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« on: December 19, 2011, 12:01:07 PM »

I'm having a discussion with someone on this. Is there any situation where abortion is ever not the wrong choice, such as if needed to save the mother's life (as rare as this is)?
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« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2011, 12:12:48 PM »

Abortion is always the wrong choice.
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« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2011, 12:42:02 PM »

I'm having a discussion with someone on this. Is there any situation where abortion is ever not the wrong choice, such as if needed to save the mother's life (as rare as this is)?
You want a hypothetical answer to a hypothetical question? Without actual knowledge of a real life situation, I'm not sure anyone here could give a satisfactory answer to your question, since we have to know the details of the situation to be able to render a proper judgment. Without such knowledge, all we can offer is blanket statements, which I don't think you're looking for.

So let me offer a blanket statement that I think captures the essence of the issue more clearly. Abortion is always an evil choice.
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« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2011, 12:46:33 PM »


Abortion is always the wrong choice.

Eutopic pregnancy where both the baby and the mother will lose their lives if surgical intervention is not performed. . . .and even then, Lord have mercy.

Grace is the wonder that steps in the gap of deciding between two wrongs when there is no other choice or between two rights leaving the other sinfully undone.  Thanks be to God for the Cross and the healing grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus.

Rape, incest. . . Never.  Speaking from someone who has been in both places, the child is innocent and should be protected.

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« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2011, 12:48:32 PM »

Hmm....the GOA has a reputation (undeserved) for being liberal. Let's see what they say:

Quote

Abortion
 
The Church from the very beginning of existence has sought to protect "the life in the womb" and has considered abortion as a form of murder in its theology and canons. Orthodox Christians are admonished not to encourage women to have abortions, nor to assist in the committing of abortion. Those who perform abortions and those who have sought it are doing an immoral deed, and are called to repentance.


There seems to be no indication of any extenuating circumstances here.

(corrected meaning given....the Advent purple demons were out!)
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« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2011, 12:58:12 PM »

Abortion is always the wrong choice.


Agreed. Even if it is presumed that aborting the unborn child will save the life of the mother, it should not be done. God can work miracles, and there is never a guarantee that child birth will result in the death of the mother. The incidental death of the mother that may occur from giving birth is not murder. However, the deliberate and intentional destruction of the unbron child through abortion is indeed murder.

That being said, I recognize that such a scenario is very difficult. It is easy for me philosophize about it, but it would be much more difficult if I faced such a situation with my own wife and unborn child. However, my wife has assured me that she would never want anyone to kill her unborn child in order to save her own life. That's the kind of woman to whom I am married, and I thank God for her every day.


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« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2011, 01:04:44 PM »

. . . . So what view should a woman take when her doctor tells her that she has a pregnancy in her fallopian tube and both she and the baby will die unless it is removed, and the baby will die irregardless?

My response was to ask (literrally begged) the doctor to transplant the baby from the tube to the uterus which cannot be done.

He told us to judge in mercy. . .this seems like a good opportunity to do just that.

What would the correct response be?
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« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2011, 01:10:36 PM »

. . . . So what view should a woman take when her doctor tells her that she has a pregnancy in her fallopian tube and both she and the baby will die unless it is removed, and the baby will die irregardless?

My response was to ask (literrally begged) the doctor to transplant the baby from the tube to the uterus which cannot be done.

He told us to judge in mercy. . .this seems like a good opportunity to do just that.

What would the correct response be?
I don't know.
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« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2011, 01:13:00 PM »

Abortion is always the wrong choice.

Sometimes you have nothing but wrong choices.
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« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2011, 01:16:22 PM »

Abortion is always the wrong choice.

( Here we go  Smiley

How about a Woman who is Pro-Choice who has a condition that will kill her. Perhaps she has cancer and needs kemo right away. She already has two children and a hubby who needs her. She is just days pregnant. Would you force her to have the child if you could?  police
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« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2011, 01:26:45 PM »

Abortion is always the wrong choice.

( Here we go  Smiley

How about a Woman who is Pro-Choice who has a condition that will kill her. Perhaps she has cancer and needs kemo right away. She already has two children and a hubby who needs her. She is just days pregnant. Would you force her to have the child if you could?  police

This is probably a pretty rare instance, but that's pretty much the only time a discussion needs to take place - rare instances.  It's pretty clear cut otherwise.  First, I'm not sure where the pro-choice fits in.  I think the answer would be the same in either case.  I'd say, give her the chemo.  If she doesn't get the help she's going to die anyway.  If she dies the child will most likely die as well.  Give her the chemo, pray to God that the chemo heals her, and also that the child is spared as well.  It is in His hands at this point.

That's my opinion on the matter.  I speak with no authority either way.
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« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2011, 01:30:40 PM »

. . . . So what view should a woman take when her doctor tells her that she has a pregnancy in her fallopian tube and both she and the baby will die unless it is removed, and the baby will die irregardless?

