“This Is Only the First Salvo In the Bishops Campaign Against Women’s Health”


Behavior in recent weeks tells us and the American voters a lot about core values. We in the prochoice community stayed true to our core values, seeking to overcome the struggles ordinary Americans have making ends meet. These struggles mean that many cannot afford basic healthcare or have to choose between maintaining their health and paying for other basic necessities. The antichoice lobby, with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and its Office of Prolife Activities at the helm, has shown that it is willing to stop at nothing to ensure that its own views, which are shared by very few Americans, held sway. This lobby, aided by the 64 Democrats who voted to insert unfounded red herrings into a critical life-and-death debate over the basic right of access to healthcare, exploited the vulnerabilities of the Democratic Party.

This is only the first salvo in the bishops’ campaign against women’s health.  Just imagine for a moment what healthcare will look like when the bishops are finished. There will be absolutely no access to abortion—even in cases of rape or incest. Women will be detained in prison if it is thought they want to travel abroad for an abortion. There will be no IVF. No contraception. No treatment for ectopic pregnancy or medical anomalies during pregnancy. No respect for your advance medical directives and no use of cures gained through stem-cell research. There will be nothing that doesn’t meet the myriad litmus tests prescribed by a small group of men who don’t represent American Catholics, let alone the America populace.

We hope that, as this struggle continues, Congress realizes that those who want to destroy the possibility of meaningful healthcare reform may have employed good lobbyists, but ultimately the voters will take down all those who betray the needs of the people for short-term political gains. President Obama was elected just one short year ago on a prochoice ticket. If the electorate sees that a woman’s right to choose is not a core value but simply a bargaining chip to be laid on the table when the going gets tough, there will be a price to pay.

We call on the Democratic leadership and all of our elected representatives to put forward healthcare reform that can be endorsed by the American people, not just the US bishops.

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

  • julie-watkins

    No treatment for ectopic pregnancy

    Once the tube ruptures, then surgery is allowable … but what the survival rate at that point?

  • miki

    "No treatment for ectopic pregnancy or medical anomalies during pregnancy."

     

    This is a bald-faced lie.

     

    Surgical intervention for ectopics is not considered abortive because there is ZERO chance of carrying an ectopic to term; it is a non-viable pregnancy from day one that will always result in the death of the mother as well as the child if not terminated. There exists no other condition in pregancy where this is 100% documented.

     

    The main problem with your argument, beyond the obviously blatant falsehood, is that there are very few women looking for an abortion who learn in the course of "counselling" that they have an ectopic pregnancy. Most often it is a woman looking to begin prenatal care who, in the course of an office visit, learns that her pregnancy is not progressing properly, or it is a woman completely unawares who comes to the ED with mind-numbing belly pain and bleeding who has, unwittingly, already suffered a rupture. Even then, abortion clinics cannot handle ectopics, only major surgical centers.

     

    The Church allows this, reasonably, as medically necessary; insurance has always covered it as a "catastrophic" emergency procedure, not an abortive procedure.

     

    Tell the whole truth.

     

    Oh, yes, and for the record: I am a woman, a veteran healthcare worker, and faithfully practising Catholic. Of all the hundreds of people amongst my family and friends, Catholic or *not*, I can only name five who are pro-abortion. I am so incredibly proud of the Bishops for finally taking the moral high ground, speaking out *against* the crime against women and children that you call "choice," and putting their collective foot down with those who erroneously believe that one can still remain Catholic when they are decidedly pro-abortion…..

  • julie-watkins

    November it became a crime for a woman to have an abortion in Nicaragua, even if her life was in mortal danger. So far it has resulted in the death of at least 82 women.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2007/oct/08/health.lifeandhealth The Pope says "women shouldn’t die", but supports the legislation. Another quote from the article:

    Human Rights Watch, in a recent report titled Over Their Dead Bodies, cited one woman who urgently needed medical help, but was left untreated at a public hospital for two days because the foetus was still alive and so a therapeutic abortion would be illegal. Eventually she expelled the foetus on her own. “By then she was already in septic shock and died five days later,” said the doctor.

