A Contribution To the Worldwide Abortion Discussion (hopefully this essay qualifies as a valuable contribution…).

When it comes to the abortion discussion (and debate, in most cases—it often seems to me that a person is either on one side of the issue or the other. I.e., either pro-life or pro-choice. (Hence the debate.) But that makes sense I suppose, since it’s hard to be in both camps…even somewhat. Like; once you believe that ‘a fetus is not a person,’ and that ‘even if it is, a woman’s right to not be pregnant, go through childbirth, and etc. supersedes the right of ‘that very young life to live; i.e., continue living” –once you believe all of that, it becomes quite hard to also hold a firm (or even halfway-there) pro-life view.
And vice-versa, of course: Once a person believes that a fetus or a baby in the womb is a valuable life, or ‘a person’ (because; when else would it become a person? I.e., when else would personhood (or value) become established? “At birth” seems way too late in the eyes of pro-lifers… mainly because by a week or two (or even an hour or two) before birth, the baby would have all of its organs (like its heart, brain, and lungs) developed, and would be undistinguishable from a ‘born baby.’ The only difference between the two would be their environment (i.e., still inside the womb, or having been born–outside the womb).

Even early abortions are problematic to many (or most) pro-lifers…because who is to say that the fetus or embryo is not a valuable human being? Or at least will develop into one?

side note: ⬇️

This considering pre-born babies as valuable human beings on the part of pro-lifers would let one know that late-term abortions are “the worst” kind of abortions, to pro-lifers. Or at least to me, as a pro-lifer, myself. To me, abortion at all stages – from conception till before birth – is hard to justify. I.e., it’s hard to justify removing a life. But I guess it’s just the fact that late-term abortions (and even mid- and some early-term abortions, now that I think about it) entail killing an organism that is a human being by all accounts that makes it even more distressing.

Some say it’s hard to say when the baby in the womb becomes a person. I.e., it’s hard to say whether it’s at the last trimester, the second trimester, when the baby develops all of its independent organs, or when it resembles a human being, etc…So (they continue), we should keep abortion as a right, throughout all trimesters of pregnancy.

And they are right. I think everyone can agree it’s an unanswerable question in terms of philosophy- the question of when a baby in the womb becomes a valuable life, if ever. But the pro-lifers offer a solid solution: since the question is an unanswerable one in terms of philosophy, we have to rely on the fact that the fetus is a distinct human existence to determine its personhood. I.e., we “just” have to rely on whether the human life exists or not to determine its intrinsic worth and value. Or lack thereof; which would only be possible if the human life were nonexistent. So, once the embryo exists, it is a person…and it becomes hard to justify aborting it.

Another position of pro-lifers (in addition to believing that all unborn babies are inherently valuable) is that: as difficult as the question is, life is more valuable than bodily autonomy, and not wanting a child.

*the article below, that I copied and pasted from http://harvardkennedyschoolreview.com/you-can-be-pro-life-and-pro-woman/ explains this position in some detail.

But just to provide something of an explanation of this position, in my own words:

For me, personally:
I see abortion as an unethical thing…
On the other hand: I know that forcing a woman to go through pregnancy, give birth, and be faced with the task of either 1. raising a human being for the rest of its life (or until s/he reaches maturity) or 2. give the baby up for adoption ( or a similar situation to adoption) is also unethical.
What I really want to say is: I really believe that all of the above are some of the hardest things one can be faced with, in life. (Giving birth, raising a kid/giving it up for adoption, etc.) And: forcing someone to do all of that is…well, pretty much unethical.
The only thing is: I really do believe (at the same time) that ending the life of a person is of greater unethicality than all the above. So, I choose the lesser of two evils.
This puzzle of being either for or against choice (when it comes to abortion. Like: a woman’s right to choose) is definitely one of the most painful conundrums that exist. On earth…like: it’s top five on the list, for sure.

And this is why I fully respect pro-choicers — people who believe that a woman’s right to control her own life is of utmost importance.

i just have to respectfully disagree with their opinion: I think that a woman’s right to control her own body and life shouldn’t come at the expense of another human. A separate human being should not die because of a woman’s right to bodily autonomy and life direction (choosing her life direction). 😣😓😞😭 it’s such an impossible decision, but I think that life is of utmost importance, in all cases.

~

I think that decreasing and gradually eliminating the need for abortion in society (for example, poverty) is the way to go. I.e., I think that abortions, in many cases, are truly a reflection of society’s failure to help and uplift women, and families. Poverty, for example, is oftentimes developed and maintained by society.

Basically; the fact that a woman is forced to choose abortion (because of poverty) automatically makes her need for an abortion a societal problem, and not an isolated, individual problem of hers. I.e., since the cause that drove her to abortion–poverty–is the fault of society, and not her fault, that means that the negative outcomes of poverty (in this case, abortion) is also the fault of society. (if a = b and b= c, then a must also = c).
-To reduce abortions, we must reduce the societal ill of poverty. Which we should do/be doing anyway, of course–not just because of the poverty/abortion relationship and crisis, but because poverty is an indignity and injustice, in all cases.

~

Another way that society can reduce the necessity for abortion is — and this is going to sound so archaic and out of date — but I really believe it’s a strong point– another way that societies can reduce the need for abortion is by encouraging committed marriage as the only avenua through which to have sexual relationships.

