by Melissa Howell

 
It felt like all eyes in America turned towards the SDA church last month when the Washington Post so prominently highlighted us in their article "Seventh-day Adventists and Abortion." On the 38th Anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court case, the Post noted that although many religious groups marched in protest of the decision to legalize abortion in America, Adventists were somewhat…missing. Was our absence due to the fact that we perform abortions in our hospitals across the world? The Post questioned "Is this practice inconsistent with their otherwise strong emphasis on health?"

While the Adventist world balked, protested, or cheered over this PR break (or disaster) I myself immediately took the article to a group of over 150 teenagers and young adults, and discovered an emerging reality for Adventism that I wasn't even looking for. Here is a summary of what I found:

1. The largest majority of students were in agreement with our SDA stance of performing abortions in our hospitals only in "extraordinary cases."

"I am proud of our Adventist Hospitals for their work and progress in the medical field today. But I do not think our hospitals should offer abortion as a birth control method. I believe we should stand by our SDA beliefs – abortions are wrong and against our conservative take on life." – Brittany

"To have an abortion performed in our hospitals, I believe it needs to be a very specific case. If the mother will die, if the woman was raped and is not mature enough physically or emotionally to handle the child, or if she is unstable to the point where she could not handle the pregnancy, then it's ok. I don't believe God would want someone to lose their mind over a pregnancy they had no control over. However, if you were just simply irresponsible, it's time to take some accountability – you deserve your fate and should have to keep the child." – Megan

2. Among those who had personally experienced an abortion situation with a parent, close friend or relative (none admitted to having had one themselves), opinions leaned towards the pro-choice stance.

"I was saved from abortion when I was only a fetus in my mother's womb. She decided that she would put me up for adoption rather than abort me, and in the end she decided to keep me. I am eternally grateful for that. I believe abortion is completely wrong, but there still may be a time that abortion becomes a necessity." – BP

"I have many friends who have had abortions, and I know firsthand what they went through because I was there by their side the whole time. But I also know their scenarios called for it. The pregnancies would have ruined their lives and their babies' lives for good. Teenage moms have grim prospects for the future. They are likely to leave school, receive inadequate prenatal care, rely on public assistance, develop health problems, or end up divorced." – A.T.

3. Those students who were adamantly in favor of our hospitals performing all types of abortions tended to base their arguments either on the values of acceptance, grace, or civil rights.

"We need to remember that GOD IS LOVE. Simple. We can't determine what others do or how they will be judged, all we know is GOD IS LOVE. Jesus didn't hang out with people who judged others, he preached against it." – H.S.

"The ability of a woman to have control of her body is critical to civil rights. Take away her reproductive choice and you step on a slippery slope. If the government can force a woman to continue a pregnancy, what about forcing a woman to use contraception or to undergo sterilization? " – Dawn

"We shouldn't make people feel bad for making a choice that we disagree with. Adventists don't have the right to judge people on the choices they make, only God does. " – N.C.

4. Those who stood strongly against our hospitals performing abortions under any circumstances were definitely in the minority, but still spoke with strong voices:

"This is a matter of life or death for a child. Maybe it's not your plan, but it could be God's. God can turn any situation into an opportunity to be a blessing in a person's life, abortion or not." -M.S.

"Abortion is wrong because as soon as the two cells meet, they create unique DNA, and when you destroy that, you have killed life. Rape victims are a touchy subject, but I'd say that even though the life was created for very wrong reasons, we should not disable that life from becoming something great, or being used by God for something great. Why keep God from doing a miracle?" – K.B.

5. Amongst all who found abortion to be completely wrong, almost none were willing or even desiring to enforce this belief on anyone else.

"I personally would never choose abortion, no matter what my circumstance was, but if it's a choice that an individual needs to make, then I say let them make that choice." – R.J.

"Abortion is wrong. But I'm glad that our hospitals are saying, "Hey, if you need help, we'll help you." – G.P.

" I really do get a bad feeling in my gut when I think about a little life that God put inside of a woman being terminated. I think abortion is immoral…yet still women should get to choose." -James

"I think abortion is wrong. I would never get an abortion, even in the worst of scenarios. But neither am I angry at or opposed to people who think abortion is okay. I don't have the need to force my beliefs on anyone else. It's not a Christian's job to tell someone else what they need to do. All of us have to follow our own conscience." – Anna

It was the seemingly double-standard of #5 that left me thinking in the end, and musing on the viability of holding a belief firmly and yet not requiring another to hold it. What sort of moral fabric is emerging here among this generation, I wondered? I have seen this trend surfacing on quite a few other issues as well — homosexuality, gay marriage, the death penalty, the war in Iraq, President Obama and all things political, euthanasia, suicide, and more — they find something to be wrong, yet are still very accepting and comfortable with others who don't. Does that sound like Adventism to you?

Maybe we are seeing a reaction to our legalism of the past in a true attempt at living out the ideals of grace and acceptance. Or perhaps it's the emergence of the postmodern, relativistic mindset of the day. Either way, it seems a generation is coming on the scene which does hold firm beliefs, yet doesn't seem to have the need to enforce them. Is Adventism ready for this? Does this spell ruin or rebirth for our church, our beliefs, our evangelism? Is this a lukewarm, compromising-type of "conforming to the world" that we should worry about, or is it a welcome and much needed breath of fresh air that we should celebrate?

Comments


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 25th, 2011 Andreas Bochmann says:

It may be of interest that the only SDA acute care hospital in Europe, Waldfriede Hospital in Berlin – which has a strong OB & Gynecology department and a more than 90 year history – does not perform abortions. (At least as far as I am aware this position is still in place). It does however have options for anonymous deliveries and a "drop box" for unwanted babies (even though both of these options are under a lot of public criticism in Germany).

 


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 25th, 2011 wfnoel says:

Melissa,

Wow! How much we could learn by listening to our youth, both to understand the future of our church and to know what challenges must be addressed if our faith is to be relevant and powerful for them!


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 25th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

For those who decry the government's intrusion into our lives, why are so many content with having the government make the decision of abortion, one of the most deeply personal choice a woman can make?

I personally know of at least three young women who had abortions. In each of these cases, they were the right and best decision for them and for their families. It is not something done without much thought, and may often be the better choice.

Recently, the WaPo printed and article on the pregnancy of an 11-yr-old girl! Had she and her family been aware previously she would have benefited from an abortion. Now, as a child, she is a mother, and no doubt, the baby's grandmother is the acting mother.

A Catholic hospital in Phoenix performed an abortion to save the mother's life. The administrator, a Catholic sister, was excommunicated. She did the right thing: preserving a mother's life who had several children who would have been left motherless.

No one aborts as a method of birth control. Did anyone see Representative Jackie Spier of California who spoke up when a male congressman was lambasting Planned Parenthood for performing abortions, in spite that no federal monies are used for abortion. She stood and courageously said that she had had that procedure and that for a congressman to speak so cavalierly about this was repugnant and degrading to women.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 25th, 2011 CherryAshlock says:

Find your wings and soar!

elaine where have you been? of course people abort as birth control! teenagers????? abortion is exactly birth control….controlling the birth of a baby
 


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 25th, 2011 aaj says:

Interestingly, younger people (in general, not adventists, I don't know about SDAs) tend to be MORE conservative about abortion than their seniors, not less. It's the one issue on which they are more conservative. There's speculation that this is because they are more educated about birth control and tend to think that if someone got pregnant they were probably being careless and should own up to it.

I also wonder if the lack of Adventist presence on this issue is really because we tend to be have less of a desire to legislate morality than our Evangelical brothers and sisters. Not that we don't have some issues in this area as well, but it's really nothing compared to the religious right.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 25th, 2011 BillCork says:

Do they really grasp what impact abortion has had on their generation? Put those 150 young people in a room with 300 chairs. Each person would be sitting next to an empty chair. Those 150 empty chairs would represent their peers that were ripped from their mothers' wombs … mostly out of "convenience." Since 1973 there have been 50,000,000 abortions in the United States — roughly equivalent to the populations of California, Oregan, Washington and Nevada. This horror … a mere choice, that they don't want to impose on anyone? The greatest tragedy is that these innocents were killed. The second greatest tragedy is that Christians taught them that it doesn't matter. It was "a choice."


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 25th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Cherry, since you're so certain, does it take one to know one? How many girls have told you that abortion is another form of birth control? Or do you merely assume that because it is a common assumption, made usually by those who either have personal experience or like to second-guess other people. Which is it?


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 25th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

" mostly out of "convenience." 
Bill sounds like a male name. How dare you say that abortion is done "mostly out of convenience? How many girls or women have confessed to you that their abortion was simply "out of convenience"?

As a male, since you have never been pregnant (I assume) to judge and convict women for something that would never be possible for you, it is very arrogant.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 25th, 2011 pagophilus says:

How dare you, Elaine, suggest that because Bill is a male he cannot possibly be right.

How dare you suggest that because nobody has confessed something to you, that you cannot possibly know what the issue is.

