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Author Topic: Women and abortion  (Read 4000 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: August 30, 2013, 08:45:55 AM »

Today I watched a documentary about abortion and women´s rights in Nicaragua. One of the issues, which was discussed in the program, was the health issues of the women. One woman was seen having an illegal abortion because her cancer, combined with the pregnancy, would bring her life in great danger.

Now, for the most part, the women in the documentary declared that they were religious, they believed in God, but their situations, were they had either been raped or were being put at serious risks because of the pregnancy, made it necessary for them to have an abortion.

What would be an Orthodox position on these cases? On the one hand, the Church views abortion as a sin, but on the other hand, I think it should also be necessary to look at each case individually, something that doesn't seem to take place in many countries, were abortion is illegal.
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« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2013, 09:00:29 AM »

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« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2013, 10:02:01 AM »



He's totally going to make it.
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« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2013, 10:24:51 AM »

Today I watched a documentary about abortion and women´s rights in Nicaragua. One of the issues, which was discussed in the program, was the health issues of the women. One woman was seen having an illegal abortion because her cancer, combined with the pregnancy, would bring her life in great danger.

Now, for the most part, the women in the documentary declared that they were religious, they believed in God, but their situations, were they had either been raped or were being put at serious risks because of the pregnancy, made it necessary for them to have an abortion.

What would be an Orthodox position on these cases? On the one hand, the Church views abortion as a sin, but on the other hand, I think it should also be necessary to look at each case individually, something that doesn't seem to take place in many countries, were abortion is illegal.
You think people look at each case individually in countries where abortion is legal?  I can assure you, they do not.
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« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2013, 10:28:33 AM »

At the risk of testing the waters on such a delicate topic, I believe what he is asking is: Are there situations where abortion should be permitted? Can economia ever be applied when abortion is the question at hand?
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« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2013, 10:34:09 AM »

Today I watched a documentary about abortion and women´s rights in Nicaragua. One of the issues, which was discussed in the program, was the health issues of the women. One woman was seen having an illegal abortion because her cancer, combined with the pregnancy, would bring her life in great danger.

Now, for the most part, the women in the documentary declared that they were religious, they believed in God, but their situations, were they had either been raped or were being put at serious risks because of the pregnancy, made it necessary for them to have an abortion.

What would be an Orthodox position on these cases? On the one hand, the Church views abortion as a sin, but on the other hand, I think it should also be necessary to look at each case individually, something that doesn't seem to take place in many countries, were abortion is illegal.
You think people look at each case individually in countries where abortion is legal?  I can assure you, they do not.

Yes, but we are not talking about countries, where abortion is legal. There are numerous threads about that already.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2013, 10:34:22 AM by Ansgar » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2013, 10:34:43 AM »

At the risk of testing the waters on such a delicate topic, I believe what he is asking is: Are there situations where abortion should be permitted? Can economia ever be applied when abortion is the question at hand?

Something like that, yes.
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« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2013, 10:52:02 AM »

Today I watched a documentary about abortion and women´s rights in Nicaragua. One of the issues, which was discussed in the program, was the health issues of the women. One woman was seen having an illegal abortion because her cancer, combined with the pregnancy, would bring her life in great danger.

Now, for the most part, the women in the documentary declared that they were religious, they believed in God, but their situations, were they had either been raped or were being put at serious risks because of the pregnancy, made it necessary for them to have an abortion.

What would be an Orthodox position on these cases? On the one hand, the Church views abortion as a sin, but on the other hand, I think it should also be necessary to look at each case individually, something that doesn't seem to take place in many countries, were abortion is illegal.
You think people look at each case individually in countries where abortion is legal?  I can assure you, they do not.

Yes, but we are not talking about countries, where abortion is legal. There are numerous threads about that already.
What makes you think the principles are different?
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« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2013, 11:07:01 AM »

Today I watched a documentary about abortion and women´s rights in Nicaragua. One of the issues, which was discussed in the program, was the health issues of the women. One woman was seen having an illegal abortion because her cancer, combined with the pregnancy, would bring her life in great danger.

Now, for the most part, the women in the documentary declared that they were religious, they believed in God, but their situations, were they had either been raped or were being put at serious risks because of the pregnancy, made it necessary for them to have an abortion.

What would be an Orthodox position on these cases? On the one hand, the Church views abortion as a sin, but on the other hand, I think it should also be necessary to look at each case individually, something that doesn't seem to take place in many countries, were abortion is illegal.
You think people look at each case individually in countries where abortion is legal?  I can assure you, they do not.

Yes, but we are not talking about countries, where abortion is legal. There are numerous threads about that already.
What makes you think the principles are different?
They're probably not, but it was not my intention with this thread. The topic was to discuss whether or not it is morally defensible to outlaw abortion in all cases, when it is clear that many women are being subjected to great danger as a consequence.
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« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2013, 11:11:59 AM »

The primary aim should never be to kill the child, and should always be illegal. However, in situations where the child will die if a primary aim to to cure or fix something, and the death of the child would be an unfortunate side effect, however tragic it would be, then economia could be used and be allowed.
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« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2013, 11:25:43 AM »

The primary aim should never be to kill the child, and should always be illegal. However, in situations where the child will die if a primary aim to to cure or fix something, and the death of the child would be an unfortunate side effect, however tragic it would be, then economia could be used and be allowed.

