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Study of the Impact of Indoctrinated views of Society on Abortion Rates

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posted on Nov, 21 2008 @ 09:47 PM

Study of the Impact of Indoctrinated views of Society on Abortion Rates

I am very happy to finally have started this research. Thank you to my team members and others for helping compile this research. A huge thank you to ADVISOR for giving me the opportunity to contribute something of importance to the ATS community.

This is our first research project, so tell us if we are making any mistakes.

As a society we have reached a standstill on one of the most controversial issues of our time; Abortion. The legality, moral and ethical views of abortion differ around the world. There are many who are avid in their beliefs and some who are confused as to where they stand. Yet in all of this turmoil, the women who have been subjected to the painful choice are left in the shadows.

This research project will compare findings of Abortion Rates from regions from all across the US and the world. The research will try and correlate the findings and interpret the similarities between the abortion rate in countries with the Societal importance of pregnancy in that culture. We will then set out to prove/disprove that draconian views about sexual purity and birth control actually increase the frequency of abortion rates, and whether different interpretation of family law, maternity leave laws, and legalities of adoption and homosexual marriage also seem to correlate internationally with abortion rates.

  • To determine the ease with which an abortion is available in a country
  • To determine the legality of abortion in said country pertaining to special circumstances
  • To determine the ease a baby can be put up for adoption in said country and the likelihood if it will be put in a foster care system
  • To prove/disprove that social or religious stigma of unplanned pregnancies (pre-martial or not) and stigmas associated with single parenthood influence abortion rates
  • To determine how readily one could obtain OTC and prescription contraceptives
  • To determine the rights a woman has under maternity laws

  • Only team members are allowed to post here
  • If you find any any error or wish to add to the information being presented by any member just u2u them and me
  • Members at all times must have an open mind when collecting information to insure the accuracy of our results

Team Leader

Team Members

Research Level

Member Tasks
*All members must post their findings at least once every 48 hours
Each member will be assigned countries to do research and compile information related to the goals.

  • Japan
  • England
  • South Africa
  • Denmark

  • USA
  • Mexico
  • Norway
  • Germany

  • Canada
  • Israel
  • Spain
  • South Korea

*Only team members are allowed to post in this thread*. To avoid any confusion please refrain from posting any information or thoughts in this thread. If you do wish to make contribution please u2u me and I will gladly discuss your contribution to our research.

We are still looking for one more member to join the research team. If you wish to join you will need to u2u ADVISOR and me.

This is a research project which was formed between the collaboration between three members. We will present this information in the most accurate and unbiased way possible. This is a serious research project and we intend to treat it like one. All information here will be sourced and referenced in the appropriate manner..

Thanks for choosing to read our research, please u2u any suggestions you may have.


[edit on 21-11-2008 by Ign0rant]

posted on Nov, 21 2008 @ 10:30 PM
Introductory Post
My second post will be about USA abortion trends.

Thanks to all the participants in this thread. I am going to take this post to further clarify some of the details of this project

The team has chosen USA, UK, and Canada as the “Control” groups, since this is where the majority of ATS users live, and the places in which most abortion debates and news stories usually take place.

We have NOT included Australia in our research, as our preliminary research indicated that abortion laws there were enacted on a state-by-state basis rather than nationwide. We have also excluded India and China because of a cultural preference for male children driving abortions to artificially high rates.

We will be relying only on quantifiable data for this study. Therefore, we will NOT be posting any personal anecdotes from women who have undergone abortions, any data on “coathanger” abortions, or attempting to draw a parallel between child abuse rates and abortion rates.

We realize that abortion is a very emotional topic for many people, but in this thread we are attempting to present statistical evidence as clinically as possible.

[edit on 21-11-2008 by asmeone2]

posted on Nov, 22 2008 @ 02:35 PM
Us abortion law

Abortion is currently legal in every state in the USA. The exact legalities, however, vary from state to state:

The following states require parental consent:
North Carolina
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina

The following states require parental notification, but not parental consent:
South Dakota
West Virginal

The following states have no laws regarding parental consent or notification:
Washington, DC
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York

Abortion Rates
Approximately 22% of US pregnancies result in abortion.

According to

• Fifty percent of U.S. women obtaining abortions are younger than 25: Women aged 20–24 obtain 33% of all abortions, and teenagers obtain 17%.[7]
• Thirty-seven percent of abortions occur to black women, 34% to non-Hispanic white women, 22% to Hispanic women and 8% to women of other races.**
• Forty-three percent of women obtaining abortions identify themselves as Protestant, and 27% as Catholic.[3]
• Women who have never married obtain two-thirds of all abortions.[3]
• About 60% of abortions are obtained by women who have one or more children.[7]
• The abortion rate among women living below the federal poverty level ($9,570 for a single woman with no children) is more than four times that of women above 300% of the poverty level (44 vs. 10 abortions per 1,000 women). This is partly because the rate of unintended pregnancies among poor women (below 100% of poverty) is nearly four times that of women above 200% of poverty* (112 vs. 29 per 1,000 women[3,1]
• The reasons women give for having an abortion underscore their understanding of the responsibilities of parenthood and family life. Three-fourths of women cite concern for or responsibility to other individuals; three-fourths say they cannot afford a child; three-fourths say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or the ability to care for dependents; and half say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner.[8]

Further information by and indicates that of those women who chose to abort an unplanned pregnancy, almost half had used contraceptive sporadically, incorrectly, or not at all during the month before their pregnancy, and at least 8% had never used birth control, indicating a possible correlation between abortion rates and poor education about birth control.

Abortion and the Pro-Life movement

The Pro-Life movement is extremely prevalent within the United States and has intimate ties to various denominations of the Christian and Catholic church. Although they have not been successful in outlawing abortions in the US or repealing the Supreme Court decision in the case of Roe v. Wade, many states have passed laws restricting certain types of abortion procedures or restricting abortion after a certain date in the pregnancy:

The following states require that a patient undergo a waiting period or be given biased and/or religions information before receiving her abortion:
North Dakota
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia

The following states have enacted Partial-Birth Abortion Bans:

North Dakota
South Carolina
South Dakota

The following states have enacted Partial Abortion Bans limited to After the Age of Viability:
New Mexico

The Pro-Life movement has been criticized heavily through its history for scare-tactics such as displaying graphic pictures of aborted fetuses, trespassing, and, in the case of church—affiliated groups, the apparent hippocracy of attempting to ban abortion in the interest of protecting the unborn but also opposing the dissemination of contraception to minors, and supporting stricter adoption laws which would prevent foster children from being adopted by homosexual families. In very extreme cases Pro-Life individuals have murdered doctors who perform abortions, although this is not condoned by the mainstream Pro Life movement.


posted on Nov, 22 2008 @ 08:37 PM
Prevalence and effect of Abstinence-Only programs in the United States

In most states, almost one-half of the women who have abortions are below the age of 25. This information focuses on the availability of contraceptives to school-aged children and the prevalence of abstinence only education among this demographic.