So, to me, this is another way that society has failed to help and uplift women, and men–it has normalized and often even promoted premarital sexual relationships.

I think many people don’t want to have kids with someone they don’t feel they have a committed relationship/marriage with, at all. So they go for abortion after having engaged in casual sexual relations, and getting pregnant. Understandablyit’s hard to decide to carry the baby to term, in those circumstances. But marriage, at the very least, reduces the desire for abortion, i think…perhaps because many people who opt for marriage do so with the intention of building families, and having kids.Having kids and building families is possible and oftentimes desired without marriage too, of course, but I just think many people want to be in a serious relationship before they have any children. Perhaps because they want assurance that their relationship will last forever, and that any kids they have will have loving and committed parents — their mom and dad — to take care of them.

And: married couples have abortions too, but I just think it’s at a lower rate than non-married couples.

In a nutshell: I think that committed marriage reduces the desire for abortion by being a bond which paves the way for children to come into the world. Like: there’s something about marriage that somehow makes an unwanted pregnancy (because, that’s really what abortion ‘fixes’, or is there for – unwanted pregnancies. Wanted pregnancies don’t end in abortion, of course)…there’s something about marriage that somehow makes an unwanted pregnancy ok, in many instances.
The rate of acceptance of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies is much lower, I think,  in unmarried couples. (as aforementioned.) I think it’s even lower in casual, non-serious relationships.
~This is just my own personal view on how committed marriage decreases the desire for abortion. I wish I was a sociologist or something, so that I could know whether or not this view of mine actually holds weight, or if it is backed up by statistical evidence or not. I think it is, though..

~~~~~~~~~
To get back to the point I had intended to make, in the first sentence of this blog post:
In regards to the abortion discussion, I used to be pro-choice. I am now pro-life.
My ‘journey’ if you will with pro-choice-hood (with being pro-choice) started way back at ten years old. It started after i read the definition of abortion in The Oxford English Dictionary (hehe). The definition that I read way back then was something along the lines of: the intentional termination of a pregnancy.
A few years after having read that (I think I must have been like, 13), I learned (for the first time in my life—or since the term ‘abortion’ had become somewhat relevant to me—since I learned the term three years earlier, basically)—I learned that some people are really against abortion. Like: for some weird reason! I was confused. I could hardly see why some would be against “terminating a pregnancy,” which is what I had read in the OED, some years back. I just remember thinking to myself; “why?” Like, why is abortion a bad thing, at all?
A little while after that, I learned the fact that there are entire anti-abortion (or: ‘pro-life’) movements/opinions. Like, in the United States, the U.K., Canada…Turkey, India, Nepal, Egypt, etc. Like: worldwide, there was (I had just discovered) an anti-abortion/pro-life culture, and movement. Even among people like academics and intellectuals .. like; in the fields of human rights, ethics, and etc.
I was confused, to put it lightly. I still couldn’t see how having an abortion was a bad thing. The thought of it being a bad thing, or an unethical, negative thing, was far removed from my frame of mind, or my understanding. (At that particular time. I must have been like 15 – 18 years old, during this period of learning about the international pro-life movement/s).
**

To summarize: from ages 10 to 18, I was pro-choice, for all intents and purposes. From when I had first learned the definition of ‘abortion’, to after learning about the existence of pro-life views, and all the way to 18 years of age, I didn’t see anything wrong with abortion. So, since I didn’t see any negative in it, I of course thought that everyone should have the right to an abortion. That it is a right, in fact—and that no one should take it away from a woman.

That was years ago. (I’m 23, now.) And now that I’m kind of older, or at least not a kid anymore, I know that a dictionary definition of something doesn’t at all give a full picture of what a term actually means, or entails.
I also know that just because you aren’t aware that something is wrong (e.g., unethical, or with bad outcomes)—just because your frame of reference at any particular time doesn’t afford you an appreciation that a certain act may be wrong–doesn’t make it not wrong. In other words: believing that something is not wrong – whether due to your limited understanding, flawed reasoning, or whatever – never justifies anyone doing the thing.
Like; there have to be absolute truths in the world, I guess–like, e.g., acts that are wrong, or evil…regardless of opinions that some people have, to the contrary.
For example: ‘killing innocent people is inherently unethical’ is a universal truth…no matter what murderers or extremists think about that phrase.
Similarly: just because some people really believe that abortion should be the choice of the woman doesn’t take away the inherent unethicality of abortion. It can’t take away the inherent wrongness of the act.
Which is why there will always be people who try to minimize the needs for abortion, in society. While simultaneously arguing that there should be no need for abortion, in society—that yes-society has let women down in terms of eliminating poverty, and normalizing casual sexual relations. Two causes that are major, in women choosing abortion.