How dare you suggest that someone cannot judge because their situation has not or cannot happen to them. Why not just remove most judges because they haven't experienced most of the situations they are judging.

And last of all, how dare you accept any and all arguments except those that are in disagreement with you. All your criticisms of others fall back right onto you.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 26th, 2011 Hansen says:

Abortions should not only be allowed, in some cases, perhaps most, they should be required. Children conceived through illicit relationships by irresponsible individuals who themselves should have never been born, have little to offer any society.

The Bible actually sets forth the guidelines in Numbers, chapter 5: 27,28. Children conceived in adulterous affairs were aborted and their mothers were sterilized. Better abortion than stoning to death later, after the children became nuisances to society.

Men also suffer, knowing that their offspring will be destroyed. Many of us are bums who would be lousy parents. anyway. An acquaintance of mine, having an affair with a married woman, experienced two of his children being aborted by his tart. He felt somewhat uncomfortable.

"Anti abortion" is another moronic movement fueled by the same papacy who gives us celibacy and a priesthood loaded with homosexuals and gay pedophiles.

Children conceived in a loving family with a reasonable hope of a stable future are what society needs. There are enough sociopathic, personality disordered individuals at large


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 26th, 2011 CherryAshlock says:

Find your wings and soar!

Elaine, elaine, elaine………..the non sda/christian world has such a different value about abortion…….ask that abortion question of yours in the inner city…….just because you don't know any who or haven't heard of any who doesn't mean it doesn't exist and in large numbers.

also just because someone counters your argument or defends another side of the argument doesn't mean they have first hand experience…….judging others through your paradigm makes for a slanted view and is not very accepting and is stunted…..


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 26th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Does one's comment in triplicate indicate passion?

For those who can only PERSONALLY testify of either having an abortion, or knowing very intimately a relative who has had one, it has little weight and becomes theoretical. Real life is never theoretical.

The last I looked, Roe v. Wade is still the law of the land. Only law-breakers should be punished. However, states are trying to add all sorts of limitations to that law to make it of little effect. Thank God for Roe v. Wade or we would have the jails filled with women victims and their physicians.

Since there is so much animostiy against abortion, what is suggested as a remedy? More prosecution (how, when it is legal?), abstinenece only education (that has worked well in Texas which has the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the U.S.), birth control more available? This is what Planned Parenthood has been doing for years, but too many congressmen want their funds cut off.

It's easy to condemn; it's much harder to find solutions to problems. It is also impossible to stop raging teen hormones.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 26th, 2011 EdD says:

Melissa,

I love teens. I've worked with them for more than forty years. But they are teenagers! Almost nothing about them is fully formed. They're still asking questions (thank God!) although not always of their parents. Many are suffereing from Mark Twain disease: when he was sixteen, he was frightened by his father's ignorance; when he turned 21, he was amazed at how much the old man had learned in 5 years!

If we want to understand why the teens answer as they do, all we have to do is look at the range of opinions on this page. One characteristic of Gen-X and younger generations is that they're tired of the arguing. So many are from broken homes. They heard their parents arguing and that eventually led to divorce. To the kids, it hardly mattered who was "right." The foundations of their world fell apart with the divorce. So they've learned to hate arguing.

When they see arguments similar to some on this page, long on inflammatory language, and short on actual reason, they don't argue in return, they just click and move on. To some degree that's reflected in their answers. They personally feel strongly about the subject, but don't want to argue about it, even with a reporter.

What they need is safe people to talk to, in safe places. When they find those situations, they open up and get quite serious. But as a people, we aren't safe to talk to. Too much "How dare you" and too little 'How did you come to that conclusion?"

Ed Dickerson, AToday Web Columnist


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 26th, 2011 Markus80s says:

It is very disapointing that most of the teen students leaned more towards the so called "pro-choice" side, which in my opinion, is really pro-abortion.

More than 96% of abortions are for birth control reasons. Less than 1% are for rape and incest combined and only 3% are related to the health of the mother:

Abortion As Birth Control

Also, there are serious physical and psychological heath problems that many women who have an abortion go through and are not being warned about:

Medical Complications Of Abortion

In light of these facts, there is no way that abortion can be truly compatible with the Adventist health message.

Another problem is that many people call the Adventist church the church that breaks the 6th commandment (you shall not commit murder) through abortion. We like to "huff and puff" about how most other churches are breaking the 4th commandment, but do nothing about us breaking the 6th commandment. Many people have either left the Adventist faith or refused to join the Adventist faith because of the abortion issue.

We need to return to the original position of no abortions unless the life of the mother is in danger (which rarely happens). We also need to provide support services for those who decide to keep their babies or put those babies up for adoption. Less than 1% of women choose adoption, yet there is a shortage of babies in the adoption field. Adoption is a good non-killing choice of dealing with unplanned pregnancies.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 26th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Those who would allow abortions only in case of rape and incest have forgotten that there are women who, on discovering a terribly deformed fetus, or one with only a few short months of life, at that, accept that abortion is the only method to avoid the consequences of an infant that will never live to its first year, sometime, even a month.

The old canard of abortion as birth control is very true in places like Russia, where until recently, there was no information about contraceptions and there were as many abortions as live births. Planned Parenthood is perhaps the only source to get advice on birth control, as well as cancer screening and many other medical needs met.

The other suggestion: put the baby up for adoption. The studies show that very few of these mothers elect adoption, which means that often a young, unmarried teen will keep her baby (does anyone dare suggest she give it up?) How is that different than demanding she carry it to term when she elects not to do so? Should females not have control over their own bodies? Would anyone dare to say that a male should have the government control his reproductive rights–illegal vasectomies? illegal Viagra?

Recognizing that it is a problem, especially in the inner cities, one should realize the situation: many girls have few, or no role models of success that women experience beyond their community; their mother may also have become pregnant very young and single; they desperately want to feel needed and young males, or older, are eager to asssure them how important they are–until the girls become pregnant and he skips out. If the government doesn't step in with WIC and payment, does anyone suggest that these babies should starve? Not be educated or clothed?

Failure to face the entire problem and by only focusing on abortion, overlooks the many problems these girls face. Condemnation is not the answer. Only the right kind of help is the answer, but who is willing to give the time necessary to help these girls (and boys) escape their lives of poverty and try to show them a better way?


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 26th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Maybe someone will be bold enough to address this dilemma:

Today, with IVF used more frequently, there are always more fertilized embryos than can be used for one time. With successful pregnancy, those extra embryos are put in deep freeze for possible later use.

Currently, there are thousands in fertility clinics in this nation that will be eventually destroyed. Where is the cry over "aborted fetuses"? Only the potential parents own these fertilized embryos and only they can decide their future. Most will eventually be destroyed. How is that different from a fertilized embryo (for those believe that at that stage they have souls and to destroy one is murder) that is in a woman's body? Where is the grief of murdered "babies" when these embryos are destroyed? What is the difference if it is in a tube, frozen, or in a woman's body? They are equally destined for life or death. If the parents, or woman, are the sole owners and only they can exercise their right for life or destruction, why is there out outcry over "killing" all these unborn babies?


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 26th, 2011 Peace says:

A King had to make some harsh choices back in the day concerning life and death, and maybe we need to show that same wisdom and make choices that seem harsh at the time, but are better off in the long run.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 27th, 2011 Tom says:

I usually stay out of discussions about this topic because I have a very personal bias against abortion and cringe at the thought that had I been conceived in the mid seventies rather than 1951 I may have never seen the light of day, but could have very well ended up in the trash can of some abortionist.

Hansen's callous comment is the most thoughtless and calloused disregard for human life that I could imagine anyone ever uttering here on AT. I was born of an unwed white teenage mother who had been thrown out on her ear by a ruthless and uncaring father who today would have shamed her into having an abortion for her one night stand, to save the "honor" of the family name.

Banished from home and disowned by her parents, she had no place to turn and found little sympathy from a society who judged her as nothing more than white trash who prostituted herself or fell for the philandering ways of a young man just looking for a way to take advantage of her.

Were it not for a caring lady who took her in and knew a family who was looking to adopt a child, who knows what my fate may have been. Upon birth I was never held or seen by my mother. In the birthing room I must have been whisked away and cared for in a nursury until my adoption several weeks later

The organization Planned Parenthood is a misnomer. There stance is anything but what their name indicates. Abortion is their predominate answer and they resist any attempts to try and give a pregnant woman or girl information that may give them pause to consider that they are indeed ending human life if they opt for an abortion.

The founder of the National Abortion Rights League, Bernard Nathanson, performed thousands of abortion in his clinic. He was one of the leading advocates of Roe v Wade. He switched positions about 20 years ago and produced the film "The Silent Scream". Sonograms were not yet invented in 1973. It has made all the difference in the world and gives one a view of just what is going on inside the womb. Planned Parenthood, as other die hard prochoice folks, vehemently object to asking a pregnant woman to look at one so as to weigh all matters before making her "choice."

