Showing posts with label abortion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label abortion. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

The Danger of "Forgive and Forget"

Watch this powerful series to see what happens when "forgive and forget" victimizes the victims, and allows a culture of abuse to thrive in the dark.

In Brazil, the rapist of a 9-year old girl who became pregnant with twins remains a member of the Catholic Church while the girl's mother (and the doctors who preformed a life-saving abortion), were excommunicated. The girl escaped excommunication only because she is still a child in the eyes of Church authorities. 

In Portland, Oregon, a woman is suing the Apostolic Faith Church for abuse she suffered as a child, saying she wants to hold the church accountable for looking the other way and ignoring her pleas for help.

"I realized that one way to help a lot of the friends that I knew in this church that were also victims was to come forward and let them see my face and show them that I’m not scared to let people know what was done to me," she said. 

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Best Way to Reduce Abortion

Initially I wrote this as a response to Cvow, who (like many of you, dear readers), believes that abortion is wrong in all circumstances because life begins at conception. Although I am prochoice, I think this view is logically consistent given its premises. And I'd like to thank Cvow for being candid and calm in expressing his views.

With all respect to you guys, as a woman of child-bearing age, my views are not merely academic: at any point, it could be me in the moral crosshairs. (Later, I'll tell you what two friends just decided.)

Let's agree, for the sake of argument, that all abortion is immoral because life begins at conception. We'll leave aside for now just how that is determined, but accept the fact that a good 30% of these conceived lives self-abort, i.e. miscarry. (If we were being consistent, we might want to limit human reproduction to nonsmoking, non-coffee-drinking young women, and neuter men over age 35 as they are risk factors for miscarriage).

But onward: what is the best way to reduce abortion?

Three options: make it unnecessary, unavailable, or illegal.

Is the first method effective? We know that women continue to have abortions in countries where it is illegal, under conditions that often result in terrible tragedy. Some 70,000 women a year DIE from unsafe abortions. Others suffer grave injuries, including infection, hemorrhaging, and infertility. This hurts women, their families, and whole communities, but it does very little to reduce abortion.

Making abortion less available is happening right now in the U.S., and it does work to reduce the number of abortions -- among the poor and the very young, who are least likely to afford daycare or healthcare. The baby is substantially more vulnerable to violence, poverty, disease and abandonment. I respect the anti-abortion activists who adopt such children, but there will never be enough of these adopters to stop the cycle. Except in those rare cases, this option is not ethical, as it treats the unborn life with higher value than the born life.

How can we make abortion less necessary?

The first way is to reduce unintended pregnancies (half of all pregnancies in this country are unintended, and, of those, half end in abortion). Prevention includes adequate sex education (abstinence-only doesn't work), contraception (cheap or free, like Viagra), and safety from sexual violence.

In spite of the above, there will always be some unintended pregnancies. I can't emphasize enough that the best way to reduce abortion in this case is to ensure that the mother has the means to have and raise a child in health and safety.

One of most common reasons women choose abortion is because they can't afford a(nother) child. How are we doing as a country to ensure that ALL women have education and career opportunities, healthcare, childcare, housing, and services for disabled children?

Personal aside: two of my friends are now well into unplanned pregnancies (birth control is not 100% reliable). They have previous children, are in committed marriages, and have stable (well, until last week) incomes. These women are prochoice for all women, while against abortion for themselves. They are also, given the current economic crisis, deeply concerned about how their expanded families will make ends meet.

Imagine how many women of less fortunate circumstances are weighing their options. How can we best help them come down on the side of bearing the child?

Both of my friends are supporting Obama in this election. Like them, I think that Obama's priorities and policies will go further in preventing abortions than McCain's.