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Message Board Rules

Message Board Visitors - Read these guidelines before posting!

These terms of service are subject to change at any time, without prior notification to any users of the PASS support Site. Besides these rules, please also read these important links:

Editing/Deleting Messages
We reserve the right to edit, move or delete any message for any reason, without notification to the message author. If you make a post that we determine is against site rules, it will be deleted, and we do not save a copy of the message. If your message is in a thread that starts going down a path not appropriate for the site, the whole thread can be deleted. It's possible that your individual message did not go against site rules, but when a thread turns argumentative, the whole thread goes. Sometimes a thread will be 'closed' to further replies instead of deleted - it depends on the thread, and what board it is on

Membership Status
Membership at the PASS site is a privilege, and that privilege can be revoked at any time for any reason without notification to the member. Normally privileges are not revoked unless you are breaking the board rules, terms of service, or being rude, harassing or otherwise disruptive to the other members.

Control of Your Own Words
We have a liberal user control policy here, which means that users can edit or delete their own posts at any time. Almost every other message board out there on the Internet doesn't allow deletions of posts if a member decides to leave. At this site, if you make a post, and later decide you want to edit or delete it, you are free to do so at any time. If you become a member for a long time, and later decide you want to leave, you can still edit and/or delete every post you've ever made.

Although you have the right to edit or delete any of your posts at any time, we ask that you take time to consider the impact that your editing will have. While it is understandable that you may wish to remove personal information and thoughts, if you have posted support for another member they may be upset and confused if your post then disappears. Sometimes your messages of advice and support can be more valuable to the person that you wrote them for than you realize. We are not asking you to leave any posts you are uncomfortable with, just to think carefully about the decision to delete

We can't mass delete posts from the backend, because if we do, it also deletes all "threads" started by the poster, which ends up deleting 'replies' by other people as well, and it's not fair for us to take away 'reply' posts by other members that didn't want posts deleted.

So, members must delete their own posts manually. To do this, use the 'search' function, and search by your username - this will pull up all the posts you have made, with a limit of 3000 at a time. If you have more than 3000 posts you are deleting, then after you have deleted some of the newer ones, search again and the older ones will be available.

If a post is the start of a thread, you can't always delete it, because then you are deleting other people's replies without their consent - what you have to do in this case is click on your starting post to 'edit' it, and remove or edit the contents of your post and replace it with at least 1 character, like a letter or number, and then save the post, and then it will have been deleted in that manner.

If you want your username 'removed', what we can do is change it to something else, like guest1, guest2, guest3, etc - and then your username will no longer show up on any posts you made. We then 'retire' your original username into a special account, which will not show up anywhere, and prevents anyone from re-registering using your old username, which could cause confusion.

Topics
Please use common courtesy when choosing topics to discuss. Any vulgar, obscene, graphic, rude, political, upsetting or harrassing posts will be deleted. Any posts on topics not appropriate to a public forum will be deleted. Try to think of it as "PG Rated" - please keep topics and comments within these guidelines. No discussions on prochoice or prolife topics, no discussions about politics, the politics of abortion, religion as related to abortion politics, no debate, and no judging and no discussions on "when life begins".

Advertising other sites
There is no advertising of other websites allowed. Members can discuss their own personal website, and are allowed to have a link in their signature file or profile to their personal site, if it meets certain guidelines - for details see the section on signature files.

Boards' Purpose
The purpose of these boards is to provide support and comfort for women who've had abortions, and their families. The 'political stance' of these boards is "Neutral", which means we don't discuss prolife/prochoice views here. Religious healing discussion is allowed on the Spirituality boards, but please avoid debate, judging or political discussions. The boards are strictly for support and help, not for judgment, questioning of women's reasons, discussing the 'morality' of abortion, graphic discussions or debate.

