Abortion II

  • GeorgeNJ

    Posts: 216

    Mar 16, 2008 4:37 AM GMT
    A new thread, since the old one (http://www.realjock.com/topic/68544/) is so long.

    Royal college warns abortions can lead to mental illness

    Sarah-Kate Templeton, Health Editor

    Women may be at risk of mental health breakdowns if they have abortions, a medical royal college has warned. The Royal College of Psychiatrists says women should not be allowed to have an abortion until they are counselled on the possible risk to their mental health.

    This overturns the consensus that has stood for decades that the risk to mental health of continuing with an unwanted pregnancy outweighs the risks of living with the possible regrets of having an abortion.

    MPs will shortly vote on a proposal to reduce the upper time limit for abortions “for social reasons” from 24 weeks to 20 weeks, a move not backed by the government. A Sunday Times poll today shows 59% of women would support such a reduction, with only 28% backing the status quo. Taken together, just under half (48%) of men and women want a reduction to 20 weeks, while 35% want to retain 24 weeks.

    Some MPs also want women to have a “cooling off” period in which they would be made aware of the possible consequences of the abortion, including the impact on their mental health, before they could go ahead.

    More than 90% of the 200,000 terminations in Britain every year are believed to be carried out because doctors believe that continuing with the pregnancy would cause greater mental strain.

    The Royal College of Psychiatrists recommends updating abortion information leaflets to include details of the risks of depression. “Consent cannot be informed without the provision of adequate and appropriate information,” it says.

    Several studies, including research published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry in 2006, concluded that abortion in young women might be associated with risks of mental health problems.

    The controversy intensified earlier this year when an inquest in Cornwall heard that a talented artist hanged herself because she was overcome with grief after aborting her twins. Emma Beck, 30, left a note saying: “Living is hell for me. I should never have had an abortion. I see now I would have been a good mum. I want to be with my babies; they need me, no one else does.”

    The college’s revised stance was welcomed by Nadine Dorries, a Conservative MP campaigning for a statutory cooling-off period: “For doctors to process a woman’s request for an abortion without providing the support, information and help women need at this time of crisis I regard almost as a form of abuse,” she said.

    Dawn Primarolo, the health minister, will this week appeal to MPs to ignore attempts to reduce the time limit on abortion when new laws on fertility treatment and embryo research come before parliament.

    Dr Peter Saunders, general secretary of the Christian Medical Fellowship, said: “How can a doctor now justify an abortion [on mental health grounds] if psychiatrists are questioning whether there is any clear evidence that continuing with the pregnancy leads to mental health problems.”

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article3559486.ece
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    Mar 16, 2008 5:14 AM GMT
    More medical professionals and academics continuing the centuries old belief that women are irrational and can't make their own decisions.

    The 'cooling' off period is really a way to intimidate women seeking the procedure. Many women in the US have to travel to different counties or states to terminate a pregnancy. With a cooling off period, they must spend the night in the vicinity and get the courage to walk into the clinic a second time. It is built to scare off women who are seeking an abortion. If you had to walk past screaming Jesus-freaks not once, but twice, that might shade your decision.

    What isn't mentioned in this study is all of the 'cooling off' between 'oh my God I'm pregnant' and 'this is what I want to do'. Haven't they already cooled off from the initial panic? I'd like to see stats on time between a positive pregnancy test and when the women decides to have an abortion.

    How much you want to bet that all counseling provided during the cooling off period by government bodies is strictly on the side of not having the abortion - and not looking at the emotional and financial and physical risks of having children before you're ready for them.

    Referencing the suicide in Cornwall is another effort to cloud the issue. Anecdotes are not data.

    I had written a long response to the previous thread but was in transit and hadn't posted it. Here is what I wrote:

    The abortion debate and the debate over gay rights are intricately connected exposing a culture's maturity and attitudes towards gender, religion, morality, sex and the need for the state (or church) to control a citizen's body.

