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Sharing this article with you, that was found at the AOL Library with permission to redistribute.
AzureGreen Jewelry and Pentagrams
Church Of All Worlds Encyclical
On Reproductive Rights

Being a synthesis of the wisdom of several women in the CAW
who among them have lived all of the following salient experiences:
abortion, live birth, raising one's own child, raising another's child
through adoption or step-parenting, giving up a child for adoption,
miscarriage, successful birth control, and sterilization. The Church of
All Worlds supports a variety of spiritual experiences, knowing that
diversity brings richness and stability to organizations as it does to
ecosystems. Therefore, the writing of an "official position paper" is a
novel and difficult thing. Yet in light of the old axiom that a people
who will not stand for something will fall for anything, we feel
impelled to take a stand against the threat to deny women their right
to control their own bodies and the timing of their offspring.
      One of the few pieces of "dogma" (if you can call it that) that the
CAW does hold is the sanctity of the Goddess. Fundamental to the
Goddess as Great Mother, the first and oldest, is the wonder of
reproduction. The miracle of a body producing Life, whether it is the
body of the Earth, of an animal, a plant, or a human being, is feminine
divinity manifest. The Goddess is sacred. So are Her all aspects of Her
     Yet today's cultures do not regard mortal women's reproductive
ability with anything approaching this sense of sanctity. Too many
women have been molested as children, raped as adults, beaten as
mothers, relegated to low paying jobs, denied birth control by
religious and political insitutions, and threatened with denial of the
right to terminate pregnancy. Prenatal care is often hard for poor
women to obtain and birthing is dominated by a gender that has never
experienced it. Mothers are frequently alone, poor, undereducated, too
young or otherwise inadequate to the monumental task of raising a
child. Social support for every aspect of human reproduction is
lacking in major ways.
     If a woman wishes to terminate her pregnancy because of
poverty, ill-health, lack of emotional or financial capability, to
prevent her, thus forcing a child to compound and endure these
adverse conditions in life, is cruel in the extreme. The ill effects of
forcing incarnation into a body that is drug addicted, or where the
mother's life is threatened, are pronounced, but subtle harm is also
done when the body and psyche are formed in an environment flooded
with the biochemical and psychological effects of maternal fear,
anger, depression, resentment, rage, despair, horror and hate. In a
world already bursting with too many bodies, forcing a woman to bear
a child under adverse circumstances shows a violent disregard for the
sanctity of life and disrespect for the Goddess, women and the
environment. True "right-to-life" concerns the quality of existence,
before and after birth, as well as the health of the overall web of life,
already stressed by human overpopulation.
     The presence of Life permeates all creatures, from the great
whale to the tiny germ. It animates the sperm and ovum as much as
the zygote. Life is created by the dance of the Lord and the Lady in
the photosynthetic trysting of the plants, and flows along the food
chain to the animals and beyond into the dark Earth again. The issue
is not Life per se but one of adequate life support. It is patently
obvious that if church and government were seriously concerned with
the right to life, the issues of gun control, nuclear weapons, the
waging of war and environmental degradation would be addressed.
     Throughout history, laws governing the rights of women's
reproductive capacities show a consistent pattern with patriarchal
cultures and periods of military expansion. In Ninevah and Rome it
was a criminal offense for a woman to seek an abortion, but each
newborn baby was placed at its father's feet that he might choose to
raise it up, smash it with his foot, or order it exposed. Bearing and
raising children against their wills keeps women in a dependent
position and serves the continuance of patriarchal values, but the
freedom to manifest intelligent timing and a well-prepared situation
allows the woman to honor her responsibility as well as her health,
career goals, and emotional needs.
