This is a question that women above all must address in my opinion if we are ever to bring about a significant drop in abortion deaths. There is no doubt that our country, England, and many more followed the example of countries like Russia and China in legalizing abortion as a means of controlling a population growth it was felt the country could not provide for.
So what then became the attitude of religious leaders? I was raised a Mormon and Mormons did not turn in significant numbers to legalized abortion, with Utah consistently remaining one of the lowest in abortion deaths but with the high birth rate such a policy might be expected to produce. Less abortions, more children, yes that would surely follow.
The Catholic Church has been adamant in its opposition to abortion all over the world, but I have known families personally where the mother worn down by constant child bearing left the Catholic Church because it was felt that a church whose thinking is dominated by men was unwilling to offer solutions when a woman's health and therefore her family's welfare were threatened by constant child bearing.
Down through the centuries we see women very often dying from child bearing constant and never ending that sapped her strength. Even queens had seven and eight children (Queen Victoria and the 'White Queen' Elizabeth, wife of King Edward who ruled before the Tudors)and suffered accordingly, especially in an age without antibiotics and all the knowledge that exists today that might save both a mother and a child. We now live in the 'modern' age when OctoMom shocked the world by bearing eight children at once through intro vitro fertilization, costing the welfare system millions.
Any number of women now have produced multiple births through these procedures, so at the same time legalized abortion causes it is estimated 48 million deaths a year around the world, we are also called to celebrate the saving of possibly six little babies born to one mother all at once! And this mother may be able to get pregnant again and again! OctoMom has just said to the media she wants to bear nine!
So how are we to come up with child bearing policies that do not rely on legalized abortion to keep hardship pregnancies from happening over and over?
My friends, for many years my thinking has gone in the direction of mind control, of women, above all, leading the way to more civilized and humane ways of getting through life having only the children they want and can take care of. I knew if I was going to preach that legalized abortion was an act of violence unworthy of civilized people, I had to come up with solutions that would work that were non violent.
Impossible you say? Not if you commit to non violence and do not allow yourself to consider any other way. I read a book not long ago about the history of nuns, and in it women were fleeing to sanctuaries sometimes even with their husbands and children to take the vow of chastity to deal with child bearing that threatened to end the life of the mother and put the rest of the family in jeopardy. Yes, these were innovations that the Catholic Church has not always continued to develop and offer as alternatives to women dying in constant child bearing.
I say women cannot look to churches to lead the way with mind control as religious leaders may be lagging far behind in meeting the needs of beleaguered mothers who know if they have another child they may die. And worry about what will happen to their children? Their resources may be meager. Even should they be able to have another child, the mother may also be a bread winner who cannot afford to take time even for the birth let alone stay home to take care of the new baby.
So each woman has conditions in her life that determine how many children she can safely bear and above all take care of. OctoMom has to have multi sources of government income to raise her brood of fourteen children all born through intro vitro fertilization. It is no wonder many in the world protested. She was the ultimate abuser of the welfare system. She doesn't even need an involved father the way she has gone about taking advantage of every source of income available to her and her children.
We know very well this is not a good way for women to have a family, but whatever loopholes exist in our welfare systems, there are people to take advantage.
I say that not nearly enough has been done to raise the consciousness of women to believe they can control child bearing. Many women are already doing it. Someway or another many wives and husbands come to an agreement about how many children they can afford and they do whatever is needed to limit family size, falling short of abortion. I have witnessed couples sensibly going about doing this for years, many times in my life. Their beliefs did not encompass abortion.
So what was their secret? Obviously a great deal of control has to be exercized by both husband and wife. So how do we motivate more and more parents to commit to non violence as well as to limiting their families by non violent means? To expect substance abusers, as alcoholics and drug abusers, to use this kind of control is unrealistic. They don't do it. Substance abusers don't use condoms. They acquire sexually transmitted diseases as well in a reckless disregard of their own well being let alone of any future offspring.
But I say where we have gone wrong is by not challenging everyone to exercise more mind control. We have resorted to acts of violence because we have not believed that we are capable of more, and in so doing we have sent substance abusers a wrong message.
We are as good as saying that man cannot control what he does, he cannot be non violent in his solutions. What follows then is the same message to substance abusers. You cannot control your abuse of alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, and food and yes sex.
There is a big difference in the approach of saying you can control your life. Alcoholics sober up with the help of a higher power. Whatever it takes.
Here is how man forms a partnership with God. You ask God to help you in your commitment to control what you do in your life without resorting to violence. You make control all important in your partnership with a higher power. We are sex addicts, too, which causes us to take risks that are irresponsible in nature when they produce a child.
