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Not A Slab Of Meat

To: AM-GLOBAL From: Carson Tyler Subject: Not A Slab Of Meat Date: Wed 07 Apr 2010 22:12:47 -0400 Baba "A'jake sa'njhe madhur sa'jhe ke else go, ke ele..." (P.S. 5006) Purport: In this sweet and intoxicated evening, Who has come, Who has come? Who is that Entity Who has created this new wave in everyone's life and in everyone's heart. Those who are sitting with their doors and windows closed, please come out and forget about the differences of own and other. That divine Entity Who is always sitting in the mind, He has come in front of us. We should enjoy His august arrival all together...
Namaskar, The issue of abortion is an important topic in today's world. In some regions, people casually have abortions as the need arises; in some places, it is a highly contested issue; and in other areas, there are no laws or regulations and it all happens under the table. As Ananda Margiis, we should be pointedly aware of Baba's position. We should know the stand of Ananda Marga on abortion.
Our basic tenet is to live and let live. No one has the right to make a "choice" about about intentionally ending another's existence through harmful means. To curtail another's life is sinful. In Ananda Marga, we know that as soon as conception occurs - the moment spermatozoa fertilises the egg - life begins. At that juncture, the mind gets associated with that cellular structure and it has consciousness. According to Baba, life starts at the moment of conception. Only those who are totally unaware could possibly think that life begins when the baby emerges from the womb. Such persons are wallowing in their own ignorance. Baba Himself tells us in Senior Acarya Diary (Pranayama chapter) that life begins with the first inhalation inside the mother's womb. Hence according to Baba, the human fetus is a living, breathing being whose life must be protected, nurtured and honored. That means, as a basic policy we do not support abortion; rather we are wholly against it. Any who contravene Baba's edict by having an abortion must face the consequences. They will have to undergo the reaction of their sinful act of killing the unborn babe. There is no other way. Read this following letter (click on the link) for more about: a) Baba's guideline from Acarya Diary about when human life begins; and, b) His stated teaching on the repercussion of sinful acts like abortion. To put it bluntly, the human fetus is not like a slab of meat that can be cut away and tossed aside - as happens with an abortion. That is not our way in Ananda Marga.
Here is one pertinent happening revolving around the issue of abortion. Last year, one late-term abortion doctor was shot dead in his church in Wichita, Kansas. The man who shot him was caught and last week he was sentenced to life in prison. This crime brings three viewpoints to the fore: 1) The killer, Scott Roeder, who still boldly proclaims that he killed the abortion doctor in order to save the lives of so many unborn children, is a radical supporter of the fundamentalist Christian right-to-life movement. Some Christians may condemn his act of murder, but he certainly got the idea that abortion is evil from the church. And he feels justified in having killed the abortion doctor, stating that now the unborn children of the world are safer. Our Ananda Marga Reply: This anti-abortion position held by religious "right-to-life" activists is totally hypocritical. If really they were against abortion out of concern for the baby's welfare, then they would take great lengths to help the baby once it was born. But this they do not do. They do not watch to ensure the baby is safe, properly cared for, well-educated, or stays out of jail when grown. Only they are adamant, even militant, on this point of abortion. Their narrow and dogmatic position does not convey a sense of welfare or respect for human life. 2) The abortion doctor, Dr George Tiller, felt that he was providing help and a needed service to young or incapable mothers who were unable to bear the burden of raising a child. They were feeling isolated and desperate and came to the doctor for an answer and he would oblige them. Our Ananda Marga Reply: This position of pro-choice (i.e. in support of abortions) is also defective. The way to help the mother is not by killing her unborn baby. The proper response is to help the mother with the financial burden of raising the baby and other socio-economic issues. Plus emotional and educational support should be provided. So the viewpoint that the pro-choice position is a way to help the mother is totally wrong. Killing an innocent baby is not way to help the mother - the mother will only be left with her sin, not peace or welfare. Rather the mother should be given the needed support in order to raise the child properly. Indeed, the slogan pro-choice is a twisted piece of terminology as no one has the "choice" or "right" to needlessly kill another living being. So no one should fall into the trap that pro-choice is some high-minded position. 3) The mother felt that raising this child is beyond her means and therefore the only answer was abortion. Our Ananda Marga Reply: Again, the pro-choice position is a defective response to a social ill. The problem is that the mother is in financial need and under emotional tension. In that case, the society has to rally around both the mother and unborn child. That is what our baby naming ceremony is all about. The child becomes the responsibility of one and all and does not lie exclusively on the shoulders of one person. That is the answer to the social problem, not killing the baby as if it is something to be tossed away like a slab of meat. Thus in the aforementioned case of the murder of the abortion doctor, all three viewpoints are defective. The killer (right-to life) was brainwashed by religious dogma; the doctor (pro-choice) was misguided about how to address a social ill; and the mother did not know where to turn to for help - nor did the society approach the mother with support. Thus our position in AM is totally different and not in line with any of the above mentalities.
