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Author Topic: Abortion  (Read 6655 times) Average Rating: 0
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Salpy
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« Reply #45 on: March 05, 2010, 12:25:26 AM »

Someone told me abortion is supported by the Coptic Church if the mother will die.  Is this true?

Thanks!

Just to remind everyone, this was the original post of the thread.  Let's please keep this on topic.  For clarification, that means posters should be addressing the position of the Coptic Church on abortion.  What is not on topic would include trying to put words into other posters' mouths, discussing whether Church Fathers or canons were insensitive, and how people use the Church Fathers.  If anyone does not want to address the topic of the Coptic Church's beliefs on abortion, they can post in another thread.  There are many abortion threads out there.  Thank you.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2010, 12:26:50 AM by Salpy » Logged

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« Reply #46 on: March 05, 2010, 03:10:20 AM »

I do have a question about an abortion to save the life of the mother.

You see, my sister is a miracle child. When my mother was pregnant with my sister (in 1982), my mother knew it was an unusual pregnancy, but didn't know how unusual. The entire pregnancy my mother had difficulty eating, sleeping, and breathing. Although she was due to deliver on Aug 5, a week before she was due the doctors induced her because the baby's heartbeat was difficult to hear.

The doctors induced my mother for 24 hours before doing an ultra sound. For 24 hours my mother waited for a baby to come, and no baby came. Finally, after doing the ultra sound (remember, this is 1982 fuzzy ultra sound technology here!), the doctor's said the baby was breach and that a Cesarean section would be necessary.

When the doctors opened my mother up, her uterus was flapping like crazy from the drugs used to induce her, but there was no baby. My sister was lying asleep in my mother's abdomonShocked  Shocked  Shocked

My sister was an abdominal pregnancy. The doctors said the chance of both the mother and child surviving are literally one in one million.

To make the story even more amazing, the exact same thing happened in the exact same hospital 10 days earlier.  Shocked (The story actually made National Headlines; my mother has a book with all of the clippings. Here is one of them. Fittingly, my parents named my sister Gloria. Smiley )

Here's the thing. The doctor's said they would have recommended an abortion if they had known my mother was carrying my sister in her abdomen. An abdominal pregnancy is a form of an ectopic pregnancy, and can be deadly for both mother and child. 

I was three when all of this happened. Thanks be to God, my mother and sister are fine. However, circumstances could have turned out very differently. If my mother had died, she would have left a husband and daughter behind.

I understand what the canons say about abortion and all of that. However, how is a mother to decide what to do? Sacrifice the life of her and the child, or sacrifice the life of the child to keep her own? Also, what measures of discipline would the church take with the mother in such a circumstance?

My point in posting this is two-fold: a) to show that not all abortions are committed by Liberal bra-burning feminists who hate God. b) to find out what kind of discipline (in this particular part of the forum) the Coptic or Oriental Orthodox Church's would take with the mother.
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« Reply #47 on: March 05, 2010, 03:11:45 AM »

Are you actually saying that what is posted on OC.net is guided by the Holy Spirit?

Occasionally, yes.  It seems like usually it's purple demons at work this time of year.
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« Reply #48 on: March 05, 2010, 03:56:22 AM »

I do have a question about an abortion to save the life of the mother.

You see, my sister is a miracle child. When my mother was pregnant with my sister (in 1982), my mother knew it was an unusual pregnancy, but didn't know how unusual. The entire pregnancy my mother had difficulty eating, sleeping, and breathing. Although she was due to deliver on Aug 5, a week before she was due the doctors induced her because the baby's heartbeat was difficult to hear.

The doctors induced my mother for 24 hours before doing an ultra sound. For 24 hours my mother waited for a baby to come, and no baby came. Finally, after doing the ultra sound (remember, this is 1982 fuzzy ultra sound technology here!), the doctor's said the baby was breach and that a Cesarean section would be necessary.

When the doctors opened my mother up, her uterus was flapping like crazy from the drugs used to induce her, but there was no baby. My sister was lying asleep in my mother's abdomon.  Shocked  Shocked  Shocked

My sister was an abdominal pregnancy. The doctors said the chance of both the mother and child surviving are literally one in one million.

