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#355 Blame the Woman?, Conscientious Objection

Early Feminists Were Pro-Life CLN Board member Carol Crossed, in her capacity as president of the board for our member group The Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum, was interviewed on the Catholic network EWTN. The show was Prolife Weekly, so the roughly five-minute discussion was rather enthusiastic. Referring to Anthony’s newspaper, The Revolution, Carol said: “Her inaugural edition stated that she would not advertise for quack and immoral medicines. And also that she opposed standing armies. So she was sort of our first consistent life ethic person.” (Actually, “first” isn’t quite accurate, since there are ancient Greeks and ancient Christians that beat her to it. But she’s a prominent figure in the history.)

When “Choice” Means Blame the Woman The Washington Post has carried an op-ed by Janet Harris called “Stop calling abortion a ‘difficult decision’.” Its thesis was that the decision isn’t difficult, but necessary and obvious. Harris cites her own case as an example: “When I was 18, my boyfriend, whom I was with for more than a year, frequently pressured me into having sex. At the time, I lacked the maturity and experience to exert more control over the situation.” Note what she’s said here. She lacked maturity to exert more control. The boyfriend frequently pressuring her is off the hook. Later: “Getting an abortion is not something any woman wants to go through. An unplanned pregnancy is highly stressful, and for many it is humiliating evidence of a failure in judgment.” Setting aside that a baby is a cause for celebration rather than a “failure in judgment,” there’s a big problem if the consequences of an action two people took is seen as the responsibility of only one of them.

Conscientious Objection on Euthanasia For those wanting about an hour’s worth of depth on the topic, Dr. Ewan Goligher offers the lecture, "On Saying ‘No’: The Ethics of Conscientious Objection in Healthcare,” videotaped and available on YouTube. He’s a medical doctor from Canada, which is currently suffering court-imposed legalization of physician-assisted suicide. The connection to conscientious objection to war is obvious enough that he mentions aspects of it three times.

Latest CL Blog The same Carol Crossed mentioned above gave a speech about the consistent life ethic, and part of it has been turned into a blog post on Pondering Justice. She asks the basic question: Why is it so difficult to get people to act for justice? She goes over seven features of justice to help explain this.

Quotation of the Week Gerald W. Schlabach Abortion & Social Justice: "Prolife Progressive" Is Not an Oxymoron Commonweal, December 20, 2016 It should be easy to be a prolife progressive. If we could somehow start from scratch and map out political alliances and coalitions according to the logic of people’s stated values, social-justice advocacy would coalesce with the defense of the unborn at any number of points: a preference for working at the causes, not just the symptoms, of social ills; a commitment to pursuing nonviolent alternatives, even where many see violence as justifiable; a principled suspicion of any rhetorical move that defines human creatures as outside our circle of regard or rights; above all, an insistence on testing all policies according to how they affect the most vulnerable.

Remember to register for our conference, "Creating a Holistic Culture of Life: Bridging the Life/Peace Divide" August 4-6, Eastern University, near Philadelphia, PA

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