    A lot of the action behind the pro-life movement is less about preserving a potential fetus and more about punishing women for having sex (part of the reason for 'allowing' abortion in the case of rape or incest - if 'a life is a life' then this would still be terminating a life). Pro-lifers are usually against pre-natal care for women that can't afford it and against health care for new mothers that can't afford it (along with universal health care for families etc) - their sympathy with a woman's unwanted pregnancy begins and ends with birth. And how dare a woman have sex outside of marriage and enjoy her body's capacity to experience sex unless it is to make new children. The 'family values' rhetoric falls away when abortion is not included in comprehensive reproductive care for women. Any doctor that doesn't see all options in providing health care for a female patient is providing incomplete medical care (same with pharmacists that feel a patient/doctor decision can be over-ridden by their own morals and whims - and store chains that permit this).

    Chart comparing pro-life stance on preserving life vs punishing women for sex:

    http://www.amptoons.com/blog/archives/2006/03/21/why-its-difficult-to-believe-that-anti-choicers-mean-what-they-say/

    Notice the silence when you ask pro-lifers about if abortion doctors should be put to death for performing the procedure or if women who have abortions should be put to death for ending a potential life. They don't think the arguments through. Or the lack of caveats for preserving a woman's health in the Partial-Birth Abortion ban (a term literally made up by the pro-life movement to 'gross out' people into compliance).

    Nobody wants more abortions. But when sex-education keeps people ignorant about how their bodies work and reduces everything to abstinence-only education we'll continue to have people that are sexually ignorant about their choices. Study after study shows that abstinence-only education doesn't work and causes unwanted pregnancy, riskier sex and higher incidence of STDs.

    Abortion has existed in all cultures throughout history one way or another and becomes a polarizing issue when it allows women to access more options economically and financially (nobody seemed to care when poor non-white women had abortions but suddenly if upper-class women can't be 'tied' down with an unplanned pregnancy they have more options and more economic power - just like when The Pill first debuted). When abortion is made illegal, women turn to centuries old techniques and procedures. The best way to reduce abortion is reduce unwanted pregnancies which requires letting women have full control over their bodies and the education to have sex when and where and with whom they want - and to decide if that sex is intended for recreation or procreation or both. Much of the US's stances on funding global AIDS funding removes the possibility of teaching about condoms and toeing the party-line of abstinence-only ignoring the gender norms and social context of the countries getting the funding i.e. in some cultures women don't have sexual autonomy.

    Pro-life supporters also seem to be amazingly pro-war and fine with civilian deaths and pro-capital punishment. It is all the timing. They also rarely step forward to adopt all these unwanted children the are desperately trying to save. They also don't look at how many women that have abortions go on to have children later on and become successful mothers because they were allowed to make these life decisions with full control over how they affect their lives.

    I also take huge issue with the fact the people making these legislative decisions are normally white upper class Christian men. I simply will never believe a gaggle of white guys can make health decisions for a woman and have any right in forcing her to undergo one of the riskiest medical experiences a woman's body can go through. Just like a gaggle of straight people shouldn't make the civil rights decisions for gay men or women. Centuries of sexism puts great distrust in a woman's right to have sovereignty over her body.

    I'm often embarrassed that the US seems 'stuck' on so many of these issues that other developed countries seem to have surpassed and settled decades ago. Maybe it is our immature attitude towards sex, a fear of vaginas (reference Margaret Cho's 'pussy cyclone' routine) and the need to keep a woman's economic power and potential in check.

    I think that in an ideal world everyone could realize their full potential for their bodies to give/receive pleasure or create/nurture new life and that those two pursuits don't have to be tied together - no matter what sacred text of ancient desert people have to say about it. Universal health-care would fund comprehensive reproductive care for women and men at all stages of their lives to have great sex or create great children - or even both at the same time.

    Don't like abortions? Don't have one. It isn't your decision to make.

