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Peace & Life Connections #354
March 31, 2017

News to Keep Up With
Nuclear Ban Treaty Negotiations: This hasn’t been receiving the media coverage in the U.S. it deserves. Countries in the United Nations are currently negotiating a treaty to ban nuclear weapons world-wide. Those countries owning such weapons refuse to participate, limiting the effectiveness of the treaty, but the hope is to add stigma to owning nuclear weapons and thereby make progress. See our blog post on “Rejecting Mass Murder” for a consistent-life view, and see the blog of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) for more details and up-to-date news.

 Arkansas Execution Spree: From the New York Times: “In the space of 10 days in April, Arkansas plans to execute eight men . . . Why the sudden rush to kill them now? The answer is as mundane as it is absurd: The state’s batch of a lethal-injection drug is about to expire.” To keep up with the latest, visit the Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, along with a petition opposing this spree.
US Government Defunding Planned Parenthood: Legislative progress on the “Title X” portion of Planned Parenthood’s federal grants happened this week. States could decide their family-planning dollars go only to non-abortion-providing outlets. These efforts will bear watching for some time to come, through ordinary news channels.
       For full defunding, nonviolent alternatives take time. Groundwork is needed: state and local pro-life groups can lobby to be sure community health centers offering needed services are in the vicinity of all Planned Parenthood centers and have the resources to take extra patients. Then we can more strongly make the case for taxpayer money going only to centers that help low-income women, without the women being subjected to suggestions about killing their babies.
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Andrew Jackson in the News Again
        Since Donald Trump recently visited Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, and has Jackson’s picture up in the Oval Office, news outlets have been making comparisons between the two. Jackson killed people in wars (including illegal wars) with his own hands. Trump hasn’t, though both share bellicosity.
        But this brings up another instance of intentional socially-approved direct killing: Andrew Jackson participated in many duels, and killed a man in a duel. Duels were illegal, but he was never charged and it didn’t hurt his later bid for the presidency.
        Though our mission is to oppose socially-approved killing, we’ve never even thought of adding “duels” to our list of practices we oppose. That’s because they aren’t socially approved any more. In our blog post, "A Historical Success Story: Duels,” we discuss why – and what lessons that may give us for social change now.
Latest CL Blog: More than Double the Trouble: Another Way of Connecting
        Here’s another way of connecting issues: “intersectionality” is the idea that when people have two (or more) ways of being discriminated against, there’s an intersection that makes for more than double the trouble. For example, being both Black and female can lead to far more problems than just being Black and just being female. Rachel MacNair explains, and finds consistent-life ways this idea applies to both pregnant women and to unborn/newborn babies.
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Quotation of the Week
Thomas Groome
To Win Again, Democrats Must Stop Being the Abortion Party
New York Times, March 27, 2017
        When asked about abortion in the third presidential debate, Mrs. Clinton focused on the importance of a woman’s right to choose, saying: “I strongly support Roe v. Wade.” But in making it appear as if she was viewing a wrenching moral decision only through a legal lens, she was losing many Catholic and evangelical voters. For them, her uncompromising defense of Roe was comparable to telling a group of Quakers, “I’m in favor of war,” without even mentioning preconditions.
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