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QUESTIONS RE ABORTION, IRELAND 2013
 
I have some questions for people who are thinking about the rightness or wrongness of abortion.

Is a right to life that does not respect bodily inviolability a right to life at all?  What use is a right to life if people have the right to harvest even a cupful of blood from you to save the life of another whether you consent or not? 

Pro-life claim to respect the right to life of the mother equally with that of her baby even if only a few weeks into pregnancy.  When you put it that way you see they would let a mother die over something that may be too undeveloped to have a right to life the same as she has.  It is obvious their lives cannot be equally valuable.

The Vatican likes to be seen as a paragon of pro-life virtue doesn't it? What would happen if people knew what happened during the civil war in the Congo in 1966? Black soldiers occupied many Catholic convents and some of the white nuns were left pregnant by them. The Vatican organised that these women be given surgeries for various problems - in fact the surgeries never happened. What really happened was abortions were performed on Vatican instructions. This was covered up.

Even if abortion were a major sin it does not justify the Church levying an excommunication against Catholics who have abortions or who procure them.  Little girls who were compelled to have an abortion and who were not doing it freely were still excommunicated.
 
If abortion is murder and the Church says lying to prevent murder is wrong but not sinful for you have no choice then it follows that counsellors should tell lies in order to stop women who are contemplating abortion from going ahead with it. The Church is too hypocritical to admit it endorses this. Even if it cannot clearly endorse it, it still is to blame for creating the situation. Not all endorsement needs to be clear or verbal.
 
Even if abortion is wrong, nobody has the right to say it should result in everlasting damnation if the woman fails to repent and turn to God. That is hate speech pure and simple. There is no need to go that far. The Catholic Church hides its hate in its passive aggression and the mask often slips.
 
What if a woman is pregnant and it is known the baby will pass away inside her or die when it is born. She may seek an abortion to spare the baby suffering and because the baby will die anyway. The Church condemns abortion even then. It might say she cannot know what will happen. But even if she could and did, this knowledge would make no difference to the Church's anti-abortion position. Thus the callousness or stupidity of torturing a baby over alleged respect for its life is plainly seen.
 
Do you think people are right to suspect that the ban on abortion is based on religious bigotry disguised as love? Here is an example of that mentality. Three true Catholics, Fr Kevin Doran, Sr Eugene Nolan and John Morgan, who were members of the Mater Hospital Board in Dublin managed to stop trials of a drug for lung cancer patients at the hospital. They did so on the basis that females taking the drug were required to use contraception in case they would get pregnant.
 
Women have been in agony while about to suffer miscarriages and the Catholic hospitals have refused to conduct aggressive pain management in case it would kill the baby which was probably dead anyway or was dying.
 
Some people who oppose abortion totally knowing that the abortion law cannot for now be ended completely compromise with it by seeking a ban on later abortions and want laws that lower the time-limit. The Catholic Church cannot agree with that approach as it regards the abortion of a fetus that isn't even visible to the naked eye as bad as aborting a baby at 24 weeks. They trivialise and mock the issue by equating the two. They complain that looking for earlier term abortion leads to an increase in abortion. Mothers to be know that their time to decide is short and so they have an early abortion just in case they decide they don't want the baby when it is too late. They have an earlier abortion because it is easier to feel they have done nothing wrong then. The later the abortion the bigger the risk of bereavement or the feeling that one is a murderer of one's own child. And it is physically safer.
 
The Catholics claim that abortion is never needed to save a life. The Catholic "expert" cannot supply a single reference to a peer reviewed scientific paper that is of the opinion the abortion is absolutely never medically necessary under any circumstances. Do you not think Catholicism is being fundamentalist and untruthful? It must be for it asserts something as a fact while ignoring the facts.
 
Even if abortion is wrong, is it not the business of women who are faced with the personal choice to decide if it should be allowed? If they agree with it, they are not forcing their will on others so why do men and bishops for example want to force their anti-abortion views on them?
 
The Church says abortion is such a great evil that if a girl plans a secret abortion you must tell the father or her parents and encourage them to stop her. Hide her car keys. This is gross interference in the business of another. The Church never stops women being sent to prison for having an abortion. No pope has been on their side.
 
The Roman Catholic Church says that doctors must never perform an abortion. They cannot even delegate other doctors who have no conscientious objections to abortion to do it for them. That is a sin too. This an alarming interference by the Church in the medical profession and shows how it is willing to force pregnancy on women.
 
Abortion is more complex than some people let on.

Some who say direct abortion is always wrong seem to permit indirect abortion.  Indirect abortion makes out the loss of the child is an accident or collateral damage.   It is seen as an unintended side-effect.  Yet if direct abortion is a human right they will not admit that the purpose of abortion is to respect the body and rights of the woman and that it is not really killing for the death is a side-effect. 

