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Integral View of Abortion

Last post 11-06-2006, 8:54 AM by randomturtle. 80 replies.
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  •  08-21-2006, 8:55 AM 4836 in reply to 4827

    Re: Integral View of Abortion

    coppersun:
    i can't beat up my neighbor because he disrespected my honor. we do not say "well, that's your values so you should be allowed to do it".  we don't say "it's a difficult and personal decision so we'll stay out of it". that's green crap.  we do not allow purple folks to sacrifice chickens because that's inhumane treatment of animals.


    Hmmmm, from my perspective, we do actually allow people to beat up their neighbors and kill chickens. We allow human wars (where neighbors attack neighbors) and we have good ol' KFC (where chickens are sacrificed, ground up, reconstituted, breaded, and fried into bite sized blobs of food served in a handy bucket like popcorn!). Plus, we allow all the other Earthlings who aren't human to have their own independent lives and communities and do whatever they wish morally, as long as it doesn't interfere with our human communities. Also, the only time our Western legal system kicks in, is when someone complains about a situation. Neighbors (and family members) beat eachother up all the time, and we have to let it happen if all involved parties are consenting.

    That's not to say that we can't, or shouldn't offer people other, less harmful, options. As a matter of fact, I think that's the most important thing for an Integral government to do.

    coppersun:
    your suggestion about having access to all options sounds like my idea of becoming integrally informed.


    Yay!

    coppersun:
    i also wrote that there is a huge consensus about what is wrong . . .


    See, there's where it get's tricky. There is certainly some consensus, but I personally don't see it being huge. People kill all the time and believe they are doing the right thing. As the political comedians like to point out, if the Iraqi people were fetuses (or stem cells) the Bush administration would be making laws to protect them rather than bomb them. Ethnocentricity - where a huge proportion of the human race rests - creates and "Us vs. Them" morality. Us are to be protected and valued, Them are to be aggressively attacked whenever they happen to threaten Us. Depending on the situation and the perspective, Them can be anyone from an unwanted fetus to a neighbor to a god to someone on the opposite of the planet to aliens (terrestrial or not) to me! And the thing is, this is a necessary stage of development. Without this, we'd never get to Secon Tier!

    So, our job, as Second Tier thinkers with a Prime Directive of working for the health of the whole spiral, is to make sure that all the levels (including our own) have healthy, relatively harm-free, options for living their lives and expressing their level's values. To me, that means looking at Maslow's needs, as well as encouraging habits based on exercising the Body, Mind, and Spirit (or Body, Intellect, and Emotions, as I think of it) in Self, Nature, and Culture.

    Peace, Love, and Bicycles,
    Turtle
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  •  08-21-2006, 9:36 AM 4840 in reply to 4832

    Re: Integral View of Abortion

    timelody:
    In your daycare, this social community, are the young beige, purple and red members... left with too much freedom, because they don’t know any better, they will very quickly and seriously harm both others an themselves.


    Now that's where I have to disagree. Everything I've learned as a teacher has shown me that the more freedom people are given (even small children and infants) the more quickly and seriously they learn to become responsible for themselves and others. Of course there is usually supervision, and available help, as I noted that there would be in a Holarchy. But I think you would be very surprised at the amount of freedom that kids can have and be very, very healthy (mentally and physically). The only rules we "authoritarians" have is to keep the group healthy, so whatever helps that happen is what we do. Fortunately, most of the kids, even some of the one year olds, have already started into ethnocentric thinking - they learn quite quickly that when others are happy, they are happy. So they really do have a very innate desire to keep others happy, and thus healthy. The only thing I as a teacher has to do is to help the kids learn what keeps others healthy and happy! I know this seems counterintuitive, but it's absolutely true from an educational standpoint.

    Interestingly, the daycare system in Japan has understood this developmental trait for a long time. They encourage the kids to become responsible for their community (class) by staying out of the kid's "business" as much as possible. when I saw this in action, I was really surprised, since Western education isn't quite that far along, for the most part. But I can see where a more Buddhist (Kosmos-centric), interdependent-minded country would be more likely to come up with this educational style than our more aggressive (ethnocentric), independent-minded country.

