The odious personhood movement is constantly seeking to end all abortions and various contraception methods. Fortunately, it just as constantly fails.
But that doesn’t deter the movement from its aim: giving “the fertilized egg the same protection and rights as any infant, toddler or other person who has been born.”
It repeatedly has tried unsuccessfully to get passed a state constitutional amendment to do just that. But, unfortunately, it succeeded with the Alabama Supreme Court. That arch reactionary court declared sperm-to-egg contact is protected.
Freelance writer Robin Marty, in an analytical article for Truthout, rightly describes the situation in one word: “terrifying.” (Marty is also editor of a newspaper in Minneapolis, Minn.)
Marty points out that other states are scrambling to impose a 20-week abortion ban, undermining the constitutional right to abortion guaranteed by the U.S. Supreme Court. Such states include Ohio, Kentucky, Missouri and Virginia.
Backward Alabama has long been in the forefront of the personhood drive.
“In Alabama, the state’s lower courts can prosecute women for ‘endangering’ fetuses by taking illicit drugs,” Marty writes. “They can even charge them with murder. ‘Wrongful death’ charges can be brought against a doctor whose patient doesn’t carry to term—even if a miscarriage is early in the pregnancy.”
Justice Tom Parker of the Alabama Supreme Court, an advocate of personhood, reaffirmed the principle that unborn children are protected from the moment life begins at conception.
“This could be even more dangerous when seeking health care during the first trimester when more than 20 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage,” Marty notes. “Moreover, a non-viable pregnancy could be blamed on a doctor despite not having caused the loss at all.”
Women are awfully lucky if they don’t live in personhood states.
CATHOLIC ACTIVIST RIPS ‘WAR’ ON WOMEN
Celia Viggo Wexler is the Catholic author of the book “Catholic Women Confront Their Church.” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) That fact gives her sufficient credentials to condemn the Roman Catholic Church for its treatment of women.
“I have never been a Catholic activist, concerned about women’s ordination or lobbying for change within the institution,” she writes. “I was content to attend Mass each week and sing in the parish choir.
“But I grew weary of the isolation, the feeling that my feminism and progressive politics were not welcome in the institutional church. I grew angry with a Catholic hierarchy that cared more about fighting abortion than assuming accountability for the children abused by priests.”
“I grew discouraged by the U.S. bishops’ continuous war against the birth control mandate in the Affordable Care Act.”
This article assaulting the Catholic hierarchy appeared recently in the San Francisco Chronicle.
“One’s faith is not the same as one’s membership in the institutional church,” Wexler continued. “As one of the sisters I interviewed for my book put it: ‘Faith is so much more than the church.’
“For me, that’s a huge comfort—that Jesus is bigger than the institution.”
DOROTHY DAY REMINISCENCE
Here is a piece that Dorothy Day, my favorite Catholic, wrote in Commonweal magazine 75 years ago. It appeared in The Catholic Worker, the issue of October-November, 2016:
“I am inspired today by a great sense of happiness and gratitude to God and to Commonweal and a desire to share it.
“I wonder how many people realize the loneliness of the convert. I don’t know whether I conveyed that in my book, ‘The Long Loneliness.’ I wrote in the book about giving up a lover. But giving him also meant giving up a society of friends and fellow workers.
“They thought what I did was such a betrayal. Just because I yearned to walk in the footsteps of a Mother Jones and Emma Goldman!
So I have come to believe that that the Roman Catholic Church is the right hand of the oppressor, a traitor to the Christian founder.
“Thank God we have Pope Paul who upholds respect for life, an aim so lofty, so high, so important even when he has the whole Catholic world against him.
Therefore, I am still the “housekeeper” of the Catholic Worker movement. I am proudly both a socialist and a journalist.
“Love and gratitude to you all, Dorothy Day.”
U.S. TROOPS IN POLAND IRK KREMLIN
About 3,000 U.S. soldiers have arrived in Poland where they don’t belong. No wonder Russian President Putin is angry. The Pentagon always sends troops where they don’t belong.
The soldiers are marching under the banner of NATO in six other eastern European countries as well. The deployment includes 80 tanks and hundreds of armored vehicles. The offensive bears the usual fancy title: Operation Atlantic Resolve.
The Cold War only pauses from time to time. It never ceases.
Jake Highton is an emeritus journalism professor from the University of Nevada, Reno. (jake.highton1496@gmail. com)