Friday, January 14, 2005

I've had my say, how about you?

There are now three posts on the question:

How can it be assured that as many pregnancies as possible are wanted pregnancies so that abortions are as rare as possible?
I'm happy for everyone's contribution to our discussion. Thank you all. I am still accepting contributions and comments are, of course, welcome. Just remember the groundrules.

In composing a post or comment for our discussion, remember the ground rules which are:

1. I'm looking for reasoned debate, not ad hominem attack.
2. Foul language will be edited or even form grounds for rejection.
3. Articles will be expected to remain on the given topic.
4. Articles should be no longer than 1,000 to 1,500 words
5. Please frame views that do not agree with yours in positive terms
that proponents of said view use with respect to their views.

Other than that, any position on the topic is acceptable. Please submit your contributions to me at revcraigh@yahoo.com.

22 Comments:

Blogger B2 said...

Briefly -- marriage counseling will, I would hope, counsel those who should not be married to avoid it. Education of children about the risks of sex (by parents) will cut down on unprotected premarital sex, thereby eliminating many too-young pregnancies. Parents and clergy, really -- the folks we have always looked to for moral guidance in our lives,

1/10/2005 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Craig R. Harmon said...

Thank you for your comment. I hope you will return regularly.

1/10/2005 12:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Better birth control options/methods. *Accurate* BC info distributed relentlessly, everywhere, to everyone. More $$$ to research BC.

Telling peeps not to have sex is not very effective in reducing unwanted pregnancy, unless you're prepared to back it up with draconian measures.

Paula
http://paulalight.blogspot.com

1/10/2005 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger : JustaDog said...

"Wanted"? Well, if the early preg. is carried full term then it is wanted. If aborted (early) then it is not wanted.

Simple huh?

1/10/2005 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger Maine said...

I'd say removing the stigma that comes with young women taking a birth control pill. Possibly even changing the name to "hormone control" pill might make enough of a difference.

Also, ensuring that the pill is covered by insurance companies. This would make all the difference in the world. Kids are going to have sex if you tell them to or not - we can only provide the means for them to protect themselves.

1/10/2005 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger Craig R. Harmon said...

Maddie,
What's your point?

1/10/2005 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger itinerant said...

Mr. Harmon,
I think your question is in itself a step in the right direction. A Christian myself, I think one of the greatest mistakes we make is to spend too much time broadcasting our beliefs and what we're against. Many Christians want to make abortion illegal, but I think one of the great weaknesses of this plan is that it will simply force abortions underground, where they will be done by people who are less medically qualified, bringing danger to the mother. I am glad you are asking how to cut the head off the dragon, so to speak, instead of just pretending it's not there.

Instead of trying to change the world by voting people to morality (I have yet to find the place where Jesus calls us to do that), we must give our time and money to the solution. What if every Christian who wants abortion to end volunteered just one hour a month to do nonjudgmental counseling with unwed pregnant women? Or to go to their local school and talk about the value of marriage and how wonderful sex is when it's shared with your spouse (not spend an hour moralizing about abortion)? Or spend some time with kids from their church's youth group, just being there and letting them know that an adult cares about them? If adults in church would just spend time with young people without being judgmental and intimidating, kids would actually listen when we talk about what we believe.

If these options are too difficult, we can even just find one kid in the neighborhood and have him (or her) over once in a while to play chess or cards or just to talk. When a fourteen-year old girl gets pregnant, she's not going to go to church, where everybody's perfect. She's going to go to that nice couple down the block who had her over for tea parties when she was a little girl.

When Satan tempted Jesus in the desert, he offered him power to govern all the kingdoms of the world. Jesus wisely turned him down, choosing instead a small-time ministry that really looks a little silly from today's numbers-driven perspective. Jesus chose to spend time one-on-one with people like Zacchaeus and the woman at the well. It seems to me that Satan is offering Christians today the same power, and many of us are accepting it. We may change the world, too, but will it look the way Jesus really wants it to? Maybe we should stop trying to control people and start trying to love them. It isn't as easy as sitting on our butts watching the news, complaining about how bad the world is, and then casting our vote for whichever party wants to throw us a bone to solidify their political power, but I think it's what Jesus would do.

1/11/2005 10:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1/12/2005 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger Craig R. Harmon said...

Anonymous:
Your comment was removed because it was an ad hominem, personal attack and thus, did not meet the requirements of my clearly stated rules.

1/12/2005 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Just a note Alex H. I recall back in the 11th or 12th grade we had a religious type come to our sex ed class and tell us about how premarital sex wasn't nearly as satisfying or good as marital sex. That it sucks to have to sneak around to have sex in the back of a car and how nice it is to have a romantic, candle-lit love making session with your spouse.

I recall thinking that I really didn't care what the circumstances were and that it really wasn't all that difficult to find somewhere to do it. This was particularly true once I went to college. And it was even more true once I graduated and started working.

My point is that trying to espouse the wonders of marital sex to high-schoolers is generally met with skepticism or falls on deaf ears entirely.

1/12/2005 04:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eh. Can't log into Blogger from within BlogClicker.

Parents and clergy are where it starts for many, but there are a lot of kids who don't attend religious services (I was one of them). My parents also were either too embarrassed to talk with us about sex, or they thought that if they didn't, we wouldn't know anything at all. (That being said, we knew the rules implicitly, although I know that can't be said for everyone.)

