The opinions posted on the Pagan Perspective pages are those of individuals and are not neccessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
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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| In My Personal Opinion, There Is Something Wrong In All Taking Of... ||Mar 27th. at 2:28:39 pm EST|
|Kaicielia BlueDragon (Madison, Wisconsin US) ||Age: 25 - Email |
In my personal opinion, there is something wrong in all taking of life, whether prenatal, or "mercy" killing. I have to admit, however, that I have never had the unfortunate opportunity to experience any of these happenings firsthand. My sister once had an abortion, but I lived 1200 miles away from her at the time, and didn't hear about it until months after the fact. I have never discussed it with her. I do not agree with the decision she made, but I will not jeopardize our relationship with such things.
Although I believe that these things are wrong, I acknowledge the fact that these are my beliefs. Beliefs, which are different and changing in all walks of life, should not be included into laws. No one has the right to regulate such actions, and the people wishing to utilize such things have the right to.
Suicide, however, has different aspects to it than the other two. In most cases, the person committing suicide is not only young, but also troubled in many ways. Most see their problems in a magnifying glass, generally they are not thinking straight when it occurs. Anyone believeing that their life is not worth living needs to be delt with quickly. They need to be shown that their life is worth living. Things change, always. In my experience, they generally get better. With proper counseling, these people can live a good, healthy, happy life.
| First, I'd Like To Say That These Should Probably Be Seperate Questions... ||Mar 27th. at 1:04:39 pm EST|
|Grey Streambank (San Diego County, California US) ||Age: 23 |
First, I'd like to say that these should probably be seperate questions... most people I know have different stances on abortion, euthanasia, and suicide.
Personally, as a man, I don't think it's really my place to have a view on abortion, other than to say I believe it should continue to be legal. This is an issue that individual women (and perhaps the baby's father) should make decisions on, since society at large seems to have no consensus on the subject. It should remain legal, for those who do not believe it wrong. If it involved a close friend or family member of mine, however, I would advise against it.
On the issue of suicide, I don't feel qualified to speak.
This leaves us with euthanasia. I am personally in favor of it in cases of terminal, incurable illness. My grandfather had such an illness - brain cancer - when I was a child, and among other things, spent the last five months of his life in a hospital, and due to our age, unable to see his grandchildren. (My sister and I were 4 and 6, respectively). I do not know whether my grandfather would have chosen euthanasia over this, but I believe the choice should have been available to him.
| I Do Think All Of These Issues Are Personal Choices, And Yet... ||Mar 27th. at 12:41:13 pm EST|
|Greg (Mesa, Arizona US) ||Age: 24 - Email |
I do think all of these issues are personal choices, and yet, we as a group/tribe/village, have the opportunity to help each other through these moments.
Abortion - Oooh, this one is tricky for me. I think that with the easy availability of birth control the opportunity for mistakes is severely reduced. We can get free condoms in America through any AIDS/HIV organization in a city near you. They always have jars, fish bowls, boxes of condoms in every office for people to pick up. I do see the in-utero being as a child, as a real life. The journey has begun, and for me, abortion is the extinguishing of that flame. Simultaneously, I do think that if the mistake (or something dreadful like rape) does occur and quality care can not be delivered to the child, then abortion is a valid, albeit unfortunate and very sad, choice. I think the Keep Your Laws Off My Body is a really cheap way to try and depersonalize a difficult issue. Let's call it like it is: abortion is a nightmare decision no matter which way you go.
Euthanasia - This one's much easier for me: I'm all for it. Everyone should have the right to end his/her own life if the quality is the pits. I don't want to end life in insufferable, long-term agony or a comatose state; without the quality, life's not worth it.
Suicide - I'm surprised at the vehement respones to this. It's important to impress upon those considering this that they only want to end their pain not their lives: the two are not entwined.