    Oh, and you asked about places like Roxbury. I have worked in schools where many of the kids came from homes with heavily shadow filled Redish and Bluish folks, and occasionally Purple, too. And even those kids, who have been taught by their families and neighborhoods, to be "on guard", and who have high stress levels from being in "fight or flight" situations regularly, can learn to care for others and be responsible for their actions, and to be free from their own shadows (while still being surrounded by other's shadows). Obviously, the ones who are very stressed out are more difficult to help, but it's certainly possible to reverse the fear-based education they've had, even while they are still being subjected to the dangers (shadows).

    Shadows do cause people at all levels (even Second Tier) to so harmful things to themselves and others. That's why, no matter where someone is on the Spiral, it's so very important to make sure that they have what they need (tools and information) to keep their shadows at a minimum.

    Peace, Love, and Bicycles,
    Turtle
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  •  08-21-2006, 10:03 AM 4845 in reply to 4836

    • maryw is not online. Last active: 09-04-2008, 12:45 PM maryw
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    Re: Integral View of Abortion

    randomturtle:
    Hmmmm, from my perspective, we do actually allow people to beat up their neighbors and kill chickens.

    While this is true -- we also have laws against murder, assault, and cruelty to animals (factory farming notwithstanding Tongue Tied [:S]) -- not because everybody unanimously agrees with or follows these laws, but because societies have established codes to maintain order -- codes which are often based on generally accepted moral precepts. And since the world's center of gravity is not "worldcentric" at the moment, the word "neighbor" doesn't yet really apply to those in other nations, unfortunately. 

    But we (in the U.S., at least) do not have general agreement on when life -- or actually, when "personhood" begins. And even if we were to set it in a particular trimester, we'd end up with sticky human-rights questions: would an embryo's or a fetus's right to life supersede a mother's right to life and health, or vice versa? If we agree that it's acceptable to terminate a pregnancy to save the mother's life (or to protect her health), it's an acknowledgment that embryos do not have the same human rights as the mother -- or that you cannot have two entities with equal rights occupying one body ... and, I suppose, that embyonic life does not carry the same level of "depth" that already-born life does ... (alluding to an earlier post of Tim's)

    Mary

     


    Let the beauty we love be what we do.
    There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

    ~Rumi
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  •  08-21-2006, 10:58 AM 4850 in reply to 4845

    Re: Integral View of Abortion

    Right, we do have laws now, and I think we always will. I also think that the universality of these basic laws (don't kill, for example) is not so universal, as we all have exceptions, even in Second Tier, where killing and harming are justified to us. And we all draw the line differently, even those in Second Tier, depending on what we believe will cause the least harm for the largest number in a given situation.

    So even if we did decide that an embryo, or a chicken, was entitled to "personhood" and had a right to live (which is what I believe), we could still all (even Second Tier) find situations where our morals would allow it's killing for the greater good. Obviously, this zero-sum situation isn't ideal! So it makes far more sense to me to find ways to avoid the situation in the first place.

    Peace, Love, and Bicycles,
    -Turtle
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  •  08-21-2006, 11:36 AM 4856 in reply to 4845

    Re: Integral View of Abortion

    maryw:

    randomturtle:
    Hmmmm, from my perspective, we do actually allow people to beat up their neighbors and kill chickens.

    While this is true -- we also have laws against murder, assault, and cruelty to animals (factory farming notwithstanding Tongue Tied [:S]) -- not because everybody unanimously agrees with or follows these laws, but because societies have established codes to maintain order -- codes which are often based on generally accepted moral precepts. And since the world's center of gravity is not "worldcentric" at the moment, the word "neighbor" doesn't yet really apply to those in other nations, unfortunately. 

    we let folks kill chickens for orange level reasons . . . we do not let folks kill chickens for purple level reasons.

    which again indicates that orange (level laws) will protect its own.  hence, when the law reflects 2nd tier, will 2nd tier protect its own morality? 

    and it also reflects that orange level laws will allow orange level abortions for any level reason (is that the green part?).  it will not allow beige/red level coat hanger abortions, but does that mean 2nd tier will allow abortion only for 2nd tier reasons----after the mother/father become "integrally informed"?

    later,

    gene

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  •  08-21-2006, 12:32 PM 4864 in reply to 4856

    Re: Integral View of Abortion

    Hi everybody,

    In terms of seeding controversy his thread has definitely succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. Reading through the tremendous number of posts put up this weekend, I for one wanted to throw my laptop across the room a couple times, furious at various people for being so mind bogglingly stupid, stupid, stupid! (I've since calmed down a bit, and I'm really impressed by the intelligence and itegrity of this whole conversation. But that first reaction can be pretty negative, sometimes).

