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Abortion

Enter here to explore ethical issues and discuss the meaning and source of morality.
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Alan C.
Posts: 10356
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 3:35 pm

Re: Abortion

#41 Post by Alan C. » February 19th, 2008, 4:15 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

Beki wrote:
Alan C. wrote:
Do they contribute financially
The one I know doesn't and he's quite happy to admit it.
That is exactly what I am talking about!! One of my finest hours was at a party once where I managed to reduce a bloke to tears because he was proudly proclaiming that 'the bitch' (AKA the mother of his child) got nothing from him at all. I totally lost the plot with him and let him have it both barrels in front of everyone there (ok, I had had a bit to drink which helped!)

This needs to stop being acceptable behaviour (the lack of support - not the reducing someone to tears which is completely fine if the circumstances demand!! :twisted: ). There are a whole bunch of kids out there with few decent male role models and it is IMPORTANT for kids to know what being a good man means.

Sorry for the rant above Alan C. - just a topic that is close to home :kiss:
Nae bother Beki, I'm not always as clear as I should/could be.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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LilacHamster
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Joined: August 1st, 2008, 11:54 am

Re: Abortion

#42 Post by LilacHamster » August 1st, 2008, 1:58 pm

I don't really want to get into the whole abortion debate (mainly because it can get very heated and unpleasant and has been done to death on various veggie and vegan forums I have been on where I find it's about 50/50 pro-life and pro-choice), but I wonder if anyone can help me with some information?

I am basically pro-life but also aware than many women have abortions due to lack of support and have difficult lives and I would like to do my bit in a practical sense to prevent quite so many abortions happening. I would like to be involved as a befriender as part of a crisis pregnancy help group.. however here lies the problem.. the nearest group I could possibly have helped at (if I had been prepared to lie or able to lie convincingly) I would only be allowed to be a befriender with them if I was a CHRISTIAN. I was honest that I had no religious beliefs whatsoever, only a strong respect for all sentient life that is not religious-based. For this reason they could not welcome me as a befriender. I am a mum of three and (I think) quite a caring person and I feel I could be very suitable as a befriender. Actually it was not LIFE, who are the best known crisis pregnancy help provider, it was CARE (the Christian pro-life group) that rejected me. LIFE, who actually accept people of any religion or none, do not have a befriending scheme set up although I have suggested that this was so much needed. They mainly have counsellors.

Sorry to be long-winded with my background info... anyway to my question, does anyone know of any groups that support women/girls in crisis pregnancy to keep their babies, and might have openings for volunteer befrienders, but without a requirement that one shares a specific religious belief? I think such groups exist in the USA, they have lots of atypical pro-life groups, a pro-life gay and lesbian organisation, pro-life atheists and agnostics (I signed up to that one years ago), but there seem to be no such openings here in the UK for someone like me, I guess because I don't fit into anyone's little pigeonhole on this or other issues..

Hope someone can offer some guidance, many thanks

Lesley

Diane
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Joined: July 4th, 2007, 9:07 am

Re: Abortion

#43 Post by Diane » August 1st, 2008, 5:02 pm

Lesley

I am pretty sure that no such group exists in the UK. If it did, it would make sure its presence was felt and would be easily found on the web.
I am basically pro-life but also aware than many women have abortions due to lack of support and have difficult lives and I would like to do my bit in a practical sense to prevent quite so many abortions happening.
It is commendable that you should want to help in a practical way. But surely what such women need to make continuing with the baby the better option is financial support and in some cases a commitment from the baby's father? I'm not sure that there is such a need for mere befriending.

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LilacHamster
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Re: Abortion

#44 Post by LilacHamster » August 1st, 2008, 6:01 pm

I agree that the father's support including financial support is the ideal situation, of course, but there will always be some need for befrienders too as not everyone is going to be in that ideal situation and some will be very alone and seek abortion even when they would prefer to have the support to make them feel able to have their babies.

A lot of that support will mean befriending because new mums can get very socially isolated if they don't have family support around them, but I also think more research and surveys need to be done of women helped by LIFE and CARE too see how many of them had not had a befriender but wished they had (and find out from women who had abortions what would have helped them to decide differently and if befriending would have been a factor that could have made a difference).