Many pro life advocates are not without their hypocrisies too. The intimidating tactics of Operation Rescue nauseate me. In the name of preserving life, some applaud when an abortionist is killed. How absurd! Others are not pro-life, but are simply pro-birth, opposing the very support systems that may give an unwed mother an easier choice to not have an abortion.

The real victim in all this is the unborn child. Where is his/her choice? Many in the pro-choice crowd can not even bring themselves to acknowledge it is a baby, instead opting to depersonalize it by refering to this life as a fetus, or a piece of unwanted tissue to be easily disregarded.

Perhaps this similarity is a far reach, but Hitler drummed into the minds of Germans that Jews were something less than human, making it easier for them to just stand by as millions were slaughtered. History now looks back in horror to the holocaust. The question begs to be asked, will it not look back some day at this era of abortion on demand with the same abhorrence?


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 27th, 2011 Markus80s says:

What is being overlooked in the article is that Adventist hospitals are being accused of performing elective abortions; meaning abortions of convience and are unrelated to the health of the mother or baby. If this is true, then the Adventist hospitals performing these elective abortions have broken the "SDA stance of performing abortions in our hospitals only in "extraordinary cases." Another disturbing thing is that our church, at least to date and as far as I know, have not refuted the accusation.

I agree that the entire problem that lead women to consider abortion should be dealt with. But I don't think that a pro-abortion organization such as Planned Parenthood and others like it have much incentive to do that since they are making a lot of money from providing abortion services and selling contraceptives.

The "Adventists For Life" Facebook page in the article has been taken down, but there is an alternative page for pro-life Adventists called Advent Life Center.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 27th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Please furnish the official statistics for the percentage of revenue Planned Parenthood receives from abortion.

Do you agree that it is morally and ethically right to furnish contraceptive information; do breast, cervical and testicular exams? There are multiple services provided by Planned Parenthood, and as long as abortion is legal, they are operating within the law.

Is it suggested that the government decide women's reproductive rights? Men's? Should vasectomies or tubal ligations be made illegal?

Once reproductive rights are government controlled it would then be possible to only allow one child families, as in China where forced late-term abortions are done. Control goes either way.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 27th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Abortions are only one of many elective sugeries. The government does not pay for these, private citizens do. But, government does pay for all the "welfare babies and mothers" that are not aborted, plus the larger percentage that do not finish high school and prison. If cost is considered, abortion is far less money for taxpayers than the alternative. Who, but the mother and physician can determine an abortion is for "convenience"? I have had three joint replacements for "my convenience." They were not life-threatening, while pregnancy can be life-threatening.

Elective surgery? Shouls vasectomies be performed in SDA hosptails? Should liposuction? Which ones? Should the government are doctor and patient make those decisions?


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 27th, 2011 dicknoel says:

Richard L. Noel, DMD

As a healthe care professional, I have spent considerable time reviewing my personal beliefs in the issue of abortion. I began with a rather liberal view. After I began submitting myself to the Bible, I have become much more conservative.

There are apparently competing ideas in this subject. One is compassion and mercy. The other is What does God say.

As I have studied and prayed, I learned that "abortion" is not acceptable to God. Abortion puts all involved under a curse from God.

My previous liberal view said things that sounded compassionate in favor of abortion. Today, my compassion seeks to salvage the people who have made such a sin against God.

The real goal God gives us is to learn to subject ourselves to the righteousness of God (Rom 10:3). Then we can rescue the perishing and help save those who are on the way to destruction. Ultimately, we end up seeking to prevent the situations that lead to abortion as well as salvage those who have already had one.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 27th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

No one, as yet, has addressed the problem I wrote about: if it is a "sin against God" to abort a fetus, what advice would you give a couple who have numerous frozen embryos that can never be used? Is it "murder" to destroy them? As you are well aware, IVF, to be successful, implants only two embryos, but many more eggs are harvested and fertilized for possible future needs (first attempt may fail, or further children may be desired). In some instances, twins are conceived. Does the surviving one mean that the other embryo was "murdered"? What about miscarriages: should each miscarriage be mourned as equivelant to a few weeks' embryo? Still all of the embryos can never be used. When they are disposed of why is this not murder? Why is murder in a woman's body and not in a ttube? They are all conscious, deliberate choices.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 27th, 2011 Bobby McGhee says:

My questions on abortion are why do people walk by human suffering everyday doing NOTHING about it yet hold strong feelings opposing it? Also how can people be pro-life yet support the bombing of life, eat animals even test with animals also is something that I ponder. Oh and one of my favorite writers EG WHITE(I can barely read) asks how we can be cannibals on the still live flesh of people in our sphere when speaking of them at the Sabbath lunch table. For the record I really like pastor Melissa she to me is most wonderful. Now before you all tee off on me realize I am mentally challenged with an I.Q. of 69 so be kind as I was a poster child for pro choice.

Even if HE doesn't


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 27th, 2011 flybabymom says:

An interesting development in the adoption world is that of adopting frozen embryos. There are many parents who do not want their "extra" embryos destroyed, because they see them as alive, albeit very undeveloped and frozen, humans. There are more than one adoption agencies that handle these unique adoptions. As an adoptive mom (we adopted a full-term baby–embryonic adoption would not have been an option for us), I am a HUGE proponent of this way of giving a baby a loving family. The abortion debate is truly incomplete without listening to the voice of the unborn.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 27th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Offering one's embryos to other couples is a loaded question. If the couples are willing to do so, but few, I believe, are willing to see someone else bear and raise their child. Just as there are willing surrogates who carry and give the child to a couple, it is something that is so personal that, like abortion, should never be regulated. Why would anyone want to see another couple raise a child from their embryo?

Giving up for adoption is somewhat similar, which is why the larger majority of unplanned pregnancies are being carried to term and kept by the biological mother. We have also seen the lengthy searches for an adoptive parent which is so painful for the adoptee. Would you be willing to give a baby if you carried it for nine months, and turn it over to someone else? Unless no one is willing for a baby to be taken from its mother, no one should have a say in a prospective mother who makes the most difficult decision to terminate a pregnancy.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 27th, 2011 Hansen says:

"As I have studied and prayed, I learned that "abortion" is not acceptable to God. Abortion puts all involved under a curse from God. "

Richard Noel:

How can you make a statement like thgat when Scripture in Numbers 5 clearly describes the administration of an abortifactant and consequent sterility;

Nu. 5:27 "When he has made her drink the water, then, if she has defiled herself and has been unfaithful to her husband, the water that brings the curse shall enter into her and cause bitter pain, and her womb shall discharge, her uterus drop, and the woman shall become an execration among her people." NRSV

What would happen IF she was pregnant and her womb discharged/uterus dropped? An abortive process is being described here.

Tom,

I'm glad that things turned out well for you; however, your story is not at all typical. For every person like you, there are many with a very different story to tell, one which would include various forms of abuse, neglect, and so forth, leading to criminal behaviour or serious maladjustment.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 27th, 2011 strattye says:

I also usually do not jump in to discussions on Abortion but Elain needs some defense.

It is the law of the land. One can choose not to have an abortion. If you do not believe in it, do not have one. One can choose to drink alcohol (pregnant or not), use illigal drugs (pregnant or not), eat right (pregnant or not) and there are not these inflammatory discussions.

I agree with Elaine that science has gone far ahead of the law and the religious mores.

As an Ob/Gyn, I have counselled many women re their pregnancy. In over 30 years, I've met one that used abortion as a means of birth control and frankly, since she was someone's mistress who refused to let her use other methods, she really did not have much choice in the matter. Most women who were contemplating abortion had used at least one and sometimes more than one form of birth control to prevent the pregnancy.

In areas where abortion is readily available (not where i currently live), I did not find that women had emotional trauma from their decisions. The emotional trauma comes in from inability to share with others their experience because of perceived shame.

There are far more risks to carrying a pregnancy to term than there are in having an abortion. Whoever talked about there being huge risks to abortion medically does not know what they are talking about.

The damage done to young women, the child and to, dare I say, even the young father, in being forced to carry a child that no one is prepared for emotionally, mentally, financially or physically is cruel and unusual punishment. Unless there are unusual circumstances of support for the young woman, both she and the child are often doomed to a life uneducated and in poverty.I am glad that the poster above was born in 1951 – if he had been born later and his mother forced to have an abortion, we would not know him. Hard to miss something that no one knows about.

Usually the men get off on this scot free. I say if they do not believe in abortion then they should have those discussions prior to having sex and make sure that no one is pregnant — this would mean no sex as all forms of birth control have failure rates!

I've worked planned parenthood clinics – The four that I've worked in, none offered abortions and I certainly would not say that all pp clinics push people to an abortion. Someone has been reading too much anti-abortion literature which is usually filled with made up "facts."

It is true that a minor per centage of abortions are done for "declared rape, incest or anomolies" The key is the word "declared."

the Bible is pretty clear about abortion. Murder requires death of the murderer. One who causes an abortion has to pay a fine. Putting more into what the Bible says than that is re-inventing Bible verses for their own use.

Grace and compassion absolutely need to rule until 1. We can say we know all, like God, and judge fairly; and, 2. There are perfect methods of birth control that all can take without side effects.

