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

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posted on Dec, 12 2008 @ 07:30 PM
This post will cover the topics of Adoption and Religious Beliefs in Norway.


Adoption in Norway, and in Scandenavia in general, has become relatively commonplace. Norway and other countries in the region were among the first to partake in international adoption schemes. Currently it is legal for homosexual couples to adopt children in Norway, as well as marry.

In recent years the number of foreign children adopted into Norway has declined, while the number of adopted stepchildren has increased:

There were 703 adoptions in Norway last year. Adoptions of stepchildren have increased from 101 in 2004 to 236 in 2007. Some of the increase since 2005 concerns step-parents in partnerships adopting the partner’s child. The number of foreign adoptions has decreased since 2005.

In the latest four years, the number of adoptions of stepchildren has more than doubled, and the 236 adoptions of stepchildren in 2007 represent 34 per cent of all the adoptions last year. The reason for the increase in adoptions of stepchildren the two previous years is, among other factors, that more partners in partnerships adopt their partner’s child. Last year, 30 per cent of the stepchildren were adopted by a partner in partnership, which is an increase of 13 percentage points from 2006.
In the 1970s stepchild adoptions made up about 46 per cent of all adoptions. In the 1980s the share was 35 per cent, and in the 1990s 23 per cent. The share of stepchild adoptions in 2007 is hence at the same level as in the 1980's.
Decrease in foreign adoptions
In the two previous years the number of foreign adoptions has decreased from 704 to 417. The main reason is that the period of waiting for an adoption from China has increased. Still, most of the children adopted inter-country in 2007 came from China. In addition to China, many foreign adopted children came from Colombia, South Korea and Ethiopia. The decrease in foreign adoptions was considerably smaller in 2007 than in the year before.

The majority of adoptive parents are in good social standing, with a high level of education, though one or both parent may elect not to work in order to support the child:

Adoptive parents are not representative of parents in general. All the surveys carried out in Scandinavia show that working-class families are under-represented among adoptive families (Rørbeck 1989, Kvifte-Andresen 1992, Cederblad et al 1994, Botvar 1995 and 1999, Dalen & Rygvold 1999). Botvar (1999) compares the father’s occupation in both adoptive families and families with their own natural-born children and finds that the humanistic-social middle level is particularly heavily over-represented among adoptive fathers. According to this survey, every fourth foreign adoptee has a father working in the health, social-welfare and education sector. We also find the same tendency among the adoptive mothers (Dalen & Rygvold 1999).
The fact that so many adoptive parents have occupations that mean they often come into contact with children and teenagers and with the welfare services may be positive for the children, since these professions require the parents to be educated in subjects such as psychology and pedagogics. In addition, we know that many adoptive parents take part in courses arranged by the various adoption associations. For that reason, the families should have relatively good financial and educational resources.

The birth mother will be entitled to time off work and coverage for her prenatal medical care.

In general, adoptive parents are entitled to the same state benefits as a mother who has recently given birth upon the arrival of their adopted child:

Norway has invested a good deal of effort in ensuring optimal conditions for families with small children. Great importance has been attached to enabling parents to combine work and family life.
The parental benefit scheme enables parents to stay at home with their child during the first year of the child’s life. Parents who adopt a child under the age of 15 are entitled to largely the same benefits as those that apply when a child is born.
In order to be entitled to the parental or adoption benefit, the mother must have been employed and earning a pensionable income for at least 6 of the 10 months immediately prior to the commencement of the benefit period. The father must have been employed and earning a pensionable income for 6 of the 10 months immediately prior to the commencement of his part of the benefit period. The pensionable income earned during the qualifying period must be equal to at least half the annual National Insurance basic amount, i.e. it must be at least NOK 30,350 (2005).
The parental leave period in connection with childbirth has gradually been extended. Parents now receive parental benefits for 53 weeks at 80 per cent pay or 43 weeks with full pay. The corresponding adoption benefit period is 50 or 40 weeks. For births and adoptions after 1 July 2006 the parental leave period will be extended by one week to 54/44 weeks for births and 51/41 weeks for adoptions.

Religion in Norway.