My response was to ask (literrally begged) the doctor to transplant the baby from the tube to the uterus which cannot be done.

He told us to judge in mercy. . .this seems like a good opportunity to do just that.

What would the correct response be?

This woman has been through hell.  She should pray for God's mercy and for the soul of the unborn child.  I would also pray to God that He comfort her through this.  If I knew her in person I would show her whatever compassion I could.
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« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2011, 01:36:04 PM »

Orthodoxy teaches us that abortion is a sin.

As to the rare 'extenuating' case, that is best left to the family, the physicians and most importantly to the priest of the faithful family and their Bishop to understand, pray regarding and deal with. For us to speculate is just that, unfair speculation which attempts to 'pigeon hole' the Orthodox position into some sort of American 'political' box.

Let's not allow the week or weeks leading the Nativity to become drawn into this never ending back and forth. Pray that you and your loved ones never find themselves in the position to need spiritual guidance on this horrible dilemma.
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« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2011, 01:38:10 PM »

Abortion is always the wrong choice.

( Here we go  Smiley

How about a Woman who is Pro-Choice who has a condition that will kill her. Perhaps she has cancer and needs kemo right away. She already has two children and a hubby who needs her. She is just days pregnant. Would you force her to have the child if you could?  police

This is probably a pretty rare instance, but that's pretty much the only time a discussion needs to take place - rare instances.  It's pretty clear cut otherwise.  First, I'm not sure where the pro-choice fits in.  I think the answer would be the same in either case.  I'd say, give her the chemo.  If she doesn't get the help she's going to die anyway.  If she dies the child will most likely die as well.  Give her the chemo, pray to God that the chemo heals her, and also that the child is spared as well.  It is in His hands at this point.

That's my opinion on the matter.  I speak with no authority either way.



I knew someone this happened to. She was Catholic and did have the child ( 40 years ago) and withheld having her cancer treated ( which would have killed the child). She died. Her family really suffered.

Tough one.  Maybe people should be left alone to make their own decisions.
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« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2011, 02:26:40 PM »

An analogy - albeit an imperfect one - may help here. If a mother has three children and there is only enough food to feed three people, what is the Christian course of action? Should the mother kill one of her children in order to preserve her own life and the lives of the other two children? After all, if the mother dies of starvation, who will take care of her kids?

I doubt if anyone here would think that such a "solution" would in any way be justifiable. But somehow, when it comes to abortion, we start talking about "extinuating circumstances" etc. Either the unborn child is a human life or it is not. And the Church has always been clear that the lives of the unborn deserve to be protected as much as the lives of the born.

These situations are certainly not easy, but we must not determine our course of action regarding human life based upon its difficulty. Miracles and grace are revealed in times of crisis, trial, and hardship. And during this Nativity season, we should be especially mindful of this.


Selam
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« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2011, 02:40:59 PM »

Abortion is always the wrong choice.

Sometimes you have nothing but wrong choices.

This.

In the case where the life of the mother is threatened, the choice still has to be made in the knowledge that one is choosing between two lives. There isn't a 'right' choice--and certainly not one that can be applied uniformly--only a 'bad choice' and a 'bad choice that is better than the other'. Definitely a place for anyone who doesn't have to make such choices to refrain from judgment.
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« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2011, 04:02:17 PM »

An analogy - albeit an imperfect one - may help here. If a mother has three children and there is only enough food to feed three people, what is the Christian course of action? Should the mother kill one of her children in order to preserve her own life and the lives of the other two children? After all, if the mother dies of starvation, who will take care of her kids?

I doubt if anyone here would think that such a "solution" would in any way be justifiable. But somehow, when it comes to abortion, we start talking about "extinuating circumstances" etc. Either the unborn child is a human life or it is not. And the Church has always been clear that the lives of the unborn deserve to be protected as much as the lives of the born.

These situations are certainly not easy, but we must not determine our course of action regarding human life based upon its difficulty. Miracles and grace are revealed in times of crisis, trial, and hardship. And during this Nativity season, we should be especially mindful of this.


Selam

If everyone shared the same basic assumption, that a zygote or  newly formed embryo was fully and completely a child, then that would make sense. However, seeing a zygote as a fully formed person, no different than the mother or other children is a religious belief. Not everyone shares the same religion in this country. In fact, you could go so far as to say that is is perfectly reasonable for a person  to disagree that a zygote is a fully formed person. They may be in error but it is a matter of accepting the tenants of a religion that they don't subscribe to.

So maybe people should just be left alone to make these tough decisions themselves and we should concentrate with providing alternatives and keep the cudgel in the closet.   
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« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2011, 04:49:10 PM »

An analogy - albeit an imperfect one - may help here. If a mother has three children and there is only enough food to feed three people, what is the Christian course of action? Should the mother kill one of her children in order to preserve her own life and the lives of the other two children? After all, if the mother dies of starvation, who will take care of her kids?

