Tag Archives: abortion


The last few days I’ve been watching the twitter stream of the hashtag #livetweetingabortion started by Angie Jackson to document her abortion live on the Internet. I’ve been following Angie on twitter for a while and knew about this, but following mainstream media reports (see above link) there seems to have been more interest in the whole abortion “debate”. Additionally, yesterday Angie reported that she had had death threats from one of the religious people who had been debating via the #livetweetingabortion hashtag. The person in question has denied they sent the death threats, so I will not discuss that matter further. I also believe that Angie is looking into the threats, and where they came from, through legal/police means. However the alleged death threats did pique my interest hence spending more time lately following the #livetweetingabortion tweets and making a few comments of my own.

This blog post is some further thoughts from myself, plus additional comments taken from the tweet stream.

Any debate on abortion always come down to the rights of the unborn baby versus the rights of the mother. Many anti-abortionists, who strangely call themselves “pro-life”, state that abortion should never be used under any circumstances. A plainly stupid and ignorant stance. As @snobographer pointed out in the following tweets there are more deaths of mothers during live births than there are due to legal abortions. There are also many infant deaths during live births.

@snobographer: 13 deaths per 100K live births in 2003 http://bit.ly/9sHipw

@snobographer: Less than 1 death per 100K legal abortions in 2000

The State of Our Health – Women’s Health: Death In Childbirth

The death of infants is much more common – the nation’s infant mortality rate was 679 per 100,000 live births in 2004. From U.S. maternal deaths on the rise article.

From these reports it is clear that in some instances it can be lethal for the woman to go full term and for the baby to be born . One would have to wonder how many of these deaths could be prevented if the woman had had an abortion earlier in the pregnancy? Ah, I hear all the anti-abortionists scream ” but millions die by being aborted every year”. Well that’s not strictly true. The majority of abortions are done very early on in pregnancies before the “baby” can really be classified as a “baby” or a “person”. Every sperm is not sacred. If the so called “pro-lifers” really are pro-life then surely in some instances they should allow abortions especially if is going to save the life of the woman? Unfortunately the vast majority of anti-abortionists / “pro-lifers” see it all in black and white where no abortions can be good or allowed. What the anti-abortionists / “pro-life” brigade don’t seem to realise is that abortion has been going on since the dawn of time and will occur even if it is made illegal (as they seem to want to make it). One of the reasons abortion has been made legal (in varying degrees) in many countries is that eventually it was realised that illegal abortions were being carried out anyway and that women were being harmed during them.

I agree that late term abortions can be an ethical and moral dilemma (see the question further down) and I would prefer late term (post 22-24 weeks) abortions weren’t carried out except under exception circumstances. However I see very little problem with women choosing to have an abortion early on in the pregnancy. After all it’s a womens body and she should have a say in what she’s allowed to do with it.

Another argument put forward by the anti-abortion / “pro-life” brigade is the psychological ordeal women go through having an abortion.

as @aagblog said “RU486=appalling psychological ordeal? I’ll show you an appalling psychological ordeal. PARENTING”

especially if the women is not prepared for it or doesn’t want to do it. Looking after a baby is a huge commitment and many women suffer various forms of mental anguish, including things such as post-natal depression, after having a baby. I personally know more women who have suffered a psychological ordeal from having a baby than ones having an abortion.

I can imagine that some women could be traumatised by having an abortion, for all sorts of reasons. Society in general still stigmatises abortion to some extent, though this is mainly driven by the religious. It certainly doesn’t help when religious bigots campaign outside abortion clinics. There is (depending on who you speak to) an instinct for (most) women to have babies, so I could see that for some women getting pregnant might ignite their maternal instinct, but, for whatever reason, they decide to terminate the baby, no matter how much they rationalise it, there may still be some doubts or regrets in their mind. For these women some form of counselling or therapy might be useful, though I’d prefer they went to a qualified psychologist first, however a trained counsellor, or even sometimes just a good friend may be all these women need. There are religious post-abortion counsellors, I just hope that organisations like ARIN provide the counselling in a non-judgemental way, free from any religious language, and free from stigmatising abortion in general. However it would seem very few women actually do have a “psychological ordeal” from having an abortion.

as @triptrain pointed out from one of the studies looking into the negative psychological impact of abortion:

“This review identified several factors that are predictive of more negative psychological responses following first-trimester abortion among women in the United States. Those factors included perceptions of stigma, need for secrecy, and low or anticipated social support for the abortion decision; a prior history of mental health problems; personality factors such as low self-esteem and use of avoidance and denial coping strategies; and characteristics of the particular pregnancy, including the extent to which the woman wanted and felt committed to it. Across studies, prior mental health merged as the strongest predictor of post-abortion mental health. Many of these same factors also predict negative psychological reactions to other types of stressful life events, including childbirth, and, hence, are not uniquely predictive of psychological responses following abortion.”


and what do you think would be the biggest cause of the stigma, and therefore the need for secrecy? My guess – religion. The vast majority of people who complain about abortions are religious people, I have never heard of a non-religious group campaigning against abortions outside a family planning clinic, but I have seen the evidence of a lot of religious groups doing it. What must the poor women who are attending these clinics be going through having to make the decision to have an abortion then having to run through the gamut of small minded bigots to have it done?

This tweet (via Twit-Longer) sums up the “debate” nicely:

On Monday 1st March 2010, @snobographer said:

#livetweetingabortion #prochoice #prolife

Okay so let’s review, shall we?

We’ve established:

That most women who’ve received abortions don’t regret it and aren’t traumatized by it http://bit.ly/bekDT3

That the few women who are traumatized are women in communities where #abortion is stigmatized http://bit.ly/bMAQej

That the maternal mortality rate for live births is more than 13 times the rate of death for abortions

What things are like for women and girls when their rights to make their own reproductive decisions are restricted

And we’ve established just how much the lives of women and girls matter to the #prolife community

Anything else?

Yes, Some of the christians on twitter are neither very ‘christian’ or ‘pro-life’ when they threaten @antitheistangie or anyone else for that matter.

One of the ‘pro-lifers’ has a blog on which they have a question for people who are in favour of abortion. The question is pre-empted by an article on a rather disturbing incident in an abortion clinic.

Having read most of the, mostly sycophantic comments, I was going to reply, but they want me to login and I’d rather not, so here is what I would have said:

are you male?
If so you have no right to say what a women can or can not do with her body. Additionally you have no concept of what being raped would be like and the natural consequences thereof.

What you “pro-lifers” all seem to forget is the life of the mother. Sure the child of a rape victim might grow up OK. However, how is the women going to feel toward that child? Resentful? Would having the child send her into depression? Suicidal? You can’t and will never know, and it will be different for every woman. Therefore abortion should be legally and safely available to them. Preferably in the early stages of pregnancy.

are you religious?
Then you have no right to dictate what the rest of us do, solely based on what your religious tracts tell you to believe.


Oz (a sympathetic, non-religious male)

The reply was, in part, a response to people who responded to the comment, from a religious person, that sometimes abortions should be allowed, particularly in “cases such as rape, incest and immediate life-threatening health issues”. This is a very logical and sensible view to hold, it’s a pity not all religious people hold this view. Whilst I’m all for pro-choice and allowing abortions, it does seem there should be some limits, which I believe there are in most countries, usually after the 22-24 week period they aren’t allowed except in serious life threatening (to the mother) situations.

As usual there was some discussion between two opposing faiths. It always makes me laugh when one christian tells the other they aren’t a True Christian. If none of the christian faiths can agree on which one is the right one, then why should we believe in any of them? Ask anyone of any “Christian” faith and they will tell you they are a Christian. However followers of one of these branches of Christianity will often tell you that followers of another branch aren’t “Christians”. If they can’t even get their definition of “Christian” right, what chance have they got of getting anything about their faith right?

From wikipedia this nice picture shows the major branches of Christianity

Christian Branches

Of course these branches get broken down even further, check the directory listing Christian Denominations and Sects on Yahoo Directory for a much bigger list of different “Christian” faiths.

If there is only one God there should be only one faith, so until that occurs why should the rest of society have to accept anything you have to say based on your particular interpretation of God and his so-called holy book? So some faiths don’t accept abortion, fine don’t have one. But shut the fuck up about everyone else who wants one and stop trying to prevent others from having one just because you’ve interpreted your faith to say that they shouldn’t.

Feel free to leave a comment, if you haven’t commented here before your first comment will have to be moderated (to stop spammers) after that you’re free to comment. However please try and keep it relatively civil.

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Filed under abortion, atheism, atheist, christianity, religion

Another example of why religion is so fucked up

Normally I’m not quite so abusive about religion but this story just highlights the despicable nature that religion can become.

Brazil’s influential Catholic Church raged against an abortion carried out on a nine-year-old girl who had been pregnant with twins after allegedly being raped by her stepfather.