I think men should have a say in the issue of abortion but it should be far less than it usually is (this blog for instance). Speak up before the pregnancy. I have little use for your comments afterwards. It might help if you spent more energy on fighting for women's rights not to be beaten, not to be forced to have sex, not to be sold, etc. And spent significant time educating young men on the proper way to treat women and their responsibilities in a sexual encounter/relationship instead of an attitude of "boys will be boys."

I have found no one changes their mind unless they've personally been confronted with the issue for themselves or for their child.

And if you choose for a woman, wife, girlfriend, daughter – then shame on you for not respecting her rights over her own body. I would suggest that is legalistic and abusive. Be kind, forgiving and compassionate and pay the fine for her.

Thanks for reading.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 27th, 2011 Sarah says:

I am a physician who has followed women during pregnancy, attended their deliveries, and followed them and their children afterwards. I have attended to women who have delivered early in their pregnancy and found it to be sad. I have also delivered women with intrauterine fetal demise. These are women who have carried their babies 20 or more weeks before the baby dies. These deliveries have been haunting. In that moment you know that life is life, and death is death. No matter the age. I have seen a woman who has been pregnant over 10 times and time after time has aborted her pregnancies for reasons other than medical. I will not get into the argument of percentages of women who use abortion for contraception. Needless to say that it is done. I have seen it.

Years ago while still in the classroom, I resolved that for moral and ethical reasons I could not participate in or advise a patient in favor of abortion unless the woman was in immediate physical danger of loss of life due to the pregnancy – such as in ectopic tubal pregnancies. This is based both on the Hippocratic Oath which I took as well as on the Bible.

As for the text in Numbers 5:27-28. Thank you Hansen for bringing this to light. I went ahead and read those verses in context and found the following:

– If a man suspects his wife of being unfaithful but does not actually witness this, he is to take her along with an offering, to the priest.

– The priest is to take WATER and DUST from the tabernacle floor as well as a PAPER with a curse written on it, and put the woman under oath to tell the truth about whether or not she was unfaithful.

– IF the woman lied and is guilty, then drinks the water, she is to be under the curse and would be infertile. In Hebrew it would read "Her body will swell and her thigh will waste away".

– If she is innocent, then no harm would come to her and she would still be able to have children.

So in actually this text does not at all mention pregnancy or abortion. Rather it speaks of the woman NOT being able to get pregnant anymore because she would be infertile which in those times, being childless was considered a curse from God.

Concluding, I have a strong opinion against abortion and the taking of life in general both young or old. I don't have all the answers to this problem and I dont think anyone does. I believe that God can work out the evil events in our life for good. I will not force others to choice what I believe is right though. Going back to the Bible, God in Deuteronomy gives us two choices: Good or Evil. He begs us to choose Good and Life. He will never force us, though it breaks his heart when even one of His little ones chooses wrong. Until He comes again and sin is gone forever, I will continue in the role that He has placed me in and do my best to educate and love those under my care.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 27th, 2011 Tom says:

Hanson,

So you are glad things worked out for me, but then you launch into more of the same. No pause to truly reflect on just what I said, with any second thoughts for your outragious original post on this subject. Elaine you equate abortion to no worse than butchering animals for food or using them in medical research. Is human life so marginal that it is to be of no more consequence than lower forms of life? It boils down to loud demands for the right to choose and is nothing more in the minds of some than terminating an unwanted pregnancy.

Remember those words of Jesus, "as you have done it unto the least of these you have done it unto me." You can't be any more least and helpless than an unborn child. How heartless can some people get?


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 27th, 2011 Pickle says:

Judah was the fourth son of Leah, born at least 4 x 9 months after Jacob married Leah and Rachel one week apart at the grand age of 84. Then at 91 (at the end of the second 7-year period Jacob had to work for his wives) Joseph was born, after which Jacob worked 6 more years for wages.

Joseph became prime minister of Egypt at age 30, served during 7 years of plenty, and then 2 years of famine, after which Jacob arrived in Egypt and told Pharaoh that he was 130 years old.

Therefore, Judah was about 42 or 43 when he arrived in Egypt, since he was at most 4 years older then Joseph.

Now we backtrack. Judah had three sons. The first two grew up and married Tamar, and then died because of their wickedness. Then Tamar tricked Judah into fathering her twins, one of which (Pharez) had already had two sons by the time they arrived in Egypt.

Thus Judah, Judah's first two sons Er and Onan, and Pharez must have been on average 14 years of age at the oldest when they had their first kid.

That Jacob's family was dysfunctional is readily apparent. Add onto that early fatherhood for the sons? Certainly these early teens weren't well prepared to raise kids. If Judah were alive today, some might urge him to seriously consider abortion.

But then, King David, Boaz, Caleb, Joseph of Nazareth and/or Mary his wife would have never been. And "the Lion of the tribe of Judah" would have had to choose some other lineage than Pharez, Hezron, Boaz, and David.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 27th, 2011 Hansen says:

Sarah, Considering the context of Numbers 5, a situation of suspected adultery, the concept of abortion is implicit in the passage, if she was pregnant. What happens when her womb "discharges"? The fetus is expelled, i.e., aborted. The idea was strong enough that the NRSV translators did everything but use the word "abort" to make the point.

Numbers 5 is specificaly dealing with the administration of what would be an abortifactant if the woman is pregnant with the child of a man who is not her husband. One might argue that is the entire purpose of the ritual, to abort a fetus conceived through an adulterous liaison. The woman would also become sterile.

There are numerous women in American society who should have been forcibly sterilized by law enforcement agencies. There are little used laws on the books which allow for forcible incarceration of patients with active TB who refuse voluntary quarantine.

Why should women be allowed, through fornication, to conceive numerous fatherless children, be paid by the State, and then compel society to deal with the unloved, neglected, unwanted, poorly educated, teens and adults these children become?

Some people, perhaps many, are simply unsuitable as parents, especially those with substance abuse or mental problems. Drug addicted or alcoholic women who conceive should be subjected to forcible abortion and then sterilized. Not complicated at all.

Incidentaly, most of the guilt and psychological trauma women who have abortions experience is because of the unrealistic, puritanical mores imposed upon them by a hypocritical, cruel society. Conscience is something learned. I doubt that the Holy Spirit is making women feel guilty for doing something God required in OT times–aborting a scandalous fetus.

Will the mothers feel guilty later, when their children are abused, neglected, unloved? That's where the guilt should lie.

Tom. Obviouly, my post doesn't apply to you. There are lots of people to whom it does apply. If the shoe doesn't fit, don't try to wear it. I understand this is a touchy subject for you; however, you can surely see that one can not make polices based on exceptions to the rule. I apologize for any pain I caused you, personally.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 27th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Tom, that is you evaluation of my opinion of abortion, but not mine. I do not equate it with butchering animals. But, no one seems to consider the pregnant female and her particular circumstances. Most seem to equate abortion as birth control. A former poster, more familiar with those patients than we are, informed us that it is a false statement.

How many women have you personally known who have had abortions? Why do you judge them when you could never be in their positions? The Bible also says to judge not, and to judge that women are murderers is not shown by the Bible, so it is an opinion not based on the Bible. It makes Christians seem as very judgmental and devoid of compassion when there is more compassion for fetuses than a living, adult woman. For shame! Jesus noticed and had compassion on women, even one caught in adultery (where was the condemnation for her partner?).

Please answer: do you prefer the government make decisions on reproduction? Do you prefer the church opine on them? The SDA church has NOT taken a position on it, so it is personal and not backed by either the Bible or the SDA church–the Roman Catholic church might be more in tune with those who equate abortion with murder.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 27th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

The wife and husband depicted in Numbers is due to the accusation of unfaithfulness by the wife, and several times it mentions "because she is under the authority of her husband." In this patriarchal society, women had no place in making decisions at all, the man had complete control over her.

There is rarely, if ever, mention of a husband's unfaithfulness. But we know that David was not the only one who did not practice monogamy. Most of them had several wives and concubines; even God told them they were to take wives of the conquered enemy. It was strictly a man's world. For those who would like to return to those days, take a plane to the Middle Eastern countries where it still is practiced.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 27th, 2011 Tom says:

In my first post, I mentioned that I usually don't delve into this topic on such a public forum as this. The main reason is that it is too painful to me personally to talk about and the other reason is there are no easy answer to it all. It was Hansen's over the top post saying that some people should never been born, implying that abortion is a good solution that provoked me to respond.

I have had a good life and was fortunate to have been raised in a loving home, but with some of the very personal issues I have struggled with inside, insecurities, and self loathing over it all, has in my despondency, even led me to question at various times whether I should have ever been born.

I know you were not talking about me , Hansen, but what I thought, and still think, was a very thoughtless position on it all still stings.

One day when I was in the county office building, there were some pictures of children looking for homes to be adopted into. As I gazed into their innocent little eyes, I teared up wishing I could just hug and love each one of them. I could never look into the eyes of some poor child, no matter what their life condition is, and think, this child should never have been born.