Co-signed.
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« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2013, 12:26:37 PM »

The primary aim should never be to kill the child, and should always be illegal. However, in situations where the child will die if a primary aim to to cure or fix something, and the death of the child would be an unfortunate side effect, however tragic it would be, then economia could be used and be allowed.

Some on this board have accused me of have zero or at best poor reading comprehension.  Today may be one of those days when that is manifestly true.  I say that because the way I understand what you have written is that economia could be used to kill the child if, as the saying goes, the health or the life of the mother is in serious or imminent danger.  Did I get that right?  If not, please correct me.
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« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2013, 12:34:58 PM »

The primary aim should never be to kill the child, and should always be illegal. However, in situations where the child will die if a primary aim to to cure or fix something, and the death of the child would be an unfortunate side effect, however tragic it would be, then economia could be used and be allowed.

Some on this board have accused me of have zero or at best poor reading comprehension.  Today may be one of those days when that is manifestly true.  I say that because the way I understand what you have written is that economia could be used to kill the child if, as the saying goes, the health or the life of the mother is in serious or imminent danger.  Did I get that right?  If not, please correct me.

What I am attempting to say, and I do not know if I have spoken poorly or not(which may be the case) is that killing the child is never to be the intent of anything. However, if there is a surgery that will save the life of the mother, then it should be done and economia should be used, even though you know it will result in the death of the child.

In a way, what I am trying to say perhaps is that the death of the child should never be the cause, and hopefully never the effect. However, if the effect is the death of the child and the cause is a surgery to save the mother, then it could be applied.
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« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2013, 01:33:13 PM »

The primary aim should never be to kill the child, and should always be illegal. However, in situations where the child will die if a primary aim to to cure or fix something, and the death of the child would be an unfortunate side effect, however tragic it would be, then economia could be used and be allowed.

Some on this board have accused me of have zero or at best poor reading comprehension.  Today may be one of those days when that is manifestly true.  I say that because the way I understand what you have written is that economia could be used to kill the child if, as the saying goes, the health or the life of the mother is in serious or imminent danger.  Did I get that right?  If not, please correct me.

What I am attempting to say, and I do not know if I have spoken poorly or not(which may be the case) is that killing the child is never to be the intent of anything. However, if there is a surgery that will save the life of the mother, then it should be done and economia should be used, even though you know it will result in the death of the child.

In a way, what I am trying to say perhaps is that the death of the child should never be the cause, and hopefully never the effect. However, if the effect is the death of the child and the cause is a surgery to save the mother, then it could be applied.

Okay.  That's clearer  Wink

I understand where you're coming from, and up to a point agree.  Hopefully, in the application of said economia, the mother would have been consulted and given her permission for this to happen.  If she was not in a state to be able to do so, what then??
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« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2013, 01:46:23 PM »

The primary aim should never be to kill the child, and should always be illegal. However, in situations where the child will die if a primary aim to to cure or fix something, and the death of the child would be an unfortunate side effect, however tragic it would be, then economia could be used and be allowed.

Some on this board have accused me of have zero or at best poor reading comprehension.  Today may be one of those days when that is manifestly true.  I say that because the way I understand what you have written is that economia could be used to kill the child if, as the saying goes, the health or the life of the mother is in serious or imminent danger.  Did I get that right?  If not, please correct me.

What I am attempting to say, and I do not know if I have spoken poorly or not(which may be the case) is that killing the child is never to be the intent of anything. However, if there is a surgery that will save the life of the mother, then it should be done and economia should be used, even though you know it will result in the death of the child.

In a way, what I am trying to say perhaps is that the death of the child should never be the cause, and hopefully never the effect. However, if the effect is the death of the child and the cause is a surgery to save the mother, then it could be applied.

Okay.  That's clearer  Wink

I understand where you're coming from, and up to a point agree.  Hopefully, in the application of said economia, the mother would have been consulted and given her permission for this to happen.  If she was not in a state to be able to do so, what then??

Do you mean if the mother is unconscious?  If that's the case, the spouse or other person in charge of her medical guardianship would have to make that decision.  Last resort, the physician would.
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« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2013, 02:14:16 PM »

The primary aim should never be to kill the child, and should always be illegal. However, in situations where the child will die if a primary aim to to cure or fix something, and the death of the child would be an unfortunate side effect, however tragic it would be, then economia could be used and be allowed.

Some on this board have accused me of have zero or at best poor reading comprehension.  Today may be one of those days when that is manifestly true.  I say that because the way I understand what you have written is that economia could be used to kill the child if, as the saying goes, the health or the life of the mother is in serious or imminent danger.  Did I get that right?  If not, please correct me.

