Pope no abortion, maybe to contraception over Zika

The Catholic Church and the Pope have strongly rejected abortion for women who have the Zika virus, but the  Pope has that avoiding pregnancy (using contraception) is ‘not an absolute evil’.

Crux (‘Covering all things Catholic’) reports Pope Francis signals openness to birth control for Zika virus.

In remarks to reporters on his way back to Rome from Mexico, the pope cited a decision by Pope Paul VI in the early 1960s to allow Catholic nuns in the Congo to take contraceptives to avoid pregnancy due to rape.

Avoiding a pregnancy under such circumstances, Francis said, “is not an absolute evil.” However, he did not say specifically that he would approve contraception in the fight against Zika.

Abortion is never the lesser evil, it’s a crime,” Francis said categorically. “It’s to discard one to save another one. It’s what Mafia does; it’s a crime, an absolute evil.”

Regarding the “lesser of two evils” when it comes to contraception, Francis said that it’s a fight between the 5th Commandment (Thou shalt not kill) and the 6th Commandment (Thou shalt not commit adultery). But he avoided giving a definitive response.

“Let’s not confuse the evil of ‘simply’ avoiding a pregnancy with abortion,” Francis said. “Abortion is not a theological problem, it’s a human, medical problem … a person is murdered to save another one, in the best of cases. In others, just to have fun.”

He called abortion an “absolute evil.”

While the current Pope has in some ways been a breath of fresh air in a stifling and stuff old world religious organisation openly supporting contraception as a protection is a modernisation too far.

The old fuddies are way out of touch on this.

Contraception is a major factor in limiting a world population explosion. It can also be an effective means of avoiding risky pregnancies.

I think it’s an absolute evil opposing and stigmatising abortion too. It’s a relic of religious patriarchy trying to control what individual women choose to do.

Contraception is widely used by many Catholics, with common sense overriding outmoded thinking.

And abortion is supported by Catholics outside the Vatican. From Wikipedia:

Abortion in Italy became legal in May 1978, when Italian women were allowed to terminate a pregnancy on request during the first 90 days. A proposal to repeal the law was considered in a 1981 national referendum, but was rejected by nearly 68% of voters; another referendum aimed at eliminating the restrictions was rejected by 88.4%.

About 80% of Italians identify as Catholic so this shows how out of touch the Vatican is with the real world around them, and how people just ignore their out of touch old rules.

One of the stupid things about the church’s stance is that sensible contraception reduces the demand for abortions.

While I prefer a minimum of abortions it’s not up to me. And in any case they can be a sensible decision.

It’s not uncommon for women to have abortions to improve the chances of having children in the best possible circumstances rather than in far from ideal circumstances.

Sure the ‘life’ aspect is something that needs to be considered, but more often than not it delays the creation of a new life.

In the modern world suppressing birth control is out of touch and irresponsible. It’s insidious victimising women as evil. It is no surprise that the Catholic rules are made by old men who never have to deal with pregnancy themselves and theoretically cut themselves off from having anything to do with procreation except for trying to impose their outdated ideas on others.

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130 Comments

  1. Dawson

     /  19th February 2016

    Saying that opposition to abortion is an “absolute evil” betrays a very narrow minded attitude. The topic is actually a very fraught ethical question about balancing rights and interests of women and unborn children.

    This is especially the case if you take the view that a human life is created very early in the pregnancy process. That’s a reasonable belief too – how many people refer to a wanted baby in utero as “their fetus”?

    Reasonable people can differ – but your sanctimonious attitude does little to advance debate.

    A decidedly low quality blog post.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  19th February 2016

      I have yet to see any evidence of reasonable people on the Catholic Church side of the issue. You can’t deal tolerantly with intolerance.

      Reply
      • Dawson

         /  19th February 2016

        Your prejudices notwithstanding, there are any number of atheists who are pro-life on purely ethical grounds.

        Reply
        • mrMan

           /  19th February 2016

          I think there should be a special place in hell for those people who sit outside abortions clinics screaming down frightened teenage girls at one of the most vulnerable times in their life all in the name of the man on the stick, the spook and the ‘omnipotent’.

          Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  19th February 2016

          I don’t have prejudices, I simply state the facts as I can best understand them. Almost everyone is pro life but most understand that it is not a simple-minded black and white issue as the Catholic Church insists on painting it.

          Reply
    • Oliver

       /  19th February 2016

      People who have abortions should be charged with murder.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  19th February 2016

        a very extreme view….why so ?

        Reply
      • Oliver

         /  19th February 2016

        I just think that people who kill people should be charged with murder.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  19th February 2016

          so for arguements sake your wife is raped by one of keywees ‘vibrants’…she has the child and you all live happily ever after,one big happy family…yes!

          Reply
          • Oliver

             /  19th February 2016

            Well she could take the morning after pill. I’m talking about when it gets to the stage where the morning pill won’t work.

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  19th February 2016

              I forgot to add ,she was held hostage for 3 days and there was more than 1 rapist.

            • Oliver

               /  19th February 2016

              In those circumstance it would be fine. Of course there would be exception to the rule.

