and get an abortion for a government. Now they’re after the queers. Look for a rather queer government to be the result of them getting their way, again. Will they ever learn? Not as long as the big money keeps going to those leading the multitudes to hell.Have you spoken to the Vatican about returning the gold the Conquistadors robbed from your ancestors and donated to the church trying to save their souls? What are you waiting for, gold to go to $2,000 and ounce? Isn’t $1,000 per ounce more than enough? You could start you very own church. Jerry Falwell did it using money he made as a bootlegger’s assistant. Look how high religion took him. You’re missing out.

  • Anonymous

    Fortunately for all of us Jesus did not leave it to Mr. Stevens-Arroyo to decide “what Jesus would do.” Instead, he left us the Holy Spirit to guide the Magisterium. To know what Jesus would do, you need look no futher than to the teachings of Faith of the Catholic Church.As Catholics, we believe the Truth is neither subjective nor relative.

  • Elohist

    Ryan Harber, have you ever gotten pregnant out of wedlock? The Bible says: judge not, that ye not be judged. It’s wonderful that you can pontificate about the huge life problems of people you don’t know. If you were Jesus, it might make sense.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Abortion destroys a life i.e. murder by any definition.Steps Jesus might take:Proof of rape or incest must include the indentification of the attackers if possible and a thorough medical exam before any “death” pills are prescribed. If proven guilty, said attackers should face the penalities of not only rape or incest but also murder. Parents of mentally retarded children should seriously consider vasectomies for their sons and tubular ligation for their daughters if there is any chance of sexual activity of said children. Note: We have drugs for erectile dysfunction. Why not drugs to that promote ED especially for teenage boys??? How about beer, wine or booze spiked with said ED drugs? “Bud’s new Beer would be called PlusED”?????

  • Nivedita

    Religion cannot and should not be brought into what is a purely personal choice made by the woman who wants abortion. Because religion is brought into it, we see so many women die from getting abortions at spurious clinics as well as unwanted children who may not be brought up as responsible adults. The world population as it stands is greater than 6 billion. India is struggling to keep its population under check. In the midst of this if we have religious loonies opposing abortion that is the proverbial final nail in the coffin for the earth and subsequently humanity in the long run.

  • Anonymous

    CCNL – still a Catholic at heart I see.

  • pontificator

    Abortion is a legal right and a personal choice – period. If the Catholic Church actually stepped out of the Dark Ages and offered both sex education and birth control to the populations they either control or hope to convert, you’d have less abortion – abstinence is for people over 65 …. and they don’t need birth control if they happen to get the urge. You holier-than-thou moralists are all nuts……

  • pontificator

    Abortion is a legal right and a personal choice – period. If the Catholic Church actually stepped out of the Dark Ages and offered both sex education and birth control to the populations they either control or hope to convert, you’d have less abortion – abstinence is for people over 65 …. and they don’t need birth control if they happen to get the urge. You holier-than-thou moralists are all nuts……

  • Marc Edward

    For those who are making assumptions about the girl involved you ought to know in most of Latin Amerca, there is no sex education, abortion is illegal, and certainly birth control is not widely available. Many men will prefer to engage in anal sex rather than use a condom. Women are 2nd class citizens, so the idea that “she should have used birth control” is rather idiotic.

  • TJ

    Marc Edward writes: “For those who are making assumptions about the girl involved you ought to know in most of Latin Amerca, there is no sex education, abortion is illegal, and certainly birth control is not widely available.”Hmmm. I wonder why that might be so.

  • Anonymous 2

    In Cuba abortion is allowed and thus the population is declining. We Latin Americans should continue to make as many babies as God wishes to give us and thereby defend ourselves with life, not death.Sex education? What in the world is that? Some obscure invention of wealthy nations to deny the poor of what is most dignified.Don’t deprive the poor of what they truly need to live and grow human life on this planet and they will surely not be driven to desperation like this Guatemalan.Condoms? Contraceptives? How many of your children and grandchildren would not, or have not been born, because you used them?Children yes. Food yes. Housing yes. Humanizing education yes. Teachong how to make and care for babies, yes. Bombs, condoms and contraceptives, no.

  • paul c

    Nivedita: BGONE: What makes you think that the Catholic Church opposes abortion because it wants to increase its population? And how do you defend your statement ” Religion, all religion is the great enemy of democracy, economy and mankind in general”? Both points couldn’t be further from the church. The Church defends the life of the unborn because it believes that murder is morally wrong. The church’s mission is to help people get to heaven. It supports democracy and free enterprise as well, although to be fair, it does teach us to use our gains for charity. How does that make it an enemy of mankind?

  • spiderman2

    Arroyo wrote “This would probably delight Evangelical groups looking for the money that was going to the Catholic operation.”Money, money, money. Actually this has become a big issue because MONEY is involved.As Jose Rizal pointed out, money is what motivates catholicism to do “good works”.

  • JT FINN

    *****FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*****

  • [email protected]

    There may be a semantics problem here.The definition of abortion in the Catholic Church is “The Voluntary Termination of a VIABLE Pregnancy.” The girl was young and obviously sexually active from a very young age. Could it have been a tubal pregnancy? Could she have been having a miscarriage? Could the fetus already have been dead?Procedures that terminate a pregnancy, medically, are abortions, but the Church definition and the Medical definition are NOT exactly the same. CXatholic Social Services would keep any of those conditions private. But they would take the girl for medical help. Think about that.

  • [email protected]

    Steveco: It wasn’t Pius II (1458 to 1464), nor was it Pope Pius IX, who WAS pope in 1869. There were arguments over when life begins and some have maintained that when a pregnancy advances to the point that life of the fetus can be detected by detecting its motion life has certainly begun, but the church has always rejected abortion as morally wrong. But not my previous post on what the Church defines as an abortion.

  • Jim1138

    I find it amazing that men want control of women’s uteri. Ryan Haber: Quoting PB “Life IS pain” Do you practice self flagellation or do you enjoy watching others in pain? “Murdering” an embryo is bad, murdering a Muslim is good?

  • Anonymous

    SteveCO said: “You see, the Catholic Church didn’t outlaw abortion until 1869, when an anti-Semitic pope named Pius II, I believe, outlaw allowing abortion until “quickening,” or first movement of the fetus.”——”Technically correct but entirely misleading. Correct in the the Church didn’t call the killing of a pre-quickening fetus an “abortion” until then. Rather, the Church considered it “contraception.”"Please use a referenced history book to disprove me, because you won’t find one. That’s where I get my information.The Catholic Church *allowed abortion until quickening of the fetus* until the year 1869. Not, they thought it was contraception; they allowed the abortion of the nonmoving zygote/fetus.

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    Original Hippocratic Oath translated from Greek“ I swear by Apollo, Asclepius, Hygieia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgment, the following Oath.To consider dear to me, as my parents, him who taught me this art; to live in common with him and, if necessary, to share my goods with him; To look upon his children as my own brothers, to teach them this art.I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone.To please no one will I prescribe a deadly drug nor give advice which may cause his death.NOR WILL I GIVE A WOMAN PESSARY TO PROCURE ABORTION.But I will preserve the purity of my life and my arts.I will not cut for stone, even for patients in whom the disease is manifest; I will leave this operation to be performed by practitioners, specialists in this art.In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients, keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing and all seduction and especially from the pleasures of love with women or with men, be they free or slaves.All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or in daily commerce with men, which ought not to be spread abroad, I will keep secret and will never reveal.If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy my life and practice my art, respected by all men and in all times; but if I swerve from it or violate it, may the reverse be my lot.”==============

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    My personal thoughts:Comphrensive sex education and contraception is a means of reducing the number of abortions. Expecting perfection in sexual behaviour is one thing, but one should also be adequately prepared to deal imperfect human beings realistically and with great compassion.Abortion should not be treated like late stage contraception.Abortion should be performed only when it is considered the lesser of two evils, for eg protection of health and life of mother, to prevent the child from being abused and neglected by a mother who is not able to fulfill her duty as a mother either because she can’t (due to illness etc) or won’t. A mother can harm a child in a thousand ways while in the womb and after it is born. So it is necessary to think of the child’s welfare in the long term as well. The woman should be offered every alternative before the option of abortion is considered. Abortion should be performed in the earliest stage possible. There is no such thing as a mother’s “abortion right,” for the innocent child has not given its consent.Legal abortion merely helps women not to put their health and life at risk if they should seek out quacks for abortion.Every case should be considered individually.Abortion will always remain the lesser of two evils if the mother refuses to carry her child to term claiming her right to her body.

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    Greetings to all from beautiful Sydney! The Way of the Cross for Catholic World Youth is underway even as I write.Thank you to all from around the world who are here to make Sydney a holy city with your presence and prayers. A special thank you to all American Catholics.

  • Youngj1

    With all due respect to the author and to Catholics everywhere, I’ve often found it quite interesting that such a patriarcal society like Catholicism, with a clergy that admittedly has a very restricted view of ordinary life feels it necessary to impose such unyeilding and mis informed doctrine on a population that for the most part is not male. The Catholic leadership doesn’t want women in the clergy, they have made a generational practice of protecting pedophiles and in the past have advocated war in the therefore I also, when debatiing this and other issue with friends who share the Catholic experience, FIND an interesting disconnect when it comes to abortion. On one hand Catholics shun abortions of any kind regardless of the circumstances of the mother (rape, incest) but do not offer the services that would be required to assist mothers and the children who would be born if abortion were discontinued universally. Speaking as one who has had intimate experience with abortion and who 20 years later still has regrets I still believe it was the right thing for my family and am fully willing to accept whatever judgement my God has for me.

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    Youngj1:With all due respect to the author and to Catholics everywhere, I’ve often found it quite interesting that such a patriarcal society like Catholicism, with a clergy that admittedly has a very restricted view of ordinary life feels it necessary to impose such unyeilding and mis informed doctrine on a population that for the most part is not male. The Catholic leadership doesn’t want women in the clergy, they have made a generational practice of protecting pedophiles and in the past have advocated war in the thereforeI also, when debatiing this and other issue with friends who share the Catholic experience, FIND an interesting disconnect when it comes to abortion.ss On one hand Catholics shun abortions of any kind regardless of the circumstances of the mother (rape, incest) but do not offer the services that would be required to assist mothers and the children who would be born if abortion were discontinued universally. Speaking as one who has had intimate experience with abortion and who 20 years later still has regrets I still believe it was the right thing for my family and am fully willing to accept whatever judgement my God has for me.July 18, 2008 6:50 AM=====================Let me write from a strictly Catholic viewpoint, although my views are somewhat liberal as you might have read in my posts.1. Hippocrates is the founder of Western medicine. He is not a Catholic priest. Read his oath. This was long before the days of sex outside marriage becoming the norm. 2. We now live in an age when contraception is available. So abortion is not required to be contraception.3. Every woman has a choice about the sex that leads to a pregnancy unless she has been raped or is a child/minor victim of sexual assault. Does a woman have any personal responsibility in her pregnancy? Is the church/society automatically responsible for every child that is born because it speaks out against killing of unborn children? 4. If abortion is a right and a matter of mere convenience for the mother, would it be fair to kill people in other situations, like old age, disease, disabilities etc because those persons are inconvenient and a burden to someone?

  • Georgiason

    I’m totally lost as to what Stephen-Arroyo’s point really is. The last two paragraphs struck me as a classic case of someone trying to have their cake and eat it, too.Let me state some simple truths:Surely there is no greater example of hypocrisy on God’s earth than when some human being self-righteously demands that other people sacrifice their interests on the altar of his principles. One current example: A generation of Republican and right-wing chickenhawk cowards piously calling for young Americans to sacrifice their lives to further America’s imperialist aims–so long as neither the chickenhawk cowards nor their own children are the ones being sacrificed. Running example of such hypocrisy: Males of any stripe calling on women to forego abortion because it offends the males’ sense of what’s right. And the absolute pluperfect example of the latter category of males: the Catholic hierarchy’s position on abortion. Let’s see now. A bunch of males 2000 years ago usurp the teachings of some Jewish holy man in Palestine in order to create an institution based from the get-go on a distortion of that holy man’s teachings. They then proceed to use more distortions, trickery, and outright lies, violence and thuggery to turn that institution into a male-dominated bastion. Those males then tell women what a great thing it is for women to sacrifice their lives and interests on the altar of those males’ distorted and grotesque doctrines!No wonder the Catholic Church is becoming a burnt-out case.The idea that some poor, bewildered and probably uneducated immigrant can be accused of sin for violating the distorted and perverted doctrines of that male hierarchy is, itself, something that any decent human being ought to find repugnant.I see that yet more cases of depraved and perverted Catholic priests committing sexual perversion upon innocent children are coming to light. Surely, the Catholic Church ought to be taking care of the plank in its own eye before engaging in another round of this self-righteous finger-pointing about abortion.

  • Anonymous 2

    Two of the positions evident in some of these posts and in US society at large are internally contradictory:1. It’s not right to kill people for land, oil or whatever but it’s a woman’s right to kill children in a woman’s womb.2. It’s right to kill people through indifirrence to structural poverty or war but it’s not right for a woman to kill a child in her womb.Ironically you can find both atheists and supposed Christians in both self-contradictory camps.

  • holy cow

    Soja wrote “Thank you to all from around the world who are here to make Sydney a holy city with your presence and prayers.”Holy cow !! What made these people think they are holy? A lot of Catholics choose professions that expose their skins and yet the same people believe they are going to heaven and they also believe they are “devote” catholics. The wonder of it all is that I’ve never heard a single priest condemning their act. THey should start reading the Bible which says that it is FORNICATION and not contraception that will put a lot of people in HELL.

  • autonomous

    Holy Cow – fornication is alot of fun. Who wants to go to a heaven without fornication?? It’s the results that aren’t always so much fun. Diligent birth control practices can put the fun back in fornication. Boy oh boy, there sure are way too many anally retentive types out there beating the religion drum.