Love, Light, and Laughter to all!
| This Is An Interesting Linkage Of So-called Controversial Topics, All Involving The... ||Mar 27th. at 11:54:20 am EST|
|Cat (Asheville, North Carolina US) ||Age: 34 |
This is an interesting linkage of so-called controversial topics, all involving the right to die, or cause someone else to, when the person in question is "innocent"--that is, not "deserving" to die by virtue of being opposed to us in some way (as a serial killer is opposed to social order and community, as the enemy soldier in wartime may kill us if we don't kill him, as the person who breaks into our house and threatens our families is fair game if we can manage to kill him.) The question seems to be "do we believe that it's all right for someone 'innocent' to die if s/he is, or will be, in enough pain, or *cause* enough pain, by his/her life?"
On all counts, I think I'd have to say yes--even though I profoundly admire Anna Quindlen's short essay "Abortion Is Too Complex to Feel All One Way About." I don't know that I'd advocate any of these solutions in all, or even most cases, but I want everyone to have the option. Do I think that a fetus is a living being? It gives every sign of being alive--and those who defend abortion by by claiming it isn't seem to be hedging, however good their intent. Do I think that abortion and euthanasia are murder? In fact, I do. But is murder sometimes justifiable in the name of preventing suffering? This is the point that's hard to state and harder to stand by, but in fact it seems to be, and when push comes to shove it seems likely that most of us would do murder if the choices are clear enough.
Why would we do it, when murder's widely thought to be a bad thing? Well, if we're willing to make these hard choices (and admittedly not everybody is) maybe it's because we recognize something that, oddly, fundamentalist Christians don't seem to: that death is NOT the worst thing that can happen to us. Torture or chronic physical anguish is worse. Utter isolation is worse. Paralysis might be worse, depending on the victim's own view. An unloved childhood might well be worse. Christians believe in an afterlife of bliss, but many of them won't conscience sending anybody to it (except in warfare, self-defense, execution, or the occasional clinic bombing...there are a lot of "excepts" there, come to think of it.) Pagans don't necessarily believe in any kind of afterlife, but they seem to understand, by and large, that death is a part of life and can be a gift given in profound love when life gets too painful. Those who believe in the Goddess generally feel that one of her aspects is the Crone, or the Reaper--the one who brings death when it's time for death. I think we'd do well not to underestimate the worth of that gift.
| I Wholly Feel These Are Individual Descisions. Taking One's Own Life Is... ||Mar 27th. at 11:46:01 am EST|
|Cerulean Skies (Eugene, Oregon US) ||Age: 22 |
I wholly feel these are individual descisions.
Taking one's own life is without a doubt that indiviual's choice. It is similar to murder in that a life is taken away and others are affected by this. But the person comes to this conclusion as a choice. Now, this person may be depressed and with help could come to a different conclusion. But in their reality, the choice they make is the best for them.
As a person living with depression, I did have ideations of suicide. As a wiccan, I came to the conclusion that Karma and Reincarnation was going to bring me back here to live out life's lessons. Suicide was not a quick end-all to the problems. Again, my choice.
Abortion is such a heated topic. Where is the line between choice and "the Rede"?
Personally , I still feel it is a choice as one person should not be able to decide the fate of millions of women's bodies. I am taken back to 1995 and I just found out I was pregnant. This is life altering. Then if I didnt have a choice and had to carry it full term, only to give it away? I am happy to have had the option to keep it through term or not. I am happy I got to choose how it was going to affect my life. The repercusions we entirely on me and no one else.
The country is about choices and options all in the persuit of happiness. Taking that away is not acceptable.
| I Support A Woman's Right To Choose. Yes, The Father Is Involved... ||Mar 27th. at 11:02:59 am EST|
|Elektra (Toronto, Ontario CA) ||Age: 26 - Email |
I support a woman's right to choose. Yes, the father is involved, since without him conception would not have occured, but he is not the one caring for the child in utero. Many times abortion is sought because the pregnancy was not on purpose. There is a lot of talk from pro-life movements about adoption. My personal opinion on that is, if I found myself pregnant and knew I did not want to have the baby, would I really make a good pre-natal mom? Who can say? But if someone is not making the responsible choice to guard against pregnancy, who's to say they will care for the baby prenatally? I'm focussing on unprotected consensual sex here, but I stand by my pro-choice statement, whether it be because of rape, or otherwise. I jsut worry about women who are guilted into keeping the baby for the purpose of adoption, only to wind up givng birth to a baby with fetal alcohol syndrome, or someting equally as sad and preventable.