In general, members of the Pro-Life movement favor abstinence-only sexual education and encourage young people to wait until marriage to have sex (though there are individual exceptions), in accordance with Christian beliefs:

1. Has as its exclusive purpose teaching the social, psychological, and health gains to be realized by abstaining from sexual activity;
2. Teaches abstinence from sexual activity outside marriage as the expected standard for all school-age children;
3. Teaches that abstinence from sexual activity is the only certain way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and other associated health problems;
4. Teaches that a mutually faithful monogamous relationship in the context of marriage is the expected standard of sexual activity;
5. Teaches that sexual activity outside of the context of marriage is likely to have harmful psychological and physical effects;
6. Teaches that bearing children out of wedlock is likely to have harmful consequences for the child, the child’s parents, and society;
7. Teaches young people how to reject sexual advances and how alcohol and drug use increase vulnerability to sexual advances, and
8. Teaches the importance of attaining self-sufficiency before engaging in sexual activity.

While abstinence is a legitimate personal choice, AO programs fail to educate young people on how to use birth control if they do decide to have sex.

There is great controversy regarding what kind of sexual education should be taught in public school systems, or if it should be included at all Critics of AO education claim that young people will be more likely to become pregnant or contract a sexual disease if they do not know how to use contraceptives, whereas AO insist that theirs is the only foolproof method of birth control.

Further controversy surrounds the allotment of federal and state taxpayer dollars towards AO public-school programs. While AO education is not actually mandated by American federal law, the federal government contributes significant amount of money towards AO programs:

For over a quarter century, the federal government has supported abstinence-only education programs that censor information to youth. Federal support of such programs began in 1982 with a limited pool of funding through the Adolescent Family Life Act. Then beginning in 1996, funding for abstinence-only and abstinence-only-until-marriage programs (hereafter, collectively called abstinence-only) grew exponentially with the enactment of welfare reform (P.L. 104-193). The law contained a little noticed mandate of $50 million a year to fund abstinence-only programs. In fact, the law amended the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant legislation (Title V of the Social Security Act) and was groundbreaking, both for its funding level and also for its unprecedented, eight-point definition of abstinence education. This definition (see below) has remained at the core of all federal abstinence-only funding streams, including the newest and, arguably, the most controversial – Community-Based Abstinence Education

Title V provides funds to teach abstinence before marriage in schools. When Congress established the program in 1997, they made $50 million per year available to states, which provide $3 for every four federal dollars. Federal funding for abstinence-only programs increased an average of $22.1 million per year since 2000, according to statistics compiled by the non-profit Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States. The proposed amount for 2006 was $206 million, up from $170.5 million in 2005.

There are three federal programs dedicated to funding restrictive abstinence-only education: Section 510 of the Social Security Act, the Adolescent Family Life Act’s teen pregnancy prevention component and Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE). The total funding for these programs is $176 million for FY 2006.[25]
• Federal law establishes a stringent eight-point definition of “abstinence-only education” that requires programs to teach that sexual activity outside of marriage is wrong and harmful—for people of any age. The law also prohibits programs from advocating contraceptive use or discussing contraceptive methods except to emphasize their failure rates.[26]
• Federal guidelines now define sexual activity to include any behavior between two people that may be sexually stimulating, which could be interpreted as including even kissing or hand-holding.[27]
• New federal restrictions have been expanded to target adolescents and young adults between the ages of 12 and 29.[28]
• There is currently no federal program dedicated to supporting comprehensive sex education that teaches young people about both abstinence and contraception.[29]

Many people believe that this is a separation of church and state powers, and that, when AO is not balanced by an education about the proper use of contraceptives, it compromises the health and future of young people. The federal government spends many times that amount promoting contraceptive education, but does not standardize the comprehensive sexual-education among all 50 states:

In fact, programs promoting contraceptive use already receive very large amounts of government funding. In 2002, the federal and state governments spent an estimated $1.73 billion on a wide variety of contraception promotion and pregnancy prevention programs.1 More than a third of that money ($653 million) was spent specifically to fund contraceptive programs for teens.2
By contrast, programs teaching teens to abstain from sexual activity received only an estimated $144.1 million in the same year.

As an offshoot of AO programs, many young Americans who follow the Christian faith choose to take “purity vows” and pledge to abstain from sexual intercourse until marriage. Organizations such as True Love Waits hold rallies in which they claim to garner pledges by the thousands, and some teenage icons such as the Jonas Brothers have publicly exposed taking purity vows.

There is substantial evidence to show that on the whole, most “pledges” do not actually see their vows out to marriage or are disproportionally likely to engage in other forms of sexual activity:

While the effectiveness of abstinence pledges that are so popular among evangelicals has long been contested, I never knew inflation was a problem. A pledge movement often collapses in a school when it becomes too popular. As soon as it loses its magical minority milieu — 30 percent is the tipping point — teens feel less unique and pledges get tossed aside like last year’s yellow.
Minding the gap between sexual beliefs and behavior becomes even harder when looking at the outcome of abstinence pledges. To find out how effective they are, read more.
According to a 2001 estimate, 2.5 million people in the US pledged to abstain from premarital sex, yet more than half of them do it anyway. Pledges do have some impact though. Teens who take them lose their virginity 18 months later than those who do not and have fewer partners on average.

Research on virginity pledges found that for a select group of young people, pledges did delay the onset of sexual intercourse for an average of 18 months (a goal still far short of the average age of marriage).1 However, the same study also found that young people who took a pledge were one-third less likely to use contraception when they did become sexually active than their peers who had not pledged.2 In other words, pledging can create harm by undermining contraceptive use when young people who take them become sexually active.

[edit on 22-11-2008 by asmeone2]

posted on Nov, 22 2008 @ 08:37 PM
United States Contraceptive Legislation and Availability

Side by side with the debate over sexual education is the question of whether contraceptives should be available to school-aged teenagers.

Many who favor AO forms of sexual education believe that abstaining from sex is the only method of contraceptive that should be implemented, while others believe that teenagers should have free access to contraceptives.

United States Contraceptive Legislation and Availability

Side by side with the debate over sexual education is the question of whether contraceptives should be available to school-aged teenagers.

Many who favor AO forms of sexual education believe that abstaining from sex is the only method of contraceptive that should be implemented, while others believe that teenagers should have free access to contraceptives.

The most reliable contraceptives are available by prescription only, and so may not be an option for someone who has no access to health insurance or relies upon a parent’s permission to receive a prescription.

In the United States there have been many documented cases of pharmacists’ refusal to fill women’s prescriptions for contraceptive pills, morning-after pills, or chemical abortion medications.

There is a growing trend to pass legislation that gives the pharmacy the right to refuse to fill certain prescriptions if it violates their personal beliefs:

Lawmakers in nearly half the states have introduced bills in this year's legislative sessions to allow pharmacists not to fill prescriptions for emergency contraception or other birth-control medicines based on their religious or moral objections.
Four states -- Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi and South Dakotaare available by prescription only, and so may not be an option for someone who has no access to health insurance or relies upon a parent’s permission to receive a prescription.