Maybe I will just nag LIFE again and even offer to coordinate something for them, regarding befriending.

I did try approaching them about this a few years ago, but I find that unlike some movements the pro-life movement is quite cliquey (and mostly religious, even though LIFE are non-denominational).

Thanks for responding,
Lesley

Occam
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Joined: April 6th, 2008, 6:37 pm

Re: Abortion

#45 Post by Occam » August 2nd, 2008, 1:35 am

Lilac raises an interesting point. It seems that her motivation is to really assist mothers, however, it's apparent that the real motivation of the groups she describes are mainly to push their Christian beliefs and only as a distant second is their motivation to help the mothers and infants. Rather nauseating when one realizes that.

Occam

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jaywhat
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Re: Abortion

#46 Post by jaywhat » August 2nd, 2008, 5:45 am

As well as pushing their religious agenda, surely pro-life supporters are also pushing their pro-life agenda.
Another stand point might be the idea of supporting women in a whole variety of situations which might include supporting them through an abortion.
They need support not preaching at.

gregory
Died May 2009 R.I.P
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Re: Abortion

#47 Post by gregory » August 2nd, 2008, 10:34 am

A difficult subject. We can only manage it the best way we can.

If we can all be responsible regarding producing children and only abort - if that is the right word - when absolutely necessary then that would be the best option.

It is possible the Catholic church do want to recruit people for themselves but if the whole world was Humanist we may take on board some of their opinions. Don't forget they cover millions of people to say no to abortion is a rule of thumb they will kow that not everybody will comply that is why the concept of forgiveness was invented. Abortion is not something one does for fun (not that I am suggesting anyone on this site has said that) We would probably say that abortion should be done only when necessary.

It seems that abortion chemicals will be available over the counter. Well I knew a woman in the 1960s. A friendly chemist gave her a similar chemical. Because she had the flue it didn't work first time. She tried again and it did work but she ended up in the gyny ward just the same. Maybe modern chemicals are better.
There'll be blue birds over
The white cliffs of Dover

lewist
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Re: Abortion

#48 Post by lewist » August 4th, 2008, 9:26 pm

Alan C. wrote:I suspect our social system could have a bearing on this, get a child, get a council house, get cash handouts. I know a girl who has 3 bairns (I think 3 different fathers) she does very nicely, she's got the council house, gets the handouts and drives a people carrier.
I was sailing down the Intra-Coastal Waterway in NC when you were all discussing this. Discussion has moved on but I'll put in my tuppence worth anyway.

In my former life as a headteacher in a primary school in a fairly deprived area I knew many families with only one parent around. I developed a real respect for these lone parents, mainly young women, who brought up children very effectively on very small amounts of money. I knew how little they had because we validated free meals forms in the office so that payment books didn't have to go away. I did it if I was the one the parent found. I was almost ashamed of the fine salary I had, on which we often just scraped by.

I remember it being hard even with only one child and the two of us at home. For a parent to be on her or his own with several must be tough going indeed. The vast majority of lone parents do an outstanding job and are to be admired.

In all the years I remember only one parent who did seem to milk the system. She did it by persuading those in power that her youngest was handicapped or had additional physical needs in present parlance, if I'm up to date. She got extra benefit for the child and also a motability car which was... did you guess it? Yep, Alan, it was indeed a people carrier. However, that is only one of the many families I knew.

I still occasionally meet parents or their children - adults now - and generally they have done fine. The lone parent family is just as likely to be effective as the nuclear version.

I have to say I find the idea of abortion fairly repugnant, and something to be avoided if possible. I don't believe many women, if indeed any, take it lightly. I agree with those who feel it should not be a substitute for contraception. I admire LilacHamster for her commitment and determination to find a practical way of helping. I hope you find a suitable way of doing so.

And hey, LilacHamster - :welcome: !
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

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wizzy
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Re: Abortion

#49 Post by wizzy » August 6th, 2008, 7:32 pm

I agree that what anyone making decisions about an unwanted/unplanned pregnancy is support in making the best decision.