If a woman has to take two pills to effect an abortion there is a chance that the baby might survive if she fails to take the second.  But what about the complications for the mother and the baby?  Reason says she is better even for the sake of the future child to take the second pill.

Anti-abortionists like anti-same sex marriage campaigners say they worry about a slippery slope. But we are already on the slope. Being on the slope has the advantage that you can see how the law permitting something is being abused and you can address those abuses.
 
What if during IVF or the use of fertility drugs too many embryos implant in the womb? Do we want to deprive the woman of the right to have one or more embryos removed? Is it better to remove them at an early stage than to be faced with the huge risk that the babies will have to be delivered non-viable later and die?
 
Ectopic pregnancies need to be ended. The embryo will not live and the mother will die if it continues. Medications can stop and end ectopic pregnancy. They work by killing the embryo. The Church does not like to hear of any of that for it shows its abortion ban is just insane. Abortion cannot be always wrong! What about directly removing the embryo during an ectopic pregnancy? This is forbidden though it is best for the woman. If there were some reason why the tube cannot be taken away which indirectly kills the baby, the Church forbids direct removal. The mother will die. Think of the principle and how cruel it is. Can you believe in the good will of people with principles like that?
 
What about hybrid embryos? They are mostly human with some animal genetic material. Are we to keep them alive?
 
The Church condemns PGD - Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis. This is where embryos that are in test tubes or developed outside the body of the mother and are screened for genetic defects that can lead to them becoming unhealthy babies or babies with a poor chance of survival are destroyed. This is condemned by the Church as murderous eugenics.
 
The Church likes the story of how God said he would not destroy evil and violent and barbaric Sodom and Gomorrah if there were a handful of righteous people there. Yet it permits war where there will be a huge loss of unborn life! And life which it says is the only true innocent life!
 
The newly fertilised egg is said by the Church to be a person as much as a grown-up is. Is it one individual? It has the power to become twins. Are we two people at conception? Is killing the zygote killing two people or what could be a million people if nature allowed it to divide that much?
 
Can the Catholic Church be trusted when it says science says that abortion is never necessary to save a life and cannot quote any peer-reviewed medical science journals to justify its assertion? The Church steals the role of science.
 
From the religious perspective, Ivan at Medjugorje was told by the Virgin Mary that aborted babies become angels. Is abortion really that serious of a sin then? She has virtually never condemned abortion in her hundreds of messages given since 1981.  The claims that she did once or twice hardly count and sh is speaking to one visionary so it is really just hearsay.  Is it really God’s business what we do? It cannot do him any harm as he is all-powerful and all-happy.
 
World over-population will sentence many people to a horrible existence and death. Has abortion done a lot to delay the over-population catastrophe?
 
Ireland legalised abortion if the mother to be threatens suicide. It is true that this rule can be abused. But we have to take the mother to be's word for it that she will kill herself. And as many people commit suicide without being depressed or mentally ill nobody can prove she is probably lying or probably telling the truth.
 
Ireland can jail a woman for 14 years for having an abortion. It is evil of Catholicism to exert such an influence that this could be done to a woman who had a very early abortion when nobody in their right mind thinks the embryo is a person! To say you think that is to indicate that those women should be treated as if they killed adults and to indicate hatred for those women. It is hypocrisy to say any different.

The foetus is part of the mother and has no potential to live apart from her. Life by itself does not establish a right to life. A kidney may be killed. A woman has a right over her body but is it enough to forbid abortion?  Is banning abortion bad in so far as it has to pass over her right to her own body? It is possible that abortion considered on its own is a very bad thing. But it is made less bad and even tolerable on the basis that the woman's body is important too.

Men have responsibility for the foetus but not the right to make decisions about its future.  A foetus unlike one of us adults does not have a concept of its future and will not undergo horror that its life is going to be taken. Very few consider a woman rejoicing over her miscarriage as being on a par with a woman who is delighted that her newborn dies. The Church doesn't either though it would lie and say it does.
 
The Church forbids the shooting of abortionists despite teaching that abortion is one of the worst forms of murder. It refuses to admit that in theory, if killing an abortionist saves the babies he will abort then he should be killed for better one death than many. If the abortionist was a doctor killing born babies the Church would agree he should be shot dead if its the only way. The priests know deep down their religion is based on hypocrisy. Their belief does not really respect the unborn babies. Such hypocrisy festers inside and can make the priest callous towards say the Church's victims of sexual abuse. The person who thinks for example that taking the contraceptive pill is murder can get desensitised, at least partly, in relation to real murder. And we have seen how all the bishops and priests that knew what was going on hardly any became whistleblowers. Atheists realise that it is better to allow abortion than to teach that it is murder. That teaching implies that if it is possible to know that you can save babies by killing abortionists then you are obligated to do it. That implication is enough to justify allowing abortion and discouraging the view that it is necessarily murder.
 
