Do women really need “forgiving” for this difficult decision? 403

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Many woman have had to make difficult decisions during their lives, and some of those decisions directly affect the lives of their family and the people they love. Abortion is probably one of the hardest decisions a woman will ever have to make. A heartbreaking and harrowing ordeal with emotional consequences that may well stay with her through her entire life. So, who has the right to judge and forgive such a decision?

Pope Francis is making it easier for women and doctors to ask forgiveness for abortion, by allowing all priests to forgive it.

In Catholicism, abortion is viewed as such a grave sin that it can punished with excommunication. But surely no woman takes that decision lightly, or hasn’t thought many times about her actions and the repercussions.

The change is only for the coming Jubilee Year, beginning in December.

However, the rule relaxation will not affect Catholics in England, Wales and Scotland – priests there can already forgive abortion.

The Pope has previously denounced abortion as part of a throw-away culture, saying, “Unfortunately, what is thrown away is not only food and dispensable objects, but often human beings themselves, who are discarded as unnecessary,”

There can be few women who would take the decision to end a pregnancy as lightly as throwing food away. Aren’t women more responsible than that, and isn’t the attitude of the Catholic Church demeaning? Assuming that women don’t take abortion as a gravely serious matter, or agonise over the outcome and consequences of abortion, is insulting and hurtful.

If women have to ask forgiveness for abortion, shouldn’t the men who fathered those pregnancies also have to ask forgiveness, for irresponsibly aiding the conception of a child they had no intent of raising?

It takes two to tango. 

Is it time the Catholic church stopped making women feel guilty about abortion? 


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I’m too old to be getting pregnant , but if I was younger , I would not give a damn what any priest or anyone else thought , if I was faced with such a difficult decision !!

    1 REPLY
  2. I am catholic. I am also angry that in this day and age, the head of t he catholic church even entertains the idea of “forgiveness”. Doesn’t this mean he is saying they did something wrong. Until you have walked in the shoes of a woman who chooses abortion, you have no right to judge, no matter who you are.

    21 REPLY
    • I’m not religious ….. I think he has a cheek even mentioning ‘forgiveness’. Unfortunately churches have too much say, they should just get on with their religious teachings.

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      • I agree with Victoria. they live an unnatural life and would have no idea what trauma a woman goes through making that decision. I wonder how many women have aborted priests babies.

    • well said I am a heathen Fran 🙂 an Atheist and I can’t see that there is anything to forgive

    • He is just a man…its not his forgiveness to give. Mit is God’s forgiveness. man has the right to this. ..

    • I am over all religion and they should keep out of it. What a woman does with her body is up to her. Must be a most dreadful decision to make.

    • Kate, I don’t believe in abortion as an ‘easy’ way out, but there are so many circumstances where there are no alternatives; rape, illness, damaged fetus, risk of death. How can you shut your heart off to the suffering of so many women. I would frown at someone doing it because they can’t face the consequences of a one night stand, or casual affair, because contraception is simple these days, but I wouldn’t condemn them either, because I’m not them.

    • I totally absolutely dislike the church, and not just the Roman Catholic Church. Their rules are man made and they are a pack of hypocrites. I used to teach Sunday School, go to church very week, sang in the choir. Then I realized I was being brainwashed.
      I don’t believe anyone should seek forgiveness from them for anything. 10 commandments are the only rules to follow.

    • Kate Reese Mahowald As a lapsed Catholic, I forgive you for you thinking it is an offense, but as a woman, who was a child, and a woman who had 3 children, and even as woman who did NOT have an abortion, I forgive the Pope for thinking we women have held our breathe waiting for him to pass an edict that ‘we’ women should be forgiven. The Pope and his previous popes should look unto themselves at the horror their religion throughout the centuries have bestowed upon us women, and hte children, and they still do with the lack of justice for the abused children in their care.

    • Shona, it’s ok for you to forgive him if that makes you feel better. But don’t expect too many more to do likewise. I think that what he has said and done is unforgivable.

    • Abortion is the killing of another human being ,no matter which way you look at it.Many women want &I need forgiveness,& it is available if they want it.Thank goodness for that.

  3. Not me! I can cope But others lean where they need to. If it makes one women’s journey through life easier .. Then it’s a good thing. If you don’t care.. Then look away and move on.. Nothing to see here!!

  4. No man, Pope or otherwise, has the right to interfere with this decision. It is, and always has been, the prerogative of the woman herself. Fine if the male partner is included in the decision-making, but only if he accedes to the wish of the woman. No argument.

  5. They should stay out of it, some women have to do what they have to do, don’t need their permission, especially from males that never had any children of their own. I was a catholic but I could not be Brain washed, at all.

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