The inherent wrongness of abortion is also why there will always be people who try to make the case in as clear a way as possible that the right of an unborn child to live are (unfortunately😞) paramount over a woman’s right to not be pregnant. Bodily autonomy becomes of lesser importance to the right of a human being to live, and to not have their life cut, prematurely.

~

Another important point:

Many pro-lifers — me included — are perfectly ok with contraception. This is because that doesn’t kill/remove a life that has already formed–it (only) prevents one from forming, in the first place. Like; it doesn’t destroy a human life–rather, it keeps one from originating.

I always feel like the abortion discussion is not complete without discussing the pro-life community’s views on contraception. Many pro-life people (not all of them) find no issue with contraception, because it doesn’t destroy a life…

~*~*~*~

On another topic:, I’ve noticed that many religions have a stance on the issue of abortion. Whether allowing it or disallowing it, basically.

In terms of islam’s view on abortion (this is a pertinent topic for me, as a Muslim 😛);

I’ve heard quite a lot of the time that many Islamic jurists allow/ed abortion in the first 40 days, and that many also allow/ed abortion all the way up to 120 days. At and after 120 days, they considered it impermissible, because of the soul being breathed into the unborn baby, at that point. (Hadith.)

But I’ve also heard the opposition to that argument.
Namely: that, yes, the soul is breathed into the baby at four months, but that doesn’t mean that the baby before four months does not have value. I.e., the soul being given to the baby at four months gestation is a thing that happens to the child, yes…but one cannot deduce from that Hadith that the baby, before four months, is dispensable/abort-able ….

An argument I’ve heard that completely seals the deal, for me:
The soul – whether or not the soul is inside the baby or not – is completely irrelevant to the morality of aborting it.
Let’s say that a baby is aborted at 8 months gestation. Some/many Muslims believe that that would be haram/impermissible, because of the soul having been given to the baby by that time. (Well before that time, actually.) But they would be ok with abortion at, say, one month gestation…because the baby’s spirit is not given to it, at that early stage.
*However, when you abort a baby, you can’t/don’t abort the soul, anyway. You abort the body – and the life, that is obviously there (what with the eyes and brain and beating heart, etc.) So, when you abort a baby at eight months gestation, you’re killing the body/life – not the soul. In other words, Muslims shouldn’t be worried about how abortion after four months is wrong because of the baby’s soul – the soul cannot be harmed/killed, anyway. A soul/spirit is eternal. (that’s the nature of that otherworldly entity.) Rather, what you can kill – what you do have the ability to abort – is life, + the body (of the baby in the womb). And that is obviously wrong, at all stages (from conception til right before birth).
(*Life is something separate from the ruh, according to the very aformentioned Hadith. All the way through to four months gestation, the baby in the womb has no ruh – no spirit breathed into it. But at four months, the ruh/spirit is given to it.)
~
Another important point: from this article, I found the following;

From http://submission.org/abortion_is_murder.html ;

God cares about the first three months of pregnancy:

The sincere student of the Quran will find out that God is telling us in 2:226 and 65:4that the first three months of pregnancy are so important that a divorced woman will have to change her life plan if she found herself pregnant. The matter is no more of her own concern, but it is God’s concern. God’s concern is for the pregnancy and specifically for these first few months of pregnancy. Women who get divorced have an interim of three months before getting married again. This is done MAINLY to see if they are pregnant or not. God then orders them to forget their own wishes and plans and respect the new life created in their wombs. If the first three months of pregnancy were not important God would have told these women not to wait and to have abortion and keep their life plans as they wish. If a married woman get divorced before having a full marital relationship with her husband, she dose not have to wait for three months, 33:49. She would have no interim. Since there is no chance of her being pregnant , the matter is only of her concern.God cares about the whole three months of early pregnancy as much as we can see from the Quran’s treatment of the divorce cases. God named his first revelation after the hanging embryo, not by accident. This hanging embryo, is a stage that starts in 6 days after the fertilization of the ovum.~~~~~~

Also: I’ve always thought to myself: isn’t there (also) a Hadith that states “A couple can do what they like to prevent a pregnancy…but when Allah swt decrees a child to be conceived, it will happen. (Without doubt, delay, and etc.)”

-these verses + this Hadith state, albeit slightly indirectly, that abortion is haram, I think.

I know that when something in our deen/in Islam isn’t stated explicitly, that that can open doors for interpretation. Like, I don’t think there is actually a verse or Hadith that states ‘abortion is haram, at all stages/at this stage, forward’…

But then again: maybe this is a lesson on close reading and analysis (of the Quran and sunnah)…that by considering the verses and Hadiths carefully, we’ll arrive at the right conclusion on certain matters 🌼🌼🌼