In the United States there have been many documented cases of pharmacists’ refusal to fill women’s prescriptions for contraceptive pills, morning-after pills, or chemical abortion medications.

There is a growing trend to pass legislation that gives the pharmacy the right to refuse to fill certain prescriptions if it violates their personal beliefs:

Lawmakers in nearly half the states have introduced bills in this year's legislative sessions to allow pharmacists not to fill prescriptions for emergency contraception or other birth-control medicines based on their religious or moral objections.
Four states -- Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi and South Dakota -- have passed laws that permit druggists to deny certain prescriptions, including emergency or other contraceptives.

Finally, here is something which I accidentally left out of my previous post. These are the most common reasons why American women have abortions:

Social Reasons (given as primary reason)
- Feels unready for child/responsibility 25%
- - Feels she can't afford baby 23%
- - Has all the children she wants/Other family responsibilities 19%
- - Relationship problem/Single motherhood 8%
- - Feels she isn't mature enough 7%
- - Interference with education/career plans 4%
- - Parents/Partner wants abortion

[edit on 22-11-2008 by asmeone2]

posted on Nov, 24 2008 @ 07:42 PM


This is just an update about Member Tasks.
Since the member Jezus has been inactive and unresponsive to my u2u's I will have to force him off the task list until further notice. Newcomer jam321 will be taking over the countries assigned to him.


posted on Nov, 24 2008 @ 08:50 PM

Abortion Laws in Japan and the Frequency of Abortion Rates

The Land of the Rising Sun as most would refer to it has seen it's share of changes throughout the years. Governmental, cultural and religious changes have effected the great country of Japan. As far back as the Edo period, Japan received the prudent argument over abortions. Ethics and morals of abortions was put into question then and these same are still being uttered today. It is shown that during the Edo period, abortion was very frequent especially amongst the poor. Due to taxation and famine abortion was a practice used not as birth control but as population control. [1]

Moving through the ages, Japan in it's current state has seen a decrease in the use of abortions. This can be seen as in direct correlation with the decrease of births in Japan. [2] In the year of 1955 Japan had it's highest incidence of abortion where over a million took place that year. In later years the abortion rate would continue to decrease. Coming to the lowest number which was 289127 since 1944.

Current Japanese Law states

An Abortion can be done if :

  1. To preserve the life of the Mother
  2. To preserve the health of the Mother
  3. To preserve the mental state of the Mother
  4. In rape cases and incest
  5. Social and economic Reasons
  6. If the baby will be born with a detrimental defect

It is not legal to have an abortion without reason. The options listed must be done during first two trimesters or will not be legal.[3]


During the first five months it is quite easy for a women to get an abortion. The federal government has taken many restrictions off getting abortions thus making it much easier.It seems given the current statistics the people of Japan are using abortion as a means of Birth Control. Abortions are easily attainable for women in Japanese culture.

The abortion rate for minor girls in Japan reached a record high last year, the sixth straight year it has done so according to a health ministry report on Thursday. About 46,500 abortions were performed in the Asian nation on girls 19 and under. Overall there were 341,588 abortions in the country which has a total population of 64.6 million women. The number of abortion for girls 19 and under was 46,571, almost twice what it was in 1995, when 26,117 abortions were performed on girls in that age group.

As you can see the incidence of abortions amongst teenagers has drastically increased. Even though on a nationwide scale the frequency abortion is decreasing, there has been great increase among the 16-25 age group. This is most likely due to the governments failure in sexual education and several restrictions placed on contraceptives. Lack of knowledge by the youngsters cause unplanned pregnancies. The government aides in these statistics when it only until 1999 finally removed the bans on oral contraceptives which was put in place of the fear that it would limit condom use and spread AIDS. Since it's approval, because of it's clandestine past it is still not widely used. Since the government had banned oral contraceptives for so long many are wary of using the pill soon after it's approval. The 'concept' of the ban placed on contraceptives is still in place today in Japan just without the bureaucracy. Many women choose not to have oral contraceptives because they need prescriptions from their doctors and can only obtain the pills from their gynecologist. The condom is the most used contraceptive in Japan now. A study in 1998 showed that 77.8% used condoms which was prior to the legalization of oral contraceptives. A study in 2004 showed that only 370,000 Japanese women use oral contraceptives out of the 28 million Japanese females between 15 and 49 years old. [6]

Experts say part of the reason is that, the pill is a prescription drug and therefore can't be advertised. They say other factors are simple conservatism, vague concerns about possible side effects and an unwillingness to enter into a daily pill-taking regime.

On the lack of pressure from Japanese women for a legal pill, the authors attribute it "in part because of their ignorance of the greatly reduced risks and non-contraceptive benefits of low-dose oral contraceptives.

Studies indicate that only 35 per cent of pregnancies in Japan are wanted; 35 per cent are unexpected, 3 per cent are unwanted but carried to term, and 27 per cent are aborted. Researchers estimate the ratio of unmarried women’s abortions to pregnancies carried to term is considerably higher. Studies show that unwanted pregnancies are generally the result of condom failure, or more commonly, of the failure to use any contraception.



---------------------Continued Below---------------------


posted on Nov, 24 2008 @ 09:27 PM

Social Stigmas and Abortion in Japan

Only 1.1 percent of births in Japan were to unwed mothers in 1994, the most recent year for which figures are available, compared with 30.1 percent in the United States. In America the proportion has soared in recent years, fueling a debate over family values. But in Japan it has tumbled -- Japanese women are much less likely to become single mothers in the 1990's than in the unsettling years after the war, in the late 1940's and 1950's. In 1994, 14,700 babies were born to unmarried mothers in Japan. (The United States, which has twice Japan's population, recorded 1,240,172 births to unwed mothers in 1993, the latest year for which official figures are available.) The Japanese figure was a slight increase over the previous years, but it was only about one-tenth the number of births to single mothers in 1947, the first year for which figures were made available. Why has Japan not had a surge in single mothers? For a start, it may be that Japanese teen-agers are less active sexually than young people abroad. Moreover, abortions are easily available -- and common -- for those who become pregnant. But the most important factor is social pressure. Single mothers face economic and social discrimination. In Japan, having a baby without being married is still a humiliation.

This source deals with the illegal abortions performed by doctors which may be uncounted for. Many teenagers are getting pregnant and have abortions without parental consent. The doctors end up giving it to the patients. When the soon to be mothers insist on having the baby social pressures causes the young women to either marry to father or give up the baby.

Social pressures are also intense. Marriage prospects for the children are slimmer, and sometimes even funeral services are affected: in one case relatives refused to enshrine the ashes of a man in the family tomb because he had been born out of wedlock.