We have been in this miserable world too long. The only real answer is Jesus. May He come quickly and rescue us out of all this misery. Sorry for being such a sob here. this is the last I will have to say on this subject.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 28th, 2011 Melissa Howell says:

Melissa Howell
AToday Web Columnist

Regarding the Numbers 5 text in question, where some have said God may have been specifically causing an abortion – you all inspired me to do some work with my Hebrew… I had to dust a few books off! I am not a top Hebrew scholar, by any means, but I do have a reasonable understanding of the language and how to use/translate it. Here is what I found, for those who want to know what is going in in Numbers 5.

The exact phrase in verse 27, from Hebrew to English – is "her womb shall discharge, her uterus drop." Now, depending on the verbs, this can either mean one of two things. #1 – Her womb discharges "something" (like a period, or a fetus, or just a discharge) #2 – Her actual womb itself is discharged, or collapsed.

In this case, #2 seems to be the correct reading. We know that this was not referring to a normal discharge, like a period, but something very, extremely abnormal and permanent. Hebrew scholars believe it probably refers to a prolapsed uterus in which "the pelvic floor collapses, and the uterus literally falls down. It may dislodge in the vagina, or it may actually fall out of the body through the vagina. If it does so, it becomes edematous and swells up like a balloon. Conception becomes impossible, and the woman's procreative life has effetively ended." ("The Flame of Yahweh – Sexuality in the Old Testament by Richard Davidson, p. 352, using the work of Frymer-Kensky, "The Strange Case of the Suspected Sotah," Numbers, p. 112-113).

So we are not talking about the discharge of a fetus here, we are talking about a process that actually renders a woman permanently infertile. An abortion-like discharge is not really the meaning from the original Hebrew, and to argue that it is, simply becomes one of those "arguments from silence" type issues. Can we build an entire theory on abortion based on a silent, possible, hypothetical situation in which the woman whose uterus collapses could be carrying a fetus? One hard and fast rule in Biblical scholarship: Never, EVER build an entire belief on an argument from silence. Especially one that can be addressed elsewhere in the Bible.

I can see, however, how it would seem like the Bible is saying that, expecially from the NRSV! So no offense to any who have read it this way. Interpreting the Bible can be a tricky thing – such a different language, such a foreign culture, so many years between us. That's why we try to stand on the shoulders of scholars and giants! Try to read in as many versions as you can, and get help going back to the original language if necessary.

By the way – in all the other cultures around Israel in that area, at that time, if a husband suspected his wife of having an affair, she was killed. No questions asked. All he had to do was accuse her, and that was it – she was done. But in God's society, things worked differently. He set up ways to protect women and to intervene for them. In the Numbers 5 situation, notice it isn't the husband who has the last word – it is God. God becomes the Judge, as only He truly knows what happened. In this way, He would not let an innocent woman be put to death. Even if she was found guilty – because there were not at least 2 witnesses, she still was not killed, she just lost her ability to reproduce. I know it was quite the male dominated society back then, but I do like it that God set up ways to step in and defend His ladies!

Well, that's everyone's Hebrew lesson for the day…carry on with the abortion debate…!


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 28th, 2011 Melissa Howell says:

Melissa Howell
AToday Web Columnist

Tom,

I just wanted to thank you personally for your postings on this site. Your personal story has added such perspective to the debate, and I really, truly appreciate your courage and willingness to share. I don't know you, but when I teach on this subject in the future, I will most certainly be sharing your testimony with the kids I work with.

~Melissa


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 28th, 2011 Melissa Howell says:

Melissa Howell
AToday Web Columnist

Sorry…regarding NUMBERS 5:22 and 27 – a true Hebrew to English translation of the phrase would read more like this:

"and it is swelled the belly of her, and it falls away the thigh of her"

Or, more smoothly, without all the pronouns –

"and her belly is swelled and her thigh falls away (or rots)"

The first translation I gave was perhaps already too English-ified, and didn't include the "thigh" word of the original Hebrew. The "thigh" can be used to mean the loins, the area of sexual organs, or as in Genesis, the seat of pro-creative power.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 28th, 2011 Hansen says:

Melissa,

The point is that if the woman was pregnant, the "collapsing of her womb" would kill whatever happened to be residing in it, such as a fetus. Whatever you think the Hebrew says, physiologically, the fetus would be destroyed by the process described in the Biblical text.

Now it may be that a physician here can contradict my statement with an article from the "My most unusual case" column in an Ob/Gyn publication. Short of that, in general, a prolapsing uterus in a pregnant woman would likely be fatal to the fetus [I guess].

That's what an abortion is, the premature destruction of a fetus.

The passage in Numbers is a difficult one. Some of the words used to describe the process are rarely used in Scripture, so cross referencing is not an option. The last part of verse 28 makes plain the process, however. If the woman is innocent, she shall be able to continue bearing children.

If she is guilty as suspected, her ability to bear children will end.

Whatever wonders you may work with your Hebrew, it is going to be difficult to escape the fact that the sterilization process being described would destroy the fetus.

This translation [NRSV] of Scripture directly challenges the antiabortion movement. Perhaps it was intended to so do. Some people translate the passage differently, one even the opposite. Since it is only one passage and a difficult one, it's not the kind of thing to be dogmatic about; however, its implications should be considered before people start calling women or their physicians, faced with difficult choices, "murderers" or "baby killers."


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 28th, 2011 markham says:

Roe vs Wade may have been a hi point in jurisprudence when the Hi Court decided to allow women to make a decision about their own body during the first trimester. Do I believe that abortion should be employed for contraception purposes? No. Should a woman allow her relationship with her God to determine her course of action? Yes.

This is an incendiary subject and will never be resolved to everyone's satisfaction. Rape, incest and the mother's health are very definitely situations where women should not be precluded from having an abortion.

Truth Seeker


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 28th, 2011 Melissa Howell says:

Melissa Howell
AToday Web Columnist

Hansen,

I read that in Mishna tradition, it says that the man must wait a few months to see if his wife is pregnant before performing the Numbers 5 test. If she is pregnant, the Nunbers 5 test is then not performed (as it would kill a baby, and also wouldn't be necessary). Other tests that could be used at this time include the Urim and the Thummim, to see whose baby she was carrying. (Even if she was pregnant, the baby could still be the husband's). I assume that during these few months of waiting, however, the husband would not sleep with his wife, just to be sure. Because, if it became clear that the woman was pregnant, and the husband claimed the baby wasn't his, then an entirely different process resulted. I also read that the woman would not have dared to drink the potion if she had been guilty – she would have just confessed to her husband instead. So it was more a proof of innocence than anything else. (Vetus Testamentum Vol 34 – Frymer-Kensky)

I'm not sure how much weight this really sheds on our situation today, except that we cannot really use Numbers 5 in our debate, if it was not performed on pregnant women. Even still, this doesn't make an airtight case for abortion or against it, one way or the other. I'm not sure it gets us anywhere! The reason I dove in to research it was that it would make a big difference, as you said, if we could prove that this was God requiring the performing of an abortion. From the research, I just don't think we can do that, except as I said before, to argue from silence. We were not there. We still may need to allow that argument from silence. But we can't build an entire theory on it. I myself feel extremely cautious about using the Bible like this, but that's just me. I also feel sort of protective of its original intent, when I see BOTH sides using it to make their own arguments.

Numbers 5 does continue to be a hotly debated passage, however. There are scholars who still say it was about abortion. And scholars who say it is not. I guess that statement in the Mishna about waiting for proof of pregnancy would make all the difference. I also found a number of Mishna and Targum scholars saying that according to tradition, the Numbers 5 test was not ever used, as in, it was never actually performed. For this reason, it was finally abolished in 50AD, and the woman had to appear before the Sanhedrin instead. Who can say, and who would have known that without all this research? Not me!

~Melissa


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 28th, 2011 RonCorson says:

The Numbers 5 procedure is pretty much based upon magical thinking, a mysterious potion and God causes a miscarriage and/or infertility. Because after all everything that happened was caused by God they had no Satan at that time so good or bad it all came from God. The usefulness of the reference is now mainly to realize that not everything in the Bible was really wise or in fact really from God. That man's ideas and superstitions can also be incorporated into the books and by incorportation people begin to think they really were statements of God. Much like God killing thousands of Israelites for David's sin. They make good stories however and you can learn good lessons from them but the logic falls through if you really begin to think God acted that way.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 28th, 2011 strattye says:

O.k. I'll bite again: I am an ob/gyn who has practiced for over 25 years.

In regards to your post re Numbers: Prolapse makes no sense. Prolapse is the uterine ligaments being stretched to the point that the uterus is in the lower vagina or in severe prolapse completely protruding out of the vagina. This almost never happens unless the woman is elderly and/or the ligaments have been stretched multiple times (such as in multiple pregnancies).

