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Hard Talk Abortion Legalized In Ireland - My Views

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Hard Talk Abortion Legalized In Ireland - My Views

Inderjeet Kaur

Writer
SPNer
Oct 13, 2011
871
1,766
Seattle, Washington, USA
Ireland votes by landslide to legalise abortion

This is not an easy topic, but it is an important one. I first need to make it clear that I am not talking about medically necessary abortions where the mother’s life is in danger. I consider that to be a matter of self-defense, something outside of normal morality, a matter solely between the woman and her doctor. Savita Halappanavar, the Indian woman who died because she was denied a therapeutic abortion in Ireland in 2012 until it was too late, should not have died. [ 1] The doctors were aware that there was no chance that she could successfully complete her pregnancy and give birth to a living baby. “ Medical staff concluded that a miscarriage was inevitable but did not intervene – despite requests from Halappanavar and her husband for an abortion – as a foetal heartbeat could be detected. “[2] I see nothing moral or life-affirming in her death.

I will not use the terms pro-choice and pro-life because both are prejudicial and misleading. The phrase “a woman’s right to choose” shouldn’t be only about abortion. It applies to all aspects of life. For example, when I was a child, I was told I couldn’t choose to be an astronaut because I had a vagina and the qualifications to be an astronaut stipulated that only those humans with a {censored} were qualified. Likewise, using the term pro-life to mean supporting life only in the womb, is hypocritical, at best. I don’t see how a person who would deny necessary medical care to a sick person could rightfully be called pro-life.

**************************************************************************************

My statement: After much deep thought I have come to the conclusion that abortion performed when not medically necessary kills an innocent human being and, as such, is morally wrong. However, this is morally a gray area since whether the being in the womb is a human being or not is open to question and is a matter of opinion. I do not believe I have the right to impose my moral beliefs on others. Therefore, while I cannot support abortion-on-demand being legal, neither can I support it being illegal. I must sit this one out and let you fight it out amongst yourselves. I choose my battles carefully and, since this one cannot be won, I bow out of it. I hope this doesn’t make me a moral coward, but if it does, so be it.

I need also add that, while I have never had an abortion, many of my friends have. They did what was necessary to them at the time. Who am I to pass judgement on them?

***********************************************************************************

Until about 1972, I, like”all” progressive women at the time, was clamoring for “a woman’s right to control her own body.” That’s hard to argue with. The answer here hinges on whether the fetus is part of her body or a separate person living there for a while.

[Since I have used the word”fetus, a dictionary definition is necessary, so we are all giving the same meaning to the word.

“Fetus: an unborn or unhatched offspring of a mammal, in particular, an unborn human more than eight weeks after conception. (Oxford Dictionaries)” [3]
Now those two events...

  1. First event. I knew a doctor, a politically extremely liberal man, who on this topic in answer to my question about where he stood, replied, “I am a doctor. I took an oath to preserve life, not to take it.”
  2. Second event. In an anti-Vietnam War protest, our side, the Good Guys, were shouting “baby killer” at some returning soldiers from that not-exactly-a-war. This caused some cognitive dissonance [4] in me because I couldn’t get my mind around the idea that abortion was not killing a baby and yet I was so much in favor of equal rights for women and everybody around me agreed that those included the right to abortion-on-demand.

One day, I was with a group of feminists and let fall the statement that”abortion is sad.” That was enough to get me completely ostracized from that movement that, before Roe v. Wade [5], which made abortion-on-demand legal throughout the USA, considered abortion the Holy Grail of equal rights.

Those two events made me think about abortion in a way I hadn’t before. In the end, I came to the conclusion stated above. Yes, a fetus is a baby to me, but not too many other people. There is no way I can resolve this in my own mind, so I leave this very important battle to those less torn.

Since I am a Sikh, you might wonder what the Sikh religion teaches about abortion. The truth is that it doesn’t directly teach anything. In this, as in many other areas, we are given a philosophical religion and a way of life, then we are supposed to be thoroughly educated and grounded in it and then follow our own conscience. I have followed 14 leads and have come to this conclusion: Sikhi teaches love of the Creator and tremendous respect for life. Given that, I think most Sikhs would agree with what I have written, and please feel free to post disagreement with me.

Whether for or opposed to abortion, I think most people would agree that abortion, even when necessary, is sad. One outcome that is always true is that there is a dead baby or a dead nascent human.
****************

NOTES

[1 ]https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/apr/08/abortion-refusal-death-ireland-hindu-woman

[2]https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/26/savita-halappanavar-father-thanks-irish-voters-for-historic-abortion-vote

[3] https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/fetus

[4] the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.

