The forced pregnancy brigade targets rape and incest survivors and women with health complications in Colombia



Pro-lifers: They love children so much, they’ll do everything in their power to force an 11-year-old rape and incest victim to give birth against her will, after she was impregnated by her step-father.

Anti-choice activsts staged a protest against abortion rights in Colombia this week — to mark the one-year anniversary of a legal decision that allows abortion for rape and incest survivors and women who face serious health- and life-threatening complications if they carry the pregnancy to term.

The article I linked to, from an anti-choice website, says that “Abortion was legalized on May 10, 2006, when the court decided to allow abortion in cases of rape and in case of any risk to the mother’s health. The ambiguity of the ruling effectively made room for abortion in almost any situation.”

That actually isn’t true at all, but the fact that anti-choicers will straight-up lie isn’t exactly news. And while these fine “pro-life” individuals are protesting the rights of incest and rape survivors to terminate pregnancies and of pregnant women taking steps to preserve their own health, Colombia — and Latin America in general — continues to face a substantial public health crisis with regard to clandestine abortion. According to the last available statistics from the World Health Organization, unsafe abortion is the third leading cause of maternal death in Colombia. Despite the total illegality of abortion in Colombia before last year, one in four Colombian women between the ages of 15 and 55 has terminated a pregnancy. Almost half of adolescent Colombian girls under the age of 19 has had an abortion.

Before the ruling a year ago, Colombia, Chile and El Salvador where the only three countries in Latin America to prohibit abortion entirely — no exceptions for rape, incest, health or life. Now Colombia is off that list because it offers these very limited exceptions. Unfortunately, it’s been replaced by Nicaragua.

Colombia’s restrictive abortion policies did nothing to decrease the abortion rate
. Making abortion accessible to rape and incest survivors and to women whose health and lives are threatened by pregnancy is a small step in the right direction, but it’s a significant one. It’s a decision that has undoubtedly saved lives.

And yet “pro-lifers” oppose it. They organize against it. They’re so pro-life that they would rather have rape and incest survivors, and women who face serious physical consequences from pregnancy, seek out illegal abortions that are known to be physically harmful or even deadly. I really shouldn’t be surprised by this stuff anymore, and I suppose I’m not — but I’m still thoroughly disgusted and deeply repulsed.

These are the same “pro-life” people who:

Opposed the right of a nine-year-old rape victim to terminate the pregnancy that resulted from her assault. After a trying bureaucratic process the little girl was finally allowed to have an abortion (while this is common sense, it should probably be pointed out that a nine-year-old’s body is not usually particularly well-equipped for childbirth, and having a baby could have done her serious harm). One cardinal went so far as to excommunicate everyone involved with the girl’s abortion. Then the Nicaraguan Catholic bishops sent out a letter comparing abortion to terrorists bombing buses. At the time this case was at issue, Nicaragua had a law permitting therapeutic abortions to save the pregnant woman’s life — a law that many “pro-life” leaders didn’t love, but said was sufficient. Between 1991 and 2003, a grand total of 10 legal abortions were performed in Nicaragua. In the meantime, 36,000 illegal abortions were being performed every year. Last year, Nicaragua completely illegalized abortion, even to save the life of the pregnant woman. Women who terminate pregnancies may now go to jail for six years — not quite as steep as the outgoing president’s ideal of 30 years, or the Church’s proposal of 20. Abortion remains a leading cause of death for women in Nicaragua.

Imprison Chilean women for terminating pregnancies — mostly poor women who seek out dangerous clandestine abortions. Abortion is completely illegal in Chile, and yet it has twice the abortion rate of Canada — and half the population. When women’s health advocates offered sexual health education and contraception to women impoverished communities, the abortion rate in those communities dropped as much as 82 percent.

-Support policies that lead to situations like this:

A community organizer in Argentina told me: “You will not believe what women end up putting in their uteruses to abort.” I wish I didn’t.

I have spoken to women who used knives, knitting needles, rubber tubes, even pieces of wood to pry open their uteruses. Some got access to abortive medicines that in theory lower the possibility of direct infection but that caused serious complications when they took them without medical assistance. Affluent women suffered fewer traumatic ordeals, often traveling to the U.S. for the procedure or sneaking off to upscale private Latin America clinics where, on paper, they had surgery for appendicitis.

