Author Topic: Abortion: When one does not have the choice!  (Read 14717 times)

Positive Change

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Abortion: When one does not have the choice!
« on: June 15, 2012, 02:24:38 PM »
There was another topic on Abortion in this forum but derived from China's one baby policy. I would like to present abortion in a different light. Perhaps playing devil's advocate but nevertheless it covers very similar emotions and decisions if not more intense... so it may seem!

What happens when a women is unfortunately, raped and to her horror she finds out a month later she is pregnant. Once again the only choice in life... Yay or Nay! In this case, to keep the child or to have an abortion.

In this scenario, I believe abortion would still be very much killing but is it somewhat "justifiable" in the "victim's" mind? Many factors involved here. As Buddhist we would tend to say it was her karma to get raped and impregnated however should she make it worse by adding yet another negative action of killing to the list?

If she were to have the child, would she propagate resentment and hatred towards this child and ensue even more negative karma? Perhaps another scenario of the lesser evil? I would like to "hear" or read of everyone's thoughts on this please!

AnneQ

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Re: Abortion: When one does not have the choice!
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2012, 03:46:24 PM »
In my opinion, as long as the foetus is healthy with no abnormalities, abortion should not be an option for obvious reasons as Positive Change had mentioned - quote "... abortion would still be (like) killing..." and killing is bad karma, no matter that the baby was conceived through rape.
In this scenario, the baby is innocent as far as I am concern even though the circumstances he/she was made was not ideal. Aborting or killing (to put it bluntly) the baby is not a positive option. If the woman refuses to keep or have anything to do with the baby, at least have the compassion ( as a good Buddhist, or a good person ) to go through the pregnancy and give the baby up for adoption, allowing the child to have a second chance to live with adoptive parents who would love him/her. That would be to me the spiritually correct thing to do. One can say that enduring 9 months of a traumatic pregnancy would be mentally unbearable to the victim, but she, as a compassionate being, can turn her mindset to let herself believe that her body is only a tool to carry a precious life to term for people who yearn to have a child.
No matter what, life is precious and who are we to judge whether the baby should live or die.

AnneQ

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Re: Abortion: When one does not have the choice!
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2012, 03:53:31 PM »
Oh yes I forgot to add in conclusion that therefore there IS a choice. You can choose to either abort or not....

negra orquida

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Re: Abortion: When one does not have the choice!
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2012, 05:53:44 PM »
If the woman knows the karmic implications of aborting the baby, and yet also knows that she will not be able to love the baby when it is born, i believe the woman would have the baby and give the baby up for adoption. however the 9 months of carrying the baby in her womb would probably be quite agonzing for her

It is easier said than done to wish for the woman to let go of the rape incident, to forgive the rapist and not take it out on the baby, and have compassion for the baby whom, if she saw everyday, would be a daily reminder of what happened (unless she can let it go).

Here's another scenario: a woman happily gets pregnant with the love of her life and 4 months into the pregnancy she finds out that the baby has a serious defect. If she continued on with the pregnancy and delivered the baby, the baby would be severely mentally and/or physically disabled for life, or will experience a lot of physical suffering. What to do?

lotus1

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Re: Abortion: When one does not have the choice!
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2012, 06:41:52 AM »
In my opinion, abortion is still killing and will create a lot of negative bad karma.
Although it may not be easy for the woman to go through it, that it may also remind her of the rape incident. However, she would need to  to go through proper counseling or spiritual sharing, so that she can understand the fault is not at the baby nor she herself. Once the baby is born, she can choose to bring him/her up or to send for adoption with a family that would be able to love him/her. The important is to take responsibility on whatever decision that is made.
With regards to the pregnancy with defects, i would suggest to get the opinion from the doctor. If worse case that a abortion is needed because the fetus already die in the pregnancy, then please let natural take its cause. Prayer can be done to the baby and dedicate the merits for him/her to have good rebirth with better condition and can learn and practice Dharma.

ratanasutra

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Re: Abortion: When one does not have the choice!
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2012, 03:54:12 PM »
i will say that abortion is killing. The lady has such bad karma to get raped and pregnant, she must move on by accepting what happened and instead of killing her own child which create more negative karma, she should change her karma by keep the child and take care her pregnancy the best.

We won't know what is going to happen during and after her pregnancy. As long as she has intention to keep her child and do the best. It can turn out that her pregnancy has problem and she lost her baby or the baby has short life or the baby or the baby is a boy and when he is young he would like to become the monk etc.. Things can turn around, we will never know.

There is always the choice that she can choose, the better way is to end that karma and create good karma instead.   

Q

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Re: Abortion: When one does not have the choice!
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2012, 02:19:49 PM »
Abortion is just not recommended... especially when the fetus is healthy and the mother is not physically deteriorating from the pregnancy. Some people view the fetus as a lump of cells... yeah we all learnt science, and mitosis... during the first trimester, the embryo is but a size of a grain of rice, with barely enough cells to differentiate into different organ systems... in short, it barely represents a human, and if we were to take a human embryo at the first trimester to compare it with a pig's embryo, there would be no difference (sad to say...)