I doubt if anyone here would think that such a "solution" would in any way be justifiable. But somehow, when it comes to abortion, we start talking about "extinuating circumstances" etc. Either the unborn child is a human life or it is not. And the Church has always been clear that the lives of the unborn deserve to be protected as much as the lives of the born.

These situations are certainly not easy, but we must not determine our course of action regarding human life based upon its difficulty. Miracles and grace are revealed in times of crisis, trial, and hardship. And during this Nativity season, we should be especially mindful of this.


Selam

If everyone shared the same basic assumption, that a zygote or  newly formed embryo was fully and completely a child, then that would make sense. However, seeing a zygote as a fully formed person, no different than the mother or other children is a religious belief. Not everyone shares the same religion in this country. In fact, you could go so far as to say that is is perfectly reasonable for a person  to disagree that a zygote is a fully formed person. They may be in error but it is a matter of accepting the tenants of a religion that they don't subscribe to.

So maybe people should just be left alone to make these tough decisions themselves and we should concentrate with providing alternatives and keep the cudgel in the closet.   
Understandable, and I agree. However the thing that DOES bother me is when the government (not just national but localities as well) want to prosecute for double murder when the mother is pregnant, but have no problem with abortion. Granted, these prosecutions dont usually happen, but just the fact that it is attempted by prosecutors seems to me, very much of "speaking with two sides of your mouth".

Also, what does irritate me is when some scientists (note, some, not all or most) spend more time trying to decide if a virus is truly living but not a embryo, using the same proofs of life which both fulfill to large degrees.

PP
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« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2011, 04:50:54 PM »

An analogy - albeit an imperfect one - may help here. If a mother has three children and there is only enough food to feed three people, what is the Christian course of action? Should the mother kill one of her children in order to preserve her own life and the lives of the other two children? After all, if the mother dies of starvation, who will take care of her kids?

I doubt if anyone here would think that such a "solution" would in any way be justifiable. But somehow, when it comes to abortion, we start talking about "extinuating circumstances" etc. Either the unborn child is a human life or it is not. And the Church has always been clear that the lives of the unborn deserve to be protected as much as the lives of the born.

These situations are certainly not easy, but we must not determine our course of action regarding human life based upon its difficulty. Miracles and grace are revealed in times of crisis, trial, and hardship. And during this Nativity season, we should be especially mindful of this.


Selam

If everyone shared the same basic assumption, that a zygote or  newly formed embryo was fully and completely a child, then that would make sense. However, seeing a zygote as a fully formed person, no different than the mother or other children is a religious belief. Not everyone shares the same religion in this country. In fact, you could go so far as to say that is is perfectly reasonable for a person  to disagree that a zygote is a fully formed person. They may be in error but it is a matter of accepting the tenants of a religion that they don't subscribe to.

So maybe people should just be left alone to make these tough decisions themselves and we should concentrate with providing alternatives and keep the cudgel in the closet.   
Understandable, and I agree. However the thing that DOES bother me is when the government (not just national but localities as well) want to prosecute for double murder when the mother is pregnant, but have no problem with abortion. Granted, these prosecutions dont usually happen, but just the fact that it is attempted by prosecutors seems to me, very much of "speaking with two sides of your mouth".

Also, what does irritate me is when some scientists (note, some, not all or most) spend more time trying to decide if a virus is truly living but not a embryo, using the same proofs of life which both fulfill to large degrees.

PP

We agree... Alert the newspapers.
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« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2011, 04:54:11 PM »

An analogy - albeit an imperfect one - may help here. If a mother has three children and there is only enough food to feed three people, what is the Christian course of action? Should the mother kill one of her children in order to preserve her own life and the lives of the other two children? After all, if the mother dies of starvation, who will take care of her kids?

I doubt if anyone here would think that such a "solution" would in any way be justifiable. But somehow, when it comes to abortion, we start talking about "extinuating circumstances" etc. Either the unborn child is a human life or it is not. And the Church has always been clear that the lives of the unborn deserve to be protected as much as the lives of the born.

These situations are certainly not easy, but we must not determine our course of action regarding human life based upon its difficulty. Miracles and grace are revealed in times of crisis, trial, and hardship. And during this Nativity season, we should be especially mindful of this.


Selam

If everyone shared the same basic assumption, that a zygote or  newly formed embryo was fully and completely a child, then that would make sense. However, seeing a zygote as a fully formed person, no different than the mother or other children is a religious belief. Not everyone shares the same religion in this country. In fact, you could go so far as to say that is is perfectly reasonable for a person  to disagree that a zygote is a fully formed person. They may be in error but it is a matter of accepting the tenants of a religion that they don't subscribe to.

So maybe people should just be left alone to make these tough decisions themselves and we should concentrate with providing alternatives and keep the cudgel in the closet.   
Understandable, and I agree. However the thing that DOES bother me is when the government (not just national but localities as well) want to prosecute for double murder when the mother is pregnant, but have no problem with abortion. Granted, these prosecutions dont usually happen, but just the fact that it is attempted by prosecutors seems to me, very much of "speaking with two sides of your mouth".

