Nobel Peace Prize 2018: Countering Rape as War Tactic The Nobel committee highlighted two people working against war-time sexual violence: Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad (pictured). Dr. Mukwege founded and runs the Panzi Hospital in the Congo. He spends long hours giving medical care, including reconstructive surgery for genital mutilation. He survived an assassination attempt caused by his anti-violence advocacy. Heart-warming stories of caring for pregnant women and their babies are in this story on hope. Nadia Murad, founder of Nadia’s Initiative, is herself a survivor of sexual slavery when ISIS attacked her Yazidi people. She’s written a book called The Last Girl (in the hopes she’s the last one this happens to). In 2016, she became the United Nations’ first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking.
We note that wartime rape-induced pregnancies often lead to feticide and infanticide. The PBS News Hour offered an October 10 story showing this among the Rohingya. This is a major connection between war and abortion.
How Will Kavanaugh Vote? The polarization and bitterness linger, but Brett Kavanaugh is a US Supreme Court Justice. What did we learn from the hearings about what he thinks on our issues? Not much. The death penalty, euthanasia, and judicial aspects of war were barely mentioned. Abortion was a constant theme, but without any position pinned down. In her remarks saying she’d vote for confirmation, US Senator Susan Collins pointed out that Republican appointees – O’Connor, Souter, and Kennedy – had all voted to confirm Roe v. Wade with the 1992 Casey decision. Single-issue pro-lifers who worked so hard to elect Republican presidents based primarily on the hope of anti-Roe Supreme Court nominees have frequently been sorely disappointed. Is Collins right in her assessment (and her hope) that this will happen again? We’d better be prepared for all three contingencies: a Roe overturn, a series of decisions that erode it over time, or yet another sore disappointment.
Call-ins to Radio Shows Audience call-ins to radio talk shows can reach thousands of people. It’s a prime opportunity to get the word out about the consistent life ethic. CLN board member Julia Smucker reports a recent experience: “This morning I called in to a statewide NPR show and reminded them not everyone who’s pro-life is necessarily in the Kavanaugh camp (not my exact words, but that's my summary of their takeaway). Hopefully I managed to disrupt the usual narratives somewhat. And I did manage to channel Rachel [MacNair] a little bit at the end, having her recent blog post fresh in my mind. I'm on from about minute 44-46 here, and then the guests spend another couple of minutes branching off of my points.”
Good News! On October 11, 2018, the Washington State Supreme Court ended the state's “racially biased” death penalty, making it the 20th state in the U.S. to stop this barbaric practice.
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Oscar Romero to Be Declared a Saint on Sunday
On the occasion of the canonization of El Salvador’s Oscar Romero on October 14, Julia Smucker offers The Redemptive Personalism of Saint Oscar Romero. He’s one of our consistent-life heroes; we have him in our set of cards on various admired and well-known supporters.
Quotation of the Week Dr. Denis Mukwege Foundation What is rape as a weapon of war? Rape as a weapon of war is often committed in public and with brutal violence, targeting civilians. . . . The systematic use of rape as a weapon of war includes other forms of sexual violence, such as sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy, forced sterilization/abortion, sexual mutilation and sexual torture.
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