Despite being regarded as one of the most liberal countries in the world, Norway has a strong Christian populace:

The main religion in Norway is The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Norway, to which 89% of the population belongs to and which is the religion of the state. Church and state are not separated in Norway, but complete religious freedom is guaranteed. The remaining 11% of the population belong to Islam, the Roman-Catholic church, various Protestant denominations, other religions or are non-
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Norway today
The church receives support from the state, and the main reason for not separating these two is that one wants the Christian values to have a strong position in the society. “Christian values” in this context mean what most people would consider obvious moral and ethic standards - not stealing, not beating up others, respect and honor others etc.
Religion is not a big issue in Norway. There are various degrees of religious strictness in the church. Some parishes are very strict and want to do as much as possible completely by the Bible, but most people have a relaxed relationship to the religion. The western parts of Norway are traditionally regarded as Puritan.
Many of the members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church are non-practicing, or they only attend services at special occasions such as weddings and funerals. To differ between practicing and non-practicing Christians, there is an expression in Norway called “being personally Christian”. That expression means that one believes in God, and is a member of the Church for this reason. Those who are members of the Church, but not personally Christians are members because that’s how it’s always been, they were born into it and haven’t really had to take a stand for or against.
Men and women in the Church have equal rights to become priests, bishops and so on. The King is the head of the Church, and he nominates the clergy.
The Parishes often run kindergartens and missionaries, and organize various church activities.

Most Norwegians (83 per cent) belong to the Church of Norway and many people's religious lives find expression in church rituals and holidays.

There are 1,600 Church of Norway churches and chapels. Parish work is led by a pastor and an elected parish council. The country is geographically divided into 1,284 parishes, 106 deaneries and rural deaneries and 11 dioceses. The members of elected parish councils total around 9,000.

The Church of Norway General Synod meets annually. 80 of the 86 delegates are the members of the 11 diocesan councils. The Church of Norway National Council, led by a lay person, is the Synod's executive body. The Council on Ecumenical and International Relations is the executive in international and ecumenical matters. The Sami Church Council is responsible for the Church of Norway work among Norways indigiounes sami people.
Central administrative functions are carried out by the Royal Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs.
Financial responsibility for salaries and the maintenance of buildings is shared by state and municipal authorities. Additional parish activity largely depends on offertory money and voluntary activities.
The King is the constitutional head of the Church of Norway. He exercises this authority through the Council of State. Legislation concerning the Church goes through the Storting, Norway's parliament.

There are more than 1,200 clergy, of whom around 19 per cent are women (ordained since 1961). The first woman bishop of the Church of Norway, Rosemarie Köhn, was February 1993 appointed to the See of Hamar.

An average of 77 per cent of infants are baptised in the Church of Norway and a around 67 per cent of the young people are confirmed. The majority of weddings take place in church, and the great majority of funerals are church funerals.

posted on Dec, 19 2008 @ 11:46 AM
Do social/religious stigmas influence abortion rates in Russia?

An interesting question when it comes to Russia. Most people who I have come across through this research believe that there is no stigma at all in Russia. This is one reason why there is such a high rate of abortion in the country. A great example of this is from Michelle Malkin, a woman from Russia who gives a great example of the lack of stigma when it comes to abortion. She claims women are so freely accepting of abortion in Russia that that is what has led to the actual encouragement of abortion.

I think attitude goes a long way to explain what's going on in Russia. Sure, there are circumstances, such as financial or emotional considerations, that may lead so many Russian women to have abortions but I wonder what role plain acceptance plays in that culture.
True story: I was 17 and over my friend's place. Her mom was hanging out with us as we discussed another girl we knew having a child. Her mom said 'why didn't she have an abortion? What is it with girls these days that they think their child is the special child that should be born when they themselves are so young? There will be other pregnancies, why can't they just wait? I had 5 abortions before having _____, and she's had two already.' ('She' being her daughter, my 17-year old friend).
Since then, I've heard open, frank abortion discussion from Russian women I barely know: 'Yeah, I had one and then I got pregnant again right after that so I had another one.' 'No, she decided to get an abortion and wait until after he gets the promotion.' 'If we stay in NY I'll keep it, but I'm not moving to Miami and having a baby in the next year.' Russians are the only people I've heard actually be pro-abortion and unapologetically so.