I’m sure the “Jill the abortion blogger” thing gets old.* I know regular readers have read the same “pro-lifers don’t actually care about life” statement a million times, supported by the cruel and often deadly pro-life policy or position du jour. I know there’s a whole lot more to feminism, and to reproductive rights, than abortion laws. But damn. You’ve gotta have a special kind of cold heart to not be deeply disturbed by some of this. And you have to be a special kind of depraved to support this vision of a “pro-life” world.

*This is perhaps obvious by now, but reproductive justice is pretty much what I want to spend my professional life working on. Hence the continued obsession with international reproductive rights — it’s not because I think it’s the only important aspect of feminism or even the most important one, it’s just the one that I’m the most interested in and the one that I have the most information about. Which hopefully explains “Jill the abortion blogger” (but please don’t start calling me that).


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53 comments for “The forced pregnancy brigade targets rape and incest survivors and women with health complications in Colombia

  1. liz
    May 30, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    Banging my head on my desk. The world situation for women just sucks.

  2. May 30, 2007 at 11:56 pm

    Nothing scares me more than the idea that a pregnant woman could die just because abortion is illegal. WHY?

    “Yes, we realize this pregnancy will kill you. But abortion is still wrong”

    WHAT?!?!

  3. Dianne
    May 31, 2007 at 2:00 am

    I’m sure the “Jill the abortion blogger” thing gets old.

    No, it’s not. This is an important issue and your writing on it is always excellent. Keep it up.

  4. Laurel
    May 31, 2007 at 3:53 am

    Yet more evidence that anti-choicers are not about saving babies but controlling women.

  5. mustelid
    May 31, 2007 at 4:54 am

    My brain is stuck on the part where numerous people thought a nine year old should have to try and carry her rapist’s baby to term. OTOH, it was heartening to read that “tens of thousands” of women demanded excommunication.

    Maybe if enough people leave the Church, Ratzi’ll get a call from above, and hold a press conference stating women and homosexuals are now considered people.

    Please bear in mind, I’m not fully caffeinated this morning.

  6. LS
    May 31, 2007 at 4:54 am

    “Yes, we realize this pregnancy will kill you. But abortion is still wrong”

    WHAT?!?!

    I know, it makes no sense whatsoever. Even the Catholic Church, which gets as RAWR BABIES! as any fundie wingnut, has long said that in a choice between mother and baby in a pregnancy gone wrong, Mom wins. It’s usually discussed in terms of birth complications, though — we need to get them to backtrack the logic to early problems.

  7. Hawise
    May 31, 2007 at 6:27 am

    Maybe we need to get them to just backtrack to logic.

  8. May 31, 2007 at 7:41 am

    We need to get rid of this ridiculous term – pro-life. It’s 100% misleading. If these people give a damn about LIFE, I’m the bloody Queen of Scots.

  9. May 31, 2007 at 8:44 am

    Practice caption: “Sorry, Benedict, but The Clapper doesn’t work on worldwide human reproduction.”

  10. May 31, 2007 at 9:52 am

    I’m sure the “Jill the abortion blogger” thing gets old.

    Not so much! It’s hideously depressing to read, but as someone commented recently, it’s been a hideously depressing year for women’s rights. Maybe I’m easily stunned, but I’m fucking stunned that someone could think that a nine-year-old child should be forced to give birth to a child fathered by the man who raped her. If it’s that damn important that the fetus live, figure out how to implant it into the rapist and let him carry the thing. Alternately, the bishop who excommunicated everyone associated with the abortion could offer his services as a surrogate. Betcha his life is more important than a fetus’s, though. That his life is more important to a nine-year-old girl’s goes without saying.

    “But why punish the innocent baby?” asks Moira’s Handy Straw Pro-Lifer.

    Why punish someone who’s already had to deal with the trauma of being raped? Because sex has consequences? What does some man’s rape of a child have to do with sex?

  11. dee
    May 31, 2007 at 10:06 am

    I am beginning to seriously doubt the sanity of any woman who gives birth to a female child in today’s world.