    There's been some discussion of "when life begins" as the marker of when abortions should stop. That strikes me as silly. I would imagine that most of us can agree that it's a gradual process going from a very alive zygote to a very alive adult, and there isn't any one moment when suddenly, BAM, the being jumps from the not-living side of the room to the living side of the room without crossing through the middle. I, personally, would rather see this discussion work from the assumption that life is, and life grows, and there is no point in the process where there are absolutes of "well, it's easy and fine to kill your embryo now, because it won't be alive for another 12 days and change" or "sorry, ma'am, you should have come in last week. I'm afraid your fetus is alive now."

    I think I've come to a decent personal position on the subject, for now anyway. Tim said something like "It's odd that my wife would have the legal right to kill my unborn child." And I realized, yeah, that is odd. But in terms of the law, it seems to me that we have to do it that way. If we want to take an Integral approach, we have to recognize that, given the vast numbers of people who think there are occassional cases when abortion is okay, there must be occassional cases when abortion is okay. That must have partial truth. But then, to stick with an Integral approach, there must be some case-by-case decision making. We can't just write a book with a whole bunch of contingencies, call that the law, and then go out for coffee. And given how often consensus is impossible on something like this, the mother has to have the final say (within limits set by doctors and whatever generally accepted morality there may be). And then we have to do whatever we can to avoid the situation (I hope we're all okay with safe-sex education and condoms in schools, for instance), and to give the mother whatever resources will help her make the a good decision.

    I spent ten minutes on the last four words of that sentence, because I wanted to be able to say something like "the decision that she'll remain happiest with through her continued development" or "the decision that comes from her highest self" or "the decision that will serve the greatest depth for the greatest span" or something like that. But I couldn't find a specification I wasn't repulsed by.

    I've noticed that many posts seem to drop the specifics of abortion completely, and focus on a much more important issue of 'how do we resolve inter-level conflict on a grand scale?' I phrased it in the Same Sex Marriage something like "given that LL and LR must correspond somehow, how do we fashion a LR that will correspond to the juxtaposition of so many different LL memes?" Essentially, how and to what extent (if at all) can and should higher values be imposed on people approaching a subject from a lower level?

    We definitely do some of that already. Even if we leave chickens aside, there are plenty of examples. We impose world-centricity on employers who might otherwise employ only folks of their own ethnicity. We impose blue values on people who murder and steal, no matter how valid their reasons would be in a red context. We impose green values on people who pollute for excellent orange reasons (though I think we don't do so enough). So I'd like to explicitly ask the question in its full generality, instead of sticking to this particular case. [warning: If many people respond, I may port this all over to its own thread.] Most of this seems to come from the center-of-mass of the population imposing its will on the lower half, but that doesn't quite account for everything. So how does this resolution work?

    What makes something like Gay Marriage or Abortion interesting is that the conflict is primarily between different senses of communion. All of the examples I listed above are society imposing a general urge to communion on an individual's agency. It's a case of society setting its collective interest over the individual's self interest. But something like gay marriage or abortion is about differing views of what society's collective interest is. Some say it's in the interest of all of us to allow abortions, some say it's in the interest of all of us not to.

    Anyway, that's enough out of me.

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  •  08-21-2006, 12:55 PM 4867 in reply to 4671

    Re: Integral View of Abortion

    [I'm going way back in time here, seperately, to reply to Turtle's original three-law society proposal. This post has nothing to do with abortion.]

    I think that the basic premise here is good. Those are the major principles that we want governing an society. And an Integral approach ought to go back to those bare principles as often as possible, instead of sticking to old manifestations of them.

    It has a few practical difficulties that bother me. If you didn't mean it to be a practical proposal, then excuse my misunderstanding, but in case you did, let me voice a few concerns.

    1- who dun it? If someone robs me, and doesn't leave a calling card, whom do I ask to join me in conflict resolution? I've been wronged, but I can't resolve it. We need police officers and detectives and DAs etc to investigate crimes and prosecute criminals.

    2- who was it done to? If someone's releasing large amounts of pollutants into the air, which of the thousands or millions of effected people gets to sit at the conflict resolution table? Or if someone kills a hermit, someone with no friends or real contacts, since no victim remains alive to complain, will there be no legal consequence?

