Money well spent?

“Foreign Aid to Mining Firms”

The Harper government recently announced a publicly funded agreement between three of Canada’s mining giants and three of Canada’s leading non-governmental organizations (NGOs). […]

“The Canadian government is using aid to support the expansion of Canadian mining…[and] to determine development paths inside countries according to the logic of mining companies,” Yao Graham of Third World Network Africa […]

“CIDA has always worked government-to-government,” said Coumans. “Now what CIDA is doing is channeling Canadian taxpayer money directly to the mine site and basically paying for corporate social responsibility projects, and that is very bizarre.”

What does this mean? It means that mining companies have a bad track record of damaging regions, so now they’ve been paired with groups that usually focus on humanitarian issues/sustainable development and receive government funds. These are the groups we want to build hospitals and make good on the promises we make to foreign countries. Promises that matter so much to us we’re willing to give gobs of money towards them, like lowering maternal death rates and ending child poverty. However with this unusual pairing, these groups are now meant to keep “in check” the mining company, as well as clean up any further damage the mining causes to already needy regions at the taxpayer’s expense. The money moved like a game of three-card Monte, and we’ve taken our eyes off the lady.

Go ask Iris

Iris is an intelligent software assistant and knowledge navigator application (ask it something, and it will answer you). It’s the Android version of Apple’s Siri. My spouse recently got an Android phone, so I thought I would ask Iris a few questions. Here’s what she had to say about abortion. I apologize in advance for the blur, I’m know for being a poor camera operator!

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When I asked her if she was pro-choice Iris answered, “I am against it.” When asked if she was Christian Iris said, “I am secular.”

Do we treat pregnant woman differently?

If you want to know if you’ll be treated any differently once you’re pregnant, the short answer is yes. I imagine this goes for all women, but it is especially true for the young and unmarried ladies out there. Things will be different, but a new autobiographical book entitled The Pregnancy Project concludes that the baby bump doesn’t push a successful life out of reach.

Gaby Rodriguez, of Toppenish, Wash., got headlines last April when she announced at a high school assembly that she had worn a faux baby bump for months to explore stereotypes about teen pregnancy. […]

“Being a Hispanic girl from a family full of teen pregnancies meant that my odds of also becoming a teen mom were way higher than average,” she wrote. “If I gave people what they predicted, how would they react?”

Rodriguez believes the biggest message from her experience is: Things will be OK.

“It’s not the end of the road for them,” she said. “It’s going to be harder, but it’s not the end of the road.”

Feminist apologetics

I’ve been asked difficult questions while speaking to groups, difficult in that the answers seem complex and don’t always readily pop into my mind. These get easier to answer with experience, but I can tell you that the most difficult questions to field often come from my fellow women who, like me, love and want to support womankind as best we can.

I’m talking about feminists.

I don’t mind the “f” word, in fact, I use it regularly in lots of positive ways. I’ll always understand some of the frustrations of being a woman (limited though it may be to my western experience), the desire to overcome obstacles, and the hope that my own daughters will have positive non-violent options in their lives. I get feminism, even if it doesn’t always get me.

I also get that conversations with women who feel abortion is “necessary” are often the most emotionally charged. Why? Because women mean so much to us. To keep your reason, it helps to think ahead about the kinds of questions a woman might ask and to lend their input Feminists for Life of America have prepared a Q&A of “Pro-Woman Answers to Pro-Choice Questions“.  They’re worth looking at. I like this one in particular:

Don’t you respect women enough to allow them to make a choice?

Most women do not have abortions as a matter of “choice,” but because they feel they have no resources to support a different choice. A coerced decision is not a free choice—it’s a last resort.

We support nonviolent choices—single motherhood, fatherhood, grandparenthood, marriage and various adoption options—along with practical resources and support.

A society that promotes abortion as a “necessity” or “necessary evil” underestimates women and the violence of abortion and disregards what women really want.

A response

…to sex selective abortions delivered by Australian/Canadian ethicist Margaret Somerville.

So why is there this huge fuss about sex selection abortion? If one can have an abortion for any reason or none, why not because a baby of the opposite sex is strongly preferred?

The reason is, as sex selection abortion most clearly demonstrates, that abortion is not just a private matter. The issue involves shared societal values, cultural norms and clashes of cultural values and shows that the cumulative impact of abortion has societal consequences.

On “representing women”

The one thing you will never hear me say is that “I represent women.” No. You can choose for yourself whether ProWomanProLife represents you or not. And this site was started in opposition to the many pro-abortion feminists who were supposedly out there representing me.

This article by Karen Selick is about changing the law regarding marriage/cohabitation in Quebec. It’s a good article, but that is besides the point. This part caught my eye:

The Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) has intervened in the court proceedings to support Lola’s side. LEAF purports to represent Canadian women, but they certainly don’t represent me. I find their arguments illogical, demeaning and repugnant.

I do so wish that “women’s groups” would stop “representing” me in the public square. It would be such a relief.

So much science, so little time

This site, WECARE, is going to be extraordinarily useful.

WECARE stands for World Expert Consortium for Abortion Research and Education.

In a world where it appears the Guttmacher is the only agency publishing or assessing abortion-related research, this is long overdue. (The Guttmacher is the research arm of Planned Parenthood. That doesn’t mean everything they do is flawed, but as they say, if you follow the money and it leads you to abortion providers, one certainly needs to be aware of that bias! That said, in my past life as a journalist, I once interviewed a psychologist, who, unprompted, said some of the Guttmacher’s work specifically to do with abortion is some of the shoddiest work he had ever seen. And this was no “pro-life” psychologist, and he did not think he was speaking to a “pro-life” journalist. I digress.)

Anyway, bookmark this site, because when it comes to getting great, up-to-date scientific information about abortion, it’s hard to find.

Pregnancy outside the womb

An item published earlier this week on LifeSite News announced that a UK academic was arguing in favour of ectogenesis (pregnancy outside the womb).

My initial reaction upon reading the LifeSite item – beyond the initial oh my… was that I could probably have poked holes in her arguments when I was a bona fide ethicist myself but recovering as I am from the physical and mental demands of a multiple pregnancy I … wait… did I just prove her point?

I think we should all calm down.

First, all academics, including UK ethicists, are under constant pressure to publish new and innovative material. Arguing in favour of ectogenesis is a little out there but not entirely surprising given this particular ethicist’s research interests. Secondly, the ethicist is a philosopher looking at pregnancy through a sex inequity lens, not a medical doctor announcing upcoming experiments in his newfangled hatchery. I can’t think of a western country who has a healthcare buck to spare on this type of research and experiment, can you? Thirdly, go rent a National Geographic In the Womb video and remind yourself of how wonderfully complicated conception is. Decades of research have only marginally improved outcomes for very premature children. There is very little we can do to replace the womb environment, even for fully formed infants.

Growing a human being from scratch outside the womb? Nice idea (I mean it, I’ve been pregnant seven times) but not a chance.

Medical research and innovation has not been able to beat the flu yet. Let’s not forget that.


Andrea adds: This is Véronique’s post, for our Facebook readers. In case it isn’t abundantly clear that I have not been pregnant seven times!

I’m having an Orwellian moment

Killing your baby is safer than having one. And way cheaper, too, while we’re at it! But that wasn’t the point of this study, which confines itself to the health benefits of offing your child.

Now here’s the thing. I’m concerned they didn’t include ALL the benefits of abortion. Did they, for example, add in the benefits, current and future, of scientific experimentation on the fetus? What about the masses who’ve been saved in vaccinations developed from fetal cell lines? I’m just trying to think of every angle.

Sometimes the abortion debate does lead to some pretty upside down, Orwellian moments.