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Poll: Pro-life or Pro-choice.

Everyone! I'd like to do a little poll. Being taught almost exclusively by Tibetan Buddhist teachers, I'm proud to say pro-life.

But, what about you? This is a torn discussion in Buddhism that we can't find a middle ground. I know that Zen (my first form of Buddhism I pratice) does support the women's choice to terminate her baby.

So, pro-life?
Or, pro-choice?
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Comments

  • prophylactic

    HamsakaRowan1980Vastminddhammachick
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    I think, with some exceptions, abortion is morally questionable.
    However, I believe that the moral question and the legal question are 2 different issues. And I do support reasonable laws permitting many abortions. I have no problems with restrictions on most abortions later in a pregnancy. I can't imagine scenarios where one has to wait months and months over a decision.

    thenovicemonk41
  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran

    He also added that we wonder about these questions but don't think twice about killing another animals and fish.

    The Tibetan Buddhist monk, just as did my Teacher, refused to take a position on this issue.

    Where do you draw the line where anthropocentrism is valid and where it's not? My answer, as was my Teacher's, is simply that it is a Family decision. Families are by nature focussed and centered on themselves. In other words, I do not think abortions should take place without family involvement, unless that family is highly dysfunctional.

    Anthropocentric focus on the family is a good thing, but anything taken too far makes things over-complicated and too rule-bound.

    thenovicemonk41Rowan1980
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Killing is wrong. Each individual case needs to evaluated on its own circumstances. Compassion - together with the other 'Divine Sates' - is unconditional.

    End of.

    thenovicemonk41DhammaDragon
  • thenovicemonk41thenovicemonk41 Explorer
    edited April 2015
    The certain Tibetan Buddhist monk might refuse to take position on the issue, but doesn't stop H.H. 14th Dalai Lama, from stating he's pro-life with exceptions.

    Typically, the exceptions is when women's life is in danger, incest, rape, and proof of the child is going to be a burden on the family like mental retardation. No one here is either right or wrong. I just want to hear others opinions. :)
  • @Bunks said:
    I think the choice should be with the individual.

    They have to live with the consequences of their decision.

    Judge not lest we be judged.

    BunksRowan1980dhammachick
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Samsara Loop Veteran

    First of all, I am not a rabid anti-abortionist, but I am against abortion.

    There are, of course, attenuating circumstances as, let's say girls or women who have been submitted to a sexual intercourse against their will and get pregnant as a consequence.

    Other than that, a life is a life.
    If I am responsible enough to have a sexual intercourse, I can be responsible enough not to get pregnant without wanting to.

    I never left contraception in the hands of my couple.
    As soon as I began to have sex, I took the pill.
    I never got pregnant before I wanted to.

    My mother was daughter to a single woman who battled all prejudices to have her in the late thirties, so she always transmitted me the rationale that I could always count on her if I were ever "silly" enough to get pregnant by accident.
    But I was not that silly.
    A woman who gets pregnant by accident and finds that the best solution is to terminate her baby is silly and irresponsible.
    Always easier to eliminate the innocent third party, of course.

    So, I am pro-life: I respect a life that begins to develop in my womb.
    And I am pro-choice: I choose to be responsible of my sexuality and get pregnant only when I choose.

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    In the newspaper reporting I was once part of, the imposed style was "pro-abortion" and "anti-abortion." The reasoning was that everyone is "pro-life" so juxtaposing "pro-life" and "pro-choice" was a self-serving red herring.

    I agree with that reasoning.

    possibilitiesNirvana
  • Rowan1980Rowan1980 Keeper of the Zoo Maine Veteran
    edited April 2015
    I practice TB, specifically the Gelug school. I'm pro-choice and strongly support reproductive justice, including the right to healthy, safe, and wanted pregnancies and mothers and fathers of color to not have to worry about their kids dying early due to structural racism and classism. It's one area where I admittedly part ways with TB. **shrugs** I refuse to tell someone what to do with their own bodies. The consequences for the person undergoing the procedure can be positive and be best given their unique situation. Sexual assault and incest happen. Contraceptive sabotage vis-a-vis intimate partner violence happens. Even perfect use of contraceptives falls short of the 100% mark. In short, s$@&; happens, and safe, legal options, be it adoption, abortion, or continuing the pregnancy and keeping the infant, should be available.
  • ZeroZero Veteran

    @thenovicemonk41 said:
    Everyone! I'd like to do a little poll. Being taught almost exclusively by Tibetan Buddhist teachers, I'm proud to say pro-life.