What I am attempting to say, and I do not know if I have spoken poorly or not(which may be the case) is that killing the child is never to be the intent of anything. However, if there is a surgery that will save the life of the mother, then it should be done and economia should be used, even though you know it will result in the death of the child.

In a way, what I am trying to say perhaps is that the death of the child should never be the cause, and hopefully never the effect. However, if the effect is the death of the child and the cause is a surgery to save the mother, then it could be applied.

Okay.  That's clearer  Wink

I understand where you're coming from, and up to a point agree.  Hopefully, in the application of said economia, the mother would have been consulted and given her permission for this to happen.  If she was not in a state to be able to do so, what then??

Do you mean if the mother is unconscious?  If that's the case, the spouse or other person in charge of her medical guardianship would have to make that decision.  Last resort, the physician would.

Scary.  Especially regarding the physician.  What if he/she was a proponent of abortion at will?  Luckily, I'm pretty sure this kind of scenario happens pretty infrequently.
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« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2013, 02:17:09 PM »

The primary aim should never be to kill the child, and should always be illegal. However, in situations where the child will die if a primary aim to to cure or fix something, and the death of the child would be an unfortunate side effect, however tragic it would be, then economia could be used and be allowed.

Some on this board have accused me of have zero or at best poor reading comprehension.  Today may be one of those days when that is manifestly true.  I say that because the way I understand what you have written is that economia could be used to kill the child if, as the saying goes, the health or the life of the mother is in serious or imminent danger.  Did I get that right?  If not, please correct me.

What I am attempting to say, and I do not know if I have spoken poorly or not(which may be the case) is that killing the child is never to be the intent of anything. However, if there is a surgery that will save the life of the mother, then it should be done and economia should be used, even though you know it will result in the death of the child.

In a way, what I am trying to say perhaps is that the death of the child should never be the cause, and hopefully never the effect. However, if the effect is the death of the child and the cause is a surgery to save the mother, then it could be applied.

Okay.  That's clearer  Wink

I understand where you're coming from, and up to a point agree.  Hopefully, in the application of said economia, the mother would have been consulted and given her permission for this to happen.  If she was not in a state to be able to do so, what then??

Do you mean if the mother is unconscious?  If that's the case, the spouse or other person in charge of her medical guardianship would have to make that decision.  Last resort, the physician would.

Scary.  Especially regarding the physician.  What if he/she was a proponent of abortion at will?  Luckily, I'm pretty sure this kind of scenario happens pretty infrequently.
There is a concept of implied consent, in which if you cannot, or in the case of a minor a parent not around, the consent to treat is implied, meaning in my case, I am able to perform CPR or the like, even if they would have otherwise declined.
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« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2013, 02:21:50 PM »

The primary aim should never be to kill the child, and should always be illegal. However, in situations where the child will die if a primary aim to to cure or fix something, and the death of the child would be an unfortunate side effect, however tragic it would be, then economia could be used and be allowed.

Some on this board have accused me of have zero or at best poor reading comprehension.  Today may be one of those days when that is manifestly true.  I say that because the way I understand what you have written is that economia could be used to kill the child if, as the saying goes, the health or the life of the mother is in serious or imminent danger.  Did I get that right?  If not, please correct me.

What I am attempting to say, and I do not know if I have spoken poorly or not(which may be the case) is that killing the child is never to be the intent of anything. However, if there is a surgery that will save the life of the mother, then it should be done and economia should be used, even though you know it will result in the death of the child.

In a way, what I am trying to say perhaps is that the death of the child should never be the cause, and hopefully never the effect. However, if the effect is the death of the child and the cause is a surgery to save the mother, then it could be applied.

Okay.  That's clearer  Wink

I understand where you're coming from, and up to a point agree.  Hopefully, in the application of said economia, the mother would have been consulted and given her permission for this to happen.  If she was not in a state to be able to do so, what then??

Do you mean if the mother is unconscious?  If that's the case, the spouse or other person in charge of her medical guardianship would have to make that decision.  Last resort, the physician would.

Scary.  Especially regarding the physician.  What if he/she was a proponent of abortion at will?  Luckily, I'm pretty sure this kind of scenario happens pretty infrequently.
There is a concept of implied consent, in which if you cannot, or in the case of a minor a parent not around, the consent to treat is implied, meaning in my case, I am able to perform CPR or the like, even if they would have otherwise declined.

There have been many cases where the physicians have unilaterally made life-and-death decisions. I think that we must give then the least degree of leeway.
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« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2013, 02:22:40 PM »

Legally, in most jurisdictions, the doctor's priority will be to save his patient's life with whatever intervention he sees fit, i.e. surgery, medication, etc.  Let's say in the case of a hypothetical pregnant woman whose life is in danger and surgery is the sole option: the surgeon and anesthesia team must take the fact that woman is pregnant in consideration.  Surgery and anesthesia always carries a risk for the baby and the mother.  Whether the doc is a pro-abortionist is another matter, but his priority is his patient, the mother.  Even if he/she was a vehement pro-"choicer," I doubt that the doctor would intentionally cause an abortion just for the heck of it.  That's a huge legal can of worms even in any jurisdiction, even ones with total abortion rights.
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« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2013, 03:37:24 PM »

The Ecumenical Patriarch thinks so, and said himself that there may be some cases where a couple should consider abortion.

