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Abortion

Written and Complied by Barrington H. Brennen

October 5, 2011, 2017, 2022

Abortion Survey    Abortion Article

While I am a firm believer in a woman's right to choose whether or not to have an abortion, the decision should not be taken lightly.  I also believe that abortion within the first trimester, should be legal.  It is also my view that abortion during the second and third trimester should be legal only when there is severe birth defects, the mother's life is in danger, or other serious medical or psychological concerns.  I will support legalizing abortion in The Bahamas similar to the abortion law in Barbados.  Read below.

IMPORTANT POINTS:   Abortion is still used in many countries as a means of family planning. The medical reasons for abortion are limited and constitute a small proportion of all abortion cases.  There is no evidence that making abortion legal increases abortion.  In the United States of American abortion as been decreasing over the past thirty years.  It is my view that making abortion legal will allow an increase of education and information and planned psychological support that might actually reduce the amount of abortion.  When abortion is illegal the medical risks are higher because those choosing to abort are not seeking proper advice.  In addition, there is very little or no emotional support.

"While abortion is legal in some countries such as Guyana, Cuba, Barbados and the Caribbean Netherlands, it is illegal or highly restricted in other areas. The island of Saint Martin is made up of two countries with different abortion laws. Women in St. . . .Unsafe abortion contributes to maternal mortality in the Caribbean and Latin America. These regions also have the highest estimated annual abortion rates in the world, at 65 per 1000 women of childbearing age in 2014. In Jamaica, abortion is legally restricted and unsafe abortion is prevalent."

"Abortion in Barbados is legal when performed to save the life of the woman, to preserve her physical or mental health, in cases of foetal impairment, when the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest, and for economic or social reasons. In 1983, Barbados passed the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, and abortion was made legal, other than upon request without a physician's oversight.  Prior to 12 weeks gestation, the woman must get approval from a physician to receive abortion care.  Between 12 and 20 weeks, two physicians must approve, and three are required after 20 weeks. Before getting the medical procedure, the woman is required to receive counseling.  A medical practitioner must perform the abortion services, and after 12 weeks, they must do so in a government-approved hospital."  Wikipedia

Abortion is illegal in The Bahamas. However, many abortions are conducted (illegally) each year.  Don't ask, don't tell,” said the physician, but you can obtain an abortion in the Bahamas for around $750, although the price varies above and below depending on the physician or the location. Access to abortions, he said, is rife with class discrimination.” “If you have the means to an abortion, it is not a big deal." 

 

THE CHURCH AND ABORTION:

THE CATHOLICS: "The official teachings of the Catholic Church oppose all forms of abortion procedures whose direct purpose is to destroy a zygote, blastocyst, embryo or fetus, since it holds that "human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception."  Wikipedia

THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS: "The Church does not serve as conscience for individuals; however, it should provide moral guidance. Abortions for reasons of birth control, gender selection, or convenience are not condoned by the Church. Women, at times, however, may face exceptional circumstances that present serious moral or medical dilemmas, such as significant threats to the pregnant woman's life, serious jeopardy to her health, severe congenital defects carefully diagnosed in the fetus, and pregnancy resulting from rape or incest. The final decision whether to terminate the pregnancy or not should be made by the pregnant woman after appropriate consultation. She should be aided in her decision by accurate information, biblical principles, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Moreover, these decisions are best made within the context of healthy family relationships."  Official Statement made by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

THE ASSEMBLIES OF GOD:  "The Assemblies of God views the practice of abortion as an evil that has been inflicted upon millions of innocent babies and that will threaten millions more in the years to come. Abortion is a morally unacceptable alternative for birth control, population control, sex selection, and elimination of the physically and mentally handicapped. Certain parts of the world are already experiencing serious population imbalances as a result of the systematic abortion of female babies. The advocacy and practice of so-called partial birth abortion of babies is particularly heinous. . . .
Sexual responsibility. Contemporary demands for abortion often flow from the practice of sexual freedom without corresponding responsibility. The Scriptures speak definitively against premarital and extramarital sexual intercourse and declare such activity to be sinful (Exodus 22:16; Acts 15:20; 1 Corinthians 6:9,13,18; Galatians 5:19). To add abortion as an after-the-fact birth control device is to deepen and compound the sin with resultant guilt and emotional distress. The Assemblies of God affirms the biblical mandate for sexual purity and responsibility that, when obeyed, will obviate and eliminate situations in which abortion might otherwise be contemplated."  Adopted by the General Presbytery of the Assemblies of God in Session, August 9-11, 2010

