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Peace & Life Connections Index

#576 - Peace & Life: Vaccine Skepticism / Don't Underestimate Women - August 27, 2021

Another Connection: When Violence Breeds Mistrust

As we’ve said before, we encourage everyone who’s qualified to get a vaccine and hasn’t done so yet to do so, as a pro-life imperative. The obstacles to this include medical abuse in the past.

While some vaccine skepticism is irrational, some of it in the U.S. is based on some very real historical memories that apply across several of our issues:

∞ Soldiers have been subjected to radiation through tests of nuclear weapons and to Agent Orange as a lethal chemical agent, as two of the more famous cases among many where their lives weren’t valued.

∞ African Americans suffered the Tuskegee Experiment, where men with syphilis were lied to and left untreated to observe their symptoms. That’s a prominent case; there are innumerable other instances where Blacks have been betrayed and mistreated by the medical establishment.

∞ A successful campaign in Boston mandated vaccines against smallpox. In 1905, the U.S. Supreme Court approved the mandate. But there’s a problem with the aftermath: that same court in Buck v. Bell stated the "principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes." This allowed thousands of forced sterilizations – a form of bigotry against those with disabilities, but also against people in poverty who didn’t have disabilities (as with Carrie Buck). The original mandate saved lives, but courts and medical elites then misused it.

Those using violence, as with these cases of medical abuse, often think only of short-term advantages. They don’t consider long-term problems. Now we’re living with another harm: when marginalized people have been abused, they obviously don’t trust the institutions that were sources of the abuse.

Right now, that lack of trust is having lethal consequences. A large part of the fault is in institutions that treated people so callously.


Don’t Underestimate Women

Serrin Foster, president of our member group Feminists for Life, has an excellent opinion piece in the Washington Examiner: Don’t Underestimate Women. She reflects on the upcoming Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization U.S. Supreme Court case, and shows the anti-feminist underpinnings of Roe and Casey.


Our Latest Blog Post

On the 30th anniversary of the successful nonviolent revolt against a Soviet coup d’état, John Whitehead offers thoughts in People Standing against Tanks: The Civil Resistance of August 1991 and Its Ambiguous Legacy


Quotation of the Week

Kathryn Jean Lopez

National Review, August 23, 2021

It’s a miserable thing we do to girls and women — expect them to have abortions when everything isn’t planned and pretty. When we are soon to hit the half-century mark of legal abortion in America, is it any wonder that we would be callous to others? . . . We ought to ponder: Whatever our beliefs on abortion, could it be making us more inhumane? . . .

As we are humbled by the images coming out of Afghanistan – whose upheaval we have played no small role in – let it be a moment for reflecting on the value of human life and how we can cherish it better.


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