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Posted: Nov. 17, 2002
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Question of the Week: 34 - 3/26/2001
What Are Your Views on Abortion, Euthanasia and Suicide?
What are your personal views on the issue of abortion, euthanasia and suicide? Do you consider these as individual and personal decisions or are they moral, religious or ethical 'crimes'? Does society-or the majority view (religious or otherwise) have the right to 'regulate' such actions or does the individual have the personal 'right' to decide whether to have an abortion or take their own life through euthanasia r suicide? CAUTION: These topics are very emotionally charged ones. Please do not attack or respond directly to another's posting, but rather simply state your own opinion on the matter. Anyone who wishes to debate the topics further via email with others can state so in his/her posting. Postings directly attacking another individual will be removed.
| Reponses: There are 95 responses posted to this question.
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| Hi!; This Kind Of Question Can Be Controversial, But Needs Be Faced... ||Mar 27th. at 11:36:20 pm EST|
|Tarostar (Toronto, Ontario CA) ||Age: 59 - Email |
This kind of question can be controversial, but needs be faced.
As a male, I never felt I had a right to require any female to bear young
against her will.
Birthing is a female mystery I can not hope to experience.
No matter what any patriarchial authority, religious or governmental, says,
Witches have always known the formulas of remedies to abort. That knowledge
is part of "Craft" and has been used since before God.
Witches will avail themselves of those things as needed and desired.
Depriving women of the old Witch lore results in the coat hanger back alley
horror stories anti-abortionists love to portray.
Herbs can do it naturally with hardly any danger to the self. The problem being,
certain herbs can be made unavailable by the Powers That Want To Be.
That's why many of us grow them ourselves.
Suicide should be a dignified choice for the individual.
I always thought it silly for society to punish a person for attempted suicide. One
is punished by being put in the psycho ward for failing. Successful suicides can not be punished.
Judaeo-Xtian society can not cope with being rejected when a person wants to check out. I feel there should be hospices for those who want to end their lives
and have it done in a clinical setting a la Solyent Green.
Terminal illness should give a person's physician an authority with the will of the
sick person and his/her legal spokesperson to end suffering which is incurable.
All I can say is there is precedent where Witches can assist in these matters when the doctor can not.
It is not something openly discussed.
The coming and going of life is the core of women's mysteries. There is something deeply intuitive about them. BB Tarostar
| I Read Over Some Of The Responses While I Was Thinking Up... ||Mar 27th. at 11:20:50 pm EST|
|Vincent Bosch (sumter, South Carolina US) ||Age: 20 - Email |
I read over some of the responses while I was thinking up what to write (your right by the way. this is a verry emotional topic).
On Abortion, I beleave in my heart of hearts that it depends on the situation. My opinion (and by no means is this everyones) Is that in casess such as rape, poverty, danger to the mother during birth, or other health reasons im unaware of, abortion would be the right choice. My personal vew is that if you cant rase a kid, dont start trying to lay the foundation. Though, at the same time, I beleave it is the individualls choice, and that it shouldnt be left up to the government to decide when a case is appropriate or not.
euthanasia, I feal it is acceptible for both pepole and animals. I feal that animals (such as my cat and friend sitting on my lap right now) who are suffering so greatly and cant be helped, should be humainly and with dignity be put to sleep to end there suffering. It boggles my mind that we dont do this with humans as well. I know if I had cancer and knew I had maby 4 weeks left to live at best, and was in incredible pain, I would be begging to be put to sleep. Its a more peacefull way. We do this to our familiars when there terminaly ill. It isnt an easy choice. But we do it because we know there suffering. So, why force humans to suffer when there is no hope in this life to save them from the pain? And especialy if they WANT to be euthanised.