For most of the history of the Soviet Union, women relied primarily on induced abortion to control their fertility. Even today, though the use of contraception has increased markedly in the former Soviet Union, the region has one of the highest abortion rates in the world.
Many believed that the Soviet "culture of abortion" was so ingrained that abortion rates would be slow to decline, regardless of the availability of contraceptives. The experience of most of the former socialist states in Eastern and Central Europe and Central Asia during the past decade suggests otherwise.


After researching this portion, I have found that until recently, thanks in part to international involvement, there has been essentially no stigma attached to abortion in Russia. Woman have freely used this method as their form of contraception. Through the efforts of the international community, the rates of abortion have seemed to decline since the collapse of the socialist movement in Russia.

posted on Dec, 19 2008 @ 12:06 PM
Accessibility of OTC and Prescription Contraception In Russia

When initial contraceptives were available in Russia, they were of very poor quality. They were also frowned upon by medical professionals and the Russian government of the time. This is very important to know when it comes to the current state of contraception in Russia.

Even when modern contraceptives became available some 50 years later, rates of induced abortion remained high because of the poor quality of Soviet-made contraceptives, erratic supplies, fears about the health effects of hormonal contraceptives, and opposition by government authorities and medical professionals to contraceptive use.


Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, contraception has become much more readily available.

All this began to change in the tumultuous period before and after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. "Because of changes in the government and the ability of international donors to start playing a role, contraception suddenly became much more available," says Dr. Julie DaVanzo, director of the U.S.-based RAND's Population Matters Project and coauthor of a study on Russian population trends.
Increases in contraceptive prevalence in the former Soviet republics have been attributed to greater availability of contraceptive services and supplies, primarily through the private sector and nongovernmental organizations.6 Support from international donors, such as the United Nations Population Fund and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has also been important.7 Since 1996, USAID has invested in a project in Russia to expand access to effective contraception and to reduce abortion.8


Although contraceptives are more available now than ever before in Russia, they are very expensive. Since the average income for a woman is not very high, it is hard for them to afford it. This article gives a great example of the cost of hormonal contraception versus the cost of an abortion as it relates to a woman's income.

Contraceptives and hormone containing remedies are relatively expensive in Russia as the monthly average income salary is 1500 R (54$) and a condom costs around 9 R (0,3$) and pills between 50 and 300 R (1,8 and 10$). In Russia, abortion still remains the main method of birth control. Abortion is legally permitted under the following instances: at a woman's request within the 12th week of pregnancy; within 22 weeks if there are social conditions under which pregnancy, child birth and child rearing would become a heavy burden for a woman; and at any time if it is established that pregnancy could harm the health of the mother or the child. Russia's abortion rate is one of the highest in the world. For every 100 births there are approximately 200 abortions. Due to the lack of funds in the public health services it is not always possible for a woman to have an abortion 'at her own will' free of charge. An abortion costs 5$ in rural regions and 50$ in Moscow. Programs of family planning were applied between 1992 and 1996, making the number of abortions decline by 25% . But in the following years, there were less or no funds put in the programs, because of pressures mainly by religious groups, and the percentage of abortions raised again. Sexual education is given since 1996 in schools in Moscow and St Pet but not in every establishment


Some additional facts of the cost of contraception versus the "risk it" factor will be continued in the next post.

posted on Dec, 19 2008 @ 12:20 PM

In Russia, a package of spermicide can cost two-thirds of the minimum monthly salary, according to the New York-based Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, which recently finished an analysis of the region. "Chronic shortages and high costs render contraception difficult to access and thus effectively unavailable to the majority of women in Central and Eastern Europe," the center said. "A couple will not spend that much on contraception if it is that expensive and would rather just risk it," said Katherine Hall-Martinez, deputy director of the center's international program.
In the Russian federation, "the main method of fertility regulation is as yet the use of clinical abortions," the World Health Organization wrote in its latest study of that country.
Supplies of modern contraceptives in Russia, it said, are "either unavailable in sufficient quantities or unaffordable for the majority of the population."


One last snippet from a great article about the current attempt to increase contraceptive education within the country. A great article that demonstrates how new contraception is.

Contraceptive use in Russia is relatively recent and despite a rapid decline in recent years, abortion is still a preferred family planning method. Among modern methods, intrauterine devices are the most widely used, followed by condoms. Hormonal contraceptives have not reached full acceptance in Russia, but the sales of these products have reportedly increased by 160% since 2002.