  • Anonymous

    First of all, it is not true that “Catholics are against abortion.” The Catholic Church is. And that’s not a contradiction. The Catholic Church is also against birth control (since sex is only for procreation, not recreation), but most American Catholics reject this ridiculous position. But the truly amazing thing is that anyone actually believes that the Catholic Church has any legitimacy. (Or for that matter, any other brand of Christianity.) People will believe anything, even the most arrant nonsense.

  • Ryan Haber

    Jim1138,”I find it amazing that men want control of women’s uteri.”I cannot think of anything less appealing to me than to control another person’s uterus; or another person for that matter. What I am interested in is learning self-control, and in other people doing likewise. Women don’t generally WANT to have an abortion, but are pressured into it by other people in their lives or by circumstances, or both.Abortions are the result of poor self-control, every time. Men who cannot or will not control themselves, and women who let themselves be controlled, are both the causes of abortion.”Do you practice self flagellation or do you enjoy watching others in pain?”Nope. I don’t. But I do accept that pain is part of real life, and am not willing to kill someone else to ease the pain in my life. Neither am I willing to stand by idly while others are murdered to ease the pain in someone else’s life.”"Murdering” an embryo is bad, murdering a Muslim is good?”Lol, Jim1138, who ever said that? What a silly thing to write, and even sillier to put into my mouth. I can honestly say that I have never once spoken or worked to advance the killing of Muslims. Quite to the opposite, I’ve only known one, a bridesmaid in my sister’s wedding. Nice girl, she was. Can’t think of a reason to dislike her.

  • T

    Any of you heard of NFP – Natural Family Planning? It takes the natural cycles of the female body, and determines the best times for intercourse when chances for conception are almost non-existent. In fact, its more effective and has lower rates of conception than a condom does.

  • T

    Any of you heard of NFP – Natural Family Planning? It takes the natural cycles of the female body, and determines the best times for intercourse when chances for conception are almost non-existent. In fact, its more effective and has lower rates of conception than a condom does.

  • Ryan Haber

    No, I don’t consider myself conservative at all, really. Or liberal for that matter. Both labels are getting a bit cliche. The Holy Father pointed out while addressing the UN that each label lumps together any number of unrelated issues.I oppose the legalization of abortion. So am I conservative?I believe that every group of people is obliged to assist its poorer and weaker members, and that when such a group has a governance to carry out its collective actions, that governance should see to the genuine well-being of its poorer and weaker members. So am I am liberal?But why? Abortion is legal now in the US. Wouldn’t a truly conservative position be the one trying to conserve legal abortion? I think I am a progressive, trying to help society progress to a better future without abortion. Lol. Coincidentally, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and all their group of Suffragists exactly agreed. I take their writings as textbook on the matter.The current trajectory of our national society is to deregulate (liberate?) the economy and remove restrictions on big corporate “profit” so that the “whole economy” can move forward. I want see brakes put on this movement so that we can stop and assess who is really benefiting and who is really being left behind. Shouldn’t that make me a conservative?Those labels are useless. I follow, as best I can in my weak, stupid way, Jesus Christ – if he stands still, then I conserve; if he says “Let’s go here,” then with him I progress; if he says “That should be bound,” then I conserve; and if he, in my best estimation, says “Set that one free,” then I liberate.I am certainly not going to let myself get lumped together with Al Gore because I don’t want to be lumped together with Rush Limbaugh!You know, if I may sidetrack for a moment, and get a bit deconstructionisty, may I ask who invented these categories anyway? Who benefits from these categories, “liberal” and “conservative”? Democratic discourse has certainly not been aided by such labels, that’s for sure.

  • autonomous

    T – all the large Catholic families I know were products of the ‘rhythm’ method of family planning. And talk about destroying the spontaneous moment! ‘Sorry honey, we’ve got to wait for another 49 hours, just to be on the safe side…..’

  • Ryan Haber

    Prof. Stevens-Arroyo,You asked the question, “What if the rapist is her father?”Very good, and important, and underexamined question. I have a bit of personal insight into this because my youngest sister is profoundly handicapped and lives in a group home. There, she is under the protection and power of men and women who we only know so well. What if she, profoundly handicapped and medicated, were raped by a caretaker, and became pregnant?The question is not theoretical for us, and in the end, this line of reasoning won out. I think you and others will see some sense in it.If a young woman is sexually abused and becomes pregnant, an abortion “fixes” that problem, but leaves unaddressed – even worse, abets – the underlying problem. The young woman’s rapist goes undetected, unpunished, unstopped. We agreed that it would be very difficult, horrible, if my youngest sister became pregnant. We cannot see that road or where it would lead. But an abortion, whether right or wrong in itself, would only help whoever did it to continue doing it. Caring for her means stopping her abuser; and nothing so well exposes such situations like a developing pregnancy.

  • Ryan Haber

    Elohist,You wrote:”Ryan Harber, have you ever gotten pregnant out of wedlock? The Bible says: judge not, that ye not be judged. It’s wonderful that you can pontificate about the huge life problems of people you don’t know. If you were Jesus, it might make sense.”I am a man, and therefore have never nor ever will be pregnant out of wedlock. Of course you knew that, presumably, and so your question was rhetorical. Normally I do not address rhetorical questions, but in this case a point must be made.I am not advocating judging the woman, nor taking a harsh attitude toward her. I am perfectly aware that she is not the only one to have sexual relations outside of marriage, and am myself in no position to condemn others for moral failures, sexual or otherwise. I wasn’t pontificating about huge life problems, nor even telling her how to solve them.I simply stated that abortion is wrong.And it is. It never solves the underlying problem. No woman ever got unpoor, un-unmarried, unraped, un-ill, because of an abortion. It only puts money in the hands of doctors that should be saving life instead of taking it. It only allows cold, callous family and neighbors to preserve their precious creature comforts while turning a blind eye on the plight of a desperate woman. It allows us to make careers, vacations, and nice homes more important than children.The other implication of your statement, and not so subtle, is that because I am not a woman, I cannot speak to the issue. That is patently false, because the issue doesn’t affect only women. Half of the children murdered by abortion are boys. Many men are shocked to find out that their child was murdered without their knowledge, children that they would have wanted and cared for.Moreover, there is a broader social implication that transcends one sex or the other. Women who have abortions report a disproportionately large incidence of depression. Certainly such a phenomenon puts a real burden on society, not to mention the concern we should all have for such individuals as we meet them.All in all, Elohist, I guess my last point is that you’ve taken a quotation from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who was certainly unafraid to challenge sin – the whole Scripture does little else – and used it as a response to a statement I didn’t make. If I had said, “Oh, that girl is a…” then you’d be right to challenge me with the quotation you used. But I didn’t. I just called a spade a spade.Abortion is wrong. The Church knows it, and has a right to expect her paid and volunteer employees to support that stand, or to find other employment.All that said, I repeat my offer. If anyone out there finds themselves considering an abortion, please do not kill your child. I make well more than I need to support myself, and to provide for the expenses of another adult and child. I will work with you to make arrangements to help you and your child – medical coverage, food, clothing, shelter. Please email me, if your situation makes you feel that giving your child life is hopeless, and I will help you. If your child has a medical problem, I will adopt your child or help you find a suitable adoption agency. My email is withouthavingseen at gmail dot com.

  • Ryan Haber

    Autonomous:The modern methods of natural family planning, and I am thinking here of mucal method and the symptomothermal method, are different than what your mother or grandmother may have tried. “The rhythm method is based on calendar calculations of previous menstrual cycles. This method doesn’t allow for normal changes in the menstrual cycle, which are common. The rhythm method isn’t as reliable as the mucus method or the symptothermal method and is generally not recommended,” (quoted from the Familydoctor.org website). These two methods aren’t based on timing, but on objectively knowable and reliable changes a woman’s body undergoes at set points in the menstrual cycle.As for destroying the spontaneous moment, lol. I think, at least from what married friends tell me, and from what I see of their lives, that children already born are MUCH more likely to destroy a spontaneous moment than the concern about the possibility of children not yet born.At last, one woman in particular has told me that she KNOWS her husband loves her, because since she has told him that she feels their hands are full with the kids they’ve got (three planned births), he’s never pushed when she says, “Not the right time of the month, honey.” For his part, he never has to wonder why she gets so many headaches. Every couple I know that practices natural family planning methods swear that it only increases respect and listening within their marriage, because those things become so much more necessary for conducting their shared life.

  • Elohist

    I didn’t know you were male or female. There is a woman who lives nearby with the name “Ryan.” Once again, you are quick to pass judgment on the intentions of others.

  • Ryan Haber

    Ok, Elohist, you got me.Even though it never occured to me that ‘Ryan’ was anything but a family name or a man’s name, it was an entirely hare-brained assumption that you’d guessed I was a man.I wasn’t passing judgment on people, nor on their intentions. It is a different thing altogether to make an accessment of the morality of an act, in itself.I worked in prison ministry for a few years. Weird as it sounds, I met a number of drug-dealers and murderers who were perfectly nice, to me at least.Does that impinge upon the morality of drugdealing or murder?I’ve know several women who have told me about their abortions and their motivations for having done them. It wouldn’t occur to me not to sit next to them in a pew, to avoid their company, or to speak ill of them, let alone to reveal what they had told me in trust. I’m actually very close with one of the women and her family – I was confirmation sponsor to one of her children. Her situation, in particular, was particularly difficult – so much so that she has said that it seemed like a different life from what she has now. It would have likely sorely tempted me, and maybe I would have failed. That doesn’t make abortion any less wrong, and she’d be the first to say it.”The bottom line is that your judgmental attitude derived from papal documents would get in the way of the direct words of scripture.”Really, Elohist. Which papal documents, exactly, have you read, from which you suppose I have derived my judgmental attitude?

  • Lu Franklin

    Sad but true . . . Most religious sects, including Catholicism, value their DOGMA more than what is best and RIGHT for people. My God, they actually believe that a fertilized human egg is not merely a possible-potential human being, but a soul bearing individual person.MADNESS!

  • dcp

    Has anyone seen footage or photos of an abortion? It’s absolutely horrifying. I went to some play and at the end, they played footage of abortions. There’s no way I could be pro-choice after that. Those fetuses looked like…like babies!!!…babies torn to pieces!!! My conscience is permanently scarred. If the Catholic Church took all their employees to the same play I was invited to attend, they won’t have this problem again. Guaranteed.

  • Nivedita

    Paul C:A mother’s love is unconditional even when she chooses to abort her unborn child. In such a fragile mental condition, the last thing she wants is for people to judge her about whether she is a good mother or not just because she chooses not to have the child. Its easy to sit and pass judgement, especially if you yourself have never ever been in the shoes of the woman who makes a choice believing it to be in the best interests of both herself and the unborn child, be it abortion or having the child. I repeat, abortion is a personal choice. For a third bunch of people who want to enslave women with their directive, I find it utterly disgusting and hold them guilty of violating a woman’s basic human rights and dignity.

  • Ryan Haber

    Nivedita:What kind of love chooses to kill the beloved? Not the kind of love I want to receive.”I repeat, abortion is a personal choice.”Of course it is. Who else can make the choice but the person with the choice?Some choices are wrong.”hold them guilty of violating a woman’s basic human rights and dignity”Why? Don’t I get a personal choice as to whether I violate someone’s basic human rights and dignity? Why does a pregnant woman get all the rights? Lol. If I want to violate her rights, who are you to tell me I’m wrong? Lolol.Besides, can you think of a single right that you have that you can exercise without making use of your right to life?

  • Elohist

    Ryan “The Man” Harber:Evangelium Vitae and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

  • Nivedita

    Ryan Haber:You are so sure that your choice is the right one that you are unwilling to let someone else make their own.

  • Harold Reimann

    Rachel died. Benjamin was born. The Danes and Norwegians would be thankful if they knew who they were.

  • Ryan Haber

    Excellent, Elohist. Now, can you please share the definition of judgmental that you are using?

  • Ryan Haber

    Ah, Paul C, I just now see that I was replying to Nivedita’s post, addressed to you, and that I believed to have been your post. My comments directed toward you ought to have been directed to her. My apologies.

  • VICTORIA

    nivedita said-”A mother’s love is unconditional even when she chooses to abort her unborn child. In such a fragile mental condition,…” so very very much is wrong with this reasoning- as for the fragile mental condition of choosing to murder an unborn human- it’s fragile because at least the most minimal of consciences recognize that there is something lacking human compassion there- something that, by one’s own self judgement- deserves a state of anxiety to exist-nivedita- why, exactly, is what she wants so worthy of consideration? nivedita- unless you have ben in those shoes nivideta- (even, a scant few hours later- attempting to regain my sanity- the rape counselors became disgusted with me in the hospital and left when i declined to feed into their personal bitterness and refused to hate my rapist for their vicarious malicious needs) so there wasn’t even a whisper of the smallest societal support either- my period didn’t come for many months- coincidentally- by the grace of the god- ai found a cat by the railroad tracks, namesd it lenny, and a week later it gave birth to 7 kittens- who literally slept on top of me and followed me everywhere like a tiny herd of maruaders- after about 5 months my period reappeared, and when it did, i was very saddened. can you imagine that? but i was. i cannot control another persons wants- or decisions- and if that is their choice- i will not consider them a bad person- but i reserve the right to deem or judge or whatever language you like- but i can think, honestly, of no instance where a career, or the opinions of parents or society- or financial considerations- are justification enough to kill- (in american society) the responsibility of , as ryan pointed out- self control over our bodies goes hand in hand with the rights some are contending are deserved-

  • Ryan Haber

    Nivedita, you wrote:”You are so sure that your choice is the right one that you are unwilling to let someone else make their own.”Yup. And I am so sure that robbing people is wrong that I am unwilling to stand by idly while someone makes a choice to rob you, even if he is very hungry, has very little money, was very badly raised, never knew his dad, or whatever other reasons he might have. Robbery is wrong, and I won’t stand by idly when I can prevent it, and I won’t stand by silently when society tolerates it.So with infanticide, Nivedita, whether the child is born yet or not.