Sexually Explicit Discussions

Generally, we don't allow people to discuss sex or sex acts on the boards, unless it specifically relates to their abortion - for example if a woman wants to discuss fear of sex, or an inability to have an orgasm since her abortion, that is allowed on the private sex and intimacy board - but sexual discussions in general, things like a "do you spit or swallow?" thread or poll, or discussions of "do you like anal?" or "How many of you have done a three-way? Would you do it again?" aren't allowed. This is for several reasons:

1. This board is rated as a "PG" content board - if discussions about sexual details are allowed, then it changes the board into an 'adult content' site, and this can cause it to be restricted by libraries, middle schools, high schools and colleges by their blocking software, as well as workplaces and anyone else that may have a content filter installed on their computer.

2. We have women of all ages here, from 13 year olds researching abortion for school papers, to mothers, and even grandmothers who are here looking for help for their daughters and granddaughters with PASS. We want to make sure the poinnt and purpose of the site is to help women with PASS, and not just a place to discuss sex and sexual preferences

3. We have women of different "comfort levels" with public sexual discussion. A 60 year old woman may feel comfortable revealing that she had an abortion 35 years ago in a back alley (and we have had women like that here!) but may feel uncomfortable with a 'do you like giving oral?' thread, and may feel like this isnt a serious place to get help for her feelings regarding her abortion.

4. The general public already holds a negative view of women who have had abortions, and make comments like "they should have just kept their legs shut", and "any woman out there having sex outside of marriage and then having an abortion is a selfish slut". These characterizations are false and extremely unfair - however if people come to a "post abortion support site", and find numerous threads with women discussing sexual preference, sexual likes and dislikes, and sex acts, then it may falsely reinforce the negative stereotypes already out there about women who have had an abortion.

5. These types of discussions seem to also draw men to the site who are very interested in these topics, (and who aren't men dealing with PASS - just men that found out we were discussing sex!) and begin posting sexually explicit posts and questions, and start bothering the women, and it takes away from our purpose, post abortion support, as we try to deal with, remove and keep banning all the horny men that enjoy this type of subject matter.

6. We are attempting to get grants from national non-profit foundations to be able to bring the reality of PASS to the medical community, to be able to develop pamphlets, printed information, outreaches, in person support groups and a recognized medical protocol to help women with PASS get support, recognition and treatment. Having open discussions on sex and sexual topics not directly related to our mission hurts our chances for those grants, because again, it puts us into an 'adult' site category, and the number of foundations that will give you grants drops to zero.

Keeping your Favorite Posts
If you make a post that you really like, and that has responses that you enjoy, you may want to print that post out to keep it. As of now, the posts are here indefinitely, but there could always be a problem with our database, or a virus could cause problems and possible loss of data and loss of posts. So for any posts that you make that are special to you, that you want to keep, please print these posts out - or write your posts in a word processing program first, like Word, and save them to your hard drive, and then post them up on one of the boards.

Posts about suicidal feelings or threats to commit suicide
A common issue for women after an abortion can be depression, and occasionally suicidal feelings. We want to reach out, support, encourage and empower all the women here, so please feel free to talk about your depression and your feelings.

However, we do not allow posts that threaten suicide, contain threats to hurt others, or to hurt yourself. Posts of this type will be removed, with the exception of self-abuse addiction posts. For women with a problem with self-abuse, those posts are allowed only on the addictions and self-abuse board.

This site is a 'peer-support' site, and is not a substitute for professional medical help. If you are feeling suicidal, this is an emergency that you should take seriously, and you need to seek immediate medical help for this. If you don't have money or insurance, you can still get help, don't let the idea that you can't afford it stop you - there are many programs in place to help people feeling suicidal, and the information listed on our crisis help page can lead you to resources and people in your area to help you.

Remember, we are an 'on-line' support group centered on PASS support, and there is only so much we can do to help through email, chats and posting on the message boards. If you are feeling suicidal or can't stop hurting yourself through things like self-injury, eating disorders or substance abuse, you MUST take the iniative to call a hotline or find a local resource or doctor, and get help. We cannot fix these things for you online. You must put yourself in charge of finding help for your problem in your local area.

If you are feeling suicidal, we are concerned, and offer links to places that can help. Please check out the many resources available on our suicide help page: crisis help page
There are many caring people waiting to talk to you and help you on the hotlines listed there.