~~~

Also: I think imam Malik and imam al-Ghazali (may Allah swt bless them) argued that abortion is haram at all stages. ((Among other scholars too, I think!…I came across this position of theirs in an article, somewhere…). So: all these scholars said that conception–the beginning of one’s life–is the point at which it becomes impermissible to abort. (if I remember correctly..).

~*~*~*~*~*~*

Back to the discussion on why abortion is wrong:

Video explaining how ‘science is against abortion’.

~
This entire video – from beginning to end – is really strong. I.e., it proves scientifically that a baby in the womb is as valuable – i.e., as human – as you and me. It also gives many pro-choice arguments, and refutes them, intelligently.
*~*~*~* One particular point that is discussed in this video is the following (I personally believe that this point is one of the strongest of the anti-abortion arguments I’ve heard):

Let’s say it could be determined in the womb whether a baby will grow up to be gay or straight.
And then let’s say an expectant mother finds out that her baby will grow up to be gay.
She (with her prejudiced mindset) doesn’t want to have a child that will grow up to be homosexual. So, she decides to abort the baby.
She goes ahead and aborts him/her.

**We would view this decision as immoral and wrong–but why?
If the fetus or embryo or baby in her womb was ‘just a clump of cells’, or ‘not a valuable human life’, or ‘her business to abort it, or not’, why not have her abort it without any judgment from you and me? I..e, the baby shouldn’t have any rights that supersede the rights of the mother.
So, her deciding to abort the baby (because she wouldn’t want a gay child, later on) wouldn’t be a bad thing, at all. It would be a neutral thing (since abortion, by definition, is a neutral thing. Right? ‘Abortion is a medical procedure that ensures a woman can live life freely, without being tied down to a baby, or having to go through childbirth. Abortion is reproductive rights, in fact – it is a perfectly fine thing, with neither good nor bad characteristics (and in fact, it leans towards being a good thing, because it ensures a woman’s freedom and liberation from children and all the hardship that having a child brings.’

(Brilliant, convincing answer to this question): We would consider abortion as wrong and cruel in this circumstance because the embryo or fetus is in fact a human life, or at the very least has every potential to grow into a valuable human being, and be born, into this world.
***If we would protect the life of this fetus – this fetus in the womb who will grow up to be gay – why is it so different from any other fetus? All fetuses, whether gay or straight, are human lives, and will grow up to be born into this world. Ending their life (or: their development, in other words) would be wrong.
(Right? That’s how I see it, at least. Like, I agree with this very cool and interesting **and logical** video presentation.)

~~

*

Video about millennial women’s pro-life views

*

Interview with a pro-choice advocate

~~~

Interview with a pro-life feminist: http://www.refinery29.com/2017/01/138071/march-for-life-2017-anti-abortion-democrats

****The interviewee did a really really good job explaining why she is pro-life, and how being pro-life only reinforces her progressive and feminist views.
I love this interview! 💜☮️

~*~*~Here are some questions (and their answers) from the interview that I especially love (the entire interview is available at the link, above):

Q: There’s been a lot of debate in the past week about whether you can be pro-life and a feminist. How do you reconcile that?
“Yes, you absolutely can be pro-life and a feminist. I am a pro-life feminist. The core tenets of feminism are equality, nonviolence, and non-discrimination. The pro-life position embraces these values and takes it one step further to include all human beings. Ultimately, I think the pro-choice position is ageist and ableist (saying an embryo is not a person since it doesn’t have the ability to survive on its own or hasn’t reached a certain gestational age), neither of which is compatible with these tenets.”

Q: What issues frame your (progressive, liberal) politicalidentity for you?
“My concern, in general, is the dignity of human beings. That’s why I’m a progressive liberal: I’m very concerned about marginalized groups, and, to me, the unborn fall under a marginalized group. It concerns me that the right doesn’t seem very concerned about issues of police brutality. I believe strongly that racism is a huge part of our culture that needs to be addressed. And these are all reasons why I’m pro-life also; I extend that same philosophy of nonviolence and non-discrimination to a group of human beings that are dehumanized, marginalized, and oppressed in our culture. The unborn.”

Q: So how would that work, if a bunch of women who would otherwise seek abortion, no longer have that option? How would they, hypothetically speaking, be lifted up by society, and more able to succeed than they feel they currently are?
“I would say just a lot more financial support, really, and health care as a right, equal pay, I would say, paid maternity leave; all the things that the feminist movement is fighting for, those things.

“We think a lot about the abolitionist movement in the times of slavery, when people argued, like, it’s just too complicated, we can’t just fit all these people into regular society, how will they fit in? And we are still struggling with racism today; we’re still struggling with how to magnify the voices of people of color. I’m not proposing it would be an easy task applying that to abortion, but it was still the right thing to do to free slaves! And that’s how we feel about abortion: we are not sure how it would work, but it is the right thing to do.”

Q: And so your goal would be to make abortion…
“Unthinkable.”

~~~

Great job to Ms. Terrisa Bukovinac (the interviewee)! She nailed* it, to me! She was concise and to-the-point (directly answering each question) to me, as well.
❤️️ it.

~*~*~*~*~

Another article that I really like (titled “You Can Be Pro-Life and Pro-Women”): 

you can def. be pro-life and pro-woman–really cool article, pls check it out

A few excerpts/points from the article that I think are especially strong:

“Though abortion has been legal for decades, the issue is still a contentious one in the public sphere. Unfortunately, many people today believe that those who are pro-life are anti-woman.”

The growing narrative in the media, entertainment world, and certainly in many academic circles, is that acceptance of abortion is standard (It isn’t.), that pro-lifers are only interested in unborn children and don’t work to support them past birth (Both false.), and that the pro-life movement does not care about women (We absolutely do).

“It is this last point that is most in need of revision today. Being against abortion is not synonymous with being against women. It’s about being for babies – even the unborn. The trouble with abortion – and the reason it remains at the forefront of unsolvable political struggles – is that it forces an ethical choice which is essentially binary: when the right of an unborn person to live conflicts with the right of a pregnant woman to choose what to do with her own body, which right prevails? Both sides will hem and haw and try to sidestep this dilemma with equivocation or double speak. Some on the left will minimize the babies’ rights, claiming that the unborn are not alive at all, and shamefully comparing fetuses to parasites, or embryos to cancers. Some on the right, meanwhile, will coldly cast blame on the unwilling and terrified mothers, calling them selfish and irresponsible. These tactics may work in their own echo chambers, but they are as ineffective at changing minds as they are offensive.”