  • jgbeam

    Your charge that the Bishops are campaigning against women’s health is totally wrong and you know it. They are campaigning against the death of children during their first stage of life.

    Jim Grant, Pro-lifer

  • jgbeam

    If Nicaraguan doctors denied this woman a therapeutic abortion under hospital care they have been misinformed and the law is wrongly applied.  The Vatican certainly would not approve of this decision and I see nowhere in your post or its link that they approved, much less applauded.

     

    Jim Grant, Pro-lifer

  • julie-watkins

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2007/september/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20070924_ambassador-nicaragua_en.html

    it should be considered as very positive that last year the National Assembly approved the abolition of therapeutic abortion. It is indispensable, in this respect, to increase State assistance and the help of society itself for women who have serious problems with their pregnancy.

    In the abolition of therapeutic abortion, the woman can only be helped, in a problem pregnancy, after the fetus has died. To best avoid risk of prison, doctors would have to very good proof the fetus was already dead before trying to help the woman — too often too late for her. Since the law disallows therapeutic abortion, I don’t know why you think the doctors were misinformed. In ectopic pregnancies theraputic abortion is necessary — but illegal.

  • paul-bradford

    This is only the first salvo in the bishops’ campaign against women’s health. Just imagine for a moment what healthcare will look like when the bishops are finished. There will be absolutely no access to abortion—even in cases of rape or incest. Women will be detained in prison if it is thought they want to travel abroad for an abortion. There will be no IVF. No contraception. No treatment for ectopic pregnancy or medical anomalies during pregnancy. No respect for your advance medical directives and no use of cures gained through stem-cell research.

     

    Jon,

     

    Here’s my gripe with you.  Your language, quoted above, is designed to whip up fear and — this has been demonstrated over and over again — the folks at RHReality Check are VERY susceptible to fear tactics. 

     

    First of all, the bishops have no campaign against women’s health.  Women are going to be a lot healthier once we get Universal Health Care than they are now — and the bishops have been pushing for Universal Health Care for years.  I’ve pointed this out again and again, but providing health care to women is an excellent way to protect the unborn.  When women know that their health is protected, and that their children’s health is protected, they are much more willing to carry their pregnancies to term and feel much less pressure to consider abortion.

     

    "There will be absolutely no access to abortion".  Wanna bet?  Are you saying that the United States of America will tolerate an arrangement where women have NO access to abortion?  You’re looking at a much different America than the one I know!  The America I know not only has a constitution that protects privacy rights but it has deeply ingrained traditions that support privacy.  Do you really think the bishops are going to rub that out?  Do you think they want to????? 

     

    My suspicion is that you know as well as I do that there is no danger that access to abortion will be completely eliminated. But you’re not above whipping up a little hysteria. "Women will be detained in prison if it is thought that they want to travel abroad for an abortion". That tops it all! You absolutely win the prize for the most paranoid statement I have read anywhere from the "Choice" community.

     

    There will be nothing that doesn’t meet the myriad litmus tests prescribed by a small group of men who don’t represent American Catholics, let alone the America populace.

     

    The USCCB didn’t win this one because the USA is on the verge of becoming a theocracy.  It won this one because it had the winning argument — they convinced the average American that, even if they believed a woman has a right to an abortion, there’s no reason that taxpayers should have to pay for one.  They won by making a ‘conscience’ argument.  It was an argument that made sense to Catholics, non-Catholics, non-believers, Pro-Lifers and some Pro-Choicers as well.

     

    Both Stupak and Hyde have provisions that allow abortions when abortion is a medical necessity — and that’s the only occasion when an abortion is a woman’s health issue.  When a woman’s health isn’t at risk (which is most of the time) abortion is a fetal health issue.

     

    But you know that. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • paul-bradford

    Miki,

     

    The absolutely marvelous thing about the Catholic hierarchy is that they’re so eager to speak up for justice and for charity.  This is why the very young have a friend in the Catholic Church.