Also, what does irritate me is when some scientists (note, some, not all or most) spend more time trying to decide if a virus is truly living but not a embryo, using the same proofs of life which both fulfill to large degrees.

PP

We agree... Alert the newspapers.

 laugh laugh laugh
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« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2011, 05:24:28 PM »

An analogy - albeit an imperfect one - may help here. If a mother has three children and there is only enough food to feed three people, what is the Christian course of action? Should the mother kill one of her children in order to preserve her own life and the lives of the other two children? After all, if the mother dies of starvation, who will take care of her kids?

I doubt if anyone here would think that such a "solution" would in any way be justifiable. But somehow, when it comes to abortion, we start talking about "extinuating circumstances" etc. Either the unborn child is a human life or it is not. And the Church has always been clear that the lives of the unborn deserve to be protected as much as the lives of the born.

These situations are certainly not easy, but we must not determine our course of action regarding human life based upon its difficulty. Miracles and grace are revealed in times of crisis, trial, and hardship. And during this Nativity season, we should be especially mindful of this.


Selam

If everyone shared the same basic assumption, that a zygote or  newly formed embryo was fully and completely a child, then that would make sense. However, seeing a zygote as a fully formed person, no different than the mother or other children is a religious belief. Not everyone shares the same religion in this country. In fact, you could go so far as to say that is is perfectly reasonable for a person  to disagree that a zygote is a fully formed person. They may be in error but it is a matter of accepting the tenants of a religion that they don't subscribe to.

So maybe people should just be left alone to make these tough decisions themselves and we should concentrate with providing alternatives and keep the cudgel in the closet.   


The problem with that is that if people are left alone to decide for themselves who is worthy of life, then horrible things inevitably happen. I am aware that we live in a secular society; however, as an Orthodox Christian, I must view these matters through the lens of the Gospel rather than through the lens of the world. I think the most logical and most Christian thing to do is simply NOT kill. If the consequences of NOT deliberately killing one person leads to the incidental death of another person, then no sin has been committed and we have left the matter in God's hands. But once we presume to decide for ourselves who deserves to live and who doesn't, then we usurp the authority of God and undoubtedly commit sin.


Selam
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« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2011, 05:41:07 PM »

An analogy - albeit an imperfect one - may help here. If a mother has three children and there is only enough food to feed three people, what is the Christian course of action? Should the mother kill one of her children in order to preserve her own life and the lives of the other two children? After all, if the mother dies of starvation, who will take care of her kids?

I doubt if anyone here would think that such a "solution" would in any way be justifiable. But somehow, when it comes to abortion, we start talking about "extinuating circumstances" etc. Either the unborn child is a human life or it is not. And the Church has always been clear that the lives of the unborn deserve to be protected as much as the lives of the born.

These situations are certainly not easy, but we must not determine our course of action regarding human life based upon its difficulty. Miracles and grace are revealed in times of crisis, trial, and hardship. And during this Nativity season, we should be especially mindful of this.


Selam

If everyone shared the same basic assumption, that a zygote or  newly formed embryo was fully and completely a child, then that would make sense. However, seeing a zygote as a fully formed person, no different than the mother or other children is a religious belief. Not everyone shares the same religion in this country. In fact, you could go so far as to say that is is perfectly reasonable for a person  to disagree that a zygote is a fully formed person. They may be in error but it is a matter of accepting the tenants of a religion that they don't subscribe to.

So maybe people should just be left alone to make these tough decisions themselves and we should concentrate with providing alternatives and keep the cudgel in the closet.  
But isn't this the Faith Issues board, where we are encouraged to discuss religious beliefs, particularly those of the Orthodox Christian Church? We're not talking about religious pluralism in this country. We're talking about what is an Orthodox understanding of abortion. After all, Gebre's reply is what the OP asked for.
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« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2011, 06:15:16 PM »

the life of the mother is more important, given the social  web she's already a part of.
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« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2011, 06:21:16 PM »

The problem with that is that if people are left alone to decide for themselves who is worthy of life, then horrible things inevitably happen. I am aware that we live in a secular society; however, as an Orthodox Christian, I must view these matters through the lens of the Gospel rather than through the lens of the world. I think the most logical and most Christian thing to do is simply NOT kill. If the consequences of NOT deliberately killing one person leads to the incidental death of another person, then no sin has been committed and we have left the matter in God's hands. But once we presume to decide for ourselves who deserves to live and who doesn't, then we usurp the authority of God and undoubtedly commit sin.