On suicide....that one is encredebly touchy to me for many reasons. Id have to say Its wrong.At least, when your a person who is in good health and not even close to likely to die soon, and your only doing it because you want to get away from your problems. My mother commited suicide when I was 6 years old. Im now 20. And not one day gose by where I dont wonder why she did it, or miss the sound of her voice. Or want to just be held in her arms one last time to say goodbye. She could verry well have ben alive to see me develop tallants and graduate highschool and move on with my life today if she hadnt. But she made a decission to leave me behind. I had a friend of mine a few years ago kill herself. For a long time I blamed myself because I wasnt there to stop her. I could have ben there, but I stayed home because I was tired that day. I never saw her again. She was always a verry happy girl and no one ever saw it comeing. I personaly thought it over for a few years till one day I came verry close to it. And when I think about how close I came it scares me every day. I realised at the last minute that if I did this, It would end all my problems. But it would hurt others in ways I would never expect. Far more than my problems where hurting me. I asked for help. Some of my problems I was concidering doing that over have gone away. some of them are the same and some have gotten worse. I do suffer from depression. But I get up every morning and at least try to realise I have a purpose (even if I dont know what it is yet:) Suicide hurts so many in so many ways I feal it cant be comprehended. There is always a reason not to commit suiccide. Its called hope. I hope this helps someone out there.
| These Are Very Difficult Issues, And Reading Through Others' Response Has Made... ||Mar 27th. at 9:22:21 pm EST|
|Jessyak Boyle-- Jaiyla (North Port, Florida US) ||Age: 19 - Email |
These are very difficult issues, and reading through others' response has made me think about other sides to the story. My own opinion is that that all of these things are up to the individual.
On euthanasia, I have always believed that this should be an option open to the terminally ill. My own grandfather died of a prolonged bout of cancer and his last few months were spent unconscious on morphine, having nightmares about WWII, from which he woke up crying and mumbling feverishly at times. I wonder today if he had had the option of euthanasia, would he have taken it? I have also heard stories of patients who are terminally ill (and I have just heard them as stories, I have no proof to back them up, but I am repeating this because it seems to make psychological sense) in other countries where euthanasia is an optionliving considerably longer than the "alotted" time, due to the fact that they simply have the option. It occurs to me that knowing you have the ability to end it if it becomes too much would take off a lot of stress, stress which would contribute to your deterioration. The issue of euthanasia also presented itself to me in the case of those who are permanently disfigured or handicapped. I've heard of those who have been in accidents and become parapalegic and their quality of life has gone downhill to the point where they won't even eat unless forced. For these people, perhaps that option would be the one thy go for. There are others in the same situation however who have wonderful quality of life thereafter. It is indeed a very individual thing.
On the issue of suicide, I feel it is one of personal choice. I personally admire one person in history for commiting suicide: Boudicca of the Iceni. Rather thn be dragged into Rome in chains as a trophy and married off to some bureaucrat, she chose to end her life with dignity. The issue of suicide today however, usually involves a person who is depressed, has mental problems, or is dealing with situations he or she feels are out of control. This is not always the case, but this is what we think of as most common. In these cases, they could be prevented if we got involved and helped one another. The suicide statistics are a sad one. But in the end, I do think it is up to the individual whether or not to take their own life...
On the issue of abortion, I am very much pro-choice, considering the fact that if I were to become pregnant today, this would be the option I would choose. I am in no state, financially, emotionally, or responsibility-wise, to raise a child. If I were to raise a child at this point in my life, I feel it would stop me from developing as an individual, and strain my growth in my new found independence. Further, if I were to put said child up for adoption, how could be certain that the home they were placed in would provide adaquately for her or him? How do I know that their situation might not turn ugly? How could I do this in good conscience when I know the statistics about foster homes, children who are over the age of 10 getting adopted, or of those children who are handicapped being cared for, or those born to drug addict parents? I personally believe in reincarnation, so I know the aborted child will move on to the next life. It could be argued that keeping abortion legal is like handing some young women permission to go and be promiscuous, that abortion is used by many as a form of birth control. I do not deny that some women think of it thus, but the real issue is not the abortion here: if they gave up the child for adoption, do you think it would prevent them from going out and having promiscuous sex again? In many cases, even if they have and keep the child, the behavior doesn't change (I have winessed this in MANY of my friends). The issue is how they view themselves. Sometimes, not all times, when these women keep their children, they cannot care for them in a responible manner. Can they really nuture another person when they cannot nuture themselves? The problem isn't the fact that they view abortion as birth control, or that they go out and have these promiscuous relations and feel no responsibility-- this I feel is indicative of a problem on a deeper level, problems regarding how they view themselves and their level of self-esteem. I do believe that if it were treated as just such hurt, that we could help them to view themselves in a better light, and their need to engage in such behavior would be lessened. A woman who is raped I feel should always have the option of abortion. A woman's body is her own, she has the FINAL say as to what will happen.
