Rich to poor: Just Enough of Me. Way Too Much of You and Your Filthy Kids

Rich to poor: Just Enough of Me. Way Too Much of You and Your Filthy Kids June 10, 2013

Catholic World Report Blog

Rich women to poor: pregnancy is unnatural; abortion and contraceptives are great

That’s my next-door neighbor Melinda Gates, living out that Seattle Catholic tradition of first rate catechesis and moral by helping the poor kill their kids for a better tomorrow.  I’m thinking maybe I should walk over, ask to borrow a cup and sugar and maybe have a chat with her about the whole “Babies good/murder bad” thing she seems to have missed in Sunday school.


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  • Dan F.

    fyi, link appears to be broken

  • Gail Finke

    I was brought up as a liberal. One of the first things that led to my eventually becoming an independent was that I noticed how many liberal columnists I otherwise liked seemed to think that the best way to solve poor people’s problems was by ensuring there weren’t any poor people to start with. It made sense that they would think so, considering that they themselves had few or no offspring, but even as a young and rather careless person I found it chilling that they would tell other people to kill their children and/or sterilize themselves.

  • Fiestamom

    Yikes. “Sexual and reproductive rights are “at the core of human life,” said Princess Mary of Denmark……“Pregnancy is not natural,” said Francis Kissling, the former head of Catholics for Choice. ”

    Later in the article, George W. Bush’s daughter, Barbara is also promoting this. Sad to read that. Not to be all MSNBCy about it, but why aren’t the Gates’ and others asked why they are trying to limit the births of poor, black people?

  • Imp the Vladaler

    This is always a tough debate for me to have. On one had I know that contraception is a moral evil and abortion is an abomination. And I agree that the attitude of some westerners is that it would be better if we could cull the number of people in desperately poor places. Modern-day Sangers abound.

    But they aren’t all Margaret Sanger. I know a number of compassionate people who worked (Peace Corps or other NGOs) in very poor communities in west Africa and Central America, and they genuinely love the people they served. What they’ve told me is that many (not all, but many) women don’t want to have any more kids, and every pregnancy could end in maternal death. No one is shoving contraceptives down their throats. The women ask for them. Seven or eleven children may be a joyous blessing when you’re an American who never has to worry about starvation. Not so much in Mali or Guatemala.

    Look, I know: NFP. It works great… in a loving, chaste marriage where husband and wife see each other as equal partners, and where a husband respects his wife enough to abstain from sex for a week every month. Unfortunately that’s simply not the case in much of the third world, where women don’t have the ability to refuse to have sex, and where their husbands may have had unprotected sex with a prostitute.

    So I try to give witness to the Church’s teaching on this issue. But it’s very hard to tell someone who can’t really say no to sex that she can’t have contraceptives. I wonder if tthe Church’s teaching on non-abortifacent contraception could develop to permit use by women who are at the mercy of a culture (and men) that do not give them the ability to decide when they have (and don’t have) sex.

    • Wouldn’t a better solution be to use the money that is put toward condoms and carcinogens into providing these women with excellent ob/gyn care so that pregnancy doesn’t end in maternal death?

      • Imp the Vladaler

        Absolutely! And if you can provide excellent ob/gyn care – including skilled delivery facilities – to women for the price of a condom, please report to Stockholm to pick up your Nobel Prize for medicine.

        • What about the price of several million condoms, carcinogens, etc.?

          • Imp the Vladaler

            What about it? Do you think that the cost of supplying condoms or chemical contraceptives exceeds the costs of building, operating, and staffing skilled medical and birthing facilities? Do you know what an obstetrician makes? Do you know how much it costs to run a hospital? I’d be delighted if it were true, but you’ll have to show your work.

            Carcinogens? Perhaps. But oral contraceptives lower the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancers. I understand it to be a wash. But again, please correct me if I’m wrong.

            • singermomma

              Imp, here’s a nice linky entry from Gerard Nadal with data from the WHO (his site is great, BTW at aggregating stuff like this).

              What you wrote about the cancer risks associated with BCPs is true, but there is more to the explanation than “the Pill prevents cancer.” If you do some reading on why that actually happens, one sees that the ovarian cancer risk is lowered because the pill (mostly) prevents ovulation. The reality is that we were not meant to continuously ovulate throughout our 20’s and 30’s. It’s not uncommon for a woman who becomes pregnant and then breastfeeds for the amount of time recommended by the WHO to go for several years without ovulating, and that also lowers cancer risk (and tangentally, breastfeeding for extended periods also decreases cancer risk). So, perhaps it’s more accurate to say that lowering the number of times a woman ovulates during her reproductive years prevents ovarian cancer, or that continuously ovulating throughout fertile years increases risk. I’m not saying that the Pill doesn’t accomplish this, or that every woman should go out and start popping out kids in the name of cancer risk reduction, but it’s helpful I think to look at cancer risk in light of how our bodies are actually meant to work. And in my humble opinion pumping something into my body that might actually increase my risk of other types of cancers in order to prevent this seems counter-productive, especially since I’m in my childbearing years and have successfully delayed or prevented ovulation by having and nursing kids.

