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Peace & Life Connections #246
February 6, 2015


February is Black History Month: Fannie Lou Hamer
 
        In an article critiquing our card on Fannie Lou Hamer (which has a comment section for those so inclined), the author says: “To be fair, the organization using her image on its marketing materials did speak of Hamer’s anti-war sentiments and her belief in the biblical righteousness of her causes. But it neglected the reproductive violence done to her, a crucial and painful part of her body’s narrative.”
 
246 Hamer card 
 
       We’re certainly happy to remedy that deficit immediately. Here is the reproductive violence done to her:
 
         "One day in 1961, Hamer entered the hospital to have ‘a knot on my stomach’—probably a benign uterine fibroid tumor—removed. She then returned to her family’s shack on the plantation to recuperate. But in the big house, ominous tidings circulated. The owner’s wife, Vera Alicia Marlow, was cousin of the surgeon who had treated Hamer. Marlow gossiped to the cook that Hamer had lost more than a tumor while unconscious—the surgeon removed her uterus, rendering Hamer sterile. The cook repeated the news to others, including a woman who happened to be Hamer’s cousin, and thus Hamer was one of the last people on the plantation to learn that she would never have a family of her own.
        ‘I went to the doctor who did that to me and I asked him, ‘Why? Why had he done that to me?’ He didn’t have to say nothing—and he didn’t. If he was going to give me that sort of operation then he should have told me. I would have loved to have children.’ But a lawsuit was out of the question, Hamer recalled. ‘At that time? Me? Getting a white lawyer against a white doctor? I would have been taking my hands and screwing tacks into my casket.’ "
 
Source:
Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present
by Harriet A. Washington. New York: Doubleday, 2007, pp. 189-190
 
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New Endorsers
 
        Recently signed-on members of the Consistent Life Mission Statement are:
 
Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa

 
Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa, founder and president of New Wave Feminists.
 
(and, along with other CL Endorsers Father Frank Pavone and Rev. Johnny Hunter, a frequent panelist on Life Talk News put out monthly by Life Dynamics)
  
246 Ben Jones
 
Ben Jones, a death penalty repeal advocate specializing in conservative reasoning.
 
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Reminder: Austin Regional Conference, February 14, 2015
 
        Registration is still open for the Consistent Life regional conference in Austin with Helen Prejean, Abby Johnson, many workshops -- see schedule -- and a chance to network with other consistent lifers. Exciting ideas for action often come out when people get together! If you have questions that require a real person instead of a web page, contact Lisa Stiller at 775-232-2823. 
 
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Quotation of the Week
Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-1977)
1971 speech
archived in the Lillian P. Benbow Room of Special Collections,
L. Zenobia Coleman Library, Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, Mississippi
 
Noted civil rights activist, founder of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, and participant in the founding of the National Women’s Political Caucus.
 
        It’s not too late. There is still time for America to change . . .
        The war in Vietnam must be ended so our men and boys can come home – so mothers can stop crying, wives can feel secure, and children can learn strength . . .
        The methods used to take human life, such as abortion, the pill, the ring, etc., amounts to genocide. I believe that legal abortion is legal murder.
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