Befriending women who want to go through with a pregnancy but lack support is commendable, but is the support going to last as long as they want it? They might want/need support until the child is an independent adult.

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jaywhat
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Re: Abortion

#50 Post by jaywhat » August 7th, 2008, 6:37 am

wizzy wrote: Befriending women who want to go through with a pregnancy but lack support is commendable....
- and befriending women who want to go through with an abortion but lack support is commendable.

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LilacHamster
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Re: Abortion

#51 Post by LilacHamster » August 7th, 2008, 12:54 pm

Thank you lewist, I will continue with my enquiries into this.
I was all set to become a befriender about 4 years ago but we were moving out of the area and it didn't happen. I realised that it was wrong for me to start up befriending someone if I could only do it for a few months as it did need to be a long-term commitment, possibly several years (I accept Wizzy's point on that). I did not want someone feeling they were abandoned when they still needed me. We did give that group some old baby clothes and other baby things. That was the local CARE crisis pregnancy support that was just starting up where we used to live. The lady in charge was of course a committed Christian but she was more flexible than some CARE groups about allowing a non-Christian to help.

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wizzy
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Re: Abortion

#52 Post by wizzy » August 7th, 2008, 6:59 pm

jaywhat wrote:
wizzy wrote: Befriending women who want to go through with a pregnancy but lack support is commendable....
- and befriending women who want to go through with an abortion but lack support is commendable.
Didn't say it wasn't. Think I missed a couple of words out of my post, but basically meant everyone who needs support (whether they decide to have abortion, keep the baby, give it up for adoption etc) should have it.

gregory
Died May 2009 R.I.P
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Re: Abortion

#53 Post by gregory » August 9th, 2008, 11:42 am

Hello

There are two organisations who you may wish to contact who may have befriending schemes. I am sorry I did not mention these before.

One is I think called The Council for Single Parents. The other Gingerbread. They could maybe give you information anyway.

Sometimes there are befriending schemes set up by Community Learning or Volunteer Beaureaux Sorry my spelling is terrible.

I don't see why there can't be a secular call for responsible actions to avoid abortions. It could be done through the media.

After all the religious people wouldn't think abortion was wrong if they really believed in an afterlife.

Some will still slip through the net though.

One of the reasons abortion was made legal was that it was being carried out anyway the legal way might have reduced the number of abortions.

If people's lives are so empty that they get pregnant in order to get a council house then surely we should try to make their lives less empty. I do not know how this can be done. In some ways I think the religions have an edge on us in managing to do this. Religions of course donot work for everyone but if we could encourage love within secularisation as this is often what people need.
There'll be blue birds over
The white cliffs of Dover

Maria Mac
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Re: Abortion

#54 Post by Maria Mac » August 9th, 2008, 12:50 pm

gregory wrote: After all the religious people wouldn't think abortion was wrong if they really believed in an afterlife.
I'm curious about this comment of yours, gregory, and wonder what you mean by it.
One of the reasons abortion was made legal was that it was being carried out anyway the legal way might have reduced the number of abortions.
I think it highly unlikely that anybody predicted making abortion safer and easier to obtain would reduce the number of abortions
If people's lives are so empty that they get pregnant in order to get a council house then surely we should try to make their lives less empty. I do not know how this can be done.
Personally, I don't for a minute believe that people get pregnant to get a council house because their lives are empty. I do think some people choose to have children far too young because they have very narrow horizons and a child and home of their own seems a more attractive prospect than continuing to live with their families.

This has nothing to do with abortion, however.

gregory
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Re: Abortion

#55 Post by gregory » August 9th, 2008, 3:12 pm

What I mean is that the religious claim to believe in an afterlife. they don't really they only say they do.

If there is an afterlife then surely the results of an abortion would go straight to heaven as it would be innocent it would be doing it a favour therefore the people who say they believe in god and an afterlife would encourage abortion as it would speed the entry into heaven.