Modern American law, and the pro-choice movement generally, acknowledge personhood as being established at time of birth (assuming said birth does not occur during the course of an abortion procedure). More moderate Americans, however, argue that personhood ought to be established at viability. The modern pro-life movement, along with the Catholic Church and several other religious bodies, tends to believe that life – and thus personhood – begins at conception. There are others still who go beyond this range of views. The Oxford University-edited Journal of Medical Ethics recently published an article suggesting that “after-birth abortions” are ethical and should be legal today, because newborns “do not have the same moral status as actual persons,” and thus are not entitled to the protections of personhood. If you can see how the last position could be shocking, then perhaps you can imagine – just for a moment – how those who believe personhood begins at conception feel about abortion.

It is easy to dismiss the rights of the unborn as nonexistent if you don’t acknowledge the life itself in the first place. But once you do, through whatever philosophical framework you choose, then you are forced to grapple with the larger question of the competing rights of the mother. The goal today is not to weigh the arguments for each, but merely present the dilemma in clear terms: when two rights are in irreconcilable conflict, as they are in this unique situation presented by nature, which should prevail?

It is not an easy question, and neither side advances debate by demonizing the other. Pro-choice advocates do not callously celebrate the murder of infants any more than pro-life advocates celebrate the enslavement of women’s bodies to the patriarchy. Many in the pro-life movement – women and men – care very deeply for women and women’s health issues; they simply believe that the rights of an unborn child to life are paramount.”

**

Another article that I think is quite important: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2011/01/2380/ This article refutes the claim that ‘pro-lifers only care about life up to the point of birth’.A few excerpts:

One of the most frequently repeated canards of the abortion debate is that pro-lifers really don’t care about life. As much as they talk about protecting the unborn, we are told, pro-lifers do nothing to support mothers and infants who are already in the world. . Liberal writers such as Matthew Yglesias are given to observing that pro-lifers believe that “life begins at conception and ends at birth.” At Commonweal, David Gibson, a journalist who frequently covers the abortion debate, asks how much pro-lifers do for mothers: “I just want to know what realistic steps they are proposing or backing. I’m not sure I’d expect to hear anything from pro-life groups now since there’s really been nothing for years.”

This lazy slander is as common as it is untrue. Of course, there is much more that needs to be done, but in the decades since Roe v. Wade, pro-lifers have taken the lead in offering vital services to mothers and infants in need. Operating with little support—and often actual opposition—from agencies, foundations, and local governments, pro-lifers have relied upon a network of committed donors and volunteers to make great strides in supporting mothers and their infants. It’s time the media takes notice.”“In the United States there are some 2,300 affiliates of the three largest pregnancy resource center umbrella groups, Heartbeat International, CareNet, and the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA). Over 1.9 million American women take advantage of these services each year. Many stay at one of the 350 residential facilities for women and children operated by pro-life groups. In New York City alone, there are twenty-two centers serving 12,000 women a year. These centers provide services including pre-natal care, STI testing, STI treatment, ultrasound, childbirth classes, labor coaching, midwife services, lactation consultation, nutrition consulting, social work, abstinence education, parenting classes, material assistance, and post-abortion counseling.”“Religious groups also provide crucial services to needy mothers and infants. John Cardinal O’Connor, the late Archbishop of New York, famously pledged to assist any woman from anywhere experiencing a crisis pregnancy, and the current Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan, recently renewed Cardinal O’Connor’s pledge. The Catholic Church—perhaps the single most influential pro-life institution in the United States—makes the largest financial, institutional, and personnel commitments to charitable causes of any private source in the United States. These include AIDS ministry, health care, education, housing services, and care for the elderly, disabled, and immigrants. In 2004 alone, 562 Catholic hospitals treated over 85 million patients; Catholic elementary and high schools educated over 2 million students; Catholic colleges educated nearly 800,000 students; Catholic Charities served over 8.5 million different individuals. In 2007, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development awarded nine million dollars in grants to reduce poverty. And in 2009, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network spent nearly five million dollars in services for impoverished immigrants.”

No major pro-abortion group or institution has taken on a comparable commitment to vulnerable Americans. Pregnancy resource centers devote significant resources to supporting women who have already decided to have an abortion, but abortion advocates offer no similar support to women who wish to continue their pregnancies. Indeed, they often devote their resources to shutting down the services provided by pro-lifers. NARAL Pro-Choice America reports spending twenty thousand dollars on “crisis pregnancy centers” in Maryland in order to “investigate” and publicly smear such centers for demonstrating a bias for life. (One might point out that the same bias once motivated the entire medical profession.)If pro-life Americans provide so many (often free) services to the poor and vulnerable—work easily discovered by any researcher or journalist with an Internet connection—why are they sometimes accused of caring only for life inside the womb? Quite possibly, it is the conviction of abortion advocates that “caring for the born” translates first and always into advocacy for government programs and funds. In other words, abortion advocates appear to conflate charitable works and civil society with government action. The pro-life movement does not. Rather, it takes up the work of assisting women and children and families, one fundraiser and hotline and billboard at a time. Still, the pro-life movement is not unsophisticated about the relationship between abortion rates and government policies in areas such as education, marriage, employment, housing, and taxation. The Catholic Church, for example, works with particular vigor to ensure that its social justice agenda integrates advocacy for various born, vulnerable groups, with incentives to choose life over abortion.

