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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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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Revisiting Some Poetry Against the Iraq War; A Contradiction That Catches at Me

Last night I was looking over a print anthology
of some of the over 21,000 poets who have contributed to Poets Against the War since 2003, as the Iraq War storm was gathering. (I'm one of those poets, though I'm not in the book.) Incredulous now, five years later, the utter obliviousness of the powers that be to all these prescient cries, and all the other eloquent voices of protest from around the world.

In her contribution to this book, the veteran feminist Marge Piercy excoriates the hypocrisy of an administration that proclaims a culture of life yet is so hellbent on destroying precious lives in Iraq:

Oh, we love fetuses now, we even/
dote on embryos the size of needle/
tips; but people, who needs them?/
Collateral damage. Babies, kids,/
goat and tabby cats, old women sewing/
old men praying, they'll become smoke/
and blow away like sandstorms/
of the precious desert covering treasure.

I share her outrage at this contradiction. Especially this week, when the ultraconservative antiabortionist Joe Scheidler claims that increasing social programs will not reduce abortion, and that prolifers who work with prochoicers on these abortion-reducing efforts are murderous betrayers of the unborn. I'd laugh if it were not for my weeping and "for shame!"ing.

But I wish I could ask Marge Piercy if the deepest and best and most shaking-up-for-the-good answer to this contradiction is to exclude embryos from the definition of "people"? What about (gulp!) defining them *in*?

Do unborn lives need to be treated as the "collateral damage" of the systematic violence against women that is the widespread denial of our right to make fully supported *nonviolent* sexual and reproductive choices--that makes disposable, "collateral damage" out of us, too?

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