Selam

To clarify for my own understanding of your position: are you saying that in no possible circumstance, including an ectopic pregnancy in which the fetus has no chance of survival, do you consider it morally permissible to abort the pregnancy to save the life of the mother?
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« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2011, 06:35:55 PM »

An analogy - albeit an imperfect one - may help here. If a mother has three children and there is only enough food to feed three people, what is the Christian course of action? Should the mother kill one of her children in order to preserve her own life and the lives of the other two children? After all, if the mother dies of starvation, who will take care of her kids?

I doubt if anyone here would think that such a "solution" would in any way be justifiable. But somehow, when it comes to abortion, we start talking about "extinuating circumstances" etc. Either the unborn child is a human life or it is not. And the Church has always been clear that the lives of the unborn deserve to be protected as much as the lives of the born.

These situations are certainly not easy, but we must not determine our course of action regarding human life based upon its difficulty. Miracles and grace are revealed in times of crisis, trial, and hardship. And during this Nativity season, we should be especially mindful of this.


Selam

If everyone shared the same basic assumption, that a zygote or  newly formed embryo was fully and completely a child, then that would make sense. However, seeing a zygote as a fully formed person, no different than the mother or other children is a religious belief. Not everyone shares the same religion in this country. In fact, you could go so far as to say that is is perfectly reasonable for a person  to disagree that a zygote is a fully formed person. They may be in error but it is a matter of accepting the tenants of a religion that they don't subscribe to.

So maybe people should just be left alone to make these tough decisions themselves and we should concentrate with providing alternatives and keep the cudgel in the closet.   


The problem with that is that if people are left alone to decide for themselves who is worthy of life, then horrible things inevitably happen. I am aware that we live in a secular society; however, as an Orthodox Christian, I must view these matters through the lens of the Gospel rather than through the lens of the world. I think the most logical and most Christian thing to do is simply NOT kill. If the consequences of NOT deliberately killing one person leads to the incidental death of another person, then no sin has been committed and we have left the matter in God's hands. But once we presume to decide for ourselves who deserves to live and who doesn't, then we usurp the authority of God and undoubtedly commit sin.


Selam


Then the Pro-Life movement should have nothing to do with Politics or passing laws or repealing laws. Or are these principles malleable? Who are you to decide for other people?
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« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2011, 06:43:20 PM »

An analogy - albeit an imperfect one - may help here. If a mother has three children and there is only enough food to feed three people, what is the Christian course of action? Should the mother kill one of her children in order to preserve her own life and the lives of the other two children? After all, if the mother dies of starvation, who will take care of her kids?

I doubt if anyone here would think that such a "solution" would in any way be justifiable. But somehow, when it comes to abortion, we start talking about "extinuating circumstances" etc. Either the unborn child is a human life or it is not. And the Church has always been clear that the lives of the unborn deserve to be protected as much as the lives of the born.

These situations are certainly not easy, but we must not determine our course of action regarding human life based upon its difficulty. Miracles and grace are revealed in times of crisis, trial, and hardship. And during this Nativity season, we should be especially mindful of this.


Selam

If everyone shared the same basic assumption, that a zygote or  newly formed embryo was fully and completely a child, then that would make sense. However, seeing a zygote as a fully formed person, no different than the mother or other children is a religious belief. Not everyone shares the same religion in this country. In fact, you could go so far as to say that is is perfectly reasonable for a person  to disagree that a zygote is a fully formed person. They may be in error but it is a matter of accepting the tenants of a religion that they don't subscribe to.

So maybe people should just be left alone to make these tough decisions themselves and we should concentrate with providing alternatives and keep the cudgel in the closet.   


The problem with that is that if people are left alone to decide for themselves who is worthy of life, then horrible things inevitably happen. I am aware that we live in a secular society; however, as an Orthodox Christian, I must view these matters through the lens of the Gospel rather than through the lens of the world. I think the most logical and most Christian thing to do is simply NOT kill. If the consequences of NOT deliberately killing one person leads to the incidental death of another person, then no sin has been committed and we have left the matter in God's hands. But once we presume to decide for ourselves who deserves to live and who doesn't, then we usurp the authority of God and undoubtedly commit sin.


Selam

Gebre, in your analogy of the mother with three children and only enough food for her plus two - I would say reduce rations for all four and pray that God delivers them from that situation.  Hopefully a decent Samaritan would come along and deal with the situation.  Unless she is plane wrecked in the Andes, someone, somewhere should be available to help her.  If she takes no food for herself none of the children will survive after she succumbs to starvation, so she should certainly not risk her own survival.  Basically, fight until you are dead.  Then it really doesn't matter anymore.

In the case Marc brought up my suggestion was that they do what will save the most lives.  If you are given the choice of the mother living and the child dying or both of them dying, you should always opt for saving the life of one over the life of none.  To do otherwise is not Christian, it is callous.
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« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2011, 06:54:28 PM »

Some people should not speak on matters unless they have been through something like this. I'll leave you with this it is a sin to kill one self knowingly.  
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« Reply #27 on: December 19, 2011, 07:23:47 PM »

I'm having a discussion with someone on this. Is there any situation where abortion is ever not the wrong choice, such as if needed to save the mother's life (as rare as this is)?
So, back to the OP, since it seems a lot of us would rather talk about anything but...