Members who continue to violate the posting guidelines on suicidal posts will have their posting privileges suspended as per the guidelines for the message board rules.

Post Copying
It is strictly against our site rules to copy anyone's post for any reason, without obtaining prior written permission from the post author, or in the case of a thread with multiple posts/responses, written permisison from the author of each post in the thread. With a public message board system on the Internet, we can't guarantee that things are completely protected, and completely private. So remember this when you make a post, and also review the Privacy Information section. Don't use your real name, your real location, your real details about your situation unless you are SURE you are comfortable with these details being out on the Internet. Post copying and reusing of anyone's post, for any reason, without written permission from the post author, or each author in a multi-post thread, remains strictly against our rules. Anyone found to be copying or re-using posts without getting prior written permission from the posts' author will be banned from the site. Everything on this site is copyrighted, including all posts on the message boards.

If you want to use anyone's post,you can pm the individual member, if you are friends with them. If you are not friends withthe other member, then you can post a request on the research board, explaining what your website is used for, and what kinds of posts you want to copy and share on your site.

For example:
Acceptable = "I have a website where I want to highlight the stories of the experience of other teenagers who have had an abortion, and how difficult it was for them. If you are a teen who is willing to share, please end me an email or a pm."

Unacceptable: PM'ing a member you don't know, with a request that could be considered judgemental, harassing, rude or upsetting. For further example - pm'ing a member who has had multiple abortions, and asking them "if they will share their story for your website highlighting how abortion ruin's women's morality and encourages more abortions."
If this other member was a friend of yours, and you KNOW for sure she would be interested in helping you and your website with her story, it is okay to contact her. If you dont know her well, it is NOT okay.

Legal action will be taken against anyone who takes any posts from our message boards and reposts them anywhere else for any reason, and does not take them down when requested.

Avatars and Signature Files
Please use common courtesy when choosing your avatar (little picture that goes by your name) and what to say or link to in your signature file, and your profile. Vulgar, obscene, graphic, upsetting, political, rude or harrassing avatars or similar information in your signature file or links to sites or pictures that go outside these boundaries are not allowed. Also no links to sites that promote any type of illegal activities or adult (X-rated) information. Try to think of it as "PG Rated". If you have a personal webpage that is within the above guidelines you may link to it in your profile or signature file. It's important that nothing graphic, vulgar, rude or harassing appears immediately on the first page when you load it up, so that a visitor is not tricked or surprised when they follow your link. If your avatar, profile or sig file is not something you'd want a general audience to see, then please choose something different, If your avatar or signature file/profile information is determined to be outside the "PG" guidelines, you will be contacted and asked to change it - if you don't, then you risk losing your posting privileges. This is not to try and 'censor' anyone's thoughts or feelings, it's just that our group here is a public group, with women of all different ages and views, with women in all different stages of healing, from 'doing okay' to 'extremely fragile', so in order to keep our place 'safe' for everyone, we have these guidelines. You are welcome to share more intense thoughts or pictures privately with your friends through email or private messages.

Avatar Basics - In order to avoid triggering women unnecessarily, please observe these restrictions for avatars:

  • No pictures of babies, infants or children
  • No pictures of baby, infant or child angels
  • No rude or judgemental statements or pictures
  • No statements or pictures that could be interpreted as harassing.
  • No political statements or pictures
  • No Military statements of any sort (either for or against support of troops or current wars)
  • No symbols representing political views
  • No religious statements or images
  • No graphic or R rated images or sayings
Signature File Basics - In order to avoid triggering women unnecessarily, please observe these restrictions for signatures:
  • No pictures of babies, infants or children
  • No pictures of baby, infant or child angels
  • No rude or judgemental statements or pictures
  • No statements or pictures that could be interpreted as harassing.
  • No political statements or pictures
  • No Military statements of any sort (either for or against support of troops or current wars)
  • No symbols representing political views
  • No religious statements or images
  • No graphic or R rated images or sayings
  • If you are pregnant again and continuing the pregnancy, no Estimated Due Date for the new pregnancy
  • No mention of a new pregnancy
  • No links to any commercial sites allowed in signature files (you may link to your home page or personal site)
If your signature file or avatar contains a quote or line from a movie, band, song, poem, ect, please indicate that, both for copyright issues and so people understand your sig/avatar. For example:
"I know why the caged bird sings...." ~ Maya Angelou
or
**Don't speak - I know what you're feeling and I don't need your reasons** - No Doubt
or "I'm ugly and so are you" Kurt Cobain

