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We feature commentary but most of all action alerts on the same positive, abortion-reducing measures we cover in the Directory.

These measures include post abortion healing; male responsibility; comprehensive sexual/reproductive health education; all voluntary pregnancy prevention methods, plus rape and incest prevention & treatment; and life-affirming ways to get through crisis pregnancy and beyond.

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Thursday, January 3, 2008

Looking for the "Third Way" & RIP, Benazir Bhutto (1953-2007)

The Chicago Tribune printed this Nonviolent Choice letter in response to an article about US Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois). The article discussed his change of heart from prolife to prochoice after a friend who ran a children's home asked him to listen to young women's horrific pregnancy stories.

The letter of response says, in full:

THOUGH OTHERS WHO identify themselves as pro-life often savage Sen. Dick Durbin for his struggles with the abortion issue, I do not. Our current political system forces thoughtful, compassionate people to "choose" between the woman and the child. Even more horrifically, this "choice" is inflicted on the very girls and women who every day confront the pregnancies that turn their lives inside out and upside down. I hope we can all work together to find what has been called the "third way," one that compassionately embraces both mother and child. And I hope both Sen. Durbin and his pro-life critics can cooperate on this point, because the stakes are the lives of human beings before, during and after birth.

MARY KRANE DERR, EDITOR / Nonviolent Choice Directory

The "third way" mentioned here is that named by former African National Congress MP (Member of Parliament) and noted South African musician Jennifer Ferguson. Despite a 1996 ANC directive to vote for legalized abortion on request, Jennifer, like many of her ANC colleagues, conscientiously objected. Over 100 brother and sister ANC reps walked out on the deciding vote.

Jennifer, a woman who knew in her own flesh about the trauma of abortion, abstained, explaining, "I was searching for the third way, the one that could compassionately embrace both mother and child." The book ProLife Feminism Yesterday and Today, Second Expanded Edition proudly includes a chapter on Jennifer and her courageous, mindful abstention.

Another political leader who embodied the "third way" on abortion was the just-assasinated former prime minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto (1953-2007). Even though she evidently was not immune from the temptations of wealth and power, Bhutto deserves all praise for her brave and outspoken dedication to women's human rights. Among many other accomplishments for the cause of women, Bhutto outspokenly carried, birthed, nursed, and raised her children in the face of widespread prejudice that motherhood--not to mention femaleness--weakened her and made her unfit to lead a Muslim nation, one of the largest countries on Earth. She even survived, with her baby, an opponent's calculated teargassing while she was pregnant.

Bhutto was responsible for Pakistan's Lady Health Workers Programme, which now reaches 50 million poor citizens with basic primary health care measures, including family planning services. In her keynote address to the 1994 United Nations population conference, Cairo, Egypt, Bhutto expressed her opposition to abortion as lifetaking even as she defended family planning and other basic reproductive rights. Again, ProLife Feminism Yesterday and Today, Second Expanded Edition proudly includes a chapter on Bhutto, including this groundbreaking speech.

Benazir, sister, may you rest in the peace denied you in the moment and manner of your death, and may your children be spared the violent ends that you and others in your family have met.


Anonymous said...


Marysia said...

Anonymous, I am not sure why you sent this URL to a video of fetal development.

Anonymously, too. As if Nonviolent Choice would object to seeing something so lurid and shocking as the everyday-sacred process by which (!!) we all commenced and grew within the everyday-sacred bodies of our everyday-sacred mothers? When in fact we are even glad and relieved that this video contains no gore...

Although we do have to wonder, as with all depictions of early human lives: whatever became of the embryonic children in this video, and most of all, what was going on with their mothers, and what happened to *them*, those so often rendered-invisible but indispensible partners to this prenatal unfolding?

The realities and wonders of which process, by the way, we need no exhorting about. In fact, on both our Sexual/Reproductive Health Education and Crisis Pregnancy Support pages, we even refer our visitors to solid educational resources on prenatal life. Already.

Are you Anonymous because you are..a Spammer for Life? Are you particularly sending this URL to everyone whom you deem a Sworn Enemy of the Unborn and therefore in need of an Anonymous guerilla education about what unborn children grow and look like?

That has happened before, that Nonviolent Choice has been mistaken for an abortion-rights effort, because we support comprehensive sex education, contraception, LGBT rights, and suchlike...as if those things were somehow equal to abortion, rather than excellent means to prevent it.

And even if we *were* abortion-rights supporters, which we are not: are you so despairing that "They" will talk with you or listen to you that you must resort to Spamming for Life?

And does not the resort to the unworthy tactic of spamming cause your cause to be lumped in with suchlike as commercial methods of penis enlargement and the alleged financial urgencies of former African dictators' alleged kin?

But in the end, all our speculative questionings aside: who knows your motives here but you, dear Anonymous?