Drawing from the principles we are taught as Orthodox Christians--after all, this is the Faith Issues board, so I think it safe to assume the OP wants specifically Orthodox answers--is there ever a situation where abortion may not be the wrong choice?
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« Reply #28 on: December 19, 2011, 07:34:59 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Some people should not speak on matters unless they have been through something like this. I'll leave you with this it is a sin to kill one self knowingly.  
True, but you should be careful in assuming exactly who has what experiences with what then, folks may  have experiences with this that they are uncomfortable discussing directly, but still have relevant advice to share.  This is not  my confession by the way, my first-hand experiences are with miscarriage, not abortion, but considering the sensitivity of this issue, we shouldn't assume others who are speaking may not have formed their opinions strictly from speculation.


I'm having a discussion with someone on this. Is there any situation where abortion is ever not the wrong choice, such as if needed to save the mother's life (as rare as this is)?

No, abortion is simply never warranted, under absolutely ANY circumstances, period.  If there is a complication of health, either to the baby or the mother, these are matters which we as Christians need to take to God to understand.  The Church has instituted the Divine Mystery of the Unction of the Sick entirely to demonstrate this fact, that our health is a matter beyond our control sometimes, and is a tangible expression of the overpowering Will of God in our lives.  What God wills, we can not change.  If God wills our children born or unborn to have health problems, that is that. If God wills mothers to die during delivery that is. We can do things in a reactionary way to help these problems, such as improving prenatal and neonatal medical care, but a preemptive strike abortion is a cop-out, like euthanasia in the face of a terminal disease.  God has given us the terminal diseases to learn something about ourselves and our relationship with Him, and to simply cut out early and kill one's self is to avoid the task given by God just as Jonah fled and found himself in the belly of the fish.  We must turn to God in these matters, all the more.  Further, abortion is a silly waste of time.  Some studies show that as many as 9 out of 10 women who get abortions express deep regret and sometimes have long term  symptoms of guilt and depression, and this is a biological matter of the hormones and neurochemistry of human pregnancy, let alone the psychological and social factors.  

Quote
"Sickness in particular accentuates the fact THAT WE DO NOT CONTROL OUR OWN LIVES. If when we get sick, we respond by trying to grab even more rigid control of our lives, we are bound to fail.. We are potentially able to deepen our awareness of God, our dependence on Him, and our desire to seek His will.. In sickness we learn to depend upon others, even though we would prefer to be independent.  The fact that we learn to be dependent at all (something we usually shrug off as childlike, if not childish) HELPS US DEVELOP OR RELEARN A SENSE OF DEPENDENCE ON GOD.. The sick person, from a place of powerlessness, still has to learn to trust and to allow himself or herself to receive the available healing, no matter what happens.. Asking for a healing, we surrender to God. In the Mystery of the Anointing of the Sick, there is a strong awareness on behalf of the Church that the sick person is in the hands of God, and that God will provide the healing."
Father Meletios Webber Bread and Water, Wine and Oil.

An abortion for medical reasons is an attempt to trump God's message through the illness, and attempt at human beings to more rigidly grab towards control, and as Father Meletios mentioned, are often times more doomed to fail.  Illness teaches us our dependence on God, and so if a woman or her unborn child are ill or sick, then it is the same.  Even if it is just an abortion out of "convenience" or fear of the unknown, that is the same cop-out.  God gives us life, God gives us pregnancy (this is a fact because a lot of us have had a lot of sex in our lives and yet do not have children from every single sexual encounter, so we have firsthand experience as to God's synergy in action with our sexuality to bring new life into our world).  Pregnancy is always a challenge, physically, emotionally, economically, and it always has been.  In this regard, even a healthy pregnancy is similar to illness in that it teaches human beings their dependence on God.  Who will provide the food and resources? Who will ensure the pregnancy and birth are healthy without complications? Only God alone can really help us through this, and guide our lives in His Will.  If God has sent us the life in our wombs, then God will also send the increase and success.  Further, miscarriage is the opposite side of that coin, showing that God does not always bless our sexual unions, even those which cause a pregnancy, to bring new life into His world.

The moral, it is ALWAYS God's world, and we as humans need to learn in every breath and step to accept, embrace, and endure this reality-check.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #29 on: December 19, 2011, 08:23:08 PM »

An analogy - albeit an imperfect one - may help here. If a mother has three children and there is only enough food to feed three people, what is the Christian course of action? Should the mother kill one of her children in order to preserve her own life and the lives of the other two children? After all, if the mother dies of starvation, who will take care of her kids?

I doubt if anyone here would think that such a "solution" would in any way be justifiable. But somehow, when it comes to abortion, we start talking about "extinuating circumstances" etc. Either the unborn child is a human life or it is not. And the Church has always been clear that the lives of the unborn deserve to be protected as much as the lives of the born.