    Further reading:

    Why I Provide Abortions- http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/5/31/22921/8574

    The Only Moral Abortion is My Abortion - http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/7/22/9334/83825

    Why I Chose Abortion - http://lifestyle.msn.com/mindbodyandsoul/womenintheworld/articlemc.aspx?cp-documentid=4595719

    Movie recommendation - Vera Drake (IMDB, Wikipeida, Metacritic) - excellently acted movie about a 1950s British housewife who performs illegal abortions.
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    Mar 16, 2008 5:26 AM GMT
    Of course women are more prone to mental illness for 2 reasons:

    1. Living with the guilt of murder must be quite burdensome

    2. Deciding to kill your unborn child in the 1st place is evidence of mental illness.
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    Mar 16, 2008 2:59 PM GMT
    ShortJake saidOf course women are more prone to mental illness for 2 reasons:

    1. Living with the guilt of murder must be quite burdensome

    2. Deciding to kill your unborn child in the 1st place is evidence of mental illness.


    I agree ShortJake that going through an abortion can lead to the first point. However, around the world the reason why women have abortions varies considerably, mental illness (schizophrenia, manic-depression, clinical depression) is often not the reason.

    A woman aborting a child in India because it is female (with the support of the husband) is very different than a woman having an abortion at the age of 19 because she feels she cannot raise it.
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    Mar 16, 2008 6:21 PM GMT
    ShortJake saidOf course women are more prone to mental illness for 2 reasons:
    1. Living with the guilt of murder must be quite burdensome
    2. Deciding to kill your unborn child in the 1st place is evidence of mental illness.

    Maybe you're trying to be funny, but I don't see this as elevating the debate or making your point very well. I can appreciate your personal feelings about this--which I at one time actually shared--but these comments, meant to diminish the decision-making capabilities of a woman, and equating her actions to murder only serves to marginalize your plausible gut feeling about the issue.

    Nobody posting on this thread can tell you how or how not to feel, and I would never either. But your words would have more power, and be more persuasive if you kept your comments personal (as in, about yourself) rather than about others.

    It would be difficult to demonstrate, in a statistically significant way, that women who've had an abortion are any more prone to mental illness, or that mental illness had any effect on their decision to have an abortion.

    As far as it being murder, if it's a baby...yes, it's murder. It has rights the moment it's out of the womb and breathing (even if on life-support). But when it's just tissue, and organs, with no consciousness, no breath, no viability outside the womb, alive--yes--but a person--no--the legal status of murder can't be applied to it.

    You may be repulsed by it, but it has to meet a legal standing of personhood to qualify for protection and rights. With that, if a woman is personally repulsed by the act of abortion, but gets the abortion anyway--THAT would be a great argument against her sanity. If she views this as tissue, organs and non-viable, having it removed is unlikely to be traumatic for her, nor is it grounds for dismissing her decision as some crime of whim.
  • GeorgeNJ

    Posts: 216

    Mar 16, 2008 10:52 PM GMT
    I posted this article because I found it interesting that a non-religious and (I think) non-political source raises a serious issue connected to abortion.

    I also was looking for responses. With my former roman catholic background, it was DRILLED into us that the fetus has human life -- regardless of whether or not the government assigns it the status of a person. As such, it has the right to the full protection of the law.

    Old news, I know. But meanwhile, I am struggling to understand how there can be such a huge groundswell of support for the right to abortion in the face of so much evidence that the fetus has a life of its own, tho still developing and dependent on its mother.

    Andymatic's links are excellent. I would add another thread in amptoons.com which discusses when "personhood" begins: http://www.amptoons.com/blog/archives/2006/03/10/when-does-personhood-begin/.

    One of these links talks about a case of grave abnormal fetal development, and the anguish of the mother and the father when confronted with this. Here, the decision for the abortion would seem to fall into the dimension of mercy killing. (another topic, I know) The mother anguished over her decision -- because she loved the unborn child, wanted it, etc., and there were no dismissive notions that the fetus is only a blob of tissues -- the mother always used the words "my child" or "my baby" to describe her fetus.

    One of Andymatic's links talks about the contradictions in the prolife platform. I would concede that. But I also see contradictions in the pro-choice platform.

    I'm still working on this. I appreciate your comments.
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    Mar 17, 2008 12:31 AM GMT

    ggeo17
    Old news, I know. But meanwhile, I am struggling to understand how there can be such a huge groundswell of support for the right to abortion in the face of so much evidence that the fetus has a life of its own, tho still developing and dependent on its mother.