Unwed Are Shunned In a Family Culture- There is ubiquitous name-calling and bullying, high schools sometimes turn down the children, and companies often will not hire the parents. Some older children of single mothers have reported being told by teachers that even if they excel in national examinations they will not get into prominent schools. And if all these pressures were not enough, official discrimination against single mothers and their children is still overwhelming. Children of single parents, for instance, have weaker inheritance rights and their unusual status is recorded on their family registration, a document the Government requires every family to file. Moreover, tax policies discriminate against women who choose single motherhood. Mothers who were divorced or widowed after having children can take a few thousand dollars in tax deductions against their income. In contrast, mothers single by choice get none. Not only do they pay more national and local income taxes, but by reporting higher income because they do not get the deductions, single mothers also pay higher public day care fees and, in some areas, health premiums. "It seems the national Government thinks that if you allow single motherhood to proliferate, it would damage Japan," said Shuhei Ninomiya, a law professor at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, who has researched children's rights.

In conclusion the research has proved what it set out to. While abortions in Japan are decreasing, the ones that are occurring are largely due to strict social stigmas that cause the mother to take actions that she may or may not condone. Societal exclusion is a driving factor that can lead women to make the choice to finally abort a baby. It would seem that the women of Japan take to the highest regard the standards set by society and family members dictating their lives. Amidst the pressure of a society that is intent on the ideal nuclear family, many mothers are forced to give up something which can never truly be attained again.

An interesting tidbit of information I picked up during research was the ritual that is accompanied with the guilt of abortion. Many mothers that had chosen to abort their babies overcome with grief, would visit temples to make amends for their past sins. Many women come to ask for forgiveness from the act they had committed to the fetus. In hopes of retribution and living a guilt free life many also come with their current husbands to pray for the spirit of the fetus to safely pass to the next realm. The ritual takes place by pouring water over child-like statues to quench their thirst.

Many Buddhists come to temples to pray for good health, a new husband or a pile of money, but not Miss Sugimoto. Every month she comes to this temple in the ancient Japanese capital of Kamakura to make amends with the fetus that she aborted nearly two years ago as an unmarried student. It is not that she broods over whether she made the proper decision, given the circumstances. To her it was an act that was necessary, though evil. And like tens of thousands of women throughout the country, Miss Sugimoto regularly visits a Buddhist temple to console a tiny statuette, known as a mizuko jizo, that to her personifies her forgone baby.

I will leave you with this quote:

Single mothers are not permitted in Japanese society," Miss Yokota said.

My next post will deal with religions take on Abortion and adoption rates for children in Japan.




[edit on 24-11-2008 by Ign0rant]

posted on Nov, 30 2008 @ 07:13 PM

Stall !

A bit of stalling for my next post. I have been looking hard for information pertaining to adoption and adoption rates for Japan but it has been difficult finding valid sources. Also finals are coming up, expect to see some postings for this research at least next week. Sorry for those who are reading this and enjoying it, we will be stalled on some posts. Any members who want to post their research please do so, I have no hard feelings for skipping my turn.


posted on Nov, 30 2008 @ 09:38 PM
Just an initial post to introduce myself and briefly state what will be covering. First I want to thank Ign0Rant and Asmeone2 for letting me join the team. The topic of abortion is of significant interest to me both on a personal and professional level.
A country that has traditionally high rates of abortion is that of Russia. This country I will cover in depth. I believe those reading this project will find the reasoning behind Russia's high rate very interesting.
My intentions are to fulfill all the goals of this project set forth by Ign0rant as they pertain to Russia. Again, thank you and I hope you find my portion and the project as a whole both informative and educational.


[edit on 11/30/2008 by TINSTACT]

posted on Nov, 30 2008 @ 11:18 PM
US Adoption Law
Note--this information pertains to adoptions through agencies, not step-parent adoptions.

US adoption laws are difficult to quantify, as they vary significantly by state, but by and large it is a laborious process.

(For a complete overview of state laws, Please click here. )

The total length of time that it takes to adopt a child typically takes months, but can literally take years in some cases.

Furthermore, adoptions are typically very expensive:

Adopting from the U.S. foster care system is generally the least expensive type of adoption, usually involving little or no cost, and states often provide subsidies to adoptive parents. Stepparent and kinship adoptions are often not very costly. Agency and private adoptions can range from $5,000 to $40,000 or more depending on a variety of factors including services provided, travel expenses, birthmother expenses, requirements in the state, and other factors. International adoptions can range from $7,000 to $30,000

Within the US adoptions are divided into "open" or "closed" adoptions. In open adoptions the birth parents are allowed to exchange letters, emails, phone calls, and visits, at the descretion of the adoptive parents. The connection between the child and the birth parents can be terminated at any time if the adoptive parents wish.

Conversely, in a closed adoption, all communication with the birth family is severed, with the possible exception of pertinant medical information.

It is difficult to estimate the total number of children adopted in the US each year, and further difficult to estimate how many couples wish to adopt, but there is a clear disparity:

The federal and state governments do not mandate that private domestic adoption statistics be recorded and tracked from year to year. For this reason, it is difficult to determine the number of families that have taken concrete steps to adopt domestically. The most recent reliable data related to adoption statistics dates from 1992. During this calendar year, 127,000 children were adopted. This total includes children that were adopted domestically and internationally, through both private agencies and attorney-facilitated adoptions; as well as through foster care and step-parent adoptions.

There is one trend that can be identified with a high degree of certainty. At the current time, a far greater number of adults seek to adopt newborn infants than the number of newborn infants available to be adopted. Published statistics indicate that there are 3.3 adoption seekers for every child that is actually adopted.

Additional statistics indicate that 20,000 or more newborn infants are placed for adoption each year in the United States. It is also true that 11% to 24% of couples that experience infertility decide to pursue adoption.

However, there are many of older children in the US foster care system who are considered adoptable, but are often overlooked because couples wish to adopt an infant or do not wish to adopt a "problem child:"

Nearly One Quarter of Foster Care Children Are Waiting for Adoptive Families
In 1999, the latest year for which totals have been finalized, there were about 581,000 children in foster care in the United States.[1] Twenty-two percent of these children -- about 127,000 kids -- were available for adoption.[2]

Many US parents choose to adopt from foreign countries. Some feel that by this they are helping out the Third World, others choose to adopt overseas because the regulations are less stringent or the process goes quicker.

nternational Adoption in the U.S. Prompted by War, Poverty and Social Upheaval
United States citizens started adopting children from other countries in substantial numbers after World War II (1939-1945).[1] Many of the children adopted were European and Japanese war orphans. Additional adoptions followed after the civil war in Greece (1946-49), the Korean War (1950-53) and the war in Vietnam (1954-1975). But war and its aftermath are not the only factors leading countries to allow their children to be adopted abroad. Desperate poverty and social upheaval have been critical factors in the adoption of children from Latin America, the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe over the last twenty years. In China, government population control policies contributed to abandonment of infant girls and overcrowded orphanages, factors in the government's decision to facilitate international adoptions. [2]

Over a Quarter Million Children Adopted In Three Decades
Between 1971 and 2001, U.S. citizens adopted 265,677 children from other countries.[3]

In response to higher number of foreign adoptions, and in some cases, documented scandals, some countries such as GuatamalaRussia have recently tightened their foreign adoption laws.