Some additional sources on availability of contraceptives in Russia:


posted on Dec, 19 2008 @ 12:51 PM
Women's Rights Under Maternity Laws

I have taken a different spin when looking at this portion of the project. I decided to cover one major bill that has recently passed that the Russian government is using to try and reverse their severe demographic decline due to high abortion rates. When it comes to Russia, it's current government has not given actual rights under any maternity laws, but instead are trying to persuade women to have children instead of aborting them through a monetary incentive.

The president-sponsored bill provides Russian women who give birth or adopt a second child after January 1, 2007, with a special one time payout for each additional child. The payouts are currently set at 250,000 rubles (nearly $9,400), but will be revised annually based on inflation rates. The money would be available for use by the family as soon as the newly born child turns three (or following three years from his or her adoption). Alexandre Babakov, the leader of the Rodina (Motherland) Party, stated that this law is crucial to Russia's effort to overcome its grave demographic crisis.


What is interesting about this new bill is the fact that the money is not available until the child(ren) turn three years old. This is due to the fact that in Russia, it is required for a woman who has a child must take a three year paid maternity leave from her job. This is for daycare purposes. This also in turn demonstrates how an employer may frown upon hiring a woman who is either pregnant or is planning on having a family. This law adds to the "abortion culture" that is so prevalent in Russia.

Pregnant women or women with a child 1 to 3 years of age are strictly forbidden to work at night. When a pregnant woman leaves her job to give birth and look after her child, there is a 'requirement for a 3 year-paid maternity leave for child care'. Therefore young women are discriminated when applying for a job." target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">SOURCE


Throughout my research in this project, I have learned many things about abortion in Russia. The most influential thing being that of the actual "abortion culture" that dominates Russian society. Since the legalization of abortion without restrictions in the 1920's, the abortion rates nearly double that of the birth rates. This, if not turned around, is going to lead to a severe decline in the Russian demographic. What I find fascinating is that although Russian government seeks to be this big influential world power, they do not seem to be doing much to increase their population in order to ensure a thriving and long lasting country.
Efforts have been made more by outside sources i.e. international organizations rather than the country itself. Major programs have been put forth to try and increase contraceptive use through education and family planning, yet the abortion to birth rate still hovers around 2 to 1. It becomes a difficult venture when it is cheaper to have an abortion than it is to use modern contraception.
Unless the people of Russia begin to realize what may be in store for their country and populace if these rates are not curbed some how, I feel they may be in severe danger of a substantial decline in their country as a whole.
I hope you have gained some valuable information through my presentation of the topics covered in this project as they relate to Russia.


posted on Dec, 25 2008 @ 05:31 PM
Abortion in Israel


Israel, the children of God, became a nation in 1948. Abortions have been a part of Israel since it became a nation. One has to be surprised and wonder why a nation so deeply rooted in religion and whose culture revolves around religion is so willing to tolerate abortions in their country. Are abortions a part of their religion, a part of societies acceptance of changing times, or a part of life where right and wrong depends upon the person that is asked? Many questions arise out of the abortion issue, but the answers given are mostly vague, misleading, partly true/false, or totally confusing. Add religion to the mix and the abortion issue becomes even more complex.

Since Adam and Eve were told “to be fruitful and multiply,” children have been an essential part of family life, especially for the Jewish people. The Biblical matriarchs Sarah and Rachel, as well as later Hannah, agonized over their inability to bear children. In Israel, where Jewish family values have remained particularly strong, children are seen as a “bracha” (blessing).

Israel Abortion Rate

The abortion rate in Israel as reported in 2006 was about 12%.

Abortion History

Prior to Israel becoming a nation, the area was under British control. When Israel became a nation in 1948, Israel adopted the British abortion laws, The Offences Against The Person Act 1861 and The Infant Life Preservation Act 1929. The 1861 Act made abortion illegal for any reason but was later amended with the 1929 Act. The 1929 Act made abortion legal solely for the purpose of preserving the life of the mother. These laws remained in effect until 1977 when Israel decided to pass its own abortion law.