    But, what about you? This is a torn discussion in Buddhism that we can't find a middle ground. I know that Zen (my first form of Buddhism I pratice) does support the women's choice to terminate her baby.

    So, pro-life?
    Or, pro-choice?

    Pride and firmly held beliefs sound like an explosive mixture.

    Rowan1980VastmindElizsilver
  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran

    I am pro reproductive rights and choices. Your uterus...your decision. Your penis...your decision.

    Rowan1980
  • It's awesome that you're all sharing your beliefs! :)
  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran

    Does anyone have a link to the sutta @Jayantha mentions (about life beginning at conception)?

    I couldn't do it, but I would gladly be supportive to someone who felt it was their best choice. I guess my spleen is alive, but outside my body, which it depends upon, it is useless. Until a fetus can live outside the mother's body, the mother and her body have to come first :( .

    It's an ugly thing to do, and worth going to GREAT lengths to avoid, good grief :(

    Even if the suttas say life begins at conception, it's not necessarily a proscription against aborting a human embryo at any stage. Of course a fertilized human ovum is 'alive', like my spleen is alive. The value of the life of a human embryo is where it becomes a matter of opinion and conjecture.

    Rowan1980
  • robotrobot Veteran
    edited April 2015

    As Hamsaka said, it's pretty obvious that an embryo is alive. So is a tumour. It is a red herring.
    The rest of the issue must come down to when we think that the self comes to inhabit the new object. Does it appear out of no where at conception?
    I'm inclined to think that it develops with every new experience that the new mind/body encounters, as it gains sensory abilities. I could easily be wrong.
    So in my view early abortions don't rob anyone of their right to exist. Later, maybe pain is possible, but memory isn't.
    I would consider myself to be pro choice, because it seems like a less extreme position that doesn't include notions about a soul. When I had babies in the house I was more pro life. I love babies.

    IchLiebte
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran
    edited April 2015
    @pegembara. I think you may have misinterpreted my comment as being judgemental.

    The intention was compassion.
  • BhikkhuJayasaraBhikkhuJayasara Bhikkhu Veteran
    edited April 2015
    @Hamsaka

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.038.than.html

    The Birth & Growth of a Being

    "Monks, the descent of the embryo occurs with the union of three things. There is the case where there is no union of the mother & father, the mother is not in her season, and a gandhabba [8] is not present, nor is there a descent of an embryo. There is the case where there is a union of the mother & father, and the mother is in her season, but a gandhabba is not present, nor is there a descent of an embryo. But when there is a union of the mother & father, the mother is in her season, and a gandhabba is present, then with this union of three things the descent of the embryo occurs.

    "Then for nine or ten months the mother shelters the embryo in her womb with great anxiety, as a heavy burden. Then, at the end of nine or ten months, she gives birth with great anxiety, as a heavy burden. Then, when the child is born, she feeds it with her own blood — for mother's milk is called blood in the discipline of the noble ones.

    "Then, as the child grows and his faculties mature, he plays at children's [9] games: toy plows, stick games, somersaults, toy windmills, toy measures, toy carts, and a toy bow & arrow.

    "As he grows and his faculties mature [still further], he enjoys himself provided & endowed with the five strings of sensuality: forms cognizable via the eye — agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, enticing, accompanied with sensual desire; sounds cognizable via the ear... aromas cognizable via the nose... flavors cognizable via the tongue... tactile sensations cognizable via the body — agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, enticing, accompanied with sensual desire.



    Info by thanissaro on what a gandhabba is:

    The sutta then turns to the path of practice by which an understanding of dependent co-arising can gain the power and focus needed to put an end to suffering. It begins with an account of birth, noting that the birth of a human being requires not only that the parents have intercourse when the mother is in her season, but also that a "gandhabba" is present. Usually in the Canon, the term gandhabba means a being on the lowest level of the celestial devas — devas who are often represented as obsessed with lust. However, the Commentary notes that gandhabba in this context means a being whose kamma enables it to take birth on that occasion, an interpretation supported by a discussion in MN 93.

    Gandhabba" usually means a low level of celestial deva. Devas on this level are frequently represented in the Canon as obsessed with sexual desire. However, the Commentary here notes that "gandhabba" here does not mean a being standing near, watching the couple have sexual intercourse. Rather, it means the being, driven by kamma, who will take birth on that occasion.