     

    The not-so-marvelous thing about our hierarchy is that they’re desperately afraid of ambiguity.  No abortion means NO ABORTION.  You know, and I know, and so do all the Pro-Life Catholic OB/GYN’s that abortion is sometimes a medical necessity.  Just don’t get into an argument with a theologian about it. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • colleen

    Your language, quoted above, is designed to whip up fear and — this has been demonstrated over and over again — the folks at RHReality Check are VERY susceptible to fear tactics.

    You’ll have to excuse Paul, Jon. He’s a bit territorial and is concerned that you’re alarming ‘his’ livestock.
    He’s concerned that honest discussion about the political aims of his church might interfere with his attempts to destroy any interesting or fruitful discussion here with constant whining, proselytizing and clumsy attempts at emotional manipulation.

    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • julie-watkins

    It’s the Pope I quoted above — calling it "very positive" that the law is no therapeutic abortion, even when the fetus can’t survive. I still don’t know what the survival rate is for surgery after rupture for ectopic pregnancy, but it’s much worse than what it would be if the law allowed surgery upon discovery. The  Nicaragua law is very anti-woman. The Pope is very anti-woman to say this law is positive progress.

    I’m glad there are Pro-Life Catholic OB/GYN’s who know abotion is sometimesa medical necessity … but the political reality in Nicaragua is that many doctors won’t risk the legal penalties to help women with troubled pregnancies.

    The poltical activity to influence laws, legislators & jurists by the Vatican hierarchy is troubling.

    Julie 

  • julie-watkins

    Looking at the laws the Bishops want, propose, or fight against — they don’t treat pregnant women as part of that "all". Too many TRAP laws are passed for the sake of the fetus on the basis that only the mother can give her/him life. I can think of other cases where people are going to die, and someone else has the biological resources to save him/her. Are there such laws? There’s no legislation in the USA or any other country I know of that will force anyone to donate a kidney, part of a liver, or even blood to another person, even if they’re the "only match".

    On this basis I claim "my body my choice". I believe giving birth is a gift, not a moral obligation — and on the basis of lack of laws concerning obligatory organ or blood donation, I think society agrees with me: people always have a choice. My aggravation is that there are laws treat pregnant women as "not people".

    Even dead people are still people! Unless there’s prior authorization, the default is "bury/burn me whole".

    Since Nature is sexist, since society (for centuries/millennia) has been sexist & classist, reproductive choice (without attempted legal or societal coercion) is a necessary counter if women are equal to men; if there is not to be different laws for rich and poor. From my PoV, reproductive choice is an "affirmative action" a necessarary compromise to balance nature (& society’s) sexism.

  • princess-rot

    It’s not so much that they applaud and agitate for the suffering of women by rescinding their rights and denying them healthcare, it’s more that they see suffering "for the children" as an integral part of being born female, and this paves the way to excuse and/or completely dismiss any responsibility men have. The general attitude is: "it’s unfortunate, but she got herself pregnant, it’s a new life we cannot trample on its rights", (someone will inevitably point out that they have no trouble trampling on the lives of women, who can’t "get themselves pregnant" to grant amnesty to fetuses, it’s hypocritical but this view only works if you’ve got a buttload of cognitive dissonance, lack empathy, assume women have all the responsibility for sexual congress and have convinced yourself that women aren’t really people under certain circumstances). We’re not considered autonomous persons unless its convienient to say we are to blame us for something or foist all responsibility onto us.

    Ew. I felt ill writing that.

  • julie-watkins

    Well put, thank you. Saturday evening, after the vote, reading a lot of angry ranting and rationalizations I had bad dreams and nightmares. I can’t remember the details but it was same-old same-old and prodding to "give", "give","give" more (it’s not "giving" when you’re forced). I was foggy and angry Sunday morning.
    Julie
  • liberaldem

    Here’s my gripe with you. Your language, quoted above, is designed to whip up fear and — this has been demonstrated over and over again — the folks at RHReality Check are VERY susceptible to fear tactics.

    You know something, Paul? Your entire attitude toward women is condescending and patronizing. Until Roe v. Wade was decided, women routinely risked their health and lives in order to obtain abortions because the procedure was illegal, and women often had no other “choice” than to place themselves in danger by having back alley, unsanitary abortions. To put it in language that even you might understand, women died.