But in our believe, we also learnt that from the moment the ovum and sperm, it is here where the first drop of blood of a new being is formed... the primordial blood. It is here, where our consciousness enters and begins of a new life in samsara. And because our consciousness enters here, I have always wondered why people argue about abortion and easily forget about the use of 'morning after pills'... after all, the fertilisation always takes place first, then it attaches to the womb, and by taking the morning after pill it causes the womb to mature to a stage that is unfit for embryo attachment.

So, is morning after pill okay to be taken by Buddhists as it deny the attachment of the embryo to the womb? Isn't it like denying a person hungry person into your house? At least that's how I think of it.

Pregnancy that brings no harm to the mother is most advisable to continue... although like what you've pointed out, the woman may feel extreme hatred towards the child... however, there is always options to put the child into foster care. Death is so certain, but with life, there is hope of a good life.

If the woman has to hate the child, then let it be hate rather than killing... to suffer such fate, it is best to not commit more negative karma by committing a heinous deed...

Tammy

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Re: Abortion: When one does not have the choice!
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2012, 02:35:02 PM »
Positive change,this is a classic debate topic but I am glad you have brought it up for discussion.

My point of view is very much the same as yours with a few deviations:

(1) it's her karma to be raped
Does this mean all ladies (in some circumstances, men) should not bother to take proper precaution when she is walking in dark and/dangerous places? Because if she does hv the karma of being ripped, she WOULD be raped no matter what and on the other hand, if she does NOT have the karma t o be rapped, then she could run around naked and nothing bad would befall onto her! I don't think so. I believe while we do have to pay the price of our negative karma, we could still change the course by prevention and do good deeds to negate the consequence

(2) abort a child who is the result of a rape
Other then the two obvious choice of abortion (an act of killing, no less!) or keeping the baby and beari the unfortunate consequence to bring up the child. The victim do have an other alternative, she could give the baby away to a childless family. There are many infertile couples who would give everything to have a child, adopting a child would make their life complete, and the child will be put in good care.

Anyone with 4th alternative/option?
Down with the BAN!!!

Manjushri

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Re: Abortion: When one does not have the choice!
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2012, 03:25:12 PM »
In my opinion, as long as the foetus is healthy with no abnormalities, abortion should not be an option for obvious reasons as Positive Change had mentioned - quote "... abortion would still be (like) killing..." and killing is bad karma, no matter that the baby was conceived through rape.

In my opinion, even if the foetus had abnormalities, he/she should be given a chance to live and not be aborted for the following reasons:

1. Abortion is ending a life, ending the physical vessel to one's consciousness. Therefore the negative repercussions suffered by the mother/decision maker would be huge. The direct consequence I would imagine is shortening your own life if you take away someone else's.

2. The consciouness in this being is limited by the physicalities of the temporary body of the child/being. Why does he/she have to suffer living a life through abnormalities? Must be his/her karma, and a result of past negative deeds. In order to stop the suffering, he/she has to undergo and exhaust his/her karma no matter what, as it has already been created. Therefore, just aborting his/her life would not give them a chance to purify their karma through reaping the results they have sowed. It will only keep coming back until he/she exhausts the particular karma. Therefore, aborting knowing that your child will have abnormalities would not give them a chance to (1) have free choice, (2) exhaust their karma . You abort based on selfishness, thinking of the burden it would be for the parents for their entire lives.


Fundamentally, aborting is killing. Why shouldn't the being/child have a chance at life, because you cannot take it? What happened to free choice?

Vajraprotector

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Re: Abortion: When one does not have the choice!
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2012, 06:26:12 PM »
Traditional sources do not recognise a distinction between early- and late-term abortion, but in Sri Lanka and Thailand the "moral stigma" associated with an abortion grows with the development of the foetus.  Abortion is illegal in Thailand except in cases of rape or risk to the woman's health and 99% of women in Burma thought abortion was against their religious beliefs.

I do think that in general Buddhists accept abortion if it threatens the life or physical health of the mother, yet maintains that it is a negative deed that will have karmic consequences. Even His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that from a Buddhist viewpoint, abortion is an act of killing and is negative, but it depends on the circumstances.

pgdharma

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Re: Abortion: When one does not have the choice!
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2012, 02:25:35 PM »
Abortion on a healthy foetus is killing unless the foetus is abnormal and creates danger to the pregnant woman or is not growing.

In the case of a rape victim, she should carry the baby to full term and if she refuses to raise the child she should give away for adoption immediately after delivery. She had already collected so much negative karma to be raped and having an abortion will create more negative karma for her.  The child is innocent and she has no right to kill the child. Even though she may hate the child she is carrying as it will remind her of the incident, it is better to hate than to kill. At least the negative karma is not so heavy.