On the other hand, I'm not quite sure.

Wouldn't the Christian thing to do be to try as hard as you can to do the RIGHT thing, even if the chances of it succeeding are minuscule? For example, if the only treatment available for a woman involved the death of the fetus, wouldn't it be better to refuse that treatment and hope everything turns out for the best, even if it doesn't? That way, even if things go wrong, no one will have any blood on their hands. This is my same response to all of those ethical brain teasers that operate on a false dichotomy that university students like to debate. I simply wouldn't play by the rules of the game. If I could only save one group of people and not the other, I'd try as hard as I could to save both groups even if the odds are impossibly stacked against me because it is the only right thing to do.

Then again, I don't like compulsion one bit. I especially don't like forcing my religion on others when it could very well threaten their lives and I would never know what it's like. I think that in a case where a woman's life is in danger, the Priest should perhaps demonstrate economia and allow her to receive abortion if she wishes to, however, she should still receive a light penance if she decides to, and the Priest should still encourage her to not have the abortion.
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« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2013, 03:47:54 PM »

Sometimes, in real life, there are either-or choices.  If the doctor came in to me while my wife what giving birth and told me that my wife is going septic and it is going to be a 50/50 chance that she will pull through, but they will need to start the medication immediately because if they wait for the baby to come out, she won't make it that long, you can better believe I won't be playing some game with the doctor and tell him to save both of them.  I would say "Get that medication into her right now, do whatever you have to do to save her life, let me know if you need a kidney or something 'cause I got some extra organs in here somewhere". I would not think twice about the baby.  There will be time to grieve for the baby later, that is my wife's life on the line.
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« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2013, 04:01:36 PM »

The Ecumenical Patriarch thinks so, and said himself that there may be some cases where a couple should consider abortion.

On the other hand, I'm not quite sure.

Wouldn't the Christian thing to do be to try as hard as you can to do the RIGHT thing, even if the chances of it succeeding are minuscule? For example, if the only treatment available for a woman involved the death of the fetus, wouldn't it be better to refuse that treatment and hope everything turns out for the best, even if it doesn't? That way, even if things go wrong, no one will have any blood on their hands. This is my same response to all of those ethical brain teasers that operate on a false dichotomy that university students like to debate. I simply wouldn't play by the rules of the game. If I could only save one group of people and not the other, I'd try as hard as I could to save both groups even if the odds are impossibly stacked against me because it is the only right thing to do.

Then again, I don't like compulsion one bit. I especially don't like forcing my religion on others when it could very well threaten their lives and I would never know what it's like. I think that in a case where a woman's life is in danger, the Priest should perhaps demonstrate economia and allow her to receive abortion if she wishes to, however, she should still receive a light penance if she decides to, and the Priest should still encourage her to not have the abortion.

I think that is the Russian Church's official position.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_and_abortion#Eastern_Orthodox_Church
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« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2013, 04:07:50 PM »

Sometimes, in real life, there are either-or choices.  If the doctor came in to me while my wife what giving birth and told me that my wife is going septic and it is going to be a 50/50 chance that she will pull through, but they will need to start the medication immediately because if they wait for the baby to come out, she won't make it that long, you can better believe I won't be playing some game with the doctor and tell him to save both of them.  I would say "Get that medication into her right now, do whatever you have to do to save her life, let me know if you need a kidney or something 'cause I got some extra organs in here somewhere". I would not think twice about the baby.  There will be time to grieve for the baby later, that is my wife's life on the line.

May God grant that you (and everyone else) NEVER be faced with such a situation.


I do know, that even though it can now never happen to me and my wife, that I would think twice (and much more) about the baby.
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« Reply #23 on: August 30, 2013, 04:13:14 PM »

IIRC Elder Sophrony, whose mother had been in jeopardy at his birth, said that the Orthodox - as opposed to the RC - stance in such extreme situations, where only one life can be spared, is to try to save the mother, not the child. 
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« Reply #24 on: August 30, 2013, 04:13:57 PM »

Sometimes, in real life, there are either-or choices.  If the doctor came in to me while my wife what giving birth and told me that my wife is going septic and it is going to be a 50/50 chance that she will pull through, but they will need to start the medication immediately because if they wait for the baby to come out, she won't make it that long, you can better believe I won't be playing some game with the doctor and tell him to save both of them.  I would say "Get that medication into her right now, do whatever you have to do to save her life, let me know if you need a kidney or something 'cause I got some extra organs in here somewhere". I would not think twice about the baby.  There will be time to grieve for the baby later, that is my wife's life on the line.