  12. May 31, 2007 at 10:24 am

    Then the Nicaraguan Catholic bishops sent out a letter comparing abortion to terrorists bombing buses.

    I wonder how they’d compare it to terrorists bombing abortion clinics.

    Oh, wait, it’s Christians who do that, so it isn’t terrorism. My bad.

    *eyeroll*

  13. May 31, 2007 at 10:33 am

    “But why punish the innocent baby?” asks Moira’s Handy Straw Pro-Lifer.

    I love how denying it a type of life-support that NO BORN HUMAN BEING is entitled to (the use of another’s body and organs without their consent), is somehow “punishing” it.

    Sorta like how “killing” a fetus that would die anyway (without said support it is not entitled to) is somehow murder in a way that letting a woman die from a pregnancy isn’t, when it isn’t entitled to the “life” in question and she is.

    I really don’t get these people.

  14. May 31, 2007 at 10:39 am

    Even the Catholic Church, which gets as RAWR BABIES! as any fundie wingnut, has long said that in a choice between mother and baby in a pregnancy gone wrong, Mom wins.

    Not anymore. JPII changed that shortly before he died when they canonized a woman who died in childbirth so her child could live.

    Seriously, they’ve gone over the deep end. I’m more and more glad every day that I left the church.

  15. azzy23
    May 31, 2007 at 11:43 am

    “Yes, we realize this pregnancy will kill you. But abortion is still wrong”

    WHAT?!?!

    Tobes, don’t you get it? The all loving God wants women to have the baby, regardless. We women should be ever-so-grateful for the chance to birth, and if some of us die in the process… well… gotta break a few eggs.

    Seriously, Lysistrada protest.

  16. micheyd
    May 31, 2007 at 11:45 am

    I am beginning to seriously doubt the sanity of any woman who gives birth to a female child in today’s world.

    …unless they were compelled to by the forced-birth lobby?

  17. Bitter Scribe
    May 31, 2007 at 12:00 pm

    Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg had the perfect analogy for the Catholic Church in these situations. He called it “the bully in eyeglasses”—the kid who pushes around smaller kids on the playground, but when confronted, throws up a forearm and whimpers, “You can’t hit me! I’m wearing glasses!”

    The Church pushes around pregnant women (and pregnant children) endlessly, but when confronted or criticized, whimpers about religious bigotry.

    Sorry, Your Holiness, you can’t have it both ways. If you’re going to try to use the power of the state through politics to enforce your doctrine, you can expect the same criticism as any other political bloc.

  18. Charity
    May 31, 2007 at 12:48 pm

    I’m always amazed as people who profess to believe in God insist that He (naturally, a male deity) chooses to sanctify an act that was inspired by Satan. If rape is morally and legally wrong, then how does God get into the equation by supporting what Satan’s helpers are up to? This is not logical from a legal or moral or theological standpoint, that anyone, particularly any child, should be forced to continue the outcome of a violation.

  19. May 31, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    Boy, are those guys going to be surprised when they die and their God looks at them and says, “Hmm. Yes. About that nine-year-old rape victim that you excommunicated a bunch of people over. Perhaps you should have read the bits where I said, ‘judge not lest ye be judged’ and, oh, things like ‘love one another’ and ‘forgiveness is a virtue’ and so forth. Well, too late now. Off to the FIERY PIT with you. Pity, really. NEXT!”

    On a more serious note, I find it incredibly hard to believe that anyone would force a child, and a rape victim at that, to carry the rapist’s child to term. This is just unbelievable. And, hey, if it takes “Jill the abortion blogger” to draw attention to this sort of thing, then for heaven’s sake, keep doing it.

    ~sigh~

  20. DAS
    May 31, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    Not anymore. JPII changed that shortly before he died when they canonized a woman who died in childbirth so her child could live.

