Devout Catholics hold very strong opinions about contraception and abortion. It is well documented that they oppose the use of any contraceptives; even those guaranteed to curb the endemic rates of AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections throughout many developing countries. Equally, they vocalise their opinion that abortion is inherently evil. In their view, even pregnancy spawned from rape is no justification for terminating a pregnancy. These beliefs are rooted in the notion that life is created at the moment the sperm enters the egg, that from this point, a brand new soul is created. It is also imparted that this new life, brought about solely via the physical act of a man and woman procreating, is bound to obtain salvation, or doomed to experience eternal hellfire.
Hinduism appears to offer a more enlightened view in regard to reincarnation. It is, however, equally embroiled in dogmatic beliefs, which limit a woman to terminating a pregnancy only if her life or mental wellbeing are at risk. She is defined as needing to fulfil familial and societal obligations to rear a child, preferably a male. Ironically, this preference for men to continue the family line is in itself, a common reason for abortions (female foeticide) throughout India. Hinduism, much like other mainstream religions, discounts the deeper intuition, connection and inner-knowing that women have access to, to innately feel what is the right course of action for them at such a crossroad.
It is not the purpose of this prelude to summarise all the major religions and their stance on a woman’s right to abort. Suffice to say, that mainstream religious views throughout the world condemn those who actively choose abortion as their future path. This results in millions of women across the globe resorting to unsafe, out-dated and demeaning practices to abort unwanted pregnancies in secrecy. This is the most obvious ill, but even women who have access to a proper and safe procedure are not free of the stigma either. Through these commonly held misconceptions, they are made to feel like sinners, selfish and worse still, murderers. Additionally, it is broadly understood that discussion of aborting a child is taboo, let alone sharing their personal experience with others. If women did share, however, they would be shocked to find how many others close in their midst have gone through the same process in silence and secret.
Serge Benhayon’s re-founding of The Way of The Livingness presents a refreshing and empowering connection to the deeper truths of life, death, reincarnation and a person’s right to choose his/her path. Unlike other religions, which segregate women as less than men in all areas, unable to hold equally pious positions within their congregation and ultimately, unable to choose abortion, The Way of The Livingness truly empowers women. Women are supported to connect to their inner knowing and to choose what is right for them, free from social ideals or out-dated male driven perspectives masquerading as God’s word.
The fundamental understanding is that we are all eternal beings experiencing human life, but never bound to it. We each have accumulated a reservoir of choices that amass to a lived quality and level of integrity. This we bring with us in each incarnation. The physicality of procreation is merely the worldly outplay to provide a vehicle of expression (a body) to a spirit/soul entering the physical plane for evolution.
I began this life as an unplanned foetus and initially, an unwanted child. It was my mother who made the choice to follow through with the pregnancy and my father, originally uncertain, soon agreed. I grew up as an only child and watched my parents divorce at the age of five. Even I was quite happy with the split. The love was long gone (if it was ever truly there to begin with) and they themselves were both eager to free themselves from the convenient, yet suffocating arrangement.
When boys came onto the scene as a teenager, I began to tread the well-known path of many girls before me: kissing, hand holding and fooling around, either at the movies, parties or each other’s houses. Where I differed, however, was that I left actual sex until a lot later. I had a deep inner knowing that this sacred act was not worthy of enacting after a drunken night with someone who just happened to be there and showed interest. My first time was with my then future husband at 22 years of age, fully sober, with a deep love and commitment in my heart.
We were always sure to use condoms. My mother, spurred on by an influential friend, had insisted I go on the pill as a preventative measure throughout my teens. Somewhat hurt by this, I knew I was nowhere near ready for such a step; I obligingly went along to the doctor to discuss my options. I took the first pill and became aware that my body and my essence felt somewhat separated. Granted, I wouldn’t have been able to articulate it the same way then, but with this ‘beside myself’ feeling, I only took the pill once more and then decided to discard the rest.
My future husband was always happy to wear a condom and it felt like the most supportive choice, without having to rely on an implant or oral pill to ensure we remained childfree. It was an incredible experience of exploration and surrender that, even now, continues to unfold and blossom with each fresh union.