    As of today the estimated number of abortions year to date is over 9.5 million worldwide (source Worldclock.com). I see abortion as a tragic but almost inevitable result of a whole bunch of factors, including:

    - ignorance about sex;
    - cultural norms (preferring males over females);
    - extreme poverty;
    - lack of access to birth control;
    - cultural taboos against birth control;
    - environmental degradation leading to lack of food, starvation, etc..

    It is comforting and cathartic for us in North America to righteously declare our disgust and indignation about abortion, but the fact of the matter is it is entwined with a whole bunch of different problems in the world today, it cannot be simply isolated on its' own.

    If you take away a woman's right to an abortion it will not make much difference to the number of abortions in the world, not even in the USA. It will however result in women dying due to unsafe abortions as well as the death of the fetus.

    The best way to reduce the number of abortions? Reduce the number of unwanted conceptions.
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    Mar 17, 2008 3:12 AM GMT
    ShortJake saidOf course women are more prone to mental illness for 2 reasons:

    1. Living with the guilt of murder must be quite burdensome

    2. Deciding to kill your unborn child in the 1st place is evidence of mental illness.




    Dear Shortjake:


    If you don't totally understand the full extent of a situation with which a woman, who has control over what happens in her life, must make a choice of that magnitude, then I would advise you to not speak up at all.

    At the risk of making yourself look like a complete and utter bigot, and I know, that we gays don't care for bigots, then you also might want to consider being open minded about how others must endure the events that arise in their lives.


    So to summate, wake up and realize there's so much more to life than you'll probably ever comprehend. Your ignorance is disgusting.

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    Mar 17, 2008 4:10 AM GMT
    Its ignorant to speak up for the murdered? Abortion , with the exception of saving the life of the mother, is murder. Roe v Wade will eventually be overturned to a States rights issue and each state, in turn , will eventually make it illegal for babies to be killed in the womb.

    Im certain that some 150 years ago similar 'debates" were arising with equal emotion over the slavery issue. Just as the thought of slavery is abhorrant to most in 2008 the thought of abortion will be viewed similarly in 4 or 5 more generations.
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    Mar 17, 2008 5:16 AM GMT
    ShortJake said

    Im certain that some 150 years ago similar 'debates" were arising with equal emotion over the slavery issue. Just as the thought of slavery is abhorrant to most in 2008 the thought of abortion will be viewed similarly in 4 or 5 more generations.


    while it goes with your view of a fetus being of equal consciousness and importance as a grown human, comparing abortion to the persecution of a people seems slightly illegitimate. i seriously feel this issues is for none of us to decide, nor will a law change things. in the past people have aborted fetuses in crude practices with chemicals or household items. JB is right, EDUCATION is key. if women aren't pregnant, they can't have nor do they need an abortion. stop pouring cash into these anti abortion policies and start putting it into schools teaching kids about consequences to their sexual actions. yo're arguing against a solution, as poor as it is. put your effort into where the problem originates.
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    Mar 17, 2008 6:27 PM GMT
    ShortJake, while I don't agree with your solution to the problem, I do understand your disgust with the idea of abortion. I do not advocate in any way abortion as a form of birth control or for anything but the most serious of situations for a woman.

    That said, this is a very complex issue that would not be resolved by making abortion illegal. In fact there would always be an out for individuals who have the money to pay and those that do not will only resort to methods that will result in life threatening conditions and other stresses on the medical community. What you in effect end up with is a system that outwardly appears more palatable but in truth is even more problematic for women and children.

    The truth is, as jms84 stated, you need to alleviate the underlying problems which can lead to unnecessary abortions. This is where our time and money need to be spent. With all of the required support programs in place, we can absolutely council women that abortion is not the best answer but ultimately they need to make this decision for themselves having the resources behind them that could support an alternative answer.

    Finally, I think you are a very intelligent guy with a point of view that should be heard and I'm sorry that there are some that would seek to silence you. I just hope that you are as open to input as you are with the output you provide. You don't have to accept what others say, just think about it and see what is useful to you as an individual.