    Edit: and here's the monks rules stuff:

    MURDER
    The third Defeater (Paaraajika) Offence deals with murder. The original story describes how some bhikkhus wrongly grasped the Buddha's meditation teaching on the loathsome aspects of the body[38] and, falling into wrong view, committed suicide or asked someone to end their lives for them. The rule can be summarized like this:

    "Intentionally bringing about the untimely death of a human being, even if it is still a foetus, is [an offence of Defeat.]" (Summary Paar. 3; BMC p.78)
    ◊ A bhikkhu must not recommend killing, suicide or help arrange a murder.[39] Also, because in this rule a human being is defined as beginning with the human foetus, counting "from the time consciousness first arises in the womb," he must not advise or arrange an abortion.

    There is no offence if death is caused accidentally or without intention.[40]
    EarthninjaHamsaka
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran
    edited April 2015

    @thenovicemonk41 said:
    It's awesome that you're all sharing your beliefs!

    I just hope you realize that anytime anyone says how they feel about these intense issues, a person could be taking their lives into their own hands just for exercising their American (human/civil) right to free speech. The only kind of poll I trust is What's your favorite color - or pizza topping?

  • My coworker once said that the biggest sexual crime is bringing an unwanted child into this world. I think I agree.
    possibilitieslobster
  • @Bunks said:
    pegembara. I think you may have misinterpreted my comment as being judgemental.

    The intention was compassion.

    I know. The intention was to support your statement

    "I think the choice should be with the individual."

    You are not being judged. <3

    Bunkslobster
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Samsara Loop Veteran

    @Vastmind said:
    I am pro reproductive rights and choices. Your uterus...your decision.

    Sorry, and I don't want to sound rabid, but I would like to explain myself better.

    I believe being a woman who can give life is a privilege of nature.

    When another life begins to develop in my uterus, we're beginning to talk two people here.
    I feel that it's not about my uterus, my body alone anymore.
    There is another life, another set of skandhas, another dependendent origination offspring, another karmic circumvolution, another samsara wayward aberration in place here, beyond my own.

    Once more, I am not referring to those girls who are victims of incest or rape and have no control over what happens to their bodies.

    I am talking about young girls who are in an age where they consider themselves old enough to have sexual intercourses.
    How many times have we heard of girls who go partying, have unprotected sex, don't even love themselves enough to protect their bodies and their sexuality, and then consider that the best solution is to abort every time they get pregnant?
    Some women have gone through like ten abortions by the time they got married...

    The latest fad nowadays seems to be a teenage mother.
    Getting pregnant with sixteen is the latest 15-minute-of-fame craze on FB.

    Rights and choices also has to do with information and self-protection: I am aware of what a pregnancy entails, therefore, because I love myself, I choose to have sex protecting myself.
    Because I love life and other sentient beings, I try not to get a third party involved in my good or bad choices about my sex life.

  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited April 2015

    @DhammaDragon .... I hear you...I think it is I who should explain myself clearer....Reproductive rights is a general term .....

    From Wiki:
    Reproductive rights are legal rights and freedoms relating to reproduction and reproductive health.[1] The World Health Organization defines reproductive rights as follows:

    Reproductive rights rest on the recognition of the basic right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so, and the right to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health. They also include the right of all to make decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence.[2]

    Reproductive rights may include some or all of the following: the right to legal and safe abortion; the right to birth control; freedom from coerced sterilization and contraception; the right to access good-quality reproductive healthcare; and the right to education and access in order to make free and informed reproductive choices.[3] Reproductive rights may also include the right to receive education about sexually transmitted infections and other aspects of sexuality, and protection from gender-based practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM).[1][3][4][5]

    -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reproductive_rights

    I am pro birth control. It's just not that easy of an answer. Alot of social factors involved.
    Preventing teenage pregnancy involves the education and a bucket full of other things. Like I said....alot of social factors involved.