    3- what if it wasn't done yet? Laws like those against speeding prevent actions that don't necessarily cause harm, but might. If I'm driving at 95 mph, I might not harm anyone. If I don't harm anyone, I'm breaking no law. But I still shouldn't, because I might harm someone. (This might count as threatening, under law no. 2, and then it's just another case of objection 2.)

    4- what if I don't wanna? If one party refuses to go to conflict resolution, there needs to be a back up plan.

    5- Paying for stuff we need roads, and strong currency, and perhaps a military to defend us on occassion, and to have all of these we need taxes, and to have taxes we need tax law. And then we need people to make tax law, and we need to choose those people, and we need laws about how to choose those people, and laws about who gets to decide what to do with our money, etc etc.

    I'm not saying these are insurmountable challenges, but they're definitely present. I'm not trying to shoot you down here. It just seems to me that, although our legal system is not perfect, you need to have one, and it needs to be a little bit larger and less personal than you're describing. Again, I completely agree with your principles, and that it's important to keep the basic principles in mind, to make sure they're being followed, instead of pushed aside, by the particular laws. And I think that mediation is a much better conflict-resolution than court on many occassions. But let's not be too hasty to throw out the whole system.

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  •  08-21-2006, 1:35 PM 4878 in reply to 4864

    • maryw is not online. Last active: 09-04-2008, 12:45 PM maryw
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    Re: Integral View of Abortion

    yschacter:
    There's been some discussion of "when life begins" as the marker of when abortions should stop. That strikes me as silly. I would imagine that most of us can agree that it's a gradual process going from a very alive zygote to a very alive adult, and there isn't any one moment when suddenly, BAM, the being jumps from the not-living side of the room to the living side of the room without crossing through the middle.

    Yotam -- Maybe it does seem silly in many ways, but there's actually has been and continues to be a lot of legal and moral hand-wringing over this. A human zygote is alive -- but is it a person, or is it a cluster of cells comprising a potential person? And the fact is, people do not necessarily agree it all boils down to a gradual process: some say that the person is entirely there at conception, others say that the person is entirely there when machines can detect brain activity, others say it's not until the child can survive outside the mother's womb. (And now I'm recalling a cartoon of an angry anti-contraception woman holding a sign: "Life begins at flirtation!" -- i.e., in some people's eyes personhood begins before conception . . . Tongue Tied [:S] )

     (...and if people were to agree that zygotes and embryos are pre-sentient, potential persons--that wouldn't necessarily mean that there is no life to value there -- but rather that a woman's informed decision to deny life to a potential person is not equated with murder ... )

    So that's a big part of why it's a controversy: not so much when does life begin, but when do we (or should we) ascribe personhood to unborn life? We do not live in a world where most people agree that it is a gradual process beginning at the zygote stage. Our world is messier (and, I guess, sillier Wink [;)]) than that.

    Peace, all --

    Mary


    Let the beauty we love be what we do.
    There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

    ~Rumi
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  •  08-21-2006, 2:53 PM 4889 in reply to 4878

    Re: Integral View of Abortion

    Hi, I am new round here and I thought that i would just poke my head in and make a brief statement. I am also new to IT, not quite sure how to label my way of thinking as of yet..... I have skimmed the thread and if this has already been said sorry.and some of the posts I have no idea what they are talking about ;-)

    One can argue if abortion is right or wrong, and when does life begin forever..... for me that is not the point. If abortion is made illegal it will continue to happen regardless. It will effect the young mothers and the impoverished the most. They are more likely to abandon their children and recieve unsafe procedures because they will not be able to afford illegal procedures by “good” doctors. As a society I think that it would be more constructive to focus on preventing unwanted pregnancy through education and birth control.

    Teaching individuals at a young age about the physical, emotional, spiritual, psychological responsibilites re: sex could be the responsibility of health professionals, teachers, parents, friends, NGO's etc. There needs to a variety of ways to address unwanted pregancy( and STD’s for that matter) in every type of situation.

    I doubt that anyone is "totally psyched to get an abortion"... and coming from someone who has had an abortion at a young age, it was not a positive expereince at all. Although I am thankful that I had that option, I regret that I had put myself in that situation in the first place . It could have been prevented.