            • Blazer

               /  19th February 2016

              ‘exceptions””Oliver, plural.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  19th February 2016

              I’m beginning to think you should have been an exception to the rule. Confused ignorance is no basis for law-making.

            • @ Alan – Please! “Confused ignorance”? This is to imbue Oliver with 100% better motives and 50% more intelligence than he evidently has. You’re the last Deputy I expected to give him such a break … He doesn’t deserve it this time.

              ‘Abortion’ in this case is the “tin can on the fence” and Oliver is practicing his rapid-fire six shooter technique on it.

              Considering there were horses and innocent people in the OK Corall immediately behind the fence, Blazer has talked him down rather well …

              What I’d like to know is, where does Oliver find time in the school day to write his comments …?

            • Iceberg

               /  19th February 2016

              Your “principles” couldn’t event stand scrutiny from Blazer.

            • mrMan

               /  19th February 2016

              The morning after pill is a “medical abortion”, just sayin’.

            • kittycatkin

               /  19th February 2016

              As I understand it, it stops anything happening rather than causing an abortion. There is an abortion pill, I think, but it’s not the same.

            • mrMan

               /  19th February 2016

              You’ve got a cleanup in “new zealander of the year” to deal with before you start here.

              Riddle me this, would the sperm sit around and wait to fertilise the egg for 48 hours just in case the pill is taken?
              Or would the egg be fertilised when the pill is taken?

            • @ MrMan – Please use “In my opinion” or some such prefix for statements like your first paragraph. Just a polite request.

              Oliver the Holocaust denier is still in here going at it like a spotty teenage boy spanking the monkey …

            • mrMan

               /  19th February 2016

              Politely, but fuck off Particle man, stop trying to assert your will on everyone, it’s getting very old very fast.
              I’ll say what I like, how I like, and I’m not going to use wet buffer statements like “in my opinion” because, unlike you, I’m not in the market of giving two solid fucks if I upset anyone, or god forbid they don’t think I’m a ‘nice and decent’ person. Fuck That,

              You wanted the OK Corral, well I’ve just shot off one of your nuts and you’re slowly bleeding to death alone in the dirt.

            • @ mrMan – Free reign for Oliver is it?

              You ‘winged’ me is all, or ‘whinged’ me, and nowhere near the crown jewels.

            • mrMan

               /  19th February 2016

              Free speech protects all speech, not just the speech you approve of. Oliver can say what he likes, I neither care or particularly engage him. You seem to want to change him, good luck with that.
              They say the remedy for bad speech is more speech.

            • kittycatkin

               /  19th February 2016

              The list of events on NZer of the year all came from that person-I read her website before it was taken down, probably at the advice of her lawyer-and she said that all those things and more had happened, on it and in public elsewhere,

              The morning after pill is a contraceptive, it prevents fertilisation if it’s taken early enough and has a high success rate. It’s available over the counter. If you want details, google it.

              Who are the they who say that the remedy for bad speech is more speech ? Name five of them. It sounds like a very sill remedy to me.

            • Seems to me there are only silly or useless remedies for bad speech. It’s identical to the Holocaust denial issue. One first has to choose on the evidence one sees and senses whether it’s bad speech? Then, counter with –
              1) More speech – challenge the form &/or content and give the bad speech oxygen.
              2) Humorous Derision – which I believe is the line I’ve taken – and give it oxygen.
              3) Malevolent personal attack – which I don’t believe I’ve been doing – and give it oxygen.
              4) Ignore it.
              Others?
              I can’t disagree with mrMan though, Oliver can say what he likes and so can you Kittycatkin.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  19th February 2016

        Since there are thousands of natural abortions that would fill the jails with women wouldn’t it? Or are you going to put God in the dock?

        Reply
        • Oliver

           /  19th February 2016

          No if people knew they could be charged with murder then they wouldn’t do it. It would be illegal to do so.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  19th February 2016

            Fool. That was the situation for years and thousands of women died horrible deaths because of it. If you were well-connected enough you got a D&C and survived.

            Reply
            • Oliver

               /  19th February 2016

              Well if has naturally then that’s not murder. The same as if someone dies from natural causes.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  19th February 2016

              It is murder, just by God not by humans. So He gets a free pass from you but no-one else does?

            • kittycatkin

               /  19th February 2016

              Induced abortions happened when it was illegal. Simply making something illegal doesn’t stop it, or there’d be no crime of any kind.By Oliver’s logic, knowing that if one was caught, one would be charged should stop all criminals. Don’t I wish !

        • mrMan

           /  19th February 2016

          Oh Alan, you poor misguided soul, are you meaning ‘miscarriages’? They’re neither abortions or the work of god. ( yes I know they’re technically called spontaneous abortions, but by whom, Alan, by whom?). I was told once, in an ante-natal class that only 1 in 10 fertilised eggs turn out to be viable, and go full term.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  19th February 2016

            What’s in a name, mM? Anyone can give one. Yes, you are right that a vast number of souls go down the drain naturally which apparently leaves the Church and Oliver entirely unconcerned. I blame God. He is filtering out the failures, just as the Church wants to prevent in the case of Zika.

            Reply
            • mrMan

               /  19th February 2016

              It’s genetics performing your wishes, and weeding out the absolute worst.