  • Ryan Haber

    Thank you for sharing your story, Victoria.My brother-in-law was adopted, and he, too, is grateful that his biological mother found a better expression of love than abortion.

  • VICTORIA

    i was sitting and thinking after i left- and the idea of what exact part judgements play entered my mind- and i come back and see the question actually posed- judgementalism is holding oneself superior to another in one minds bu judgement is different altogether- we use our discerning intellect, and hopefully draw on our collective expereinces to develop some wisdom- and no member of society is exempt from that judgement- icluding women who choose to have abortions- will my daughter be careless in her personal repsonsibility towards her sexuality- because she believes the consequences will be conveniently eradicated should a pregnancy ensue? your choice affects the choices of others- to hold fast to what one knows is good and right displays some courage- even in the face of what is popular at the moment- it is not easy to declare a belief boldly- but it is theose very people in our history who felt strongly about good and right that have impacted our lives so positively that we have the luxury of arguing about it so abstractly- if abortion were a thing to be proud of- or a right- no one would hesitate to share their stories- but to choose to believe one thing- (abortion is to be avoided at all costs) is no less valid than to choose another- as my judgement may affect your personal life- your judgement to make it readily and easily available affects mine- and the enitre tone of society and how we view our own personal repsonsibility in general- you’re welcome ryan

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Victoria, Victoria, Victoria,Hmmm, you noted “with no family, a paltry waitressing job to subsist on- and no support system whatsoever”That description of yourself does not seem to “jive” with previous commentaries about your strong family tree and being the descendent of some famous person. When one has problems determining anti-Muslim literature from Islamic literature and fails to answer the simplist questions about Islam, one tends to question a person’s veracity.

  • autonomous

    Ryan Haber – so goes your belief….as it’s informed by your Catholicism. Many others, including myself, find it necessary, inevitable, and even desirable to make hard decisions based on our own judgement – our own rules, if you prefer. We all must suffer the emotional and even circumstantial consequences of difficult decisions. In the minds of many, a fetus is not yet a fully developed and viable human life – but certainly many would limit the abortion option exclusively to pregnancies resulting from incest and/or rape – while still others choose abortion for a much wider variety of reasons that seem valid to them at the time. And there are some women that would feel compelled to bear a child under any and all circumstances. In the end, there is no way under the sun that anyone can escape making personal choices – even those with avoidant personality disorders.There is no good substitute for sex education and well considered birth control methods for the vast majority of sexually active people – and that includes teenagers.You will disagree, but you know full well that a majority of Americans agree with the above, rather than the narrow view espoused by both yourself and the Catholic Church._______________Oh and Victoria – why are you no longer a practicing Catholic? Why are you now a practicing Muslim? I think these are appropriate questions since you’ve been blogging in support of Catholic positions of late. In effect and due to your extensive history as a former Catholic, you are rather expert in matters of Catholic doctrine that you apparently no longer believe in or adhere to …. very thought provoking I must say.

  • Anonymous

    Ryan Haber: sezThank you for sharing your story, Victoria.My brother-in-law was adopted, and he, too, is grateful that his biological mother found a better expression of love than abortion.Wait until they read the will and the adopted brother-in-law gets the moose head and Ryan Heber gets nothing. “Should have drowned him while he was still a pup” will be altered a bit but uttered none the less.

  • Mr Mark

    Could someone point out the Biblical verses that specifically make abortion an abomination? I already know where to find the Bible verses that demand abortion, but not the ones that outlaw it.Thanks in advance for the help.

  • Doubting Thomas

    Is the rule against abortion a law of the state or a law of the church?Under the discipline of the church, the remedy when someone violates a rule is to teach them to see their error and build their spiritual strength so they may deal better with their next trial.Under the disicpline of the state, violations are dealt with by fines and imprisonment. There is no spiritual dimension.When the church tries to turn its law into state law so that violations are dealt with through the power of the state, does it commit an error?Does it not arouse great opposition, and end up wasting much energy on politics rather than salvation? Does gall attract more bees than honey?What would Jesus do? Did he not spend his life teaching and healing? Did he seek the favors of kings, tribunes, or Pharisees? When Peter cut off the ear of a servant who came to arrest Jesus in the Garden, did Jesus applaud Paul’s defense, or did he tell him to put away the sword and heal the servant?Would Jesus drive a girl to an abortion clinic? Or is that even the right question? Would he assure her that she is beloved by God and remind her of the lilies of the field?Which is more important to salvation – the sanctity of life, or the sanctity of the conscience? Is the Church becoming too materialist in elevating the treatment of bodies over the care of souls, in attaching ensoulment to the material processes of molecular geneology?Is someone more likely to accept discipline if it comes from love, or from anger? Why do I read here so much more about the need for discipline than for love?

  • holy cow

    If Catholicism is so great as what haber and Paul C. wants to portray, then why are Catholic countries so full of strife, poverty, etc? List all the problems man have known and they all have it. It’s simple. The devil is a big liar and Catholicism is just one of the devil’s tool. I’ve seen the works of this church and they always mirror the devil’s action. “Good” on the outside but EVIL in the inside.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Mr. Mark,”Thou shalt not kill!!!!!”

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    Doubting Thomas wrote: “Which is more important to salvation – the sanctity of life, or the sanctity of the conscience? Is the Church becoming too materialist in elevating the treatment of bodies over the care of souls, in attaching ensoulment to the material processes of molecular geneology?Is someone more likely to accept discipline if it comes from love, or from anger? Why do I read here so much more about the need for discipline than for love?”July 18, 2008 6:50 PM======================Since this is a very complex issue, Doubting Thomas maybe you could clarify your statement, “attaching ensoulment to the material processess of molecular geneology” a bit more? Please explain abortion also in terms of the Hippocratic oath. Thanks.

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    Nivedita you wrote: “A mother’s love is unconditional even when she chooses to abort her unborn child. In such a fragile mental condition, the last thing she wants is for people to judge her about whether she is a good mother or not just because she chooses not to have the child. Its easy to sit and pass judgement, especially if you yourself have never ever been in the shoes of the woman who makes a choice believing it to be in the best interests of both herself and the unborn child, be it abortion or having the child.”I repeat, abortion is a personal choice. For a third bunch of people who want to enslave women with their directive, I find it utterly disgusting and hold them guilty of violating a woman’s basic human rights and dignity. (July 18, 2008 2:00 PM)================What exactly is unconditional love?How does abortion fulfill the condition of unconditional love of a mother for her child?How does a woman happen to have a fragile mental condition while opting for abortion, when abortion supposedly is an act of unconditional love for the child she is about to kill?Does a woman’s basic human rights include the right to kill the child that did not ask to be born and did not consent to be killed?Does a decision made out of convenience for the mother equate with the best decision for the child who is forced not to be born? Could not the mother’s decision not be entirely self centered, arising from a compromised and/or dead conscience, with absolutely no trace of consideration or compassion for the child? Does the unborn child have a personal choice, human rights and dignity? Sex is not a biological need like drink, food and shelter. Except in cases of rape and sexual assault of children and minors, sex is the free decision of a woman. The only motivation for sex is pleasure. Emotional rewards of sex outside a relationship based on real love is very little, and if there was real love between the couple they would welcome the child they produce. Every woman knows the consequence of sex. Contraception is available. Is it wrong to hold a woman responsible for the consequences of an activity she indulged in for the sake of pleasure alone and not out of a biological necessity that would have killed her if she didn’t have it, like food, drink and shelter? As a woman who believes in her right to abort her children, you could enlighten the rest of us about your reasoning.

  • VICTORIA

    doubting thomas- well it is a balancing act isnt it? either side is an extreme- to be honest- i find ot more rare to hear people speak of discipline or self control-

  • VICTORIA

    i know you were speaking of the spiritual or conscience to the exclusion of the material-

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Victoria, Victoria, Victoria,Your veracity still remains in question.And then there is the survey/poll that you refuse to complete. One more time:Do you believe-1. In “pretty/ugly wingie” thingies? 2. That the long-dead Arab did actually talk to the “pretty Gabriel” in the “Gabe” cave and therein received the warmongering and anti-female words now listed in the koran?3. That Sunnis are superior to Shiites in all aspects of life? 4. That Islam is perfect and the koran inherently condones no sin even though the 24/7 800 year-old feud between Sunnis and Shiites give significant credence that suicides, assassinations, maiming, and murder are condoned by the koran?5. That having multiple wives also gives significant credence to the sins of lust and polygamy?6. That the condoned treatment of these wives gives credence that the koran allows the sins of anger and greed? 7. And that Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s book, Infidel, is her autobiography and that in the paperback issue, p. 47 the statement:”Some of the Saudi women in our neighborhood were regularly beaten by their husbands. You could hear them at night. Their screams resounded across the courtyards. “No! Please! By Allah!” is the truth?????

  • autonomous

    Holy Cow appears to be the alter-ego of Spiderman2 – in any case, how can Protestant fundamentalism be in any way superior to Catholicism? Not possible – since they both adhere to the same mythology. Catholicism is even a tad more interesting – where Protestantism is dryer than day-old toast. Once you’ve over being a Catholic, by all rights you should be over organized religion altogether. But alas, such is not always the case…..And the differences between the two? The devil is there alright – but only in the details.

  • spiderman2

    The evil of Catholicism : (this is just one among many)Step 1 – They don’t allow people to be taught with sex education. Step 2 – They won’t allow married couples to use artificial contraception.Step 3 – The tendency for both step 1 & 2 is a very HIGH PROBABILITY OF AN UNWANTED (“unplanned”) CHILD especially among the poorest and uneducated couples which are very many in Catholic countries.Step 4 – The pregnant mother is now placed in a dilemma : whether to give birth to a child who’s sure to have no future (no education, food, etc) or the harsher option of abortion. And neither of the two is a good one. The point is that CATHOLICISM (the devil’s religion) PLANNED IT TO BE THAT WAY.***Anon, read this:”For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are HIS WORKMANSHIP, created in Christ Jesus UNTO good works, …” (Ephecians 2:8-10)Salvation is a gift and you don’t know what you’re talking about because you don’t have that gift.

  • Mr Mark

    CONCERNED THE CHRISTIAN NOW LIBERATED writes:”Thou shalt not kill!!!!!”Excuse me? God orders the Jews to slaughter his enemies left and right. One would have to imagine that when the Hebrews were practicing god’s genocide on the Amelikites and others that along with the men, women, children, cattle, chickens, horses and everything else that god ordered extirpated that there were also a few pregnant women slaughtered along with any babies they were carrying at the time.As far as specifically killing the unborn, must not one have a “life” before one can be “killed?” Jewish law holds that a fetus is only a “potential life” until the baby’s head emerges from the birth canal. In Numbers, god orders the Jews to count every male member of Israel, ordering them to EXCLUDE every child one-month old or younger. Obviously, god doesn’t consider a one-month-old to be a person worth counting, so logically, it follows that an unborn child is also not worth counting.In Genesis, god says that the “penalty” for causing a miscarriage is “life for life” ONLY if the woman who was pregnant is killed. If she isn’t harmed, then the person who caused the miscarriage simply needs to pay a monetary fine to the husband, said fine being determined by a judge (obviously, the OT treats the unborn as a man’s property, just like his wife and cattle).Later on in the glorious Book of Genesis, Judah – following god’s laws – orders Tamar to bring forth his daughter in law to be burned alive as she was carrying illicit twins. Embarrassingly, it turns out that it was Judah who got her pregnant, so the woman is spared the pyre along with the babies she is carrying (moral: if you’re going to have illicit sex, it’s good to have it with the guy in charge of administering the law)!BTW – the twins turned out to be males, Pharez and Zarah. That’s the same Pharez that Luke lists as an ancestor of Jesus (Lk. 3:33). That means that at least one of Jesus’ direct ancestors was a bastard.

  • Ryan Haber

    Autonomous:”Ryan Haber – so goes your belief….as it’s informed by your Catholicism.”Quite to the contrary, friend. I was convinced of the pro-life position before I was convinced of the Catholic faith. And I was convinced by the pro-life position on a purely scientific and logical basis.1. Homo sapiens (Human beings) reproduce other homo sapiens. Homo sapiens are not born from Osteopilus septentrionalis (Cuban tree frogs).2. Homo sapiens in utero is a homo sapiens.3. There is no developmental difference between a homo sapiens 1 day post-partum and a homo sapiens 1 day ante-partum.4. The only difference between a homo sapiens one day before birth and one day after birth is location; one is inside of a uterus, and the other is outside of a uterus.5. Killing the homo sapiens the day after birth is clearly immoral and illegal; why not one day before birth?6. Homo sapiens in utero is in a stage of incomplete development.7. I am in a stage of incomplete development.8. When they conceived me, my parents were in stages of incomplete development.9. My deceased grandparents have finished developing. Nobody else in my family has finished.10. If it is permitted to kill the homo sapiens in utero because it is in development, then why is it not permitted to kill me, or anyone else who hasn’t finished human development?Autonomous, if you can provide a cogent answer to the questions found in #5 and #10 above, you will completely change my mind on abortion.”Many others, including myself, find it necessary, inevitable, and even desirable to make hard decisions based on our own judgement – our own rules, if you prefer.”Right. See, we’re not here talking about rules that change from state to state, or about one’s personal preferences. We’re talking about the structure of reality here. The little blob of tissue is either a homo sapiens or not; that has nothing to do with one’s own view of reality. Moreover, if we all make up our own rules about who is a human and who gets to live and who must die – well, then who will be safe?Of course this idea of everyone operating on their own rules is nonsense, and we all know it. Who would honestly suggest that as a scheme for banking or stock exchange? That question goes a good way to showing what we value in Western culture these days – money over people, anyway.”narrow view espoused by both yourself and the Catholic Church.”These little slanders always amuse me. Why is it “narrow” to oppose birth control and, presumably, “broad” to advocate it? All you really mean is that “narrow, in modern American English, has a negative connotation, so I will use the word to express my displeasure with a view.”But what has that to do with whether the view accurately reflects the facts of reality and processes them coherently? It’s like calling a view “purple” or “leaden.” Of course the Church’s view (and the view of the great majority in the world now, and historically) might be narrow, but is it wrong? If so, why? Those are truly useful questions to answer.Moreover, I don’t understand why the view held by the Church, and probably 9/10 of the people who have ever lived, should be considered narrow, while the view mostly of professional- and upper-class white Westerners in the late 20th and early 21st century should be considered the broad view. Sounds a bit backwards to me.

