The Masque of Abortion

Okay, look, folks.  If you’re gonna have a conversation about abortion, that’s fine—brawl away.  To me, however, clearly it is a hot issue and a divisive one—people suffer for it, and people make each other suffer for it.  Purely on THAT basis, it seems to me there is resolution of some sort needed.  The problem with this is that abortion is not just one issue.  It is something that intersects with just about every other human venue there is, and painfully so, because it exposes the ugly underside of a lot of our cherished illusions about how life is supposed to be and how humans are supposed to act—indeed, it raises questions about who we essentially are, and who we have been. Self-identity is in question.  Dunt da dunt dunt!!

AND!!  If you’re gonna have a conversation (brawl) about abortion, then you cannot in good conscience, not to mention common sense, leave anyone out of the discussion.  You can’t disqualify any voice right out of the gate.  Doing so defeats the purpose of sorting through everything to find what the questions are and foment answers, because you have already excluded a population that suffers for this issue same as everyone else, so their take on it won’t get any attention (hence the problems are NOT resolved), and you deny yourself any resources those excluded voices might otherwise offer for resolution.

Howsoever you put your world together, so be it.  I will try to hear you, and I will encourage others to do the same.  We’re all human here, eh?

So, what I want to do here is simply come up with a list of all the things that need to be considered regarding the subject of abortion.

Who, what, where, when, why and that.

I am totally and completely flying by the seat of my pants here.  I don’t have any answers, I’m not any more sure than anyone else exactly what all the questions are or how exactly they interact, all I have are a few analytical tools in my tool box that might help clarify stuff here and there—and…a very strong love for you all, and a rather debilitating, at times, concern for the suffering that occurs within the milieu of abortion, as well as outside that milieu, i.e., what it indicates about the world we have constructed for ourselves and in which we live.

That last phrase in the paragraph above is already an opinion (mine, to be precise).  But, we have to start somewhere, right?  Or I do, anyway.  I suck at trying to solve knotty problems by swallowing the whole pig all at once.

So, here’s a starting question:  what circumstances (personal, social, political, economic, spiritual, intellectual, physical, etc.) contribute to a woman finding herself in the position of being faced with a decision whether or not to have an abortion?

All people are welcome to contribute.  I am ABSOLUTELY going to moderate the comments, so you won’t see them posted right away once you hit the submit button.  Here’re the guidelines, if you want to avoid being censored by me (yes, I said censored):

1.  Be respectful of other people.  There’s no point in having any discussion if all that happens is folks take pot-shots at each other.  If you need to vent your anger, please find some other venue or forum to do so.  If you wish to express your anger (or other emotion), that’s okay, just don’t point it like a gun at anyone.  In other words, address the perspective, not the person.  Yes, I realize this contradicts the idea that one’s self-identity is intertwined with one’s perspective–but there IS a line here; do the best you can not to cross it.

2.  Be forgiving of other people.  This topic provokes strong feelings for us all, and occasionally that will come out, especially since I myself am only human and will likely make moderation mistakes—or not.  I may allow what seems to be a scathing comment, for a reason.  Consider that, too.

3.  Be forgiving of yourself.  This is vague, I know, but I leave it to you to question me specifically about what this might mean.  In general, there are no right or wrong answers.

4.  Be prepared to learn.  Understand that this might be painful.

5.  Do the best you can to be honest.

And, last but not least…

6.  DON’T PANIC!!

Here’s the question again, to spare you having to scroll up:

What circumstances (personal, social, political, economic, spiritual, intellectual, physical, etc.) contribute to a woman finding herself in the position of being faced with a decision whether or not to have an abortion?

Alrighty, then.  Have at it, people.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Abortion, Community Responsibility, Critical Thinking, Epistemology, Ethics, Humanism, Life, Personal Responsibility, Philosophy, Problem solving, Religion and Philosophy, Social Responsibility, Sociology and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to The Masque of Abortion

  1. leezacoleman says:

    What circumstances (personal, social, political, economic, spiritual, intellectual, physical, etc.) contribute to a woman finding herself in the position of being faced with a decision whether or not to have an abortion?

    You listed the circumstances! As for the sub-categories within each category, there are literally tens, maybe hundreds, of them!

    My decision to have an abortion was based on personal and social circumstances: I was a seventeen-year-old college freshman. Clearly, economic, spiritual and intellectual considerations came into play – or would have – but my age and social status at the time were deal-makers and precluded even considering the other aspects.

    • Thea says:

      “You listed the circumstances! As for the sub-categories within each category, there are literally tens, maybe hundreds, of them!”

      Fair enough, and you are right, I have provided a list of general categories–mainly trying to head off (if that’s possible) an immediate dive into mudslinging by the tree vs forest folks.

      How do age and social status play into a decision whether or not to have an abortion? Or, WHY is it that age and social status play into such a decision? How did they get on the list of criteria? In what regard are they important?