    But then, Paul, you are concerned for women only as walking uteri that can be filled with your precious blastocysts. Women as human beings who have brains, feelings, opinions and who have the right to make their own decisions about their lives don’t exist in your fetus huggings, self-righteous little world.

  • paul-bradford

    Julie,

     

    I’m glad that you’re concerned about women’s health in Nicaragua and throughout the developing world.  As you probably know, 540,000 women die every year due to pregnancy complications (40,000 of these deaths occur subsequent to a procured abortion).  The vast majority of these deaths happen in poor countries with a poor record of advancing women’s rights.

     

    Nicaraguan women need our help — but they need much more than a willingness on the part of rich Americans to criticize their abortion laws.  Even if Nicaragua liberalized its laws (and I’m certainly not saying that they shouldn’t) women would still die from abortions because the health care delivery system is overwhelmed and incapable of dealing with the need.

     

    There’s not nearly enough money being spent on health care in general in Central America and very little of what is being spent is dedicated to OB/GYN care.  Women are not being cared for — and, to my understanding, the root cause of that problem is that girls and women are not receiving an adequate education.  If you want fewer women in Nicaragua to die in pregnancy and childbirth you ought to invest a portion of your income to support women’s education in Central America.

     

    I do. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • paul-bradford

    You’ll have to excuse Paul, Jon. He’s a bit territorial and is concerned that you’re alarming ‘his’ livestock.

     

    That’s pretty good, colleen.  It isn’t the kind of comment that leads to an educational discussion, but it would make for a terrific sound bite. 

     

    The word ‘livestock’ doesn’t come to my mind when I consider the great number of intelligent and passionate women (plus a few men) with whom I’ve had discussions on this ‘site.  Naturally this set includes you — and I truly am concerned when y’all get worked up by the kind of over-the-top rhetoric that Jon exemplified in this piece.

     

    Let me ask you to consider the line I thought was most offensive: "Women will be detained in prison if it is thought they want to travel abroad for an abortion."  Tell me if you agree with me that that comment sounds a lot like the drivel anti-Communists used to make in the ‘fifties and ‘sixties to draw a picture of the totalitarian threat that was just around the corner.

     

    "Women will be detained in prison if it is thought they want to travel abroad for an abortion."  Is this really what the discussion is about?  My understanding is that the discussion is about the enthusiastic support the USCCB gave to the Stupak amendment.  The bishop’s argued, and their argument prevailed, that public financial support of abortion violated the principle of respecting people’s consciences.  Stupak does nothing to prevent a woman from seeking an abortion.  It simply protects those who oppose abortion from being compelled to pay for one.

     

    Disagree with Stupak all you want.  It would thrill me if you were willing to openly share your thoughts and feelings about it; but don’t expect me to be silent when the fear-mongers on this ‘site play ‘bait and switch’ and try to get people as worked up about a conscience measure as they would about Orwellian fascism.

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • paul-bradford

    you are concerned for women only as walking uteri that can be filled with your precious blastocysts. Women as human beings who have brains, feelings, opinions and who have the right to make their own decisions about their lives don’t exist in your fetus huggings, self-righteous little world.

     

    liberaldem,

     

    Why do you suppose I have so much trouble helping you develop a realistic idea about the way I view women?  It’s not news that I’m deeply convinced of the principle that women ought to have control over their bodies, that they ought to be empowered to say "no" to sex they don’t want and say "no" to motherhood if they don’t want a child.

     

    For some reason, the fact that I point out that there’s a world of difference between the situation where a woman successfully prevents a conception she doesn’t want and the situation where a woman fails to prevent an unwanted conception and then elects to have the life ripped out of her womb earns me a reputation for self-righteousness.  I get this reputation even though I have no interest in criticizing, censuring, stigmatizing or punishing a woman who has an abortion.  My interest is only in motivating members of my society to support measures that will effectively protect women from the pressure to get an abortion.  

     

    I seek to do this by bringing attention to the fact that human life, from conception onward, is worth valuing.  I’m excited by the vision of living in a society that protects and cherishes all human life (including mine!) and I’m eager to share this vision with others.