I support euthansia. It's hard, yes, but I would want the compassion if/when I find myself in a painful, terminal situation.
Suicide is very tough for those who are left behind to pick up the pieces, absolutely. However, as someone who is clinically depressed, I can say that I know what it's like to feel so utterly without hope or care and to be so very very sad. (on meds now, please don't worry)While it may be seen as selfish, it really is a last-ditch attempt to find peace, as hard as that may be for some people to understand. I don't believe someone would choose to die in such a glorious world if something wasn't terribly terribly wrong.
| Well With Abortion,i Feel That It Is Both Parents Right To... ||Mar 27th. at 10:56:12 am EST|
|Leigh Kolosky (Chisholm, Minnesota US) ||Age: 19 |
Well with abortion, I feel that it is both parents right to choose. Unless of course the father is out of the picture and wants nothing to do with the baby to begin with it. I think if they make abortion illegal then there are going to be more babies thrown in the dumpsters and women having dangerous illegal abortions done by people on the street. If they want to take abortion to a miminium then they need to educate more about absetince, and not just about that you can get pregnant or get an std. But instead that sex creates adult feelings, that children arent ready to deal with. I think there should be more strict laws to make sure the fathers stay around. If they do illegalize abortion, I think then that any man that ditches his children with his own free will, should have to get a viscitomy. I do not think abortion is murder, because just how exactly living in a womb a life. Now, killing your baby after it is born is murder, because they did have a life. Murder is the taking of one's life.
I also strongly believe in reincarnation, so I believe the baby will get another chance. With suicide, I think that your problems follow you until you face them. Even if you kill yourself, your problems will follow you in the next life. With euthanasia, I think it is alright. Just as long as the person that is dying agrees to it. Especially with people that need a machine to keep them alive. That is not a life.
| When I Was Age 20, I Had An Abortion. It Was My... ||Mar 27th. at 10:09:31 am EST|
|Mar-Garet (Morgantown, West Virginia US) ||Age: 51 |
When I was age 20, I had an abortion. It was my choice, thoroughly felt-through and thought-through. I had a conversation with the spirit who was hoping to be born through my physical self. I realized that I was not in any shape to be mothering and nurturing another human life. I realized that it had been a mistake to have sex without protection against pregnancy; however, at the time, I was very immature and craved intimacy because I had not received it at home. Plus, at that time, I hadn't educated myself as to precautions I could take. I actually didn't think I'd ever have sex, and when it started to happen, it was just so unfamiliar to me, I went with it. You could judge me as "stupid, " but I wasn't. You could judge me as "irresponsible, " and perhaps I was. Yet, I do not judge myself. I know that I was simply being as "wise" as I had the capacity to be, at that time in my life.
I was, of course, anguished to realize that my decision would be to abort. I told the spirit that this just wasn't the right time and I hoped the spirit would wait until I was ready.
I don't regret my decision. I believe I did the right thing. I was very careful to use birth-control after that, too.
Fast-forward 30 years. I meet a person about to turn 30 years of age. We have quite a reincarnational history together and we seem to share a bond that is very very strong. Perhaps....and I do believe this....he is the son I aborted so long ago. His spirit was able to find another woman who could give it passage into this world.
At first we fought....we had a lot of emotional "kinks" to work out! A lot of anger from past lives and maybe "THIS life"??? But slowly, we do work through these things. We begin to teach each other, to understand each other.
I am not his "mother, " but his friend. You can't always get what you want, but if you try some time, you get what you need.
| First Of All, These Are My Opinions, No One Elses, Take This... ||Mar 27th. at 9:36:13 am EST|
|Artemis Moonshadow (Kfar Saba, Israel) ||Age: 15 - Email |
First of all, these are my opinions, no one elses, take this as is.