ISLAM AND ABORTION:  "Muslim views on abortion are shaped by the Hadith as well as by the opinions of legal and religious scholars and commentators. The Quran does not directly address intentional abortion, leaving greater discretion to the laws of individual countries. Although opinions among Islamic scholars differ over when a pregnancy can be terminated, there are no explicit prohibitions on a woman's right to abort under Islamic law.  There are four Sunni Islam schools of thought—Hanafi, Shafi‘i, Hanbali and Maliki—and they have their own reservations on if and when abortions can happen in Islam. The Maliki madhhab holds "that the fetus is ensouled at the moment of conception" and thus "most Malikis do not permit abortion at any point, seeing God's hand as actively forming the fetus at every stage of development." On the other hand, "some Hanafi scholars believe that abortion before the hundred twenty day period is over is permitted though some Hanafi scholars teach that an abortion within 120 days is makruh (disapproved). Abortion is recommended any time where the mother life is in danger. The mother life is paramount in this decision. Sahih al-Bukhari writes that the fetus is believed to become a living soul after 120 days' gestation. [4] American academic Azizah Y. al-Hibri claims that "the majority of Muslim scholars permit abortion, although they differ on the stage of fetal development beyond which it becomes prohibited."[5] According to Sherman Jackson, "while abortion, even during the first trimester, is forbidden according to a minority of jurists, it is not held to be an offense for which there are criminal or even civil sanctions." Wikipidia

UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Official statements of The United Methodist Church express the denomination's life-centered ethics.  The United Methodist Church does NOT affirm abortion as a means of birth control.  We also “unconditionally reject” abortion “as a means of gender selection or eugenics. And we reject late-term abortions except where the mother's life is in danger, or in cases of severe fetal abnormalities incompatible with life.

CHURCH OF GOD:  Taken from the 1976 Resolution on Abortion.  "BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we urge our entire constituency to actively oppose any liberalization of abortion laws by state legislatures and by the Congress of the United States; and  BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that no individual should ever consider abortion as an option except in the gravest circumstances, after medical and religious consultation of the most serious nature (56th A., 1976, pp. 35, 36).

UNITARIAN UNIVERSALISM:
"The Unitarian Universalist Church strongly supports abortion rights. In 1978, the Unitarian Universalist Association passed a resolution that declared, "...[the] right to choice on contraception and abortion are important aspects of the right of privacy, respect for human life, and freedom of conscience of women and their families". The Association had released earlier statements in 1963 and 1968 favoring the reform of restrictive abortion laws."

 

SOME FACTS TO REVIEW

In 2000, cases of rape or incest accounted for 1% of abortions. Another study, in 1998, revealed that in 1987-1988 women reported the following reasons for choosing an abortion:

  • 25.5% Want to postpone childbearing

  • 21.3% Cannot afford a baby

  • 14.1% Has relationship problem or partner does not want pregnancy

  • 12.2% Too young; parent(s) or other(s) object to pregnancy

  • 10.8% Having a child will disrupt education or job

  • 7.9% Want no (more) children

  • 3.3% Risk to fetal health

  • 2.8% Risk to maternal health

  • 2.1% Other

According to many studies the primary reasons for choosing an abortion are:

  • Pregnancy was not planned or wanted
  • Not ready to have a baby yet  
  • Inconvenient time of life or the child interferes with goals
  • Financial concerns
  • Pressure by parents or other family members  
  • Fear of people finding out about the pregnancy

But, the number one reason that women choose abortionist is because the partner, the father of the child, either passively or aggressively, refuses to support the woman in carrying the child to birth.

In other words, the woman believes that she will be abandoned by the most important person in her life if she continues the pregnancy.

Yet 70% of Relationships End Anyway!

It has been reported that an estimated 70% of relationships end within the first year following an abortion. If you are thinking that having an abortion will help you keep your lover, think again.

Why do the men leave?
Often, the men who refuse to live up to their responsibilities resent the women that they have let down: the mother of the child that they did not support.

And, when a woman realizes the pain abortion has caused, she will resent the man who got them pregnant and did not fulfill his obligations as a father.

Other factors such as guilt, shame, anger, and fear are other reasons why the relationship may end.