Positive Change

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Re: Abortion: When one does not have the choice!
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2012, 07:11:01 PM »
In my opinion, as long as the foetus is healthy with no abnormalities, abortion should not be an option for obvious reasons as Positive Change had mentioned - quote "... abortion would still be (like) killing..." and killing is bad karma, no matter that the baby was conceived through rape.
In this scenario, the baby is innocent as far as I am concern even though the circumstances he/she was made was not ideal. Aborting or killing (to put it bluntly) the baby is not a positive option. If the woman refuses to keep or have anything to do with the baby, at least have the compassion ( as a good Buddhist, or a good person ) to go through the pregnancy and give the baby up for adoption, allowing the child to have a second chance to live with adoptive parents who would love him/her. That would be to me the spiritually correct thing to do. One can say that enduring 9 months of a traumatic pregnancy would be mentally unbearable to the victim, but she, as a compassionate being, can turn her mindset to let herself believe that her body is only a tool to carry a precious life to term for people who yearn to have a child.
No matter what, life is precious and who are we to judge whether the baby should live or die.

I tend to agree with everyone here that abortion even though an option for some has very negative karmic repercussions. And as you clearly pointed out AnneQ, it will not be easy to carry a pregnancy to full term as not only would it have the difficulties and risks involved, it is also a constant reminder of the rape for the entire duration as well. The healing time from the trauma of the rape would not even kick in.

That said, if one accepts the spiritually right thing to do and understand the workings of karma, perhaps this difficulty (pregnancy) is something akin to purification of sorts... letting the karma exhaust itself and not let the cycle repeat by getting the instant "gratification" or "eradication of the problem" by aborting (killing) the pregnancy.

Perhaps in the duration of the pregnancy, through hormonal changes in the body, motherly feelings may develop and something good may come of it. After all, life is to be rejoiced. But if in the event that adoption is the option, then it gives a couple who cannot bear a child a chance to be parents. So something positive that comes out of something negative. Like a lotus out of the murky waters of a pond.

Sometimes, however hard it may seem, we need to try and look at the brighter side of things and of life... it makes it a lot "easier" than trying to fight difficulties and in turn create more. Hence for us with some semblance of Dharmic understanding, do consider ourselves lucky that we are equipped to handle tough situations better than most. Not because the situations are any different... it is just our perceptions of the situations are different!

bambi

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Re: Abortion: When one does not have the choice!
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2012, 03:16:36 PM »
Its really sad for those woman to be raped and find out that they are pregnant or contracted disease from it. However, because of Buddhism, we have learned that such events arise from the ripening of our negative karma at the right time and right place.
I believe although the person may choose abortion over having the baby, it is not entirely their fault for they have no knowledge of the 'right conduct' like how must of us know here. Hence, the repeating of karma in many countless lifetimes until they receive Buddha's teachings or below.

WHAT CAN I DO TO REMOVE PREVIOUS NEGATIVE KARMA?

Nobody likes to suffer, so we all like to rid ourselves of negative karmic potential.
There are several possibilities, and in fact we may need to try and apply all of these methods as much as we can:

- To avoid having negative thoughts that lead to negative actions in the future, we need to observe and control our own thoughts and behaviour, and destroy our negative attitudes.
- Similarly, we can observe/study (meditate) our own mind and encourage positive thoughts that lead to positive actions.
- We can avoid negative karmic seeds to ripen by purifying it, using the four powers of purification (see below). Although this does not eliminate the negative karmic actions, it can avoid the results to occur.
- Ultimately, when we realise emptiness directly (see the page on Wisdom), and remove all our delusions, we are not under the control of past karma anymore.


http://viewonbuddhism.org/karma.html#5a

Big Uncle

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Re: Abortion: When one does not have the choice!
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2012, 04:30:37 PM »
Well Positive Change,

It really depends on whether the girl knows enough Dharma or not. I don't think it is right to tell her, it is her negative karma that she was raped and then this baby pops out. Well, if she knows Dharma, then it would make the talking a lot easier.

It would be good to reassure her that the baby has a very strong affinity with her, definitely from a previous life. So, it would be good for her to develop this affinity and to take care of this baby instead of aborting. The baby has got nothing to do with the father and there's no need to bring the father into the picture. It takes time and a lot of sensitivity towards the girl's fears and insecurities to get it right. 

Tenzin K

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Re: Abortion: When one does not have the choice!
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2012, 11:11:14 PM »
Personally to me it doesn’t make a different in my stand to say no to abortion even in this scenario.
The fetus is innocent, whatever reason that brings to the mother pregnancy is obviously karma but if we believe it, in the same understanding of abortion, which mean killing and it will bring the negative karma to us. I know it might remind the mother of the negative moment every time looking at the child but it got nothing to do with the child. In fact the mother should bring up the child spiritually and make him serve and benefits others for good.

Sometime we perceive bad things happen but somehow it turn out for good. If we have strong faith in our spiritual practice we should follow the path consistently and result will show.

The least if it’s so unbearable for the mother, give the child second chance of life for adoption.