      Who is making the rules? How is it being done?

      Thank you very much, Leeza, for your very generous and trusting contribution. I hope you’ll be willing to continue in any ensuing discussion here.

      🙂
      Thea

  2. Peg says:

    Reasons? All of them. Fear sums it up I think. Luckily I have never had to make that decision. I don’t think it’s any of my business. If I were pregnant now I would have an abortion and live with real guilt. I am glad there are options. Wait……ok I would keep the baby…..no wait…..

    • Thea says:

      “If I were pregnant now I would have an abortion and live with real guilt.”

      Wow. Awesome, Peg. As in awe, I mean.

      Okay, so what is it about “now” that would cause you to consider an abortion? Are those conditions inevitable?

      What do you mean by “real guilt?”

      What do you mean by “options?” What ARE the options? What is NOT included on that list of options?

      And nice illustration of the (painful) vacillation that is inherent as part of the dynamic of being in the position of having an unplanned pregnancy…

      Fear. Yes, absolutely. Fear of what, though?

      Don’t worry. You can respond again or not, as you see fit…too, you can take just one small bit and talk about that–don’t have to tackle the whole thing.

      Thanks, Peg.

      Thea

  3. TOMMY GEE says:

    TWICE. (I WAS 18 AND 22. EACH WAS 22.) HOW THEY FELT/FEEL? NEITHER ONE MAINTAINED ANY CONTACT; b4 23. I CAN SURMISE, HERE, BUT THAT WOULD BE INVALID; EVEN, IF THEY HAD ATTEMPTED TO PUT, THEN, CURRENT, THOUGHTS, n2 WORDS. HOW, DID AND DO I FEEL? WHAT TIME, TO THE MILLI-SECOND, IS IT? HOW MANY GRAINS OF SAND, ARE THERE n THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE?
    I BELIEVE n SOME DEITY. IF, CORRECT; I’LL WAIT, TO STAND b4 “IT” AND THEN AND THERE, HOPEFULLY, SOME CLOSURE WILL COME.
    TIME MAKES THE PERIODS OF CONSCIOUS REMEMBERING; LESS FREQUENT AND OF SHORTER DURATION. AND, THE MEMORIES GET FUZZIER AND REALITY HIDES, n THE “DISTORTION”. HOW, OUR MINDS WORK? THERE IS RELIEF, n THE CLOSETING (SURVIVAL MECHANISM?) AND FRUSTRATION IN THE INABILITY, TO SORT THINGS OUT (w THE RESULTANT OBJECTIVITY, FROM THE TEMPORAL DISTANCE) CONTEMPORANEOUSLY.
    I HAVE LESS AND LESS, OF ANY, “FIRM” IDEA, OF THE, VAST AND FLUID, MAJORITY, OF ENOUGH EFFECTS AND INFO, TO, ONLY, JUDGE ME. BUT, NEVERTHELESS, @ THE SAME TIME, I DO (AND WILL); w VARYING INTERVALS AND DEGREE, FOR THE REMAINDER, OF MY LIFE.
    ABOUT AS EFFECTIVE, AS ATTEMPTING TO COUNT THOSE GRAINS OF SAND. THE UPSHOT, OF THIS, PINBALL-LIKE, WANDERING, ON A SUREAL PATH, OF NO PREDICTABLE DIRECTION OR OCCURRENCE; I CANNOT, TRULY OR COMPETENTLY, TRY TO DESCRIBE; EVEN AND ONLY, AS IT AFFECTS ME. I CANNOT CONSIDER ANY OTHER, WHEN ABLE, TO KNOW; SO, VERY, LITTLE, w ANY CERTAINTY, ABOUT THE EFFECTS, ON ME, SINCE THE “CAUSAL PLINK” AND THE RESULTANT TSUNAMIS AND RIPPLES, FROM IT.
    IF, PART OF THE “PRICE”; I’D NOT BE SURPRISED.
    NEITHER, CAN OR WILL I SAY, BROACHING THIS SUBJECT IS GOOD OR BAD. ONLY, LIKE, w SO MANY, I’D ASK; IT, NOT, BE FORGOTTEN; THIS IS MARKEDLY OFTEN, A “WALK IN THEIR SHOES” OR “EXPERIENCE REQUIRED” DEAL? ANYTHING, OTHER, IS MERELY AN EXERCISE? HOWEVER, I MEAN THIS AS -NO- OBJECTION! JUST, MY LAST WORD HAS BEEN WRITTEN; HERE, ON “THIS”.

    • Thea says:

      So…clearly, the impact of an unplanned pregnancy can be just as harrowing for a man as for a woman, short of the actual physical aspects. What, if anything, does this suggest about choice?

      In addition, people have already been getting abortions, so we have a legacy of already accomplished incidence populated by real people with real value, whose being are still at stake in some regard. What does this suggest about any future decisions with regard to abortion? How do we care for our people who have already been here?