Current Abortion Law

Penal Code, sections 312-321, was passed in 1977 to replace the British laws. This Israeli law allowed legal abortions under certain conditions. The conditions are as follows:

1.The woman is under the legal age for marriage or above 40.
2.The pregnancy is the result of incestuous or extra-marital relations
3.The unborn child will suffer from a physical or mental deformity.
4.The continuation of pregnancy will endanger the life of the mother, or may cause her physical or mental damage.

A termination committee, composed of two doctors and a social worker, has to approve the abortion. One of the members on the committee must be female. There are several termination committees located throughout Israel. Any woman beyond 23 weeks of pregnancy has to seek permission from a special committee. This committee consists of the following individuals:

director of the medical center (to which the application has been sent), the director of the maternity ward, the director of the neonatology ward, the director of a genetics center, and a chief social worker.

Israeli health services pays for abortions based on medical conditions or where minors are involved.

Ease of Obtaining Abortions in Israel

Abortions in Israel are rarely denied. In 1999, 96% of abortions were approved. According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics for 2004, the census stated that about 99% of abortions requests in 2003 were approved. 42% of abortions performed in 2004 were performed on unmarried women.

In practice, most requests for abortion are granted, and leniency is shown especially under the clause for emotional or psychological damage to the mother. According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics report from 2004, 19,500 legal abortions were performed in Israel in 2003, while 200 requests for abortion were denied. Most abortions were authorized because the woman was unmarried (42%), because of illegal circumstances (11%), health risks to the mother (about 20%), age of the woman (11%) and fetal birth defects (about 17%). [2]


Birth control pills are the most common form of contraceptives in Israel. Nearly a quarter of Israeli women use them. Condoms are the second most popular form of protection. Sterilization ranks low because of Jewish tradition. Many contraceptives are available through several outlets in the Israeli healthcare system. However, Israel has a reputation of pronatalism. This could explain the reason or difficulty women have acquiring the necessary contraceptives to help prevent pregnancies. Many forms of contraceptives are not completely covered by the Israeli heath plans and other forms of contraceptives are seldom discussed as alternatives.

Birth control pills are a popular method of contraception in Israel, used by about a quarter of Israeli women (23%), according to a Geocartography Institute survey conducted on behalf of Bayer Schering Pharma.

Over the last 20 years Israel has witnessed a gradual expansion of family planning services in both the public and private health care sectors. However, despite fairly universal heath care coverage and the broad range of medical assistance provided in the basic basket of services, contraceptives continue to fall outside of the basic basket of services offered to women. Israeli sick funds offer contraceptive devices at a fee which varies from 170 NIS for an IUD fitting at clinics operated by the General Sick Fund (which insures approximately 75% of the population) to 400 NIS in the other major funds. Although oral contraceptive pills are offered at a subsidized price (approximately 75% of the actual cost), this fact is not widely publicized and most clinics prefer to dispense the IUD to women after childbirth. Diaphragms are neither encouraged nor subsidized. Other non-prescriptive methods, such as foam, rhythm, and withdrawal are perceived as outside of medical jurisdiction, and are therefore rarely discussed by doctors as alternatives.

Social Stigma

The biggest social stigma is placed on unmarried pregnant women.

By Jewish law, a child born to an unwed mother is legal, and there is no stigma attached to his/her birthright. It is the mother who carries the burden of shame, according to the religious ruling and much popular belief, and not the child.

The shame a woman feel can be because of the looks, comments, or a lack of acceptance the community expresses. This shame is capable of producing fear, stress, and depression over a possible woman’s lack of judgment or her true desire to conceive a child. A woman may also face criticism on how she plans to be self-sufficient in providing for her family. The woman fears that her or her child will be viewed as a burden on the Israeli welfare system. Women, pregnant or not, fear not being socially recognized or not being able to be economically self-sufficient in providing for their child or children.

The first concerns social recognition, since solo parent families do not fall within the normative family pattern of one male and one female parent.

the question of recognition is especially meaningful in regard to families headed by women who have chosen the solo parent pattern, be they single, separated, or divorcees who do not remarry.