    Consequently, I believe that our society as a whole would benefit morally and spirtually from less of these procedures. We are not there yet, and until we reach that point, where it is not utilized, unless in extreme cases(rape, incest, illness), it seems to me that an integral approach to this would be to work with society as it is and to continue to move up the spiral....what will that look like? I don't know.
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  •  08-21-2006, 4:06 PM 4896 in reply to 4889

    Re: Integral View of Abortion

    monifaye, thank you. Just as I am realizing how close to home this issue really has to hit everybody -or, perhaps better said, just as I am realizing how close to home this issue hits me in so many, many different and myriad ways, I mean direct ways . . . it is almost becoming unbearable, I was wondering how close to home this issue might hit everybody else.

    Without going any further for now (except to say that you bring up a very important AQAL aspect of the truth that abortion as such is only one central aspect of a much, much, much larger story with some pretty big aspects that are directly related, again, on all four quadrants and from all eight perspectives/zones) I wanted to share this personal story and see what everybody thinks.

    I know what my opinion is, I am wondering what every or any one else's opinion/analysis is.

    Um, especially with regard to "freedom" . . .and "individuality."

    What would you do?

    *       *        *       *     *       *

    A story for consideration.The story of one of my peers.

    Last time I checked, only 7 years out of High School, this individualual had been pregnant a total of 13 times. (So let’s see, that works out to an average of about twice a year.)

    of the pregnancies ended in abortion, 2 were given up for adoption and 1 being raised by her grandmother. (My peer's daughter was being raised by my peers mother.)

    I want to repeat that.

    of the pregnancies ended in abortion, 

    2 living children were given up for adoption, now being raised by other families (that is, two children, two different families) and 

    1 beautiful young lady was now being raised by her grandmother.

    The only reason for the two adoptions was because, indeed, the “we” in this "individual’s" life just could not stand it any longer. After the two adoptions, the “we” decided it could no longer stand that either and the grandmother (this mother’s mother) finally said I will take the child and raise it myself. (And by the way, it should not evade mention that granparents raising their children's children is not uncommon these days in America. It is a growing, significant, national statistic -and this is also not the only time I have experienced it.)

    All of this would be quite enough, except for the fact that when I heard this story she was currently pregnant again, unable to determine who might be the father, since during the window of conception -three days -she had actually slept with five different guys . . . (Can’t remember the number exactly, but I do remember it exceeded the number of days) and the discussion was: does grandmother adopt this new baby as well? Or watch another go Catholic Charities and to another family? Or allow another abortion?

    I suppose it goes without saying, but I personally would still like to mention that, obviously in all of the cases, whatever "father" there was in any of those (and it was different for all) was, of course, nowhere on this Earth to be found.

    I know what my opinion is on this story. But would anybody else care to venture a diagnosis? An opinion. An observation . . .Anything?

    One last thing, I almost forgot. As I was listening to this, my peer's mother was wearing one of those industrial/allergen face masks because she was in all honesty not young and dealing with not anymore the greatest of health.

    This was my peer, from one of the best and most loving families, the sister was my friend, now going to med school, the mother was my friend, an intelligent, loving, active community menber, highly educated, an accomplished pianist involved in several ecumenical church groups, wouldn't hurt a fly, the education that we all got was such that if you transferred to the public high school you would only have to take three classes; PE, History and Study Hall-at which point you could go home, and oh, this peer was a member of the national honors society too.

    What do we make of this story -especially since it is not the only one I could tell.

    What would have been your reaction, say, if you were in the position of the mother?

    And what does this say about freedom? And Individuality?

    Offer a Spiral Diagnosis?

     


    "With whom or with what are you in communion at this moment?"
    . . ."I?" he replied, almost mechanically. "Why not with anyone or anything."
    "You must be a marvel . . . if you are able to continue in that state for long."
    -Constantin Stanislavsky
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  •  08-21-2006, 7:33 PM 4911 in reply to 4896

    Re: Integral View of Abortion

    This is an extreme circumstance. But i bet that this happens for often than we realize.

    My inital response to this situation is anger. Anger and frustration. Her behavior is irresponsible and narcissitic, abusive and negligent. However, I also recognize that this woman obviously needs some serious help....5 men in 3 days...Is she doing this for pleasure, drugs, or is this her occupation? In all honesty it sounds like she has a sexual addiction issue, and I say this because she seems to fulfill her immediate need for satisfaction , thru sex ( beige perhaps?) without any regard for the consequences ( pregnancy , STD's).