[5] Roe v. Wade - Jan 22, 1973 - HISTORY.com
 

RicktheSikh

Writer
SPNer
May 19, 2018
74
33
43
This is not an easy topic, but it is an important one. I first need to make it clear that I am not talking about medically necessary abortions where the mother’s life is in danger. I consider that to be a matter of self-defense, something outside of normal morality, a matter solely between the woman and her doctor. Savita Halappanavar, the Indian woman who died because she was denied a therapeutic abortion in Ireland in 2012 until it was too late, should not have died. [ 1] The doctors were aware that there was no chance that she could successfully complete her pregnancy and give birth to a living baby. “ Medical staff concluded that a miscarriage was inevitable but did not intervene – despite requests from Halappanavar and her husband for an abortion – as a foetal heartbeat could be detected. “[2] I see nothing moral or life-affirming in her death.

I will not use the terms pro-choice and pro-life because both are prejudicial and misleading. The phrase “a woman’s right to choose” shouldn’t be only about abortion. It applies to all aspects of life. For example, when I was a child, I was told I couldn’t choose to be an astronaut because I had a vagina and the qualifications to be an astronaut stipulated that only those humans with a {censored} were qualified. Likewise, using the term pro-life to mean supporting life only in the womb, is hypocritical, at best. I don’t see how a person who would deny necessary Therefore, while I cannot support abortion-on-demand being legal, neither can I support it being illegal. I must sit this one out and let you fight it out amongst yourselves. I choose my battles carefully and, since this one cannot be won, I bow out of it. I hope this doesn’t make me a moral coward, but if it does, so be it.

I need also add that, while I have never had an abortion, many of my friends have. They did what was necessary to them at the time. Who am I to pass judgement on them?

***********************************************************************************

Until about 1972, I, like”all” progressive women at the time, was clamoring for “a woman’s right to control her own body.” That’s hard to argue with. The answer here hinges on whether the fetus is part of her body or a separate person living there for a while.

[Since I have used the word”fetus, a dictionary definition is necessary, so we are all giving the same meaning to the word.

“Fetus: an unborn or unhatched offspring of a mammal, in particular, an unborn human more than eight weeks after conception. (Oxford Dictionaries)” [3]
Now those two events...

  1. First event. I knew a doctor, a politically extremely liberal man, who on this topic in answer to my question about where he stood, replied, “I am a doctor. I took an oath to preserve life, not to take it.”
  2. Second event. In an anti-Vietnam War protest, our side, the Good Guys, were shouting “baby killer” at some returning soldiers from that not-exactly-a-war. This caused some cognitive dissonance [4] in me because I couldn’t get my mind around the idea that abortion was not killing a baby and yet I was so much in favor of equal rights for women and everybody around me agreed that those included the right to abortion-on-demand.

One day, I was with a group of feminists and let fall the statement that”abortion is sad.” That was enough to get me completely ostracized from that movement that, before Roe v. Wade [5], which made abortion-on-demand legal throughout the USA, considered abortion the Holy Grail of equal rights.

Those two events made me think about abortion in a way I hadn’t before. In the end, I came to the conclusion stated above. Yes, a fetus is a baby to me, but not too many other people. There is no way I can resolve this in my own mind, so I leave this very important battle to those less torn.

Since I am a Sikh, you might wonder what the Sikh religion teaches about abortion. The truth is that it doesn’t directly teach anything. In this, as in many other areas, we are given a philosophical religion and a way of life, then we are supposed to be thoroughly educated and grounded in it and then follow our own conscience. I have followed 14 leads and have come to this conclusion: Sikhi teaches love of the Creator and tremendous respect for life. Given that, I think most Sikhs would agree with what I have written, and please feel free to post disagreement with me.

Whether for or opposed to abortion, I think most people would agree that abortion, even when necessary, is sad. One outcome that is always true is that there is a dead baby or a dead nascent human.
****************

NOTES

[1 ]https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/apr/08/abortion-refusal-death-ireland-hindu-woman

[2]https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/26/savita-halappanavar-father-thanks-irish-voters-for-historic-abortion-vote

[3] https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/fetus

[4] the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.

[5] Roe v. Wade - Jan 22, 1973 - HISTORY.com
Like you, I cannot support it being illegal but I am more ready to say that I support it being legal. Abortion is an unfortunate event, no matter how it comes to pass. It ends a human life. But the fact is that abortion exists and making it illegal will never make it unexist. It is a sometimes medically necessary surgical procedure (dilation and curettage/dilation and evacuation) that isn't just used for abortion (it is also used for removal of abnormal tissue in the uterus) that every gynecological surgeon must learn. With so many qualified practitioners out there abortions will still occur even if illegal, only in an unregulated setting. As this lack of oversight could jeopardize the woman's health and safety, I feel I have no choice but to support it being legal. The reasons for the performance of this surgical procedure are protected health information which no one has a right to know except the patient and her doctor so this shouldn't even be debated in my opinion. If the question was whether or not private health insurance companies had the obligation to cover the procedure for elective reasons I would say no. I also don't think a publicly funded government health care system would have the obligation to fund the procedure if performed electively. But it should be legal. It exists, so it must be allowed to be performed under proper oversight. Prohibition of anything does not solve the problem, it only criminalizes the problem.
 