May God grant that you (and everyone else) NEVER be faced with such a situation.


I do know, that even though it can now never happen to me and my wife, that I would think twice (and much more) about the baby.
I would when everything was all over, and I would grieve a great deal, but if I was thrown into that situation where I had to make the decision with time ticking, I would pick my wife over a child that I have never met.  I think for me, it would be more a situation that I am emotionally attached to my wife, whereas a baby, I am much less so.

I agree though, I would hope that it would never happen to anyone.
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« Reply #25 on: August 30, 2013, 04:18:05 PM »

I love my son more than I thought I was capable of loving anyone. But if I were diagnosed with something life-threatening while pregnant, I would most definitely terminate the pregnancy in order to get treatment.

I felt so before I got pregnant, as well as during and after.

I believe that the motivation behind all our actions can boil down to either love or fear, and I know myself well enough to believe that fear would have won. I'm not proud of it, but it's true.
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« Reply #26 on: August 30, 2013, 04:18:52 PM »

Sometimes, in real life, there are either-or choices.  If the doctor came in to me while my wife what giving birth and told me that my wife is going septic and it is going to be a 50/50 chance that she will pull through, but they will need to start the medication immediately because if they wait for the baby to come out, she won't make it that long, you can better believe I won't be playing some game with the doctor and tell him to save both of them.  I would say "Get that medication into her right now, do whatever you have to do to save her life, let me know if you need a kidney or something 'cause I got some extra organs in here somewhere". I would not think twice about the baby.  There will be time to grieve for the baby later, that is my wife's life on the line.

May God grant that you (and everyone else) NEVER be faced with such a situation.


I do know, that even though it can now never happen to me and my wife, that I would think twice (and much more) about the baby.
I would when everything was all over, and I would grieve a great deal, but if I was thrown into that situation where I had to make the decision with time ticking, I would pick my wife over a child that I have never met.  I think for me, it would be more a situation that I am emotionally attached to my wife, whereas a baby, I am much less so.

I agree though, I would hope that it would never happen to anyone.

I understand entirely.  And I think that if Push came to shove, had I been faced with that situation, I probably would have chosen as you would.

There have, though, been cases where the mother chose that her child should be born and live, even at her the cost of her own life.  Wow!!
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« Reply #27 on: September 01, 2013, 12:17:50 PM »

IIRC Elder Sophrony, whose mother had been in jeopardy at his birth, said that the Orthodox - as opposed to the RC - stance in such extreme situations, where only one life can be spared, is to try to save the mother, not the child. 

Maybe that should be left up to the doctors and parents at the situation at hand and not to the one-size-fits-all fatwa of Elder Sophrony.
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« Reply #28 on: September 01, 2013, 12:28:53 PM »

The primary aim should never be to kill the child, and should always be illegal. However, in situations where the child will die if a primary aim to to cure or fix something, and the death of the child would be an unfortunate side effect, however tragic it would be, then economia could be used and be allowed.

Some on this board have accused me of have zero or at best poor reading comprehension.  Today may be one of those days when that is manifestly true.  I say that because the way I understand what you have written is that economia could be used to kill the child if, as the saying goes, the health or the life of the mother is in serious or imminent danger.  Did I get that right?  If not, please correct me.

What I am attempting to say, and I do not know if I have spoken poorly or not(which may be the case) is that killing the child is never to be the intent of anything. However, if there is a surgery that will save the life of the mother, then it should be done and economia should be used, even though you know it will result in the death of the child.

In a way, what I am trying to say perhaps is that the death of the child should never be the cause, and hopefully never the effect. However, if the effect is the death of the child and the cause is a surgery to save the mother, then it could be applied.

Okay.  That's clearer  Wink

I understand where you're coming from, and up to a point agree.  Hopefully, in the application of said economia, the mother would have been consulted and given her permission for this to happen.  If she was not in a state to be able to do so, what then??
Law of double of effect. We take a similar view in the Catholic tradition. For example, if a pregnant woman has a cancerous uterus that would result in the death of both the baby and the woman, it is morally licit to remove that uterus. The child will die as a result, but that is not the intention.
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« Reply #29 on: September 01, 2013, 03:42:59 PM »

the one-size-fits-all fatwa of Elder Sophrony.

He was speaking about his own birth - he almost didn't make it.

Your comment is insulting.
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« Reply #30 on: September 01, 2013, 04:05:09 PM »

the one-size-fits-all fatwa of Elder Sophrony.

He was speaking about his own birth - he almost didn't make it.

Your comment is insulting.

+1
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« Reply #31 on: September 01, 2013, 07:23:01 PM »

the one-size-fits-all fatwa of Elder Sophrony.

He was speaking about his own birth - he almost didn't make it.

Your comment is insulting.