In the United States there is currently substantial debate over whether or not gay couples should be allowed to adopt children. The most commonly cited reasons against gay adoption express concern that the child may suffer without a parent of each gender or be subjected to teasing based on his parents' orientation.

Many states ban gay adoption, or are considering changing laws to enforce such a ban:

States that Ban Gay Adoption

* States that prohibit gays from adopting: Florida

* States that don’t prohibit gays from adopting, but don’t practice it: Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Utah, North Dakota

* States considering constitutional amendments or laws banning gay adoption: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Missouri

* States that prohibit gays from serving as foster parents: Arkansas, Nebraska, Utah

posted on Dec, 1 2008 @ 11:25 PM
I would like to take this time to introduce myself and to thank everybody who invited and allowed me to be part of this team. I also want to thank Ignorant personally for choosing an issue that affects us all in one way or another. It has been awhile since I last did a research paper, so please bear with me. My first post will cover abortion in the UK. I am looking forward to this research because of the issue itself and the increase knowledge and insight I will personally gain from my research. I have every intention of sharing that knowledge with my fellow ATS members. I will do my best to fulfill the purpose and goals as set out by Ignorant and to conduct this research without inserting my personal opinions about the abortion issue.


posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 09:50 PM

The United Kingdom (UK) date back to 1707 and is a union made up of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. The majority of data in this research will be based on England and Wales.

The first law over abortion in the UK was in 1861 titled the Offences against the Person Act. This act made abortion, for any reason, a criminal offense and carried a punishment from three years to life in prison. This act remained the law of the land until amended in 1929.

In 1929, the 1861 law was amended with the Infant Life Preservation Act. The 1929 Act made it legal for a doctor to perform an abortion if the doctor was convinced that he/she was acting to protect the health of the mother. The law made it illegal to kill a child capable of being born alive and set 28 weeks as the deadline. At 28 weeks, the child was presumed to be viable, or capable of being born alive.

In 1938, a court case, the Bourne Case, set legal precedent for performing an abortion to preserve a woman’s mental health. Dr. Alec Bourne performed an abortion on a young woman who was ganged raped by some soldiers and became pregnant. He was shortly thereafter prosecuted. The doctor stated that he had performed the abortion to preserve the health of the young woman. The judge agreed and went on further to say that to continue with the pregnancy would have wrecked the young woman’s life. The doctor was not convicted.

Current UK Abortion Laws

Abortion is currently legal in the UK. The majority of the abortion laws fall under the 1967 Abortion Act. Northern Ireland doesn’t fall under this law. Abortions are illegal in Northern Ireland except under extreme cases.

Under UK law, a pregnancy may be terminated under the following conditions:

“Summary of legal grounds and time limits for abortion as laid out in the 1967 Abortion Act

Up to 24 weeks two doctors must decide that the risk to a woman’s physical or mental health or the risk to her child(ren)’s physical or mental health will be greater if she continues with the pregnancy than if she ends it.
There is no time limit on abortion where two doctors agree that a woman’s health or life is gravely threatened by continuing with the pregnancy or that the fetus is likely to be born with severe physical or mental abnormalities.
In the event that an abortion must be performed as a matter of medical emergency a second doctor’s agreement does not need to be sought.”

Abortion Rates

About 21.8 % of UK pregnancies end in abortion.

The Department of Health released key facts about abortions for the year 2007.

In 2007, for women resident in England and Wales:
• the total number of abortions was 198,500, compared with 193,700 in 2006, a rise of 2.5%
• the age-standardised abortion rate was 18.6 per 1,000 resident women aged 15-44, compared with 18.3 in 2006
• the abortion rate was highest at 36 per 1,000, for women age 19
• the under-16 abortion rate was 4.4 and the under- 18 rate was 19.8 per 1,000 women, both higher than in 2006
• 89% of abortions were funded by the NHS; of these, just over half (57%) took place in the independent sector under NHS contract
• 90% of abortions were carried out at under 13 weeks gestation; 70% were at under 10 weeks
• medical abortions accounted for 35% of the total compared with 30% in 2006
• 1,900 abortions (1%) were under ground E, risk that the child would be born handicapped
• in 2007, there were 7,100 abortions for non-residents carried out in hospitals and clinics in England and Wales (7,400 in 2006)

The rise in abortions is at odds with the original intent of the 1967 Abortion Act. One has to question whether 198,500 abortions in a single year truly reflect the medical justification as outlined in the Abortion Act.

The 1967 Abortion Act was based on a desire to end backstreet abortions. Prior to the Act many women underwent unsafe illegal abortions, which included the risk of death or subsequent infertility. The Act sets a range of conditions and safeguards in order for terminations to take place. It requires women to have a specific medical justification for an abortion (see below); a registered medical practitioner (a doctor) to administer it; and, except in emergency situations, two doctors to be of the opinion that the abortion meets the legal criteria, and the abortion to be administered in NHS or approved premises.

Although 90% of abortions are carried out less than 13 weeks, there are women that choose or are forced by various reasons to wait 13 to 24 weeks to obtain an abortion. A recent study of 883 women sought to explore the reasons women wait till the second trimester to obtain an abortion. The study was conducted by Centre for Sexual Health Research (CSHR) at the University of Southampton and the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research at the University of Kent.

Key findings are:
• There was no single reason why women have abortions in the second trimester: respondents reported a whole variety of reasons that explained their delay in seeking and obtaining an abortion.
• A major reason for delay in the pathway to abortion was women not realising that they were pregnant.
• Much of the delay occurs prior to women requesting an abortion: half the women questioned were more than 13 weeks pregnant by the time they requested an abortion.
• Women’s concerns about what is involved in having the abortion are also important in creating delay.
• Various aspects of relationships with their partners and/or parents played a role in delays in women’s decision-making about whether to have an abortion.
• Forty one per cent of women in the study said that they were unsure about having an abortion and therefore it took some time to make up their minds. Over half the teenage women said they were worried how their parents would react, while 23 per cent overall said that their relationship with their partners had broken down or changed.
• After requesting an abortion, delays were partly service-related, to do with waiting for appointments, and partly ‘women-related’, to do with missing or cancelling appointments. Service-related reasons for delay at this stage included delays in getting further appointments and confusion amongst doctors first approached about where a procedure should take place.

The findings of this research illustrates that there is no one major reason that a woman opts to have an abortion. Every abortion decision is different based on a woman’s social, economic, cultural, religious, or personal view.

Contraceptives in the UK

Contraceptives in the UK are accessible through a doctor, Family Planning Clinic, pharmacies, or Supermarkets. Doctors and Family Planning Clinic provide all types of contraceptives. Supermarkets and pharmacies offer condoms and spermicidal products. Pharmacies are also allowed to offer the morning after pill.