To make the story even more amazing, the exact same thing happened in the exact same hospital 10 days earlier.  Shocked (The story actually made National Headlines; my mother has a book with all of the clippings. Here is one of them. Fittingly, my parents named my sister Gloria. Smiley )

Here's the thing. The doctor's said they would have recommended an abortion if they had known my mother was carrying my sister in her abdomen. An abdominal pregnancy is a form of an ectopic pregnancy, and can be deadly for both mother and child.  

I was three when all of this happened. Thanks be to God, my mother and sister are fine. However, circumstances could have turned out very differently. If my mother had died, she would have left a husband and daughter behind.

I understand what the canons say about abortion and all of that. However, how is a mother to decide what to do? Sacrifice the life of her and the child, or sacrifice the life of the child to keep her own? Also, what measures of discipline would the church take with the mother in such a circumstance?

My point in posting this is two-fold: a) to show that not all abortions are committed by Liberal bra-burning feminists who hate God. b) to find out what kind of discipline (in this particular part of the forum) the Coptic or Oriental Orthodox Church's would take with the mother.


First, as a man, I will never really understand the difficulties a woman has to face when she is told that it is either her life or her child's. But your story above is evidence of God's grace and mercy. We are Orthodox, and therefore we should acknowledge more than anyone the fact that God's ways are not ours. Whenever we analyze situations from our own finite vantage point, then we tend to make the wrong choices. It is our human tendency to attempt to ensure that we are in control of our circumstances, and we panic when situations arise that are beyond our control. Thus we try to rectify the situation in our own way, and often we end up creating more problems for ourselves and others in the long run.

I pass no judgment at all on women who consent to abortions in order to save their own lives, especially if they have other children who would be left motherless if they died giving birth. But I have great respect for women who value the Life of their unborn child even over their own life. By placing faith in God and sacrificially offering their own lives so that their unborn child is not killed, they demonstrate the epitome of Christian Faith. They fulfill the words of Our Lord, Who said, "Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." [St. John 15:13]

And, we should trust that God will always reward our acts of Faith. The Saints and Martyrs were divinely and eternally rewarded for living out their Faith, even when they knew it would result in torture and death. But sometimes they were spared, like Daniel in the Lion's den and the three children spared from Babylon's fiery furnace. So by choosing to preserve the lives of their unborn children even at risk of their own deaths, these righteous mothers preserve their own souls; and perhaps they will miraculaously be spared their own physical lives as well. It comes down to Faith in God, the Lord of Life and the Rewarder of those who choose Life.  

Selam
« Last Edit: March 05, 2010, 03:57:37 AM by Gebre Menfes Kidus » Logged

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« Reply #49 on: May 08, 2010, 06:28:44 AM »

One difficulty with this issue is that many people adopt an non-orthodox view of "rules". The Church certainly does discourage mothers from aborting their children but it also makes possible an abortion under exceptional pastoral situations - not just the risk to the mother's life but also taking into account whether she has other children and the likely effect on them if she dies. The difference between the Orthodox and Roman view is that if an Orthodox bishop does give permission for a child to be aborted he is not setting a precedent, there is no "legal" structure which then takes that decision as the basis for others. Each request to the bishop for such an awful thing is considered on its own merit and the decision is in no way influenced by other decisions.
This is how it was explained to me from a Greek perspective. I hope I haven't muddied the waters at all.
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« Reply #50 on: May 08, 2010, 07:16:15 AM »

One difficulty with this issue is that many people adopt an non-orthodox view of "rules". The Church certainly does discourage mothers from aborting their children but it also makes possible an abortion under exceptional pastoral situations - not just the risk to the mother's life but also taking into account whether she has other children and the likely effect on them if she dies. The difference between the Orthodox and Roman view is that if an Orthodox bishop does give permission for a child to be aborted he is not setting a precedent, there is no "legal" structure which then takes that decision as the basis for others. Each request to the bishop for such an awful thing is considered on its own merit and the decision is in no way influenced by other decisions.
This is how it was explained to me from a Greek perspective. I hope I haven't muddied the waters at all.

