100th Anniversary of Votes for Women in New York State November 6, 1917, was the day that women in New York State won the vote. For the occasion, Carol Crossed (CLN Advisory Board member & president of member group Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum) got excellent commentaries in local papers: “Questions Worth Asking on Anniversary of Women’s Vote,” in the Albany Times Union, “100 Years Ago, Buffalo Voted for Women's Suffrage” in The Buffalo News, and “War, Abortion, and New Wave Feminism” in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.
Along with interesting historical details, her basic point (quoted from the Buffalo paper) is: “Unlike then, a rift in the feminist movement exists today over issues of violence as they relate to war and abortion. Our foremothers wanted the right to vote so that society would be more like a woman’s sphere: nurturing and nonaggressive. . . . Heroic suffragists would find it tragic that women today celebrate their ‘right’ to be combatants in war and their ‘right’ to abort their children.”
Election Time Again The normal election splits were seen again on Election Day last week. In one corner: people sympathetic to the pro-life view yet aghast at single-issue voting, arguing that stopping abortion requires adequate social policies to support pregnant women. In the other corner: single-issue voters aghast that anyone thinks other policy issues over-ride the very right to life. Having adequate housing, for example, is irrelevant to people who are dead. Each group blames the other for its voting strategy. Yet the solution is the same for both. If that first group got its preferred candidates to oppose abortion, then – problem solved. If that second group got its candidates to care about opposing poverty and nurturing child-rearing, then – problem solved. Each side remains frustrated at their inability to persuade the other to vote differently. But really, shouldn’t each side instead blame the candidates for not offering us a fully consistent life-affirming option?
Daniel Berrigan Biography Now Out CLN Endorser Jim Forest wrote a book, now published by Orbis, called At Play in the Lion’s Den: A Biography and Memoir of Daniel Berrigan. In addition to Dan’s better-known peace work, the chronology of his life includes his sit-ins at abortion clinics. We had a special issue on Dan when he died in 2016.
Latest CLN Blog Post: Converts or Heretics? Rachel MacNair fleshes out arguments common in consistent-life circles. One argument is a common criticism of the consistent life ethic. Some critics say it “provides cover” for people who say they’re pro-life but aren’t really, in the view of those making the criticism. Another argument is over what actually reduces abortions and therefore protects babies, which of course is quite complicated. But what about people who claim to be pro-life, yet support abortion-reduction strategies favored by abortion defenders, and cite the defenders as sources?
Quotation of the Week Tony Magliano Respecting Life Demands Linking All Life Issues Catholic Online, October 25, 2017 You are not pro-life if you are not pro-peace. Killing another human being, even the enemy, even a murderer, flies in the face of the Author of life . . . You are not pro-peace, if you are not pro-life. If you promote – for any reason whatsoever – the killing of the most innocent, the most defenseless human beings among us – our unborn little brothers and sisters – then you are waging war in the womb. You are not pro-peace.
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