Public policy regarding solo parent families developed over the past two decades, coinciding with an increase in the incidence of such families. It was a period of severe pressure to lower the real wages. Thus, it is not surprising that despite the increasing numbers of solo parent families, no real effort was made to improve their ability to support themselves by changing the wage system. Instead, efforts to assist these families focused on the social safety net. Although the safety net did provide generous assistance to solo parent families in the 1990s, as we will see, this generosity did not survive the decade: the 2003 budget severely reduces assistance to solo parent families and threatens to undermine their economic self-sufficiency.

One has to question whether the same social stigma that labels unwed pregnant mothers as future welfare dependents is inhibiting their ability to be self-sufficient. The system is set up to provide assistance rather than incentive.

[edit on 25-12-2008 by jam321]

posted on Dec, 25 2008 @ 05:40 PM
Religious Stigma

Abortion is a grave sin, at least according to the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. The Rabbi feels that many abortions are being done although the mother’s life is not in danger.
He goes on to state that abortions are delaying the return of the Messiah.

"The vast majority of abortions are unnecessary and strictly forbidden according to halacha because they are carried out even when the pregnancies do not endanger the mother's health," the rabbis wrote in their decision.

The rabbis further believe that abortions are delaying the messiah, based on an expression uttered by the Jewish sages which can be construed that the messiah will not arrive until all children to be born to Jewish mothers are born.

An utterance like the one above seeks to bring the abortion issue to the forefront and bring shame, guilt, and fear to any woman who is thinking about obtaining an abortion. How could a woman get an abortion knowing the consequences she must pay if abortion is truly a sin within her religion? However, under Judaism, abortion is allowed if there is a direct threat to the mother’s health.

As a general rule, abortion in Judaism is permitted only if there is a direct threat to the life of the mother by carrying the fetus to term or through the act of childbirth. In such a circumstance, the baby is considered tantamount to a rodef, a pursuer6 after the mother with the intent to kill her. Nevertheless, as explained in the Mishna,7 if it would be possible to save the mother by maiming the fetus, such as by amputating a limb, abortion would be forbidden. Despite the classification of the fetus as a pursuer, once the baby's head or most of its body has been delivered, the baby's life is considered equal to the mother's, and we may not choose one life over another, because it is considered as though they are both pursuing each other.

The research indicates that, for the most part, there is no religious stigma that correlates to the abortion rate. Religions in Israel are tolerant of abortion. The following link provides more reading on the religious tolerance of abortion in Israel.


Adopting a child in Israel is a very daunting and difficult task. Adoptions in Israel are controlled by the Ministry of Social Welfare’s Adoption Services and the courts. The adoption services are responsible for finding homes for children from birth to age 12. There are very few children adopted in Israel. Annually, about 150 Israeli children are adopted each year. As a result, majority of Israelis wishing to adopt are force to adopt abroad. Any Israeli willing to adopt has to be at least 18 years old and cannot be more than 40 years older than the child he/she is seeking to adopt. The person adopting has to have lived in Israel for at least 3 years and must have the same religion as the child he or she is adopting. In 2008, Israel extended adoption rights to same sex couples.

Because demand for adoptive children far outstrips supply, there is a waiting period averaging seven years for a healthy, normal infant in Israel and only about 150 Israeli children are adopted annually.

there are also only a small number of babies available for adoption in Israel each year. Many Israelis, for that reason, choose to adopt internationally.

Israel's attorney general said on Sunday that same sex-couples will be allowed to adopt children that are not biologically linked to either partner.

Israeli Foster Care

For children to be available for adoption, the biological parents must forego any and all rights and obligations toward the child. Many parents, although unable to care for their children, are unwilling to completely sever ties forever. In addition, Adoption Services does not seek adoptive parents for children over the age of 12.

EMUNAH, a community organization, operates five children homes for children, who are not available for adoption due to various reasons such as age, disability, or neglect.
The organization attempts to provide a loving stable environment along with education and counseling to enhance the future success of the children residing in their care.

Maternal Leave

Pregnant Israeli women are eligible for National Insurance maternity benefits (hospitalization grant, maternity grant, maternity allowance if they meet the following conditions:

1. Have worked in Israel for at least six consecutive months immediately before birth.
2. Employer paid the due National Insurance fees.