    There are pieces missing from your story.....perhaps it was too long to write? Was there ever an intervention, any discussion of birth control? Has anyone offered to drive her to Planned Parent Hood and pay for a depo provera shot? Would she refuse? Has she been tested for STD's?

    After figuring out what to do with this new pregnancy, the priority is for her to STOP getting pregnant. She is causing harm to others her children and to society as well, it is not unlikely that she is spreading disease.... Who knows her best? Who can connect with her to convince her take precautions in preventing pregnancy?

    She is in need of a serious intervention, and if this is an addiction problem it will be difficult.

    As far as being free and an individual, she is a slave to her addiction. She is not acting from a place of freedom.
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  •  08-21-2006, 7:40 PM 4912 in reply to 4911

    Re: Integral View of Abortion

    Just a quick reply, I want more opinions . . .

    She was considered a legal adult with her own legal agency, what could anyone do? This was all her right. Correct? no legal steps could be taken -where? What? How? What else could anyone do?

    The intevention was the adoptions, culminating in the grandmother's adoption . . . obviously other steps had ben tried, but again, this is a legal "adult" and these are within the law, her rights.

    What really is anyone to do?

    And as far as sexual addiction and any other possible "problem" . . . at what point does an individual . . . consider some responsibility?

    Remember, she was not breaking any laws . . .


    "With whom or with what are you in communion at this moment?"
    . . ."I?" he replied, almost mechanically. "Why not with anyone or anything."
    "You must be a marvel . . . if you are able to continue in that state for long."
    -Constantin Stanislavsky
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  •  08-22-2006, 12:03 AM 4918 in reply to 4912

    • maryw is not online. Last active: 09-04-2008, 12:45 PM maryw
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    Re: Integral View of Abortion

    Ahh, Tim –

     

    I have to admit that my very first response to your post was: irritation. Irritation because it seems to me (if I'm reading you correctly) that you are using an emotionally-charged anecdote, and an unusual one even though it’s a true story, to make some implicit point about why “we” need to step in and tell women (or at least some women) what to do with their reproductive capacities. I mean, we can come up with a wild and woolly array of anecdotes until the cows come home. I could offer one about a young girl who became pregnant after being raped by her father – who then beat her to death when he discovered that she tried to get a judge to waive her state’s parental-notification laws so that she could get an abortion. There’s something about the use of extreme examples and emotional appeals in persuasive arguments that – well, it’s a kind of propaganda, of stacking the deck. That kind of argument feels unfair to me, because most women who have abortions do not have nine of them – and also because most pregnant teenage girls were not raped and eventually killed by their fathers. (So of course I have to step back and look at myself, because I too use anecdotes to drive points home all the time! Damnit!)

     

    But I need to say that even as I experience this irritation, Tim, I recognize that you deeply care about this complex issue and that you yearn to uncover solutions of Kosmic embrace. I deeply respect that. And it humbles me … Thank you for bearing with me. I also understand that the extreme stories deserve to have their "say." And this all hits home for me too. I'm an adoptee. I also had an abortion when I was in my twenties, when I was in a very different place in my life. If I were able to go back in time now, I would give birth to that child. I do wish I had had better counseling then. But I still would want abortion to be legal, I still would want women to be able to make their own reproductive choices. Preferably informed choices -- but their own choices all the same.

     

    At any rate, I’ll go ahead and share some other observations / opinions / questions about the story of woe you have shared. (Monifaye has actually already said a lot of this, I see -- I wrote this response offline while she was writing hers, apparently...)

     

    ~I feel frightened for that woman who had all those abortions and who is apparently sexually compulsive. She seems to be deeply unhealthy, wounded, and it looks like she will continue to hurt herself and possibly others. She definitely needs serious help, counseling, therapy, etc., even if she’s deemed to be legally competent to make her own decisions. I’m glad to hear that concerned others have stepped in to assist her, to give her options – apparently without coercing her. A couple of questions left hanging are: does she recognize at all the severity of her problem? Or does she need to “hit bottom” before she does so? I also wonder about your statement that she was from a “loving family”—are you really sure that she has had such a healthy family life? Her behavior suggests otherwise…

     

    ~Why isn’t she using contraception, or why hasn’t she gotten sterilized? Were all her pregnancies the result of contraceptive failures, or is the use of contraception against her belief system?  If that’s the case, might she be persuaded to seek consistent guidance and counsel from respected mentors who share her belief system? [Afterthought: the woman actually does accept the use of contraception, or else she wouldn't have had all those abortions. She's just using very inefficient (and harsh on the body) contraception! Duh.]

