Abortion is a Symptom of a Society in Extreme Unrest. ~ Megan Hollingsworth

Via Megan Hollingsworth
on Nov 20, 2012
get elephant's newsletter

The hot topics, as they stand today for many of us in rural America, are gun control and abortion.

Rights of person, basically.

In 1998, a dear friend of mine, Andy Mahler, ran for Commissioner of Orange County, Indiana. I recall asking Andy what his take was on abortion. How do you respond when people ask you whether you approve of abortion or not? Andy’s quick answer, “I tell them I wouldn’t have one.”

No, Andy couldn’t have an abortion, choice or not.

Why even ask a man’s opinion of a struggle if he cannot personally comprehend all facets of the matter?

In all seriousness, as Andy knocked on doors in rural southern Indiana, he told his neighbors the way to deal with the issue of abortion is to prevent the circumstances that inspire a mother to seek one. At the time, I’d hadn’t thought that far into our circumstances. Andy was spot on.

The resolution will not be found in bandage-like programs that support mothers within the context of a society that does not honor life.

Abortion will cease to be a justifiable action when and only when all beings are free and happy. Truly.

To this day, we continue with futile arguments. Abortion is neither right nor wrong.

Abortion is a taking of life in its purest and most delicate state. We can agree, all of us, that abortion takes a life. This is fact.

I believe that taking life at this stage is a violation of nature. No mother should be in a position so unnatural that she considers abortion a bearable option. Why are mothers today feeling unnatural and unholy?

Oh, the list is long.

The wrong is in the mess of harms that compel mothers to choose abortion because they cannot bear to bring a child into a stressed, uncertain world fraught with extraordinary change, fear and greed. Our mothers are wise to see that their circumstances are wrong for bearing children. Until there is peace in our persons, families and societies, mothers will rightly choose abortion.

Abortion should sound an alarm that something is very wrong with our lives.

Instead, we have blamed mothers or justified abortion outright. Whether the stress and pain in a mother’s life is found primarily in her personal relationships or in the relationships she witnesses in her society, abortion is justified in times of extreme unrest. Right now personal and societal circumstances of harm are at such extremes. Abortion is simply the only choice for many mothers who are at a loss thinking of how their children will live.

No one ever is to blame. Mothers who choose not to give birth and the people assisting them are not perpetrators of a crime. They are symptoms of a fiercely competitive society that thrives on a myth of independence and disregards the value of life on the whole.

This society is itself against nature and spiritually corrupt. We should not be forced to choose between children, mothers and physicians.

The matter of discriminatory rights is most striking and of greatest concern to me in the whole abortion debate. Why is it that right to life can be co-opted to refer solely to an unborn human? Do not all of us have right to life in the womb and in the world? Do not the unborn and born of other species have a right to life and freedom as much as humans?

Why would they exist if not for this right and for all the brilliance and worth they add to the world?

Who are we to say who shall live and who shall die, when, how and where?

Sure. We are divine, each one of us human beings. But so is each one of everyone else.

Humans are not alone among animals in our awareness of need for wholeness and safety in the world. We know that some whales avoid reproduction when their community is under severe stress. How intelligent and giving are the mothers who know when it is unwise to bring dependent innocents into untold pain, unparalleled loss and terror.

Our task is to ensure that all mothers feel safe and secure before, during and after conception. This task requires greater integrity than that of one who will choose a side in a case that cannot be argued.

It’s a tough and lonely road to walk in a society that applauds blame and misconstrues compassion as ambivalence and weakness.

But our task is just this, to change our minds and our circumstances. I believe we have the wisdom, courage and strength. We certainly have the motivation.

One day people will look back on us and say,

“How awful it must have been to live in a time when abortion was a reasonable and wise choice. When mothers of all kinds chose not to give birth. How wonderful were those people who decided to ensure that all mothers and children would be peaceful and safe. How blessed are we for them today.”

> Recommended reading: The Value of Species by Edward L. McCord


Editor: Olga F.

 Like elephant Enlightened Society on Facebook.


About Megan Hollingsworth

Megan Hollingsworth, MS, is a mother, poet, dancer, and compassion activist.

She is founder and creative director at ex·tinc·tion wit·ness, a collaborative art project present with members of exploited, disenfranchised groups.

Connect with Megan on the web, at Twitter @luvlikewildfire, on Facebook and on Vimeo.



15 Responses to “Abortion is a Symptom of a Society in Extreme Unrest. ~ Megan Hollingsworth”

  1. autumn says:

    beautifully written and very insightful! thank you!

  2. Annie says:

    Abortion is a medical procedure. When a man and a woman have sex and an unintended pregnancy results due to failed, misused or unused birth control methods abortion is the medical procedure which is used to allow women not to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term. In massage school I was taught the pressure point on the heel that will facilitate the end of a pregnancy and there are herbs that have long been known to do the same. Most pregnancies are not carried to term and in fact most women lose multiple pregnancies in a lifetime without even knowing it. Most societies have had ways of ending pregnancies and historically the ability to control when and how to conceive and give birth are actually the mark of a healthy society which values women.

    Abortion has no meaning that we don't give it.
    All the meaning you've applied to it here is hyperbole and is invented from whole cloth from your personal perspective on the value of babies.
    The planet is full. The value we place on babies is a overdeveloped evolutionary tool that has allowed us to propagate at such rates that we are now destroying our home planet and have no place to go. On this planet, in the next 20 years, if we must choose a perspective on abortion, perhaps we should choose to see it as a sacrament in the religion of the planet. Of course it should only be a tool that we use when the first tool fails, birth control, because not getting pregnant is just easier on the body and the system than the more radical and invasive abortion procedure.