Some more sig/avatar image explanations:
This is to help explain why we don't allow images of babies, baby angels or children in sig files and avatars - we are not trying to prevent anyone from remembering or sharing their angel with us - but we found along the way that certain images, words and phrases are very 'triggering' to women who are fragile.

And triggering might sound petty, but to a woman who is really upset, and really fragile, something too triggering might send her into tears, or make her feel suicidal. I know this sounds extreme, but I know because I have expreienced this myself.

At the state of healing I am in now, practically nothing triggers me. However, when I first started healing, I was in an extremely fragile state, and in intense pain and grief. I went on the internet looking for help, and the only place i could find back then was an abortion board at ivillage.com.

However, their message board was plastered with ads about babies, and all over and around this message board was pictures of infants, smiling babies, pictures of babies that looked like angels, sitting on clouds and such, advertising baby products. This would upset me so much that I would be crying by the time i was halfway through looking at posts, and it got to the point where I would cringe each time I would get ready to login, and then I started taping paper up around my computer screen so the ads would be 'blocked'. I desperately needed a zone free of baby pictures, images and 'cupid'/angel imagery, so that I could talk about what I needed, and deal with my pain about my abortions. To me, it was a huge emotional deal, and very difficult to see those images, regardless of why they were there.I wrote to them and they told me they couldnt have their boards without advertising, and couldn't afford to screen out the baby ads, even though they were triggering a lot of women on the abortion board. (This was one of the many reasons why I made my own site.)

So while it may seem extreme in the abstract that we ask people avoid these things in their sig file, it's in the interest of protecting the women who are really fragile, and in that state where they need a safe environment to heal.

Something that a lot of women have done is create a memorial website for their angel, and then you can link to that in your sig file or in your profile, if you want to memorialize your angel in a manner beyond what we allow in the basic sig files here.

Possible Pregnancy
If you have questions about possibly being pregnant, you can't post on the boards here- check this page for places where you can post: Crisis Info Page

Disruptions
Occasionally people may come to the site and make inappropriate comments or posts - If you see a post that you feel is inappropriate or upsetting, there is a link at the bottom of every post that says "report this post to a moderator" - you can click on that link, and you can report the post to a moderator, for review and appropriate action. Action is taken against anyone who repeatedly makes inappropriate posts, including revocation of username and posting privileges, and if necessary, legal action.

If you are currently pregnant
These boards here at the PASS site are for women who have already had an abortion. If you or your partner, friend or relative are pregnant and considering an abortion, please see our Unplanned Pregnancy/Pending Abortion Information Section. We do not discuss unplanned pregnancies or pending abortions at our message boards here. We also cannot talk about the pending abortion that a friend or family member is having, even if it is not the member here. The reasons for this are listed in the Pending Abortion Information Section. Posts that violate the site's guidelines will be deleted without warning. If you are pregnant and plan on keeping the pregnancy going, we do have a pregnancy support board for women who have had abortions in the past, and are now pregnant and keeping it.

Guidelines:

  • The following penalties are standard for posters who do not follow the site guidelines:
    1. 1st offense - verbal warning by PM or email
    2. 2nd offense - final warning by PM or email
    3. 3rd offense - posting privileges suspended for a 24 hour period
    4. 4th offense - posting privileges suspended for a week
    5. 5th offense - membership to the boards is removed

  • Everyone has different views on abortion, but to participate here you must respect other women's experiences, and refrain from discussing the political and controversial issues about abortion.

  • Please do not tell anyone that what they did was "The right thing" or "the wrong thing". If you want to say that about your own experience, and say that you personally do or don't regret yours, that's okay. But don't generalize this, or tell other women this, because it can cause hurt feelings, and slow the healing process. Every woman heals at her own time, at her own place, in her own way. Support is about allowing each individual woman the respect to explore her feelings and experience, and to be heard as she works on healing herself.