I personally do not care if women do get council houses after having children but where it fits in with abortion, and I didn't bring up this point myself another contributor mentioned council houses, is that if someone does not have an abortion then if they are pregnant they may of course then have a child therefore they may need a council house. It is possible that the powers that be prefer women to have abortions rather than have to give them council houses in fact I am sure some politicians would. There was quite a lot on this subject in Dundee at one time. Of course in the old days unwanted children were adopted which may be a good idea in one way but does have its problems. Some council houses are horrible of course but during that time of high unemployment in Britain from around 1979 one could not blame a girl or young woman for getting pregnant at least it is something to do. Some women do really like having children of course even women who prefer not to have sex with men which I suppose isn't to do with abortion either but subjects tend to interlink. You may be surprised but there is a feminist group who do not agree with abortion because they think it is a male plot.

However I am all for abortion in certain circumstances but if we can reduce it it might be nice. If you remeber when AIDS was first discovered there were television "adverts" about it well we could do the same to encourage carefulness. Youth workers already do it partly by saying that it isn't compulsory to have a boyfriend or girlfriend and the schools provide condoms in the toilets.

Regarding the powers that be wanting to legalise abortion in order to reduce it do not forget that a woman has to have two doctor's to give her permission which may lead to some women keeping their babies after all. Before they would do it themselves with gin or a knitting needle or go to a chemist or "back street abortionist" It may have been the village wise woman who performed this service at one time with a stick or juniper berries. If you look on the web there may still be some herbal information regarding this I saw it one day a while back it comes from a witchy aspect.

At the moment the law is that women can have abortions in certain circumstances. I have two grand-daughters and I hope they will not need one and that they will be careful and that any pregnancy is wanted. People are only human though and it can be a strain to to carry this out I realise that after a period of celebacy it feels better to give in.
There'll be blue birds over
The white cliffs of Dover

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LilacHamster
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Re: Abortion

#56 Post by LilacHamster » August 10th, 2008, 1:33 pm

Feminists for Life is the group you might be thinking of Gregory,
http://www.feministsforlife.org

They don't exactly say abortion is a male plot, that would be going a bit far, but they do believe that our society has failed to meet the needs of women and they are dedicated to tackling the root causes that drive women to abortion.

Shame they are in the US only and not in the UK, I completely agree with their stance.

Thanks for those ideas of other organisations I can contact, I will certainly follow up on that if I still get a negative reply from CARE. It's a few years since I asked them locally so I emailed their head office because I am pretty sure that their stance on accepting non-Christian befrienders is down to individual groups, and some are more accepting than others.

I think the site about herbal abortions was run by a "Sister Zeus", I remember coming across that in my surfing ages ago.

In the US there is also an Atheist and Agnostic Pro-life site and a Gay and Lesbian Pro-life group, they have lots of atypical pro-life groups across the pond, such a shame that over here in the UK the pro-life groups are mostly so religious, makes it very cliquey and hard to get involved if you are not the same!

gregory
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Re: Abortion

#57 Post by gregory » August 16th, 2008, 10:15 am

Lets hope we can make improvements so that abortion is only used when really necessary.
There'll be blue birds over
The white cliffs of Dover

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jaywhat
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Re: Abortion

#58 Post by jaywhat » August 16th, 2008, 5:11 pm

Who says what is and isn't necessary though?

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gcb01
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Re: Abortion

#59 Post by gcb01 » August 16th, 2008, 5:46 pm

jaywhat wrote:Who says what is and isn't necessary though?
The Abortion police presumably
Regards

Campbell

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LilacHamster
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Re: Abortion