  3. Vision_Quest2 says:

    You see, these same activists would think that Plan B or even the IUD are against nature. As long as fertilization of the egg was not prevented in the most natural of methods, which may or may not be effective. Add the palimpsest of situations such as forcible rape, incest, etc. where such pregnancy is "never going to happen under such circumstances"

    Where would it end?

  4. thank you, autumn. this one has been sitting with me for a good while. feels good to get it off my chest and on the page (screen) for what it's worth. with love, megan

  5. Thanks, Annie. I agree with all you have said here. I am not in any way against birth control and apologize if I came across that way in this piece. I do think it's very sad and self limiting that we have come to loathe our own species. getting ourselves out of this mess demands compassion for all kind, including our own. abortion…the taking of life from the womb is just that, taking a life. taking a life is a radical form of birth control – one that a healthy society would/will be equipped to avoid by way of caring for and honoring women and men from start to finish. this piece is not meant as a criticism of the practice of abortion for women who choose it now. it is meant to point at why this radical act is performed in hopes that we might rather address the root causes of suffering and stop debating the right or wrong of a practice that is neither. with love, megan

  6. Timmy_Robins says:

    "Abortion is a taking of life in its purest and most delicate state. We can agree, all of us, that abortion takes a life. This is fact."

    Not really. Depends on what you mean by "life".
    If by life you mean something related to a soul that inhabits the zygote after fertilization then you are talking about belief , not fact. There is no proof whatsoever that the soul exists, it is just belief.

    If by life you mean cellular life then abortion does take cellular life , cells die every day in our bodies and cells dont have consciousness of pain… In most countries abortions are performed within the first 3 months where the "life" you are talking about can range from a blastocyst (a mass of cells) to a fetus without a fully developed nervous system , meaning it doesnt feel pain yet and it doesnt have any sense of self awareness. This is fact.

    It might be "alive" as a biological structure but it is not a baby yet… It has no feeling or emotion.

  7. no, we cannot prove feeling or emotion. i do recall conceiving my own son. i do know my own emotion and attachment to that cellular life…a part of me alive at the time. not sure how else to respond to your thoughts, Timmy. I appreciate your taking time to comment here. and in the article, yes, i was speaking to a taking of biological structure…life, which is miraculous in and of itself…whether or not we believe in that life being filled with spirit. with love, megan

  8. Timmy_Robins says:

    Well, the neural basis of emotion has been studied for decades now . Certain brain and body structures are necccesary for emotion and feeling to take place therefore a fetus that has not developed completely cant have them.

    A kidney is a biological structure , it is alive but not self aware . A tumour is too. There's nothing wrong with "aborting" a tumour or a diseased kidney . A 3 month old fetus is not very different . It has the potential to become a person but at that stage it is not …the mother is a person though.

    If we want to have a meaningful debate on abortion it is Important to distinguish personal feelings and beliefs from what is actually factual. As in science fact.

  9. I am actually hoping to move us beyond debating abortion with this piece. Abortion is not the problem as I see it.

    I do think that a fetus of any form (any being) is vastly different than a tumor or diseased organ. this simply for the beings potential to be and become.

    best, megan

  10. mayayonika says:

    Thank you Megan…this is a beautiful peace that moves beyond the black and white for or against- i was thinking to write on this myself, but you have already so eloquently done so. Thank you. I think the comments above,although many filled with negativity and anger, are merely representations of the flag waving of not knowing- as if science always hands out 'facts' and your feelings, experience and intuitions are somehow invalid. Sad, but some need to stick to this, and that is there very dry and weak way of protecting themselves in their well educated 'knowing'. Your words are gorgeous and helpful for many…thank you.

  11. shamana says:

    no mention of the male in all this. it took two. She is the one left holding the baby.

  12. yes, thank you Shamana. and his mother is the one who held or was unable for whatever reason to hold him. we have such a long line of wounded souls to heal… please see VIRGIN https://vimeo.com/100673266 love and light, megan

  13. Thank you, Maya. I am so glad to know this resonates with you, that you are inspired to write the same. You may appreciate the film I just finished, VIRGIN https://vimeo.com/100673266

    We have much healing to accomplish. Keep speaking and shining your light. Love and Blessings, Godspeed

  14. iyrap75 says:

    I agree – the need for an abortion is tied to a society that does not nurture, nor place any value on the sacredness of bearing a child and becoming a mother. Society does not leave room for women to become pregnant and still have the same ability of survival the would have had were they on their own – unless they are in a relationship with a man, ie, through marriage, pregnancy detracts greatly from a woman's ability to survive, for her and for her child. A patriarchal society built to meet the needs of a man does not serve the needs of a woman quite as well.

    Moving on to the act of sex itself – can a man and a woman consciously have sex in a way that is not 'reproductive' ie., will not lead to a baby but still be pleasing for both people involved? I mean, the burden of birth control falls most often on the shoulders of women, often through hormonal control, that many women don't necessarily want for their bodies. But the act of 'ejaculation control' for a man, let's say, is not necessarily something talked about, nor ever considered – why so? Orgasm and ejaculation are not one and the same, though they often occur at the same time … Everything society thinks it knows about sex is based on the way males want and have sex.

  15. thank you for bringing in this point about sexual engagement. yes, this culture is vastly ignorant and crude with the possibilities for enjoyment/fulfillment/ecstasy. there is also power in a woman abstaining from intercourse until she is with her beloved, until she knows she will be met and cared for when a child is conceived. this requires strong intuition as well as self appreciation and confidence…traits hardly nurtured in our girls for a long time now. we're healing this though. thank you.