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Peace & Life Connections #279
September 25, 2015

Pope Ad
        Member groups have been eager to sign on to the ad, and we’re getting a cut rate for what is called a wrap on the Sunday special Pope edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer, as well as the 9/28/2015 edition. Pictured below is the online newspaper's banner version. [NOTE: Number of groups signing the ad rose to 90 after the banner was created.]
        Meanwhile, the e-mail messages from a wide variety of single-issue groups are hopping in delight over different parts of the message that Pope Francis gave to Congress on September 24. We trust most of our readers are on many of those lists and have seen this for themselves. The speech did a nice job of weaving together many issues under overarching principles.
 279 ad

Abortion Attacks Disability Rights
        In the United States, once the Americans with Disabilities Act passed in 1990, this anti-discrimination and pro-accommodation legislation should have had a positive effect on perceptions of the disabled. However, one study found that right after it passed the birth rate for Down Syndrome babies went dramatically down. Authors attribute this in part to demeaning media depictions reinforcing negative expectations.
         This was backed up by a study in Disabilities Studies Quarterly which focused on media depictions from 1998 through 2006 in 148 articles in the top 20 newspaper markets in the U.S.  They found disability presented with negative framing, because it was paired with positive portrayals of prenatal testing. A positive presentation of terminating the pregnancy when a disability diagnosis occurred was a common theme.
About Women Running for President
279 Woodhull
         Marilyn Kopp has a letter in the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, responding to U.S. election news. An excerpt:

         It’s unjust to make women choose between sacrificing their life dreams and plans or sacrificing their own offspring. It’s not a choice women should feel compelled to make in order to participate freely and equally in society.
        As the first woman to run for president, Victoria Woodhull wrote in 1875, “Men must no longer insult all womanhood by saying that freedom means the degradation of woman. Every woman knows that if she were free, she would never bear an unwished-for child, nor think of murdering one before its birth.”

Latest CL Blog
        CL Board member Lisa Stiller writes her story of The Adventures of Organizing as a Consistent Lifer, complete with a collage of photos.
        Those who want to submit blog posts for consideration can send them to
Quotations of the Week
Mark Shields, journalist, commenting on the PBS News Hour, September 18, 2015:
         [Pope Francis] is very strong on the environment and on climate change, contrary to many Republicans . . . But, at the same time, he speaks fondly and well and consistently about protecting the unborn and those in the late stages of life who face death. He is — really, it’s going to be remarkable to watch Joe Biden and John Boehner, both Catholics, the Vice President and the Speaker, sitting behind him, and applauding different passages and kind of pretending they didn’t hear others.
Pope Francis, speech to U.S. Bishops, September 23, 2015:
        The innocent victim of abortion, children who die of hunger or from bombings, immigrants who drown in the search for a better tomorrow, the elderly or the sick who are considered a burden, the victims of terrorism, wars, violence and drug trafficking, the environment devastated by man’s predatory relationship with nature – at stake in all of this is the gift of God, of which we are noble stewards but not masters. It is wrong, then, to look the other way or to remain silent.
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