Any pregnant woman meeting these criteria is entitled to free hospitalization. In addition, the expectant mother is given a maternity grant once the child is born. The current grant is 1390 new Israeli shekel (NIS) or about 400 US dollars. The mother is also permitted maternity leave. Maternity leave is for 14 weeks. An expectant mother has the option of taking all 14 weeks after the birth of a child or she may split it in half before and after birth of the child.

Maternity allowance is also a benefit extended to a pregnant mother. The amount of allowance depends on the length of time a woman has worked at her job.

The allowance is equal to your salary and is subject to the same deductions. It is paid at the middle of your maternity leave.

The duration of the paid maternity leave is as follows:
If you have worked for 6-10 months – you are entitled to 7 weeks of paid maternity leave;
If you have worked for more than 10 months - you are entitled to 14 weeks of paid maternity leave.
You may take up to half the paid leave before the birth. For example, if you have worked for more than 10 months, you may take up to 7 weeks leave before giving birth and the rest after the birth.

Once the baby is born, a woman can also sign up for baby medical insurance with the Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Health has a program that will pay for half of the baby medical insurance.

In conclusion, the research seems to indicate that the social stigma placed on unwed pregnant mothers does correlate with the abortion rate. Israel places a high value on having children, but even a higher value on having children within a marriage. The research further indicates that abortions are easy to obtain and that adoption may be an issue that is seldom discussed in the abortion process.

On a final note, it should be emphasized that this research was limited due to available material. Some of the best material could only be found in the Israeli language with very few translations. As a result, no graphs or charts are available for this section of the research. If any relevant material is found, it shall be included in a future amended post.

posted on Jan, 4 2009 @ 08:32 PM

Religon and Abortion in Japan

Let me first start of by apologizing to those who have been reading this thread and have noticed my lack of participation. I was unable to complete my research post prior to vacation so I was couldn't to post for quite some time. I am truly sorry for the delay and want to thank my team members who have done an excellent job so far.

In non-western countries it is very hard to understand the extent of which religion plays into a country. Japan is said not to be heavily entrenched into the ideals of a singular religion but many citizens adopt views from various teachings. In its syncretismic nature religion's heed is many times ignored. Although however slight it is, the impact that religion plays on abortion is still relevant.

I will be focusing on Buddhism since it is the major religion of Japan.

To undertake the training to avoid taking the life of beings. This precept applies to all living beings not just humans. All beings have a right to their lives and that right should be respected.

Buddhists place life and the right to live amongst the highest priority. The first precept is the most important pillar that holds the Buddhist faith. Subject this precept over the idea of abortion and it's in complete violation of Buddhist principles. Yet stern Buddhists are very sympathetic to certain circumstances on which abortions must take place. The spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai lama has even been recorded saying that :

"Of course, abortion, from a Buddhist viewpoint, is an act of killing and is negative, generally speaking. But it depends on the circumstances. If the unborn child will be retarded or if the birth will create serious problems for the parent, these are cases where there can be an exception. I think abortion should be approved or disapproved according to each circumstance."

Taking the life of any living thing is generally condemned in Buddhism, so of course killing a fetus would not meet with easy approval. There are, however, exceptions — there are different levels of life and not all life is equal. Abortion to save the life of the mother or if not done for selfish and hateful reasons is permissible.

Abortion acting under the guise of birth control isn't permitted.

Buddhists face a difficulty where an abortion is medically necessary to save the life of the mother and so a life will be lost whether there is or isn't an abortion. In such cases the moral status of an abortion will depend on the intentions of those carrying it out. If the decision is taken compassionately, and after long and careful thought then although the action may be wrong the moral harm done will be reduced by the good intentions involved

While the aspect of abortion is seen through lenient eyes from those of the Buddhist faith, it's aspect of karma is unforgiving. The belief system of Karma develops from the ideal that good things that are done in the past will heed good things in your future. Committing an abortion is very harmful to one's karma. Not only would it impede on the mothers' karma but the fetus's as well.

The foetus suffers bad karma because its soul is deprived of the opportunities that an earthly existence would have given it to earn good karma, and is returned immediately to the cycle of birth, death and rebirth. Thus abortion hinders its spiritual progress.

