Pagans and Abortion
Article ID: 3627
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 5,873
Times Read: 5,518
Author: Mino [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: September 21st. 2001
Times Viewed: 5,518
Abortion is an issue that challenges the very foundation of most religious belief systems, including Paganism. Since the subject is about Pagans, I will attempt to restrict my comments here to what I consider the 'Pagan' view. I do find however that many views about spirituality that I held during my earlier Christian experience continue to overlap into my Pagan applications of the past two decades. This subject is one of the few that I feel differently upon today than I did when I accepted dogmatic religious principles to which I previously aligned my life.
The first question that must be answered by an individual that seeks to define their own Pagan spirituality asks, 'What does it mean to be Pagan?' While there are elaborate answers to this question from the realms of modern Pganism, there is one fact that is most common in all of our answers. The fact is that however we define our beliefs, being Pagan is a way of living life as an individual and not merely believing in it.
For most Pagans that I have encountered there seems to be an attitude that all life is sacred. These wise beings seek to nurture life. This would seem contradictory to the immediate idea of "abortion." The act of aborting a process of creation seems to defy the conventional acceptance of a divine work. 'Who are we to destroy the work of a god?' we have asked. Humans are so lofty in their Earthly citizenship! The society of human beings has declared that anything human is divine. If it is like us, then it must be like the creator. Does all of this have an old worn-out ring to it? Do you hear the once-a-week bells compelling you to a preaching session? We've entered an Age of Awakening where every Day is holy, every Act is divine and every One is their own preacher.
I cannot tell a person that abortion is right or wrong. 'Pro-life' is a matter that depends upon either a microcosmic or a macrocosmic state of mind. If 'life' is that of an individual, then one must consider what is best for the individual. On the other hand, if 'life' is All Life, then the consideration must be expanded to the rightness of the entire global community. In either situation, the entire Universe and that which is believed to be beyond the Universe is considered for measuring up to right relationship. The individual considers what (if any) ramifications the act of abortion would have in the relationship(s) to their idea of divinity.
It may have been wrong to halt the birth process of an unborn child when our species upon this planet was young. We were much weaker upon Earth as a species in the medieval times. Our destructive powers have increased over the years. We wreak havoc upon the terrestrial life-supporting resources of our planet today with our vast numbers. The lust to build human habitat for the ever-increasing population boom has left forests and fields in the minority in most of the world. The Waters, although still very vast are also showing the signs of human destruction. Pollution, over-fishing and over-building of coastal property are changing the very Waters of Life that nurtured most of the early, original Earth inhabitants. The idea that there are too many of us should be enough to justify the very idea of abortion. This is in relation to global life.
What about the life of the individual that must make the choice? There will be self condemnation in the months and perhaps years that follow the choice to abort. We know that what we do comes back to us. We sometimes forget that also what we DID NOT DO also has reciprocal effects. This is perhaps the most severe consequence of irresponsibility in most cases. The drive for copulation is often overwhelming. The heat of the moment has a blinding effect upon our belief systems. This is however completely natural. Learning to control ourselves is not always an easy thing. Certain methods of birth control tend to interrupt the spontaneity of passion and desire. Nobody can condemn the Nature that compels us in such ways. Responsibility is perhaps the greatest lesson that we can gain from our human experience. One must decide to be responsible as soon as possible. If it was irresponsibility that caused the pregnancy, this is not meant to imply that choosing to abort the process is another irresponsible act that counters the mistake.
The individual must choose. If the Mother will suffer by allowing the child to be born for whatever reason: be it severe financial distress, physical stress, or even the fact that the Father will not be around to help raise and support the childshe must consider how this will affect the life of the child. I am sickened by the so-called moral majority ideas that suggest that life-rights should exist for the unborn child. They say that the innocent child should not be denied their right to life once the creation process has begun, and that abortion is such a terrible thing for a fetus. First of all, if what they belief is true, this is an instant trip to heaven for the child! In reincarnation terms, the child will have other chances to be born. This sounds so cold in these terms, but we must consider all things in the scheme of life. Humans now have the medical technology to prolong life. Our techniques have allowed many that should have died to live. What about the quality of life? Is living without all of our faculties better than death? We should ask other animals upon the planet. In most cases, animals other than the human will abandon a newborn that is sick or deformed. We cannot do that because we are too concerned that our babies are more like the Divine than are the other animals. We believe that our consciousness is more developed than that of which we consider 'lower-species.' Perhaps this is true on an individual level, however it would appear to me that upon a global level, other animals trust Nature where we fight against Her.
I can speak about such things because of my own personal experiences. Even though I am male, my life has been touched by the confrontation of abortion. One of my children was aborted. It was mutually decided between myself and the mother of the child that it would be better FOR the child AND for us to abort the process. Did we have remorse? Yes, for a while. Do we still? No. In a former marriage of mine, one of my children died at the age of 6 months. During pregnancy, the mother abused drugs and the child was born with a deformed brain. It would have been better to have aborted the child than to allow it to suffer for the six months. We were helpless while this child was alive. We could not relieve the pain and torment that she had to endure. This was by far the worst experience that I have ever had. Although I did not condone the use of drugs by my ex-wife while pregnant, I did not insist upon abortion because I gave the choice to her. I share the blame of that experience.
I can only tell people to seek the wisdom of responsibility. The individual must live with the choices that they make. Is it immoral to abort a child? No. Is it immoral to get pregnant by not being responsible? Maybe. Abortion does not cancel out irresponsibility. Choosing to have the child and not being able to be responsible to raise it properly is not a good choice either. If mommy is not happy, baby will not be happy.
I embrace women that must make this choice. It is one of the hardest decisions to face in life. It is possible to forgive yourself. It is possible that right relationship to deity is served by choosing abortion. It is not an easy way out. It is also possible that by choosing abortion that irresponsibility is being served a second helping if you find that you should have taken steps to prevent pregnancy. Whatever the case may be, learn from it and do not repeat your mistakes. Choose the path of responsibility, and you will reside in the realms of the Wise. It is ok to have made a mistake. It is a tragedy to add insult to injury.
Location: Ft. Myers, Florida
Author's Profile: To learn more about Mino - Click HERE
Bio: I have consciously lived and practiced Paganism for almost two decades. I was once an ordained minister in the Christian faith. For three years after leaving the Church I decided that I was more of a hypocrite as a Christian than an example of a good minister. I lived as a Pagan during the interval without realizing that my belief system had developed into that of a Pagan. I did not realize that there were so many other Pagans in this country at that time, and did not know that what I had come to believe through practice, study and experience was defined as Paganism. I have been the High Priest of two covens in the span of the past 10 years. I practiced as a solitary for the first seven years and knew no other Pagans personally. I attend the Phoenix Phyre Festivals in the state of Florida, and take an interest in responding and interacting with other Pagans in person and via e-mail. My website is http://www.geocities.com/ogwicca, and I enthusiastically support all the efforts of TWV.
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