     We, who revere life and all that it entails, individually and
collectively face and address these problems. It is our intention and
will to see the events of reproduction universally respected as sacred
and to enact the restoration of the sanctity of responsible reproductive
     The process begins long before abortion becomes an issue, with
healthy, relevent and honest sex education for all persons, especialy
teenagers. Intensive research into safe and effective means of birth
control for both sexes must be funded and tested in humane ways that
do not exploit women, men or animals. Universal access to acceptable
birth control methods, regardless of socioeconomic status or age, is
essential, as are the information, support and means to avoid sexually
transmitted diseases. It is the sacred duty of both men and women to
prevent unwanted conception. The question of abortion can be largely
circumvented by the religious use of birth control.
     Sensible counseling and high-quality, inexpensive medical
support for all aspects of pregnancy are essential. A pregnant woman
deserves unbiased comprehensive information regarding options
available to her. She has a right and a duty to be aware of the
immediate and long-term effects of diet and drug use, of the
importance of pre-natal care, of the availability of alternative birthing
procedures, of choices in child health, of parenting education and
childcare services, of accurate information on the adoption process,
and of the medical and psychological impact of abortion.
     She deserves compassionate professional support that respects her
decisions and religious convictions, whatever they may be. To bring a
child into the world is a commitment of utmost responsibility. To
determine to terminate a pregnancy, whatever the underlying reason,
is also excruciatingly difficult. A woman who has discovered herself
to be pregnant deserves time and space without harrassment to
consider her course of action. She may wish to sort through her
options with her lover, priestess, Goddess, family and friends
     Should she decide to carry through with her pregnancy and
become a mother, a woman deserves her community's unstinting
support in helping her arrange appropriate medical or midwife care,
make financial plans, get relationship or other counseling if desired,
and then raise the child in the best environment for both of them in a
celebration of the life brought into the world and of the courage of the
woman who chooses to do so in a responsible manner.
     If she decides to continue her pregnancy and then give the baby
up for adoption, a woman has the right to counseling to help her
through the adoption process and to prepare her for the moment of
parting. She has the right to see, touch and hold her baby at birth if
she wishes, and both the birth mother and the child have the right of
contact with each other when later the child wishes to know his or her
biological ancestry.
     If the decision is to terminate the pregnancy, abortion is best
completed as early as is possible, when the medical risk is low and
before the fetus becomes an independently viable life form. Research
into past lives, rebirthing and hypnotherapy indicates that a spirit
comes and goes from its growing body starting in the second
trimester, staying longer and longer towards the end of gestation. If
the mother feels this, she may make peace with the spirit of the
unborn through internal communication, ritual or meditation, and
perhaps explain her reasons for not continuing her pregnancy. Loving
support from her family and, where desirable, the humble presence of
the other parent, transform the abortion procedure itself into a solomn
and sacred act.
     Women have the right to unimpeded early termination of
pregnancy that is affordable and relatively pain-free. Although it is
unfortunate when unwanted pregnancies occur, women should not be
punished by those who oppose abortion, view sexuality as inherently
sinful, and consider an unwanted child just punishment, an ethically
reprehensible stance.
     For a woman who is certain that, for the balance of her present
lifetime, she does not wish to become a doorway for new life, her
reasonable options for preventing pregnancy include surgical
sterilization. Others, for whom the final removal of reproductive
capability is not appropriate, rightfully claim access to safe and
reliable birth control as a basic right. In summary: It is ecologically,
psychologically, spiritually and politically indefensible to bring
unwanted children into the world. We are pro-life, regarding the
quality of life for all beings to be of utmost importance. The Church
of All Worlds unconditionally supports the right of a woman to make
her own decisions regarding her ability to responsibly raise a child.
We declare and defend a woman's right to safe, effective birth control
and to a timely abortion whenever she should deem it necessary. We
work for the rights of women to maintain and expand their
reproductive options. Final draft compiled by Anodea Judith, priestess
and president of the Church of All Worlds, edited by Diane Darling.,
Editrix of Green Egg. Main contributors are Diane Darling, Anodea
Judith, Anna Korn, Willowoak Istarwood and Morning Glory Zell.