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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Amnesty International & Abortion (Part One)

A Vatican official, Cardinal Martino, just poured gasoline on an already quite gasoline-fed fire by demanding that all Roman Catholics refuse to support Amnesty International because of its recent decision to define abortion in certain situations as a woman's right, in contrast to its previous neutral stance.

Now this is an interfaith/nonsectarian website, that welcomes visitors and contributors of all faiths and none....so, please, no one take this assessment as any blanket condemnation or endorsement of Roman Catholics or their religious faith. I am simply focusing here on whether this was a constructive response or not. In my opinion it wasn't.

If he didn't like the policy change, he could have done wonders by placing his criticism in the context of praise and acknowledgment of the many, many things that Amnesty International does which, to the best of my understanding, are prolife according to the beliefs of all manner of Catholics (as well as people from all religions & none.) Such as protesting against forced abortion, other forms of violence against women, the death penalty, and torture, to name a few.

(And Nota Bene: opposing abortion is not a solely or exclusively Catholic endeavor, it crosses all manner of nonstereotypical lines including religious ones.)

He could have done even more wonders by insisting that the Roman Catholic Church at every level respond to the Amnesty policy change in an even more deeply radical way. A way that I think (but what do I know??) would seriously engage that whole pesky "What Would Jesus Do?" question....

He could have demanded that the Catholic Church, even as--no, because, it disagreed with Amnesty on this one point--- respond by fighting profoundly, thoroughly, energetically against violence towards women and the other misogynist injustices that cause the abortions that Amnesty now defines as under the rubric of human rights...even cooperating with Amnesty upon these areas of common ground.

He could have worked even more wonderful wonders by coming up with a specific, fully funded, worldwide action plan to accomplish just this way of preventing those very abortions.

He's a big wig, he gets a global hearing---so why didn't he use this opportunity to make a genuine difference more constructively?

Sigh...[Wailing, weeping, & gnashing of teeth.]

To evalute for yourself the man in his own words:


captcrisis said...

Wonderful post. I agree wholeheartedly and I'm glad I discovered your blog.

Marysia said...

captcrisis--why, thank you.

Jen R said...

At the very least, I wish he would have suggested alternative human rights organizations that those leaving Amnesty could support, so that the work will go on.

Marysia said...

Jen, can you suggest some links to alternative human rights organizations for those who feel moved to leave Amnesty?

Thank you.

Jen R said...

Consistent Life are suggesting the following:

Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International (TASSC)

National Religious Campaign Against Torture

Human Rights First

Friends Committee on National Legislation

I sent a donation to FCNL, with a note explaining that I was coming over from Amnesty and why. I also let AI know that I would be supporting other organizations and why.

Additionally, I have been looking into Women for Women International, for people who want to offer women in war zones such as Darfur something better than the death of their children. I don't think that WfWI is involved with abortion advocacy, but I have written to them for a clarification.

Marysia said...

Thank you for this list, and please do report back on Women for Women International