One of the significant ironies of accusing pro-lifers of being “anti-vulnerable,” “anti-women,” and “anti-poor” is that poor women tend to be more pro-life than their more privileged counterparts. . It is especially important, therefore, to offer them options that do not simply appeal to their economic interest or personal autonomy narrowly understood, but rather that accord with their moral outlook and overall wellbeing.”

In sum then, the charge should be laid to rest once and for all that the pro-life movement is not active on behalf of women, children, and vulnerable persons generally. Those bringing the charge—the same groups that do very little personally to help women and children—should be held to account, both for their lack of real charity and for their refusal to acknowledge that their entire strategy—state supplied birth control and unlimited abortion—has backfired upon the very groups they promised to help.While the pro-life cause has always been animated by the conviction that life begins at conception, it has never forgotten that it continues after birth. The pro-life movement’s message has been vindicated by 40 years of legalized abortion: the personal dignity, happiness, and prosperity of women, children, men, and the nation is advanced when life is cherished both before and after birth.”

~~~

~~End of blog post, pretty much …)~~Thank you so much!! (for reading this whole thing…ughhh. Virtual cookies and brownies and ice-cream for you, you made it to the end! yea!

-I might add more paragraphs into this essay/blog post, in the near future.

last thing: please check out my Facebook posts on the topic of abortion, where I comment on and provide links that further dissect the Pro-Choice arguments.

This is my Facebook page. Please simply scroll down a bit to see my (pro-life) posts on abortion. They constitute like every other post, almost…mainly because I’m really passionate about this topic…but also because I personally know that I would never have liked to be aborted. Ever. And will never. So; I don’t want the unborn to go through a fate that I would have detested…as mentioned, above).

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100013011553610

*here is one of the posts that you will find (on my Facebook page): I thought that I would just share one of the posts. This particular post was composed on May 17th, 2017:

⤵️

I rly love this! (The vid, below). 😍
-Destroying human life is what the issue is. Should you have a ‘choice’ to do that? ~this* is where anti-abortion advocates and pro-choicers can dialogue and talk.
In other words, I wish the discussion weren’t so muddled and confused by the ideas of ‘choice’ and ‘personal freedom’, etc.;
— it’s rly not about that, b.c. it’s a separate human being that’s being aborted, and discarded.
but of course I still respect the other side’s views. I wish we cud all voice our views with dignity, and tolerance from others.
Also: speaking of the ‘millenials and the new generations are almost all pro-choice’ belief: there are a lot of sources, including the cool video below, that say that ‘millennials are anti-abortion, to a great extent’. Like this Boston Globe article: https://www.bostonglobe.com/…/ZCmZNJuCWKVr5brzVfai…/amp.html
Important quote from the article: “In a way, every millennial born since ’73 is a survivor of Roe. Maybe that explains why…abortion is a choice so few of them are prepared to take.”
Some folks might be surprised to hear this…, but it’s really not so surprising at all, actually. (That the millennials are against abortion to a large degree). Like the Boston Globe article says, we all survived being aborted. Women (our mothers😢) officially had the choice to carry through their pregnancies, or get an abortion.
-But each one of us would have been aborted, if our mothers chose to do so! (Duh, of course). I always thought that that is the strongest argument against abortion; it kills a life. Or; it kills the human fetus that has the potential to develop into a life, if you let it live.
-it is a very ‘obvious’ argument, which uses the very ‘debated act’ (abortion, in this case) as its core. I.e.; abortion is the termination of the development/life of a fetus/baby. But *why* terminate the life of a baby/fetus? Isn’t that wrong? How would you like to have your life terminated? Do people have the right to make a fetus, a human being in its early stages, cease to exist? -These are all some of the questions that anti-abortion people have.

– Life is all we have. Life does not begin when one is born: It starts when the organism starts developing, growing. (Or; when it is officially a distinct organism, quite separate from its source/mother.)
#BiologyClass #ScienceIsOnTheSideOfProLifers 🌱🐳🐥🐝👶🏿🕊
#IStillRespectProChoiceViewsOfCourse #LetsCoexist #tolerance
#DifferentOpinions #LetsTalkAboutIt #Discussion #RespectIsKey
#ItsOkToDisagree #AgreeToDisagree
~~~~~~~
ty so much for reading this 🕊🐣
ethar hamid

 

Last, last thing (last part of this blog post):Here are some pro-life pics that I found on Pinterest. ⤵️