If one were to get pregnant and the uterus was completely out of the vaginal canal (a very unlikely event by the way, if you think about it), likely the blood supply to the uterus would be more or less cut off. I can't imagine why this woman would be attractive enough to another man to carry on an infidelity and intercourse would be difficult if not impossible. If the uterus were less prolapsed and still in the vaginal canal, getting pregnant could happen and as the fetus grows, those ligaments would pull the uterus, despite being very stretched) up into the abdominal cavity where the fetus would grow very healthfully.

Interpreting this text to suggest uterine prolapse and death of the fetus is a very huge stretch of the imagination and not a likely interpretation.

On the other hand we do know that Egyptians were well aware of abortifacients and used them; therefore, it is very likely that the Israelite women knew of them and were skilled in their use. It is unlikely that a man would bring a woman to be judged months and months after the fact. It is more likely it was very soon after discovery. Thus, an abortifacient could cause an early miscarriage (discharge as a fetus would be very difficult to identify without a microscope) which might be just like a heavy menstrual period. If she were several months along, the abortifacient likely would not have worked as they tend to work only in first trimester. Very similar to our morning after pills (works to prevent implantation or create a hostile environment or Mefipristone which can cause an early abortion but not likely a later abortion.

An abortifacient is usually not a pleasant experience for the woman and in some cases could lead to death from hemorhraging of the woman so the threat of it could force her to confess if guilty hoping for mercy. If she was not guilty, she probably would not be pregnant and would have a heavy menstrual period with some cramping.

I am not aware of aborifacient's that would necessarily cause sterilization. Again, abortion was relatively common and the Egyptians were as skilled as anyone at medical care of the day. However, if she were having an illicit affair, presumably, she was running similar risks to a woman today in picking up an STD that could cause sterilization. We just do not know.

If God answered their judging needs via Urim and Thummim, He certainly could have caused anything to have happened to a guilty woman as well.

It is very possible that the rotting of the thigh is some total mistranslation by men who had no knowledge of what they were talking about re women's anatomy or were embarrassed to admit they did know anything about women. I cannot imagine any medical condition that would even come close to this description. My guess that the scholars you discuss are often using their imaginations as well – maybe based on other cultures, maybe based on nothing but someone's creativity.

I was referring to Exodus 21:22 in my previous post where if a woman is caused to miscarry, a fine must be paid as opposed to a death penalty for causing the death of another person. Clearly not putting abortion and murder on the same level. It is important to realize that many of the laws pertaining to women and children in the OT were designed to protect women. It does not seem like that to us today but compared to other cultures, the rules/laws of the Israelites were fairer and more protective of the innocent than their surrounding neighbors.

It is too easy for us, with our knowledge of anatomy, physiology, chemistry etc to put that same knowledge onto an old culture. They didn't know about sperm and eggs. They had figured out sexual relations tended to cause a child to be born. They thought of the man as planting his seed in the fertile womb (not same understanding of uterus as we have) of the woman. Thus clearly laying claim to the child as his. Since rights were passed from father to son, clear lineage was extremely important.

Another interesting bit of history here. Up until the early 20th century, most women (except the wealthy – and here the wealthy women had the raw end of the deal as having a baby in a hospital was very high risk for death for the woman) had their health care provided by midwives. Abortion was common and has been common throughout history going back at least to Egyptian times. It was a personal issue between the woman and her care provider, in this case another woman. In the early 20th century, male doctors (early AMA) wanted this business (women's health) for themselves and sought to destroy midwifery by donating big bucks and getting their legislative buddies to pass laws against abortion and birth control. This helped set off the women's emancipation movement. Once laws were made, by men, outlawing common health care methods for women (birth control, pregnancy issues), it became the hornets next we are dealing with today in this country. I think God is merciful and just and, unlike each of us, looks at the heart. Thank you, God.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 28th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Dear RonCorson

Is the love story of Hosea also 'made up' or did God actually make those difficult requests for him to fulfill? Many people like to be known as experts on human thinking and behaviour but are we also experts on God?

On what biblical grounds do you conclude that "The usefulness of the reference is now mainly to realize that not everything in the Bible was really wise or in fact really from God. That man's ideas and superstitions can also be incorporated into the books and by incorportation people begin to think they really were statements of God."?

Or, on what biblical authority or basis do you assert that this was "pretty much based upon magical thinking, a mysterious potion".?

Trevor


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On February 28th, 2011 Hansen says:

Dr. Strattye, Thanks for contributing to this discussion. I scanned the nearly 200 pages of Sotah, the Jewish tradition which covers this passage. Many of the observations that you made are also brought up in that document,

https://halakhah.com/pdf/nashim/Sotah.pdf

You are likely right, that the exact meaning of these words has been lost or purposely hidden. The language may be euphemistic as well. The swelling of the belly and rotting of the thigh appear to be a parallelism, that is both are making the same point with different words.

The word translated "thigh" is used with reference to male or female. It often appears in references to men putting their sword on their thigh.

One reference to the female anatomy is made in Song of Solomon:

Song of Solomon 7:1 "how beautiful are your feet in sandals, O prince’s daughter! the curves of your hips <03409> are like jewels, the work of the hands of an artist."

In the above passage, "hips" is a translation of the same word translated as "thigh" in Numbers 5.

Here's a quote from the Keil Delitsch comentary on Numbers 5:

"It cannot be determined with any certainty what was the nature of the disease threatened in this curse. Michaelis supposes it to be dropsy of the ovary (hydrops ovarii), in which a tumour is formed in the place of the ovarium, which may even swell so as to contain 100 lbs. of fluid, and with which the patient becomes dreadfully emaciated. Josephus says it is ordinary dropsy (hydrops ascites: Ant. iii. 11, 6). At any rate, the idea of the curse is this: Δι ̓ ὧν γὰρ ἡ ἁμαρτία, διὰ τούτων ἡ τιμωρία ("the punishment shall come from the same source as the sin, Theodoret). The punishment was to answer exactly to the crime, and to fall upon those bodily organs which had been the instruments of the woman's sin, viz., the organs of child-bearing."


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On March 3rd, 2011 Doctorf says:

Ed,

Very insightful post. Thank you.

Dr. F


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On March 3rd, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

"The punishment was to answer exactly to the crime, and to fall upon those bodily organs which had been the instruments of the woman's sin, viz., the organs of child-bearing."

Much is made in the Bible of women's sins, such as adultery. Where in the Bible are men punished for the same sin? Is David the only one? Surely, no woman dare accuse her husband of such a sin, as was the case in reverse.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On March 7th, 2011 nicsamojluk says:

Nic Samojluk, Editor, www.letsfocusonlife.com
On February 28th, 2011 markham said:

“This is an incendiary subject and will never be resolved to everyone's satisfaction. Rape, incest and the mother's health are very definitely situations where women should not be precluded from having an abortion.”

I say: How about justice and fairness for one of the two victims of rape? If society allows the perpetrator of the criminal act to live, does it make sense to execute the innocent baby? Should not the guilty be punished instead of the victim?


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On March 7th, 2011 nicsamojluk says:

Nic Samojluk, Editor, www.letsfocusonlife.com
On February 27th, 2011 strattye said:

“The Bible is pretty clear about abortion. Murder requires death of the murderer. One who causes an abortion has to pay a fine. Putting more into what the Bible says than that is re-inventing Bible verses for their own use.

”I say: The Bible predicted that knowledge would be increased. This prediction very likely includes the knowledge of the Bible as well. If his is true, then it might be significant the fact that many modern scholars render said biblical passage using the “premature birth” as a reasonable option, which would imply that the harm refers to the baby instead of the mother, or perhaps to both.

New International Version (©1984)
"If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows.

New Living Translation (©2007)
"Now suppose two men are fighting, and in the process they accidentally strike a pregnant woman so she gives birth prematurely. If no further injury results, the man who struck the woman must pay the amount of compensation the woman's husband demands and the judges approve.

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
"If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman's husband may demand of him, and he shall pay as the judges decide.

GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
"This is what you must do whenever men fight and injure a pregnant woman so that she gives birth prematurely. If there are no other injuries, the offender must pay whatever fine the court allows the woman's husband to demand.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On March 11th, 2011 sdaexpat says:

On February 26th, 2011 BillCork says: "Do they really grasp what impact abortion has had on their generation? Put those 150 young people in a room with 300 chairs. Each person would be sitting next to an empty chair. Those 150 empty chairs would represent their peers that were ripped from their mothers' wombs … mostly out of "convenience." Since 1973 there have been 50,000,000 abortions in the United States — roughly equivalent to the populations of California, Oregan, Washington and Nevada. "

Personally, I don't believe in abortion and would never get one. However, as far as legalities go, I've considered myself pro-choice. However, the point you bring up Bill, is a very good one. I don't think we realize how many people we would know in our lives had their mothers not chosen to abort them. It's a scary thought …one that we should consider and be more aware of.

sdaexpat


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On March 11th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Duplicate this experiment in the large inner cities: place a chair next to the young person that knows someone who has been killed in gang violence.

Or, place empty chairs to show how many young people have been killed since 2003 in the Iraq and Afghan wars.

Or, illustrate how many babies and children have been abused, victimized, and tortured and murdered by their parents or caretakers.

