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A Pagan's Blog


A Possible Solution to many Abortion Issues

posted by Gus diZerega

Many Americans believe abortion is murder.  Bad as I believe their reasoning is, and I believe it’s bad, it’s a fact.  Given that fact, it is difficult to ask them to contribute their tax money for murder – though most of them have no problem asking us to contribute ours for the murderous wars that a majority of them support.  But for the moment that’s another issue.

As I write abortion proponents are using the issue to hold up health reform for everyone.  There is not much reasonable people can do to stop them.  The price of even a small amount of health reform might be to make abortion even more difficult than it is today.  But that might finally force some creative thinking on this issue.  Here’s my contribution.


We who actually respect a woman’s capacity to make these kinds of
choices for herself have a fairly simple solution, but one that I have
never seen discussed.   Create a National Trust to provide abortion and
related funding for women who cannot afford one but need one.  Given
the capabilities of online donations, people could donate not just to a
single fund, but could fine-tune their donations to be in keeping with
their own judgment as to when abortion is acceptable, and at what point
it ceases to be.  I personally would not give to a very late decision
unless the mother’s health was at stake.  Others might.  Some would
only give for procedures very early in pregnancy.  All would be able to help in whatever way they felt was most needed.

For example, there could be a fund that could provide help up to the
end of the first three months, another up to the end of the second, and
so on.  Abortions are not extremely expensive medical procedures, and
something like this would provide considerable assistance to a great
many poor women.

Some national women’s organization would be the logical “philanthropy
entrepreneur.” They already have the national communications network,
computers set up for online donations, and the staff to get it off the
ground.  Perhaps some reader of this blog has connections.



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Richard

posted November 7, 2009 at 1:15 pm


I like that idea. Under the “pro-life” scenario poor women would be denied access to abortion but rich women could still get one. So if we created a fund for those women who can’t afford an abortion but want one it would be extreemely helpful. It would be a win-win for everyone. The pro-lifer’s would have their tax dollars paying for abortions and women who need abortions could get one.
On a side not I totally agree with you that many in the “pro-life” community are total hypocrites. They talk about the “sanctity of life” but that is only for fetus’s. They tend to have no problem with war or capital punishment. I just roll my eyes at them.



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Richard

posted November 7, 2009 at 1:17 pm


I meant to say the pro-lifers WOULDN’T have their tax dollars paying for abortions. My bad



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Elizabeth

posted November 7, 2009 at 3:20 pm


I like it. I’m also impressed that Beliefnet put a link to this on the first page, lately it has only been one viewpoint being shared on the front page. Thank you for the blog!



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Kathy

posted November 7, 2009 at 10:36 pm


I spent the last half of the 90′s working in maternal child public health. Consistently I saw low income women having child after child after child. They could get a free taxicab ride to Planned Parenthood or a physician’s office, and free health care and contraception once they got there. Their partner(s) wouldn’t even have to know. Yet again and again they simply continued to engage in seemingly mindless, unconscious reproduction. Despite having been a lifelong “feminist” I supported Clinton’s initiative to deny additional funds for women on public aid having additional babies. Medical care, yes. Food stamps, yes. Cash, no. Enough is enough.
After two decades in social services, I viewed mindless reproduction as the #1 social problem in the U.S. I still belive it is the problem that would have the biggest “domino effect” in addressing other problems if it were somehow addressed. I would contribute to abortions for victims of rape or incest, but that’s about it.



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Meical abAwen

posted November 8, 2009 at 11:09 am


Well, then, the solution should also address the “seemingly mindless, unconscious reproduction.”
If what you have observed is actually there (not being disrespectful of your observations), then perhaps there should be a partnering means for education for the women and especially for their children. The program would specifically focus on freeing the women and children from the burden of the assumptions that they have no choices and that they as individuals have no value.
Easy to say, hard to do, I know. When do these women and their children have the time and money to go receive the education? Free daycare perhaps with short classes for the women while they and their families are being fed in the evenings? How do you staff something like that?
Trying to teach someone directly, as in “yes, you mean something” might well not work; few people like being lectured. However, these lessons could be embedded into short, frequent lessons of direct use in daily life. “Strict cleanliness in the kitchen will keep everyone more healthy because you DESERVE to be healthy.”
I’m not smart enough to know how to implement something like that. But if the opportunities were available, I’d be willing to volunteer several evenings a week to cook and clean up. I hope that would be something that many of our faith would be willing to do.