I rly ❤️ these!! I think they’re spot-on, in showing the essence of some of the anti-abortion arguments: ⤵️⤵️


~~~~

thank u again, so much for reading this whole thing!!! 🌸☮️ethar h…

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As a Muslim who (by natural inclination) believes that Islam (e.g., the Qur’an, the Sunnah of Muhammad pbuh, the decisions that the rightly guided caliphs made based on those tenants, etc.) provides full care/welfare/concern/support for society (the members of society—especially the poor), I’m not surprised when I learn of examples of that care and welfare/support shown, in history.

For example; I wrote a research paper a few semesters ago (in college) which mentioned how it was Muslim physicians who established the first psychiatric ward/hospital/asylum, in the world. (If I remember correctly, its establishment was instigated by Ibn Sina–or Avicenna, as he is known, in English; the Father of Modern Medicine).

{the essay is below…it actually got published in issue 2 of Doll Hospital Journal–an incredible literary journal based on mental health. It was founded and is edited by Bethany Rose Lamont. Check it out, you’ll love this journal, and its founder. + Its mission, and its inclusiveness :)) 

 

essay:

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*

I never knew that, before I had conducted my research, for the paper. (That it was  Muslims who created the first psychiatric hospital, in the world.*) When I learned this historical fact, though, I wasn’t taken aback, or shocked, or anything. Because I know that Islam is a religion of helping and bettering humanity. It follows naturally that its adherants act/acted upon this characteristic.

~

The following Wikipedia article touches on the relationship between the Islamic state and its people, in terms of money, mandatory government services, and etc. (*The article is titled “Islamic socialism,” but it is really just “Islam.” (Period. As in; it is the actual and original teachings of Islam which outline all of the points mentioned, below. It is just designated as “Islamic socialism” because hardly any Muslim government today actually enacts these principles (which is the fault of those governments, which they will have to be responsible for on Judgment Day.) So, as a result, it seems like the people who support these (core Islamic) principles are creating something new—that they have formed a submovement, within Islam, or something to that effect. But; that is not the case, at all. It’s just that those Muslims look funny, compared to what the Muslim governments do. But, as always; Islam is not what Muslims do. It is what Muslims should do—what Allah s.w.t. ordained, and what His Messenger demonstrated (by his actions).

Here is the article:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_socialism

Some points that I especially like, from the article:

“The concepts of welfare and pension were introduced in early Islamic law as forms of Zakat (charity), one of the Five Pillars of Islam, under the Rashidun Caliphate in the 7th century. This practice continued well into the Abbasid era of the Caliphate. The taxes (including Zakat and Jizya) collected in the treasury of an Islamic government were used to provide income for the needy, including the poor, elderly, orphans, widows, and the disabled. According to the Islamic jurist Al-Ghazali (Algazel, 1058–1111), the government was also expected to stockpile food supplies in every region in case a disaster or famine occurred.

The Caliphate can thus be considered the world’s first major welfare state.”

I really like that last sentence. (I get very frustrated at the belief (out there) that Muslims haven’t contributed anything to the well-being/advancement of the world. Because; Muslims were one of the most important peoples in the well-being/advancement of the world.

For example: During the European Dark Ages (in which books were burnt because they went against the Church’s teachings/challenged the Church…scientists and academics themselves were executed, and etc.), the Golden Age of Islam (in contrast) gave the world Algebra, algorithms, advancements in the scientific method, and many many other incredible accomplishments.

All of these scholars were Muslims, living in the Islamic Golden Age:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_Golden_Age

~

Anyways. Back to the topic:

Some more points I like from the Islamic socialism article:

“During the Rashidun Caliphate, various welfare programs were introduced by Caliph Umar. In his time, equality was extended to all citizens, even to the caliph himself, as Umar believed that “no one, no matter how important, should live in a way that would distinguish him from the rest of the people.” Umar himself lived “a simple life and detached himself from any of the worldly luxuries,” like how he often wore “worn-out shoes and was usually clad in patched-up garments,” or how he would sleep “on the bare floor of the mosque.” Limitations on wealth were also set for governors and officials, who would often be “dismissed if they showed any outward signs of pride or wealth which might distinguish them from the people.” This was an early attempt at erasing “class distinctions which might inevitably lead to conflict.” Umar also made sure that the public treasury was not wasted on “unnecessary luxuries” as he believed that “the money would be better spent if it went towards the welfare of the people rather than towards lifeless bricks.”[

“Umar’s innovative welfare reforms during the Rashidun Caliphate included the introduction of social security. This included unemployment insurance, which did not appear in the Western world until the 19th century. In the Rashidun Caliphate, whenever citizens were injured or lost their ability to work, it became the state’s responsibility to make sure that their minimum needs were met, with the unemployed and their families receiving an allowance from the public treasury.[24] Retirement pensions were provided to elderly people,[23] who had retired and could “count on receiving a stipend from the public treasury.” Babies who were abandoned were also taken care of, with one hundred dirhams spent annually on each orphan’s development. Umar also introduced the concept of public trusteeship and public ownership when he implemented the Waqf, or charitable trust, system, which transferred “wealth from the individual or the few to a social collective ownership,” in order to provide “services to the community at large.” For example, Umar brought land from the Banu Harithah and converted it into a charitable trust, which meant that “profit and produce from the land went towards benefiting the poor, slaves, and travelers.”[