  • Mr Mark

    Ryan Haber writes:”5. Killing the homo sapiens the day after birth is clearly immoral and illegal; why not one day before birth?”Good point, unless you believe in the Bible which – as I pointed out in my last post – doesn’t believe that any life one-month-old or younger is worth counting as a human life.Couple that with Jewish law that doesn’t consider a human a “full life” until the baby’s head emerges from the birth canal and one can see that THE BIBLE has a different set of standards for what is moral and legal than do the rest of us. The Bible says that it’s not immoral to kill a baby one day before birth or one day after birth, though there is a problem killing a baby one MONTH after birth.But then, the Bible is YOUR standard, not mine.

  • Ryan Haber

    Mr. Mark,1. The Bible is not meant, contrary to fundamentalist interpretations of the last 100 years or so, to be a handbook of examples for moral living. It is a collection of 73 books, many of them compiled over a period of years, centuries even, by multiple authors, revised, edited and so on. Each one requires a different perspective and set of tools for fruitful interpretation. CCNL, I am sure, will gleefully fill you in on the details.2. See my previous post. I, and the Catholic Church for that matter, do not oppose abortion “because the Bible says so,” or even as a matter of religion, per se.3. Did you know that Dr. Bernard Nathanson literally INVENTED (he admits in several books he’s written) the idea that opposing abortion is a Catholic eccentricity. Before the mid-1960s, virtually all Americans opposed legalizing abortion.4. Who cares if one of Jesus’ foremothers conceived out of wedlock? So?

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Mr. Mark,As an athesist, it is surprising that you quote from the OT as being the gospel truth. I suggest you update your quotes to the NT.

  • Mr Mark

    Dear Ryan -My mistake. I thought that you were providing a religious opposition to abortion.I would assume that you aren’t trying to provide a biological opposition to abortion as that would be sheer folly. Fully 25% of pregnancies in the Western world do not go full term and end up as miscarriages. The number is higher in the non-developed world. Apparently, Mother Nature herself opts for abortion one out of four times. Given that staggering 25%, one would have to determine that abortion is not only a natural function but a common and – perhaps – necessary function among the species homo sapiens.So, that brings us to a moral and ethical plane, and to the conclusion that your opposition to abortion comes from somewhere other than the Bible and nature, which in their own ways fully support abortion in many situations. Since you aver that neither you nor the Catholic Church opposes abortion on Biblical grounds, then we are left with you opposing it on non-religious moral grounds, which in most cases is a societal and – by extension – political decision. What we’re then left with is an “I’m OK, You’re OK” situation when it comes to abortion as the “authority” for opposing abortion comes not from some higher divine power but from the mind of man. And as men are free to make what laws they will on a nation-by-nation, state-by-state and even city-by-city basis, then abortion is only unlawful in those places where it is deemed unlawful.At present, that is NOT the situation in the USA, is it?As far as most of the country being anti-abortion for so many years, so what? The country was also pro-slavery at its founding and anti-women’s vote for most of its history. Didn’t make those positions correct any more than the nation’s anti-abortion position was correct.As far as the doctrine of the Catholic Church on abortion – it carries no authority whatsoever in the USA outside of its application to practicing Catholics. Ergo, your “10 Observations” on abortion/homo sapiens/human development/the law are both inconsequential and immaterial to the laws of the USA and many other nations in the world and the application of said laws to the general populace.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Mr. Mark,And by the way, some NT exegetes such as Professor Bruce Chilton speculate that Jesus was a mamzer/bastard. See his book, Rabbi Jesus.

  • Mr Mark

    CONCERNED THE CHRISTIAN NOW LIBERATED writes:As an athesist, it is surprising that you quote from the OT as being the gospel truth. I suggest you update your quotes to the NT.”As there are no Gospels in the OT, one cannot refer to anything in the OT as “gospel truth.”However, your point is taken.As my previous quoting of the OT was in reference to the laws in the OT that govern the matter of abortion, let me update those laws with a quote from the NT uttered by none other than Jesus himself. To whit:”For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”Oops. Looks like Jesus thought the laws of the OT were operational until “heaven and earth pass.” Worse, he said that “one jot or tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till ALL be fulfilled.” And, golly gee, CCNL, that applies – in Jesus’ own words – to “the LEAST of these commandments.”Again, that’s YOUR Jesus speaking, not mine.Have fun with obeying all those jots and tittles.

  • Nivedita

    Soja:The only point I was making is that neither religious authorities nor anyone else has any right to interfere in a personal decision. In this case, abortion.And I do not see the need the justify my actions to anyone for such a personal decision. I don’t care if hypothetically you choose abortion or not in your individual case. Its your choice. Just don’t try to force your thoughts down my throat. Unfortunately this patronizing attitude adopted by you and other Catholics such as Ryan Haber just show disregard for keeping aspects like religion or personal matters like abortion private. You don’t like abortion, thats your call. What someone else does is none of your business.

  • Ryan Haber

    Mr. Mark,”I would assume that you aren’t trying to provide a biological opposition to abortion as that would be sheer folly.”Of course I wasn’t. Biology tells us what happens in natural life. It cannot provide any indication of what human beings, with our ability to decide not totally bound up in natural instincts, should do.”Fully 25% of pregnancies in the Western world do not go full term and end up as miscarriages.”Mr. Mark, this line of reasoning deliberately misses the point. EVERYBODY dies. That isn’t a justification for killing anybody. You write that 1/4 of pregnancies spontaneously abort, as if that somehow justifies procuring an abortion for any of the others. It simply doesn’t follow.”then we are left with you opposing it on non-religious moral grounds, which in most cases is a societal and – by extension – political decision.”That is precisely what I am arguing against. I am not questioning whether society will make whatever laws it cares to make. I am asking what laws it SHOULD make.”What we’re then left with is an “I’m OK, You’re OK” situation when it comes to abortion as the “authority” for opposing abortion comes not from some higher divine power but from the mind of man.”No. It comes from the structure of reality, independent of the mind of man, but knowable by the mind of man.”As far as the doctrine of the Catholic Church on abortion – it carries no authority whatsoever in the USA outside of its application to practicing Catholics. Ergo, your “10 Observations” on abortion/homo sapiens/human development/the law are both inconsequential and immaterial…”My observations aren’t at all religious in nature. They are based on observation and logic, and are observable to anyone who will look and see. They aren’t meant to impose religious dogma on the populace, nor to prevent the populace from making the laws it thinks good. My observations and questions are only asking for clarity and coherency of thought, and a step away from sloganeering and propaganda.My questions, #5 and #10, still stand unanswered. Can you provide a rationale that explains why it is OK to kill a homo sapiens in utero, but not immediately after birth? Can you provide a rationale for a clear demarcation after which point a human being may not be killed?

  • Ryan Haber

    Nivedita,You’ve missed the point that Soja and I were trying to make. The very point that we have been making is that we deny that abortion is a personal decision.It injures the women who are pushed into it.We have tried to make this point with argument, whereas you have simply asserted again and again that it is a personal choice.We haven’t asked you to justify your actions. For that matter, I wouldn’t dream of asking a woman who’d had an abortion to justify hers – because there IS NO JUSTIFICATION. If she were sorry for her abortion, for me that is more than enough – what a painful ordeal – I would never bring it up again. If she weren’t sorry for her abortion, then what can I say to her? I would never bring it up in that case either.”Just don’t try to force your thoughts down my throat.”Nobody’s trying to stuff anything down anybody’s throat. You keep coming back to this board just like us to post an opinion. That’s what these boards are for.Unfortunately this patronizing attitude adopted by you and other Catholics such as Ryan Haber”I never meant to be patronizing. I try very hard to select clear, neutral terms that say precisely what I mean: no more, no less. I try to leave “attitude” out of it. Perhaps you find it patronizing to be contradicted; I don’t know. Perhaps you find someone laying out a case in full to be patronizing; maybe. Those things aren’t patronizing, and they are all that I have done, as far as I can see. In fact, to address somebody seriously is the most unpatronizing thing I can think of. It is the exact opposite of dismissiveness or condescension.

  • Nivedita

    Ryan Haber:Thanks for your response. From what you wrote, you want to help women with the decision of not opting for abortion. I understand that. However, say hypothetically that a law is passed that bans abortions. How would you address the following issues:1] Women who genuinely need an abortion.2] Deaths of women due to abortion because no decent doctor is willing to do them. Do you not have blood on your hands now?3] I still cannot understand how society can make a choice for a woman. Your argument atleast to me is completely illogical. This is in the murky territory of imposing your will on someone else. How can you justify that?I think your sense of societal well being though well meaning, cannot be extended to a law that decides for everyone. Each case is an individual one. How can one apply a uniform law to each situation? Therefore, it is logical that each individual decides this for themselves.You say I do not have an argument beyond that of saying its a personal choice. What gives you or society the right to decide yet another human life I’m sorry, just as much you think I do not have a solid argument for demanding that a woman should have the choice, I do not think you have been able to convince me logically that not having an abortion is the right choice for everyone.

  • Roy

    I’m against abortion, too. But the difference between me and the good neocon Catholics is that I’m against capital punishment and pre-emptive war. How can Catholics be so self-righteous about abortion but ignore the First Commandment when it comes to the latter two? For me, there is a complete and very convenient disconnect here.

  • Nivedita

    Clarifying:2] Deaths of women due to spurious abortions.

  • holy cow

    With all the talk of Catholicism being against abortion, I wonder how many of their flock routinely do it.The devil’s way is in this sense : “Don’t do it” but sets the stage so the person does it.

  • autonomous

    Ryan – I appreciate your point of view. However, all the perseverating in the world does not alter that fact that women have an inalienable right to terminate a pregnancy at their discretion until the 3rd trimester, or 27th week of gestation – at which time a late term abortion situation commences, with encumbant legal limitations. A woman in fact has legal ownership rights over her own fetus until the arbitrary time limit constraints are reached. While that says nothing about the emotional or ethical aspects of abortion per se, it does clearly define the legalities – you can argue the rest all day long. As you can tell, my view is 100% secular in every way…and I suppose liberal to boot. That’s how the Supreme Court reads the law now – however, a re-balancing of the Supreme Court will probably threaten the abolishment of the Roe v Wade statute that governs our present situation.In my mind a mother’s natural reproductive rights trumps the far less well defined rights of a fetus. Without a mother, no fetus – the rule of eminent domain could not be more clear. Most alarmingly, Obama is recently seen by some to be equivocating on his position in regard to this statute – is he now pandering to the white evangelicals and to some sort of presumed anti-abortion position held by a majority of his black constituency? Are Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton actually bringing influence to bear on the Obama campaign? If so, he’s in for a very bumpy ride. I believe the election is close enough at this point that if Obama is perceived to be turning against Roe v Wade – his entire position on future SCOTUS appointments will be thrown in question… and he will lose the election by a landslide, rather than a possible win by the same margin. That’s how significant this issue is to many voters… the magnitude of the reproductive rights issue should not be under-estimated. It won’t be long and folks will be pining away for Hillary all over again, and in very loud voices – that won’t be good for Obama. And she doesn’t look like an odds-on choice for VP by any means. I fully expect my opinion here might precipitate further remarks!

  • Mr Mark

    Ryan writes:”No. It comes from the structure of reality, independent of the mind of man, but knowable by the mind of man.”And what, exactly, is the “structure of reality?” That wouldn’t be god, would it? If not god, then who or what is “independent of the mind of man, but knowable by the mind of man?”After this, Ryan writes:”My observations aren’t at all religious in nature. They are based on observation and logic, and are observable to anyone who will look and see.”Huh? Not religious in nature? Hmmm. Let’s see. Abortion is legal in this country and many other countries in the world. Based on observation and logic, societies have determined that abortion is not murder or even killing. They have determined that the decision to have an abortion rests with the individual and not with any self-appointed political groups (like the RCC) or their agents (like Ryan).That much is clear to anyone who will look and see.

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    Roy:I’m against abortion, too. But the difference between me and the good neocon Catholics is that I’m against capital punishment and pre-emptive war. How can Catholics be so self-righteous about abortion but ignore the First Commandment when it comes to the latter two? For me, there is a complete and very convenient disconnect here.July 19, 2008 5:47 PM======================RoyWith your blind dedication to bash the Catholic Church you have ignored the official stand of the Catholic Church regarding the invasion of Iraq. Did you know that the Vatican sent an official delegation to Washington to advice against the invasion? Did you miss all the official objections raised by Pope John Paul II against the invasion of Iraq? Why do you imply that US foreign policy is forged in consultation with the Vatican? And who exactly are the Catholic neo-cons who made decisions that led up to the invasion of Iraq?I suggest you read the Vatican website for official positions of the Catholic Church without jumping into your own misguided and prejudiced conclusions. The Church is not perfect, never has been, but it has lasted two thousand years because it is founded on Jesus Christ and is led by the Holy Spirit. There is no punishment for leaving the Catholic Church, so rest assured that the over one billion Catholics around the world are members out of free will. The Catholic Church will never die, no matter how hard anti-Catholics may fight against it because Catholics remains Catholics with the full knowledge of its strengths and failings and still love it unconditionally as one loves one’s mother.If the Catholic World Youth Day currently underway in Sydney is anything to go by, young people continue to be drawn by the Catholic Church and its universality is its greatest strength, its emphasis on culture, its great music etc etc. Yes, a great springtime is here and around the world to stay and I feel blessed that Catholics from around the world are in my home city, Sydney, now to make it sacred with their presence and prayers.Thank you all Catholics from around the world and specially American Catholics!Soja John Thaikattil

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    The Papal Mass in Sydney is about to begin even as I write this. It is being telecast live by SBS Australia. I wonder how many around the world are able to watch it. I hope many can.Greetings from beautiful Sydney!