It is total lunacy to put the life of an unborn baby who isn't viable before the life of the mother who is. It is like saying you should risk a person's life by taking their organs to keep a person alive who is dying and who will still be dying after the transplants.

If you are anti-abortion and pro-life, then you are not helping your cause by trying to give the Catholic Church credibility by being a member of it. If you are a member of a religion you have acquiesced your right to disobey that religion in its teachings regarding faith and morality. You are giving it credibility by staying on the membership list and are giving away your own credibility if you dissent from it in a way it has forbidden. The reason the Catholic Church is better at getting people to become pro-choice than pro-life is because of its self-righteous smug attitude and hypocrisy. It is hypocrisy to forbid the killing of an embryo that barely knows its alive and to allow the killing of adult animals for they are more advanced.

A woman has an abortion. The "baby" is gone. Any pro-life person is not taking this alleged murder very seriously by saying, "What is done is done! It is time to focus on the girl."

Pro-life people often win the argument by accusing pro-choice of seeing the baby in the womb if unwanted as a parasite.  This term seems hugely offensive and medically and scientifically inaccurate.  Imagine if a top doctor needed to be connected to your body and plugged into you and only you can keep him alive at least until he passes his lifesaving superior knowledge on.  You are kidnapped and forced to be connected to him.  The Church would call him a parasite.  And as for the unwanted baby who endangers his mother's life he is not a parasite!  Such hypocrisy.

We conclude that we should feel by now that abortion is tolerable at the very least. A necessary deduction from that is to call abortion murder is to call doctors and the mother murderers and is hate speech. If calling them scum is hate speech then calling them murderers is worse. If you really believe it is murder you could end up going berserk and killing a woman for having had an abortion or working as an abortionist. The Church might disapprove but it should call it manslaughter not murder. We need to ask if it is time to legally penalise those who demonise abortion? What about those who use the morning after pill which often causes an early abortion without the mother even knowing? What about users of the abortion pill? If you call them murderers then you have to agree that the state should prosecute these women at least in principle if it chooses to. Nobody would regard you as sane if you called a girl who took the abortion pill a murderer. If you believe it or if you claim to know that it is true then why not tell her to her face?

A person can accuse women that had abortions of murder and claim he is exercising his freedom of speech as in his right to put his view forward. Freedom of speech brings responsibility with it. If you claim to have the right to say something so dangerous and so damaging to the women - some of whom were pressured into the abortion or were confused about what they really wanted - then you have to show that you have done your homework. Anybody who opposes abortion just because his religion or friends do is not exercising his freedom of speech but his prejudice.

If a person wants to see abortion as tolerable that is up to them and how they work this out in their heads. If a person wants to see abortion as liberating and to be celebrated that is up to them too. But in the end the evidence has the final say.

APPENDIX

The case involves Tamesha Means, who was rushed to Mercy Health Partners in Muskegon in December 2010 when her water broke after 18 weeks of pregnancy. The hospital sent her home twice, even though she was in "excruciating pain;" there was virtually no chance that her pregnancy could survive, and continuing the pregnancy posed a significant risk to the mother's health, she alleged in the lawsuit.

But because of its Catholic affiliation and directives, the hospital told Means that there was nothing it could do, and it did not tell her that abortion was an option, she alleged in the lawsuit. When Means returned to the hospital a third time in extreme distress and with an infection, the hospital still tried to send her home, but Means began to deliver while staff prepared her discharge paperwork.

At that point, the hospital tended to her miscarriage.

"They never offered me any options," Means said in a statement. "They didn't tell me what was happening to my body. Whatever was going on with me, they discussed it amongst themselves. I was just left to wonder, 'What's going to happen to me?'"

Source: USA Today

CATHOLIC RELIGION IS NO BARRIER TO ABORTION

The Church thinks its arguments and prayers can avert abortions and keep the law willing to force pregnancy on women who want abortions.  The philosophy is hauled in to shore up the religious objections to abortion.  Thus its battle is about religion not truth or logic.  For a religion that claims to be good or special and holy and the one true hospital for sinners it does a hideous job at deterring abortion!  Catholics in some parts of the world have more abortions than any other religion.  Elsewhere the rate of Catholics aborting matches the rate of pagans aborting.  There is too much of it to justify the Church blaming individuals and not the faith.  Those who ask if religion is a crafty toxic force that leads to violence and war should look at how religion sees a blob of cells as a human being with full human rights and yet that blob can be aborted by a Catholic even a praying one.  Catholics do lay down in abortion clinics for the procedure with rosaries in their hands.  What about that perceived war?

