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Peace & Life Connections #239
December 5, 2014


The Pregnancy Discrimination Act
 
        The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on December 3 in a case where UPS had put a pregnant woman on unpaid leave – thus causing her to lose her health insurance – contrary to the law. The law requires treating pregnant women the same way as other people with similar abilities would be treated. UPS made the novel argument that they were doing so because they only made accomodations for people injured on the job, not off the job. While it’s true that it’s expected that the causal activity for pregnancy happens off the job, we hasten to point out that pregnancy is also not an injury. In any event, the law was clearly written to protect pregnant workers. Pregnancy discrimination is sex discrimination.
 
239 PBS
 
        The PBS News Hour coverage pointed out near the end that this was one case where pro-choicers and pro-lifers agreed, both having filed friend-of-the-court briefs. They even used the word “pro-lifers” to say so, which is always a good sign.
         Groups that signed briefs include our member groups All Our Lives, Democrats for Life, and Feminists for Nonviolent Choices of New York. One of the attorneys, Thomas C. Berg, is also on the Board of Democrats for Life.
 
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Racism: Police Shootings in the U.S.
 
        Commentary on the Grand Jury refusal to indict the police officer who shot an unarmed Black teenager in Ferguson Missouri is offered by our member groups Pax Christi and Sojourners, and by Campaign Nonviolence, which we have endorsed. The contrast with a case of how police treated a white man waving a gun is also instructive.
        For the shooting incident and others like it, the connection to war is that the Pentagon dumped excess supplies of weapons onto police departments, so the militarization of the police was already alarming. The alternative model of community policing – building trust and respect with all members of the community as a matter of basic competency in doing police work – is one where respect needs to be offered across the board. This is sabotaged by the targeting of any racial groups for abortion or for medical neglect that amounts to euthanasia.
 
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Christmas Presents
 
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        For book-lovers on your gift list, see our recommended books. We do have products like t-shirts, bibs and baby clothes, tote-bags, mugs, etc. at our online store.


 

 
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Mark Your Calendars
 
        One of our regional conferences – Making the Connections: Life, Peace, & Justice,” is set for Austin, Texas, on February 14 from 9 to 5. It is headlined with Sr. Helen Prejean & Abby Johnson. More details to follow. Anyone who is interested in the possibility of hosting another regional conference next year is encouraged to contact us at info@consistent-life.org. We do have another couple in the works and will let you know when details are ready.
 
239 conference

 
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Mail Box Problems
 
        Some people have had mail sent to our PO Box returned. This appears to stem from USPS record-keeping errors. Our Post Office is having trouble accessing records to get things fixed, but has promised to stop returning mail sent to the box. We hope you will not have a problem anymore, but if you want to be certain your donation gets to us, you can mail it to Consistent Life, c/o Nargiza Polvanova, 2615 Elnora St., Silver Spring, MD 20902. Or donate online. Stay tuned for updates.
 
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Quotation of the Week
A. J. Muste, pacifist activist (1885-1967)
 
We cannot have peace if we are only concerned with peace.
War is not an accident.
It is the logical outcome of a certain way of life.
If we want to attack war, we have to attack that way of life.
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