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Peace & Life Connections Index

#331 VP debate, Hyde

A Highly Peculiar Connection In the US vice-presidential debate last Tuesday (October 4), Tim Kaine made an odd connection between the death penalty and abortion. The topics came up when asked about personal faith, and in both cases, he declared that his personal opposition due to faith didn’t apply to public policy. Nor do his supposed convictions apply to anything he had to say about either topic. The euphemisms and sanitizing of both abortions and executions (which he allowed to happen as governor in Virginia) were similar to those used by people who actually advocate for them. One can oppose killing people without referring to any faith beliefs at all. Atheists and agnostics do it all the time.

Mr. Kaine is lucky that lynchings and duels, which in centuries past have been socially approved ways of killing individuals, are illegal now. So he need not face the conundrum of letting his personal aversion to them exist alongside allowing them to happen anyway, as he proclaims doing with executions and abortions. Thankfully, the hard-working activists who largely eliminated these practices didn’t let the idea that “people ought not to apply their beliefs to public policy” stop them.

Reminder: Election Materials & Petition If you haven’t yet signed our Petition to the Media – “Include Feminists and Peace Advocates When Covering Abortion”, or haven’t yet encouraged friends to do so, now’s a good time. We also encourage you to leave comments about your own experience. For example, Kathy Bunn writes, “I happen to be conservative and Christian. I count pro-life atheists, agnostics, and pagans among my allies and leaders. I want people to know something about us pro-lifers of all stripes: We oppose abortion not because of mere religious dogma, but because we care about the human rights of the smallest and most innocent human beings.” Also remember that we have brochures and flyers you can print for election-related events, plus bumper stickers and cards that you can order, on our Election Action Page.

Latest CL Blog - Hyde Amendment Last Friday, September 30, was the 40th anniversary of the first time the Hyde Amendment passed, so it’s time to consider “Why the Hyde Amendment Helps Low-Income Women.” The points made in this newest blog entry are all the more important to understand as the vice-presidential debate, when covering abortion, offered conventional thoughts of men who made no reference to personal experience and didn’t address the true impact of abortion on women. See also the quotation below. Do remember also that comments under any of our blogs posts are welcome.

Quotation of the Week [Author's name removed at her request] “The Raw Story: The Real State of Abortion Rights, Before Alito,” January 12, 2006 Editor’s note: this abortion defender is surprised at what she finds when visiting an abortion clinic. While we disagree with her conclusion, this account shows more of abortion’s reality. In all the years I have spent writing and thinking about a woman’s right to choose, I have never set foot in an abortion clinic, because I have never needed to. In my mind, I had always pictured a clean and comfortable place . . . The place was dirty and dark and the women in the room outside were standing, as there were no chairs. A woman beside me was crying . . . In the press, the issue of the right to choose will be reduced to the terminology of precedent and privacy. But the visceral reality of abortion – the grimy clinic, the sobbing and hapless young woman . . . cannot be understood by such desensitized vocabulary.

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