When someone crushes an apple seed he is not prosecuted for cutting down an apple tree.

When we start protesting all the thousands of mbryos now in cold stroage that will eventually be destroyed, where will be the cries of "murder"? These are owned by the prospective parents, no less than an embryo in utero is owned completely by the woman. Who dares to deprive of her choice? For those who wish the government to be less intrusive ("the government is the problem") they are often the same ones who wish to impose their idea of morality in the very private spheres. 'STAY OUT OF MY WOMB" YOU DO NOT OWN IT!


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On March 12th, 2011 nicsamojluk says:

Nic Samojluk, Editor www.letsfocusonlife.com
Elaine: the right to choose sounds very attractive; nevertheless, for some mysterious reason, we are not willing to apply it to other moral actions with less serious consequences like rape, burglary, and sexual abuse of children.

If someone steals my car, I can replace it. When a woman is raped, the pain and suffering can diminish with time and the victim can eventually with God’s grace experience healing and live almost a normal life. This is not available to the victim of abortion.

Do you really believe that those extreme cases you cited justify the genocide of fifty million innocent babies who have been deprived of life under the pro-choice mantra?


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On March 12th, 2011 nicsamojluk says:

Nic Samojluk, Editor www.letsfocusonlife.com

Elaine said: “'STAY OUT OF MY WOMB" YOU DO NOT OWN IT! “

I say: True, indeed. I don’t own it and you don’t own it either. It belongs to God who designed it for his own glory. Actually your entire body belongs to the Lord. That is what the Bible teaches.

This is why God instituted the Sixth Commandment which forbids the taking of human life. If you think that you are smarter than Almighty God, then go ahead and disregard his wise commands and get ready to reap the consequences of disobedience. Adam and Eve did, and we are still paying for their mistake.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On March 12th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

"I don’t own it and you don’t own it either."

God gave us the gift of choice: not to be made by anyone but ourselves. Whatever we choose should be ours alone and we must answer to God. Each individual makes the best choice she sees at that time. No one else should have the gall to make it for her. You and I have made bad choices in the past, and we may do so in the future; but I would not dare make choices for you and neither should you make choices for me or anyone else. That is all that I am contending: Don't try to be other people's conscience, God did not give that ability to you. Stop trying to make other people into your ideas. It will never work.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On March 13th, 2011 nicsamojluk says:

Nic Samojluk, Editor www.letsfocusonlife.com
Elaine said: “God gave us the gift of choice: not to be made by anyone but ourselves. Whatever we choose should be ours alone and we must answer to God.”

I say: Does this mean that society has no right to have laws forbidding stealing, burglary, rape, sexual abuse of children, and murder? Does it also mean that the church should stop preaching and calling people to repentance and reformation? Were the prophets of old wrong in condemning the shedding of innocent blood? Was John the Baptist wrong in condemning the adulterous relationship of King Herod? Was Jesus wrong in condemning the actions of the Jewish leaders? Was Peter wrong in condemning the Jewish leaders for having killed an innocent man? Was Paul wrong in condemning sinners in the first chapter of Romans? Are you trying to negate the power of the Gospel to lead people o repentance perhaps in one swoop?


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On March 31st, 2011 Steve M says:

It is my understanding from liturature I have read that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in spontaneous abortion. If known, a spontaneous abortion has an emotional effect on the individual. One that is caused on purpose also has an emotional effect on the individual. Either way the individual is always going to wonder what that pregnancy would have produced if allowed to reach adult size. This is true whether one is 11 years old or whether one is 39 years old. Whether its loss was one for the health of the mother, or the loss was for other reasons.

An ethical problem is: A planned abortion, can it be viewed as part of the spontaneous abortion group, or part of the pregnancies that survive. Both the unsurvived and survived are humans, potential children of God. This is the dilemma we as SDA's have that others may not have. This is why each procedure needs to be seen on the merits of its own with both pre- and post-counseling available so that each can feel whole before God.

Is an abortion an act of kindness? If so perhaps we as SDA institutions can provide for kindness. Steve in Macon, GA


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On March 31st, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

As one who had a spontaneous abortion at 4 months, there was no emotional involvement, only relief. But not because this pregnancy had not been planned years ahead, but very much wanted. The relief: having been pregnant twice before, from the moment pregnancy was certain, nothing went right–strange symptoms, followed by warnings that inevitably, a miscarriage would follow. Pathology revealed incomplete fetal development for the stage.

The whole question of abortion has moved to a new level with the new technology of IVF: What should be done with the many thousands of embyros now frozen that will never be used? Only the parents can decide as they have ownership. Should this potential life be destroyed? Is this unlike abortion? Are souls also being destroyed? When does "life" begin: at conception? At the first sign of fetal heartbeat (which has been brought to the legislature in one state as the cut-off for abortion)? When fetal life can be sustained outside the mother?

There are more states encroaching on Roe v. Wade that threaten to make abortion ever more hard to obtain. Remember: any government that seeks to control the reproduction of its citizens, can also require control over conception and number of pregnancies. This has been the practice for quite some time iin China with forced abortions after the first pregnancy in an effort to control over-population. Be careful what you wish for!


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On March 31st, 2011 Tom says:

Elaine

Certainly you see the difference in spontaneous abortion, more commonly referred in the past as a miscarriage and induced abortion, which became a right under Roe v Wade. Even in that decision the notion of state sanctioned late term abortions were unthinkable even by pro choice advocates in 1973.

Abortion is indeed a difficult issue with no easy answers. Both sides of the debate have their achilles heal in my estimation, though I definitely sway toward the pro life side.

Outright banning of all abortions is not the answer, neither is a pro-choice insistence that a woman's right to choose should be an absolute without any restraints.

Modern technology is proving to be the latest convincing evidence that has changed the dynamics of the abortion debate, and led to public opinion shifting away for unfettered abortion rights. Clearly there is more than just a piece of unwanted tissue to discard in the aborting of an unborn child. Late term abortion, in all but the most serious situation where the mother could die unless she aborts, is outright infanticide. This notion of a woman having serious trauma and her emotional health jeopardized as an excuse to allow a late term abortion is a red-herring. It shows the extent the prochoice crowd will go to protect political turf, and to me is as irresponsible as those pro lifers who cheer when an abortionist is slain.

Planned Parenthood with their objection to having a pregnant woman weighing all evidence and sides of the issue before deciding on an abortion, gives clear indication that this group is all to eager to have a woman choose abortion over being talked out of it.

In the final analysis, the biblical adage "as you have done it unto the least of these…" should serve as a good indicator of where our greatest sympathies as christians should lie. You cannot get more least or helpless than an unborn child.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On March 31st, 2011 Tom says:

Mellisa

I am a little confused. My post of February 28, says my post was deleted per reader request. What does that mean?


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On April 2nd, 2011 Trish S says:

Elaine, I don't understand how you keep lumping the abortion issue together with reproductive rights. They have already reproduced! They had the right to not reproduce (except in the case of rape). But after conception, it's too late! Women's rights and choices are to not get pregnant. Not to reproduce and then kill their baby!

Section 223 of the Criminal Code of Canada states that a child doesn't become defined as a human until it has fully emerged from the mother's body.

At any stage of pregnancy, a mother can do anything to her child to kill it and that's legal! She can shoot a bullet through her belly hours before she gives birth, and that's legal, because it's not a human yet. However, if she went into labour two weeks early and gave birth, then the baby is a human? I fail to see what is so magical about the moment of birth that makes a baby a human. However, if the baby is wanted by the mother and someone else does something to kill that baby before it is born then he/she can be guilty of murder. So, essentially, an unborn baby has rights, but only if its mother wants it. I don't see the logic there. Just because something is legal doesn't make it right, and doesn't mean we as Adventists or Christians should embrace it.

And I do agree with you on the issue of IVF embryos being created and then discarded willy-nilly. That is a problem!


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On April 2nd, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Regardless of what one thinks about abortion, there will always be abortions! At no time in the history of this world have there not been.. Recognizing this fact rasies the question: Should they be made illegal, what should the penalty be? Or, if not illegal, what should be the alternataives?

Who is in a better position to make such choice? The government? The potential mother? The doctor? If someone is willing to turn over their most intimate choices to others, do they get to choose? There is no state restrictions on who one chooses to marry, as ther has been in the past; and there is no requirement for marriage before sexual intercourse. How would that work?