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Cheryl Hill

posted November 8, 2009 at 2:44 pm


Back in the day, there were Home Economic classes (Home Ec) that taught us girls the basics of self-care, cleaning a home, washing, ironing, sewing and cooking – including nutrition and how to plan healthy meals around the “four food groups”, properly set a table, storage of food – all the things girls AND boys should know how to do (although they only taught girls back then). We also had special classes on sex education explaining how basic reproduction works, how birth control works and why it’s best to “wait until you’re married” for sex because birth control isn’t perfect and can result in an unwanted pregnancy or an STD. We were also given classes on the basics of child care for when we were married and had children – the importance of prenatal care and vitamins and be sure to see an ob/gyn to monitor your pregnancy and how to lift, carry, bathe, feed and change a young child using very realistic-looking dolls.
Are you telling me that schools don’t teach any of those skills anymore? I learned a LOT from my Mom but even if I hadn’t, my Home Ec classes would have taught me most everything I needed to know.
If those classes have stopped, they need to get them going again! Only this time, teach BOYS TOO!



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Sarenth

posted November 9, 2009 at 4:19 am


Health class is a joke, and Home Economics is about balancing your checkbook, not knowing practical life skills anymore. I know because I took both. The school system doesn’t teach jack anymore, besides what might get you a job, assuming the bottom doesn’t fall out of whatever market you happen to specialize in. As far as Health class went, contraceptives were passed over, with a small lecture on why waiting was better and the virtues of it. No videos, no explanations on actually using birth control, and no mention of it besides “if you have sex you should use a condom or other form of birth control.” No comparison of real-world products, no mentioning that “hey, you may be too big or small to use such-and-such a contraceptive” and so on.
No, education has largely slumped into self-marketing and job training. The lectures in my CCE (Continuing Catholic Education) classes were vastly more informative, with information on how to effectively use condoms and otherwise prevent pregnancy, and proper defense against STDs. The modern school’s treatment of sex, sexuality, personal health, and so on, is completely unhelpful.



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Cheryl Hill

posted November 9, 2009 at 4:29 am


Sarenth, that’s really sad. And it explains a LOT. I’m glad I received an education back when they actually taught kids something.



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kirk

posted November 9, 2009 at 1:42 pm


As you state at the beginning – the reasoning is bad. You cannot reason someone out of a position that they did not reason themselves into.
This is Jihad. Planned Parenthood clinic protests are ideological. Funding from a private trust or from a pot-o-gold at the end of the rainbow would not faze the righteous. Abortion is legal and will most likely stay legal because choice is rational.



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Marian

posted November 9, 2009 at 3:36 pm


How long before there is a technological solution to the abortion problem? I just can’t wait until a fetus can be transplanted from an unwilling woman to a pro-birth woman, and the pro-birth movement can put their wombs where their mouths are.



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Bob

posted November 9, 2009 at 7:34 pm


What I don’t understand, and perhaps someone could enlighten me on this issue (I’m not being at all fictitious here), is why through all of the anti-abortion/pro-abortion rhetoric that is constantly thrown around; no ever mentions another form of “choice”.
What I’m refering to is a “choice” of birth control methods (we do have the benefit of a multitude of them today)or the “choice” to not have sex and abstain.
Now before I get branded as a bible-thumping pro-lifer, let me say that I do follow a Pagan belief system, have been engaging in pre-marital sex since I was 16 (I’m now 38), and am very liberal, both politically and socially, when it comes to sex (and yes, I am heterosexual) Throughout all of this I have always, aside from a few years while I was married, as a “choice” practiced birth control.
I’m sorry my friends, but with all of the knowledge we now have of the human reproductive system and how it works; and all of the methods of birth control at our disposal, there is in my mind, only two reasons for unwanted pregnancies: plain ignorance (but today even 7 years olds know where babies come from) or irresponsibility.
Now I know that there is someone out there saying to themselves “Yeah, but what about….?” I realize that there will always be that minority of cases where it doesn’t work. Then double up! This might to TMI, but there was a point in my life, while I was in college and most definitely did not want a “surprise”, that my girlfriend was on the pill AND I also used condoms. Made sense to me.
Now once again, I’m not a pro-lifer. I do support abortion, as a choice in events of rape, medical necessity, and so forth; but I find the whole idea of aborting an innocent child ( and I do believe it is a child, though not fully functional) repugnant.
So, from a Humanistic standpoint, I don’t favor abortion. That being said, as someone who has spent a good portion of his adult life teaching and studying history and the social sciences; I know from my studies that like drugs, like pornography, like gambling, etc; if you make it illegal, all you succeed in doing is driving underground. If you keep it legal, at least you can regulate it. So, although I disagree with the practice on moral grounds, I think keeping it legal and controlled is, for now, our best option.
But back to my original question: Why can’t we take steps BEFORE a pregnancy occurs to curb needed abortions. As the saying goes “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”
Thanks for reading, and I’d appreciate any responses.