If anyone would like to discuss this with me, feel free to email me.
| I Think Abortion Is Disgusting And Immoral. But Contrary To That, If... ||Mar 27th. at 9:07:11 pm EST|
|Emily (Ottawa, Ontario CA) ||Age: 16 - Email |
I think abortion is disgusting and immoral. But contrary to that, if my friend wanted an abortion under the right circumstances I would probably support her. Even though I know it's wrong in my heart, I can't condenm others because I have never been pregnant.
Suicide: I suffer from clinical depression and get really suicidal. I hate it when people say that I'm selfish. Please don't say that. It hurts me a lot. Would you call a person with a heart disease lazy?
Euthanasia: I don't have a moral opinion but I don't think we need to help a dying person die.
| All Three Are Personal Choices... I Am A 32 Year Old Mother... ||Mar 27th. at 8:48:54 pm EST|
|Kim Russell (Portland, Oregon US) ||Age: 32 |
All three are personal choices...
I am a 32 year old mother of two. While I could not have an abortion I do not condemn those that do. Walk a mile in my shoes and see where I've been before you judge me. No one has the right to tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body. Try telling a man what he can or cannot do with his body and you would be dead before you hit the floor. I find it ironic that viagra is covered by most insurance companies, but birth control pills are not. What about equality?
On Euthenasia, it isn't a matter of killing oneself it is a matter of pain control. When you can no longer control the pain you'd better pray for a speedy death. If a doctor can ease your pain and end your suffering then he/she should be allowed to end your life without fear of repurcussions. If you no longer have the mental capacity and are brain dead, pull the plug. As long as the mind is active and the body is healthy there is no need. But when the body and mind are gone why prolong the suffering. If your cat or dog was seriously ill with no hope of recovery the vet puts them to sleep. It is still an emotionally wrought time, yet no one dares tell you you were wrong for doing that. Aren't human beings worth as much as animals?
Suicide, mixed feelings on this one. I had two friends in high school commit suicide. (3 months apart. one by shot gun and the other by asphyxiation. I was suicidal, the love of my mother and knowing what it would put her through got me through that time. I keep thinking if I had done that my two boys would never had been born. I would have never had an impact on the people in my life at this time. I am not for suicide but I know the despair and anger and the absolute loss of the will to live that people whe do commit suicide feel. All you can do is reach out and offer support to them, repeatedly.
| I Think Abortion Is A Private And Painful Issue That The Riechteous... ||Mar 27th. at 8:44:22 pm EST|
|Helena Worthwyche (Anchorage, Alaska US) ||Age: 44 |
I think abortion is a private and painful issue that the riechteous religion mongers use as emotional shrapnel to attack women. Of all the women I have known who have had to make this choice to abort or not to abort; not a one took the decision lightly, and many have continued to suffer from guilt and horror trips placed on them by do-gooder religious goofs, usually male preachers. I would chose to control birth rather than abort however there are still women denied basic birth control by law, or family, or church imposed ignorance. These women need to be able to say that bringing life through themselves is not an option for them.
When I tried to be Christian I grieved and became grossly depressed. Never wanted to die more than after trying Salvation on for size. Poor Jesus, his Dad couldn't come up with a better plan than offing his own kid and in the process had to victimize a virgin girl-child with a potential social stoning if "caught" preganant? This God loved me? Ha, I bet...my soul I just wasn't sheep material. Social outcast, how come I didn't want to be fixed and really wished they would leave the poor Jewish Carpenter alone and take responsibilty for their own actions. I still don't get it and once I laid that burden down at the feet of the Diety of my KNOWING I found a way to dump the suicide demons and pick up the task of life. I just wanted out of pain. I wanted to be away from an intolerable version of life foisted upon me with threats of damnation and hellfire for not "getting it".
I detest people who use suicide as a weapon to control and limit others response.They are profoundly selfish and are in no way like people who need to get out of their bodies due to sickness or torture or having been forced to relinquish any self control through illness or evils like "rule of law" or forced religion. I don't blame a Women forced to revert to a non-enity from the likes of the Taliban or something equally as in-humane for checking out.
I looked into my dog's eyes as the needle bit her with death in the Doctors office. She hurt and I had to say goodbye. Dogs are worthy of death with dignity by law, but not humans. The government and religiosity must control every "body", it is a national form of mental illness in my opinion much sicker than any thing else I have ever experienced. What gluttonous power junkies. OCD get over, we got Bob Barr and Congress dosing on themselves.
