Impact of Abortion on Society The economic cost of abortion Before abortion law reform, abortion advocates argued that legalising abortion would have a positive effect on society. After several decades most of these predictions have proven false.
Share via Email Among the tilting tombs and granite grief in Kensal Green cemetery, west London, one grave stands out. Under a raffia canopy in mauve and black, it is decked out like a carnival float with bunting, flowers, pictures and trinkets.
Two champagne bottles are part of the display. The flamboyant grave does not, however, signal a profound change in our social habits, with mirth replacing mourning at funerals.
A groundswoman explains that a Tahitian prince, killed in a motorcycle crash, is buried there in accordance with the customs of his native island. But while the Tahitian burial is a one-off, there are in Kensal Green other unexpected, celebratory signs that would have shocked a few years ago and suggest that our attitude to death is changing: Each autumn and spring, there are collective memorial services for all the cemetery's dead, with "seasonal refreshments" served after.
And there is provision for Hindu, Buddhist and even non-religious funerals. Death is big business: Care of the dying has become a medical and nursing specialism: In academia, meanwhile, "death studies" is the label given to a range of courses on offer at several universities.
You can get an idea of this range from the list of experts attending an international conference on death, dying and "disposal", starting tomorrow at Goldsmith's College in south London. Participants include art historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, historians, psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, doctors, sociologists and professional carers and comforters.
Craig Spence, the conference co-ordinator, says the growth of death studies reflects public interest. This has been fuelled by trends such as the chronicling of their own terminal illness by writers such as Dennis Potter and John Diamond; the feeling that, in some instances, the approach of death can be planned and managed; and the rise of holistic medicine and therapy.
Spence, an historian at Goldsmith's, has chosen three conference themes: His paper will look at how mass drownings in the Thames, such as the sinking of the Marchioness, have been handled in different eras. There is no right way, but he argues that there is a need for people to be given guidance on how best to cope with loss.
Surprisingly, more of us - even churchgoers - are turning to mediums. This is a departure from the customary view that only Christianity can mediate between the living and the departed.
Walter says we are increasingly "mixing and matching" from a wide spectrum of beliefs and traditions. It's like a big secret. But it does happen; especially [among] bereaved parents.
The numbers are considerable: Jenny Littlewood, a psychologist in the faculty of health at South Bank university, London, points out that one in six pregnancies in the capital ends in a miscarriage within three months. Littlewood is highlighting a fascinating, shadowy area of appropriate ways of, as she puts it, "negotiating foetal loss and disposing of a 'nobody'".
The foetus is in a sort of limbo. The position, she explains, is this: Scans are performed from 16 weeks routinely. A foetal heart can be seen from six weeks. If the foetus miscarries before 24 weeks, there is no death certification.
Funerals may be provided from 16 weeks. With a very early miscarriage, parents might be confused as to whether there is a being to mourn. Littlewood observes that it is now the practice for midwives or nurses to lay a foetus on its side, with joined hands placed between pillow and head, suggesting peaceful repose.
With parental permission, staff will take a photograph of the dead foetus and offer it to the parents as a memento.Impact of Abortion on Society. The economic cost of abortion. Before abortion law reform, abortion advocates argued that legalising abortion would have a positive effect on society.
After several decades most of these predictions have proven false. One affect abortion has on women is that they become increasingly hostile towards men. The.
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John Cunningham on changing attitudes to death and funerals.