Jesurgislac’s Journal

February 24, 2010

Pro-life is what they call themselves, part 3

A woman in Nicaragua is dying of cancer. She’s in hospital, and the doctors are withholding treatment, because if they treat her cancer they kill the fetus: ordinary practice in countries which do not have pro-life legislation would be for the woman to have an abortion so that she can receive the treatment which will save her life.

Depending how far advanced the pregnancy is, it’s possible a woman might choose to refrain from chemotherapy until an early delivery can give both herself and her baby half a chance: but pro-lifers are unwilling to allow women to make that choice. Of course, throughout most of the pregnancy, it would make no difference to “saving the fetus” if the woman chose to have an abortion followed by chemotherapy to save her life, or opted to die of cancer along with the fetus: the fetus is dead either way. Only the pro-lifers think it’s better for the woman to die too.

The government of Nicaragua acknowledges that according to their own official figures this ban on abortion has done nothing but raise the maternal death rate – and they also acknowledge that the maternal death rate is considerably underreported. The ban on abortion in Nicaragua is enforced by a jail sentence on the woman and on the person performing the abortion: if a woman dies as a result of an illegal abortion, her death is unlikely to be recorded as such.

The pro-life law in Nicaragua makes no distinction about whether preventing an abortion will actually do anything to save the fetus: abortion is illegal without exceptions. A woman can go into hospital with an ectopic pregnancy, or dying of eclampsia, and Nicaraguan law – pro-life to the bitter end – says that both she and the fetus must die.

The woman has been in hospital since 12th February. A government commission will report on whether she can receive treatment for her cancer on 1st March. Whether that will be too late to save her life makes no difference under Nicaragua’s pro-life legislation: there are no exceptions for the health and wellbeing of the woman carrying the fetus, not even during the stages of pregnancy when death of the woman means death of fetus. That’s pro-lifer reasoning for you in a nutshell.

Amalia isn’t unique except that her situation is getting international attention. Amalia will die because of pro-life ideas that her life is worthless – she is merely a use-till-broke incubator in their eyes. Her ten-year-old daughter will be left motherless, but why should pro-lifers give a damn about that, either?

Nicaragua has had this rigidly pro-life law since 2006: it is openly acknowledged that Daniel Ortega had the law changed as part of his systematic efforts to get the Catholic Church on his side. Women in this scenario were just in the way, and God in this view of religion is indifferent to or hates women. It’s an ugly view of Christianity that pro-lifers give.

If you believe that women are human and ought not to be treated as slaves, breeding animals, or incubators, there’s a full list of contacts at reality check who might be able to help before it’s too late… if it’s not already.

December 9, 2008

Persephone embraces Hades: Demographic Winter

Pomegranate Apple whines: …it still persists. this argument that if someone is pro-traditional family it means you are also a bigot, a homophobe, a religious-crazy, a racist etc.

Yes, it does, for fairly obvious reasons. “Pro-traditional family” is the name used for themselves by those who oppose equal rights for same-sex couples and their children: although these people talk a lot about being “pro” this and “promoting” that, they identify themselves primarily as against some couples, some parents, and some children.

this argument also says that if you promote traditional family you also promote the oppression of women, senseless breeding

If you are against the oppression of women, it’s fairly basic that you support the right of women to decide how many children to have, and when to have them. The post to which I am responding is all about promoting a video, Demographic Winter, which regards the ability of white women in developed countries to make use of effective and safe family planning as a threat. While some people linking to this video may be doing so stupidly, without thinking about what they’re promoting, the movement behind this video is very explicitly for the oppression of women and the denial of family planning because not enough white babies are being born.

Proposition 8 is pretty much over

No. Not by half. On 19th November, the California Supreme Court agreed to review the validity of Proposition 8 in response to a lawsuit filed by Lambda Legal, The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR). The lawsuit argues that Proposition 8 is invalid because it “improperly attempts to undo the constitution’s core commitment to equality and deprives the courts of their essential role of protecting the rights of minorities. According to the California Constitution, such a radical change in the way the courts and state government work cannot be decided by a simple ballot measure.”