Inderjeet Kaur

Writer
SPNer
Oct 13, 2011
871
1,766
Seattle, Washington, USA
Like you, I cannot support it being illegal but I am more ready to say that I support it being legal. Abortion is an unfortunate event, no matter how it comes to pass. It ends a human life. But the fact is that abortion exists and making it illegal will never make it unexist. It is a sometimes medically necessary surgical procedure (dilation and curettage/dilation and evacuation) that isn't just used for abortion (it is also used for removal of abnormal tissue in the uterus) that every gynecological surgeon must learn. With so many qualified practitioners out there abortions will still occur even if illegal, only in an unregulated setting. As this lack of oversight could jeopardize the woman's health and safety, I feel I have no choice but to support it being legal. The reasons for the performance of this surgical procedure are protected health information which no one has a right to know except the patient and her doctor so this shouldn't even be debated in my opinion. If the question was whether or not private health insurance companies had the obligation to cover the procedure for elective reasons I would say no. I also don't think a publicly funded government health care system would have the obligation to fund the procedure if performed electively. But it should be legal. It exists, so it must be allowed to be performed under proper oversight. Prohibition of anything does not solve the problem, it only criminalizes the problem.
As I said, I have no problem with therapeutic, medically necessary abortions; I regard that as self-defense. It should be treated as any other medically necessary procedure is.

I have a couple more concerns.

Ideally, a baby should be regarded as a blessing, never a punishment, as has often been the case in the past, when an unmarried mother was considered a disgrace even in the West, while in India, izzat would probably demand her death. Things have changed in the West and now being an unmarried mother is widely accepted. Not so in India.

Should a woman be forced to bear a child she doesn't want? Putting aside the morality of the mother, which is better for the child, not to be born or to be unwanted? I have a poignant story about this.

True story: in 1958 an unmarried, divorced woman in the USA got pregnant and tried to get a legal abortion because she didn't want the baby. Her request was denied and the baby was born. She was adopted and raised knowing she was adopted but not knowing her birth family. I had occasion to talk to her and ask her her views on abortion. Her reply was, "If abortion had been legal, I almost certainly wouldn't exist. How could I not be against it?"​

That is just one person and one opinion, but I think it speaks volumes. I know the birth mother. and the daughter was 100% correct. If abortion were legal, she wouldn't exist.

An unexpected side effect of legalized abortion in India and China is gender-determined abortion. Since, in both cultures, boys are much preferred over girls, many girl-children were and are still killed before birth.

I must add, to my great shame, this has been very common amongst Sikhs. Destroying the women is suicidal for any group, especially for small minorities, such as Sikhs. As Guru Nanak wrote in the SGGS, "Without woman, there would be no one at all." p. 473 This practice is illegal in India but is still widely practised. To my great horror, it is also practised, although in a lesser degree within the Sikh diaspora.

My last comment here is a semantic-legal-political statement. As I sense from you, I much prefer decriminalization over legalization. The less the government meddles in our private lives the better. Let the government do what it is good at, such as building roads and dams, and otherwise leave the rest of us alone. (We can discuss this in another thread, if you like, but let's keep this one on abortion.)
 

Ishna

Enthusiast
Writer
SPNer
May 9, 2006
3,246
5,184
Yes, I agree with you @Inderjeet Kaur insofar as abortion is a sad thing.

I am glad, though, for women to have the choice, and I do think it should be affordable to the poor, like other forms of basic healthcare. The idea of only the wealthy being able to access abortions doesn't sit well with me, when poor people can be some of the most at-risk of unexpected (or dare I say, unwanted) pregnancy. The idea of a drug addicted mother being able to abort a child conceived under poor circumstances (perhaps even rape) seems to me preferable for the potential child's sake.

Regarding the situation of people aborting pregnancies due to the sex of their child, I understand some programs exist that prevent social groups at high risk of this behaviour from obtaining confirmation of the sex before the birth. At any rate, this is the wrong end of the problem. This problem needs to be addressed before conception even occurs - through education and social programs.

A personal story of my own is that a male friend of mine told me how upset he was when he was a teenager (of legal age) and his girlfriend at the time, also a teenager (they were both still in school) became pregnant by him. There was no question, the girlfriend got an abortion without consulting my male friend, who when he was upset, was told by her that he had no right to be upset, because it was her body, not his. But in his mind, the child conceived was just as much his child as hers. So, that is also a sad thing.
 

sukhsingh

Writer
SPNer
Aug 14, 2012
731
213
43
UK
" It is up to the individual.. End of"...what? Is this your opinion, the teaching of Sikhi, or you do just want to conclude your role in this conversation?
If the woman wants to have a abortion it's her call. That is my opinion. I don't believe sikhi has a opinion for the panth to judge
 

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