            • Oliver

               /  19th February 2016

              You can’t call a miscarriage and abortion Wilky. That’s an insult to parents who want a child but lost one through an abortion.

            • Oliver

               /  19th February 2016

              Edit abortion = miscarriage.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  19th February 2016

              Of course I can because it is, no matter what caused it or whether it is wanted or not. It doesn’t insult anyone unlike your arrogance in calling people murderers.

            • Oliver

               /  19th February 2016

              You’re wrong a miscarriage is an unfortunate accident. An abortion is a deliberate act to kill. It’s very insensitive of you to say a miscarriage is wanted. You should retract your lousy comment Wilky.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  19th February 2016

              Tosh, Oliver. I didn’t say or have an opinion on whether a miscarriage is wanted or not and it is completely irrelevant to it being a natural abortion which it is. You are the one labelling people murderers and it is exactly because of that you don’t want miscarriages named accurately for what they are.

            • Oliver

               /  19th February 2016

              Wilky your ignorance is making feel nauseous. It’s time to end this thread.

            • Oh, I must withdraw my previous comment … Blazer didn’t talk him down … You don’t “end threads” Oliver … not when you’re getting your teenage, attention seeking little rocks off …

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  19th February 2016

              Run along then and try to avoid opening your mouth until you have got something intelligent to say.

            • kittycatkin

               /  19th February 2016

              I don’t agree with Alan’s views here, but he is technically right that what’s usually called a miscarriage is medically speaking a ‘spontaneous abortion’, while a deliberate one is an ‘induced abortion’. But one might as well say ‘miscarriage’ to avoid confusion and potential distress to anyone who’s lost a baby through no fault of their own. It’s not a euphemism, after all.

            • kittycatkin

               /  19th February 2016

              It’s nauseated, not nauseous, as nauseous things make one feel nauseated, If someone is poisoned, they’re not poisonous.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  19th February 2016

              @kitty, a miscarriage can be procured just like an abortion. There is no real difference in that regard.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  19th February 2016

              That is exactly what the progesterone abortion pill does.

            • kittycatkin

               /  19th February 2016

              Well, that’s true, and it’s what herbs like pennyroyal were meant to do, but it’s probably simpler to use miscarriage for accidental ones and abortion for deliberate ones if one isn’t speaking as a medical person.

        • kittycatkin

           /  19th February 2016

          In the days when it was illegal, it was still done. A 1930s study came up with a figure of pregnancies ending in abortion-induced, not spontaneous-that is similar to today’s figures.

          One NZ hospital stopped using ‘abortion’ of spontaneous ones after the immense distress caused to a woman who had lost a very much wanted baby and who overheard staff saying that she had had an abortion-which she took to mean what it means to most of us. Her distress at losing the baby was very much increased by the thought that it was considered that she had aborted it.

          Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  19th February 2016

        Reality check for Oliver:

        At 12 weeks pregnancy (normal target for abortion) the fetus weighs half an ounce. In the article cited the larger twin weighs 2 pounds (60 times bigger) and the sickly one is 20 times bigger.

        Reply
  2. Blazer

     /  19th February 2016

    the Pope should start with approving contraception in the Philipines,too many devout Catholics living in abject poverty trying to raise multiple siblings.

    Reply
  3. Mike C

     /  19th February 2016

    The Pope and his Band of Not Very Merry Men clearly don’t have any compassion for how a woman feels when she gives birth to a baby with permanent horrendous physical and mental disabilities.

    If he is encouraging women to carry the Zika afflicted babies through to term … then he should put his money where his mouth is … and pay for the lifetime of constant daily care and hospital treatment of every one of these disabled babies out of the Vaticans coffers 🙂

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  19th February 2016

      Not just the mother, Mike. The whole family suffers an enormous impact on their lives. And you only get one life.

      Reply
  4. My view on this may be fairly extreme. I find it extremely bizarre – almost unbelievable – for a 21st Century world to have a 4th Century Church religion still ruling so much of its population, in contravention of science, ethics, human intuition and emotion.

    It’s nothing short of an indictment on humanity, as indeed is the 7th Century Mosque religion of Islam. In reality both are State-Church religions or variants of them.

    These ancient State-Church religions inherently have doctrines inimical to life. It cannot be otherwise. In Christianity’s case the spiritual teachings of the founding prophet are utterly irreconcilable with the temporal ‘necessities’ of managing a political institution; which means “managing” the population. “Thou shalt not kill” but war is countenanced while abortion isn’t? Hello!

    I’m sorry if that offends Roman Catholics in here. Even if taboos around sexuality and reproduction made sense in an ancient world with high infant mortality, those rules were written for then and should – I don’t use that word very often – “should” be adapted for today’s circumstances. That abortion existed in the 4th Century one can rest assured absolutely. Modern medicine has made it extremely safe by comparison. (The abortion and contraception taboos may even have partly been to repress ‘pagan’ reproductive medicine, largely woman’s domain?)

    So for the sake of not only Zika but overpopulation and God alone knows what else … humanity … but you can’t shake the Pope and say “Wake Up!!!” can you?