Proposition 8 will not be “over” until it has been overturned by the Californian Supreme Court. As this is the same court that determined in May that the state constitution made a ban on same-sex marriages invalid, I think the bigots happily hugging to themselves the belief that they won are having a premature bigotgasm.

my blog continues because I think strengthening marriage is a pretty crucial conversation.

I note, however, that far from “strengthening marriage”, this blogger is firmly on the side that opposes the freedom to marry – and far from wanting to have a “crucial conversation”, this blogger bans all comments except from pre-approved commenters.

Children are not accessories.

True, but who said they were?

Children are not annoying.

Oh, come now. Whoever said that has never looked after a child in their life. Every child has an entirely human capacity for being thoroughly annoying, and children have a special capacity for being specially annoying. I speak as an experienced babysitter/childminder and aunt to several niblings. Children can be exceptionally damned annoying.

Children are not burdens.

Oh yes, they are. Whoever said that has never had full financial/emotional responsibility for a child in their life.

Children are blessings.

True. This does not prevent them from being exceptionally damned annoying and burdensome.

From Nature, from God, from the Universe. They should not be lightly or selfishly dismissed (to day-care) (to raise themselves) (to fend for themselves) (to grow up with out a father) (to grow up without a mother) (to abortion clinics).

Now here is the crux of it. A “traditional family” by this definition is a family in which one or both of the parents, who are in this paradigm if “traditional” always a mixed-sex couple, provide all the childcare for all the children. Anything else is “lightly or selfishly” dismissing the children.

This excludes most of the families in the US. Not by sexual orientation, but by income. This is a statement of class privilege, not just homophobia, sexism, and racism: the only really good parents, in this paradigm, are the parents who can afford to raise a family with just one regular income. Parents who can’t – where both must work – are being “light and selfish”, treating their children as “burdens”.

It is unacceptable for any society to shrug their shoulders and say, “they turn out fine.”

Because it’s unacceptable to be content with fine children?

I’m not okay with fine.

Again: see the class privilege? Rich parents produce children who aren’t just “fine children”.

Children deserve (perhaps have a fundamental and natural right?) to grow up with a mom and a dad interested in all the moments of their lives.

But as we’ve just established: working-class parents can’t provide that – “lightly and selfishly” they put the kids in daycare so that they can both work to pay the rent. Middle-class parents usually can’t provide this either: “lightly and selfishly” they too need to use daycare: the only kind of “mom and dad” who won’t ever need daycare and won’t ever need to leave the kids alone when they work are, in fact, the kind of couple who are so wealthy they can afford live-in staff. Without having even a part-time job.

Adults should do everything they can to help make this a reality.

For the privileged few who can afford it?

Strong families means sacrifice, but it means children grow up healthy, happy, and capable of contribution (without being weighed down by emotional scars).

I think, actually, the children of the very rich who never went to daycare but who had a mom and dad “interested in all the moments of their lives” are quite as likely to be weighed down by emotional scars as the ordinary children this blogger thinks have “light and selfish” parents who merely work hard all day to feed, clothe, and house their children, and then pick their kids up from daycare and take them home…

Strong families means a civilization that can focus on art, science, helping 3rd world countries, instead of being traumatized by its own issues (poverty, welfare, crime, psychological problems, the list goes on). (and on).

So a ciivlisation made up exclusively of the enormously wealthy? Can you say “Eloi”? How about “Morlock”?

This is, yes, way beyond this blogger’s determination to discriminate against and dismiss some parents and some children: to denigrate strong families and to deny marriage as a civil right. This is about an idea of privileged, wealthy couples somehow being the only kind of couple who really deserve to have children. Parents who work for a living are “light and selfish” parents.

So, tangled up in a complex knot at the root of the anti-marriage movement there is classism, sexism, racism, and homophobia. My my my my my my, what a mess.

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