You cannot have a sexual revolution with the right to have sex any time you want it without controls like legalized abortion to take care of consequences you cannot handle.
If you commit to a partnership with a higher power then you will not fight the control you must exert to live up to the concept of non violence.
That is why a higher power works with a commitment to seek help to do the impossible.
Men and women by themselves very often lose control with a disastrous consequence over and over.
I have found that there is a higher power to guide me every step of the way if I need it. It is called conscience by some, the still small voice within that tells you when a solution is wrong and when one is right. If we listen to the voice within, it will tell us that to kill our own flesh and blood in the act of violence that abortion takes is not right. I think that is why secular thinking has taken over. With a belief in abortion, people don't usually talk to God. They start saying they don't believe in God. The voice within that is telling them no, this is wrong, has to be stilled in order to do it. The whole system of communing with God that has existed for centuries in enlightened man has to be scrapped. Our minds are our conduits to God. They help us to tell what is right and what is wrong if we are willing to listen. And commit to following the dictates of conscience. We have to believe in the power of our own minds in order to find out way to God.
What, give up our dialogue with God for abortion? Which makes no one happy. But it has become the solution for many beleaguered women.
Who need to think now there is a better way. It is always a giant leap for man and woman to form a partnership with a higher power, but the higher power is what comes forth with the ideal, the most difficult solution but the best one for all concerned. The one that will make us sleep better at night, give us peace.
Help us to believe in the power of prayer again.
On the practical side, in response to a comment about this entry so far from my sister (see comments) my mind control methods including abstinence for months and even years when no partner could be found to agree to safe birth control methods. My first husband agreed to sex with no penetration so absolutely no risk of pregnancy was taken. He knew I had nearly died in the mental hospital at 20 and was still very fragile. My health was also bad enough that I knew I could not have children that were not well spaced. Of the ten years I was married, nine of these years we practiced sex with no penetration. Even when he got drunk and would strike me, he would not violate my rules about penetration. He really did not want to have children he could not take care of either. He seemed to know if he did that, too, I might have to send him on his way for good.
After those years of not having penetration I practiced rhythm with my second husband because I wanted another child. When he refused to practice safe sex after our daughter was born I had to ask him to leave. I also asked him to leave after our second child and son was born. He was too violent when drinking. I finally concluded I had no choice but to raise my children alone.
I had inherited money to fall back on if my second marriage did not work out, so I paid for my daughter to be born, and also for my Caesarean when my son was born. I was 41 at the time so had my tubes tied at the same time because I knew that I could not afford to have any more children and was now too old in any case. I and my children lived for 12 years on my inheritance while I was writing a number of novels to try to make it as a writer. When this did not happen I went to work outside of the home. I could anticipate that disability would cut short my working years, but I was able to work until I was 54 years old.
All these years I had dialogue with a higher power. My father was an alcoholic and during childhood I developed my habit of asking my creator daily for advice on how to live my life and deal with my problems. We very often have preconceived ideas of what a 'religous' person should be doing and how they should be living. I never attached myself to a church because I could find no church that I thought dealt well with homosexuality. I was the daughter of a man I considered to be a homosexual.
Most homosexuals do not affiliate with churches because they feel rejected and condemned by them. As the daughter of one I felt almost as condemned even for expecting forgiveness and understanding for my father. I do not believe that any homosexual goes out and tries to be one because they are treated too badly by society to do that. They are that way I believe because they could not help it.
My husbands even though alcoholics were both able to accept my background. This was crucial.
I always thought that God knew why my father had become a homosexual. I thought he asked me to study and understand why, too. I could talk about this problem with my two husbands. They had to be able to understand and not condemn. I saw by my first husband's compassion for his suicidal cousin who was surely gay, which was the big reason he was driven to suicide while married and trying to be the father of two little girls. He had to go out and find him on our wedding night to get him out of trouble. He saved him from jumping out of a car to his death later on. I knew by his actions he would understand what I was contending with at home.
When he got drunk he could be dangerous. That is when his prejudice came out. I loved my dad when he was sober. He held violence in check unless he got drunk. That is when most will lapse into the most primitive behaviors. Which is why I vowed never to drink. My second husband was downright evil when he drank which is why I had to ask him to leave.
Not drinking was part of my commitment to being guided by a higher power. Had I waited for men who did not drink I would not have been able to marry or have children. So I contended with alcohol. I think it is unrealistic to expect young people not to marry and have children because of the bad habits of their only possible mates. In an ideal world everybody commits to sobriety. We do not have an ideal world.
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