  • If you are doing a school paper or research on your own, and want to ask questions or see if women want to share their experience with you, please post ONLY at the Research and School Papers Board. Everything on this website is copyright protected, and it is illegal to take posts from the boards and use them without permission from the poster. For permission, email or private message the poster and ask for permission to use their words in your project. For more information, you can email me at help@passhugs.com

  • Even though we require registration to use our message boards, be aware that online message boards and their posts are still "public", which means that anyone with access to the Internet can conceivably come by this site, sign up for a username and read whatever is posted on the boards. So, always use a 'nickname' when posting. Please read the Privacy Information and Advice Page for more details on how to protect your privacy online.

  • No discussing unplanned pregnancies or upcoming abortions - see our Pending Abortion Information Section

  • Also Read our Community "Core Values" before you participate!

Detailed Message Board Posting Rules

Because this is a site with a wide variety of women of all different ages, backgrounds and views, we have limits on what topics are allowed for discussion. The message board rules give details about what types of messages you can post, and what types of topics you can discuss. Also, anyone is free to create their own personal webpage, and talk about whatever they want there. You are allowed to link to your personal webpage from your profile, or in your signature file, as long as nothing graphic, vulgar, overly political, rude or harassing appears immediately on the first page when you load it up, and as long as the link to your webpage is labeled as PC or PL if your site is ProChoice or ProLife.
  • We reserve the right to edit, move or delete any message for any reason, without notification to the message author. If you make a post that we determine to be against site rules, it will be deleted, and we do not save a copy of the message. If your message is in a thread that starts going down a path not appropriate for the site, the whole thread can be deleted. It's possible that your individual message did not go against site rules, but when a thread turns argumentative, the whole thread goes. If you are abusive or harassing to any visitor at this site, we will take action against you. Internet harassment is the same as phone and regular mail harassment, and can be enforced with the same laws.

  • Certain words or phrases are not allowed at the boards, and will be deleted from your post. Words like "murderer, murder, babykiller". Or statements saying you "killed your baby", or that you "murdered your baby", or that "abortion is murder", and other likely inflammatory statements are not allowed on the public boards, because they lead to arguments which are counter-productive to healing. If you make a post with words or phrases like this in your post, the words will be censored out by the board system. Why do we avoid these words? Not because we want to invalidate anyone's feelings or perceptions - but things like that can unnecessarily trigger women in sensitive stages - also it can start leading to prochoice/prolife arguments - cause in the past, people have responded to a post like that with:

    "You didn't "kill your baby", because it's not a baby until it's born! Don't be so hard on yourself"
    then someone responded back:
    "_I_ feel it's a baby as soon as it has a heartbeat!!"
    Then someone else said:
    "Well keep your f*cking opinion to yourself, because I don't, and science proves... blah blah blah......"
    So you can see how certain ways of phrasing things lead down an unhelpful and unsupportive path.. The original poster feels her pain was not being heard, because it turned into a debate about when life begins and when someone is a "murderer" - the other people got angry because they felt like they were being judged, for having different beliefs, ect ect ect ....

    It's a bit more difficult to phrase things in a non-triggering way, but there are ways of saying the same things, without using triggering words - like instead of saying
    "I can't get over the fact that I murdered my baby"
    you can say
    "I can't get over the fact that I had an abortion, and now can never have that baby back"

    or instead of saying:
    "At 12 weeks, my baby had a heartbeat, little fingers, toes, eyes, ect ect and I killed him"
    you can say
    "Now that I've researched the development of a 12 week old fetus, it's really upsetting me."

    It gets pretty easy, once you get the hang of it - if you do feel the need to go into really detailed descriptions, or call yourself a murderer, and work on these really intense, graphic feelings, the place to do that is in your private journal, or in private email with other women who have the same feelings as you.

    If you are posting something, and aren't sure that what you are saying could be 'triggering', then put a warning in the title that says "triggering".. That way someone who is feeling sensitive can be sure to skip it, and won't be upset - and those who are feeling stronger can read, and respond.