So is the implication that those who choose to save their child rather than themselves are being unorthodox.
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« Reply #32 on: September 01, 2013, 08:40:32 PM »

The primary aim should never be to kill the child, and should always be illegal. However, in situations where the child will die if a primary aim to to cure or fix something, and the death of the child would be an unfortunate side effect, however tragic it would be, then economia could be used and be allowed.

Some on this board have accused me of have zero or at best poor reading comprehension.  Today may be one of those days when that is manifestly true.  I say that because the way I understand what you have written is that economia could be used to kill the child if, as the saying goes, the health or the life of the mother is in serious or imminent danger.  Did I get that right?  If not, please correct me.

What I am attempting to say, and I do not know if I have spoken poorly or not(which may be the case) is that killing the child is never to be the intent of anything. However, if there is a surgery that will save the life of the mother, then it should be done and economia should be used, even though you know it will result in the death of the child.

In a way, what I am trying to say perhaps is that the death of the child should never be the cause, and hopefully never the effect. However, if the effect is the death of the child and the cause is a surgery to save the mother, then it could be applied.

Okay.  That's clearer  Wink

I understand where you're coming from, and up to a point agree.  Hopefully, in the application of said economia, the mother would have been consulted and given her permission for this to happen.  If she was not in a state to be able to do so, what then??
Law of double of effect. We take a similar view in the Catholic tradition. For example, if a pregnant woman has a cancerous uterus that would result in the death of both the baby and the woman, it is morally licit to remove that uterus. The child will die as a result, but that is not the intention.
I learned what I believe as a catholic, and I still hold it to be true, even now as an Orthodox Christian.
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« Reply #33 on: September 02, 2013, 04:37:21 AM »

the one-size-fits-all fatwa of Elder Sophrony.

He was speaking about his own birth - he almost didn't make it.

Your comment is insulting.

So is the implication that those who choose to save their child rather than themselves are being unorthodox.

Elder Sophrony's mother decided to have him at her own peril. He didn't accuse her of being unorthodox for it. But should others have to make such a decision instead of the mother (who might be unconscious or might not have known about the risks), the Orthodox priority is to save the mother. 
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« Reply #34 on: September 02, 2013, 11:02:50 AM »

Sometimes, in real life, there are either-or choices.  If the doctor came in to me while my wife what giving birth and told me that my wife is going septic and it is going to be a 50/50 chance that she will pull through, but they will need to start the medication immediately because if they wait for the baby to come out, she won't make it that long, you can better believe I won't be playing some game with the doctor and tell him to save both of them.  I would say "Get that medication into her right now, do whatever you have to do to save her life, let me know if you need a kidney or something 'cause I got some extra organs in here somewhere". I would not think twice about the baby.  There will be time to grieve for the baby later, that is my wife's life on the line.

May God grant that you (and everyone else) NEVER be faced with such a situation.


I do know, that even though it can now never happen to me and my wife, that I would think twice (and much more) about the baby.
I would when everything was all over, and I would grieve a great deal, but if I was thrown into that situation where I had to make the decision with time ticking, I would pick my wife over a child that I have never met.  I think for me, it would be more a situation that I am emotionally attached to my wife, whereas a baby, I am much less so.

I agree though, I would hope that it would never happen to anyone.

I understand entirely.  And I think that if Push came to shove, had I been faced with that situation, I probably would have chosen as you would.

There have, though, been cases where the mother chose that her child should be born and live, even at her the cost of her own life.  Wow!!
I am completely in awe of any woman who would be willing to sacrifice her own life for the life of her unborn child.  I certainly don't think God expects a woman to do that, but to those who have the ability to demonstrate such love, it is a great testimony to all those who know of it.
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« Reply #35 on: September 02, 2013, 03:31:55 PM »

No matter how hard it is to say we should say it is wrong, even in cases of rape.

The only exception would be if the mother's life was in danger.
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« Reply #36 on: September 02, 2013, 05:27:03 PM »

Fr. Tom Hopko, The Orthodox Faith, Volume IV: Spirituality:

Quote
The abortion of an unborn child is absolutely condemned in the Orthodox Church. Clinical abortion is no means of birth control, and those who practice it for any reason at all, both the practitioners and those who request it, are punished according to the canon law of the Church with the "penalty for murder." (Council of Trullo, 5-6 Ecumenical Councils)

In extreme cases, as when the mother will surely die, if she bears the child, the decision for life or death of the child must be taken by the mother alone, in consultation with her family and her spiritual guides.Whatever the decision, unceasing prayers for God's guidance and mercy must be its foundation. According to the Orthodox faith, a mother who gives her life for her child is a saint who will most certainly be greatly glorified by God; for there is no greater act of love than to give one's life so that another might live. (cf. John 15:13)
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« Reply #37 on: September 02, 2013, 06:47:35 PM »

Abortion is wrong
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« Reply #38 on: September 02, 2013, 07:50:23 PM »

The primary aim should never be to kill the child, and should always be illegal. However, in situations where the child will die if a primary aim to to cure or fix something, and the death of the child would be an unfortunate side effect, however tragic it would be, then economia could be used and be allowed.