The Patriarch of the Ecumenical Throne His all-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew has expressed a stance on abortion which would appear to go far beyond "exceptional pastoral conditions" and to allow abortion at the decision of the couple, without reference to their parish priests whom he prefers should stay out of the bedroom.  This apparent pro choice teaching places him in opposition to the other Orthodox Churches (certainly to the Russian and the Serbian with which I am familiar.)

"Orthodox Patriarchs 'Wink' at Abortion" (written by a priest of the Ecumenical Throne)
http://web.archive.org/web/20040407123705/http://www.oclife.org/vnine.pdf

If this is indeed the teaching of the current Patriarch my disillusionment is profound.  My heart aches just to have to report that a Patriarch may even possibly hold a pro-choice position.
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« Reply #51 on: May 08, 2010, 07:26:26 AM »


The difference between the Orthodox and Roman view is that if an Orthodox bishop does give permission for a child to be aborted he is not setting a precedent, there is no "legal" structure which then takes that decision as the basis for others. Each request to the bishop for such an awful thing is considered on its own merit and the decision is in no way influenced by other decisions.
This is how it was explained to me from a Greek perspective. I hope I haven't muddied the waters at all.


I believe you need to substantiate this.  You are painting with a very broad brush and may be misinforming the readers of the Forum.  Are you in fact aware in your experiences of Christians who have approached their bishops and sought his blessing for an abortion?  I imagine this includes both married couples and unmarried mothers; probably the majority of requests would be from unmarried mothers since the impact of a baby on their lives could be even greater than a married couple.

I would also imagine that you are not speaking of such anomalies as ectopic pregnancies but of healthy babies in the womb.
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« Reply #52 on: May 08, 2010, 07:46:45 AM »

I have just noticed message 45 from a moderator saying this thread should be restricted to the Coptic Church and abortion.  You should choose another abortion thread to pursue this.  Click on the tag "abortion" at the bottom of the page and it will bring up alternative abortion threads.
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« Reply #53 on: May 08, 2010, 07:52:30 AM »

The Teaching and Tradition of the Orthodox Church has been thoroughly and consistently clear that abortion is a great sin and evil. The Apostles were unambiguous in their condemnation of abortion in the Didache and the Didascalia. Anyone who tries to water down apostolic Teaching on this issue according subjective nuance is not in accordance with Church Teaching. The Orthodox Church has no doctrine of "Bishop Infallibility." So if a Bishop is saying such horrible things, then pray for his soul and heed the clear apostolic Teachings of the Church.

The issue of abortion is not a private matter between a woman, her doctor, and her Priest. Once a child is conceived, it possesses the same inherent dignity as all human beings who are created in the image of God. Therefore, it should not be treated as expendable or less valuable than its mother. If in the process of saving the mother's life the unborn child dies, then this is not murder. But to premeditatively decide that the unborn child should be aborted because of the possiblity that the mother may die giving birth is a great sin and evil. Our Lord said there is no greater love than to lay one's life down for their friend. Killing an unborn child for self preservation is an act contrary to the teachings and example of Christ, Who died for our salvation.


Selam
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« Reply #54 on: May 08, 2010, 10:58:31 AM »

I have just noticed message 45 from a moderator saying this thread should be restricted to the Coptic Church and abortion.  You should choose another abortion thread to pursue this.  Click on the tag "abortion" at the bottom of the page and it will bring up alternative abortion threads.

Thank you, Father.   Smiley
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« Reply #55 on: May 09, 2010, 12:12:37 AM »

I have just noticed message 45 from a moderator saying this thread should be restricted to the Coptic Church and abortion.  You should choose another abortion thread to pursue this.  Click on the tag "abortion" at the bottom of the page and it will bring up alternative abortion threads.
You mean "We should choose..."?  Wink
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« Reply #56 on: May 09, 2010, 01:25:00 AM »

I have just noticed message 45 from a moderator saying this thread should be restricted to the Coptic Church and abortion.  You should choose another abortion thread to pursue this.  Click on the tag "abortion" at the bottom of the page and it will bring up alternative abortion threads.
You mean "We should choose..."?  Wink

No, I mean "You should choose..." because I have no real interest in pursuing this thread and have no intention of taking it to another existing thread.  I am happy if it dies here and now.  If Stephen wants to pursue it he should choose another abortion thread. Wink
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