    If more people came to the table looking to learn from one another rather than trying to teach everyone how they should live their lives, the world would be a much better place to live. Stop preaching at each other and listen to each other. If nothing else we may learn something to further fortify our original beliefs or *gasps* heaven forbid, we may actually change our mind.

    In the end, all forum threads do not need to end with everyone agreeing. That's what makes them interesting.

    P.S.
    Name calling really sucks. icon_neutral.gif
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    Mar 18, 2008 2:48 AM GMT
    To everyone with alternate viewpoints to mine, with the exception of the cross country runner, I respect what you're saying though my opinion remains unchanged, after thinking about it.

    To the XC Runner I feel you may have some anger issues as in 2 posts Ive seen so far you condone execution of a group of protestors ( by the way I agree they are a totally horrific group) and the continued legalization of the destroying of unborn children.
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    Mar 19, 2008 12:46 AM GMT
    ShortJake saidOf course women are more prone to mental illness for 2 reasons:

    1. Living with the guilt of murder must be quite burdensome

    2. Deciding to kill your unborn child in the 1st place is evidence of mental illness.


    Okay... i'm going to use the same argument I use on religious fundamentalists that tell me i'm going to hell because i'm gay. I don't believe hell exists therefore the prospect of spending an eternity there has no relevance to me.
    I don't believe a bundle of cells constitutes a lifeforms so it can not be murdered.

    Btw I respect other peoples opinions provided they don't force their beliefs on other people. Accusing those who disagree with your belief of suffering from a mental illness is right up there with standing outside a clinic screaming hate speech.

    I think i could safely blame a great deal of the metal anguish associated with an abortion squarely on the pro life movement, congratulations your gaining support for a movement by creating a problem you claim to be solving.

  • kinetic

    Posts: 1125

    Mar 19, 2008 12:58 AM GMT
    What a Pandora's box that has been opened!
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    Mar 19, 2008 1:03 AM GMT
    The metal* ( I think you meant mental) anguish women feel has nothing to do with anything other than the realization that theyve killed their own child.
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    Mar 19, 2008 1:14 AM GMT
    Oh dear you found a typo my argument suddenly feels so less valid icon_rolleyes.gif

    Take ten holier than thou, hypocritical, fundamentalists screaming insults and accusations and put them in a circle around a pregnant teenager and I'm pretty sure you could have her feeling guilty about breathing
  • tinman511

    Posts: 28

    Mar 19, 2008 1:15 AM GMT
    I do apologize in advance shortjake...You're a hottie..but honestly abortion is a legal option that I am glad some women have ... It sickens me to think that someone could dismiss any life easily, so if a woman does not show some sign of remorse then she is mental and prolly didn't need to be responsible for another life to begin with...

    Knowing that I will never have that option, I will never know the true anguish of a woman with that decision....
    Knowing that I will have to pay out the ass and jump through all type of legal loopholes to even have the possibility of adopting, somewhat angers me with abortion... and i really think that any woman having more than 1 medically necessary abortion should be sterilized...

    all just a twisted opinion...of mine.icon_sad.gif
  • GeorgeNJ

    Posts: 216

    Mar 19, 2008 1:18 AM GMT
    kinetic saidWhat a Pandora's box that has been opened!


    Um, I think you're right.

    I'll never do it again.

    Promise.
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    Mar 19, 2008 2:27 AM GMT
    Someone said it well in some other post. "We are living in the Dark Ages right now". Believing that invading countries pre-emtively , killing civilians for oil , blaming an entire group of people such as Muslims for all the world problems and then trying to kill them in an illegal war , torturing POW's , and believing that murdering unborn children is OK because some judge deemed it so..

    Fortunately, after the last Dark Age period we entered a period of Enlightenment, which will happen again.
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    Mar 19, 2008 2:42 AM GMT
    ShortJake saidand believing that murdering unborn children is OK because some judge deemed it so..