These situations are certainly not easy, but we must not determine our course of action regarding human life based upon its difficulty. Miracles and grace are revealed in times of crisis, trial, and hardship. And during this Nativity season, we should be especially mindful of this.


Selam

And what if she has enough food for three people but has four children?  Supposing it is literally impossible for her to gain any more food, she must decide to starve one of her children and herself, if the other three children are to live.  This would be analogous to the situation where a mother and her child are going to die if an abortion isn't performed.  It's a horrible situation, but one that does happen from time to time. 
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« Reply #30 on: December 19, 2011, 08:28:47 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

An analogy - albeit an imperfect one - may help here. If a mother has three children and there is only enough food to feed three people, what is the Christian course of action? Should the mother kill one of her children in order to preserve her own life and the lives of the other two children? After all, if the mother dies of starvation, who will take care of her kids?

I doubt if anyone here would think that such a "solution" would in any way be justifiable. But somehow, when it comes to abortion, we start talking about "extinuating circumstances" etc. Either the unborn child is a human life or it is not. And the Church has always been clear that the lives of the unborn deserve to be protected as much as the lives of the born.

These situations are certainly not easy, but we must not determine our course of action regarding human life based upon its difficulty. Miracles and grace are revealed in times of crisis, trial, and hardship. And during this Nativity season, we should be especially mindful of this.


Selam

And what if she has enough food for three people but has four children?  Supposing it is literally impossible for her to gain any more food, she must decide to starve one of her children and herself, if the other three children are to live.  This would be analogous to the situation where a mother and her child are going to die if an abortion isn't performed.  It's a horrible situation, but one that does happen from time to time. 
Letting a child starve to death and actually performing the coup de grace are two entirely different concepts aren't they?  We have the example of Moses' mother, what if she had killed Moses out of mercy? She wouldn't have seen the miracle God had intended.. In this way, there is simply never an excuse for an abortion, and further, we as human beings have been living on this earth for an estimated 250,000 years if not longer, and yet we have had these kinds of medical abortions for what, give or take a hundred years? So clearly we as a species do fine and well without the option on the table, and we would be just as fine without it in the future Wink

Again, as I pointed out with the Unction of the Sick, Orthodox teaches us our absolute dependence on God, abortion and its evil sister euthanasia only teach us to continue in vain to try and depend upon our own-selves.



stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #31 on: December 19, 2011, 09:11:32 PM »

I been through this first hand and you don't really get a say in the matter. They push you into the hallway the doc goes to work you have no clue whats going on in the room. The Doc came out and said your wife is recovering fine we had to take the baby cause it was killing her. Now the doc didn't waste a matter of seconds between life or death to stop and ask me what I wanted and my ex-wife sure wasn't awake to be asked at all hell she didn't even know when she woke up that they took the baby I had to tell her.

In these matters of seconds there is no time to think or worry about some "silly" idea on what some church goers might think and say cause one normally starts going right to the source of all life himself God praying and begging for His help. Come to think of it in most of these times in our lives if one was to be honest with there self all religious walls crumble at this point an time most prayers and begging go right to God to bad the world couldn't be like that all the time might be a much better and peaceful place to live.    

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« Reply #32 on: December 19, 2011, 09:31:38 PM »

the life of the mother is more important, given the social  web she's already a part of.
Unless you are most Catholics I have discussed this with. You can do anything but try to intentionally kill the baby (to save the mother) but you can do things to save the mother than end up killing the baby. I'm still trying to wrap my head around what this means.
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« Reply #33 on: December 19, 2011, 09:41:55 PM »

the life of the mother is more important, given the social  web she's already a part of.
Unless you are most Catholics I have discussed this with. You can do anything but try to intentionally kill the baby (to save the mother) but you can do things to save the mother than end up killing the baby. I'm still trying to wrap my head around what this means.
It means that whether it's fair or not, most of us don't equate an unborn child with a viable human. I think that should make sense to most people, even if they don't agree.

Sometimes to me it seems like the life of the unborn child is elevated over the life of the mother. This is a big can of worms to open, so I shall leave it there. I'm not quite sure how to tackle that yet.

As someone who is generally against abortion, I will admit that while I can wrap my mind around the pro-life position in theory, if I had to choose in a life-or-death, I already feel like I know what the choice will be. Probably the same choice some of us may make if we are in a survival situation, in the military, etc. etc. To be a saint and/or a martyr is not easy. I pray that if I am in that position, ever, whether in childbirth, war, in a crisis situation, etc., that I will make the right choice, whatever it may be.
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« Reply #34 on: December 19, 2011, 09:50:31 PM »

My answer is probably a bit like splitting hairs, but I believe it to be true. It's always wrong. But if removing a part of the woman's body (not the baby his or her self), or some other surgery (not abortion) saves the mother's life but causes the baby to die, I think it is morally acceptable. In this case, an action that saves the mother's life will likely cause the baby to die, but it is not a certainty and it's not an abortion. But I pray to God nobody ever has to make that call.
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« Reply #35 on: December 19, 2011, 11:33:00 PM »

I'm having a discussion with someone on this. Is there any situation where abortion is ever not the wrong choice, such as if needed to save the mother's life (as rare as this is)?
So, back to the OP, since it seems a lot of us would rather talk about anything but...

