This article from late January by Michael Gerson gets at some important angles on the abortion debate that I had not thought about before.
It is the antiabortion movement that appeals to inclusion. It argues for a more expansive definition of the human community. It opposes ending or exploiting one human life for the benefit of another. There are heart-rending stories that prevent the simplistic application of this approach. But most of the antiabortion men and women I know have the genuine and selfless motivation of trying to save innocent lives.
Inclusion and expansion instead of exclusion and autonomy–are just some of the concepts he gets at. Worth reading.
The Liberals are giving a close to $100 million to Congo. This includes “sexual and reproductive rights”–which I put in quotation marks because that is a meaningless phrase that generally includes abortion. What I note in this Globe and Mail article is the Minister for International Development talking about how they will offer abortion, which is illegal in Congo:
Ms. Bibeau said the DRC is a prime example of a country where Canada’s new feminist foreign-aid agenda – particularly its support for legal abortion services – will have to be handled carefully. Abortion is illegal in the DRC, unless it is necessary to save a woman’s life, creating stigma around the service.
“In Canada, you are very interested in the abortion part, but if we want to be effective here, the idea is not to put the light specifically on that. We have to be more subtle,” Ms. Bibeau said.
“More subtle” means they will be breaking Congo’s laws but they don’t want people to know that. And on “creating stigma”–who knows why it’s illegal? Maybe African women understand killing their children isn’t a solution for rape. Maybe the stigma preceded the law. Maybe a western outlook on African life isn’t the right lens through which to view this. This seems a whole lot like a western, wealthy power coming in and telling a poorer country what they want/need before asking.
This was published in Convivium today. It’s something of a reflection on Fidel Castro’s death, but I do manage to bring up abortion nonetheless:
Here in Canada, human rights abuses around me can be openly contested and fought. The people who do so do not go to jail. In short, there is very little to lose by expressing opposition to injustice. Why then, do I hold back? It may be unpopular to oppose abortion, for example, but it’s not illegal. Pro-lifers are most routinely ignored, not punished. Even so, our numbers are few. The biggest problem in fighting the injustice of abortion is getting people to see that abortion marks an actual injustice.
When I see a teaser that says forced childbirth is responsible for global warming, I’m of two minds as to whether I should click on it or not.
But I did, and now I must share. This tidbit of wisdom comes from Gloria Steinem, who is living in a bygone era (as so many feminists are), one where people are falling off the globe due to overpopulation.
On the term “forced childbirth,” or it’s close cousin, “forced pregnancy”–this is a trope pro-abortion folks bring up as they completely disengage from any semblance of sanity or reason and ignore the fact that two people are involved in childbirth. A child is the result of childbirth. So where human life is involved, it’s not forced childbirth we need to worry about, but rather, killing people (read: abortion) because nine months of pregnancy is uncomfortable (which most assuredly, it is, even for a wanted pregnancy). Remember, no woman has to parent. I can find you five couples who will willingly adopt a child today if presented the opportunity. But once pregnant, even under terrible circumstances, there is no quick and easy way to undo that.
The UK’s Care Quality Commission, the independent regulator of medical services, ran surprise inspections of Marie Stopes abortion facilities. No great surprise to many pro-life readers, the abortion facilities failed to meet medical standards,
The concerns CQC raised with Marie Stopes International relate to poor governance arrangements which have given rise to specific immediate concerns relating to the lack of assurance in MSI, in areas such as consent and safeguarding and the lack of assurance in relation to training and competence in conscious sedation and general anaesthesia.
Marie Stopes international suspended its services in order to correct the problems. So (*sigh*) the NHI shipped the 250 pregnant women who would be affected elsewhere so they could abort their children.
I was kind of surprised at MSI’s measured response. Texas tried to raise the standards for abortion clinics so they’d be comparable to other medical facilities, and it seemed the world collectively lost its mind, with many arguing that ensuring medical standards for clinics violated a woman’s “right to choose” and then SCOTUS overturned the Texan law. Well then.
Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt concerned a 2013 Texas law known as House Bill 2, which required two new regulations for abortion clinics: first, abortion doctors would have to obtain admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of the clinic; and second, clinics would need to meet specifications required to become ambulatory surgical centers.
Their objection to HB2 demonstrates that abortion advocates care more about protecting the abortion industry than protecting women. This decision proves what pro-life feminists have been saying for years: the pro-choice position is misogyny in action. Striking down this law will harm women.
So the “good” news? Abortion facilities are being held to higher standards. Bad news? Babies continue to be killed and more women are hurt by abortion.
