Abortion Care at Catholic Hospitals

"When There's a Heartbeat: Miscarriage Management in Catholic-Owned Hospitals." American Journal of Public Health, vol.98, no.10 (October 2008).While writing my recent post about how the Catholic church ordered a hospital to let a pregnant woman die, I came across this letter from the ACLU about hospitals' legal obligation not to deny life-saving care. And I noticed that the letter mentioned an article in the American Journal of Public Health about "religiously-affiliated hospitals denying … [Read more...]

The Dignity of Human Life

I've been criticizing the Roman Catholic church a lot this year, but I can't help it: every month, they're in the headlines again with some new outrage that I can't let pass. And now they've done it again.In November 2009, a woman - three months pregnant, and already a mother of four - came to St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix. She was suffering from pulmonary hypertension, a life-threatening complication of pregnancy that can lead to stroke or heart failure. Her condition was worsening, and … [Read more...]

In Praise of Human Diversity

The Nobel committee has awarded this year's prize in physiology or medicine to Dr. Robert Edwards, a pioneer of in vitro fertilization. Given how long ago this achievement took place, this decision is surely meant to be read partially as a political statement - an implicit rebuke of the right-wing churches that want to deny people the right to exercise control over their own bodies.And right on cue, the Roman Catholic church stepped in to once again remind us of its existence:The … [Read more...]

Ensuring Access to Abortion

As a neutral observer of religion, one of the most striking characteristics I find is the rampant misogyny in nearly every religion in the world. Worldwide, women are denigrated as lesser beings, barred from positions of leadership, commanded to be subservient, and told that they're weaker or more sinful than men. Even in the relatively few religions where women play a significant role, it tends to be a late-arising development brought about by modern moral progress. By comparison, just consider … [Read more...]

Spread the Good News

By Richard Hollis (aka Ritchie)Two rather interesting and welcome stories have hit the headlines in as many days that I thought I'd bring up here.The first bit of news is that from next week, for the first time, an abortion advisory service is to screen an advert on TV in Britain. Centred around the slogan 'Are you late?' the commercial will advertise the services of the organisation Marie Stopes, which offers advice on sexual health matters, including abortion services.Abortion has been … [Read more...]

Weekly Link Roundup

I'm happy to report that there's quite a lot of good news this week:• The U.K. government recommends that primary school religious education classes should teach about "secular beliefs such as humanism and atheism", in addition to learning about major world religions like Christianity, Buddhism and Islam. This is just one more symptom of how far ahead of us our European friends are in some respects - can you imagine the religious right frenzy that would ensue if a U.S. politician … [Read more...]

Book Review: The Means of Reproduction

Summary: An outstanding book, broad in its sweep and compelling in its use of fascinating detail, that paints a clear picture of the international forces opposing women's rights - and what's at stake in the fight against them.I've said in the past that I believe all feminists should be atheists, the better to deny power and legitimacy to the religious belief systems that have treated women unjustly throughout history. But after reading Michelle Goldberg's outstanding new book The Means of … [Read more...]

Blood Transfusion Foe Defies Party on Health Care Bill

By Sarah BraaschThe following is a parody of a recent New York Times interview with Representative Bart Stupak of Michigan, which may be read here:http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/07/us/politics/07stupak.htmlThis parody constitutes a 'fair use' of this copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law, 17 U.S.C. § 107Representative Sarah Braasch often endures things others find unbearable. She crisscrosses a Congressional district so vast that some … [Read more...]

Representative Theocracy

By Sarah BraaschRepresentative Bart Stupak from Michigan was paraphrased in a recent New York Times interview as saying that his resolve to defeat the healthcare reform bill, unless the bill includes his anti-abortion amendment language, is a straightforward matter of Roman Catholic faith. The article states that Representative Stupak said that he actually urged the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to toughen its stance on the legislation. Representative Stupak is also quoted as … [Read more...]

Flat Earth Follies: The Religious Right's Egg Crusade

By Sikivu HutchinsonTaking its "life begins at conception" charade from State Legislature to State Legislature, one of the most dangerous political forces in the U.S. is stepping up its crusade for the "rights" of the unborn. Backed by an organization called Personhood USA, the latest offensive from the Religious Right involves a renewed movement to amend state constitutions to establish human rights and personhood status for fertilized eggs. Ever immune to morality, reason, church-state … [Read more...]


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