Abortion

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Postby starlooker » Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:02 pm

Circling back somewhat to the original question, I do feel the need to point out that not every woman will suffer from long-term symptoms of trauma or depression to having had an abortion. I know nobody has stated that, but there is quite a cultural mythology around so-called post-abortion syndrome that I'd like to address.

There is no credible evidence that a single elective abortion of an unwanted pregnancy in and of itself causes mental health problems for adult women

(Granted, that particular link is to one of APA's boiler-plate task force statements that concludes, "We need to study more!" There is a link to a much more in-depth look at the state of research and the state of the questions within that summary, if anyone's interested.) Still, the important point it makes is that given the many differing types of situations wherein women might seek an abortion, one cannot safely say that there is a universal effect from having an abortion.

Although, certainly, we can all think of circumstances wherein an abortion might be traumatic or lead to depression for a certain woman or perhaps subset of women, this is not a universal experience.

For further reading, I suggest "In A Different Voice" by Carol Gilligan -- a classic work in psychology regarding the development of women's moral voice (largely as an alternative to the fantasy-based hierarchical model of Kohlberg's). Mostly, though, in this context I'm suggesting it for the quotes from women about the decision-making process they've gone through in choosing whether or not to have an abortion. It's quite interesting.
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Postby lyons24000 » Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:02 pm

The difference is that the four month old fetus is entirely dependent on the mother, and if she is not willing to keep it to term (for whatever reason), no one else can assume the responsibility. There is no other way for her to not have to take this on.
I understand everything you've just said. I just don't see the difference. In the end, except in extreme cases, it is just a way to not take on the added responsibility.

I also agree that there is a big difference. But a big difference doesn't necessarily mean that one is okay while the other is not. Did you know that I have two sisters? Did you know that I would have had two more siblings if my mother and father did not make their two separate mistakes? My mother before she was married to my father and my father after they got a divorce. I could have an older sibling and a younger sibling. I don't. Why? They both wanted an easy way out. My mother was an unwed teenager and my father slept with another mans wife.

In fact, to get more personal, the ONLY reason I am alive today is the fact that my grandmother stepped in and stopped my mother and father from making a mistake by aborting ME. Now think of me and tell me what would have been okay with my parents aborting me--or your parents aborting you for that matter.

Both of my parents are drug-addicts and alcoholics. My mother slept around, always bringing men home at night. It was my responsibility while I was still in high school to make sure I worked to provide and my little sister got to school. I have had a sucky (I say that because I try not to cuss but I could say worse) life but I am happy to be here. Yes, I have contemplated suicide in the past but I feel that the only person justified to take my life is God and myself. And, you know, I might not even have the privilege to make that choice.

Again, I am not trying to be contentious. My parents never sugarcoated anything about my past and the choices they made (or didn't) so I know what could have happened to me. I say all of this so you can understand why I feel as strongly as I do.
"This must be the end, then."-MorningLightMountain, Judas Unchained

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Postby Wil » Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:13 pm

I think at this point SOME individuals here might have preferred you to have been aborted. *cough cough*

I KID, I KID.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled argument...

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Postby starlooker » Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:15 pm

The difference is that the four month old fetus is entirely dependent on the mother, and if she is not willing to keep it to term (for whatever reason), no one else can assume the responsibility. There is no other way for her to not have to take this on.
I understand everything you've just said. I just don't see the difference. In the end, except in extreme cases, it is just a way to not take on the added responsibility.
And the major difference between you and me is that I see "not wanting to take on the extra responsibility" as a valid choice, particularly given what that responsibility is. This is not "signing up to do volunteer work" extra responsibility. This is not, "I will have to do extra chores to pay for the window I broke responsibility." This is permanent, forever-life changing responsibility. And I don't think the state should intervene to decide who is correct in thinking they can or cannot handle that.

Which is not to say I'm not glad you were born.
Last edited by starlooker on Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby lyons24000 » Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:15 pm

Thanks, Wil!

Anyway, I'll cease posting in this thread. I try not to let myself get heated up. I apologize.
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Postby lyons24000 » Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:17 pm

The difference is that the four month old fetus is entirely dependent on the mother, and if she is not willing to keep it to term (for whatever reason), no one else can assume the responsibility. There is no other way for her to not have to take this on.
I understand everything you've just said. I just don't see the difference. In the end, except in extreme cases, it is just a way to not take on the added responsibility.
And the major difference between you and me is that I see "not wanting to take on the extra responsibility" as a valid choice.

Which is not to say I'm not glad you were born.
On a scale from 1-10, tell me how much your life would have been affected if I had not have been born? I'd give it a 2. You wouldn't be having this revealing yet intriguing conversation if I hadn't! :lol:
"This must be the end, then."-MorningLightMountain, Judas Unchained

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Postby starlooker » Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:19 pm

Well, it would sound callous to say, "Which is not to say that I'm not neutral that you were born."
There's another home somewhere,
There's another glimpse of sky...
There's another way to lean
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There's another life out there...

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Postby Wil » Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:21 pm

Thanks, Wil!

Anyway, I'll cease posting in this thread. I try not to let myself get heated up. I apologize.
Just to make it clear, I was joking! I've quite enjoyed reading this thread that you have posted in. I believe it would have been a lot more boring if everyone agreed, so having you here to provide a counter argument has been quite nice. Keep it up!

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Postby locke » Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:46 pm

Circling back somewhat to the original question, I do feel the need to point out that not every woman will suffer from long-term symptoms of trauma or depression to having had an abortion. I know nobody has stated that, but there is quite a cultural mythology around so-called post-abortion syndrome that I'd like to address.