Types of Abortion

  • Therapeutic abortion  (Mother’s health) There are more than 50 surgeries which can be performed inside the uterus. If this is possible, the fetus, even inside the uterus of the mother, is already considered a patient, in other words, a person; and, if it is a person, it has the right to live.  However, early decision about abortion is key here.   The mother's health must be considered.
  • Eugenic abortion Imperfection (defect):  Perfection does not mean having the right to live. People do not pass a quality control. A person can be “defective” (physically imperfect) yet still wonderful human being… or be physically complete, “perfect”, but a human monster or a despicable person. This is not a reason to abort. The kindness of a human heart does no need a perfect body to develop itself completely.  However, it is my view that if a fetus has a life-threatening defect (so to speak) therapeutic can be an option.  I am talking about babies born blind or with not hands, etc.  Many of these live to have very productive lives. 
  • Abortion for ignorance It is not a life.  One would have to hide tons of scientific information which confirms that it is a life by looking at the stages of gestation. The majority of women who have an abortion really do not know what they are doing. If they knew, they would not do it.
  • Social abortion Overpopulation: As an example: China, with its policy of having just one child, avoided the birth of at least 2 million children from 1970 to the present…and as a consequence, in the near future will see increase of aged people, the aging of its population. (AICA December 1, 1999).  The aging of the population, not the in population lives, the fertility rate is under the 2.1 necessary to assure the replacement of generations.
  • Emotional abortion Rape:  Rape is a violent act.   It is my view that a woman can have the option to abort due to rape.  It will be best this is done early (within the first trimester).   The problem for me is when there is a later-term abortion.  This is a personal choice.  There are countless persons who were born out of rape and have become outstanding citizens.   It is not just an automatic abortion.  Is abortion the best option that society can offer a woman who has been raped? A woman is a victim of a rape and not of a pregnancy. She must receive psychological therapy, and perhaps physical therapy too, but not through an abortion. This will not release her from any of the pain (physical nor psychological) produced by a rape. 
  • It is my view that in most cases of rape, if there was a loving relationship with parent, or significant other in the person's life, the rape victim who is pregnant, will not wait long to act.  Many do not want to check if they are pregnant or are afraid to tell others, and thus wait until the decision for abortion might be questionable.  

Psychological Effects of Abortion In the last 18 months (2003 report) alone, seven new studies have been published in major medical journals showing that abortion is associated with elevated rates of suicide, death from other causes, substance abuse, clinical depression, and psychiatric hospitalization. It has been discovered that there are many emotional aspects that can effect the psychological well being of women who undergo an abortion. These emotions include guilty feelings, anxiety, depression, loss, anger, and even suicide. Clinical research has found that when women are in trusting, sharing relationships, they report deep seated feelings of exploitation over their abortion experience.

Symptoms of Post-Abortion-Syndrome Disorder  There is a large spectrum of symptoms of this disorder. In order to diagnose that a woman has Post-Abortion-Syndrome she must be completely honest with herself, and with the feelings that she has. Many women report strong feelings of guilt and confusion, as well as loss and many other emotions. In Canadian study by Dr. Ian Kent, many women feel deep loss and pain for the child that "should have been". (Kent 1989, 6) One woman reports the wave and confusion she went through, " I felt an incredible sense of loss that plunged me deeper into a state of confusion." (Hutchison 1997, 23) There are extreme cases, in which the diagnosis is very easy. Such cases include a seventeen-year-old girl who developed lethargy, malaise, and vomiting. Doctors were unable to reach any conclusion about condition, then on the anniversary of her abortion she experienced overt psychosis. Mental examination revealed hallucinations, as well as psychotic thought processes. Guilt is probably the most common symptom of a Post-Abortion-Syndrome, which can lead to depression, complexes, or fear of infertility and of sex. (Alliance Action Inc. 1996, 1)

Many women recognize that they have been misled about the abortion procedure itself and by assurances that abortion is the right choice so they can get on with their life. They often find that they cannot get on with their life, instead experiencing the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder. Students stop studying or drop out. Career women lose incentive or change jobs. Relationships with men and with other family members are often destroyed or seriously compromised. One women observed, “The destruction of a precious, sweet child totally destroys the beauty of the sexual union that created it.”

Barrington Brennen is pro-choice and pro-family
I believe in the right and freedom to choose.
I believe in the sacredness of human life.

 

 

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