Contraceptive advice and prescription-dispensed contraceptive products are available free of charge through general practitioners. Family planning clinics, young people's sexual health services, voluntary organisations such as Brook Advisory Centres, a few hospital-based departments and genito-urinary medicine clinics supply a wide range of contraceptive services and products free of charge. Condoms can also be easily purchased from retail outlets. The most popular forms of contraception used in England and Wales are oral contraceptives, sterilisation and condoms. Men and women's contraceptive preferences change throughout their life cycle, so age and lifestyle are important categories. All methods of contraception have a failure rate, and each has characteristics that make it more or less suitable for different categories of the population.

Currently, the birth control pill is the most widely used method of contraceptives among women age 16 to 49. 27% of UK women rely on the pill. Condoms rank second at 20%. Sterilization is the third most popular method. Other methods such as the diaphragm and skin patch are also available, but the percentage of usage for these methods ranks five percent or lower. None of the above mentioned contraceptives methods are 100% effective. The only 100% effective method of avoiding pregnancy is to abstain from sex.

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 10:01 PM
Another form of contraceptive in the UK is one that is used the morning after sex rather than during sex. This contraceptive is called emergency contraception but is better known as the morning after pill or its name brand, Levonelle. About 7% of UK women use the morning after pill every year. Women are recommended to take the pill within 72 hours of unprotected sex for effectiveness. The pill is distributed for free at the doctor’s office or Family Planning Clinics. However, over the counter purchases of the pill increased to 50% in year 2004/2005 according to the Office for National Statistics.

The IUD (Intrauterine Device) can also be used as an emergency method of contraception. This device has to be fitted in a woman’s womb within five days of unprotected sex in order for it to be effective. This procedure can only be done at a doctor’s office.

The research shows that the UK is making an all out effort to make contraceptives available and accessible in a number of outlets.

Further research indicates that the abortion rate correlates to women who use no contraceptives, use contraceptives sporadically, or use contraceptives incorrectly. A survey of more than 1,000 women that had obtained an abortion revealed that women’s in their 20’s and early 30’s are just as likely to have an abortion as teenagers. The study shows that lack of contraceptives or proper usage of contraceptives played a role in the unplanned pregnancies.

Almost half admitted they conceived because they were not using any contraception at the time they had sex or had forgotten to take the Pill. One in three women taking part in the survey went through an unplanned pregnancy - with most using no contraception at the time - while in a long term relationship.

Approximately 86% of women of childbearing age would become pregnant within a year if no method of contraception were used. However, many women do not want to be pregnant but are not using contraceptives or are using methods with relatively high rates of failure.

How easy it is to get an abortion in the UK.

Women in the UK are not required to seek the consent of their doctor, partner or family members. Women under 16 are allowed to have abortions, without parental consent in many cases.

The interpretation of the law as to who is allowed to get an abortion is basically left in the hands of the doctors. There are basically three types of doctors.

Doctor #1 believes that an abortion is less risky than carrying a baby out to birth and/or that it is a woman right to decide.

Doctor #2 believes that a medical condition must be evident before referring a patient for an abortion.

Doctor #3 believes that abortion is just point blank wrong.

Under UK law, a doctor who has moral objections to abortions can opt out. The doctor is asked to refer the patient to another doctor but is not required to do so. However, under the same law, a woman can see any doctor that will refer them for an abortion, even if their own doctor refused.

The law specifically states that order to terminate a pregnancy there must be a risk to a woman’s physical or mental health or the risk to her child(ren)’s physical or mental health. In addition, two doctors are required to approve the abortion. The research proves that if a woman truly desires to end her pregnancy in the UK, the difficulty of achieving such results is relatively low as long as an effort is made to find two willing doctors. A survey into doctors (GP’s in the UK) attitudes to abortion conducted by Marie Stopes International published the following findings:

• 82 per cent of GPs describe themselves as 'pro-choice'
• 18 per cent said they were anti-abortion
• 76 per cent of GPs thought women should be entitled to free NHS abortions
• 85 per cent thought GPs with a conscientious objection to abortion should declare their position to women
• 10 per cent said there was no need to inform women of a conscientious objection
• One in five of those against abortion said they still supported a woman's right to chose
• More than a quarter of anti-abortion GPs said they did not believe they should have to tell women that they conscientiously objected to the practice

]Adoption in the UK

An alternative to abortion is adoption. Adoption terminates all rights of the birth family and transfers those rights to the adopting family. All children available for adoption in the UK are under the age of 18.

There are currently up to 4,000 children in the UK waiting for adoptive families.

Many children needing adoption have been abused, either physically or sexually. Others may have been neglected and not given love and stimulation. All will have experienced changes and uncertainty. As a result, many children are angry or confused about what is happening to them. They need a great deal of love and attention to help them adjust to stable family life.

Who is eligible to adopt.

• Any person 21 years or older. There is no upper limit on age.
• Must have permanent, stable, loving home environment.
• No discrimination based on race, religion, disability, or sexuality.
• Married or unmarried couple, singles, same sex couples.

On 30 December 2005, the Adoption and Children Act 2002 was fully implemented. It replaced the Adoption Act 1976 and modernised the legal framework for adoption in England and Wales. The Act provides for an adoption order to be made in favour of single people, married couples and, for the first time, civil partners, same-sex couples and unmarried couples.

Recently, government statistics have shown that there is a 10 year low in the number of children being adopted. 4,637 children were adopted in 2007. Over half of those adopted were toddlers. This is the third successive year that the number of adoptions has decreased.

Adopting a baby in the UK is rare. Normally, a baby given up for adoption is placed with the local authority until about the age of three.

For a baby under the age of one in this country the average time between the child being placed in local authority care and being adopted is 820 days.

Mothers thinking about giving up their baby for adoption go through the following process.

What information do I have to give to the social services?
If you do decide to give your baby up for adoption, the social worker will spend some time with you talking things through. At some point you'll need to give some personal information about yourself, your family and your family's health. This is so that the people who adopt your child can tell them information about you as they grow up.
Once I've decided, is that it?
Although you can prepare for the adoption before the baby's born, nothing will definitely be arranged until after the birth. Once your baby's born you'll have to talk over your decision with a social worker again and you can't sign any papers agreeing to the adoption until your child is at least six weeks old.
What happens to my baby in the mean time?
An adoption agency can take the child into care temporarily during these six weeks and then they'll arrange to place your child with the most suitable adopters.

Foster Care

Fostering is looking after a child or young person in your home and caring for them while their own parents are unable to do so.

There are 50,000 children in foster care on any given day in the UK.

The research shows that a woman who chooses to give her baby up for adoption rather than terminate pregnancy is bound to find the process relatively easy. Relatively easy relates to the forms and procedures a mother must complete, not the decision-making process. This research does not cover the mental anguish, anxiety, or stress a woman might encounter during the decision-making process of relinquishing her parental rights. The research also concludes that the likelihood of a baby being placed into a foster care system is very unlikely due to the fact that babies in the UK adoption system are a rarity.