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    NiveditaDo you have an idea what the Hippocrates Oath means to a medical doctor? According to the original oath a medical doctor is NOT allowed to perform an abortion on demand of the “patient.” A pregnant woman is by the way not a patient in the strict sense of the word because pregnancy is not a disease and an ordinary person or a midwife can deliver babies; a medical doctor is required only to deal with complicated deliveries. There IS such a thing as morals and ethics. Speaking on behalf of an innocent fetus, a human being in development, is not preaching. It is stating a fact. I do not have the right to make a decision on behalf on a woman but the Hippocratic oath does give every medical doctor the right to refuse to perform an abortion on demand of a healthy woman having a normal pregnancy. Legal abortion merely provides a service for protecting the health and life of that very woman who would otherwise seek out a quack to do it for her.

  • Mr Mark

    CONCERNED THE CHRISTIAN NOW LIBERATED writes:Abortion boils down to one simple question, when does human life begin?”I vigorously disagree with that statement. The question is neither simple nor singular.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Make that: exegetes and not “exegets” and in Matthew’s Gospel and not “on Matthew’s Gospel”.

  • Janet

    Nevidita writes: “The only point I was making is that neither religious authorities nor anyone else has any right to interfere in a personal decision. In this case, abortion.”This is what I have always found so puzzling, particularly on the part of men who argue against choice. Somehow, in the US, in 2008, they continue to bypass women’s bodies, as if they were mere hosts for fetuses, as if these bodies belonged to these men, and it was their decision what to do with them.The fact that countless more women die in childbirth, suffer lifelong problems due to delivery rather than abortion matters not a whit to them. Risk, no risk, rape, no rape matters not at all. In the interim, some of these very men, these men who assume proprietary rights over women, are fathers who are delinquent in child support payments. Ironic, is it not?And for those who aren’t? Will they commit part of their salaries to raising the children of single parents, the precise amount to be decided by law? Make us an offer, and we’ll hear you argue against choice.If life is what counts, how is it that the official Roman Catholic position puts the life of the fetus, which could be stillborn, ahead of the life of the living mother? Your answer, gentlemen?I make the same offer, ask the same question of women who are anti-choice. Make us a financial offer. Explain why a fetus should take priority over the life of a woman.MOre arguments:Since the lives of mothers can be sacrificed to fetuses, etc., then I must assume that all females, regardless of age, whether pregnant or not, matter not a whit. Therefore, I will limit myself to the lives of boys.If life, human male life, is at issue, how do these anti-choice men justify ignoring the boy who needs a kidney, a bone marrow transplant, a blood transfusion, etc., to live.The day that all men and anti-choice women sign up to donate a kidney, have a bone marrow transplant, a blood transfusionI’ve made it easy for you men and anti-choice women. Sign on to donate a portion of your income to raise children of single parents. Sign on to donate bone marrow, a kidney, have blood transfusions, the number of bone marrow and blood transfusions to be determined by law, sign on to donate to male children in need, and we’ll listen to you hold forth on abortion.IMHO, men do not belong in this discussion, at all, but one cannot eliminate them since they legislate. So listen to their answers, reluctantly I shall although the arrogance, the hypocrisy beggars belief.

  • Roy

    Sonja,Read my post again. I was talking about neocon Catholics in the US, not all Catholics in the world.Any observation of the dichotomies of Catholics in the US or regarding clergy child abuse is immediately dismissed by the close minded as “Catholic bashing.”

  • Nivedita

    Soja:I am very well aware of what the Hippocratic oath means. However, now we would be getting into the morals and ethics of the medical community wouldn’t we?Your response strengthens the argument for choice. I’m sure there are many doctors there who make a conscious choice to perform abortion on a healthy woman though they may not want to because for them it would be a question of choosing to abort and make sure the woman lives or the moral dilemma to refuse the request and maybe live with the fact that the same woman could die if she goes for an illegal abortion.There is no right or wrong answer here. Its all gray, so no one can sit in judgment of anyone else.

  • Nivedita

    Janet: In case you haven’t quite figured out yet, I’m pro-choice.

  • Janet

    Nivedita:”Janet: In case you haven’t quite figured out yet, I’m pro-choice.”Hi, yes, of course I’ve figured it out. I guess you can see that I’m pro-choice, as well. What else can one be? To me, to say I’m pro-choice is like saying I’m pro human rights. We’re on the same page, Nivedita.

  • Nivedita

    Janet: Hi, I just got a bit confused since you quoted me before you presented your argument. Good points btw.

  • Janet

    Nivedita:Yes, I quoted you. I was trying to support what you’d written. I can’t believe this ridiculous discussion continues, but continue, it does, and not only among Catholics, of course.

  • Nivedita

    Janet:Thanks for the support!I totally agree! There really is no argument here, but continue it will. I just hope that it stays as an argument and does not overturn the Roe Vs Wade ruling!

  • Janet

    Nivedita:I, too, worry about Roe v. Wade. I doubt SCOTUS will be able to overturn it, but fear it may be able to limit its applications. As far as I know, there’s only one justice, pro-choice people can count on. She’s also the only one, aside from ultra-right wing Roberts, who has a brain. The situation is far from good. Some states are becoming increasingly conservative with respect to abortion rights, and, as of yet, there has been no SCOTUS challenge.Pro-choice advocates need to make more noise. Instead of being on the defensive, we should be out there demanding more.

  • Ria

    Hi Janet, I really liked your argument to make those calling themselves ‘anti choice’ put their money where their mouth is.I’d like to go one step further and make anyone calling themselves ‘pro life’ have to adopt an unwanted foster child (not even necessarily from birth) and raise them in their homes until they are of age to make their own way in the world.. up to and including college, like any other child.Also, they should have to pay to step into the lives of those people who are pressured to keep children they have no way of taking care of. They should have to feed the children they seem to want others to have so badly.These people should also have to look after children of women with domestic violence histories or rape, especially.When ‘pro life’ starts meaning exactly that.. then I’ll consider their arguments on the other side.Until then, nobody has the right to tell a woman what she can or cannot do with her own body.

  • Ryan Haber

    Roy,I gotta say, your statement:”I’m against abortion, too. But the difference between me and the good neocon Catholics is that I’m against capital punishment and pre-emptive war. How can Catholics be so self-righteous about abortion but ignore the First Commandment when it comes to the latter two? For me, there is a complete and very convenient disconnect here.”Is kinda funny. The conversation here wasn’t about the inconsistency of the position of the typical neocon Catholics. You criticize Catholics for being so self-righteous, but in fact pro-life Catholics tend heavily against the death penalty. It’s just that we (pro-life/practicing Catholics) are only 10% of the population. 75% of Americans consistently poll as supporting the death penalty. We’re kinda outvoted.What I think is really funny is the self-righteous tone of your criticism of Catholics for being self-righteous. Especially in light of the fact that you cite the First Commandment. I’m gonna assume that you knew better, and it was a typo, because it’s the Fifth Commandment (by Catholic and Lutheran reckoning, Sixth by Anglicans’ and non-Lutheran Protestants’) that forbids murder. I presume that was the commandment to which you were referring, rather than the one against idolatry.

  • Janet

    Hi Ria,You’ve got some great ideas! I also think that the anti-choice folks should pay for all medical expenses incurred during pregnancy and delivery.You know, back in the day when I was a wavering Catholic, I thought the Church should assume the medical expenses of all Catholic women who chose birth over abortion to keep in the good graces of the Church. I still feel this way and would add on all the other expenses you mention. The same obtains for all illnesses suffered by Catholics stemming from not using birth control, and, of course, all coverage should apply worldwide.

  • Anonymous

    Ryan writes:”And what, exactly, is the “structure of reality?” That wouldn’t be god, would it? If not god, then who or what is “independent of the mind of man, but knowable by the mind of man?”"No, I wouldn’t dream of smuggling God in under such a title. The structure of reality is “how things really are, and how they really relate to each other, regardless of whether perceived or not.” If you died, your living room would still be just the way it was when you were alive. If you go to China and say that your living room is purple, and even really believe it to be so, it is in fact still whatever color it was when you left. That’s what I mean by the structure of reality.”Based on observation and logic, societies have determined that abortion is not murder or even killing.”Doubtless. “Everyone else is doing it,” isn’t a good reason to jump off a bridge. Didn’t your mom ever tell you that, Mr. Mark? Why is that a good justification for abortion. And why, because I reject that rationalization, is my argument necessarily religious. If you will point to one item of my argument that is in fact religious, or even makes reference to God, I will admit that my argument is religious.

  • Former Catholic

    Janet:Your proposals for the church are excellent. On another thread, someone gave a link to two directives of Joseph Ratzinger on the necessity of keeping secret the names of pedophile priests. Let’s face it. The Catholic church, the Vatican, is a bunch of gangsters.

  • Ryan Haber

    Last post was mine. Apologies.

  • Ria

    Hi Janet,Sounds like a plan. Also add to that the health cost incurred to a woman who’s had more than, say, two kids.I’d consider supporting any organization that does any of these things.. regardless of their theology.I’ve worked with children under three with disabilities for nearly 10 years.. so many from homes with more than 5 children. I see the lasting effects of both prematurity and poverty. It’s really heartbreaking to see how so many people don’t care.. all in the name of religion.Given the loudness of the ‘pro-life’ crowd, it’s really heartening to know there are others out there who feel as I do. :)

  • Janet

    Former Catholic:Yes, the church is a bunch of gangsters. I faced that a long time ago. I can remember the moment I stopped wavering and signed off for good on the Roman Catholic Church. I thank God every day that I faced what I’d been a part of, and I hope God forgives me for not having realized it sooner.This isn’t to say that I haven’t known some fine nuns, priests, lay Catholics. The problem resides in the Church, a fossilized institution that does far more harm than good. Always has, always will.

  • Janet

    Hi Ria,I’d add just one or two other expenses. All anti-choice persons, organizations, etc., must contribute to the support of the mother after the child has graduated from college and, perhaps, professional or graduate school. If the mother is able to work, while the child or children is/are growing up, day care, house cleaning, cooking must be provided. If the mother can’t earn a living that will support a middle class lifestyle, her income must be supplemented. After the children finish their education, the mother must be supported or given a fair, lump sum payment to include a pension for all the time she lost not working.

  • Former Catholic

    Hi Janet,May I ask if you converted to another denomination or religion? I haven’t. I still believe, but I can’t bring myself to explore another form of Christianity. I guess I’m done with organized religion.

  • Janet

    Hi Former Catholic,I never converted. A few years ago, I realized that I knew several ex-Roman believers, and we decided to organize our own little group of apostates. Since then, we’ve been meeting every two weeks, and it’s been a blessing. Our group has renewed me in more ways than I can say. We’re into serious Bible study, we do volunteer work. It’s been amazing.

  • Roy

    RoyMy mistake but I’m glad you were entertained. It’s been many years and I forgot my Catholic-lite Lutheran indoctrination.If you look at the politically conservative Catholics in the US including O’Reilly and Hannity, they are vocally against abortion but vocally support capital punishment and pre-emptive war.Again, I never said all Catholics agreed with this. My point is I find a disconnect about caring for life before it is born and not after.Catholics are free to believe what they want but so are others as well. I do not wish you out of existence or to even say you are wrong. I just don’t want to live in a country where any church has too much political influence to the detriment of its democracy.

  • Roy

    Sorry, my last comment was directed at Ryan

  • Nivedita

    Janet: We certainly need to make far more noise than any of these anti-choice people are making. Given how many of these people are so convinced of their own beliefs! Am I glad to hear some sane voices in this forum!Ryan Haber: It amazes me that you believe your arguments are logical! Talk about being delusional!

  • Brambleton

    Janet,Your posts are unbelievably puzzling. Actually, now that I think about it, you’re sadly just a product of your cultural environment.It appears your position is that we completely remove responsibility and accountability from a person’s life, and instead, kill unborn children. Unbelievable. Or, perhaps, you think that people having sex are too stupid to understand the concept of procreation? No problem. Don’t take any responsibility for your actions, we’ll kill your child instead. Problem solved.The Associated Press recently reported that more than 75% of women seeking abortions decline, when asked, a doctor’s offer to see the fetus via sonogram. Why do you think that is? While the article failed to address that statistic, I believe it is obvious that most women inherently understand that they are killing a child as a substitution for responsibility and accountability.If you don’t want children or do not wish to accept the responsibility of having children – don’t have sex. Period.