Abortian; I'm pro-abortian, I think a girl/woman should have an abortian if she wants one, I think teenage mothers should think before they hop into bed with anyone with out rptection, it isn't that hard to go and buy a condom, which also protects you from STD's. I think Girls who are stil girls should not have baby's, a fetus is a fetus not a human, it has no consciance of it's own yet.
Euthanasia; a person in pain who is already dying should have the right to tell hi doctor that he/she's had enough and wants peace, why should this person torture himself and put himself through pain, when he can just have peace slwoly and easyly. A morphium drip will also ease the pain as you die. People should die with dignity and courage, not fear and pain.
Suicide; this week a boy I used to go to school with commited suicide, I was sad, then I thought he was very stupid. Suicide is different from Euthanasia, in that that it can be stopped, People who Suicide leave us a legacy of guilt, and we think what could we have done differently, why was he unhappy, Euthanasia is when there is no other treatment and death is the only release, in suicide the person does it because he FEELS there is no other way when there is, I don't think people who suicide are bad they're just very selfish, who should know better.
Those are my opinions, one other think, all these things are up to the individual, what is best for that particular person, not group.
| Abortion - I Believe Abortion Is Acceptable Only In Exceptional Circumstances. If The... ||Mar 27th. at 8:41:42 am EST|
|Aedelryd (Bundaberg, Queensland AU) ||Age: 30 |
Abortion - I believe abortion is acceptable only in exceptional circumstances. If the pregnancy is the product of a rape attack and is causing mental anguish to the mother then (early) termination is okay. The only other situation where I feel it would be ok is if it is established that the feotus is grossly deformed and will not survive or have a life outside of hospital/24 hour care.
Euthanasia - This one is difficult. There was a case in Australia where a woman who wished to be euthanased (because she was told she had terminal cancer) and was prohibited from going through with it, became well again and agreed that she hadn't been in her right mind - that she didn't really want to die. I think it has to be confirmed by a number of sources that the patient will not recover and that there is a strong likelihood of the patient "lingering" for an extended amount of time (months) on life support - which in turn causes pain, suffering and financial loss to the family - before euthanasia becomes an option. Yes, euthanasia is basically assisted suicide but in exceptional circumstances I feel it is justified. I believe we are here for a purpose. Lying comatose in a bed, unable to do anything for yourself would not be accomplishing that purpose and euthanasia is like a gentle push into the other realm for those that are "stuck".
Suicide - is a "cop out". Even though - at the time - all may seem lost and it may seem like there is no way out, suicide can never be an option. There are people out there that will listen to your problems and try to help (family, friends, professional counsellors, Lifeline). Everyone has their "time" and to pre-empt the natural laws by suiciding would put a lot of things/people out of balance.
| I Am Only 16, And I Know That If I Got Pregnant... ||Mar 27th. at 8:18:25 am EST|
|Imelza Dragon'sEye (Satffordshire, England UK) ||Age: 16 |
I am only 16, and I know that if I got pregnant now, that I'd jave an abortion. I don't think there is any point in me bringing in a new life to the world when I don't have the maturity/knowledge/money to give the child a good life. By having an abortion, I'd probably hate myself, but at least I know that I'd be able to wait and give a child a better life in 10 years time.
As for suicide, I felt suicidal just over a year ago, but I managed to pull myself out of it. I'm now glad that I didn't kill myself. It is a very theoretical question because most people don't know what it is really like (myself included) but I wouldn't think badly about anybody who was that desperate.
I agree with euthanasia as long as the person in question is able to communicate their wishes. However, it could be abused by unscrupulous 'relatives'
| While I Do View All Life As Sacred, I View An "honorable... ||Mar 27th. at 6:55:01 am EST|
|Trish Telesco (Western, New York US) ||Age: 40 - Email |
While I do view all life as sacred, I view an "honorable" death for those doomed to long suffering illnesses and abortion as highly personal choices. The ethical issue for each person should be weighed with due consideration. Suicide is a little different because it can be motivated by chemical and physical imbalances that drive an individual to an extreme measure they would not otherwise take. This is the one instance in which (if known about) I would step in and at least try to step in and assess the underlying cause to see if any type of help would deter such drastic action.
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