    How an institution has been able to defy cultural evolution PLUS the innate spirituality of each individual human being is quite, quite beyond me …

    Smoke and mirrors – shining gold – rather than bread and circuses.
    On the whole, we sure are suckers for ‘mysticism’ and ritual.

    Reply
    • Oliver

       /  19th February 2016

      Your views aren’t extreme they’re bizzare. Don’t make abortion about religion. Abortion is a question of ethics. Just like murder is a question of ethics. So don’t bracket it with the Looney religious fanatics.

      A teen age girl he gets banged up on the weekend because she couldn’t be bothered using a contraception and then decides to terminate her fetus so that she’s free on the weekend to get drunk and get some more D. Is ethically wrong.

      Reply
      • Rob

         /  19th February 2016

        I agree with that. Abortion is a right, people make mistakes but to use it as a form of birth control is IMHO wrong . Take responsibility for your actions as should the men involved.

        Reply
        • mrMan

           /  19th February 2016

          You guys sure about that? Who REALLY uses abortion as birth control? How many abortions do these women have? How do you know them?
          Time to proof up boys.

          Reply
          • Oliver

             /  19th February 2016

            Why else would you have an abortion other than to prevent birth?

            Reply
            • mrMan

               /  19th February 2016

              Come on, you know what you meant.

            • @ Oliver – “Why else would you have an abortion other than to prevent birth?” Conclusive proof to me you are not in this for the topic but to maintain your nihilistic “engagement syndrome”, probably drug fuelled? Seek real people in your life to engage with boy. This is the end of my involvement with you on this topic. You are the blog equivalent of an chronic alcoholic. My comments will be @ Anyone other than Oliver …

            • Oliver

               /  19th February 2016

              PZ you always the hit the eject button when you know you don’t have a leg to stand on. Just admit you’re wrong and don’t make up pathetic excuses about why you don’t have a comeback. Everyone can see through your pathetic attempt to smear me because you don’t have a clue about what you’re talking. Your comments are long winded nonsense about nothing. You never use logic or reason. You never have anything thought provoking or original to share. You just waffle on about b.s. At least my comments get a lot of likes.

            • @ Anyone but Oliver – I have an announcement to make. I am only here to get ‘likes’. I acknowledge you are all aware I’ll say anything whatsoever as longwinded as possible just to get likes. I need you attention and approval so so much.

            • Oliver

               /  19th February 2016

              When people like my comments it means they get what I’m saying. My main comments get 5 or more likes on average. Have a look at “risk factors of children” the first comment. It proves my point.

              Your don’t get likes or even unlike because no one gets your nonsense. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Call this an intervention.

            • kittycatkin

               /  19th February 2016

              The father has no legal right to stop an abortion, no matter how he feels about it. If he causes one against the mother’s will, he will be charged with a crime and go to prison. If she aborts his baby against his will, the state pays for it. He has only legal responsibilities for the baby-he has to keep it financially, even if he was told that the mother was using contraception, so it was safe to have sex.

              People make cynical remarks about trusting men to use an oral contraceptive, but men have to trust women to do this.

            • @ KCK – as Jamie pointed out on here yesterday there’s no accounting for the variety of individual circumstances.
              Laws are imperfect for this reason. Papal edicts even moreso?

              Hence the primal ethic, which I think you’re supporting …?

              “The right to life of the mother takes precedence …”

            • Pickled Possum

               /  19th February 2016

              @Rob

              The whole of society has a part in “Her responsibility”
              ie tax credit health you name it.
              Some fractions of society that make all negative saying “It’s her fault she has to fix it herself” almost makes sense how the party plan is more acceptable.
              Abortion is a matter between the mother and her god.
              End of…. for most woman.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  19th February 2016

              Society gets to have a say when it can support the baby without the mother. Until then it is her responsibility and decision.

              Since I doubt Oliver supports anyone at all, even himself, he gets no say at all which is undoubtedly as it should be.

          • Rob

             /  19th February 2016

            @mrMan
            I happen to know of a couple of cases personally where ‘it wasn’t covenient’ was used as an excuse, third time round. That’s using it as birth control. Not saying it’s rampant but it does happen. If you want to do it, use your head, and birth control. Also there are people wanting to adopt, at least take it to term and give someone who really want’s a child and the child themselves a chance.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  19th February 2016

              “Also there are people wanting to adopt, at least take it to term and give someone who really want’s a child and the child themselves a chance.”

              Why? You never offered to be a surrogate? You might also legitimately fear an unsuccessful adoption and the misery that might inflict on the infant you chose to bring into the world. There is also the father to consider and his desires and consequences.

              Anyone who thinks there is a simple answer doesn’t understand the question.

      • @ Oliver – “Don’t make abortion about religion”. FFS lad, check out the topic heading?

        @ Rob – Oliver’s example is typical of him, he’s shooting randomly in the air to get attention. Think about it? This imaginary girl might get drunk and have sex with 10 other boys before she discovers she’s pregnant. Now she’s pregnant, abortion is one option her doctor will talk her through, if the pregnancy is unwanted. This simply cannot be called “using abortion as a form of birth control”.

