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Is abortion natural? S/O abortion debate

Posted by on Nov. 17, 2012 at 6:21 PM
  • 104 Replies
1 mom liked this
All signs point to yes; aborting a pregnancy is a natural response in female mammals.

Ludek Bartos from the Institute of Animal Science in the Czech Republic recently led a study that suggests that female horses have adopted “abortion strategies” and that they can “choose” to terminate a pregnancy if they are put in a position where the foals paternity may be uncertain.  Published in the journal Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology, this study has caused many anti-choicers to exclaim that the creators of this study are simply assuming the horses intentions. They argue that the phenomena should be referred to as “miscarriage” instead of “abortion.” Some have even proclaimed that it’s impossible for animals to choose to terminate pregnancies, because they don’t have the medical technology to perform surgical abortions.

What these critics fail to acknowledge is that abortion does not have to be performed surgically, in humans or in animals. Herbs like penny royal and chamomile have historically been used, rather successfully, to cause pregnancies to abort in women. Of course, this has varying results, is not always safe, and is only successful in very early stages of pregnancy. Other ways of self-induced abortion include various other herbal concoctions, applying pressure to the uterus and of course the now legendary coat-hanger type method. Some women have even reported successfully self-aborting by ingesting certain herbs and meditating. In animals, hippos, armadillos and rabbits have all been know to suddenly miscarry when their environmental conditions are unfavorable, or because they are such that giving birth would potentially kill them. The reason that scientists choose to call this a self-induced abortion instead of a miscarriage is because the pregnancies are typically lost before the mother animal begins to feel negative effects from the strain of carrying a pregnancy in a hostile environment.

Ultimately, what these sorts of studies accomplish is that they challenge the long held belief that a “mother” only acts in certain ways, and that to act in a way that is not considered “motherly” is to defy nature. In fact, it is completely natural for mammal mothers to abort, abandon or even kill their offspring in order to protect or better the lives of themselves, their current offspring, or the future of their bloodline. Now, certainly human beings are different from animals, but human history is filled with examples of societies where abortion or even infanticide was considered normal or acceptable. For some reason, though, many people in the United States seem to think that the fact that a woman may genuinely want to have an abortion is impossible, indeed unnatural.

Everyone is certainly entitled to their opinion about the morality of abortion. However, it’s important that we lay to rest any misconceptions about what is a “natural” mothering act and what is not. The reality is that there is no universal in regards to mothering. Wanting to abort is a perfectly understandable and acceptable response to an unplanned, unwanted, or unfavorable pregnancy. That is indisputable. Now, whether or not women should be allowed to act on those desires, that is up for debate.

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by on Nov. 17, 2012 at 6:21 PM
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Replies (1-10):
kailu1835
by Ruby Member on Nov. 17, 2012 at 6:24 PM
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I call bull on the idea that any mammal can terminate their own pregnancy on purpose, simply because paternity is unknown.  In fact, certain species of apes and monkeys have been known to pretend they're in heat when a new male takes over, to save the life of their unborn baby, ensuring that the new male thinks that the new infant is his, since he will kill off all the offspring of the previous male.

The body will only terminant a pregnancy if there is something wrong with the baby, or with the body, and is not willful.

LauraKW
by "Dude!" on Nov. 17, 2012 at 6:25 PM
Interesting topic. Now I have to ponder.
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kailu1835
by Ruby Member on Nov. 17, 2012 at 6:25 PM
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By the way, chamomile tea is safe to be drunk in pregnancy.  If this article is going to say that chamomile is used to terminate pregnancy, then I'm going to guess that the whole thing is a load of crock.

ashleyrenee24
by Ashley on Nov. 17, 2012 at 6:26 PM

BUMP!

Salsacookies
by Member on Nov. 17, 2012 at 6:30 PM
5 moms liked this

Miscarriage is a natural abortion and cannot be stopped or started. Contrary to what the creepy Republicans say, a woman cannot make herself have an abortion. The body does not have ways of shutting down and terminating a pregnancy. If the woman is fertile when she is raped, she can get pregnant. No amount of wishing or praying is going to fix that. Abortion that takes place in a medical setting is not natural.

AdrianneHill
by Platinum Member on Nov. 17, 2012 at 8:14 PM
3 moms liked this
Whether you are speaking of animals in nature or the way humans have dealt with unwanted pregnancies since time began, yes abortions are part of our natural world. Sometimes the price to complete a fill term pregnancy is too high for the mother and the survival of herself and her other children must be taken into account when making decisions. Abortion and infanticide are both party of our history and humanity has honestly never been free of it. I'm not saying that's good or bad, it is real and sometimes necessary.
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AdrianneHill
by Platinum Member on Nov. 17, 2012 at 8:21 PM
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Just about anything can be toxic if the quantity is high enough.

Quoting kailu1835:

By the way, chamomile tea is safe to be drunk in pregnancy.  If this article is going to say that chamomile is used to terminate pregnancy, then I'm going to guess that the whole thing is a load of crock.

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SunshneDaydream
by Silver Member on Nov. 17, 2012 at 9:05 PM
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In fact, "miscarriage" is a euphemism created by people who thought the correct scientific term of "spontaneous abortion" was too crass for a grieving woman dealing with the loss of a wanted pregnancy.  "Abortion" is the termination of a pregnancy, whether occuring naturally or medically.  

I have always used the example of animals killing (even eating!) their own young when their own or their other offsprings' lives are in jeopardy when arguing the naturalness of abortion.  Thank goodness we are civilized and technologically advanced enough to terminate pregnancies before the fetus grows into a child and is born rather than killing our own young!

SunshneDaydream
by Silver Member on Nov. 17, 2012 at 9:07 PM
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Quoting Salsacookies:

 Abortion that takes place in a medical setting is not natural.

No, but the desire to abort is completely natural, and justified in most cases. 

annabl1970
by Platinum Member on Nov. 17, 2012 at 9:16 PM
1 mom liked this

"For some reason, though, many people in the United States seem to think that the fact that a woman may genuinely want to have an abortion is impossible, indeed unnatural"

I agree. Most women ( IMO) do NOT want to have an abortion. Most of the time, they don't have a choice, other than terminating pregnancy.

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