Ironically if I were to come down on a side it would be anti-abortion, but I firmly believe that if a woman doesn’t feel she can have a baby then she should not be forced to do so. I personally could never have an abortion because of the moral ambiguity but women will do it whether it is legal or not and if they are that afraid and desperate than it does no one any good to force pregnancy on them. No one should be forced into parenthood. It is too great a responsibility. And for those women generous enough to have the children and give them up for adoption, I think they are amazing. And rare.
To address hopeandaplan’s judgement issue, I feel it is appropriate to fight and even have anger toward people who want to force their beliefs on others. Whether they want to control a woman’s womb, suicide bomb people of other religions or throw Jews in ovens. Anyone who feels they have a hot-line to God’s will is dangerous. As I said, I don’t advocate abortion and on a personal level could never do it, however that issue is far too complex and personal for any religion or legislation to dictate a broad stroke approach to. Same sex marriage is another issue that makes me insanely angry. It is a fundamental human right for adult human beings to seek out a partner and make a family with that person, whatever their sexual orientation. And it pisses me off that anyone feels they have the right to take away someone else’s happiness because of some “religious” belief. Here’s my religious belief, God/Goddess made all of us and we have no business deciding which people get to have the right to have a family. All I can say about a God who creates gay people and then smites them is, he doesn’t sound much like God. My God is not a jealous, judgmental, perverted sadist who creates people so he can torture them later by disavowing their nature and advocating their treatment as a second class citizens. If that’s God then who’d want to hang out with Him in the afterworld? He’d be one cold, mean spirited creator.
I know a lot of people site the bible to prop up their homophobia but the bible was written by human beings and many of their beliefs were primitive. Jesus came along to let his people know they had the wrong picture of God. God is a loving, accepting God. He advocated non-judgement of others. But that message seems to have gotten lost in the last wave of Evangelical zealotry. I bring gay marriage as another example of a religious group taking away fundmental human rights. Some day history will look back at this (if we survive our own stupidity) and see this as another human rights atrocity.
To get back to some of the questions such as: whether we pick our parents or not. I’ve thought long and hard about that for most of my life. And I’ve read several books on documented cases of people (or children really) who come into this world remembering in great detail their previous family. Often these kids died prematurely in their past life and were born into their new life with birth marks where the unnatural trauma site was from the previous life, the one that killed them. In pictures of both their previous selves and their new selves they have an uncanny resemblance and wear their bodies in the same way. These kids often insist on going back to the village and family they left behind, so much so that their new family eventually abides and it turns out that they show their new family the way to the village and go right to the door of their old home and know everyone’s name and remember their former selve’s likes and even recognize things that were once theirs in the home. I bring this up to illustrate how complex reincarnation is and over the years it has become my belief that our souls are meant to incarnate during a period of time to connect with people we have karma with and to accomplish our spiritual missions. Our parents sometimes may have karma with us, but not always, sometimes I think it’s a matter of timing and the right genetics that a soul gets fitted into a family. From the research I’ve seen on actual documented cases of reincarnation, it seems more often than not our parents are the best match at the time for the souls needs (in terms of genetics, time and place). Otherwise if we truly did pick our parents this would not account for free will and would point to a universe in which everything was more fate based than free will based. By that I mean it would require certain people to mate and certain times. And if this place is a school house free will is essential to our growth. This would also account for children born to abusive parents or parents who murder their own children, which sadly accounts for the vast majority of murders of children and most of the people who murder their children are women. So back to the issue of abortion. Was it moral for Andre Yates and her husband to keep having children despite the fact that she was becoming more and more psychotic with each pregnancy? And told by doctors that she shouldn’t have more children as it would push her to extreme psychotic states that could potentially lead to a psychotic break and the murder of her children? Andrea Yates had been in and out of mental hospitals and doctors had urged the couple not to have more children as the hormonal imbalance and extreme postpartum was extremely dangerous. Yet because of their religion they decided to just keep having babies and have someone from the family on constant vigil. It was during the changing of their guard that Andrea went nuts and murdered all three of her kids.
As someone who survived child abuse, I can tell you most of my childhood I lived in fear of being murdered. I’m not being hyperbolic. And I have seen the damage it did to me and my brother and two half sisters who were lucky enough to have a different mother but still suffered as well despite being much older. I can see the damage in all of us. In my case it probably enhanced my psychic ability which is also genetic on both sides, but I would gladly have traded it for a normal family life.
So to answer the student, I would say that if a child is going to be born into this world as a punching bag, then yes, I think abortion is a better way out. Because I believe that soul will find another way to come through. My mother had 4 abortions, 3 from my father, 2 between my brother and I, and one after my brother. And another abortion when she was in her 50s by her boyfriend (my father was long dead by then). She told me about the abortions when I was about 11. At first I was very angry at her because I felt like she had murdered my brothers and sisters. But then after awhile I felt they were lucky. They had some how escaped the nightly drunken beatings, the moods that turned on a dime, and some things too horrible and dark to talk about. Some too painful to even fully remember. My mother wasn’t a young woman when she had the abortions, in her 30s and the late one in her early 50s. She had no excuse in my opinion. Why not use birth control? I have no idea. And I think it illustrates how little she cared about my brother and I. I often wondered why she had us at all after hearing about all the abortions. But I figured it was like everything else in her life, some sort of salve or bargaining chip to get what she wanted not because she had any desire to give love to another human being and nurture them unconditionally.
So again, I don’t advocate abortion at all and I understand people feeling it is morally repugnant, but I also understand what it is like to be a child afraid of a parent and I’m not sure that is any way for a child to live. This issue again is far too complicated and nuanced for anyone to paint with a broad brush. It is not for those outside the situation to judge which is why I only advocate staying out of this personal issue. And allowing those who have to make those decisions to do so. Maybe for some it is the lesser of two evils. And certainly if someone is raped or their life is in danger due to pregnancy then that is also another set of circumstances.
At the turn of the last century 30% of women died in childbirth and before the invention of the c-section the statistics were even higher. I know a lot of people think it’s natural and don’t even want to go to a hospital, but in reality it is still very dangerous and many women end up in comas or victims of very debilatating strokes. I worked with a doula after I gave birth due to all my health complications and she told me in the orthodox Jewish community there were a lot of women who ended up in comas or who had such bad strokes they were completely unfunctional. This is because of their belief that the woman has to have the child naturally. So women still die in childbirth or come very close. This is another reason the issue is not so cut and dried.
The anger I expressed in the previous posts was over people who to put it generously are not informed about all sides of this topic and feel the desire to insert themselves into the personal decisions of other people. Again I do understand the anger over abortion in many ways because we are talking about a potential human life here and as a parent of a baby girl the idea makes me sick to think about. But if someone uses abortion as birth control they are mentally ill. And personally coming from a mother who seemed to do that, I can say without compunction my soul would have been better off incarnating through someone who was mentally stable. Having an abusive mother may have given me insight and compassion, or it may have given me nothing at all, except deep pain. I’ll never know, but I suspect the latter.
And one more statistic I wanted to drop in was; people who come from abusive childhoods die much earlier and have many more health complications and problems throughout their lives. This is based on empirical research and data. I know personally that I spent most of my childhood being sick and a lot of my adult life as well. I think it’s from a subconscious desire to die. When you love someone (like your mother) so much and so unconditionally, and they physically and verbally abuse you constantly and consistently, it is extremely stressful and heartbreaking. And everyone knows now, stress and heartbreak literally can kill you.
Best wishes and many blessings, Denise