        If she was well educated about her sexuality – including her sexual freedom – she might have got the morning after pill on the first occasion and used contraception on the other 10? There may be serial users of abortion for unwanted pregnancy and this is terribly unfortunate for them; and us I guess? Costly in every way imaginable.

        Also, there’s a big problem in getting men and boys to take responsibility – aside from lack of fathering – and this is finding them!

        The primary ethic involved in this is incredibly simple : the right to life of the mother takes precedence.

        Reply
        • kittycatkin

           /  19th February 2016

          I would be afraid of what multiple abortions were doing to my insides, even if I had no qualms about killing all those babies.

          I have seen a three month foetus in reality after it was miscarried; the poor wee thing was very much a miniature baby, about 8″ long. Everything was there, It was a tiny, seemingly perfect human being. I can’t see how anyone could deliberately kill these little creatures. People delude themselves that they’re a shapeless mass of cells; they’re not.

          Reply
          • And I’ve seen a malnourished, unwanted child, barely old enough to eat solids, being fed M&M’s and Coke for breakfast Miss Kitty. I’ve dealt with the child’s chronically depressed mother and drug addled “present in absentia” father. I’ve encountered one year old’s with the developmental signs of a 6 month old, including basics like weight and height. “Fathers” long gone …

            The right to life of the mother takes precedence …

            Reply
            • Oliver

               /  19th February 2016

              Of course if there are implications with the fetus then abortion is acceptable. But most are abortions are used as contraception and this is what I’m against.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  19th February 2016

              No, most abortions are used as family planning and to ensure children brought into the world are wanted and can be loved and cared for properly. The alternative disasters are all around us.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  19th February 2016

            People delude themselves that a fetus is a sentient being. It isn’t:

            http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/when-does-consciousness-arise/

            Reply
          • Gezza

             /  19th February 2016

            No, they’re not a shapeless mass of cells. But they’re also not an independently viable, conscious human being. IMO they do not yet have a sufficiently developed brain to have a personality and are not yet a person.

            Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  19th February 2016

            Your age/dimensions seem wrong, kittycat: http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a1004000/average-fetal-length-and-weight-chart

            12 weeks is half an ounce, two inches from crown to rump. It seems you were looking at around 16 weeks. Still a long way from beginning the implementation of consciousness though as per my previous link.

            Reply
            • mrMan

               /  19th February 2016

              Your dimensions seem wrong too Alan, we went metric way back.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  19th February 2016

              Yes, but kitty spoke inches so I translated into her language.

        • Rob

           /  19th February 2016

          “the right to life of the mother takes precedence.” To a point. There comes a time when we all have to take responsibility for our actions.
          “Abortion as contraception” is nothing but a bait line.” Bollocks. Sentient being or not is not the arguement, I’m not calling it murder here. Look at the cost for instance, I can’t imagine it’s a cheap procedure. I’m not against abortion, as I said it’s a right, but when it happens to be ‘inconvenient’ then that’s abusing the right IMO.

          Reply
          • Rob

             /  19th February 2016

            Should read …’inconvenient’ for the third time..

            Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  19th February 2016

            “I can’t imagine it’s a cheap procedure”

            Insignificant when done with a progesterone pill. Far cheaper than a hospital birth.

            Reply
            • Rob

               /  19th February 2016

              The surgical procedure would be expensive, although yes, not as expensive as a hospital birth. The point I’m trying to make is exercise your rights but responsibly. Again, I’m talking multiple abortions here.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  19th February 2016

              Surgical is done as an outpatient, so yes, also a lot cheaper than birth.

              I agree irresponsible use should be actively discouraged and since it is not a pleasant experience I should think multiple abortions are either extreme misfortune or a symptom of other serious problems.

  5. Pickled Possum

     /  19th February 2016

    Having seen some real life things, makes me say vehemently
    “What the Mother Wants in this case”
    How some children are brow beaten, to have the child, from people with no input other than the need to have their say. The Bully tactic. The People who have to be seen, to be relevant, to feel appreciated…… sorts of people.
    From All colour creed and race.

    A hand full of precious human tissue is not as messy as a Drug fuelled Depressed Never worked long enough to pay for the counselling they need , the Hormonal Teenager.
    Who Hates every body Just met the father after 18 years of his photo sitting on the mantel.
    Coddled by the battle wary mother who tends to the adult – child’s every want & need,

    The mother who trusted the oaf she meet that enchanted evening, believed him when he said Of Course it’s safe … “I’ve Had The Snip”.
    The father more commonly know as “The Sperm Donor” who does not water the seed of life they planted because satisfaction is the only action needed, long gone.

    The Young Teenager who displays the look of;
    No Body lives here at the moment; Big signs in the eye.
    All of a sudden a littler person is put into her arms and she must instantly and magically turn into the “Virtuous Woman” after a life time of livng in the R18+ movie, aptly named
    “This is how it’s done, in the Real World”.
    Being goggled at talked about and Judged Harshly by the Harsh nudist Judges,
    while they are sipping their holy water.

    Do we think Mrs Posh has 2 children because she is the Ultimate family planner, I don’t believe anybody could ever have all the facts to debunk that bit of pssst take.

    Everybody knows some one that has had an abortion,
    some, just don’t Know it.