    AFAIK, the RC Church still says it’s ok to prevent the death of a pregnant woman by actions which end up killing the fetus. However, they consider it saintly for a woman to make “the ultimate sacrifice” for her unborn kid. What’s at work here is not just misogyny but an attitude that sacrifice and suffering are par for the course in life and modern efforts to eliminate both are not only futile but also contrary to the way of things — “we are inherently sinful and deserve to be punished in this world to build character for us to enjoy the next world … the problem with people today is that they too much want to avoid suffering and pain”. It’s interesting, FWIW, how much this ethic of suffering parallels certain strains of Islam (you hear things like “the problem with Westerners is that they like living too much”).

    Interestingly, there is an ad in the recent The American Scholar for a book whose thesis is that Jesus was actually a follower of Epicuros … what a jump — worshiping an Epicurean and then celebrating suffering so? At the very least, such thinking would be foreign to the Jewish millieu that produced Jesus — we Jews would consider it sinful, not saintly, to not have an abortion if such would save your life. Suffering to us may be something we experience all too much, but we don’t think God wants us to suffer as some sort of spiritual discipline … we tend to think that it’s good and moral that humankind works tirelessly to avoid suffering — and we need to be better at keeping people from suffering not worse at it!

    I wrote an essay about a related phenomenon ages ago. Maybe I should update it and post it on my blog? Or maybe I should actually get back to work? ;)

  21. Chicklet
    May 31, 2007 at 1:49 pm

    DAS:

    What’s at work here is not just misogyny but an attitude that sacrifice and suffering are par for the course in life and modern efforts to eliminate both are not only futile but also contrary to the way of things — “we are inherently sinful and deserve to be punished in this world to build character for us to enjoy the next world … the problem with people today is that they too much want to avoid suffering and pain”.

    Yep. Mother Theresa creamed her sari over people’s suffering. Of course, when she got sick, she wasn’t made to sleep on a cheap-ass cot and crap in a hole in the floor like the poor people “helped” by her Sisters of Sado-Masochism. She got quality medical care.

  22. Elizabeth Barnes
    May 31, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    It is a sad world for women out there today. Jill keep up the good work and keep posting people need to know what is going on out there in the world.

  23. RacyT
    May 31, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    “But why punish the innocent baby?”

    When you can punish a woman instead! It’s sad though, how that part is almost gleefully implied. It may not be a genuine quote Moira, but it’s way too real.

  24. n3rdchik
    May 31, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    Reading about that “saint” Gianna Beretta Molla – who died rather than treat the uterine tumor found in the 2nd month of gestation (and terminate the pregnancy). She died leaving behind 4! children. How is this noble?!? or even responsible?!?

  25. May 31, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    Thanks for this, Jill.

    My wife’s aunt lives on a farm in Northern Colombia. She and her husband had — hold on now — 22 children. 4 died in infancy, and two more were murdered in the ongoing violence. 16 are alive today. She has said she would have liked to have had fewer, but had no contraceptive options. The cost to her family — in terms of resources — has been immense, and the cost to her body (we were able to pay to get her an emergency hysterectomy, which required a day’s travel to Bucaramanga) has been extraordinary.

    I do long for the day when ever child conceived is wanted, where contraception always works, where rape never happens, and abortion is unecessary. I thought, for a long time, that that day would be hastened by making abortion illegal. I’ve come to the firm conclusion that in the end, that makes things infinitely worse. With apologies to Forster, two cheers for choice. But three cheers for women’s health.

  26. DAS
    May 31, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    Yep. Mother Theresa creamed her sari over people’s suffering. Of course, when she got sick, she wasn’t made to sleep on a cheap-ass cot and crap in a hole in the floor like the poor people “helped” by her Sisters of Sado-Masochism. She got quality medical care. – Chicklet

    I have to apologize, my snark meter is not up to snuff today (I am waiting for calculations to finish and would rather just take a nap, but somehow I don’t think that’d be a good idea to do at work — but the coffee is just not doing it’s job) … are you being sincere or sarcastic about Mother Theresa?

  27. May 31, 2007 at 3:17 pm

    Yep. Mother Theresa creamed her sari over people’s suffering. Of course, when she got sick, she wasn’t made to sleep on a cheap-ass cot and crap in a hole in the floor like the poor people “helped” by her Sisters of Sado-Masochism. She got quality medical care.