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 10:18 PM
Paternal and maternal leave

UK laws consist of two types of leave, paternal and maternal. Paternal leave applies to a mother or father. Paternal leave allows a parent time off from work to take care of his/her child up to the age of five if necessary. This time off is unpaid with the exception of one or two weeks of paternity leave immediately after the birth of a child. Pregnant women in the UK are entitled to 26 weeks of ordinary maternal leave and a additional 26 weeks of additional maternal leave. The UK offers Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) from the employer or Maternity Allowance (MA) from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) if a pregnant woman qualifies. Both depend on the length of employment and the amount earned during employment. A pregnant woman cannot receive both at the same time. Pregnant women that don’t qualify for SMP or MA may qualify for other assistance programs.

Social Stigmas and abortion in UK

Many women face opposing views when seeking to terminate their pregnancy. Some of these opposing views can come from a close friend, a family member, a church, or from a number of other individuals or organizations. These opposing views can range from a downright threat or insult to a simple friendly piece of advice. The intent of the opposing view is to get women to forgo their abortion plan and continue their pregnancy.

Sometimes, the main stream media can be influential in dictating public opinion by sensationalizing headlines and stories about abortion. Negative stories over abortion, like irresponsibility and bad behavior, have a tendency to create more scrutiny of women seeking abortion.

They do this through two distinct types of article in the press. The first goes like this: Some very young women are having abortions (sometimes, shock horror, without telling their parents). These women are portrayed as immature and highly irresponsible (though the biggest group of women who have abortions are aged 20 to 24).
In terms of irresponsible and wicked behaviour, abortion is second only to being a teenage or single (or teenage and single) parent. And as, once pregnant, these women are therefore vilified if they go ahead with the pregnancy or vilified if they abort it, there is only one answer - abstinence. Essentially, these articles are about telling women - and it is women that these pieces focus on - not to have sex.

Besides women seeking abortion, women who are unmarried and pregnant, especially teenage mothers, are often criticized as being under prepared for the role of motherhood. Unmarried mothers are often labeled as irresponsible and immature.

"The initial response was one of horror and shame and it made the kids feel terrible. They meet prejudice on every single corner. Going down the road looking pregnant, people looking at them in a hateful way.
"They are seen as feckless and promiscuous when all it is is kids that are brought into the teenage world under-prepared and incredibly ignorant. We let them watch it on television but we don't talk about it."

Government statistics prove that in 2006 unmarried women had higher abortion rates than married women.

The figures from the Office of National Statistics show that just seven per cent of pregnancies to married women ended in termination in 2006 compared with 35 per cent to unmarried women.
Women under the age of 20 were most likely to end their pregnancy, with 41.9 per cent ending in termination in 2006.

Single parents are further scrutinized for being dependent on UK welfare system. This scrutinizing creates fear of being judged by others.

One of the most common misconceptions is that most single parents are unemployed teenagers, when the reality shows they account for only two per cent of single parents nationally.

"These findings show that too many people still have an image of single parents as teenage, never married and on benefits. The reality is far more complex.

According to a report by a centre-right think tank conducted in Britain, the report found the following:

Sixty-one per cent of the single-parent homes are reliant on state support, compared with just 9% of those with two parents, according to the report.

Another source cites the following:

Unmarried parents are up to five times more likely to experience family breakdown, according to the survey of 15,000 families carried out for the social justice policy review group

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 10:29 PM
Religious Stigma and Abortion in UK

According to government statistics, about 72% of people in the UK identify themselves as Christians.

Religion In The UK
Census shows 72% identify as Christians

In the UK, abortion is legal. However, many religions are against it based on moral issues. Many religions view abortion as murder. As a result, a woman seeking an abortion is viewed as a murderer. If a woman is part of a religion that condemns abortions, she runs the risk of being disassociated from the religion or being shunned by her fellow religious mates.

Judeo-Christian tradition going back thousands of years has always valued human life, including unborn human life.

The Catholic Church opposes abortion because it believes that life is sacred and inviolable.

The Church of England states that the unborn child is alive and created by God. However, the Church of England also believes that abortion is sometimes morally acceptable such as when a baby is suffering from a serious disability.

Abortion on any grounds is forbidden in the Islamic holy book Al'Quran. "Do not kill or take a human life which God has declared to be sacred." (Chapter 6,verse 151)

Another argument against abortion by religious groups is that abortion is a government tool used to save money. The government is criticized for providing abortions at tax payer’s expense in hope of reducing the amount of money it takes to support single mother with children.

They say that if women couldn't have abortions so easily, governments would have to invest more money in supporting mothers.

It is in the interests of governments to pay for abortion rather than providing housing and maintenance for women and children in need. In the UK, mothers in need can ask for state benefits and housing.

The NHS pays for four out of five - but half of these are carried out by private sector providers.

However, the greatest criticism religious groups dole out seems to be insults, comments, or references directly to or about a woman who has a desire or are leaning toward aborting their child. These insults, comments, or references are intended to invoke an estate of shame and guilt within a woman seeking an abortion in hope of persuading a woman to continue with the pregnancy. Some of these insults are, but not limited to, as follows:

• Motherhood is a woman's highest calling
• All women should be (and want to be) mothers.
• Women should endure the discomfort and pain of pregnancy and childbirth as their natural duty.
• Women should sacrifice themselves to raise kids.
• Women who have abortions are "bad" or "victims."
• Women who have abortions suffer psychologically (at least they should).
• Women are irresponsible or too emotional, and need direction and guidance
• To "protect" women, we must restrict abortion.
• Pro-natalism - societies have a preference for birth over abortion
• The Church, God, and Bible are anti-abortion.

Furthermore, not only do religious groups disapprove of abortions, but they also frown upon pregnancies involving unmarried women. Babies born to unwed mothers are viewed as illegitimate births by religious groups.

The Catholic CSU's rule book states: "Marriage and the family are at the centre of our policy. They are the natural way of life and the basic pillar of a free society that displays solidarity."

Section 59 of the Housing Act 1985 put unmarried pregnant mothers at the top of the queue for council housing. Our failure to apply Godly principles to welfare is reflected in the statistics for illegitimate births and for the percentage of families headed by a lone parent. The latter saw a particularly steep rise after the 1985 Act.

The average age of first marriages in the UK is about 30 for both men and women. According to government statistics for the year 2006, about 50% of abortions performed that year were on women age 24 and under.

The average age for first marriages in England and Wales is 31 for men and 29 for women.

In conclusion, the research proves that both social and religious stigma have an influence on the increase in the UK abortion rate, especially in young women. Socially, a single pregnant woman has to deal with society attitudes that single moms are irresponsible and immature. Furthermore, she is faced with the fear of being labeled for many years if she was to continue the pregnancy and later became a dependent upon the UK welfare system. The pressure or stress of possibly being judged as a burden to society or freeloader in addition to having to tend to the everyday needs of a child is sufficient motive for a woman to seek an abortion. Religiously, unwed pregnant mothers risk being labeled as fornicators and shunned or excluded by the very same religion they grew up believing in. Lastly, her religion could use her illegitimate child against her in a vain attempt to remind the mother of the guilt and shame she should feel for having a baby outside the bonds of marriage and against the will of God and her religion.

posted on Dec, 6 2008 @ 10:59 PM
Abortion in Norway

Currently abortion is legal in the country of Norway, though with some significant limitations:

Current Norwegian legislation and public health policy provides for abortion on demand in the first 12 weeks of gestation, by application up to the 18th week, and only under special circumstances thereafter.