“Guaranteed minimum income

Guaranteed minimum income is a system[29] of social welfare provision that guarantees that all citizens or families have an income sufficient to live on, provided they meet certain conditions. Eligibility is typically determined by citizenship, a means test, and either availability for the labour market or a willingness to perform community services. The primary goal of a guaranteed minimum income is to combat poverty. If citizenship is the only requirement, the system turns into a universal basic income. The first Muslim Caliph Abu Bakr introduced a guaranteed minimum standard of income, granting each man, woman, and child ten dirhams annually; this was later increased to twenty dirhams.[30] Some, but not all Islamic socialists advocate the renewal and expansion of this policy.”

~

“One of the Five Pillars of Islam, zakāt is the practice of imposition (not charity) giving based on accumulated wealth (approximately 2.5% of all financial assets owned over the course of one lunar year). It is obligatory for all financially able Muslim adults and is considered to be an act of piety through which one expresses concern for the well-being of fellow Muslims, as well as preserving social harmony between the wealthy and the poor.[8] Zakat promotes a more equitable redistribution of wealth and fosters a sense of solidarity amongst members of the Ummah.[9]

Zakat is meant to discourage the hoarding of capital and stimulate investment. Because the individual must pay zakat on the net wealth, wealthy Muslims are compelled to invest in profitable ventures, or otherwise see their wealth slowly erode. Furthermore, means of production such as equipment, factories, and tools are exempt from zakat, which further provides the incentive to invest wealth in productive businesses.[10] Personal assets such as clothing, household furniture, and one residence are not considered zakatable assets.

According to the Quran, there are eight categories of people (asnaf) who qualify to receive zakat funds:[11][12]

  1. Those living in absolute poverty (Al-Fuqarā’).
  2. Those restrained because they cannot meet their basic needs (Al-Masākīn).
  3. The zakat collectors themselves (Al-Āmilīna ‘Alaihā).
  4. Non-Muslims who are sympathetic to Islam or wish to convert to Islam (Al-Mu’allafatu Qulūbuhum).
  5. People whom one is attempting to free from slavery or bondage. Also includes paying ransom or blood money (Diyya). (Fir-Riqāb)
  6. Those who have incurred overwhelming debts while attempting to satisfy their basic needs (Al-Ghārimīn).
  7. Those fighting for a religious cause or a cause of God (Fī Sabīlillāh)[13] or for Jihad in the way of Allah[14] and for Islamic warriors who fight against the unbelievers but are not part of salaried soldiers.[15][16]
  8. Children of the street / Travellers (Ibnus-Sabīl).

~

Confession: I really, really love Islam. I believe it really is based on compassion, care, aid and support (especially for the poor, differently abled people, the sick, and other disadvantaged groups of people), and being there for other people.

Alhamdulillah (praise be to Almighty Allah) that I’m a Muslim. (and May Allah s.w.t. guide others to this beautiful path. Ameen.)

~

Thank you for reading!

-Ethar Hamid

 

Hi there 🙂

Recently, I discovered a really cool literary magazine called Barking Sycamores. https://barkingsycamores.wordpress.com/ It publishes work by neurodivergent artists and writers. The magazine introduced me to the word “neurodivergent” for the first time. After learning what “neurodivergent” means, I learned that I myself am neurodivergent, having a mental disorder.

Wikipedia–

Neurodiversity is an approach to learning and disability that suggests that diverse neurological conditions appear as a result of normal variations in the human genome.[1] This neologism originated in the late 1990s as a challenge to prevailing views of neurological diversity as inherently pathological, instead asserting that neurological differences should be recognized and respected as a social category on a par with gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability status.

There is a neurodiversity movement, which is an international civil rights movement that has the autism rights movement as its most influential submovement. This movement frames autism, bipolarity and other neurotypes as a natural human variation rather than a pathology or disorder, and its advocates reject the idea that neurological differences need to be (or can be) cured, as they believe them to be authentic forms of human diversity, self-expression, and being.

Neurodiversity advocates promote support systems (such as inclusion-focused services, accommodations, communication and assistive technologies, occupational training, and independent living support)[2] that allow those who are neurodivergent to live their lives as they are, rather than being coerced or forced to adopt uncritically accepted ideas of normality, or to conform to a clinical ideal.

Urban Dictionary (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=neurodivergent) —

A person who has a developmental disorder and/or a mental illness

Amy, who has Asperger’s, prefers to think of herself as neurodivergent rather than flawed or ill. Peter is schizophrenic, and he also thinks “neurodivergent” is a better way to describe his brain, because it does not pathologize him. Sam is both autistic and bipolar, and uses neurodivergent because it allows them to talk about their experiences as both non-allistic and non-mentally-“healthy” in a way that doesn’t carry a bunch of extra judgments about what’s good or normal.

 

I also actually submitted some artwork to Barking Sycamores, and they got accepted! 🙂 🙂

One of my pieces is actually the cover art for the current issue. ↓

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I guess I also get an “about me” feature…which i don’t think I’m cool enough for actually!!

About the Cover Artist-Ethar Hamid

https://barkingsycamores.wordpress.com/2016/01/20/issue-8-reconstruction-winterspring-2016/

https://twitter.com/BarkingSycamore/status/689276145607393280

I’m so grateful to the editor for considering my work…

I hope the publication continues to be a success, in the future.

Also; may we all find success as writers and artists, in our work. It’s *so* hard to be either of those…but dedication and perseverance will take us there…… 🙂

 

Thank you** for reading (and viewing)! ❤

-Ethar H.