Some on this board have accused me of have zero or at best poor reading comprehension.  Today may be one of those days when that is manifestly true.  I say that because the way I understand what you have written is that economia could be used to kill the child if, as the saying goes, the health or the life of the mother is in serious or imminent danger.  Did I get that right?  If not, please correct me.

What I am attempting to say, and I do not know if I have spoken poorly or not(which may be the case) is that killing the child is never to be the intent of anything. However, if there is a surgery that will save the life of the mother, then it should be done and economia should be used, even though you know it will result in the death of the child.

In a way, what I am trying to say perhaps is that the death of the child should never be the cause, and hopefully never the effect. However, if the effect is the death of the child and the cause is a surgery to save the mother, then it could be applied.

Okay.  That's clearer  Wink

I understand where you're coming from, and up to a point agree.  Hopefully, in the application of said economia, the mother would have been consulted and given her permission for this to happen.  If she was not in a state to be able to do so, what then??
Law of double of effect. We take a similar view in the Catholic tradition. For example, if a pregnant woman has a cancerous uterus that would result in the death of both the baby and the woman, it is morally licit to remove that uterus. The child will die as a result, but that is not the intention.

I can agree with this. What troubles me with the exceptions for "the health of the mother" is when the unborn child is treated like a cancerous tumor that needs to be removed in order to save the mother's life. Such thinking is in no way Orthodox. I am also uneasy with the notion that the mother's life is more valuable than the child's life. I don't think we have the right to choose to save one life at the expense of another. We should value both lives equally, and do everything we can to preserve them both.


Selam
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« Reply #39 on: September 02, 2013, 07:55:50 PM »

It is very easy to say that abortion is wrong.

What is hard is forgiving, God desires mercy above all else from us. He died for our sins. And then forgave us. So for our sake he suffered and died . We should remember that we are all guilty of Jesus death .We should help those who have these problems, laws and hatred do not help them and in turn hurt us all.

Matthew 9
9As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.

10While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

12On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’a For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
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« Reply #40 on: September 02, 2013, 08:39:29 PM »

It is very easy to say that abortion is wrong.

What is hard is forgiving, God desires mercy above all else from us. He died for our sins. And then forgave us. So for our sake he suffered and died . We should remember that we are all guilty of Jesus death .We should help those who have these problems, laws and hatred do not help them and in turn hurt us all.

Matthew 9
9As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.

10While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

12On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’a For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

I agree 100%. And there is nothing unloving, unforgiving, or unchristian about standing up for the rights of the unborn and deterring women from the physical, emotional, and spiritual devastation of abortion.


Selam
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« Reply #41 on: September 02, 2013, 10:38:31 PM »

The primary aim should never be to kill the child, and should always be illegal. However, in situations where the child will die if a primary aim to to cure or fix something, and the death of the child would be an unfortunate side effect, however tragic it would be, then economia could be used and be allowed.

Some on this board have accused me of have zero or at best poor reading comprehension.  Today may be one of those days when that is manifestly true.  I say that because the way I understand what you have written is that economia could be used to kill the child if, as the saying goes, the health or the life of the mother is in serious or imminent danger.  Did I get that right?  If not, please correct me.

What I am attempting to say, and I do not know if I have spoken poorly or not(which may be the case) is that killing the child is never to be the intent of anything. However, if there is a surgery that will save the life of the mother, then it should be done and economia should be used, even though you know it will result in the death of the child.

In a way, what I am trying to say perhaps is that the death of the child should never be the cause, and hopefully never the effect. However, if the effect is the death of the child and the cause is a surgery to save the mother, then it could be applied.

Okay.  That's clearer  Wink

I understand where you're coming from, and up to a point agree.  Hopefully, in the application of said economia, the mother would have been consulted and given her permission for this to happen.  If she was not in a state to be able to do so, what then??
Law of double of effect. We take a similar view in the Catholic tradition. For example, if a pregnant woman has a cancerous uterus that would result in the death of both the baby and the woman, it is morally licit to remove that uterus. The child will die as a result, but that is not the intention.

I can agree with this. What troubles me with the exceptions for "the health of the mother" is when the unborn child is treated like a cancerous tumor that needs to be removed in order to save the mother's life. Such thinking is in no way Orthodox. I am also uneasy with the notion that the mother's life is more valuable than the child's life. I don't think we have the right to choose to save one life at the expense of another. We should value both lives equally, and do everything we can to preserve them both.


Selam

I agree with you, and that all efforts should be made to save both, but for me at least, it isnt that the mother's life is more important, just, easier to save. It is easier to save the mother than the child, and if both can't happen, then I believe that you should do what you need to guarantee one, which the mother is easier to do.
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« Reply #42 on: September 02, 2013, 10:49:37 PM »

The primary aim should never be to kill the child, and should always be illegal. However, in situations where the child will die if a primary aim to to cure or fix something, and the death of the child would be an unfortunate side effect, however tragic it would be, then economia could be used and be allowed.