    Would you say the same thing about Peace Corp volunteers?
    I think that comment was unnecessarily cruel.
    Suffering is not the greatest good-that much is clear.
    There are plenty of other ways to make the same point.

  28. Catty
    May 31, 2007 at 3:24 pm

    Mother Teresa was a fraud and a cruel, horrid, misogynist woman if I had ever heard of one. I used to work with a nurse that used to visit her facilities and was just blow away-appalled. The doc that she went with called her facilities nothing but cruel, religious propaganda.

  29. May 31, 2007 at 3:26 pm

    What’s at work here is not just misogyny but an attitude that sacrifice and suffering are par for the course in life and modern efforts to eliminate both are not only futile but also contrary to the way of things — “we are inherently sinful and deserve to be punished in this world to build character for us to enjoy the next world … the problem with people today is that they too much want to avoid suffering and pain”.

    Such an attitude is very convenient . . . if you convince people that suffering is good for them, you’re a lot less likely to be called on the ways you make them suffer.

    “But why punish the innocent baby?”

    When you can punish a woman instead! It’s sad though, how that part is almost gleefully implied. It may not be a genuine quote Moira, but it’s way too real.

    I have heard it, plenty of times. One letter-to-the-editor that I was cursed to have an encounter with called it “execution.”

    *headdesk*

  30. May 31, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    In my understanding of strict Catholic doctrine, abortion is never allowed, not even to save the life of the mother. What is allowed is the so-called “double-effect”, where the mother can be treated for her condition without regard to the fetus, and if the fetus dies as a result, no foul. The classic example is the ectopic pregnancy, where the woman would not be allowed a fertility-saving abortion, but would be allowed to have the affected tube removed saving her life (and killing the embryo anyway). What is less discussed is how often this results in unnecessary damage to the woman simply in the name of having people feel less bad about the dead fetus.

    For a more complicated example: A woman with an endocrine tumor could not have an abortion, regardless of the effects of pregnancy hormones on the tumor. If (and only if), however, the progesterone provoked tumor growth, and the tumor growth became life-threatening, you would then be allowed to treat the tumor, even if doing so killed the fetus. Preventing the whole situation beforehand is not permitted – you have to wait until the tumor is growing, even if you knew it was likely ahead of time. Also note, this results in a much later term fetal death, which is both a) more dangerous to the mother, and b) more ethically problematical for many people. Nonetheless, the Catholic Church appears to think this should be the law of the land anyplace they can bully the local government into enacting it.

  31. Sniper
    May 31, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    That bit about Mother Theresa is quite true. She was all about strengthening the church, not actually helping poor people get well or get out of poverty.

  32. Chicklet
    May 31, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    I was being sincere about Mother Theresa, DAS. I remember seeing her babble on TV something about the beauty of suffering, and realized what a sicko she was. She was a rotten apple from a rotten tree.

  33. micheyd
    May 31, 2007 at 3:49 pm

    Tapetum:

    Seems like their M.O. – oppose the safest and easiest way of doing things, just so they can find some twisted theological justification for the same damn result. See also: “natural family planning” versus any other kind of contraception.

    It’s really hard not to ascribe sadistic motives to these fuckwits.

  34. DAS
    May 31, 2007 at 4:03 pm

    Tapetum,

    That’s why I phrased my response as “the RC Church still says it’s ok to prevent the death of a pregnant woman by actions which end up killing the fetus.” My understanding of Church doctrine is the same as yours it appears, but I was not quite sure how to state it, so I carefully, albeit colloquially put it the way I did (“by actions which end up killing the fetus”) rather than saying “the RC Church says abortion is a-ok to prevent the death of a pregnant woman”.

    And thank you for the clarification Chicklet. I’m not sure I would go that far, but my dad actually has said similar things …

  35. May 31, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    Hugo, why in hell didn’t you do anything that poor woman’s husband?! She didn’t get pregnant by herself. What was her doing this whole time? Watching her suffer?

  36. May 31, 2007 at 4:34 pm

    I don’t think the anti-choice opinion will ever change until they stop thinking of all women as temptresses who bring it all on themselves. *sigh*

  37. May 31, 2007 at 4:41 pm

    Would you say the same thing about Peace Corp volunteers?
    I think that comment was unnecessarily cruel.
    Suffering is not the greatest good-that much is clear.
    There are plenty of other ways to make the same point.