Is abortion ethical or should it be legalised?  Why should faith be kept out of it?

First, its only making a circus of the issue by caring what Jesus or his Church would make of abortion. Jesus had no problem with a corrupt people being told by his God to stone adulteresses who had to have been pregnant to death. If you consider abortion immoral this man or his religion is no safeguard against them. They have no moral compass but a superficial one.  They take advantage of the fact that nobody can see spiritual powers at work to pretend that they are making a spiritual and supernatural difference to people and thus making them holier.

Second, if our own cells could just grow into people inside it is obvious that it is our body and we can kill them or go to a doctor.

Third, God is the biggest abortionist of all for most babies are aborted naturally in the womb. We think of natural as that which has no intervention. But intervention is natural so abortion in a clinic by modern medicine is made possible by nature and is natural. If you believe in God then whether you realise it or not you are endorsing abortion as a gift of God.  You hypocritically worship an abortionist and the father of abortionists.  God is creator which means no sin or person or thing exists without his support and his giving it existence.  He is truly an abortionist.  He aborts us all - though he waits until some of us are old before he strikes.

If God exists he is the biggest abortionist of all for most babies or "babies" are lost naturally by miscarriage and the mother usually does not know. And he asks people not to judge him for it which amounts to saying, "Be a smug smart arse and judge the babies to have been treated correctly but do not judge me. Do not worry about the babies but me."  If God is a man-made idea then there are no words to describe how terrible it is to worship him.  To worship God is to be an abortionist by proxy.  In a sense you are what you worship.

Why is it good or okay for nature to abort billions of babies currently in the womb and why is it wrong for doctors to perform safe abortions that deal with an early baby that cannot be hurt? Religion answers is that nature is what it is. Please see how callous that answer is.  You are the one saying it should happen as long as no moral agent is doing it.  You are showing what kind of person you are.  You are the agent agreeing it should happen. So is not all about a mechanical random event. Also, the point is that if life begins at conception, abortion is evil for it takes a life and the point is that life is lost not that anybody is responsible. We care that it happens not what does it. If abortion is an evil, or a necessary evil you cannot just say that. You have to prove it. To say God aborts babies for some purpose is just dismissive. Serious matters need serious evidence.  If abortion just happens maybe us making it happen is not really us but some programming?  Maybe whether a doctor aborts or nature one is as much down to forces and not free will as the other.

Every penny given to the Catholic Church supports an organisation whose core teachings include stopping women having the right to choose. The money is mainly for "teaching". Everything the religion does has this "teaching" ethos.  To tell yourself you are paying for the upkeep of the church building is no excuse.  What is the building for?  It is for "educating" and worship and education are linked together.

APPENDIX

Pro-Choice Explainer

by Barry Purcell

A summary, with links, of posts which answer specific difficulties pro-life people have with the pro-choice position.

“Killing babies”: Even right-wing conservatives have an intuitive understanding that foetus is not a child. In any case, the Eighth Amendment should be repealed even if you believe a foetus is a child. The pro-choice position is one of true legal equality for all humans.

“Why not adopt?”: Adoption is an alternative to parenthood. What women need is an alternative to pregnancy and pregnancy is not the same thing as parenthood.

“Don’t have sex if you don’t want to get pregnant”: Consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy.

“Abortion is dangerous”: Having a baby is about 14 (fourteen!) times more dangerous than having an abortion.

“Legalising abortion will open the floodgates”: Women are at least as likely to get an abortion in countries where it is outlawed as they are in countries where it is legal. If anything, abortion rates are lower where it’s legal.

“God says abortion is wrong”: The Judeo-Christian god not only condones abortion, but frequently recommends killing foetuses in utero as a strategy.

“Abortion is psychologically damaging”: Having an abortion has no significant psychological implications. However, the lack of abortion services in Ireland can damage a woman’s mental health.

“I have a right to my opinion.”: This referendum is not asking you about your opinion on abortion.

“International human rights law does not support legalising abortion”: Over and over again, international human rights law supports and recommends that Ireland repeal the Eighth Amendment.

“Pre-natal screening kills Down Syndrome babies”: Using Down Syndrome children to leverage a religious argument is nasty, cynical trash.

“The Irish people do not want abortion legalised”: Multiple surveys agree that support for a repeal of the Eighth Amendment is consistently around 64%.

“Abortion is immoral”: While it’s possible to mount a robust argument that abortion is perfectly moral, legislating a religious opinion has no place in a civilised democracy.

“People who want abortion legalised are Nazis”: Although the pro-life people have tried really hard to lie about it, the cold fact is that outlawing abortion is fascist.

“Only in cases of rape”: If you accept the rape exception, you accept the basic pro-choice position