  • autonomous

    It’s a mystery to me that the males seem to dominate the ‘pro-life’ side of these conversations – great moralists when it comes to abortion issues – they stand back and makes well considered judgements, seeming to understand all sides of the issue – but ultimately come down on the side of religion, rationalization and hubris. This seems to be a common repeating theme over the last 40 years that abortion has been in the eye of the public. So here’s that well-considered advice in a nutshell ladies – if you don’t want to get pregnant, don’t have sex. The Pope blesses you gentlemen, Protestants and Catholics alike. It almost makes one yearn for a female Pope. Fat chance of that! In the meantime, women as always, have the hard job of coping with unwanted pregnancies first-hand. For all the noise though, abortion remains a legal right. It wasn’t so many years ago that men with guns were shooting up family planning clinics and the resident staff – how could we forget that? The guys always have a solution, don’t they? Here’s my solution for you guys – move to Mississippi….they hardly have a problem there.At least your prayers have been heard in Mississippi……

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    Nivedita:Soja:I am very well aware of what the Hippocratic oath means. However, now we would be getting into the morals and ethics of the medical community wouldn’t we?Your response strengthens the argument for choice. I’m sure there are many doctors there who make a conscious choice to perform abortion on a healthy woman though they may not want to because for them it would be a question of choosing to abort and make sure the woman lives or the moral dilemma to refuse the request and maybe live with the fact that the same woman could die if she goes for an illegal abortion.There is no right or wrong answer here. Its all gray, so no one can sit in judgment of anyone else.July 20, 2008 12:49 PM================================NiveditaThere is such a thing as ethics and code of conduct in medicine which medical doctors are obliged to abide by if they do not want to lose their license to practice the profession. A medical doctor who performs an abortion in order to protect the health and life of the mother which would be endangered if she resorted to the services of a quack is NOT making a moral choice for the mother. I already mentioned there are medical and ethical grounds on which abortion may be rightly considered the lesser of the two evils – the life of the mother is at risk due to a medical condition, rape, sexual assault of minors, physically and mentally handicapped women, women with mental illness etc; women who are unable to fulfill their role of mothers to the child in their womb and after it is born – physically or mentally – for no fault of their own. I repeat here we are discussing ONLY the demand of healthy women with normal pregnancies demanding abortion as a matter of their right, choosing to ignore that it is about the life of an innocent child who did not ask to be conceived and did not consent to be killed.The important questions here are, not as a judgment but merely as a way of finding out facts:Do you believe a woman is responsible for her body and the consequences of what she does with her body? Is abortion the only choice in case of an unplanned pregnancy? Do you believe that a woman has a moral duty to consider the right of life of the fetus in her womb? What story does a woman tell herself to blame the society or anybody else for the personal decisions she makes regarding her sex life? What story does a woman tell herself to make believe that the growing fetus in her womb is not a developing human being, is not a fast growing separate being which is dependent entirely on her for its very life?I do NOT stand in judgment of any woman who chooses to abort her child. What I do object to strongly is the notion of pro-choice group which seems to imply that the fetus is not a developing human being. I have already mentioned a few times that comprehensive sex education and availability of artificial contraception is a must, since abstinence (outside marriage) alone is not a realistic goal, although it should be encouraged as an ideal at all times, and sex education should include teaching methods and values to make it more and more possible to live up to those ideals.The arguments you, Janet and Ria have put forward to justify abortion on demand of healthy women having normal pregnancies does not add any valuable insight to the discussion, unless of course all three of you are of the opinion women are not responsible for their own sex life.

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    AutonomousJust by way of information, I’m neither male (John is my father’s first name) nor am I presenting my case from a religious point of view. I suggest you reread all my posts from the beginning, AND read the information on the link I provided, before jumping into conclusions.In my posts I have tried to convey the meaning that abortion should be considered the lesser of two evils, but an evil nevertheless; and there is no such thing as an “abortion right” for healthy women having normal pregnancies. Termination of pregnancy in such cases should always be considered an ethical choice and the moral responsibility of the woman concerned.

  • Roy

    Women often ignore their husband’s feelings on the issue of abortion. My ex-wife had at least two abortions (that I knew of – I now believe she secretly had more) because having additional children would have been an “inconvenience” to her. The were no health nor economic issues involved. I made enough money to have twelve children and she was in good health at the time.I was silent because, I believed all the feminist crap at the time that I had to “respect her choice”. The loss of these children, however, hurt me deeply and continues to do so to this day.Women say it’s their body but overlook men’s feelings in regard to this issue as if our feelings and beliefs have no significance or say in the matter.

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    Roy:Sonja,Read my post again. I was talking about neocon Catholics in the US, not all Catholics in the world.Any observation of the dichotomies of Catholics in the US or regarding clergy child abuse is immediately dismissed by the close minded as “Catholic bashing.”July 20, 2008 9:10 AM======================RoyThe US is a secular democracy with separation of Church and State. It is not a Catholic or even a Christian theocracy. The Catholic Church through the State of Vatican does however have official positions with regard to issues. So it is possible to refer to them when talking of the official Catholic stand. Just as President Bush does not represent the Methodist Church officially in his political office, neither does any Catholic politician represent the Catholic Church officially. Does the Methodist Church have to take responsibility for political decisions made by President Bush?As to the scandal of sexual abuse of minors by at most 4% of Catholic clergy: the Pope did make public apologies; in the US two BILLION dollars have been paid in compensation money; measures have been put in place to screen candidates aspiring to be priests and to deal effectively with complaints of sexual abuse; measures to help victims are offered. NOBODY, absolutely nobody, least of all lay Catholics, is condoning abuse by Catholic clergy. What else is the Catholic Church supposed to do? What about sexual abuse in other religious and non-religious organizations? What about sexual abuse of children and minors in families? What statistics is being discussed publicly? How much coverage does it get in the media? Are we somehow dealing with a double standard when it comes to exposing the sins of the Catholic Church? Are we expecting a perfection from the Catholic Church that we do not expect from other religious organizations? These are the questions that troubles a lay Catholic like me. At no time do I condone any wrong doing by the Catholic Church either by its clergy or lay members. Anybody is welcome to expose it. All I ask as a Catholic is fairness, equal treatment for all; equal emphasis about the good the Catholic Church has done and is doing. Is that too much to ask?

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    RoyI’m sorry to hear about your pain. How lucky is the woman who has you for a husband, a man who is willing to look after every child that she bears. Not all women are that lucky you know. Look around at the millions of single mothers…

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    It has been interesting and informative for me as a woman to read views of pro-choice women. Since I have shared all I have to share on this topic, I hereby bow out.

  • Mr Mark

    I wrote:”And what, exactly, is the “structure of reality?” That wouldn’t be god, would it? If not god, then who or what is “independent of the mind of man, but knowable by the mind of man?”"Ryan replied:”No, I wouldn’t dream of smuggling God in under such a title. The structure of reality is “how things really are, and how they really relate to each other, regardless of whether perceived or not.”Exactly, and the way things are – are the way they are without gods, regardless of how they are perceived or not.As far as “the structure of reality,” scientific inquiry over the past centuries has proven conclusively that the way that the Bible and other holy books attempt to “explain reality” are laughable examples of our fearful ancient minds, regardless of how they are perceived or not. Strange how people cling to the Bible on the “big” issues of god/death/life when the Bible gets it so horribly wrong the the “small” issues, like the Earth revolving around the sun. It’s like trusting the god of the Bible to replace the timing belt on your car when he’s clueless on doing an oil change.Some authority. Some “god.” The more one thinks about it, the more one realizes that the god of the Bible is a rather puny fellow, in addition to being something of a scientific bozo. I give him an “F” in science and a “D-minus” in human relations.I wrote:”Based on observation and logic, societies have determined that abortion is not murder or even killing.”Ryan replied:”Doubtless. “Everyone else is doing it,” isn’t a good reason to jump off a bridge. Didn’t your mom ever tell you that, Mr. Mark? Why is that a good justification for abortion.”That quite a snide response…and exactly what I’ve come to expect from Xians. To equate the hard-thought, hard-fought and hard-won right to abortion that exists in the world’s developed countries as an example of “jumping off the bridge because everyone else is doing it” is shamefully callow. To place such a gut-wrenching decision and the emotional baggage that goes with it on the same plane as a childish complaint that can be dismissed with a mother’s off-hand admonition is blissfully inhuman.”And why, because I reject that rationalization, is my argument necessarily religious.”It is a rationalization in the least-pejorative sense of the term, but that’s clearly not what you mean. You mean it as pejoratively as can be imagined (the same goes for your use of the term “justification”). Your condescension towards women’s rights and to those who specifically support their right to abortion is quite revealing…and quite repulsive.Ryan wrote:”If you will point to one item of my argument that is in fact religious, or even makes reference to God, I will admit that my argument is religious.”Your argument being a religious-based argument is an example of “how things really are, and how they really relate to each other, regardless of whether perceived or not.”That’s a reality that takes no effort to discern.

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    Errata: The population of India is currently over ONE billion, and is expected to exceed two billion in this century.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Abortion boils down to one simple question, when does human life begin? And one paramount observation/law: There is basic human morality that goes beyond the OT and NT. A fetus dies without nourishment. A baby dies without nourishment. I see no difference.

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    On a very personal note, in this context of discussing the Catholic Church, I consider it appropriate to mention how deeply I have been moved by the way President Bush received Pope Benedict XVI in the US and what a wonderful message it sent to the rest of the world about how the US views the Catholic Church, even a President who is Methodist by denomination. Since Christian unity is one my deepest and greatest desires, and interfaith dialogue comes only second in comparison to that, every gesture of Christian understanding and unity moves me deeply.It is my hope that the anti-Catholic sentiment I have read on this thread will decrease with time as non-Catholics get to understand Catholicism a little more thanks to the efforts Sally Quinn is making by devoting two extra blogs for it on this forum – Catholic America and Religion from the Heart. Wishing that more and more Catholics will begin to start blogging on this forum…

  • Georgiason

    I have plowed through the comments on this topic, scanning some more than reading every word. I am at a loss to grasp what point most of them are trying to make, on either side of the argument. There must be something about abortion or religion or the two together that encourages great rambling diatribes and abstractions piled upon abstractions.I can only repeat: Thank God that the United States of America was established by a group of the most rational minds ever gathered together in one spot, much less in a time and place where they were able to establish a new country virtually from whole cloth. And thank God the genius of those Founding Fathers was never more gloriously displayed than when they decreed separation of church and state. Thank God legislative bodies elected on the basis of majority rule, for the purpose of enacting secular laws, will make the final determination on abortion.I tremble that the decision would emerge from the gobbledygook of the religious wing-nuts exhibited in this blog.

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    GeorgiaSon, your ability to ignore completely the science and non-religious ethics relating to abortion that was presented is amazing.

  • Roy

    Sorry but the argument that because children are molested elsewhere makes it OK for the clergy is shallow and adolescent. What makes it more eggregeous in the church is those perpetuating it are pretending to be leaders of God.

  • lepidopteryx

    While a 16 year old female may be biologically a woman, she is not generally enough of an adult to be an effective parent. Not to mention that her body, while capable of conceiving, has not completed its growth, making pregnancy a considerable health risk for her.

  • autonomous

    Soja – Thanks. I know your gender and my post was not intended for you. Your position is far better thought out, compared to the various male posters that are clearly disposed to an anti-choice position on abortion from start to finish. They would do well to read your posts over again. Men responsible for a pregnancy are of course entitled to their considered opinion in the matter – but it’s not their decision to make. We should note that sometimes this works out the other way. The woman may just as well decide to keep the child against the prospective father’s wishes – her decision. And the extreme behavior of using abortion as a birth control method is certainly not what we’re talking about here – someone that easily engages in such a pattern may well be either excessively narcissistic, or suffering from a personality disorder, and will likely have other problems as well. For all others, it’s never an easy experience. PS. Bush behavior is a sensitive subject for many in the USA, and his motives are always suspect.

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    RoyYou seem to choose to ignore completely the content of my post. Does your sense of anti-Catholicism make you so pitifully prejudiced? Does God hold Catholic clergy to a different standard to other religious leaders? Does God give all others a free pass? Does God not hold fathers, step fathers, other abusive adults not responsible for their actions?Is God so blind to everything that the Catholic Church has undertaken to admit its wrongs and make reparation and yet others need to do nothing at all in order to be righteous in God’s sight?What do you have to say about sexual abuse among others? Why is that you show no sign of indignation? Yet you go on and on and on about Catholic clergy? How many other organizations have offered public apologies? How many family members get punished for sexual assault of children and minors? If your concern is for children then you should stop chewing cud about an issue that the Catholic Church has taken seriously. You should turn your attention to all places where children are being sexually abused.It makes no sense to continue this discussion because I can see that you are trapped in your hatred for the Catholic Church.

  • autonomous

    And Soja, your well considered posts are always among the best this entire blog has to offer. If the Catholic Church ever decides to ordain women, you should be elevated to the position of Archbishop immediately, where you could actually influence Church policy. I see you in a red hat not too long after that – and I mean it.Best regards -

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    lepidopteryx:While a 16 year old female may be biologically a woman, she is not generally enough of an adult to be an effective parent. Not to mention that her body, while capable of conceiving, has not completed its growth, making pregnancy a considerable health risk for her.Add to that the fact that she is an illegal alien, presumably with little or no means of support for herself, much less herelf AND a baby. Even without taking into account the possibilty of the pregnancy having resulted from rape or incest, or the posibility of a severely deformed fetus, it seems to me that the best option for this young lady was to abort. It’s a hard decision tomake, but it is sometimes the best decision.July 21, 2008 8:04 AM=================LepidopteryxSorry to have to remind you that sixteen year olds are physically mature and able to bear healthy children. The theory that a sixteen year old would conceive a severely deformed child because of her age is nonsense.In India and elsewhere in the world, until not long ago, before the era of sexual revolution, marriages were conducted shortly after women attained menarche. My grandmother, aunt etc were married when they were fourteen, my mother at The only difference is that young couples of the past were strongly supported by their families and communities, and children were born within wedlock. Today young couples, especially in the West, would be expected to fend for themselves and most teenage pregnancies are out of wedlock.Please read my posts regarding the medical and ethical considerations for abortion.