    No, I wouldn’t say the same thing about Peace Corps volunteers — unless they similarly praised the pain and suffering of others. Folks who join the Peace Corps, in my experience, don’t. Those who do certainly don’t have the full faith and authority of the single longest-lasting, most powerful institution in human history. Mother Teresa could have dedicated her life to helping the poor and needy without exalting their privations as a moral good or proselytizing by anything but example.

    Especially considering the treacly adoration that the woman received during her life, never mind after her death, she’s well deserving of a few cruel barbs tossed her way on a blog.

  38. Anne
    May 31, 2007 at 4:53 pm
  39. False Flag Operative
    May 31, 2007 at 5:29 pm

    Yet more evidence that anti-choicers are not about saving babies but controlling women.

    Tell me about it. That’s why they are a bunch of jerks. :P

  40. False Flag Operative
    May 31, 2007 at 5:34 pm

    I don’t think the anti-choice opinion will ever change until they stop thinking of all women as temptresses who bring it all on themselves. *sigh*

    Unfortunately, this is true. The “pro-lifers” (anti-choice people) will continue to believe that abortion is “murder”. I find that ironic since they could give a damn about the “babies”. After all, how many babies have you seen them adopt today?

  41. May 31, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    Old, but:

    I am beginning to seriously doubt the sanity of any woman who gives birth to a female child in today’s world.

    Really? Because I’m doubting the sanity of any woman who voluntarily gives birth to a male child.

  42. Ann
    May 31, 2007 at 6:53 pm

    I’m 100% pro-choice, but I don’t applaud when the anti-choicers DO allow an exception for rape and incest–that’s the purest hypocrisy. An exception for rape basically says that a woman can have an abortion only if she didn’t want the sex (i.e., is “innocent”), and an exception for incest makes no sense at all. If it was rape, then it’s irrelevant who the rapist was, and if they’re worried about genetic defects, why not allow abortion for ALL genetic defects?
    The “R&I” exception makes no sense.

  43. May 31, 2007 at 8:18 pm

    These are ridiculously harsh penalties for females who get abortions. Where are the harsh penalties for the males that got them in that condition? The rapist, or incestuous father goes to ‘confession’ and all is well?

    Setting down what situations ‘allow’ a woman to have access to a clean safe termination is scary. Anyone remember S.D. Rep Bill Napolis’ description of what would be an allowable instance? That still creeps me out. “A young religious virgin who was saving herself for marriage”. So, if an agnostic 9 year old gets raped and impregnated, that isn’t ok?

    These pro-birthers really need to check their reality at the door, and get a new version.

  44. Bitter Scribe
    May 31, 2007 at 8:31 pm

    The “R&I” exception makes no sense.

    Sure it does, from a political point of view. It makes abortion bans more palatable to the mainstream.

    If you’re looking for logical sense from these folks, my dear, you’re going to wait a long, long time.

  45. May 31, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    These are ridiculously harsh penalties for females who get abortions. Where are the harsh penalties for the males that got them in that condition? The rapist, or incestuous father goes to ‘confession’ and all is well?

    Silly Anysia, men don’t have to take responsibility for anything!

  46. Jasmine
    May 31, 2007 at 10:01 pm

    The Church pushes around pregnant women (and pregnant children) endlessly, but when confronted or criticized, whimpers about religious bigotry.

    That is exactly what happened with the bloggers, Amanda and Melissa on the Edwards campaign. They call it like it is and the church cries bigotry. Well boo fuckin’ hoo I say.
    Thank god my parents don’t care that I’m not having a Catholic wedding.

  47. May 31, 2007 at 10:29 pm

    Moira-
    Thank you for the information. I was not aware that Mother Teresa had such a high regard for deprivation. I bought into what I believed was her decision to see the best in the impoverished.
    I admire forgoing your personal comfort in favor of growth, but I cannot admire the worship of suffering. It is indeed just a barb on a blog.
    Anyways, I will quit derailing the thread now.