As long as humans are free to copulate without government interference here in the U.S., why should the federal or state government be involved in medical decisions between the patient and the physician? Regardless of what one may wish to believe, without first reproduction, there would be no abortions, so as long as there is no government control of reproduction there should be none on abortions. One's moral responsibilities should never be granted to a state. And a child is not considered a legal person until viability apart from the mother, and she alone has its future in her hands. If anyone is adamantly opposed to abortion, don't have one. Just as one who may be against same-sex marriage, dont have one; but don't try to be another's conscience on these most personal decisions. Having known a number of girls who have had abortions, in every case it was the wisest decision for all concerned. No baby should be a punishment for an immature action. Babies should be loved, wanted and cared for and at any time they are not welcomed, they may end up on the police record as another of the many abused, tortured, and killed children. Women should have the right to control their bodies and never turn it over to anyone else.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On April 2nd, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

If you cannot understand why someone can kill a pregnant mother and be accused of murder but a mother who elects to have an abortion canmot? Simple: only the mother has such choices and no one else. "

The law in Canada is correct: only viability apart from the mother makes a baby a "person." To be declared a person it would allow a fetus to have all the privileges of a human to vote, own property, get a loan, buy a house, and all the other privileges granted a "person." "Personhood" carries many responsibilities that a fetus cannot be given. In many states (California), only at viability can a person be charged with harming that fetus; prior to that, in the first and second trimester, it cannot live apart from the mother, so they are "one" until its birth.

Just imagine the legal problems with a fetus having the rights of individuals and realize how complex it would be. Roe v. Wade became law in 1973 and until it is abrogated, it will be the law of the land, and only applies to those who wish to take advantage of it. No others should be concerned–it is none of their business what people do in their most private lives.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On April 2nd, 2011 Trish S says:

I did not say anything about anyone killing a pregnant mother. Of course that would be murder. What I said is if someone killed her wanted unborn child (like by punching her in the stomach or something like that), then that is murder, but if she herself killed her unborn child then it is not. I don't see the difference. Everything functions in a baby hours before labour. Everything about it is no different and it no longer needs its mother to live, it just needs the opportunity to get out. How does being out or in make such a difference?

I'm sorry, but declaring a fetus a human would not give it any right to vote. Now you're being ridiculous. A newborn baby is a human (by your definition, is it not?), a ten-year-old is a human, etc., but (here in Canada anyway) they must be 18 before having the right to vote. Here in Canada, one also has to be 18 to get a loan, and probably all of the other things you mentioned. So are you now saying we aren't human beings till we're 18? Come on now.

It would be rather complex if people were attempting to find out how fetuses were wanting to vote on political issues. Such is true for any born child who has not yet learned to speak, or any child who is too young to comprehend political issues. Hence the reason the government has arbitrarily set the age at 18. Someone has decided that is the age one must reach before they are mature enough to make such decisions.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On April 2nd, 2011 Trish S says:

There is a great book that anyone who is considering an abortion or who thinks someone else should have an abortion should read. It is called the "Atonement Child", written by Francine Rivers. It is a fiction novel, but Francine Rivers has an uncanny way of capturing authentic genuine human emotions in her writing.

Also, having an abortion does increase a woman's chance of breast cancer significantly. Here are a few links that support the abortion/breast cancer connection:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/175394.php

https://www.abortionbreastcancer.com/

https://www.abortionbreastcancer.com/The_Link.htm

https://www.lifenews.com/2007/06/14/nat-3190/

https://www.dianedew.com/aborcanc.htm

And yes, I did find some that deny the connection as well. No one has to tell me about them, I saw them too. There are two things you should think about: Cancer is big business and there are a lot of people who don't want a world without cancer. Abortion is also big business and there are a lot of people who don't want people thinking they should think twice about it. There are also a lot of people who want the population of the Earth to shrink, not grow. So these people don't want other people to quit dying from disease, and want as many pregnancies to be terminated as possible.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On April 2nd, 2011 Tom says:

Elaine

You seem to be to be saying that a woman's right to choose is absolute, bar none. Does that mean that you think that a late term abortion, when indeed the life of an unborn child is viable outside the womb if allowed to be born, should simply be a matter of choice of the woman and that no restrictions should apply? Roe v. Wade never sanctioned late term abortions, but the prochoice crowd have taken it to that length.

I agree with Melissa on the notion of reproductive rights and the way that terminology has been used for all kinds of excuses to support abortion on demand.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On April 2nd, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

"Everything functions in a baby hours before labour. Everything about it is no different and it no longer needs its mother."

Which is exactly what was my contention: only at the stage of viability–after approx. 36 weeks, is a baby able to live outside the womb; prior to that, it is very "iffy" and any time during the first trimester, when most abortions ar done, there is zero chance of viability!

The abortion-breast cancer scare has been around before and been roundly condemned by the medical community. There is far more danger from a full-term pregnancy than abortion, so such scare tacticts are not based on the best medical advice. A woman who has been pregnant is less apt to get breast ca than s non-parous woman.

What is not considered is that in many countries, women have a much higher risk with repeated pregnancies and birth control information has been denied funding with several administrations only because Planned Parenhood does do a small number of abortions while a much larger activity is in breast screening, Pap smears, and birth control advice.

The real problem today is that too many teen mothers are NOT having abortions, but raising their babies, not finishing their education, and the government must see that these children have sufficient food and the necessities of life. Many say "Who needs a husband"! Compute that for at least 18 years with the cost of abortion. Remember, it's the taxpayers who pay for this welfare, but not usually for the abortions!.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On April 2nd, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

There are very few states, and very few physcians who do late-term abortions. Rarely, are they necessary except for the life of either the mother or baby.

Regardless of the stage of pregnancy, the government should not make criminal,by law, any abortions, any more than they regulate sterilization of either sex or the dispensing of Viagra (which, BTW, some insurance pays for while it does not cover abortions or birth control pills!)  These are well-known facts an have been in effect since Roe v. Wade.

What is difficult to understand is that few, if any, will object, or even notice when people they do not know change their religious beliefs, or their lifestyle, yet are very concerned about their private choices which cannot effect them. Why? How does it affect anyone else if someone you do not know has an abortion? Why do you need to know? These are very private matters between the woman, her partner, and her physician. It is against the law for anyone not related to a patient to have any information on other patients. A physician or nurse can be prosecuted for disclosing such information, so why in God's name do other people wish to know? And if they don't know, why do they want to make it ther business? What "standing" in a court is possible? None.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On April 2nd, 2011 Tom says:

Elaine

I get the drift from your last post that a woman's right to choose is absolute no matter what. So you are one who has taken Roe v. Wade to the extreme length as I stated. In essence you are for abortion of demand with no restrictions by the state whatsoever at any stage of pregnancy. Have I stated that correctly?


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On April 2nd, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Yes, what you call "on demand" should not be regulated by the state. The fallacy is that many women are simply waiting until the last trimester to have an abortion. If this were fact, show the records. Otherwise, the very small number, less than 1% if I remember correctly, of"late-term" abortions are done because the prospective mother has a life-threatening condition (as in the recent Catholic hospital in Pheonix) or the baby is doomed to a very short life, if any because of inoperable conditions, anencephaly being one, and malformation another. These are not "minor" conditions, but threatening either the mother or baby or both.

If you were the prospective father faced with such a dilemma, what choice would you make? Women often must travel long distances with a serious medical condition to find a physician who does late-term abortions; these doctors are very few.

Since men don't experience pregnancy, unless you have a problem such as mentioned, you have the decision, what would you do? To assume that women are choosing late-term abortions thoughtlessly, how about the 9-yr. old who recently gave birth to a baby impregnated by her father! Very often such young girls are victims of incest an unaware of their condition. The real world is not so simple and easy. My late husband, a medical examiner for two counties, did many autopsies on young girls terribly abused by a "relative." Then there's the Dugard case where her abductor raped her and impregnated her with two children. Had she been able, should a abortion be denied her?

All of these laws stem from the still-relevant idea that women are too immature and should not be able to choose such procedures without the help of the government. This goes back to almost the beginning of history–men make the rules for women.


Re: Teens Speak on Abortion in SDA Hospitals
On April 2nd, 2011 Tom says:

Elaine

I was not infering that women who have late term abortions are simply waiting for the third trimester to have an abortion. Yes, I will agree that late term abortion are a very small percentage of abortions. But that does not negate that some are still performed where the mother's life is not in imminent danger if an abortion is not performed. With you it all boils down to choice, choice, choice, choice…no restrictions period. When a bill to ban late term abortions passed Congress, opponents wanted more than an inclusion of exception for when the life of the mother was in jeopardy. Certainly if the life of the mother is in jeopardy I can see abortion as a viable choice. But the pro-choice crowd want it watered down to include "emotional health" of the pregnant woman, which is a huge loophole that puts it right back into the realm of abortion on demand.

Your claiming that opponents of abortion think that women aren't mature enough to make such decisions is an outdated red herring not worth a civil response. Come on now, you can do better than that. As a Californian how did you vote on an initiative put before the voters, more than once now, that would require parental notification and approval for an abortion to be performed on a minor? A minor can't even get a drivers license, go on a field trip at school, or be given an asparin by a school nurse without parental consent, but they can damn well go have an abortion and the parents be completely out of the know.

My entire point in this argument has been the length to which the prochoice crowd has taken the abortion issue, and that some state restrictions are indeed necessary. In refusing to concede even on that point, you are grabbing at straws to make your case. Perhaps you and I should move on to another topic, because on this one there appears to be no meeting of the minds, and I don't think the fact that I am a man has anything to do with it. I still consider you a friend in the AT world. I even gave you a verbal bouquet on another AT blog.