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    AutonomousThank you indeed for your very kind words. I do not wish to be a priest, so the stand of the Catholic Church with regard to ordination of women does not affect me in anyway. I do wish however that women who wish to be ordained may have their wishes fulfilled.As to my comments, blogging here on The Washington Post as I do in a spontaneous manner, is the best I can do at the moment. So I couldn’t wear that red hat even if I was given one! My sense of fashion tells me that a red hat wouldn’t look good on me anyway.As to President Bush, I do believe that every human being has some genuine good in them. I would not forget all the good things President Bush has done simply because he did not do everything right. Best wishes

  • Ryan Haber

    Mr. Mark,> Strange how people cling to the Bible on Again, I will draw your attention to the fact that I made no reference to God, nor even to the transcendent, in my argument against abortion – which you have as of yet failed to address.> “Based on observation and logic, societies have> Ryan replied:> “Doubtless. “Everyone else is doing it,” isn’t I wasn’t speaking about the nature of a decision to abort. I was addressing your argument that abortion isn’t murder because all the other countries say it isn’t. My remark wasn’t snide. It was perfectly simple and true. The fact that a belief is widely held does not make it true. That was the gist of your argument, that all the other developed countries have said abortion isn’t murder, so therefore it isn’t. It’s an argument without logic, at best, Mr. Mark.> “And why, because I reject that > It is a rationalization in the least-pejorative Mr. Mark, that’s a side-tangent. You still aren’t addressing any of my points. I made an argument, and you dismissed it as religious. I pointed out that I made no reference to religion, or to God, and then you call me snide and condescending. I haven’t called you anything yet. I’ve addressed each of your points. You haven’t yet answered why my argument is inherently religious, either, for that matter.> Your argument being a religious-based argument Um, again… I don’t see how it is a religious argument to assert that things are the way they are even if nobody takes stock of the fact. I say up is not down, but its opposite, and that even if someone sincerely disagrees the fact remains that a thing cannot both be and not be in the same way at the same time. You say, “That’s religious!” It’s common sense, Mr. Mark. You live your life that way and so does everybody else. You don’t act as if your car starting properly or the buses running on time is a subjective opinion; you stake your daily routine on it. But whether a human being is a human being or not – that’s a religious opinion?So far, you are the only one who has used ad hominems in our exchanges. You haven’t answered a single point of mine, but only labeled them and me. It doesn’t particularly bother me – I say a prayer, collect myself, and go on with my day. I only point out the fact because it seems relevant; you’ve said I’m not arguing rationally, but religiously – though you’ve pointed out nothing in particular that is religious in my arguments. So I’ll only point out that you’re not arguing at all – you’re only namecalling.

  • spiderman2

    The evil of Catholicism : (this is just one among many)Step 1 – They don’t allow people to be taught with sex education. Step 2 – They won’t allow married couples to use artificial contraception.Step 3 – The tendency for both step 1 & 2 is a very HIGH PROBABILITY OF AN UNWANTED (“unplanned”) CHILD especially among the poorest and uneducated couples which are very many in Catholic countries.Step 4 – The pregnant mother is now placed in a dilemma : whether to give birth to a child who’s sure to have no future (no education, food, etc) or the harsher option of abortion. And neither of the two is a good one. The point is, CATHOLICISM (the devil’s religion) PLANNED IT TO BE THAT WAY. They invent rules that would put many of their poor flocks into jeopardy.Yeah, they build schools in poor Catholic countries but only the moneyed people can enroll. What a racket!!

  • Mr Mark

    Dear Ryan -First off, thanks for staying engaged in the conversation.I thought that I was addressing the points you raised, at least to the best of my ability. When you aver that “neither the Catholic Church nor I opposed abortion based on the Bible (paraphrasing here),” then I don’t think that you can take me to task for imagining that you’re making a religious argument.As to your arguments against abortion – you seem to be speaking from authority, but the authority from which you speak is ill defined. It isn’t the Bible, it isn’t any religion, it isn’t the state (which supports abortion), it isn’t the majority view of the country, it isn’t a moral position that is held by most, so, what is it? You describe it as something that doesn’t originate from man but may be discerned by man.Well, that sounds a lot like an opinion to me, and an opinion held without much support or reason outside of something you came up with in your own head. I don’t believe that such an opinion has standing in such matters. Obviously, you disagree.BTW – it’s interesting that the Catholic Church has changed its position on abortion over the centuries, specifically in the matter of ensoulment. Abortion is not an issue if a fetus has no soul and is but a collection of growing cells, and the church’s dogma of ensoulment allowed for abortions of fetuses who had not yet received their souls.Augustine believed that a male fetus obtained its soul at 40 days and a female fetus, between 80 to 90 days. Aquinas concluded that the soul was developed in three stages during gestation so that by the time the fetus was born he or she was fully ensouled. Classical Judaism believes the soul originates in heaven and joins the body at birth, based on the Bible’s conclusion that AFTER God formed man from the dust, God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living thing,” ergo, a human doesn’t become a human until AFTER they are born and the breath of life enters their nostrils.Further BTW – the Catholic Church also held for centuries that there was a place called LIMBO where souls went before heading off to heaven or hell. But, oops! They changed their position on limbo just last year. Imagine that! Yet another immutable religious dogma goes down in flames.Can the RCC position on abortion be far behind? It’s a dangerous business taking up the RCC position on these things. One never knows when the dogmatic rug is going to be pulled out from under one’s dogmatic feet.

  • Janet

    Soja, you wrote: “The arguments you, Janet and Ria have put forward to justify abortion on demand of healthy women having normal pregnancies does not add any valuable insight to the discussion,”Quite the contrary. They are the only valuable insights thus far brought into this discussion. The only decision concerning abortion is that of the pregnant woman. Does she or does she not wish to carry the child to term and deliver it?There is nothing further to discuss. A pregnant woman is not an oven in which a cake rises. She is a human being with human rights. There is no way, none whatever to bypass her in this discussion, which is what you repeatedly do when focusing on fetuses. It is, in fact, what all anti-choicers do. What you are doing in this is akin to advocating for slavery. You do not own any woman’s body other than your own, and you may do with it what you like. You have no right, none whatsoever, to decide what other women may or may not do.

  • Mr Mark

    Well put, Janet.

  • Mr Mark

    Roy writes:”I was silent because, I believed all the feminist crap at the time that I had to “respect her choice”. The loss of these children, however, hurt me deeply and continues to do so to this day.”I wonder if you ever make the choice to masturbate, Roy? Doesn’t that also lead to the “loss of children?” Doesn’t the Bible strike dead guys who masturbate?Be honest.

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    Since a reference was made to the creation of human beings in the Bible and Jewish interpretation of beginning of life was mentioned, here the reference:Genesis 2:7 NIVthe LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.Genesis 2:20-24 NIV 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.23 The man said,24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.Psalm 139 NIV8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,10 even there your hand will guide me,11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;13 For you created my inmost being;14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;15 My frame was not hidden from you16 your eyes saw my unformed body.=====================Psalm 13913 For you created my inmost being;14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;15 My frame was not hidden from you16 your eyes saw my unformed body.

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    Janet, it might surprise you to know that parents who abuse children bring up similar arguments when confronted by authorities. Abusive parents believe that they have a right to treat their children anyway they like and it is nobody’s business. I don’t know if you are annoyed when people talk of the safety and welfare of children in those instances too. I have already mentioned several times that it is impossible to force a woman to carry her child to term. But it is equally impossible to ignore the fact that a child is a developing human being inside the mother. The only difference in the mother who carries her child to term and the mother who chooses to abort is the love one has for her own offspring.

  • Janet

    Mr. Mark:Thanks for the kind words.Janet

  • Janet

    Soja:Re: Abusive parents and pregnant womenThis is a false analogy as I’m sure you know. Children are not in physcially symbiotic relations with their mothers as fetuses are with pregnant women. Hence, abused children may be and, in fact, are removed from the home. You’re not advocating that fetuses be forcibly removed from pregnant women, are you?You write:The only difference in the mother who carries her child to term and the mother who chooses to abort is the love one has for her own offspring.Fetuses are not “offspring.”

  • VICTORIA

    the last post was mine- janet also stated- “The only decision concerning abortion is that of the pregnant woman.” actually there is the little matter of the father on occasion- but this statement illustrates the sefl centeredness of the postion of pro-choice- (we could childishly label it anti-life- but let us repsect other humans enough to at LEAST let them define themselves- calling pro-lifers anti-choice disrgards their position also) but the pro-choice camp, and thoise like janet- seem to shy away from the issue of ascribing value to a human life that is not theirs to diminish- jane speaks about the unborn child as if it were a tumor to be removed- when a person murders a pregnant woman- they can also be charged with a double murder if the child is developed enough- to argue that this is only the decision of the mother, or woman- means that one sets themself, and their needs over and above what society needs- there has to be a balance- i think it is something of a shame that one would argue that the unborn have no value- but i also feel that such people, if they want to kill the unborn baby inside of them- one has to have a large degree of selflessness and sacrifice to have children- it becomes connected to the future- and caring about and for society as a whole- sadly, a vision completely missing in the positions of the pro-choicers so far. if they want to make it all about themselves- let them do so- personally i am reluctantly in the pro-choice camp i guess- but only as far as i really do not feel qualified to decide for another- but if i were coming into this forum without a pre-set position- i would be inclined to to be somewhat repulsed by the arguments presented so far- and would be pushed towards the pro-lifers. that is the only place i am seeing people speak to ethics, morality and compassion. so despite the overwhelmingly self centeredness of the postions displayed so far- but the quality of those voices is consipicuously lacking.

  • Brambleton

    Janet,For me personally, the difficulty is in balancing the life and liberty of pregnant women vs. those of the unborn children. I wish there was an easy answer, but apparently none is forthcoming.However, your complete disregard and disrespect for human life is utterly appalling. From your post, it is apparent that you view unborn children as nothing more than a mild case of heartburn that needs to be remedied as efficiently and as effectively as possible.It is sad indeed that you advocate such a strong position of weakness and irresponsibility. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if more people abdicated responsibility and accountability in their lives?

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    VictoriaThank you for your response on my behalf to Janet. It was very well articulated. You are a kind soul. I do have great sympathy for all the suffering you have undergone in your life and great admiration for the way you have managed to come out of it so sensitive and compassionate towards all. Suffering can after all also harden people’s hearts, and it is more often the case.

  • Janet

    Brambleton writes:”For me personally, the difficulty is in balancing the life and liberty of pregnant women vs. those of the unborn children. I wish there was an easy answer, but apparently none is forthcoming.However, your complete disregard and disrespect for human life is utterly appalling. From your post, it is apparent that you view unborn children as nothing more than a mild case of heartburn that needs to be remedied as efficiently and as effectively as possible.It is sad indeed that you advocate such a strong position of weakness and irresponsibility. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if more people abdicated responsibility and accountability in their lives?”I take it that your regard for human life surpasses mine. Then you will explain to me why the Catholic church and other anti-choicers place the life of a fetus above that of the life of a mother. If it is a life and death issue, if the mother will die in childbirth, she is still to give birth to the child.If the mother is raped or incested (raped), regardless of the age of the mother, even if the mother is a child, she is to give birth to the child.If the mother is facing the end of her future, say she is fifteen, sixteen, eighteen, or so, she is still to give birth. (Or put the child up for adoption, which many find difficult to do.)If the mother is facing a life of physical or mental health problems as a result of the delivery, she is still to give birth.Obviously, the best alternative is for women not to get pregnant. However, despite the best use of precautions by both partners, she may. The man, if he’s around, willing, demonstrably able to support the child financially and emotionally, should IMHO have a voice. However, since he is not pregnant, obviously, the final decision must rest with the woman. No woman desires to have an abortion. It’s a horrible, horrible thing. But it is her decision.WHO shows an utter disregard for human life that is utterly appalling? IMHO, anti-choicers. Anti-human rights folks, those who utterly bypass the human status of women. A woman is not an object like a stove in which a cake rises. She is a fully developed human being. Along these lines, if we are to legislate what she may or may not do with her body, then we may legislate what men can do with theirs. There are millions of human lives at stake right now that men’s bodies could be used to save, with less risk imposed on the men than pregnancy places on women. It is cold, indeed, appalling indeed, that men stand by and watch while millions die for want of this or that which men’s bodies could easily supply, suffering little or no damage to said bodies.