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Sarenth

posted November 10, 2009 at 2:05 am


Saying that the information out there does nothing for kids who have no access to it, though. About 25% of 11 year olds have a consensual sexual experience now. With this being more common, telling kids at an earlier age about sex and sexual congress of any kind is even more important for schools to engage in because parents don’t, or won’t, or when they do throw bullshit like abstinence-only at them. This, when the statistics show that abstinence-only education doesn’t work.
“We” in the proverbial sense of the word, in regards to Paganism and my experience and conversation with people in the community is that the community has a far more healthy and health-conscious way of relating to sex than most other walks of faith. We raise them healthy in sexual education by being forward and honest about sex, sexual education and raising our children not to revile their bodies, but to treat them as sacred, because they themselves deserve that treatment.
It begins with the parents, guardians, school, religion, etc., and ends in the individual’s, a child or not, choice. If you do not give an individual the necessary information to make an informed choice, if you do not give the individual the support structure with which to make a good, informed choice such as using contraceptives, even with the pill, then they will not because they are either cowed by their family, religion, society, or sheer ignorance. The ignorance displayed by people is not because they ignore the science or ignore the education…its because our society does a pathetic job of teaching them anything worthwhile that works long or short-term.
Again, about 25% of kids age 11 have had a consensual sexual experience. When I went to school, you had a single sex education around age 12, and you took health class sometime in your sophomore, junior, or senior year of high school. None of this was practical advice; nothing like showing you how to use a condom, or that you even SHOULD, or use a diaphram or a dental dam, etc. Nothing.
When parents, society, the religion, and any other important factors in the growth and development of an individual do not contribute to healthy respect for sex, sexual experience, or the prevention of pregnancy, but sweep it under the rug and say “Not my problem”, the problem is perpetuated. Yes, at some point a person NEEDS to take personal responsibility…but we should also understand that we don’t have the systems in much of our society set up that teaches even that much anymore.



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Earthwalker

posted November 11, 2009 at 2:22 pm


I have difficulty with this notion that it is “difficult to ask [anti-abortionists/pro-lifers] to contribute their tax money for murder” when each and every one of us pays tax dollars that go towards things that we would just as soon not support. The same case can be said of money that goes to states with the death penalty, or other programs a given individual might disagree with but that other individuals find value in. Shouldn’t this be a simple matter of: you live in America, you pay taxes for various services regardless of whether or not you personally use them or see them as necessary, so just deal with it?



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Earthwalker

posted November 11, 2009 at 2:22 pm


I have difficulty with this notion that it is “difficult to ask [anti-abortionists/pro-lifers] to contribute their tax money for murder” when each and every one of us pays tax dollars that go towards things that we would just as soon not support. The same case can be said of money that goes to states with the death penalty, or other programs a given individual might disagree with but that other individuals find value in. Shouldn’t this be a simple matter of: you live in America, you pay taxes for various services regardless of whether or not you personally use them or see them as necessary, so just deal with it?



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Cassaundra

posted November 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm


Kathy,
I truly hope, for the sake of the people that you were supposed to be serving, that you have entirely left the field of Social Work. your racist, sexist, classist patronising attitude borders on abusiveness. If you hate the people you work for as much as you clearly hate the women you describe, how can you possibly hope to empower and free them. Shameful, truly shameful, and proof of why social workers should really do some serious self-analysis, as individuals and as a profession.