  48. May 31, 2007 at 11:24 pm

    You’re most welcome. Mother Teresa’s image has been lovingly polished — I felt pretty much the same as you did until someone pointed out to me what she was actually up to.

  49. June 1, 2007 at 11:54 am

    Slightly off-topic, but I highly recommend “Deliver Us from Evil,” Amy Berg’s documentary about the way the Catholic church handled one particular priest who is thought to have molested over a hundred children (they pretty much just moved him around a lot)–and you get to see that Ratz played a key role in church coverups of priests molesting kids right up until the moment he became pope. Any Catholic who isn’t spending time fighting for some justice around these issues will likely be smacked around by Jesus himself at the pearly gates, in my opinion.

  50. June 1, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    Slightly off-topic, but I highly recommend “Deliver Us from Evil,” Amy Berg’s documentary about the way the Catholic church handled one particular priest who is thought to have molested over a hundred children (they pretty much just moved him around a lot)

    Seconded on that recommendation.

  51. i78
    June 2, 2007 at 5:41 pm

    1) The attacks on Mother Theresa show how amazingly insane (and yes, anti-Catholic) a lot of you radicals are. You say pro-lifers just want to control women, but as long as we’re doing mindreading, I sense just as much of a deep-seated, knee-jerk hatred of Catholicism driving your opposition to whatever they say. One thing to oppose their positions, another thing to slander Mother Theresa!

    2) “Silly Anysia, men don’t have to take responsibility for anything!”

    Completely false. In America, let’s say, if a man impregnates a woman and she keeps the baby, he is legally required to pay child support. Sure, that’s not equal to carrying a baby, but it is “responsibility for anything” and is triggered just by a man having sex. That comment is ludicrous.

    3) Commentator Ann, supported by some others, points out that there is a consistency in not allowing an exception for rape and incest. If you think abortion is murder, it’s not clear at all that we should let rape victims commit murder because they were raped and because the murder would help them (I’d bring up the example of the absurdity in allowing a man or woman to kill his/her acquitted/released rapist or witness as a vigilante, but given this crowd, you’d probably miss the absurdity.)
    But if Ann is right, and the exception makes not all that much sense, then why the post about the rape/incest victim? Obviously Jill’s exploiting a possibly irrational desire for a rape/incest exception so she can bootstrap up and justify the 99% of abortions that don’t involve those situations. So, Ann and other feminists attacking pro-lifers who, for many reasons, might prefer a rape/incest exception, actually contradict the posters like Jill who are aghast—aghast!—when other pro-lifers would simply combine Ann’s logic with their position that abortion is murder. Wait, am I accusing feminists of using abusive, contradictory logic?—oops I should probably move to point #4 rather than state the obvious.

    4) A fetus in a womb differs very much from a person on life support. 1) People who get the plug pulled on life support have little or no chance of ever becoming healthy or independent from life support. Not so with many fetuses. 2) Life support involves foreign machinery, not human processes, some of which happen automatically in response to the pregnancy. 3) A dying person, to be saved, is put on life support. Withdrawing the life support simply fails to save her, perhaps because of its insane expense and inability to improve her condition. Not so with a fetus, who has to be removed from the womb and either drugged or dismembered. If a fetus is alive and medically cared for where it is, and has a reasonably bright medical prognosis, as is often the case, aborting it is not the same as just disconnecting a machine on a terminal patient.

    5) I forgot that opposing murder triggered a positive obligation to provide complete and total support everyone who hasn’t been murdered. Thought that was a family/guardian obligation.

    6) Comparing the abortion rate of South American countries to rich Canada’s is not exactly a sound comparison. Not so much lurking variables as right-in-your-face variables.

  52. PrincessVespa
    June 3, 2007 at 12:44 am

    I’ve never commented before, but I had to for this post. I’m a regular reader mainly because of the frequent, wonderful, thoughtful posts on abortion rights. No disrespect to other topics but, to be honest, I get a little bummed when a few days go by with no posts about abortion.

    This blog helps to keep me updated and motivated and reminds me that, no matter how far it looks like we’ve come, there is still fighting to do, still work to be done.

    So, keep it up, we need you! :)

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