  • Anonymous

    Janet:Soja, you wrote: “The arguments you, Janet and Ria have put forward to justify abortion on demand of healthy women having normal pregnancies does not add any valuable insight to the discussion,”Quite the contrary. They are the only valuable insights thus far brought into this discussion. The only decision concerning abortion is that of the pregnant woman. Does she or does she not wish to carry the child to term and deliver it?There is nothing further to discuss. A pregnant woman is not an oven in which a cake rises. She is a human being with human rights. There is no way, none whatever to bypass her in this discussion, which is what you repeatedly do when focusing on fetuses. It is, in fact, what all anti-choicers do.What you are doing in this is akin to advocating for slavery. You do not own any woman’s body other than your own, and you may do with it what you like. You have no right, none whatsoever, to decide what other women may or may not do.July 21, 2008 3:02 PM

  • Anonymous

    Janet:Soja, you wrote: “The arguments you, Janet and Ria have put forward to justify abortion on demand of healthy women having normal pregnancies does not add any valuable insight to the discussion,”Quite the contrary. They are the only valuable insights thus far brought into this discussion. The only decision concerning abortion is that of the pregnant woman. Does she or does she not wish to carry the child to term and deliver it?There is nothing further to discuss. A pregnant woman is not an oven in which a cake rises. She is a human being with human rights. There is no way, none whatever to bypass her in this discussion, which is what you repeatedly do when focusing on fetuses. It is, in fact, what all anti-choicers do.What you are doing in this is akin to advocating for slavery. You do not own any woman’s body other than your own, and you may do with it what you like. You have no right, none whatsoever, to decide what other women may or may not do.July 21, 2008 3:02 PM

  • Anonymous

    Janet:Soja:Re: Abusive parents and pregnant womenThis is a false analogy as I’m sure you know. Children are not in physcially symbiotic relations with their mothers as fetuses are with pregnant women. Hence, abused children may be and, in fact, are removed from the home. You’re not advocating that fetuses be forcibly removed from pregnant women, are you?You write:The only difference in the mother who carries her child to term and the mother who chooses to abort is the love one has for her own offspring.Fetuses are not “offspring.”July 21, 2008 11:25 PM

  • Janet

    Brambleton writes:”For me personally, the difficulty is in balancing the life and liberty of pregnant women vs. those of the unborn children. I wish there was an easy answer, but apparently none is forthcoming.However, your complete disregard and disrespect for human life is utterly appalling. From your post, it is apparent that you view unborn children as nothing more than a mild case of heartburn that needs to be remedied as efficiently and as effectively as possible.It is sad indeed that you advocate such a strong position of weakness and irresponsibility. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if more people abdicated responsibility and accountability in their lives?”I take it that your regard for human life surpasses mine. Then you will explain to me why the Catholic church and other anti-choicers place the life of a fetus above that of the life of a mother. If it is a life and death issue, if the mother will die in childbirth, she is still to give birth to the child.If the mother is raped or incested (raped), regardless of the age of the mother, even if the mother is a child, she is to give birth to the child.If the mother is facing the end of her future, say she is fifteen, sixteen, eighteen, or so, she is still to give birth. (Or put the child up for adoption, which many find difficult to do.)If the mother is facing a life of physical or mental health problems as a result of the delivery, she is still to give birth.Obviously, the best alternative is for women not to get pregnant. However, despite the best use of precautions by both partners, she may. The man, if he’s around, willing, demonstrably able to support the child financially and emotionally, should IMHO have a voice. However, since he is not pregnant, obviously, the final decision must rest with the woman. No woman desires to have an abortion. It’s a horrible, horrible thing. But it is her decision.WHO shows an utter disregard for human life that is utterly appalling? IMHO, anti-choicers. Anti-human rights folks, those who utterly bypass the human status of women. A woman is not an object like a stove in which a cake rises. She is a fully developed human being. Along these lines, if we are to legislate what she may or may not do with her body, then we may legislate what men can do with theirs. There are millions of human lives at stake right now that men’s bodies could be used to save, with less risk imposed on the men than pregnancy places on women. It is cold, indeed, appalling indeed, that men stand by and watch while millions die for want of this or that which men’s bodies could easily supply, suffering little or no damage to said bodies.

  • Janet

    Victoria writes: “your entire reasoning is based upon the premise that the needs of the individual outweigh the needs of society in every instance-”Quite the opposite, obviously, so obviously, in fact, that it warrants no further comment. Frankly, almost nothing of what you post merits, or even enables, a response, since, in the main, it is mere ranting. I will comment on teenage pregnancy. I’ve seen a great deal of it in my professional life, and it has ruined lives, not only the lives of the mothers, but those of their children. There is so much literature on this that it would be absurd for me to go on.If there is a reasoned argument you wish to make with respect to any point I’ve raised, I will be happy to respond. You are, of course, free to rant and wage verbal attacks, but they preclude respnse.

  • Brambleton

    Janet,If I misinterpret your comments, please let me know.You stated, “I will comment on teenage pregnancy. I’ve seen a great deal of it in my professional life, and it has ruined lives, not only the lives of the mothers, but those of their children. There is so much literature on this that it would be absurd for me to go on.”—> First, your conclusion that lives are “ruined” because the mother didn’t have an abortion is completely backwards. Lives are “ruined” because boys and girls that are too young and immature to care for a baby go ahead and have sex anyway. Taking responsibility and holding yourself accountable doesn’t “ruin” lives. Having abortions out of convenience teaches young people that responsibility is meaningless, even in cases of life and death.—> Second, for all the “literature” that supports your opinion, there is just as much, if not more, that documents the profoundly negative lifelong effect on women who endure abortions. Unfortunately, I am friends with a woman who had an abortion many years ago when she was in college. I didn’t know her then, but I can tell you that even now, decades later, she is still not convinced that she will ever be able to fully forgive herself.—> Third, I’m guessing that there are probably many moms out there who were too young to be pregnant, but who acted responsible and accountable, and carried their babies to term before giving them up for adoption or raising them as a family. If those children were sitting with you right now, what would tell them? “There’s a chance your mom’s life might have been ruined, a chance her goals and dreams would never have been fulfilled, so really, she should have killed you before you were born.”

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    Reading through the case mentioned by Professor Stevens-Arroyo, the following observations can be made:1. The young woman in question is only sixteen years old. She is a MINOR. That explains why somebody else signed the abortion papers on her behalf. 2. Unless the father of the child is twenty one years or less, he could be charged with sexual assault of a minor.3. No mention is made of the father of the child.4. It is possible that the father of the child of this underage girl, a. does not want to be identified for fear of being charged with sexual assault, b. does not want to take responsibility for the young woman and the child he has fathered.5. If this young woman already had a healthy child at fourteen there is no reason why she should not bear a healthy child at sixteen. 6. There is a possibility that bearing a child in the US would change her legal status in the US.7. It is possible that the father of the child wants the abortion to escape the consequences of his sexual relationship with a minor.8. It is quite possible that the young woman was filled with fear of being left to fend for two children on her own with no support from the father or any other Aid agency.8. It is equally possible that she was being coerced by the father of the child or someone else who had authority or influence over her, to agree to the abortion.10. Since pregnancy in a minor is a case that needs to be investigated for sexual assault, unless the woman was having sex with a man twenty one years old or less, it is not so simple for someone else to sign abortion papers on her behalf. 11. Details of the father of the child/sexual partner of the sixteen year old needs to be provided to really understand this case in its right context.

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    Janet:I will comment on teenage pregnancy. I’ve seen a great deal of it in my professional life, and it has ruined lives, not only the lives of the mothers, but those of their children. There is so much literature on this that it would be absurd for me to go on.July 23, 2008 2:10 PM ============================JanetAre you a social worker by any chance? I’m merely guessing. Teenage pregnancies and single teenage mothers is a massive social problem indeed. One can use the statistics to encourage early comprehensive sex education, availability of contraceptives, teaching the young to take responsibility for sex lives both in young males and females, warning them of the dangers of treating sex like a purely recreational activity as if it had absolutely no consequences… Using abortion as a late stage contraceptive is not necessarily the best solution or the only one.The discussion here however has been about the human embryo and fetus and to what extent it should be considered a developing human. In this context it is helpful to know when the fetal heart begins to beat and pump blood, for the fetal heartbeat gives an indication of the well being of the growing fetus. I can only repeat that no child can be born without the consent of the mother and the ultimate decision concerning her child lies with her.

  • VICTORIA

    your arguments lack a basis of ethical and compassionate concern for the realities discussed- according to your reasoning- a girl who gets an abortion- has had her future and life saved- you reduce everyting to one singular instance(the abortion) and do actually propose it as a solution- now, you’ve switched your reasoning and state- contrary to previous posts- that it is not a solution- all individual cases- one would expect, if you work with teenagers- that such an overview would be a part of your natural ruminations- even more so than one who is not confronted with his reality- but you have no comment on this- ive worked at a shelter with homeless women and children(many pregnant) we supported and placed and followed up with our support- responsibly, humanely, compassionately.i shudder to think what exactly you are telling these vulnerable young girls who may (or may not- we really dont know what you do) come to you for help. one thing we dont tell them is that they are alone- or that the decision to carry their babies will result in their future poverty- and hopelessness. and o yes- we got many girls and women- who- depsite assurances of people like yourself- who told them that their lives ould be ruined by carrying to term- their souls were actually shattered by it- i guess someone has to repsonsibly pick up the pieces of this misinformation i can see now why you don’t want to answer, or think, about the long term repurcussions-

  • Janet

    Victoria:It’s difficult for me to wend my way through the accusations and vitriol, but I’ll do my best. I do work with young people, but not as a social worker. Further, one doesn’t need to work with young people to know the cost of teenage pregnancy and delivery to the mothers. Soja and I appear to agree that the final decision on whether an abortion should occur must reside with the mother. That is my postiition, whether or not the mother is a teenager or an adult.Again, should the teen or adult mother wish to have an abortion, that is her decision. I would hope that anyone, especially, someone under eighteen would be able to discuss the matter with a trusted adult, in the case of a teen, ideally, a parent, before moving forward, but, sadly, that isn’t always the case.Although there is nothing wrong with changing positions, mine remains exactly the same. Nothing has changed. I do not believe abortion should be used in lieu of birth control, nor do I believe it is a trivial matter. What I do believe, and I believe this wholeheartedly, is that, in the final analyisis, the decision is up to the mother.I also think Soja’s questions are excellent. What about the fathers? Somehow they are always left out of the equation. Some time ago, you may recall, there was in the news one city’s policy of jailing, yes jailing, unwed teenage mothers. The fathers? Why would a city do this? They didn’t want the expense of providing for the child. And the father?However, you look at it, the mother, whether teen or adult, must realize that the physical, pshychological, and quite possibley, financial burden will largely rest with her. I would hope that as one who worked with desperate women and girls, you did not counsel those for whom abortion would be the best option to go ahead and deliver regardless of their individual welfare or the welfare of the future children.

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    JanetI wish to clarify my position that I consider abortion a moral issue, and at best the lesser of two evils. There are in fact very few instances when there is an actual medical indication for abortion, i.e. when the life of the mother is at risk. Then there are the understandably ethical decision of a mother who refuses to have a child because it has been found to have severe congenital deformities; mentally or physically handicapped mothers etc. But the discussion all along was not about any of them. The pro-choice position is about the decision of a healthy mother with a normal fetus to abort it. The final moral responsibility in such cases rests with the mother for nobody can touch her body to abort her child without her permission. As Victoria pointed out you were discussing that in your earlier posts and my responses were to those posts not to your most recent response to me.I’m glad that you understand a fetus is a human being in development. Sex education needs to be refined in every way possible to provide other options than abortion to young women, even poor young women, while taking their sexuality into consideration. There are no easy solutions, but we won’t find any creative solutions until we look for them seriously as long as it takes, and no matter how imperfect answers we come up with, we must continue to search for better answers. The millions of innocent fetal heartbeats silenced before they have had an opportunity to see the world, demands it of us.

  • Janet

    Soja:”The pro-choice position is about the decision of a healthy mother with a normal fetus to abort it. The final moral responsibility in such cases rests with the mother for nobody can touch her body to abort her child without her permission”If I haven’t been clear up to this point, let me be clear now. The pro-choice position is my position. Regardless of whether the status of the fetus indicates that, if carried to term, the infant will be horribly deformed, mentally challenged, or perfectly normal, etc., regardless of the mother’s mental or physical health or threat thereto, the final decision to have an abortion rests with the pregnant woman. Under any and all conceivable circumstances, pregnant women have the right to choose.My earlier points on abortion not being trivial, on the hopes that the father will be involved in decisions, that trusted, ethical adults are available to advise the woman still obtain.The above is my position, in its entirety. It has always been my position, and I have never wavered in it.I do not understand your reference to Victoria’s posts.

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    JanetIn this context I wanted to share with you a story I read in a book many many years ago. I can’t recall the title of the book nor the author’s name, but the story left story such a deep impact on me. Although I may not remember the details accurately here it is:It is about the son of a great spiritual master who wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father and hence wanted to be taught by him. The father turned down the son’s request year after year with the explanation that he was not yet ready to receive the sacred teachings. The son would go away disappointed and return again and again hoping the father would find him ready. One day the son found a dying bird in the forest. He picked it up and held it in the palm of his hand and watched it and felt it tremble in its last moments of agony. After the bird was dead he was filled with such grief, he went to his father to seek consolation for his pain. He explained to his father that he felt the pain of the little bird as if it were his own. The father replied, “Son, you are now ready for the sacred teachings.”So when we can feel the fear and terror in the heart of the little fetus as a decision to kill it is made by its own mother (we do know that healthy fetuses respond to the mother’s emotions), and can feel the pain the fetus feels as the procedure of abortion is underway, like our own, then, only then should we talk of the abortion right of a healthy mother who chooses to abort a normal fetus.

  • VICTORIA

    no janet- i didnt impose my own morality on anyone- that seemed to be enough for most to continue with their pregnancy- i’m not aware of any girls who chose abortion- when you have a room with 80 women living cot to cot- it is impossible to keep secrets- i think i stated that pretty plainly- it is somewhat beyond my comprehension that there are people who can rationalize or turn off their compassion when it comes to a new life- you can call it a fetus- but that doesnt change the fact that it is a fully formed human being- the right to abortion is a dismal choice- so, by your standards i could be categorized as anti-dismal choice. but it is really for life- it is meaningless to talk about a subject that doesn’t impact one personally- in the abstract, such choices are easier- i am glad you have recognized the humanity and life present in the human fetus- as i’ve stated before- it is not only an individual who is impacted by these choices- but my children, and all of our children. and i do have some friends whose lives were shadowed and somewhat ruined by abbortions- as you’ve also referenced some women who were traumatized by their choice- and as such,. not one that should be made so easily attainable, without input from deeper consciences- if a girl feels uncomfortable when confronted with the reality of what her choice entails- and has to face that- it is part of maturing and realizing at some point that we are not the center of the universe and become aware of other humans on the planet-

  • VICTORIA

    i think you haven’t noticed the subtelties of our posts janet- not speaking for soja- but we have both stated our support for women to have the rights over their own bodies- women, though. to suggest that teenangers should be allowed to make a major life decision on their own- when they are not capable of making other decisions without parental input it just really really irresponsible and- basically kind of lazy- we don’t put such grave issues in the hands of teenagers- if they are not(in your estimation) capable of caring for a baby they just don’t know life yet janet- not a one-

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