Drawing from the principles we are taught as Orthodox Christians--after all, this is the Faith Issues board, so I think it safe to assume the OP wants specifically Orthodox answers--is there ever a situation where abortion may not be the wrong choice?

Of course. When the alternative is a  bigger sin.
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« Reply #36 on: December 20, 2011, 12:11:27 AM »

I'm having a discussion with someone on this. Is there any situation where abortion is ever not the wrong choice, such as if needed to save the mother's life (as rare as this is)?
So, back to the OP, since it seems a lot of us would rather talk about anything but...

Drawing from the principles we are taught as Orthodox Christians--after all, this is the Faith Issues board, so I think it safe to assume the OP wants specifically Orthodox answers--is there ever a situation where abortion may not be the wrong choice?

Of course. When the alternative is a  bigger sin.
What would be a bigger sin?

Is some sin really bigger than other?
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« Reply #37 on: December 20, 2011, 02:00:26 AM »

How about a Woman who is Pro-Choice who has a condition that will kill her. Perhaps she has cancer and needs kemo right away. She already has two children and a hubby who needs her. She is just days pregnant. Would you force her to have the child if you could?  police


Well what if I step outside tomorrow and get eaten by a giraffe?


What-if-ville is a very unhealthy place to live my friend.
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« Reply #38 on: December 20, 2011, 03:08:44 AM »

Abortion is always the wrong choice.

( Here we go  Smiley

How about a Woman who is Pro-Choice who has a condition that will kill her. Perhaps she has cancer and needs kemo right away. She already has two children and a hubby who needs her. She is just days pregnant. Would you force her to have the child if you could?  police
Has this scenario actually happened, or are you making it up for rhetorical purposes?
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« Reply #39 on: December 20, 2011, 09:29:15 AM »

I'm having a discussion with someone on this. Is there any situation where abortion is ever not the wrong choice, such as if needed to save the mother's life (as rare as this is)?

Without giving a direct answer, I would say part of coming to any conclusion should be to recognize the child as a living human person made in the image and likeness of God. We believe that the Word became flesh, ask yourself at what point during Mary's pregnancy this happened, and then you should have a good perspective on what is involved in terminating the pregnancy and ending that human life.
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« Reply #40 on: December 20, 2011, 09:55:19 AM »

Abortion is always the wrong choice.

( Here we go  Smiley

How about a Woman who is Pro-Choice who has a condition that will kill her. Perhaps she has cancer and needs kemo right away. She already has two children and a hubby who needs her. She is just days pregnant. Would you force her to have the child if you could?  police
Has this scenario actually happened, or are you making it up for rhetorical purposes?

Reply #13.
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« Reply #41 on: December 20, 2011, 10:07:59 AM »

I'm having a discussion with someone on this. Is there any situation where abortion is ever not the wrong choice, such as if needed to save the mother's life (as rare as this is)?
Yes, the Orthodox Church has been very clear about allwoing abortion to save the life of the mother.  But it is rare today.
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« Reply #42 on: December 20, 2011, 10:29:11 AM »

Abortion is always the wrong choice.

Sometimes you have nothing but wrong choices.
But in such situations one is morally obligated to go with the lesser of two evils.
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« Reply #43 on: December 20, 2011, 10:51:24 AM »

How about a Woman who is Pro-Choice who has a condition that will kill her. Perhaps she has cancer and needs kemo right away. She already has two children and a hubby who needs her. She is just days pregnant. Would you force her to have the child if you could?  police


Well what if I step outside tomorrow and get eaten by a giraffe?


What-if-ville is a very unhealthy place to live my friend.

 It's not at all uncommon for a Women to have a condition that if she carries to term will kill her. Cancer being the most obvious. if she gets treated right away, the baby will abort. If she doesnt she will not survive... I am sure there are other situations as well, hemophilia for example, Women with certain heart conditions...etc.
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« Reply #44 on: December 20, 2011, 11:22:22 AM »

Ive had this discussion with several of my friends too.  I am married, but my friends at the time were not.  The position I took (at that time anyway) was that I would save the life of my wife if we were ever, God forbid, put in that horrific situation.  Ive always been as pro-life as they come, but at the same time I feel that I have a responsibility to take care of my wife.  They disagreed, but they also werent newly weds like I was so they didnt really understand my position.

I agree with what was said earlier that there may not be a 100% right thing to do in this situation.  I cant even imagine dealing with that and I pray for anyone who ever has/will. 
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