An archbishop for the northern region where the termination was conducted, Father Jose Cardoso Sobrinho, said the church was excommunicating all those responsible for the abortion: the medical team and the girl’s mother. from abc.net.au/news

So this little child gets raped and the only thing their church can do is excommunicate those responsible for the abortion. No mention of excommunicating the odious excuse for a person that raped the child. I understand having an abortion is not to be taken lightly, but not only was this child raped and is only nine years old, but

The operation [was carried out] because of doctors’ fears the slender girl might die if she carried the foetuses to term

But the Catholic Church still thinks it’s a crime to have an abortion. Hey dickheads what about the crime of letting the child, and quite likely the baby, die during childbirth?

The odious excuse for a person that raped this nine year old child is a very despicable excuse for a human being, he also allegedly sexually abused the girl’s physically handicapped 14-year-old sister. Still no mention of excommunication for him. The Catholic Church really has it’s priorities all wrong.

Now to you and I excommunication might not seem such a big deal, but from my (limited) research and discussions with Catholics, excommunication can be a very severe form of punishment. In very Catholic communities excommunicated people can become pariahs and be shunned by their family and friends, this could be very devastating to those who have been excommunicated.

That’s a problem with a dogmatic religion which refuses to modernise, change or accommodate for extenuating circumstances, they are completely out-of-touch with modern society; and some might say out-of-touch with reality.

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Filed under abortion, atheism, Catholic, religion

Aussie Atheist Bus Campaign – an update

A couple of days ago it came to my attention that the AFA’s Atheist Bus Campaign has hit another snag. From the transcript of the Religion Report radio broadcast the other day:

… the Atheist Foundation of Australia, who have been refused permission to buy advertising space on public transport.

You might have read in recent weeks that the British Humanist Association, assisted by crusading atheist Richard Dawkins, have been raising money to put their message on London buses. The ads, planned for January, will read, ‘There’s probably no god, now stop worrying and enjoy your life.’

And in Washington, buses are already trundling around with a Christmas message from the American Humanist Association: ‘Why believe in a god? Just be good, for goodness’ sake’.

Well the Atheist Foundation of Australia wants to mount its own campaign, and says that its members and supporters have pledged $16,000 to fund advertisements on buses in Australia. So they’ve approached APN Outdoor, the company that manages public transport advertising in most Australian capitals.

According to the Atheist Foundation’s president, David Nicholls, APN Outdoor said that they had problems with the wording of the proposed message. But then after the Foundation made two sets of changes to the wording, APN Outdoor said they simply weren’t able to accommodate them.

WHY? Just because. David speculates that APN has rejected any and all atheist bus slogans because of the cultural belief that religion has some sort of privileged status. Even mild criticism of religion is shunned.

I suggest you have a read of the transcript or listen to the podcast, it’s quite interesting, After the host finsishes talking to David he contunes the discussion with Greg Clarke, Director of the Macquarie Christian Studies Institute who is open to allowing the atheist bus slogans “as long as it’s done with a level of civility”, which it was.

The radio show continues with a discussion about a new book, ‘In Your Shoes: Interfaith Education for Australian Religious Educators’, which provides advice for teaching students about different religious traditions. Some interesting comments from the author.

Back to APN censoring advertising, it appears that it’s not just atheist slogans they refuse to advertise. APN has also refused to carry the Catholic’s Respect Life Office (RLO) anti-abortion adverts which were going to display graphic pictures [to scare women into not having abortions]. Whilst I think the idea of showing graphic pictures and trying to scare women into not having an abortion is not very productive and amounts to not much more than psycological warfare against women at a time they can be very vulnerable, I’m not sure it’s really up to the advertisers to be censors? Or is it? Who should be ultimately responsible for what gets advertised?

In the article about the RLO’s advertising ban, I thought it was ironic that the RLO are worried about women’s mental health following an abortion. According to them:

Many women seeking help had experienced substance abuse, anxiety, sleep disorders, suicidal thoughts, psychiatric illness, risk-taking behaviour and relationship problems as a result of their abortion.

Well I’ve heard the same thing about women who had found out they were pregnant and didn’t want the child. I’ve also heard of womens lives that have been completely ruined because they were coerced into having a child they didn’t really want, some of these women have experienced the exact same symptoms the RLO described. So who is right and who is wrong? Should abortion be banned because some women feel bad afterwards? NO, I don’t think so, in fact I think if abortion wasn’t so stigmatised, especially by the religious, and women were provided with non-judgemental guidance before, and afterwards if required, a lot less women would have psychological problems with abortion. What do you think?