     

    This qualifies me to be judged as someone whose "entire attitude" toward women is condescending and patronizing.  Entire attitude?  Don’t you think it’s remotely possible that some teensy percentage of my attitude toward women is respectful an appreciative — or are all the women in my life who like and love me dedicated masochists? 

     

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • liberaldem

    I’m sorry, Paul, but your comment about “protecting” women from pressure to have an abortion is quite telling.

    According to that worldview, women aren’t capable of making their own decisions about the most fundamental aspect of their lives: whether and when to become a mother.

    Basically, though, I do not want any church or faith community to impose its moral views on people who do not beling to that community. I am not a member of the Catholic church;therefore I do not want to have my life governed by a church whose rules/dogma I find to be personally and politically antithetical. In a country that allegedly recognizes a separation between church and state I consider this a reasonable position.

  • colleen

    Look Paul, I can understand that you wouldn’t anyone speaking out against what is obvious to everyone here The Catholic church is clearly engaged in a political power grab. You wish to prevent others from speaking about it, you wish to avoid the backlash and you wish to avoid any substantive discussion about the fact that the Bishops won’t stop. All that is understandable. But we aren’t stupid .

    I truly am concerned when y’all get worked up by the kind of over-the-top rhetoric that Jon exemplified in this piece.

    1. From reading this thread it appears that the folks who are “all worked up” are your conservative counterparts. My, my, all that ugly, long repressed rage appears to have finally found a church sanctioned and thus acceptable outlet. Perhaps you should ‘guide’ them. They’ve been properly socialized and should respond to your false piety with something other than the nausea I always feel. .

    2. The problem isn’t Jon’s rhetoric, the problem is that Jon is speaking the truth. The Catholic church has nothing but contempt for women and contempt for democratic processes. They aren’t going to stop trying to seize power and the sort of power they want is power over the bodies of women, all women, Catholic or not.

    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • arium

    Jon said:

    This is only the first salvo in the bishops’ campaign against women’s health. Just imagine for a moment what healthcare will look like when the bishops are finished.[…]


    Jon was speculating about the results of the USCCB succeeding to enshrine its philosophy regarding women into US law. I saw nothing unrealistic in his scenario.


    On the other hand, I would like to think that the general idea was hyperbole—that, for example, the idea of women being jailed to prevent them from harming their fetuses could never happen in America. But then reality rears its ugly head: Jailed for being pregnant? Court to hear arguments on drug user’s incarceration.


    Part of the problem with the Stupak amendment was that the Capps amendment had already prohibited funding of most abortion. Capps even required that plans including abortion coverage charge an additional premium to pay for abortion claims—never mind that there may have been no actuarial justification for such a surcharge. Stupak was forced down our throats to solve a nonexistent problem.


    Of course groups like NRLC made bizarre claims, repeated ad nauseum on this website, that because of the fungibility of money that any abortion coverage in these plans would in effect allow abortions to be paid for using tax dollars. Using the same reasoning, I could argue that religious tax exemptions in effect allow the USCCB to lobby Congress using tax dollars.

  • paul-bradford

    liberaldem,

     

    Let’s review the suggestions I have made with an eye to lowering the abortion rate:

     

    1)  Quality Health Care for All, particularly women and children.  Uninsured women get abortions at a much higher rate than insured women, that’s because insured women have access to prenatal care and their children have access to pediatric care. That protects women from the pressure to have an abortion.

    2) Comprehensive Birth Control.  The best way to reduce abortion is to reduce unwanted pregnancy.  That protects women from the pressure to have an abortion.

    3) Social and Governmental supports for poor and single mothers.  A woman facing an unwanted pregnancy deserves a workable option of caring for her child.  Many women can’t handle this challenge without support.  I urge improved social supports.  That protects women from the pressure to have an abortion.

    4) Stricter laws to compel paternal support.  It ought to go without saying that a father has a responsibility to support his children.  More support from fathers means a more attractive option for mothers to care for their children.  That protects women from the pressure to have an abortion.

     

    From this, you come up with the idea that I think "women aren’t capable of making their own decisions about the most fundamental aspect of their lives: whether and when to become a mother."