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Thedes

posted November 14, 2009 at 5:20 pm


This issue is never, ever going to go away. If you believe abortion is ‘murder’ then don’t have one. Even if it means saving your life. Die in your religious glory and take the embryo/fetus with you. Since “god” aborts nearly 50% of all conceptions in the first eight weeks I’m sure ‘he’ really won’t have an opinion on the subject one way or the other.
I’m 64 years old. I’ve had six pregnancies. Two resulted in two living children. I’ve had an ectopic pregnancy, a spontaneous miscarriage and two safe legal abortions and no, I don’t live in guilt or regret because I don’t believe the soul attaches to the body until the first breath. So I guess you could say I’ve been through just about every pregnancy related experience possible. I have a nursing background as well. The last 10 years of my career I worked in a NICU. I’ve seen the very premature to the grossly deformed. I’ve wept with grieving mothers/parents and rejoiced when they took their babies home. Some with life long disabilities which too often resulted in divorce because of the financial and mental strain. I was there in the bad, old pre-Rove V. Wade era when women either had to jump through hoops to get a safe legal abortion or resort to more horrible techniques like inserting a sharpened pencil into their cervix with the resulting massive infection and yes, death of the fetus. I’ll never forget a police officer coming into the woman’s room to interview her for her ‘crime’. I thought to myself “what a waste of police time” and became even a more staunch supporter of women’s right to privacy and choice.
Those who proclaim they are so ‘pro-life’ have a bad tendency to also support the weapons industry which kills millions including pregnant women yet are against social services which help the poor and needy. They proudly vote against single payer healthcare which would reduce the burden of trying to provide health coverage to the working poor. These are the same people who think it’s good for children to live in abusive homes and decry welfare but have no problem ponying up millions in taxpayer dollars to put one criminal through the legal system and then spend millions more to get them to the lethal injection room.
Making abortion illegal or nearly impossible (hey, just keep killing doctors who provide abortion services and that will accomplish the goal)won’t stop it from happening. The wealthy will always have access to a safe, legal abortion but it’s those who make less than a living wage who will suffer the most. These women will resort to self-inflicted abortions or turn to those who have little skill. Apparently we are a society that’s strong on punishment and weak on good sense and compassion.
I’ve thought long and hard about this subject and think I’ve come up with several means of greatly reducing the need for abortions:
1. Have a single payer health care system. This would relieve the burden of expensive and ever increasing insurance costs, especially on families who make less than $75,000 per year.
2. Instead of minimum wage pass a law that would provide a living wage. Many women have abortions because they simply can’t afford to have another child.
3. Teach every child over the age of 10 all about their bodies, how they work and how birth control works. Don’t allow pharmacists to refuse to give women their birth control meds. If it bothers their so called conscientious then they can find work elsewhere.
4. Give parents increased deductions for childcare costs. Why do we give billions to the Wall St. gamblers but inspite of our insistence we are so pro-family, make it so difficult for parents to find good, affordable child care. Why do we think that paying childcare providers such crap wages is going to provide good quality services? We should treat childcare providers with the same respect we give teachers or nurses.
If we could institute these four points America would see a great reduction in the need for abortion.



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Watchman48

posted February 22, 2010 at 8:27 pm


Many claim that abortion is a legal matter and many claim it is a religionist matter… So why don’t we look at some true facts to make a decision on this issue.
If there is a validated pregnancy:
#1. It is life at the moment of conception, to think otherwise you would have to be a complete nut or you have absolutely not concept of biology…
#2 There was life in the sperm at the moment of the conception. Life begets life… again; you have no concept of biology if you think otherwise.
#3. No other parts are added… but nourishment after the moment of conception. Exception to this is maybe medicine, but again I say no more parts to build this child.
#4. The DNA is established at the moment of conception.
#5. The DNA is not the same as the Father’s nor Mother’s, therefore the baby is not the body of the Mother, but it is only connected for a time for nourishment and a growth period.
There are five points that science can not deny and that is not considering the Bible’ points… And now for just a few points from God’s Word
The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2:7
You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you. Nehemiah 9:6
In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. Job 12:10
The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Job 33:4
But God will redeem my life from the grave; he will surely take me to himself. Selah Psalm 49:15
Life is a gift from God and to look at it any other ways then you are not only lying to yourself, but your lying to God.



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Watchman48

posted February 22, 2010 at 8:34 pm


Oh, yes! Abortion in God’s eyes is nothing less then murder…. This is made clear in the Bible for those who are interested in the truth.



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Gus diZerega

posted February 22, 2010 at 10:37 pm


Watchman-
It is pretty obvious you did not try and deal with my argument – I have come to expect that from Christians of your type. They believe they KNOW what God intended based on their personal interpretations of scripture without paying attention to alternate interpretations, other parts of scripture that suggest quite different meanings, simple logic, or their obligation to try and deal honestly with other’s arguments.
In other words, they take themselves out of the realm of civilized discourse and demand we agree with them because they feel strongly about the matter.
I outgrew that around the age of 4. I hope you do eventually.
Not child of God, simply childish.



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