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Peace & Life Connections Index

#305 Pro-Life Feminism, Just War Theory, Intrinsic Worth

Two Candidates Upset Both Sides

It takes some doing to anger both sides of the abortion debate, but candidates of opposing major US parties managed.

On the April 3 Meet the Press, journalist Chuck Todd asked Hillary Clinton “when or if does an unborn child have constitutional rights?" Clinton’s response: "Well, under our laws currently, that is not something that exists. The unborn person doesn't have constitutional rights."

The unborn person? Many abortion defenders were aghast.

CL Board member Thad Crouch comments: “Her articulation is consistent with her position on the death penalty and her foreign policy as Secretary of State. There are innocent persons in the womb, persons who pose no threat to the public while in prison, and non-targeted civilians are the majority of deaths from wars and drone assassinations.”

Meanwhile, Donald Trump has taken several different positions on abortion, some of which are outrageous (women punished, yet men not) and the set of which are incoherent. He does the same with war and racism. See our latest blog.

But here’s some good news: Hillary Clinton also remarked on The View that it’s “absolutely” possible to be a prolife feminist!

Vatican Re-Evaluating Just War Theory Having noted the restraints of just war doctrine have been used more to justify war than to restrain it, that the destructive power of modern weapons removes one of those restraints (that the arms not produce more harm than the evil being fought), and that nonviolence has now been demonstrated to be a powerful way of countering injustice, the Vatican is holding a conference that can lead to changes in the official doctrine of one of the world's largest and most influential institutions. Just Peacemaking will be an important theme.

CL member group Pax Christi, CL Endorser John Dear, and Rose Marie Berger of member group Sojourners are prominently involved.

Intrinsic Worth Chris Momany has a consistent-life piece called “Why the ‘Intrinsic worth’ of People is a Big Deal” in the United Methodist Reporter. An excerpt: “Scholars have pointed to the way support for ‘eugenics’ coincided with a fear of immigrants and those who might threaten some imagined American purity. Sound conservative? Look out. Those on the right will remind us that the ideology of ‘eugenics’ was intended as a ‘scientific’ application of liberal principles. There are deep and critical issues at stake that defy the assumptions of both left and right.”

Chris reports to us directly, “The graphic is the handwritten script from the personal notebook of antebellum abolitionist Asa Mahan. It’s owned by Adrian College and has become something of an icon for our social justice movement.”

CL Blog: Who is Punished? Since Trump’s remarks have kicked up discussion on whether banning abortions would mean legally punishing women who get them, Rachel MacNair discusses Who the Law Targets – both practicalities and, naturally, a consistent-life perspective. Namely, that in socially-approved violence such as war and executions and abortions, there are many participants.

Quotation of the Week Sidney Callahan Hopes for Pro-life Feminism America Magazine, March 14, 2016 For many second-wave feminists of the 1960s, feminism by definition assumed that women should have the private freedom to choose life or death over their offspring. But this interpretation of feminism, despite Roe v. Wade’s victory, is contested by other dedicated feminists. Pro-life feminists see such lethal assertions as regression to patriarchal claims of domination; fathers once wielded life or death choices over newborns, children, women and slaves. Roman males legally made such private choices for the advancement of self, family status or wealth. Infanticide was as accepted as military conquest, slavery or gladiatorial games.

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