     

    No woman should become a mother unless and until she’s ready.  I don’t know how I can state this in any clearer language.  Let’s do everything we can to make this a reality — but the reality will never be perfect.  Sooner or later we’re going to have to deal with the problem of mothers who aren’t ready to do a good job of being mothers.  I say, "give them support".  You say, "they should handle things on their own, without anyone’s interference."

     

    You seem to be taking the position that care for a child is solely the mother’s concern.  I take the position that it’s everyone’s concern — and that it’s a benefit to women for everyone to do her/his share.

     

    What is it about the imposition of this "moral view" that bothers you? 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • crowepps

    "According to Justice Committee chair Jose Pallais the Catholic Church hierarchy had approved the committee’s list of medical circumstances under which a therapeutic abortion should be permitted. In public, however, no church representative confirmed this approval while Bishop of Esteli Abelardo Mata had publicly called on the deputies to maintain the abortion ban. The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the issue in a few weeks. 

         Last year, on October 26, 2006, ten days before the 2006 presidential elections, the Assembly first approved the measure that would remove from the country’s penal code the article permitting abortion when the life or health of a woman was in danger. The action was in answer to demands from the Catholic Church and some Protestant churches and was supported by three of the four major candidates for president in the elections that were to be held on November 5th. 

         With the elimination of the century-old measure allowing therapeutic abortion, women who have an abortion can be sentenced to one to two years in jail and doctors or midwives who perform abortions can be sentenced to one to three years in jail. Nicaragua joined El Salvador and Chile as the only countries in the region that made all abortions illegal."

    http://www.lvindependent.org/_mgxroot/page_10826.html


    ""We know that there are international entities who are interested in legalizing therapeutic abortion in Nicaragua," said Abelardo Mata, Bishop of Esteli at a press conference. "We are making a strong statement to the Legislative Assembly to be conscious of the culture in favor of life that our people have."
    http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/sep/07091102.html

     

    "Bishop Juan Abelardo Mata Guevara, president of the Episcopal
    Commission of Life and the Family, says the loophole allowing
    therapeutic abortion had been abused. Abortions have been carried out
    that were unnecessary [for medical reasons], says Mata. He adds that
    medical science has advanced and doctors should be able to save
    women’s lives without killing the unborn child.

    "Doctors and other opponents of Nicaragua’s new law say the new
    legislation responds to religious dogma without taking into account
    the opinions of the medical community. It’s really the start of an
    inquisition, says Marta Marma Blandon, director for Central America
    of Ipas, a US-based reproductive rights group. We feel like we don’t
    have a lay state anymore. She fears the law would keep women from
    seeking professional help in the case of a spontaneous abortion, for
    fear of being sent to jail."

    http://www.nnseek.com/e/alt.politics.democrats/the_lancet_on_nicaragua_s_new_abortion_ban_91284255m.html

     

  • crowepps

    What the Bishops campaigned to have made illegal were the EXCEPTIONS and the provision of THERAPEUTIC abortions – abortions to save the health or life of the mother. They succeeded. Women are dying, but of course, that’s all part of “God’s Plan”.

  • crowepps

    "Ectopic pregnancy occurs at a rate of 19.7 cases per 1,000 pregnancies in North America and is a leading cause of maternal mortality in the first trimester.

    "A ruptured ectopic pregnancy is a true medical emergency. It is the leading cause of maternal mortality in the first trimester and accounts for 10 to 15 percent of all maternal deaths.

    The case-fatality rate has declined from 35.5 maternal deaths per 10,000 ectopic pregnancies in 1970 to only 3.8 maternal deaths per 10,000 ectopic pregnancies in 1989.

    "To date, at least 14 studies have documented that 68 to 77 percent of ectopic pregnancies resolve without intervention. Unfortunately, no markers clearly identify which subset of patients has self-limited disease. One retrospective chart review of 236 ectopic pregnancies was unable to identify any parameters that were specifically associated with tubal rupture.

    http://www.aafp.org/afp/20000215/1080.html

  • crowepps

    What is it about the imposition of this “moral view” that bothers you?

    Your use of the word imposition.