There is no credible evidence that a single elective abortion of an unwanted pregnancy in and of itself causes mental health problems for adult women

(Granted, that particular link is to one of APA's boiler-plate task force statements that concludes, "We need to study more!" There is a link to a much more in-depth look at the state of research and the state of the questions within that summary, if anyone's interested.) Still, the important point it makes is that given the many differing types of situations wherein women might seek an abortion, one cannot safely say that there is a universal effect from having an abortion.

Although, certainly, we can all think of circumstances wherein an abortion might be traumatic or lead to depression for a certain woman or perhaps subset of women, this is not a universal experience.

For further reading, I suggest "In A Different Voice" by Carol Gilligan -- a classic work in psychology regarding the development of women's moral voice (largely as an alternative to the fantasy-based hierarchical model of Kohlberg's). Mostly, though, in this context I'm suggesting it for the quotes from women about the decision-making process they've gone through in choosing whether or not to have an abortion. It's quite interesting.
I want to emphasize this point and add there are a LOT of people with an agenda who WANT there to be psychological trauma or 'consequences' associated with an abortion. They'd like to use this threat of trauma as a Scarlet Letter type situation, in effect, to punish women socially for their 'crime'. They spread this story to create a chilling effect making women less likely to get an abortion and at the same time the story uses the power of suggestion to make women more likely to have these mental reactions than they would have been if they weren't aware of the possibility (a hypochondriac esque reaction at least). This is not to say that there isn't adverse mental reactions in individual cases, but as Kirsten said, it is certainly not a universal reaction that some people desperately want it to be.

Abortion is certainly not new, I remember reading about it in Ovid's Metamorphoses or The Aeneid, and I'm certain it's a topic that cropped up in earlier works. The more I read of literature and see old films, the more I study history the more I realize that having medically safe, legal abortions available is one of the great triumphs of our society. In this country, at least, we've managed to end millenia of pain and suffering when women who did not want to be pregnant had no good choice available to them.

but yeah, suicide, boiling water douches, poisons and other abortifacts, throwing yourself down stairs, climbing onto a table and repeatedly jumping down to the floor until the baby drops, alcohol poisoning, etc etc etc are not exactly preferable to the option women have now.
So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

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Postby Eaquae Legit » Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:28 pm

Abortion is definitely not new. It appears in countless ancient medical, magical, and legal texts. It just narrowly missed being included in the Christian Bible.
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Postby starlooker » Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:32 pm

Okay, I'm really curious about that last statement. Where would it have been?
There's another home somewhere,
There's another glimpse of sky...
There's another way to lean
into the wind, unafraid.
There's another life out there...

~~Mary Chapin Carpenter

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Postby Eaquae Legit » Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:57 pm

The Didache made the shortlist when the New Testament canon was being formalised. It contains a prohibition against abortion. http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/t ... berts.html
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Postby lyons24000 » Mon Mar 23, 2009 7:24 pm

The Didache made the shortlist when the New Testament canon was being formalised. It contains a prohibition against abortion. http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/t ... berts.html
This is going way off topic and perhaps we can start another thread on this but I have one comment as to why God (since I believe that Christians were led by God to compile the books of the NT) did not include the Didache in the canon of Scripture. We can get back on topic after this!

In section 8 of the Didache I noticed this a few years back when I read it:
"Do not pray like the hypocrites, but rather as the Lord commanded in His Gospel, like this:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily (needful) bread, and forgive us our debt as we also forgive our debtors. And bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one (or, evil); for Thine is the power and the glory for ever...

Pray this three times each day.
That last statement is the clincher. This directly contradicts Matthew 6:7.
"But when praying, do not say the same things over and over again, just as the people of the nations do, for they imagine they will get a hearing for their use of many words."
Repetitious prayers are not what God wants to hear.

Now: Back on topic
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Postby Luet » Mon Mar 23, 2009 7:56 pm

I think maybe you should start a thread about the Didache in the religion forum if you want to discuss it. EL only linked to it because someone specifically asked her about it. Your post seems a bit out of place here.
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Postby Eaquae Legit » Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:05 pm

That you, Nomi. Lyons, somewhere else please.
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Postby lyons24000 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 7:28 am

There is an excellent article on abortion in the newest issue of the "Awake!" magazine. Perhaps people might be interested in checking it out.
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Postby daPyr0x » Tue May 05, 2009 3:08 pm

So, ignoring some of the off topic conversation that this thread has spiraled in to...

HELP!

I'm going to get a little more personal in this thread than I really care to, but it is only to explain my situation.

My girlfriend texts me the other day, "I've come to realize this mother's day is going to be especially hard for me this year, because this is the first year I've really dealt with my abortion [true] and I feel the spirit of a 5 yr old inside of me."

What am I supposed to say to that? How in the world am I supposed to comfort her? It all sounds like complete bubkiss to me, but that could very well be because I'm a guy and I don't care to judge her like that. I can't diminish how she feels just because I don't get it. How do I support her? What in the world am I supposed to say to her when she's crying on my shoulder? "There, there, honey. She wouldn't have wanted to live through the life you went through anyways." Oh yeah, reeeaall supportive, Cam.

I just don't get this whole abortion thing.
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Postby Eddie Pinz » Tue May 05, 2009 3:21 pm

I would go with honesty at this point. I would simply tell her that you have know idea what she is going through, but you'll be there for her no matter what. That's the only thing I could think of. Saying anything else risks you saying something stupid or saying something that unintentionally upsets her.

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Postby Jebus » Tue May 05, 2009 4:03 pm

Sometimes you don't need to say anything, as much as you want to find the magic fix-all words.

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Postby Luet » Tue May 05, 2009 4:04 pm

I always like the comforting cliche of "You did the best you could with the knowledge (and/or resources) you had at the time." She might make a different choice now, or she might not, but she acted then in the best way she knew how.

Other than that, yes, just tell her that you can't really ever know how she is feeling but that you will be there for her in any way you can.
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