Historically abortion has been a capitol crime in Norway; as recently as 1902 a woman could face imprisonment or labor sentences for having an abortion. In that year abortions were allowed in cases where the mother’s life was engangered by the pregnancy or the fetus was to be stillborn. After decades of activism which saw hundreds of incarcerations, injuries, and deaths from illegal abortions, medically supervised abortion was legalized in 1964, but strictly regulated. The woman seeking the procedure was required to fill out an application and plead her case before a panel of 2 physicians. By 1974, 95% of all applications were approved. In the year of 1978, abortion on demand was legalized until the 12th week of pregnancy. Abortions between the 12th and 16th week remained at the disgretion of the panel, and are not performed after the 16th week.

Maternity Laws in Norway
It is worth nothing that although Norway has very strict abortion laws, the legislation regarding parental rights and maternity leave is very favorable to those who do see a pregnancy to term and raise young children.

Norway’s national health care covers the cost of pregnancy and one check-up therafter, and legislation ensures that an expectant mother will have paid leave from her job during her pregnancy and will not be penalized for extended bed rest and doctors visits. The expectant mother is guranteed up to 12 months off of her job after the child’s birth, and legislation ensures that her job will be returned to her when she begins to work again.

Single parents are guaranteed an income from the state if they should find themselves out of a job, and are also offered assistance in finding housing. There is also benefits available to assist in the childcare costs.

Parents are also entitled to a days off of work without penalty if their children become ill (the exact number depends on how many children they have.)

The same benefits, excluding prenatal care, are extended towards adoptive parents and their children.

My next post will focus on the process by which a child may be adopted in Norway and the religious demographic of the country.

posted on Dec, 9 2008 @ 01:30 AM
Russia has come a long way since its socialist days when it comes to the subject of abortion. As we know, the socialist ideology has played a significant role in the high abortion rates. This is due in part from the unavailability of effective contraception. During the Stalin years, it was believed that abortion would hinder population growth, thus going against the socialist belief that power is equated with population. This is why abortion was prohibited and contraception was hindered. Contraception will be covered in depth in my later findings.
An astonishing statistic that I discovered was that after the re-legalization of abortion in the 1950’s, a desire for smaller families resulted in very high abortion rates. By 1965 the abortion rate had increased to 1 in 6 women having an abortion. This is in sharp contrast to the United States which was 1 in 30 woman. The following chart shows the relationship of Russian abortion rates to that of the U.S.

Also take note that the Russian Orthodox Church and its politicians are fighting very hard against expanded family planning efforts and even against teaching sexuality in schools. Still to this day, many schools are not willing to go against public opinion opposing sex education.

The chief obstetrician of the Russian Ministry of Health succinctly summarized the Russian political problems confronting family planning programs when he quoted lawmakers telling him "few enough of us were being born as it is, and then you come along with your [family planning] program." Complicating these matters is strong resistance, dating from Communist days, to formal education on sexuality. Education on sexuality issues was absent from Soviet medical schools. Even today, few Russian schools are willing to go against public opinion opposing sex education.


The following is the most current statement regarding the availability of an abortion in Russia:

Russia reportedly leads the world in the total number of abortions performed each year, which currently exceeds the country's annual number of live births. Abortion is freely available during the first 12 weeks of gestation as well as at any point during the pregnancy in cases involving a risk to the life or health of the mother or severe fetal abnormalities. Since 2003, abortion has also been legal between the 12th and 22nd weeks of pregnancy on certain social grounds, including imprisonment, rape, or spousal disability or death.


How Easy Can A Child Be Placed Up For Adoption In Russia?
Russia has been a country well known for it's huge "orphan" population. This is in part due to the fact that every 100th child born in Russia is immediately placed in an orphanage directly after birth because the parents cannot or will not take care of the child. This clearly shows how easy it is for "parents" to get rid of their child.

A 1997 report by UNICEF stated that over 600,000 Russian children were lacking parental care. Nearly 350,000 of these children resided in state-run institutions; another 30,000 were committed to locked psychoneurological homes for "uneducable" children. Another report the following year contended that there was a total of 860,000 children in institutions. But even that staggering amount may be in doubt; Russia's own government recently has suggested that as many as two million of the country's children do not have parents to look after them. The situation is showing no signs of improving. On average, every 100th child born in Russia today is sent to an orphanage directly from the maternity hospital because the parents cannot or will not care for their child; UNICEF notes that the annual number of children registered as "left without parental care" doubled between 1989 and 1999.

[edit on 12/9/2008 by TINSTACT]

posted on Dec, 9 2008 @ 01:48 AM
SOURCE for previous external content

Although it seems quite easy to place a child up for adoption in Russia, there is still a major problem. Being such an easy thing gives way to many children growing up never having any parental care. Although Russians want to keep their children in the country, very few Russians want to adopt. And becoming a foster parent, until recently, did not have any incentives.

Some reports estimate 700,000 children wait to be adopted in Russia. Russians wants their children to remain in their country, but according to current reporting, Russian families rarely adopt. Interfax found from a recent June 2005 poll by the Russian Public Opinion Studies Center (VTsIOM), which polled 153 cities, towns, and villages of 46 regions of Russia that: * 81% of Russians do not plan to adopt a child. * 61% believe that the government should not ban adoption by foreign families. * 13% believe that foreign adoption was necessary to solve the problem of neglected children.


New Incentives for Foster Parents in Russia

Children and disabled children can be fostered on a contractual basis in Russia. Such contracts are signed between the public authority in charge of the fosterling and the foster parent or organization. The foster parent receives money for his services and care.


With these new amendments to the foster care system, there may be an increase in foster care parenting.

Russian government is also going through a restructuring of their adoption process when it comes to foreigners adopting their children.

The Education Ministry, which oversees the adoption of Russian children by foreigners, has been heavily scrutinized by the State Duma(lower house of the Federal Assembly, the parliament of the Russian Federation) after the most recent two deaths in 2003 and 2005 of Russian children by U.S. adoptive parents. The State Duma is accusing the Education Ministry of being corrupt and making money off of the sell of Russian children. This has prompted the current investigation of Russian adoptions. Now Russian adoptions have been put on hold and have stopped accepting new applications from American adoption agencies. This is all part of its accreditation process.


posted on Dec, 10 2008 @ 12:48 PM


Due to the volume of this thread and the number of members posting,
I would like to ask everyone:

For each post have a header, state what country you are reporting on and your intentions for posting.

Also to reduce clutter please try and post after a team member has post his or her findings. If you are unsure whether the team member is completed posting their findings please u2u them.

Thank you.


[edit on 10-12-2008 by Ign0rant]

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