It is true that in Ananda Marga we believe that abortions should not be performed as it is a sinful act that takes away the life of the baby. This following letter discusses further why infants must not be blamed or punished for irresponsible acts (promiscuity etc) committed by adults. Here the point is that outlawing abortions is not the end goal. In addition to protecting the baby, what is needed is proper understanding about our human bodies and human life. Our stance then in Ananda Marga is two-fold: a) To inform people that baby is alive in the womb and killing it is a sin; and b) to raise awareness about human sexuality and goad people toward spiritual pursuits. Regarding this latter point, the populace needs to understand that sex should not be a pleasure-seeking activity. This type of crude indulgence is not good. Sex is only for procreation and people should not unnecessarily engage in sexual activity. This is a very sensitive point and people often fall into sexual relations when that was not their initial intention. That is why Baba warns the there should not be open mixing of the sexes - otherwise people get enticed etc. Baba says, "They [men and women] should not engage in gossip as its results are not beneficial. It should be remembered that a woman’s friend is a woman and a man’s friend is a man." (CC-1) Baba's general guideline is that male and females should be cordial yet separate. That is why nearly everything in our Ananda Marga is divides along gender lines. Then people will not fall into degrading behaviours and then opt to get an abortion. Once people develop a proper outlook with regards to sex and male-female relations, and understand that the mind should be goaded toward spiritual pursuits, then the point about abortion will be easily understood. Then people will not go running after abortions due to their indulgent and irresponsible behaviour and they will hence be saved from the horrible reaction of the sinful act of killing an innocent baby. To further ensure that unplanned pregnancies do not occur in society, there needs to be mass education on points of food, drugs, drink (alcohol), provocative dress, and other degrading activities and loose conduct. These are also related with this point of abortion. As we prepare society and help with mass education, the short term answer must be to give mothers financial help and steer them away from committing the sinful act of abortion. Instead the economic burden should be placed on society. So as Ananda Margiis, we need to see this issue in 360 degrees and not get caught up in any so-called position like right-to-life or pro-choice etc. For us, both of these perspectives are bogus and cannot bring relief nor welfare to the society. We should only follow Baba's stated guidelines and rationale.
By now, many of the circumstances and reasons behind abortion have been addressed. No one should have such disregard for human life that they throw away the living fetus like a slab of meat. Here is one more concern that some people hold. Due to their faulty knowledge, some materialists think that this earth cannot sustain a population increase, but Baba assures us that there is no problem. Baba says, "The theory that population increases at a geometric rate while food production increases at an arithmetic rate is completely defective. Such a situation can only occur in an imbalanced economic system. In a progressive and balanced economic system no such problem will exist." (AFPS-9) Thus, overpopulation concerns are also not proper reasons for abortion.
As Ananda Margiis we do not support abortion in any way, shape, or form - neither early in the pregnancy nor late in the pregnancy. Neither is acceptable. There is only one circumstance wherein abortion is permissible & morally acceptable. If the pregnant mother's life is in danger - and if a team of doctors fully agree that both the mother and baby cannot survive - then an abortion may be performed to save the mother's life. That is Baba's teaching. Beyond that there is no situation where an abortion can be done and to do so is to incur terrible sin and invite a very harsh reaction.
By Baba's grace, He has given us all the solution to everyone problem and social ill. The sinful misdeed of abortion is never the right answer to combat social ills. Human life is not something to be thrown away like a cold slab of meat. In Ananda Marga, we respect everyone's life - bar none. Baba says, "This universe is our common patrimony. Ours is a universal joint family, Parama Purus'a being Supreme Father. Like members of a joint family, we should live with the policy of “Live and let others live.”" (PNS-4) Namaskar, Cinmay
One important issue to also note is that now the negative technique of abortion is used in China and India to destroy the lives of baby girls who are growing in the mother's womb. They view the girl as a liability so they destroy that living, breathing fetus. This creates a major gender imbalance wherein boys cannot find a match for marriage and in result they may even resort to homosexuality. So this is yet another outcome of the sinful act of abortion.
Here are more letters on this important topic of abortion.
*************************************** Negative Teaching Makes People Cowards
Baba says, "Starving people...basing their lives' ideals on the wrong religious concept and philosophy throughout their genealogical traditions they come to regard their own miserable circumstances as the God ordained destiny. If, in those days they had a high-spirited leader, if they had heard his fiery speeches, or could get a proper lead and guidance, they would perhaps have made a concerted assault on the then social structure." (HS-1, p.76)

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