      What does this say about how history operates for human beings? History, it seems to me, does not hang out in the past in any sort of linear tidiness, eh? How you think and what you do has an effect. On everything. Too, how everyone else thinks and what they do has an effect, on everything, including you. Whatever temporal constraints there might be, they appear to be more fluid, or take shape differently, than traditional models of reality have suggested. Assuming this is the case, what does this say about how we currently shape our lives, and how our lives shape us? Is there anything we might change? To what end?

      What is absolution? I dunno, exactly. Granted somebody thought it up, but I dunno if it’s actually possible, never mind whether or not I am qualified to offer it. But this I will say: I can’t at the moment think of any circumstance in which a human being must qualify for love. Answer to it, yes. Qualify for it? No.

      *hugs Tommy long and hard*

  4. Peg says:

    real guilt: what marvelous life force did i just extinguish?

    Real fear: ” oh crap! If I have this baby my life will suck! ” No sleep, no money, i could die because of my body’s age.,suicidal depression. Selfish reasons mostly. (selfish not having a negative stigma here)

    Real guilt: Guilt that would bother me for more than a week. Would the above costs be out weighed by the eventual benefits of this human on my life? What lessons would this baby/person teach me/us? ( hmm are these selfish reasons too?)
    BTW this is only in my case. No one else’s.

    Options? Legal: I can legally chose to have an abortion. I think it’s good that each person can quietly decide for themselves.
    Again. It’s none of my business what others decide.

  5. Thea says:

    “(selfish not having a negative stigma here)”

    Interesting point. So…quality of life for the pregnant woman is a significant factor, here, and carries legitimate weight, in terms of potential physical cost (in this case, age-related) up to and including death, economic cost resulting in significant hardship, as well as emotional cost, up to and including death.

    What factors are immutable? What factors are mutable?

    “BTW this is only in my case. No one else’s.”

    So, do you suggest that a “one size fits all” solution is not likely or possible? That there’s no single template all people can use to make a decision (i.e., without having to think about it), especially since there is significant diversity among individuals? Also, are you saying something about judging and being judged? If so, what’s important about that?

    “It’s none of my business what others decide.”

    Fair enough, since you just pointed out that each person’s circumstance is likely to be unique in some ways. But is each person’s circumstance completely unique from all others? No common factors at all? What about the context in which we live? Have we nothing that is shared? Is there any way at all, not to put too fine a point on it, that exploitation might take place in here somewhere? You mentioned money and sleep. You also mentioned depression. How is it these factors weigh as much as they do? I agree that you can’t make a decision about whether to have an abortion for anyone else. But what about the current context in which such things occur? Whose business is that?

    I ABSOLUTELY agree that it’s a good thing abortions are legal–at least in our current social context–mainly because there’re a LOT of folks out there who are not only not qualified to make decisions for anyone else, but who nonetheless try to do it–and why is that? Is there only one reason? More than one? Does the legal status of abortion suffice to protect us?

    (Peg: mainly I’m just making a list of questions to ask as they occur to me. Again, go ahead and tackle any or not, as you see fit. Or add more questions, too…)

  6. Peg says:

    One more thing. I probably shouldn’t judge those who are judging either.

  7. Regina Kay says:

    Commenting for notifications… thank you.

  8. gold price says:

    The study concludes that American women are religious and becoming more so, but it never explores what women mean by religion. Its findings do suggest that women are finding a comfort and support in religion that they are not finding in the secular arena. Yet much of the secular mindset seems to have permeated the very religion from which they seek consolation and support. How else are we to explain that women who claim to value religion highly disregard their church’s teaching on abortion, marriage, and the equality of the sexes? All three topics figure centrally in Catholic social thought, moral prescription, and theology. All three owe their centrality to their foundational relation to the Catholic understanding of the human person and his or her place in the social and divine order. All three constitute building blocks of the Holy Father’s vision of the culture of life.

  9. As the world progressed through the ages, after more and more abortions occurred and several moral, social and ethical concerns were raised, laws on abortion began to surface. In Great Britain, there are two major laws that control access to abortion, namely the 1967 Abortion Act and the 1990 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act (Boyle, 1997). Other abortion laws existed prior to the 1967 Act, like the 1929 Infant Life Preservation Act, the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act and Lord Ellenborough’s Act of 1803, but they were widely disregarded to such an extent that between 1963 and 1967, there were 100,00 illegal abortions annually as claimed by Callahan (1970) and also Diggory (1970). The United States’ abortion legislation was different from Great Britain, in the sense that all the states may have their own abortion laws. Furthermore, abortion in America has been associated with “intense legal, social and political activity” (Boyle, 1997). Of all the legal battles that can be traced back to 1910, one very prominent case stuck out- Roe v Wade. The reason why the Roe case stuck out was the court rulings. In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled that the personal right to privacy in the Fourteenth Amendment includes a woman’s decision to terminate her pregnancy (Linton, 1989).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s