Catholics today expressed anger about the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ role in promoting support for the so-called “Protect Life Act” (HR 358), a bill that will endanger women’s lives across the US with an extreme ban on abortion coverage while expanding permission for health professionals to refuse to provide reproductive healthcare services, even in life-threatening situations.
When accumulated in one place, the number of lies the religious right tells about human sexuality and gender roles is dizzying. But countering their lies with facts, while important, is more complex than simply insisting on the facts.
My personal life experience and my work as a pastor show that an unplanned pregnancy can quickly complicate the life of a woman and her loved ones. It’s only right to make contraception available under health reform to all who desire to use it.
As a young twenty-something, I welcomed two very wanted, well-loved babies into the world. Once things began to deteriorate between their father and I, I knew without a doubt that any future pregnancy we faced would be terminated. In October 2010, I had an abortion.
In his inaugural address, President Obama declared his administration would “restore science to its rightful place.” American women are still waiting.
PEPFAR presents the President-Elect both opportunities and challenges. The 2008 bill authorizes dramatic increases in funding for treatment and care. But the controversial policies supported by the Bush administration are still in place.
Rick Warren is positioning himself as the powerbroker who can muster support from the religious right for AIDS initiatives, and Obama will need bipartisan allies. The question is what concessions Warren will ask in return.