#60 Post by LilacHamster » August 16th, 2008, 8:30 pm

I would consider the foetus as having some rights certainly from the point it is sentient (which might be as early as 6 weeks from conception since brainwaves have been detected that early on). I would want to give it the benefit of the doubt.
Life is all each of us have and all the foetus has, it will have only this one chance at life if we are right about no god and no afterlife, so I would have thought that killing it would be more of a serious issue for non-religious people than for religious people. I've always felt that way since I decided I did not believe in god, it actually made me more prolife than when I had some kind of god-belief. It was not until I started thinking for myself that I became pro-life, even though I know this is not a typical view among humanists.
I do believe in making an exception where the life of the mother is at risk and the only way to save her is abortion, but this is very rare (I don't think all pro-lifers agree with that especially some of the religious men who do not consider the woman and still believe she will go to hell if she aborts).
I know I will be accused here of not considering the woman equally to the foetus but I think it is worse and more cruel to tear it apart when it is a sentient being than to expect the mother to go through a pregnancy, as she still has her life and has the choice to give it up for adoption if she does not want to be a mother.
I do sympathise greatly with women in difficult situations pregnant without support, but I believe that abortion in place of the help they need is also letting them down terribly (see Feminists for Life), and my feeling is that the pro-life religious groups in the UK and the US do not always do enough to be inclusive to non-religious pro-lifers who want to work together to help make that support possible for more women.
I have emailed the O project about the problem I had with CARE as they would like to get religious groups and humanists working together to do good (no reply from the O project and a completely rubbishy reply from CARE head office which did not answer any of my questions, I keep hitting so many brick walls for some reason).

:headbang: @ Caroline Kennedy who totally failed to answer my questions about CARE's nationally defined policy on the matter of whether they will accept non-Christians!

Dear Lesley,

Thank you for your enquiry about volunteering. All our volunteers are trained locally at the pregnancy centres, so you might like to contact your nearest centre and find out if they are running a training course there. Going on a training course doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be able to volunteer, but the centre will be happy to welcome you on the course if you are able to meet all the requirements.

You can find your nearest centre by going onto careconfidential.com and clicking on Find a Centre.

Best wishes,
Caroline Kennedy

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Lesley Dove [mailto:Lesley@vegan4life.org.uk]
Sent: 09 August 2008 11:31
To: Care Confidential
Subject: Question about volunteering as a befriender

I have for many years been interested in becoming a volunteer befriender for women in crisis pregnancy and beyond. I am pro-life and would not approach a pro-abortion-choice organisation as I am not interested in supporting someone in having an abortion, in all conscience I could not do that and they would have to go to someone who did not disagree strongly with abortion for that type of support.

I have approached LIFE asking if I can help but they did not do befriender services the last time I asked although they are non-denominational and would not mind that I am not religious (I don’t know why they do not do befriending as I believe it is very important). At the same time I also approached my nearest Care centre only to find that they would only accept Christians as befrienders. I was devastated by this. They did not know me, had not met me and I felt this was unfair to judge me as unsuitable, not so much unfair to me but to any pregnant women needing support who would not mind a non-Christian befriender, especially if you were short of help and in need of more befrienders.

I would like to know what your current policy is on accepting non-Christian volunteers. I certainly share the Christian respect for all lives involved and am only interested in being involved in a caring organisation that makes women feel less desperate and more supported in unplanned pregnancy so they are less likely to resort to abortion, this is my sole motivation. I feel that there is much common ground between us, if we could put our religious differences aside and see that ethically when it comes to respecting human life we are not so different after all.

With all due respect to your religious faith, I do not understand why my own lack of such a belief should be a barrier to me doing good for others in the way I feel especially drawn to.

I have not given up hope of becoming a befriender yet and would like to know if any of your groups might accept someone who did not share your Christian faith.

Yours sincerely,

Lesley Dove

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LilacHamster
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Re: Abortion

#61 Post by LilacHamster » August 16th, 2008, 9:00 pm

I also feel it is a grave mistake for some humanist groups to attempt to "herd cats" on this issue, as there will always be some who take my view and therefore be put off from getting involved in real humanist matters such as opposing religious privilege and pushing for humanism being presented in schools as well as teaching about religions. (Likewise I would not expect all humanists to be veggie, there are many issues we cannot herd cats on).

I looked at one local humanist group's website and was dismayed to see them take a very hard line on being pro-choice on abortion, as if there was no question about it that all humanists were agreed on this matter. I am told there are no party lines on such issues, so why do they do this? If that was my local humanist group I would feel very unwelcome and would steer clear of them!

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