     

    ~Unusual anecdotes may be compelling, but they do not change my pro-choice views. Abortion needs to remain legal and accessible; I don't think the spiral would benefit by the enacting of more laws restricting access to abortion. Sure, if abortion were not so readily available the woman in your scenario may have gone the route of adoption in some of her other pregnancies – but she may have just as well sought out illegal abortions or other harmful options. The best “we” might do, as Monifaye and several others posting here have already suggested, is work to make abortion rarer by enhancing sex education, contraceptive availability, mentoring, counseling, economic assistance for mothers, pre and postnatal health care, adoption and foster and (as you mentioned) in-family options. Encourage loving and respectful partnerships and family relationships. And--for those who believe that zygotes are persons--place emphasis on compassionate guidance and loving assistance rather than state coercion when it comes to reproductive issues. Gentle persuasion. Attraction rather than force.

     

    Peace,

    Mary


    Let the beauty we love be what we do.
    There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

    ~Rumi
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  •  08-22-2006, 6:45 AM 4924 in reply to 4912

    Re: Integral View of Abortion

    my opinion of the story is that it's about a person in serious, tragic, deep trouble.  you could plop that story into a thread about psychotherapy, about the decline of american society . . . but here it is in our abortion thread.  this is a story about a person who needs help, an intervention . . . however loving the loving family, however many abortions, however well educated, however "adult" under the law . . . those are distractions from the central issue that someone needs rescuing . . . as do millions of others in more or less dire circumstances.

    later,

    gene

     

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  •  08-22-2006, 7:00 AM 4926 in reply to 4918

    Re: Integral View of Abortion

    Tim brings up an extremely important point: How do you help someone who is very clearly suffering (and thus causing others to suffer as well) if they don't trust you, or don't believe they need help?

    I've found that when someone is sick (mentally or physically) and they aren't seeking help for themselves, it's really, really, really hard to do anything about it. It seems to take a huge amount of skill, a skill that the vast majority of us humans simply don't have. With many, many years of determined study, I'm still not there yet. At least not for adults - kids are a lot easier, since they have had less time for their shadows to set up shop. Also, kids are far more openminded than adults, so it's easier for them to trust others. Adults have had decades to build up their shadows and make them a nice comfy home in the mind!

    It occured to me a while back that knowing how to help people should be elementary education, not an exclusive and expensive grad school program! We teach even young kids basic first aid, right? And we even certify high school students in some of the more complicated first aid skills (CPR). But we do next to nothing for emotional first aid! At least not in most schools I've heard of. I even took Psychology in high school, and didn't get any lessons about even the simplist first aid for stress, trauma, or addictions. What's up with that?

    I've been working on my own theory. It goes like this:

    When someone is suffering (angry, sad, afraid, anxious, depressed, etc. - essentially stuck in "fight or flight" mode in some aspect of their life), they need from you, in this exact order:

    1. Safety - the removal of harmful/threatening things in their immediate life, and the addition of healthy things (nutritious food, water, warmth, love, and so on).

    2. Understanding and empathy - they need validation that they are worthy of being helped. Being mentally sick means that one's sense of worth - self esteem - is also sick. This leads to the mind either aggressively attacking it's self or aggressively defending it's self. So the only thing that can do is help them to return to a healthy self esteem. (This is where I'm still completely at a loss in dealing with adults! I've been taught so solidly to attack people who are suffering, that I have a very hard time figuring out how to be empathetic...)

    3. Hope that the future will be better - things to look forward to. People who are suffering erroneously believe that things will never change and their lives will always suck, so why bother taking care of themselves or others?

    4. Healthy options. Only now, after steps 1-3 have been satisfied, can people who are suffering look for solutions in a reasonable frame of mind. (This is where I often, mistakenly, start my "help" process. No wonder I fail so much!)

    So, that's where I am right now. I don't know if this theory is completely accurate, but it seems to be far more accurate than anything else I've happened upon.

    Any other theories you folks can add? I'd love to have more input on this, as it's such an important part of being a caring person (in a Second Tier kinda way).

    Thanks!

    Peace, Love, and Bicycles,
    Turtle
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