    Reply
    • If may paraphrase what Mel Gibson says as he hands the baseball bat to Joachim Phoenix at the end of the film “SIGNS” …

      Dox away Possum !!!

      Reply
      • mrMan

         /  19th February 2016

        What does Dox mean to you?

        Reply
        • Pickled Possum

           /  19th February 2016

          @mrMan
          Excuse me for butting in 🙂
          Parti has said he /she didn’t know that word so I’ll just leave this here
          http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/dox
          for clarification tomorrow after the horse and dog show.

          When I used the word dox I didn’t want it to mean
          “I threw caution to the ether and doxxed myself.”
          Gave up my identity in my passion on that certain matter so some one who could be mean to me at my email and home address. And trying to get me the sack LOL

          Cause we all know how this cyber Catfish shit can turn on the head of a pin to outrageous behaviour.

          and Parti may well understand the meaning of dox at a deeper level than
          we can grasp… till Parti tells us.

          Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  19th February 2016

      Spot on, Possum.

      Just to add a final bit of irony to this thread:

      Yesterday, mM was sniping at my early involvement with politics. Today we are on the same side because my wife and I became political solely because the Catholics in both Labour and National were trying to shut down NZ access to safe, legal abortion. That was our principal issue and I was a committee member of the Abortion Law Reform NZ organization in Chch. We were also active in direct action. That was one of the things I was thinking of when I said there were real issues back then and fortunately they have been won.

      Reply
      • Dawson

         /  19th February 2016

        Do you believe abortion involves the termination of a human life?

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  19th February 2016

          No. I believe it prevents the creation of a human life.

          Reply
          • Dawson

             /  19th February 2016

            So when expecting mothers refer to their unborn children as “the baby” are they just deluding themselves?

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  19th February 2016

              No, they are deluding you.

            • Dawson

               /  19th February 2016

              Right. So just to be clear, your honest view is that the close to 100% of expecting mothers who refer to their unborn child as “the baby” have a genuine belief that the genetically distinct thing, which is living and growing independently of the life and growth of the mother, is a really a baby. They just say that to delude me.

              Cool story.

              Can I just ask when do you personally draw the line? Is abortion ethical right up until birth or sometime earlier?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  19th February 2016

              They obviously have a far more nuanced and realistic view than you. Of course they refer to it as a baby as that is what it will be and look like. But they realise development is a gradual process as genetics and their own bodies create this new human being.

              As a rule of thumb, I would say abortion is ethical up until viability or consciousness which ever occurs first, though obviously the earlier the better in every respect.

            • Dawson

               /  19th February 2016

              Oh yip. So if that’s right. How come mothers grieve miscarriages that occur viability? Are they simply mourning the loss of a chance?

              Are there other situations in which we routinely call a thing something that it’s not because it will eventually grow into one? Ever heard of anyone calling a caterpillar a butterfly because that is what it will be and look like?

              Why viability or consciousness? It’s one view, I suppose, but it’s pretty arbitrary.

              A comatose patient lacks consciousness. Is such a person a living human person? In many cases, such persons are also “unviable”.

              Deliberately killing another persons unborn child is classed as a homicide under the Crimes Act 1961. Should this remain the case? Should the offence be limited to post-viability unborn children? Why not?

              Proponents of your theory generally acknowledge that they are drawing a distinction between a “human being” – which an unborn child is, by almost any definition, and a “human person” based on the idea of self-awareness.

              What’s the philosophical reason for believing this distinction? We’ve moved on from Descarte you know.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  19th February 2016

              “How come mothers grieve miscarriages that occur viability? Are they simply mourning the loss of a chance?”

              Yes, mourning what might have been and what was hoped for and expected is very often what mourning is all about, not just for a miscarriage, still birth or post-partum infant death.

              I disagree that viability and consciousness are arbitrary ethical change points. If the foetus is not viable independently from its mother and has no consciousness then it lacks the crucial attributes of an independent sentient being.

              Yes, the Crimes Act should be amended to clarify that a woman is entitled to abort her foetus prior to viability or consciousness. The present compromise is essentially fraudulent.

              I don’t need a philosophical reason for defining such clear boundaries as viability and consciousness. These are objective physical states, not your word plays.

            • Dawson

               /  19th February 2016

              Actually you do need a philosophical reason to hold that belief reasonably. Scientific observation is inductive – and so is not sufficient in of itself to provide any real insight. Analytical philosophy is the basis of reasoning.

              Maybe your experience is different. However, I’ve never known a grieving mother primarily upset by the loss of a chance. I’ve also never known any (happily) pregnant woman who believed the thing inside of them was some non-personal clump of cells.

              Is a comatose person a non-person? If not, why not? What’s the distinction?

              I wasn’t referring to the matter of elective abortion. Does a man who beats up his pregnant partner, deliberately inducing a miscarriage, commit a homicide? Do you think the law should be changed to lessen the penalty if the baby wasn’t viable?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  19th February 2016

              “Scientific observation is inductive – and so is not sufficient in of itself to provide any real insight. Analytical philosophy is the basis of reasoning.”

              Without observational confirmation and relevance analytical philosophy is merely word playing. Science has provided more insights than philosophy ever dreamed of.