    Fortunately, after the last Dark Age period we entered a period of Enlightenment, which will happen again.



    so official judgments are A-OK if they're how you want them to turn out? wicked. i see no flaws there.

    to point out, the Enlightenment in france as well as spain (although the spanish enlightenment didn't get off the ground as well thanks to Charles V) we're results of the middle class getting educated and realizing their disdain for their "goverment" (royalty). ending in... anyone? anyone? REVOLUTION. and what came from revolutions? freedom of speech, and choices.. oh my god choices.

    ... so basically.. let's educate the people who need to know about how to avoid this entire issue (GIRLS and boys gettin ready to have sex) to the point where abortions won't be wanted or needed.
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    Mar 19, 2008 3:02 AM GMT
    ShortJake saidSomeone said it well in some other post. "We are living in the Dark Ages right now". Believing that . . . murdering unborn children is OK because some judge deemed it so..


    No, the real "Dark Age" that we are coming out of is the belief that men can tell women what to do or not do with their bodies. See, this isn't about reproduction, any more than rape is about sex. This is about control. This is about men keeping women subjugated, under their thumbs. The arguments about "when life begins" are an intellectual smokescreen meant to confuse and delude people so they won't see the real agenda.

    I'm sorry that it has confused you as well.
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    Mar 19, 2008 3:10 AM GMT
    Wrong, its about women murdering their unborn children. Even the term "pro-choice" itself backs up what Im saying. The choice is "Shall I allow my unborn child to live or die"?

    Who has any right to DECIDE that. There is NO decision.

    And to everyone who is claiming that these POOR women are being told what do to let me ask you this. Who is speaking up for the unborn child?
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    Mar 19, 2008 5:11 AM GMT
    ShortJake saidWrong, its about women murdering their unborn children. Even the term "pro-choice" itself backs up what Im saying. The choice is "Shall I allow my unborn child to live or die"?

    Who has any right to DECIDE that. There is NO decision.

    And to everyone who is claiming that these POOR women are being told what do to let me ask you this. Who is speaking up for the unborn child?


    If your were correct, Jake, about this not being about control, answer this: Why, if this is really about fetuses, have several of the leading "pro-life" advocates finally admitted that their ultimate goal is to ban contraception, not merely abortion? If you don't want fetuses "murdered" (and I put that in quotes because it's a gross misrepresentation of what occurs), then wouldn't you FAVOR contraception?

    No, this is about controlling women. And they have you snowed but good with their hogwash.
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    Mar 19, 2008 5:12 AM GMT
    I'm sorry ShortJake, but I have to chime in.

    It doesn't seem like you want to discuss this topic as much as you want to reiterate over and over that abortion is murder.

    Glad to hear you have a firmly held belief.
    Good for you that you can speak about it.

    This debate will rage on and on because those who don't believe a fetus is a Person will go on believing such... and those who believe it's murder will go on believing such.

    Sorry to tell you, but you can not legislate belief. At least, you can't tell someone what they can and can not believe and continue to have a free society.

    You don't want the opposite... government telling us that it's just tissue and forcing people to have abortions.

    Right now Government is nuetral. You have the right to speak up and share your beliefs in hopes that someone considering an abortion may be persuaded to carry the child to term. In fact, our government has almost gone out of its way to make that available to pro-lifers, even to the chagrin of many pro-choice groups.

    You should do some research to see what methods are most effective and pursue that. I have a gut feeling that it's not beligerantly beating everyone over the head with repetitive rhetoric.

  • GeorgeNJ

    Posts: 216

    Mar 20, 2008 1:58 AM GMT
    skotjockmiSorry to tell you, but you can not legislate belief.


    Government must not legislate religious belief, because religion deals with metaphysical matters (1 god, 101 gods, the soul, heaven, hell, etc) that are beyond the scope of science.

    But government certainly legislates belief in matters of this world all the time -- for ex., legislation against sexual abuse of a minor, against rape, against battery, against driving on the wrong side of the road. In fact. government legislates that humans who are born are persons entitled to legal protections, citizenship, etc.

    I find it arbitrary that the status of personhood is awarded to those who are born, and not to those 5 minutes before they are born.

    (I welcome responses that are not emotional and that are not ad hominem attacks.)