I appreciate the way the author of the Telegraph article wrapped up his piece:
There were 185,824 abortions in 2015. Some 38 per cent of those who had an abortion last year had undergone a similar procedure before. These figures are enormous, staggering. For the individual involved they represent a very personal choice, and pro-lifers are sensitive to that, but it’s impossible to separate that choice from the social conditions that shape it. This is not a society that encourages the formation of families, either culturally or materially. And if society is not open to the possibilities of life, it is hardly a surprise that some choose to terminate it.
And so the fight continues.
(PS. Prolifers: Research what MSI is doing to meet the standards on “consent”. There’s likely something useful there.)
Just got this press release. What would a similar analysis of a Canadian paper show? We have had legal abortion for some time so there’s no need to shift public opinion in favour of it. I suspect that what we would see at very least is a tendency to ignore legitimate news that falls outside of the “cultural consensus.” The thing is that no news outlet is bias free and it’s important to remember that. I personally think they are all allowed to have their bias, provided they recognize it as such (LifeSiteNews has, er, a pro-life bias). There’s many a news outlet that believes they are purveyors of neutral information, whilst in reality they are pushing an agenda.
91% of Irish Times articles showed pro-abortion bias, 3-year forensic analysis finds “Irish Times coverage designed to shift public opinion, rather than to inform it” Life Institute says
A review of every article published in the Irish Times concerning the issue of abortion over a three-year period has uncovered “systematic, persistent, and overwhelming bias” in support of legalised abortion, the Life Institute has revealed today.
Amongst the key findings from the forensic review of the period between January 2013 and December 2015 were
Of the 312 articles published by the paper that were determined to have a bias, 91% were found to have exhibited a pro legalised abortion bias. (284 of 312 articles)
For news reporting the bias was most evident, with 98% of news reports taking a position supportive of legalised abortion. (205 of 209 articles)
76.7% of opinion pieces for the period showed a bias towards legalised abortion with just over 23% taking a pro-life position. (79 against 24 articles)
The Irish Times published two articles a week on average that were biased in favour of abortion – making them more a campaigner than a news agency.
If I get a chance, I’ll go see this movie, The Innocents. A positive review here.
The Innocents, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, is a French-Polish-Belgian co-production based on the real accounts of a young French doctor working for the Red Cross in post-World War II Poland. The year is 1945. Dr. Mathilde Beaulieu, who has been sent there to treat French survivors of the German camps, discovers a convent of Polish Benedictine nuns who are hiding what they believe is a terrible secret: Several of them are pregnant, the result of brutal rapes by Russian soldiers. In the able hands of the noted French director Anne Fontaine, the film portrays with subdued power these profoundly “hard cases”: women who have taken vows of chastity, horribly violated and feeling ashamed, though they are innocent of any crime.
A woman of great courage. Here’s a tribute to her on the anniversary of her death, May 30, 1431. There is a street named after her in the Orleans suburb of Ottawa. I drove on it the other day and pondered how I knew nothing about her.
They convicted and sentenced her to life in prison with “the bread of despair and the water of affliction.” Two days later, to ward off the soldiers, she put back on her male clothes. This “relapse” was all her enemies needed. They gave her to the secular powers to burn the next day. Brave as she was, she wept, grasped at her hair, and cried out that it would be better to be beheaded seven times than to die such a death. So they carted her to the market place. They chained her to a stake. A vicious sermon was heard. She begged to see a cross, and she fixed her eyes on it as she died. She was nineteen.
Two things in that paragraph, for Christians. You can hear vicious sermons and still fix your eyes on the cross. A bad sermon, a religious person’s abuse of the faith, a Christian’s hypocrisy and many other egregious things–these do not nullify or change what happened on the cross.
The picture below has been making the rounds on social media with this caption:
An Iraqi girl in an orphanage – missing her mother, so she drew her and fell asleep inside her.”
Why is this such an effective photograph?
I think it conveys something powerful about the family, particularly about the relationship between mothers and children.
I think it also conveys that mothers are safe spaces–they provide love through physical and spiritual strength and protection.
And in this one photo, we can better understand why the abortion issue is so controversial.
With abortion, this quasi-sacred mother-child relationship is in play. Women who abort likely are at least subconsciously aware that they are mothers at the time of the abortion and afterwards. Because pro-life or pro-choice, this relationship with our mothers is an important and valuable one, on which we rely over the course of our lives. Because little children should be, in a perfect world, protected by their mothers. When we as pro-lifers chastise abortion, we may in fact be reminding women who have had abortions, in the deepest and most profound recesses of their heart, that they failed.
So this photo–as art–captures a lot of emotion.
It reminds me to tread carefully in just how I choose to oppose abortion.