              However the reasons for the two criteria I support are quite obvious. If the foetus is not viable then it is dependent on the mother who therefore has both responsibility and control over it. If it is not conscious then it has no experience of its existence or non-existence. It is not alive in any real sense. To anticipate your protest, an unconscious person differs since he/she has a human life and experience already as well as being independently viable.

              I don’t care what you think people believe or what you believe. I only care what the facts are as best as we can determine.

              The penalties for homicide are dependent on circumstances. I am content to let the courts continue to apply their discretion accordingly. The non-viable foetus is rightly under the control of its mother and penalties for violation of her right to carry it through to birth should not be affected by its stage of pregnancy or whether it has become viable. I think most people would see that as a distinctly different crime from other homicides though the range of penalties may be the same.

  6. Robby

     /  19th February 2016

    For myself and Mrs Robby, abortion was never, and never will be considered as an option. But our circumstances are entirely different to those of a family friend, who was dragged into a dark alley and raped by a stranger while walking home from work one night. And different to those of my cousin, who fell pregnant at 15 after a weekend fling with some ratbag who disappeared into the night. And different again to those of another friend, who had 3 abortions before deciding she wanted to start a family, then discovered she couldn’t conceive due to damage done during the last one.
    I strongly suspect that Oliver and his mate have no real life experience with any situations resembling those listed above. Until such time as they do, IMHO they should both STFU

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  19th February 2016

      More ironically, Robby, when this was a hot issue it was well known that various vocal anti-abortion activists had partners who had had discrete abortions or even had had them themselves. Not sure if they were more concerned with placating their God or hiding from their religious circle.

      Reply
      • Dawson

         /  19th February 2016

        Who? When? Proof?

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  19th February 2016

          Around 1979. No names even if I could remember them. That is their business not yours. Proof? Sorry, no. But they were clients of the Auckland Medical Aid Centre or given D&C services at our hospitals if they were sufficiently well connected.

          Reply
          • Dawson

             /  19th February 2016

            Sounds a bit Whale Oil to me.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  19th February 2016

              Probably does, but that’s how I recall it. It’s also consistent with what happened elsewhere when abortions were illegal via Catholic pressure. That did not stop Catholics having abortions, nor priests from preaching abstinence while fathering children.

      • Robby

         /  19th February 2016

        What I find ironic, is that in the 21st century there are millions of people who still find the popes’ opinion relevant. To (sort of) quote George Carlin, “Look at him in his funny hat, riding around in his bulletproof popemobile….Now there’s faith in action!”.

        Reply
        • Dawson

           /  19th February 2016

          That seems pretty narrow minded.

          Do you think in the fourth century, people were saying the same thing? And the fifth? And the tenth? And the seventeenth? And the nineteenth?

          What are the grounds for believing that the 21st century has somehow bestowed on us such a unique and clearsighted insight into human morality?

          Reply
          • Robby

             /  19th February 2016

            You missed the point, which isn’t surprising really

            Reply
          • Dawson

             /  19th February 2016

            How? You said it was “ironic” that people listened to the pope in the 21st century. What’s “ironic” about it? The statement presupposes that it was more rational to listen to the pope in earlier centuries.

            Was it just an attempt to create a lead in for the Carlin psuedo-quote?

            Perhaps if you try harder to write more plainly, people will understand the point you are trying to make. As it is, I can’t see why other point there was.

            Reply
            • Robby

               /  19th February 2016

              Yawn…..I’m not going to waste my time explaining the obvious to you just because you are too thick to understand it without help.
              Every night as you ‘play your little bed flute to sleep’, then mop up the resulting mess with a tissue, according to your logic you are flushing several million little lives down the loo. Hypocrit

          • I’ll have a go. I reckon its fairly simple Dawson, IMO each of the centuries you mention represent different epochs of the Catholic Church’s temporal power. The power that prevents and represses dissent along with natural living life.

            In the 4thC & 5thC probably fear of excommunication and eternal damnation (as if you’re not damned enough already by so-called “original sin”, by being born), which meant excommunication from one’s community, the sole source of safety and sustenance.

            In the 10thC Dark Ages, fear of damnation along with starvation, and probably some horrendous punishment like being “left to the wolves” or something? The Church provides the basis for ‘community’ albiet at a terrible cost to personhood.

            17thC the Inquisition, torture and burning at the stake? God be Praised the Enlightenment is glowing in the heavens of human consciousness. Western & Orthodox Christendom discovers other religions exist aside from Islam, which gave Western Christendom a walloping 3 or 4 times over.

            And by the 19thC the Church’s grip on humanity is loosening. Thank Mother Earth and Father Sky. Science and ethics – the latter primarily Kant’s – has largely deduced that the sanctity of life and the (genetic) commandment to love are entirely ‘natural’ (or what we might today call cellular or sub-atomic).

            To paraphrase : All life is imbued with the instinct for self-preservation; it lives in every human being; only the commandment to love can assure the self-preservation of all. No mystic rites attach to this. It doesn’t need to be interpreted by Pope and Priests. It leads inevitably to the logical conclusions, “Do unto others …” and the sanctity of life.