One more Bus advert banned by APN, ‘The Chasers War on Everything’ DVD release was going to carry the slogan:

“The only good thing to come out of APEC.”

with pictures of their APEC stunt. However APN has banned the advert for being “too political”.

I’m starting to wonder how APN makes any money, as they seem to not want to advertise anything even remotely political or anti-religious.


Filed under abortion, activism, APEC, APN, atheism, atheist, Atheist Bus Campaign, billboard, Catholic, censorship, christianity, freedom of speech, politics, religion

Abortion Laws Pose Threat

A&E sign common in the UK.

Image via Wikipedia

Abortion prevents emergency care.


That’s right you heard it here first, if the Victorian government legalises abortion (hopefully the Upper house will pass the bill soon) then Catholic hospitals could be forced to close emergency departments. So says Melbourne’s Catholic Archbishop Denis Hart, who also says relaxed abortion laws amount to an attack on religious freedom.

No Archbishop, relaxed abortion laws give rights to women, to allow women to be in control of their own bodies. It allows women to feel less guilt about having an abortion. I understand some women feel guilt, remorse, or upset about getting an abortion; making it legal is one less obstacle in their way, one less worry for them.

The Archbishop thinks it’s contrary to Catholic ethical codes, all I can say is the Catholic church needs to reconsider their ethics.

Close emergency and maternity wards thus putting possibly hundreds of lives in danger just because you think ‘every sperm is sacred’ doesn’t cut very good moral codes with me. What do you think?

Read more:


The Age

The Australian

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Filed under abortion, Catholic

Oh, Surprise

More allegations of sexual abuse by a catholic priest, this time at a prestigious Catholic boys boarding college in Bathurst (NSW Australia). These allegations go back some years, and the priest was arrested some months back, but, for whatever reason, the story is all over the media today. Police are appealing for anyone with information or concerns to come forward. Another article at news.com.au even talks of a paedophile ring operating at the school.

Whilst looking up the above story, I spotted another very disturbing story about the Kenja cult. It appears that cult members disguised themselves and put on fake auditions for a play in order to harass one of their members who had recently left.

The papers are full of interesting articles today, I bet this will get a few people upset. It appears that a legal loophole means the $5000 baby bonus can be claimed for late-term abortions.

And an update on the lying pastor, imaginatively titled Porn pastor’s wife vows to stand by him. I can understand the “stand by your man” mentality, though I’m sure it will be very difficult for her. It will be hard to get past the lies and deceit that had been going on so long. But it’s good to see that:

… her faith in God had remained unmoved throughout the ordeal.
“At times like this, it’s just a stronger resolve,” she said.


I’ve been a bit distracted the last few days, plus I’ve been preparing for the Carnival of the Godless (only 2 more days to get those submissions in), so apologies for lack of posts and quality thereof.


Filed under Catholic, religion

Family First in Bed with the Devil?

It seems Family First Party (FFP) has given preferences to Pauline Hanson’s Party, above the Democrats and Greens.

I don’t know what Steve Fielding’s problem is with the Greens, and I also don’t know who he’s been talking to:

“Most Australians would be very shocked to know that the Greens could hold the balance of power in Australia and that’s not what most people want, they want commonsense and that’s what Family First stands for.” from news.com.au

I think Steve’s ‘Most Australians’ are just ‘most of his other church goers’.

I would like to think that most Australians would be happy for the Greens to hold the balance of power, I also think the Greens have a lot more commonsense and integrity than the FFP.

At least the Greens and Democrats are honest about who they are and what they support, unlike Family First which is really just an evangelical religious party, who are against almost everything:

In practice, the FFP promotes a strong Religious Right platform, including opposition to school sex education, euthanasia and prostitution, and outspoken support for censorship. The party would like pregnant women considering abortion to be shown scans of the foetus. Recently Peter Harris has called for the teaching of creationism in schools, in the name of ‘balance’. from unbelief.org

Reading their abortion literature they don’t explicitly say they are anti-abortion, but they want to make it as difficult as possible for women to get one. I wouldn’t be surprised to see FFP members picketing outside abortion clinics, as Fiery did with some other bunch of religious nutters.

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Filed under atheism, politics

Comment Envy

Maybe I need to put the word ‘Abortion’ in one of my posts to get a few hits. It certainly worked for Fiery.

Women’s clinics provide many useful services, hopefully those stupid anti-abortionists didn’t deter anyone from going to the clinic. Sounds like Fiery was fairly tame, I think I would have given those women a mouthful!

Thanks to Sean for the link.

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