Either we are intentionally taking life or we are not, and if we are, then we violate Buddhism's First Precept. The response a Buddhist may make, such Ochiai Seiko's above, is in essence, "Yes, we should always avoid the ending of a life, no matter how insignificant it may seem." But 'life' is an ambiguous term, and the ending of one form of life in the service of others is not necessarily prohibited in Buddhism. And if one's intention is not so much to end a life as to rescue others, then we are not dealing with a simple case of intentionally killing.


  2. Dreifus, Claudia. (November 28, 1993). "The Dalai Lama." The New York Times


[edit on 4-1-2009 by Ign0rant]

posted on Jan, 6 2009 @ 12:13 AM

Adoption in Japan

Adoption is a troublesome task to accomplish in the country of japan. The 'red tape' that encompasses the process inhibits many potential parents. It is seen as a serious endeavor that honors the parents for making the choice to adopt. Most adoptions in Japan are run through the CGC or other private agencies.

Child requirements: Japanese law does not define an orphan. Rather, a "child who requires protection" is defined as:
  1. A child born out of wedlock
  2. An abandoned infant
  3. A child whose parent(s) has/have died or disappeared
  4. A child whose parents are incapable of providing support
  5. An abused child

The Child Guidance Center (CGC) is the local government authority responsible for determining whether a child requires protection. The CGC may issue a certificate to a "child who requires protection," but only if the child has been placed under the care of the child welfare authorities. The CGC will not issue a certificate if the child is to be adopted abroad or if the child will benefit from a privately arranged adoption. Under Japanese law, an adoptable child is any minor who has been irrevocably released for adoption by its sole surviving parent, by a legal guardian, by both parents (if both parents are living and remain married), by the natural mother (in the case of an out-of-wedlock birth), or by the institution that has custody of the child. If the child is not Japanese, the Family Court with jurisdiction over the adoption will consider an adoptable child to be any child who has met the pre-adoption requirements of the child's country of nationality. The surviving parent has the legal capacity to transfer custody of the child to a second party by signing a "statement of release of orphan for emigration and adoption." If the surviving natural parent is a minor (i.e. under 20 years old), then the natural parent's parent or guardian must also sign a similar statement.

Many criteria have to be met in Japan for the parents to be considered as an prospective parent. Living standards and income also play a role in the adoption process. Anyone on a temporary Visa in Japan is ineligible to adopt a child.

Age Requirements: In special adoptions, prospective adoptive parents must be over 25 years of age. In regular adoption, prospective adoptive parents must be at least 20 years of age.

After these criteria are met, is only when the child will be eligible to be adopted. Due to the regulations many children aren't being adopted in Japan.

The staggering number of orphans in Japan was in the thousands in the year 2006 as reported by UNICEF. This overflow has caused many the failure of many orphanages to provide proper living conditions. The only other hope left for the children is to be placed in foster care.


People like the Sakamotos are in high demand, as residential child-protection institutions overflow with abused children in need of caring guardians. But by law, abusive parents can hold kids back from foster care. And few Japanese families volunteer to invite nonkin children into their fold.

Biological parents lose their say over whether their child can be removed from foster care when the placement is done with court permission. However, in cases where a biological parent initially gave the go-ahead for foster care, the parent can revoke it under Article 27 of the Child Welfare Law, which simply spells out the process for gaining approval from child-welfare officials. For years, Anne Funds Project has tried to persuade politicians to revise the Child Abuse Prevention Law to allow courts to partially sever the custody rights of abusive parents so their children can be more securely placed in foster care. That would put Japan more in line with North America and Europe.

In conclusion Japan is a country that is rapidly advancing towards a bright future. Yet if this path is kept on it will soon forge a world where the rights of women are silenced under the guise of conformity. The restrictions on the availability of contraceptives and accessibility of abortion play a major role in prevalence of abortion. When contraception is readily unavailable and many ignore it's uses, the ignorant are forced with the choice of abortion. Not having an abortion because the parents intend to give it up to adoption would just clog the already over-populated orphanages of Japan. Religious pressures can also be seen to effect the rate of abortion in the country. Those who follow the words of Buddha are prone to be pro-choice is their actions. Lastly societal stigma's are to blame for the growing incidence of abortion in the country of Japan. Much pressure in placed on it's citizens to have 'proper' families that wouldn't contain out of wedlock babies or single mothers. The negativity placed on the latter drives many young women to finally make the choice to have an abortion.




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