    Also, abortion clinics (like most medical facilities) are responsible for addressing patients who are abusing a medical procedure. Out of the dozen or so women I know that have gone to an abortion clinic, they didn't return. It wasn't habitual. It's very traumatic..and it was used 'in case of emergency'. It's very expensive here too...so I'm not sure how accurate that statement is. If a person can afford a $400 abortion, most likely they would get on $20 birth control pills. It may be different there...here...the 'repeat offender' accusation is used as propaganda, and I don't see it to be true. Here...there are church protesters out side that reat you like a piece of shit on your way to the door....it's expensive....you deal with family judgement...like i said...traumatic...not a drive through experience where you feel great the whole time....from beginning to end...it's a hard walk to walk. Literally and figuratively.

    In my own case. Was I silly and irresponsible? In some ways yes. In some ways...no.
    It was a responsible decision for me. I don't regret it. I don't believe life begins at conception, though....so that seems to be the deciding factor/basis on most people's opinion.

    Rowan1980DhammaDragon
  • PöljäPöljä Veteran
    edited April 2015

    @silver said:

    I just hope you realize that anytime anyone says how they feel about these intense issues, a person could be taking their lives into their own hands just for exercising their American (human/civil) right to free speech. The only kind of poll I trust is What's your favorite color - or pizza topping.

    Is your favourite pizza topping American "pork"?

    silver
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    Leave the piggies alone!

    thenovicemonk41Rowan1980Earthninjasilver
  • thenovicemonk41thenovicemonk41 Explorer
    edited April 2015
    @SpinyNorman I agree. Free the piggies!
  • PöljäPöljä Veteran
    edited April 2015

    They set them free. Mmm... pork for my family.

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @Pöljä said:
    silver said:
    Is your favourite pizza topping American "pork"?

    I've never heard of it, so no. O.o

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    As usual @karasti, you've nailed it!!

    Vastmind
  • mmommo Veteran

    I don't concern too much about humans. But I do about animals. In my home country, myanmar, there are so many stray dogs and no one is taking care of them. A lot of them have really thin bodies and they are suffering in many different ways. To make matter worse, they reproduce and nothing is controlling it. Good thing is there is a small charity there taking care of strays and neutering them as well. I support fully neutering for controlled births in this situation. I don't see this as something bad.

    Rowan1980silverPöljä
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    I really struggle with this issue. On the one hand I'm generally a liberal on these questions, but on the other hand I'm an adopted person and back then I would most likely have been terminated if abortion had been widely available, as it is now.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @karasti said:> The whole sticking point of abortion is, when is that group of cells considered a person? When does it really have all those attributes? Does the embryo obtain it's stream of consciousness/karma/whatever immediately at conception or is it later?

    It's a tricky question. In my view there is the potential for a new life from the moment of conception, so time limits look rather arbitrary to me.

    Hamsaka
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Samsara Loop Veteran
    edited April 2015

    I am sorry if I came across as rabid and adamantly... intransigent on the subject of abortion.

    I don't want to generalize, but I often come across girls who are extremely casual about their sexuality and even more about the consequences.

    Like I said above, out or respect for myself, to start with, I began to take the pill as soon as I seriously began to have a sexual life.

    With all the information and contraceptive means available to women nowadays, abortions strike me as anachronic.

    As far back as 1939, my grandmother got pregnant with my mother.
    She stood my grandfather up in the aisle because she decided on a whim that he did not make good parent material.
    She brought up my mother on her own, by herself, defying all the prejudices of her time.
    Had she chosen otherwise, my mother, my brother, me and my son would never exist.
    Three generations for the price of one in one fell swoop.
    Sorry but yes, I do have a tiny issue with abortion.

    mmoHamsaka
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    So many poignant thoughts. In the end, it's all about our impermanence. So many feelings to trip us up about all our stories and judging ourselves and others about their choices in this brief life. And I trip as much as the next one.
    <3

    DhammaDragon
  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited April 2015

    @DhammaDragon .... no apology necessary. We're good. :smiley:
    It's nice to have a place to have these tough discussions with people who don't personally insult...and I never felt judged or anything like that by your post. :heart:

    DhammaDragon
  • howhow Veteran
    edited April 2015

    If one thinks of life as a whole,
    abortion represents little more of a loss than any of it's other endlessly arising and departing expressions of it's flow.
    If one thinks of life as self,
    abortion represents a tragedy for the potential loss of a unique expression of live.