              And I think I probably just broke the record for use of the word “ovulation” in one post on Mark’s blog.

    • A few years ago the NYT ran an article that argued that the best way to help women control their fertility and how many children they had wasn’t by providing abortions or artificial birth control or anything like that, but by simply ensuring that girls got a decent education. Those girls grew up to be young women confident enough and with enough resources to have real agency over their own lives.

      It dovetails with another article about micro-loans to women, which helped them set up their own businesses and bring in their own income. Those women who were married to abusive or domineering men or men who wasted their own incomes on booze found their quality of life went up, as their husbands learned or were forced to respect them more as individuals — either because of the much-needed income these women brought in, or the confidence and self-respect the women gained, or both.

      The real, long-lasting solution is to change the mindsets that view women as little more than chattel, not to give those women a handful of pills.

      • singermomma

        “The real, long-lasting solution is to change the mindsets that view women as little more than chattel, not to give those women a handful of pills.”

        YES. This. Imp, I share your concerns. It’s hard to promote NFP in a culture that doesn’t even validate marital rape as a thing. But adding condoms or pills to that culture will only harm women further but legitimizing and enabling the treatment that is oppressing them. It will be easier to prostitute and be prostituted, it will do nothing to change a mindset that sees women as property. It may help in the short term, but the damage will be great and long-lasting. Remember the shifting attitudes in our own country about contraception in the ’30’s. Conventional wisdom was that it would make women’s lives easier and elevate their place in society, strengthen marriages, and do away with prostitution. Good, lofty goals that all Christians should share. But instead, the introduction of contraception allowed people to succumb to their worst instincts and codified them into the culture in a way that now seems pretty permanent.

        So, educate women. Empower them. Strengthen marriages, educate men on the dignity of their wives and of sex. These are the long-term solutions for these problems.

        • Imp the Vladaler

          Conventional wisdom was that it would make women’s lives easier and elevate their place in society, strengthen marriages, and do away with prostitution.

          Well… I’d say that in the west, contraception has been a mixed bag. It has contributed to certain pathologies in society, but there were other causes of the problems you mentioned, too. Contraception’s share of any particular problem? Your guess is as good as mine. It has helped women to pursue educations and careers, though. Not that that’s justification for intrinsically evil things.

          My concern with what both of you have said is that you’re describing long-term solutions that may not take root. We’ve tried to send women to school in Afghanistan and… yeah, not so much success there. So now what? But even if we can do that, that’s progress that will take generations to complete, and women are dying now.

      • Imp the Vladaler

        The real, long-lasting solution is to change the mindsets that view
        women as little more than chattel, not to give those women a handful of pills.

        That makes sense. But this is also a long-term solution, with plenty of obstacles to getting there. Not the least of which involves freeing up girls to go to school… which they can’t really do when they have to help care for their ten siblings.

        And there’s no reason why any approach has to be to the exclusion of all others.

        Again, I’m not trying to contradict the Church’s teaching on this issue, or any other. If the Church continues to say that contracepted sex is, at all times and all places, sinful for all participants, I’ll click my heels and obey. But I don’t know if the teaching necessarily anticipates rape or other coerced sex.

  • Katie in FL

    Does anyone else see the irony of naming the conference “Women Deliver”?

  • Given that Melinda grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, I’d be surprised if her Sunday School mentioned anything of the sort. This is, after all, the era that suppressed and censored encyclicals like Humanae Vitae.

  • Clare Krishan

    oops wrong thread, apologies

  • Brian

    I’d like to be able to look at some transcripts. Not that I doubt the blithe, smiling evil involved, but when I hear a quote like “Pregnancy is not natural,” I know that there’s got to be some context there. The internet is too quick to pick up soundbites, and before I sic the attack dogs, I want to know that the actual context doesn’t make it something it didn’t seem to be at first.

    Anyone have links to transcripts? I’ve seen some video links, but I don’t have hours to sit through that, and more importantly, I don’t think my constitution is up for it.

    • I’ve read a lot of stuff Frances Kissling has written, and listened to her talk. This kind of stuff is perfectly “natural” for her. She also thinks abortion is justified even though she admits the full humanity of the fetus. She says the fetus is not an “innocent” life because after all, it’s attacking the mother. She is just warped all the way through. So yes, I believe she said this too.

  • Mark R

    This is what comes from the American impulse to “help” people.

  • lavallette

    These people forget that nature does NOT like a vacuum. Any eEmpty spaces soon attract someone else to fill it. If any race or people wants to wipe itself out there are many others who will take its erstwhile space. Europe is the primary example.

  • Obpoet

    Succinct as it is, this may be your single greatest post EVER!