Some on this board have accused me of have zero or at best poor reading comprehension.  Today may be one of those days when that is manifestly true.  I say that because the way I understand what you have written is that economia could be used to kill the child if, as the saying goes, the health or the life of the mother is in serious or imminent danger.  Did I get that right?  If not, please correct me.

What I am attempting to say, and I do not know if I have spoken poorly or not(which may be the case) is that killing the child is never to be the intent of anything. However, if there is a surgery that will save the life of the mother, then it should be done and economia should be used, even though you know it will result in the death of the child.

In a way, what I am trying to say perhaps is that the death of the child should never be the cause, and hopefully never the effect. However, if the effect is the death of the child and the cause is a surgery to save the mother, then it could be applied.

Okay.  That's clearer  Wink

I understand where you're coming from, and up to a point agree.  Hopefully, in the application of said economia, the mother would have been consulted and given her permission for this to happen.  If she was not in a state to be able to do so, what then??
Law of double of effect. We take a similar view in the Catholic tradition. For example, if a pregnant woman has a cancerous uterus that would result in the death of both the baby and the woman, it is morally licit to remove that uterus. The child will die as a result, but that is not the intention.

I can agree with this. What troubles me with the exceptions for "the health of the mother" is when the unborn child is treated like a cancerous tumor that needs to be removed in order to save the mother's life. Such thinking is in no way Orthodox. I am also uneasy with the notion that the mother's life is more valuable than the child's life. I don't think we have the right to choose to save one life at the expense of another. We should value both lives equally, and do everything we can to preserve them both.


Selam

I agree with you, and that all efforts should be made to save both, but for me at least, it isnt that the mother's life is more important, just, easier to save. It is easier to save the mother than the child, and if both can't happen, then I believe that you should do what you need to guarantee one, which the mother is easier to do.

I think that's reasonable. Thank you.


Selam
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« Reply #43 on: September 03, 2013, 11:05:04 AM »

The primary aim should never be to kill the child, and should always be illegal. However, in situations where the child will die if a primary aim to to cure or fix something, and the death of the child would be an unfortunate side effect, however tragic it would be, then economia could be used and be allowed.

Some on this board have accused me of have zero or at best poor reading comprehension.  Today may be one of those days when that is manifestly true.  I say that because the way I understand what you have written is that economia could be used to kill the child if, as the saying goes, the health or the life of the mother is in serious or imminent danger.  Did I get that right?  If not, please correct me.

What I am attempting to say, and I do not know if I have spoken poorly or not(which may be the case) is that killing the child is never to be the intent of anything. However, if there is a surgery that will save the life of the mother, then it should be done and economia should be used, even though you know it will result in the death of the child.

In a way, what I am trying to say perhaps is that the death of the child should never be the cause, and hopefully never the effect. However, if the effect is the death of the child and the cause is a surgery to save the mother, then it could be applied.

Okay.  That's clearer  Wink.  

I understand where you're coming from, and up to a point agree.  Hopefully, in the application of said economia, the mother would have been consulted and given her permission for this to happen.  If she was not in a state to be able to do so, what then??
Law of double of effect. We take a similar view in the Catholic tradition. For example, if a pregnant woman has a cancerous uterus that would result in the death of both the baby and the woman, it is morally licit to remove that uterus. The child will die as a result, but that is not the intention.

I can agree with this. What troubles me with the exceptions for "the health of the mother" is when the unborn child is treated like a cancerous tumor that needs to be removed in order to save the mother's life. Such thinking is in no way Orthodox. I am also uneasy with the notion that the mother's life is more valuable than the child's life. I don't think we have the right to choose to save one life at the expense of another. We should value both lives equally, and do everything we can to preserve them both.


Selam

I agree with you, and that all efforts should be made to save both, but for me at least, it isnt that the mother's life is more important, just, easier to save. It is easier to save the mother than the child, and if both can't happen, then I believe that you should do what you need to guarantee one, which the mother is easier to do.
I agree with this line of thinking.

I do know of one particularly sad story, however, in which a woman chose to die rather than seek a treatment that would either kill or seriously deform her child. The baby, miraculously, was saved after the mother went into a coma at 26 weeks gestation. The mother died shortly after the delivery.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 11:06:34 AM by Agabus » Logged

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« Reply #44 on: September 03, 2013, 11:22:27 AM »

I can agree with this. What troubles me with the exceptions for "the health of the mother" is when the unborn child is treated like a cancerous tumor that needs to be removed in order to save the mother's life. Such thinking is in no way Orthodox. I am also uneasy with the notion that the mother's life is more valuable than the child's life. I don't think we have the right to choose to save one life at the expense of another. We should value both lives equally, and do everything we can to preserve them both.


Selam

Last year saw two highly publicised cases of such controversy: an unnamed 16-year-old in the Dominican Republic and Savita Halappanavar in Ireland. The way they were handled is, to me, nothing short of criminal. Sturdy paving for the highway to hell. Undecided
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