    1.an imposing or imposing on; specif.,
    a.the forcing of oneself, one’s presence or will, etc. on another or others without right or invitation; obtrusion
    b.a taking advantage of friendship, etc.
    c.the laying on of hands, as in ordaining
    2.something imposed; specif.,
    a.a tax, fine, etc.
    b.an unjust burden or requirement
    c.a deception; fraud

    http://www.yourdictionary.com/imposition

  • julie-watkins

    Yes, Paul, I am concerned about the state of women’s health in Nicaragua — however, as crowepps pinted out

     

    What the Bishops campaigned to have made illegal were the EXCEPTIONS and the provision of THERAPEUTIC abortions

     

    The state of women’s health has been made much worse by the local bishops & they should be ashamed of themselves; and they should spend half the money they spent getting this evil anti-woman law passed to mitigate their mess. (Of course I’d rather they say "sorry" and compain for the law to be overturned.) Blood on their hands. Part of their ammunition was probably Vatican directives, see here:

    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19870222_respect-for-human-life_en.html

    [This document] addresses this invitation to those responsible for the formation of consciences and of public opinion, to scientists and medical professionals, to jurists and politicians. It hopes that all will understand the incompatibility between recognition of the dignity of the human person and contempt for life and love, between faith in the living God and the claim to decide arbitrarily the origin and fate of a human being. [emphasis added]

    That’s an official Vatican document. It is appropriate to emphasize what Bishops (& the Pope) have done in other countries as a warning for USA, — interfering, trying to enforce Catholic thought on all people (& supporting laws that make pregnant women not-people). 30 years ago, in USA, contraception wasn’t controversial — access is shrinking. Why shouldn’t we look to see what has happened in other places as what could happen here? Especially when there’s the example of Canada for what should be.
    .

    BTW, I often copy posts I agree and disagree with from this site for my "talking points" files — this is how I was able to help untangle the misatribution misunderstanding recently. I’m always careful, when copying your comments, to remove "s for Choice" from your signature. Since it’s my notefile, I have that option.

  • julie-watkins

  • paul-bradford

    Your use of the word imposition.

     

    crowepps,

     

    I’m sure you’ve been following the thread and you certainly realize that ‘impose’ is liberaldem’s word.  S/he was concerned about people imposing their moral views on others.

     

    Trouble is, there are really only two moral views to choose between.  There is the ‘Love Your Neighbor’ moral view and then there is the ‘Look Out For Number One’ moral view.  The specific matter we were discussing was what view should society take of a woman.  Is it everybody’s concern that she have access to birth control, or is it only her concern?  Is it everybody’s concern that she have access to health care, or is it only her concern?  Is it everybody’s concern that she have the financial means to care for her children, or is it only her concern?  Is it everybody’s concern that the father of her children contribute support, or is it only her concern? 

     

    Now, if you say, "Just let her look after herself" and I say, "We’ve got to do something to help her" am I imposing my moral view on you?

     

    This is the moral view I’m "imposing".  Does a regard for the separation of Church and State dictate that I should keep this view to myself?  Doesn’t that pretty much mean that the ‘Look Out For Number One’ moral view is effectively imposed on everyone?

     

    Forcing oneself on another without invitation.  That’s a pretty good description of the imposition a child makes on an unwilling mother.  You and I have very different ideas about the proper response to that imposition.  

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • crowepps

    Trouble is, there are really only two moral views to choose between.

    Life is not a dichotomy, Paul. There are more than two moral views. Certainly there is ‘Love Thy Neighbor’ and ‘Look Out For Number 1′ but there is also ‘You’re Too Stupid To Make Your Own Choices’ and ‘My Religion Trumps Your Rights’ and ‘Get Out Of My Face’.

    Forcing oneself on another without invitation. That’s a pretty good description of the imposition a child makes on an unwilling mother. You and I have very different ideas about the proper response to that imposition.

    And both of us may disagree with the woman who actually is in the situation. The biggest difference between our positions is that I am willing to respect her freedom of conscience and trust her ability to make the best possible decision for her situation and you want to substitute your religion for hers and make her decisions yourself.