This is just my humble opinion and I am glad to have this forum to voice it in. Blessed Be to me. I love to hear the voices of reason raising to a chorus hear.
| Synchronicity Strikes Again. Driving Home, I Heard A Man Will Be Killed... ||Mar 27th. at 8:40:15 pm EST|
|Lynne-Renee (rural St. Louis area, Missouri US) ||Age: 29 - Email |
Synchronicity strikes again. Driving home, I heard a man will be killed in MO at 12 am.
I thought to myself, "It's another conscious killing." I've thought a lot about death. As the youngest of both sides of my family, I've literally seen scores of family members die-mostly from cancer. I was raised to be pro-Choice, pro-Hemlock Tea Society and for capital punishment.
Whilst living in France (where euthanasia is widely accepted and capital punishment is considered horrific), I began to change my mind about one of these. I've decided that *I* cannot make the decision to end a life which doesn't directly affect my person. Thus euthanasia, abortion and suicide are acceptable choices.
Remembering karma, I must make decisions that I truly believe are the best for me now and which I can accept the consequences of in the future. If you say "aye" you must stand beside it. I have no desire to ever get an abortion. I've never been in that scenario.
I have however tried to commit suicide (several years ago) and at a different point, prayed for death to come to me in hospital. Many say choosing death is selfish. I say ask those who have tried. Not the ones who take pills and make a phone call. I tried to end my life by myself. I survived and cannot express how *thankful* I am to continue to grow and learn and heal. That was 15 years ago. If anyone kills herself, I don't get angry as my co-workers do. If they knew the excruciating pain one must be in to do it...As for euthanasia, when morphine isn't dulling the pain and you've been vomiting blood for 2 days, come talk to me.
I feel great sympathy for the bereaved of those who simply had to rest, who had to move on, who had to escape. I know you feel angry and lonesome. But know that your lost loved ones do love you and after much thought and soul searching, they did the very best that they could at the time.
| Where In The History Are We Known To Take A Life, Is... ||Mar 27th. at 8:35:39 pm EST|
|Christopher K. Magnusson (Lowell, Massachusetts US) ||Age: 38 - Email |
Where in the History are we known to take a life, is that what we as Pagans are about? Am I wrong or wasn't a witch also a mid wife, also just how did the True Pagans let the mainstream drop their issue into our laps. Just because the Coven isn't perfect, do you brake the Rainbow...
Kaya, Lowell, Ma.
| I Believe That All Three Are Personal Choices. Just Because I Wouldn't... ||Mar 27th. at 7:33:02 pm EST|
|The Voice of Many Waters (Slidell, Louisiana US) ||Age: 22 - Email |
I believe that all three are personal choices. Just because I wouldn't do one of them, does not give me the right to tell someone else that it is wrong for them to do. I could not abort a child because "I believe" that live is a gift and a blessing. But I would not discourge anyone from having an abortion if that is the choice they have made. I might give them other options, but I would not say that they are wrong. Euthanasia I believe in some cases is a relief to those suffering. However I would strongly perfer another treatment meothed if it was available, example, "Johhnny, is 35, just found out this morning he has cancer and wants to be euthanised." I would hope that Johhnny would try kemo-therapy first. Suicide. There should be a rule that you must at least be 25 before you even think about sucicide. I believe that there are too many teenagers out there who believe that this is their only option to stop the pain.
I also believe that if you commit sucide as a weapon to hurt another it is wrong. Once again i would implore the person to consider other options.
Suicide may end your pain, but it just begins the pain for those who love you.
Suicide now done with honor, let say, "Hero kills himself so Yee may live, " that is acceptable to me, that becomes honorable, because you gave your life for another, now if you kill yourself because, "you lost all your money on the stock market, or your husband cheats on you, " that is simply stupid. Now in the case of Tempest, its just plain sad. I strongly advocate more councling and higher education of school personal to reconize, and help children in need.
Well that is my thoughts on the matter, I am not saying that they are right or wrong, just that they are what I believe and feel.
| On Abortion: My Mother Has Worked In The Field Of Child Protective... ||Mar 27th. at 7:21:14 pm EST|
|Thorstein (Nashville, Tennessee US) ||Age: 34 - Email |
On abortion: My mother has worked in the field of child protective services for most of her life. I've seen the results of unwanted pregnancies in the form of some VERY screwed-up kids. Usually they are the victims of abuse, neglect, and are kept around for the sole purpose of drawing a welfare check. That's the cold-hearted truth, folks. I would love to live in a world where every child is loved, cherished, and wanted. Who wouldn't? We don't.