            The same ethics is capable of determining a simple statement like : The right to life of the mother takes precedence. It may not be absolutely ideal but it is both realistic and ethical. I’m sure we’d all like there to be no need for abortions.

            If we want to talk about the temporal misuse or abuse of an ethic or religious morality by some people there are a myriads of examples. The Priest gives holy communion to and blesses the troops before they go off to do their killing work, believing they have the ‘right’ of self-defense on their side, as does their ‘enemy’ and their enemy’s Priest.

            I’d say in the 21stC the numbers of people who have lived long enough with lesser or outside the control of the church have reached a critical mass …?

            Reply
            • Robby

               /  19th February 2016

              Amen to that PZ

            • Dawson

               /  19th February 2016

              “The right to life of the mother takes precedence.”

              And that is a different argument from that made by Alan Wilkinson and others who put forward the arbitrary idea that an unborn child is a non-person, human being.

              And yet your formulation isn’t quite correct. The debate around abortion isn’t about whose “life” takes precedence. Pope Francis would support treatment required to vouchsafe the life of a mother even if it results in an abortion. In nearly all cases, the competing interest is between the life of the unborn child and the desire of the mother to carry it to term. Reasonable people can differ on where that balance is struck.

              As for your view on history. I’m not sure it entirely stacks up. The temporal power of religious organisations like the RCC wax and wane over centuries. From Emperor Julian to Reformation England to the French Revolution to 1920s Mexico through to Nazi Germany and Soviet dominated Poland, there was strong pressure to subscribe to alternate creeds – often under threat of torture. And yet in all those times there were people willing to engage (and sometimes be persuaded) by the moral arguments put forward by that organisation.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  19th February 2016

              ““The right to life of the mother takes precedence. And that is a different argument from that made by Alan Wilkinson and others who put forward the arbitrary idea that an unborn child is a non-person, human being.”

              There is nothing arbitrary about the conclusion that the journey from two cells in a petri dish to a viable baby is a gradual progression from a non-person to a human being.

              There is everything arbitrary about any other claim.

            • mrMan

               /  20th February 2016

              Except that in nature there is no petrie dish, just spoof and an egg.

            • mrMan

               /  20th February 2016

              in a moist vagina

            • mM, the Petri dish fertilisation can make the baby so there is no other mystical intervention necessary at conception, just the egg, sperm and cell chemistry.

            • mrMan

               /  20th February 2016

              But one is beauty and one is cold science

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  20th February 2016

              @mM, of course. Two people can make magic for each other and their future together – and don’t need the priest’s help or the Church’s mysticism to do so. But they do sometimes need science’s help. Despite Dawson’s respect for philosophy its conclusions sadly produce only the rabbit the conjurer has hidden in his assumptions.

            • @ Dawson – “And yet in all those times there were people willing to engage (and sometimes be persuaded) by the moral arguments”

              I doubt it. A few perhaps. Fear is the great motivator of conformity.

        • Dawson

           /  19th February 2016

          Classy.

          Actually, I haven’t ventured an opinion on the substance. I opposed Pete George’s sanctimonious post and Alan Wilkinson’s plainly ignorant assertion that there are no reasoned objections to his views.

          (Despite the fact that much more learned and intelligent people than any of us have gone back and forth on the subject for years).

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  19th February 2016

            Wrong. I said there are no reasonable people on the Church’s side of the issue. There are legions claiming reasoned objections just as they used to debate how many angels could fit on a pin head until science and a microscope showed a distinct absence of any. Just because they claim esoteric reasoning does not make them reasonable.

            And I have seen nothing advanced by you today that challenges that conclusion.

            Reply
    • Oliver

       /  19th February 2016

      @Robby “who fell pregnant at 15 after a weekend fling with some ratbag who disappeared into the night. And different again to those of another friend, who had 3 abortions before deciding she wanted to start a family, then discovered she couldn’t conceive due to damage done during the last one.”

      These a pathetic excuses for having an abortion. If you’re not grown up enough to be responsible and raise a child then you’re not grown up enough to have sex.

      And your friend who could conceive, well that’s the universe telling hers she too selfish to have a child.

      It seems that being cold hearted is prerequisite for having a contraceptive abortion. Also selfishness, lack of responsibility, lack of empathy, lack of determination.

      Reply
      • Robby

         /  19th February 2016

        No Oliver, it is pathetic of you to expect that a 15 year old single girl is capable of raising a child, just because she is physically capable of having one.

        Reply
        • Oliver

           /  19th February 2016

          Who said she has to raise the child by herself. Her family and friends can help. That’s what family and community is all about. “it takes a village to raise a child”

          Reply
          • Robby

             /  19th February 2016

            Don’t try to put words in my mouth, obviously we would have helped her. I said she was single.

            Reply
          • mrMan

             /  20th February 2016

            Full disclosure Oliver: Have you had sex?
            An awkward question that may make some of your answers make sense to those of us that not only have , but have raised children as well

            Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  19th February 2016

        “If you’re not grown up enough to be responsible and raise a child then you’re not grown up enough to have sex.”

        I see your divorce from reality is complete, Oliver. An elementary course on human development beckons you. Come back when you have rejoined the human race.

        Reply

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