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Peace & Life Connections #20 - July 30, 2010


Action Alert – Abortion in the U.S. Military

        Ordinarily when we discuss connections between war and abortion, we deal with underlying principles such as dehumanization, post-violence trauma, similarly appalling numbers of deaths, or the misallocation of resources toward death and away from life. Poverty and racism, misogyny, and bigotry against people with disabilities can more clearly be traced as direct causes of abortion. Yet war and military life can also directly cause abortion by putting horrific pressures on women soldiers or men soldiers’ wives. Killing of unborn children in military facilities will also help desensitize all participants so as to make bloodshed in combat more likely by those participants. Therefore, we’d especially like to prevent abortion in military facilities because of the interconnections of spreading violence.

        Abortion has not been legally practiced in military facilities since 1995 (and not from 1988-1993 before that), and the U.S. House of Representatives has already passed the military appropriations bill for 2011 without this. However, in committee Senator Roland Burris introduced an amendment to strike the policy, which passed May 27. We ask those who are so moved to contact your two Senators and ask that the Burris amendment to S. 3280 be removed.  

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Delving Deeper – Online Radio Shows

radio         An Iowa University broadcast of a live reading from May 17, 2007 is described: Rachel MacNair, editor of Prolife Feminism: Yesterday & Today, reads from and discusses this collection of essays on abortion and related social issues by authors Mary Wollstonecraft, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Dorothy Day, Nat Hentoff, and many others

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In the News: 20th Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act

        Commemoration of the ADA took place last week all over the U.S., with much progress on accessibility made and more needed. War is one of the major causes of young people becoming disabled, which is why former Republican Senator Robert Dole, himself disabled in his right arm due to combat, has always been one of the strongest supporters of the Act. Pressures for abortion also occur on women with disabilities or when the unborn child is shown by medical tests to have disabilities. Euthanasia is especially targeted at those with severe disabilities. Therefore, in addition to its own merits, the human rights issue of accessibility is also connected to the life-and-death issues of the consistent life ethic. 

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Quotation of the Week

Gerard Wilberforce

Wilberforce        "I am writing as the great great grandson of William Wilberforce, who campaigned vigorously for the ending of the transatlantic slave trade in 1807, which ultimately paved the way for the abolition of slavery itself throughout the entire British Empire in 1833. I am often asked what would be the campaigns Wilberforce would be fighting if he were alive in 21st century Britain. I believe that there would be a number of different issues – among them human trafficking and the scourge of drugs. But almost certainly at the top of the list, would be the issue of abortion. . . . There are great similarities between the status of the foetus and the status of African slaves two centuries ago. . . . [In] our decision to abort unwanted children, we are no better than those slave traders who put their interests and world view higher than they placed the sanctity and value of human life . . . Whilst our hearts go out to those who have chosen abortion, there should now be much greater emphasis on the alternatives that exist."

[We note that William Wilberforce was active on many issues, including actions against capital punishment, wars, dueling, and cruelty to animals. The photo is for the movie, "Amazing Grace," which dramatizes his struggles.

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