After diligently using condoms, I heard some things about the Billings Method. Effectively, it supports women to become more in touch with their cycles via observation of cervical mucus and committing to an in-depth record of period and ovulation dates. With this information, you can choose to have unprotected sex during sections of time where you are sure to be infertile. Alas, I misheard this information; chose not to apply it in full and thus, an unwanted pregnancy resulted.
On the very first day after my period had finished my husband and I became intimate. I had the idea that surely the day after would mean I was safe. As it turns out, this was very, very wrong. As a result, I fell pregnant the very first time we had unprotected sex.
I felt the difference in my body immediately and rather quickly went off to the chemist to buy a test. As I sat, looking at the positive result, I felt calm within myself. I had an absolute knowing that this was not the right time for my partner and me. I was still studying and in the midst of a practical placement and my partner was working on building his business. We had very little, if anything, in the way of saving and we were still unmarried.
During this time, I felt to email a dear friend and mentor. I contacted Serge Benhayon not so much for counsel, but more so for confirmation. I recounted what happened and that I felt it wasn’t the right time. Most astoundingly (you’d think so too if you knew just how busy this man is), he suggested we chat and said he was there on call if needed. We talked and Serge simply supported me to make my own choice, free of judgement or investment. It was an incredible blessing to have such a steady and loving support available. His focus was absolute that I do, what supported my partner and me in full.
As time passed I began to feel myself change. I was moody, emotional and became a recluse. I postponed my practical placement for two weeks and chose instead to stay at home, watching copious amounts of television on a mattress dragged into the living room, with all the curtains drawn. My eating changed and I began to have cravings for foods that were not to my usual taste and I retreated from the loving warmth of my partner, becoming verbally abusive and downright irrational.
An outsider may well have observed this situation and concluded that I was someone who was struggling to come to terms with terminating the pregnancy. This could not have been further from the truth. I could feel, to my very core, that abortion was the right step. Others might attribute my severe shift in mental state to hormones and nothing more. This may have played a small part, but could in no way be attributed to my completely altered disposition.
With the support of a dear friend who had gone through a similar experience with his partner, my husband and I booked the procedure after having felt into which clinic was the most supportive. The day came and my husband, mother-in-law and I left for the operation. My husband was amazing throughout this time; he expressed understanding, was observant and completely supportive.
After the initial consultation, to ensure this was the right step for us, I left the familiarity of my family for a separate waiting room. I experienced this incredible calm pass over me and I waited, without anxiety, for the brief discussion with the doctor who’d be preforming the operation. He was very sweet, albeit a little racy from too much caffeine and he explained diligently the procedure in detail.
I must confess that the experience of the operation theatre was confronting: lying on the operating table, without underwear and placing my legs on the stirrups provided. The professionalism of the staff soon put me at ease as I drifted off with the aid of the general anaesthetic.
Meanwhile, while my husband waited, he felt the moment the abortion took place. He felt calmness spread throughout his body and this was confirmed by a call from the clinic staff moments later, saying they would soon be ready to release me. When I awoke, I was in absolute awe of the deep settlement I felt. I felt incredibly clear headed, connected to my body and completely aware of its delicacy and preciousness. My bodily movements were graceful and I was content. I was completely myself once more.
The philosophies of The Way of the Livingness took away from my choice all unnecessary, but unfortunately all too common, fear, anxiety, controlling dogma and nightmarish tales of condemnation. I was left in the freedom to choose, as an empowered woman in total control of my destiny. There was and still is no shame, no regret, no thoughts of, ‘what if.’ If anything, the experience has deepened my appreciation for pregnancy and childbirth. I was supported to trust, claim and subsequently surrender to my own knowing.
Currently my husband and I are discussing having children. We talk about our viewpoints on how to raise responsible and loving members of the community. We look deeper into our finances to ensure we are adequately supported for the shift in our family unit. We reflect on our behaviours, rhythms, relationship and quality of livingness, confirming our strengths and bringing our focus to areas which need more love.
I am in love with this process. Most importantly, because I have the power to choose.
Thank God for Serge Benhayon.
Thank God for The Way of the Livingness.