    What is interesting to me about discussing such a polarized subject is how much it can point out where our identifications really lie.

    karastiVastmindlobsterHamsaka
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    I had a friend once, and she was a handful to deal with, and her father used to tell her, as a nasty aside, that the Vikings used to throw lots of their baby girls over the side of their ships. How many of us have heard about all up through time, that mothers would simply dispose of their babies - mostly girls I do believe. So many of us don't have a choice and that's the whole thing in a nutshell....no matter what the situation, we have no choice - no say in whether we are born or not - and I'm just getting used to the idea of that no volition thingy.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    edited April 2015

    It would be ideal if everyone was just really responsible, but even in those cases, responsible methods aren't fool proof. I was on depo, which was as reliable as you could get, and got pregnant while on it, 5 weeks after my shot (which I had been on for a couple of years so it was well established). I did what I could to be responsible and it failed.

    Is it better for babies to be born unwanted and abused, drug-addicted, neglected and so on? I'm not so sure that in every single instance life is better than abortion. There are definitely experiences in this life that I'd rather die before having to experience them. It would be nice if we lived in a world where people only got pregnant when they were ready and willing to raise a child, but we don't. It would be nice if we lived in a world where everyone who gets pregnant is able and willing to carry a baby to term and give it up for adoption. But we don't. We never have, and we likely never will live in that world. And for that reason, we need other options, unfortunately. Not to mention the world already has a significant population problem, we don't need more people born into situations where the parent is unwilling to care for them.

    @how you always give me something to think about. Gratitude for your presence here!

    lobsterRowan1980stacey
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @Pöljä said:
    silver said:
    Is your favourite pizza topping American "pork"?

    That'd be Chinese pork these days. ;)

  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran

    I read something somewhere (my usual excuse) that when researchers compared human mother/baby bonding and compared it to that of the great apes (and I think some other 'higher' mammals) they found that apes like orangs or gorillas are VERY possessive and protective of their infants. They won't allow peer females to handle their infants in the first year or so. Humans are a lot 'less' instinctively bonded to their newborns as a class, in comparison.

    Of course there is a spectrum of 'natural' instinctive mother/baby behavior, from human females who growl and show fang when someone approaches their infant to those who seem truly untouched, They didn't go into any more detail than that, but in general, humans are 'less' possessive and protective than our primate cousins.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited April 2015

    Now I could well be wrong( I have been known to be on more than one occasion :D ) but......From a Karmic perspective : "Karma and rebirth" think about the connection... When the being is "ready" to be born, then parents ( I prefer pair rents) with a karmic connection to this being ready to be born will come together so to speak...And if the "karmic" being is not ready, then it will not happen (or if you like is not meant to happen just yet)....

    So a question to ask oneself is "Is the act of abortion also entwined in karma and karmic events?" "Cause Condition Effect"

  • VanilliVanilli Veteran
    edited April 2015

    I think that keeping a child is better but that there is no shame or judgment at all in aborting it. I believe everyone deserves that choice, it's their body and their life and I can't image what kind of pain and difficulty that some pregnant women must struggle with, like if they have been raped for example or it's dangerous, physically or emotionally for them to keep the baby. Also it's not yet a fully formed human being - an insect is on the outside living, so is a rat or mouse - these aren't lesser lifeforms than something that is not even born so I don't see how someone can judge someone for abortion but then kill insects, 'pests' or destroy the planet - it's all a bit nonsensical.

    Also Pema Chodron in her book "The Places That Scare You", says that people cling to ideals and that 'political correctness' and 'social justice' can be ways of trying to escape from and protect yourself from an every-changing (hence unstable and unpredictable) world. So I think everyone should always be aware of who their 'opinions' and judgments are serving - themselves or someone else? She says we can tell if we are overly involved in such things but how much anger and self righteousness we feel.

    Hamsakasilver
  • staceystacey Explorer

    I think when we look at hard topics such as this, we can easily say what we would do or what we did, but in the end, it is not our choice, beliefs, or business as to what another person's path should be. I live in Texas, so this is an ongoing topic. I sat in the gallery and watched Wendy Davis filibuster to deaf ears when she read the stories of women who had to make difficult decisions in their lives. Even reproductive rights as simple as contraceptives are being taken away because we must live under other people's beliefs and criticisms. There is supposed to be free will, but it's politician's will. We even have one congressperson who has decided to take up anti-reproductive-rights because she regrets the 2 abortions she had in her 20s. These are the people who are legislating our moralities.

    I'm pro-none-of-my-business.

    I think I hear my cushion calling. :awesome:

    Rowan1980lobstersilverHamsaka
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