You don't like/want abortion? Start adopting kids. There aren't enough qualified families out there, and if the Religious Right would get off their ass and follow the example of Mother Theresa, there would be alot less unwanted children in the world.
Then again, most of the Religious Right (read "REICH") isn't worthy enough to lick the DIRT Mother Theresa walked on.
On suicide: I would hope that people- ESPECIALLY young people- would find help with their pain and not take this option. I had a dear friend in high school commit suicide. One day I see him, the next day a friend calls me to say "Paul shot and killed himself." The anger I felt was indescribable. Why didn't he come to us? Why didn't he say what was troubling him? I'll never know. It hurts those you love and who love you. And that's DEFINITELY against the reed.
On euthanasia: Would YOU want to live life in a coma? Then again that really isn't LIVING is it?
| If I Have Cancer And Have To Have Chemo Therapy, I Want... ||Mar 27th. at 6:43:45 pm EST|
|another solitary witch (somewhere in, Washington US) ||Age: 0 |
If I have cancer and have to have chemo therapy, I want marijuana. If I am terminal and will die in great pain. I want Dr Kevorkian. Suicide is usually the act of insanity but there are some circumstances I can see it. Euthanasia, I could never presume to choose for another, unless I am their mother. As for abortion I think it should be a freely chosen option. I am the mother of a severely handicapped child and while I do not wish her death I know the agony these children sometimes have and there are many people who should not be the parents trapped in the agony with them. There are the siblings to think about and there are NO public alternatives. Either the parents take care of them or they are vulnerable to being beaten, starved or raped in their beds by poorly paid caregivers. And it has been in the news too often. How can you hand a child over to live that life. Abortion at least gives the alternative of a better chance at the next life.Pardon my anonymous signature.
| I Consider All Three Of These To Be Personal Decisions That Society... ||Mar 27th. at 6:25:11 pm EST|
|Melissa Preston (Roswell, Georgia US) ||Age: 24 - Email |
I consider all three of these to be personal decisions that society does not have the right to "regulate" through legal channels.
In the case of euthanasia, I can not imagine having the audacity to tell someone in physical and mental pain and stress near the end of their life that they "have" to remain alive because of society's or my squeemishness about death. I believe that one has the "right" to die with dignity.
During a recent email list discussion, I was part of a topic about whether or not we felt "all paths were valid". I made the statement that if we were truly a community who cared deeply for one another's worth and acted as if each person around us was a valuable person, there would be a lot fewer paths that we might consider invalid. I think that thought can apply to the questions of suicide and abortion.
People commit suicide for a multitude of reasons. But many of those reasons could be alleviated if we paid attention and cared for the people in our lives. If we were there to make sure the mentally ill person received the treatment they needed...if we were there to shelter and feed the person who can not do so for themselves...if we were a friend to the person without any...if we gave a smile and encouragement to the one who need it...if we refused to allow hate to go unchecked in our community...if we refused to ignore...to look the other way...to be "too busy"...to not want to get involved...to assume it is someone else's problem...
In the end, suicide is a *very personal decision that I do not believe is morally wrong, but there are many, many steps on the way to suicide, and if we tried to be there for those steps, I think there would be a lot fewer suicides.
Now, I'm going to repeat myself.
Women have abortions for a multitude of reasons. But many of those reasons could be alleviated if we paid attention and cared for the people in our lives.
If we were there to assist the woman who can not afford a child...if we supported the woman who can not have a child in the middle of an abusive relationship...if we were there for the children of our community to teach them about relationships, sex, and pregnancy...if we woke up and did something to *fix* our adoption and foster system...if we were friends with the girl who thinks having a baby is the only way she will be loved, then gets scared and lost during the pregnancy...if we were friends with the children of our community who are scared to talk to their parents about their pregnancy...if we did our part to change the attitudes that make taboos out of single parenthood, poor parenthood, or letting your child be adopted...
In the end, having an abortion is a *very personal decision that I do not believe is morally wrong, but there are many, many steps on the way to an abortion, and if we tried to be there for those steps, I think there would be a lot fewer abortions.
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