    Again, this is not to disenfranchise anyone's views, feelings, thoughts, ect - this is just the best way we have found to run these boards, and keep them 'neutral' and 'safe' for everyone.

  • Try to phrase things by using the "I feel" or "I did" method. For example, instead of saying "It was wrong to have an abortion." you can say "I feel it was wrong for me to have an abortion". Instead of saying "No matter what excuses I make, pregnancy is always a gift." to "No matter what excuses I make, I feel my pregnancy was a gift". Try to phrase things so you talk about yourself, and your own feelings, and with your statments, say the "I feel" statements, use "me" or "my", instead of making global statements or generalizations. This way, it doesn't upset people whose situations or feelings are different from your own, yet still allows you to talk about what you feel, and express your own issues.

  • Why no prolife/prochoice discussions? Why no talk about unplanned pregnancies, or boards where women can try to decide what to do when they are unexpectedly pregnant? Mainly because this issue is so explosive, so political, so painful and so upsetting. In the prolife/prochoice discussions, it's very hard to find common ground, and almost always ends with people feeling they are defending their choices, or being judged. In an unplanned pregnancy, every woman needs to decide for herself what is best for her. We do not want to influence her either way, and we don't want to get into arguments. There are so many shades of grey, and women have very differing and very strong opinions in this area. We tried allowing these discussions in the past, and found that it only led to arguing, flaming, name-calling and a very unhealthy, unproductive and unhealing situation for all involved. Also we found that these types of discussions, especially unplanned pregnancy ones, were very triggering and hurtful for women trying to heal from their own abortion.

    Support Boards
    These boards are for comfort and support. What normally happens is that people post what they are thinking or feeling, or what they are trying to deal with in their lives, in relation to their abortion. Then the other posters put up their comments, their personal experiences, or their advice. There are no 'licensed' or 'professional' counselors here, these are just regular people sharing their own personal experiences and feelings. Through this sharing of feelings, ideas and advice we help each other through difficult times. If you do NOT want advice, and you just want to post about what you are feeling, please indicate that in your post by beginning with "No advice, please", or "No responses, please", and then say what you want to say.

    All other Boards
    The other boards are on many assorted different topics that relate to women and abortion and their families. Again, there are no licensed or professional counselors at these boards, just visitors sharing their own ideas and experiences.

    Graphic Posts and Discussions
    There is a wide audience of women using these boards for healing and support. Many of them are in very fragile stages of recovery. Therefore it is important that posters respect this, and do NOT use graphic descriptions or terms in their posts. There are ways to phrase things gently, and when participating in a large group forum such as this, posters will sometimes need to 'soften' what they want to say. This does not mean to discount the reality or intensity of anyone's feelings, only to keep this forum safe for women in all stages of healing. If you're not sure if a post will be too upsetting or graphic, please place a 'Warning' in the subject line, to let women know before they click on it to read it.

    For email to use on any of our email support groups, message boards or any other interactive feature here at the site, we invite you to get one of our private, free site email addresses. Our site email goes by 'yourname'@passhugs.com. 'passhugs.com' doesn't have the word abortion in it, and so if you use this email for other purposes, you don't have to worry about people asking you "Why do you have an email address with the word 'abortion' in it?" You can tell people that passhugs.com just means to "Pass Hugs Along", if they ask you what it is for. Use a nickname to help protect your privacy.


    Additional Terms of Service
    If you do post content or submit material, and unless we indicate otherwise, you grant PASS Support Site and its associates a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, and fully sublicensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, and display such content throughout the world in any media. You grant PASS Support Site and its associates and sublicensees the right to use the name that you submit in connection with such content, if they choose. You represent and warrant that you own or otherwise control all of the rights to the content that you post: that the content is accurate: that use of the content you supply does not violate this policy and will not cause injury to any person or entity: and that you will indemnify PASS Support Site or its associates for all claims resulting from content you supply. PASS Support Site has the right but not the obligation to monitor and edit or remove any activity or content. PASS Support Site takes no responsibility and assumes no liability for any content posted by you or any third party.

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