Because parents and clergy cannot always be the answer, the loophole has to be closed with readily accessible birth control, and as Maine said, removing the stigma (particularly for girls!) in using BC.

Insurance isn't the answer either; for example, I could NEVER have asked my parents to get me birth control, and I suspect the same applies to most kids. Well, maybe not MOST in this day and age, but at least many.

So, give it out in schools? The idea goes against everything I believe in, but it might be the only answer. Sometimes compromise is necessary to reach the intended goal. I just don't believe it really will encourage kids to have sex if they're not going to anyway--it seems illogical to me that a kid will say, "hey, free birth control! I think I'll go have sex now!" when kids, by virtue of their age/emotional development, are more likely to have sex whether BC is easily available or not.

Maybe the idea would be less distasteful with a LOT of counseling attached to it, but then the question becomes a financial one for the public. I think it's time for my fellow conservatives to take a second look at the big picture and decide if it's abortion we want to eradicate first, or if it's acknowledgement of the (SERIOUS) problem of kids having sex first. For me, abortion is a more-easily fixed problem, at least in the short term. I think teen sex is already a problem that's too far gone to have any real public solutions, at least for now.

Beth

1/14/2005 04:43:00 PM  
Blogger itinerant said...

Yeah, Mike, you're right. That wasn't the best example. My point was that Christians need to spend more time reaching out to people and loving them, and less time broadcasting our beliefs. I am sure that everybody in America knows that Christians are opposed to abortion. But how many pregnant young women are terrified of Christians because we're all so judgmental? We would be a lot more productive in changing people's lives if we would get out of our nice cushy homes and DO something instead of just complaining.

We also need to make adoption a viable option. Maybe instead of popping out kid after kid after kid until the Sunday School class is choked with 'em, we should start adopting. What responsible woman would give a child up for adoption if she thinks it's just going to spend its first 18 years in a foster home? I understand why many women would rather get an abortion.

1/17/2005 12:33:00 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Beth Said: "I think teen sex is already a problem that's too far gone to have any real public solutions, at least for now."

It isn't teen sex that's a problem, it's the unwanted pregnancies and STDs that are the problem. Educating teens and demystifying sex for them will help to solve that problem.

1/18/2005 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger Fiona said...

Making contraceptioves more easily available that way girls and guys won't be sneaking around and putting themselves at risk. Education. Personally I'm an athiest/agnostic, not a virgin, in a steady committed relationship but not planning on marrying him any time soon, so I'm coming from somewhere completely different. Oh plus I'm bisexual, so, you know, if there is a god/hell whatever, I'm stuffed :)

1/18/2005 05:06:00 PM  
Blogger Fiona said...

well, at least the Christian god and hell that I hear about.

1/18/2005 05:06:00 PM  
Blogger Craig R. Harmon said...

Fiona,

You are not the only atheist to post/comment here. A Christian Minister I am but your personal life choices are your business; neither I nor anyone else will make anything of them here. If you're looking for condemnation, you've come to the wrong place.

1/18/2005 06:30:00 PM  
Blogger Evan said...

i hope you do not teach politics instead of the bible in church like too many pastors do these days. i quit going to church because of that.

proponentofreason.blogspot.com

1/18/2005 06:55:00 PM  
Blogger Craig R. Harmon said...

N, I don't.

And I hope that you do not try to reason anyone out of their faith like many proponents of reason do. I've stopped reading several blogs for this reason.

But neither of these comments has anything to do with the topic under discussion.

1/18/2005 07:24:00 PM  
Blogger Rik said...

In my opinion , the extreme religious right wing has to make a choice. Or they stop protesting against free or cheap distribution of condoms and birth control pills and let children be educated. Or they keep condemn that and stop their protest against abortion, which will rise. Young people won't stop having sex because they say so. You can however try to make sure that if they choose to have sex, that they do it in a responsible way.

1/19/2005 05:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that every child should be a wanted child. I've worked with problem children and often they don't live in loving homes. Access to contraception should be easy. I think that girls should also be reassured that they can say 'no' and mean it. Pressure is often excerted by potential grandparents. It's cruel to assume that your offspring will automatically provide a stock of Grandchildren!

1/19/2005 08:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is not only desperately sad that children are unwanted but is a self-perpetuating state. Deprived teenage girls often get pregnant on purpose to have someone who will love them. Some girls in that situation, to their credit, do make good mothers and bring up well-adjusted children. Most don't. Kids brought up in an environment where they're slapped around by whichever man happens to be sleeping with their mother at the moment don't stand much of a chance.

Contraception won't stop these pregnancies - the girls are trying to get pregnant.

It is often argued that the alternative to abortion is to have pregnant girls carry the baby to term, and then give him up for adoption. Whilst it would be nice if people did that (and I understand that healthy babies are easy to place in adoptive families - it's older and disabled kids that have difficulties) it's asking a lot of a young, vulnerable girl. When my wife was pregnant with our eldest, she was sick for 5 and a half months, 24 hours a day. She would vomit once or twice per day, and never had a moment when she didn't feel sick. It's a pretty big deal to go through that, and to do it for a baby that you don't want and aren't going to keep must be very hard.

2/10/2005 09:05:00 PM  
Blogger Craig R. Harmon said...

I agree that it is sad when children are unwanted and unfortunate that we cannot assure that only wanted children are conceived or born. There are no easy answers. Thank you for your contribution.

2/10/2005 09:52:00 PM  

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