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Why I am pro-choice

2009-03-09 21:58:38.736108+00 by Dan Lyke 9 comments

\Why I am pro choice: "A senior Vatican cleric has defended the excommunication of the mother and doctors of a nine-year-old girl who had an abortion in Brazil after being raped."

The regional archbishop, Jose Cardoso Sobrinho, pronounced excommunication for the mother for authorising the operation and doctors who carried it out for fear that the slim girl would not survive carrying the foetuses to term.

It should also be noted that the man who raped her was not excommunicated. Via, via. Seems to me that the abortion discussion can be reduced to looking at when we have responsibilities to other humans: when do ethics require me to put my life in danger to attempt to save another life? I wish that people like Archibishop Sobrinho were forced by circumstance to answer that question regularly and publicly. I expect the answers would expose some hypocrisy.

[ related topics: Religion Sexual Culture Ethics Current Events ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: Insanity and Hypocrisy made: 2009-03-10 15:09:55.275952+00 by: jeff

Insanity and hypocrisy, both closely interrelated here. Rational ethics or spirituality? Not.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-03-10 16:20:43.595938+00 by: JT [edit history]

Makes you wonder why there's a recent decline in religions that people are following. With examples like this article, I'm sure the largest part of people will scoff at it saying "this is some third world country and not here" however... as long as Archbishop Sobrinho is continued to be supported by the catholic church, it seems it's the official stance of everyone's local catholic church since they all follow the word and decree of the pope and his cardinals.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-03-10 18:17:33.154257+00 by: battjt

We have roughly 1,000,000 abortions in the US each year. We have roughly 100,000 rapes each year.

As far as I can tell we have at least 900,000 preventable abortions each year.

I'm pro-common-sense.


#Comment Re: made: 2009-03-10 20:28:44.125275+00 by: Dan Lyke

Joe, yep, we have quite a bit of room to go on honestly educating teens (and adults) on sexual and health issues, and on offering wider options for contraception.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-03-12 07:17:44.759828+00 by: andylyke

According to the basis document of the RC church, causing a miscarriage is neither a sin nor a crime, but rather a civil tort, if the aggrieved party (the woman's husband!) chooses to pursue. Abortion becomes an issue when the hierarchy realizes that hoi poloi can be manipulated by emotion.

From Exodus, in the Douai translation (Official RC):

21:22. If men quarrel, and one strike a woman with child and she miscarry indeed, but live herself: he shall be answerable for so much damage as the woman's husband shall require, and as arbiters shall award. 21:23. But if her death ensue thereupon, he shall render life for life, 21:24. Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 21:25. Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

The bible is seldom as clear on a subject as it is in this passage on the distinction between the fetus and life.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-03-12 11:59:57.901717+00 by: Dan Lyke

Back when I was interested such things, I remember digging into that passage fairly heavily and discovering that one of the words from which it was translated, transliterated "ason", either meant "form" or "harm". Modern translations render it as "harm", Augustine thought it meant "form" and used it for early Catholic doctrine which allowed abortion before there was form to the fetus.

Personally, I condone abortion through the 55th trimester, but I'm constantly finding examples which challenge that number as too low.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-03-12 12:51:41.877213+00 by: andylyke

Dan: Right - I've looked up a whole passel of translations, and most before about 1960 use "harm" in context that clearly refers to the woman, and not the fetus as nearly as I can remember. Recent "translations" generally issuing from such prestigious institutions as Regents U Bubba (I mean Bob) Jones U and Liberty U use "give birth prematurely" in place of miscarry or "that her fruit depart" (-KJ), although even those Gerry(Falwell)mandered translations place a footnote acknowledging that miscarry could also be read.

While I'm not a scholar of ancient Hebrew, I trust the preponderance of translations predating the adoption of abortion as a political wedge by the fanatic right and eliminate the bible as authority for these excommunications, murder of physicians and other abominations undertaken in this strife.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-03-12 14:04:23.289815+00 by: JT

In Brazil, the law carries that a woman can seek an abortion if it is the case of rape or the pregnancy endangers the life of the mother. Considering she was 9 years old, ~80lbs, four months pregnant with twins from her stepfather who raped her, and already going to hospital with abdominal pains, it seems she fit both of those criteria. Even without pro-choice laws, this girl fit the bill as a perfect example for legal abortion in her home country.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-03-12 21:29:58.850717+00 by: JT

I knew I remembered this from catholic school, took a while to find it. Here's where a priest gives a woman an abortion using bitter water because her husband thinks she has cheated on him.

Numbers 5:12-31

12 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man's wife go aside, and commit a trespass against him,

13 And a man lie with her carnally, and it be hid from the eyes of her husband, and be kept close, and she be defiled, and there be no witness against her, neither she be taken with the manner;

14 And the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be defiled: or if the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be not defiled:

15 Then shall the man bring his wife unto the priest, and he shall bring her offering for her, the tenth part of an ephah of barley meal; he shall pour no oil upon it, nor put frankincense thereon; for it is an offering of jealousy, an offering of memorial, bringing iniquity to remembrance.

16 And the priest shall bring her near, and set her before the LORD:

17 And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water:

18 And the priest shall set the woman before the LORD, and uncover the woman's head, and put the offering of memorial in her hands, which is the jealousy offering: and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causeth the curse:

19 And the priest shall charge her by an oath, and say unto the woman, If no man have lain with thee, and if thou hast not gone aside to uncleanness with another instead of thy husband, be thou free from this bitter water that causeth the curse:

20 But if thou hast gone aside to another instead of thy husband, and if thou be defiled, and some man have lain with thee beside thine husband:

21 Then the priest shall charge the woman with an oath of cursing, and the priest shall say unto the woman, The LORD make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the LORD doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell;

22 And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, amen.

23 And the priest shall write these curses in a book, and he shall blot them out with the bitter water:

24 And he shall cause the woman to drink the bitter water that causeth the curse: and the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter.

25 Then the priest shall take the jealousy offering out of the woman's hand, and shall wave the offering before the LORD, and offer it upon the altar:

26 And the priest shall take an handful of the offering, even the memorial thereof, and burn it upon the altar, and afterward shall cause the woman to drink the water.

27 And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people.

28 And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed.

29 This is the law of jealousies, when a wife goeth aside to another instead of her husband, and is defiled;

30 Or when the spirit of jealousy cometh upon him, and he be jealous over his wife, and shall set the woman before the LORD, and the priest shall execute upon her all this law.

31 Then shall the man be guiltless from iniquity, and this woman shall bear her iniquity.