We’ve been receiving a lot of visitors from the popular blog Feministe thanks to one of its avid readers, Karen (AKA Kitty). In response to a story on the death of a significant number of women in Nicaragua after their attempt to procure illegal abortions, Karen sounded a clarion:
May I make a radical suggestion? Why don’t we all link this article to comments on anti-choice websites? Make those evil people confront the consequences of their position, then check their responses and publish them. If there is never a medical reason for abortion, what do they suggest about this case?
Well, one of the “anti-choice” sites Karen selected was Vox Nova. Her comment on our blog was innocuous, inviting any or all of us to respond to the story on the women of Nicaragua. Both M.Z. Forrest and Morning’s Minion wrote thoughtful posts in response to Karen, and MM actually caught the appreciative eye of Jill, one of Feministe’s three contributors (which seems to suggest that one can answer MM’s question in the affirmative).
Now, I won’t take exception to Karen implicating the contributors of Vox Nova among these faceless “evil people.” Abortion is a heated issue and can often bring about the most petulant of polemics, so her initial slander is not altogether surprising. However, I want to draw attention to a subsequent comment left by Karen at Feministe:
The frustrating thing about Vox Nova is that they ALMOST get it. They’re excellent on peace and social insurance issues and seem to really walk their talk.
I am deeply appreciative of Karen’s compliment on Vox Nova’s aim to promote peace and social justice among faithful Catholics. I assume that our falling short of “getting it” refers to our consistent call to arms to protect the unborn. What’s interesting is the contrast between Karen’s comment here and that of another Feministe reader, Toonces:
See, now, this is why I hate the Catholic church. It would be so much more emotionally honest if they just came right out and said “WE HATE WOMEN, AND THAT IS OUR OFFICIAL STANCE.”
If there truly is a hell, I hope a special lake of fire will be reserved for the Pope and all his woman-hating cronies ,the evil fetus-humpers who get off on women’s deaths, and the misogynist woman-killer law-makers too.
What is important to note is that the “excellent” social positions advocated by many of the contributors at Vox Nova directly follow from the fundamental principles of what appears to Toonces as the women-hating Catholic Church. Catholic positions on peace, immigration, distribution of wealth, environmentalism all unfold from the implications of a robust faith in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, who in his person, unites two natures–human and divine. In him, time and eternity, creation and Creator, the physical and the spiritual are eternally betrothed. And who stands at the center of this cosmic unity in Christ? Humanity, in the full scope of its essence and activity. Thus, a genuine Catholic is, indeed, “excellent” on social positions for this excellence excels in the very confidence of the Word made flesh. What I would propose is that if Karen agrees with much of the social concern at Vox Nova, yet argues for the right to abortion, then it is she who perhaps only “almost” gets it, for without the key component of protection of the unborn, social concern deteriorates into sham humanitarianism. I would suggest that it is the Catholic position–and I do not mean the partly Catholic position that is strong on liturgy and doctrine, but weak on social justice–that totally “gets it.”
In light of today’s dialogical posts between Vox Nova and Feministe, Diane left the following comment on M.Z.’s post:
Could I get a straight yes or no answer from anyone here to the following question: Do you or do you not oppose abortion when the life of the mother is at stake?
I would like to take this opportunity to answer for myself, though I do not suspect that my fellow contributors disagree: I am unequivocally opposed to abortion. And go ahead and label me “anti-abortion.” I am not sure there’s anything else over which I am “anti” on this planet, so go ahead and smack that label on me. Unequivocally opposed…the so-called “right” to abortion is a chimera concocted by the hyperdemocratic masses; rape and incest do nothing to strip a zygote’s right to life, for conception itself is indifferent to whether its event occurs consensually or not, and its nature is not in any way affected either way; potential threats to a mother’s life are just that–potential–whereas the life of a zygote, embryo, fetus, PERSON is actual and real. If and only if the mother’s life is at stake with absolute certainty do I think particular procedures may be taken into consideration that potentially have the double-effect of saving the mother’s life and killing the child. But how often are such scenarios actually certain compared to how often such scenarios are merely potential or probable?
I am a man, yes, and I will never be in such a grave situation first-hand. But the scores of Catholic women who affirm the very rationale I provide here are enough to render irrelevant the question of which gender is arguing from an anti-abortion bent. Those who claim to work for social justice and peace, and yet promote the choice for abortion, are fundamentally inconsistent and, dare I say, authentically hypocritical. There is nothing more despicably anti-human than the promotion of death. Pro-abortion? That’s a euphemism for anti-human.
Allow me to close this post with a real situation of which Sia, a Vox Nova contributor, made me aware. True feminism results from true humanism, and true humanism is sacrificial, not self-centered:
Several months ago, Stacey was diagnosed with cancer; she had a huge tumor growing on her brain. She has been undergoing intensive chemotherapy for months, and although she was nearing the end of her treatment, with a miraculous recovery–the cancer is undetectable, and this week she found out that she is 18 weeks pregnant. Not knowing this, she had been exposing the baby boy to chemo his whole life. She said:
“But our devastating news was when I told my doctors that I was going to take a drug holiday during the pregnancy. I asked what their opinion was on the temodar regarding the baby and the drug holiday. That is when everything changed for us. They said that the chemo that I am on is the most devastating for a baby – it breaks down and inhibits the DNA. There is only one other chemo that would be effective for me was equally as harmful as it breaks down the blood vessels. They think this baby will have MAJOR ISSUES. They said that if I would stop the chemo I would die – most likely during pregnancy , if not, soon after. So they said basically, one of you or both of you die. And we will not treat you during the pregnancy if you don’t terminate.”
Here is Stacey’s decision:
“I am going off chemo for 10 weeks and will deliver the baby at 28 weeks. So beg our Lord to protect me during this time so the tumor does not grow back and then ask for a miracle for our baby boy and that he is able to survive…”
And then she adds,
“This has been so difficult for us and we are praying that we are doing the right thing. Pray esp. for Joey – he is dying inside.”
So, please, please pray for Stacey, Joey, and their two children, Mercedes, 4, and Joey, 2, and this new little one. They are undergoing an heroic struggle right now and don’t know what to expect.
Let us pray for the conversion of the hearts of the anti-human.