Posts Tagged ‘birth control’
Yup. The “Pope Emeritus” constructed entirely of condoms.
A so-called leader of millions who has no comprehension of the usefulness of birth control, how it frees women and families by offering individual choice. He barely accedes to health protection.
We all owe a vote of thanks to Niki Johnson for her talented and dedicated work. She calls this “Eggs Benedict”.
Boston College threatens students who actually believe their constitutional rights still work on a Catholic campus
Boston College officials are threatening to take disciplinary measures against a group of students who are distributing condoms out of their dorm rooms, calling the act a violation of the university’s mission as a Catholic and Jesuit institution.
Boston College officials sent a letter to students on March 15 demanding an end to student-run “Safe Sites,” a network of dorm rooms and other locations where free contraceptives and safe sex information are available.
Students living in the “Safe Sites” were told in the letter that the distribution of condoms is in conflict with their “responsibility to protect the values and traditions of Boston College as a Jesuit, Catholic institution.”
The letter, signed by Dean of Students Paul J. Chebator and George Arey, director of residence life, says that “while we understand that you may not be intentionally violating University policy, we do need to advise you that should we receive any reports that you are, in fact, distributing condoms on campus, the matter would be referred to the student conduct office for disciplinary action by the University.”
Safe Sites are sponsored by the Boston College Students for Sexual Health (BCSSH), a group that works to improve sexual health education and resources for students at BC. The group is not recognized by the university.
Lizzie Jekanowski, Chair of BCSSH, said that the Safe Sites program fills a need that the university is not providing to its student body. Students who go to any of the 18 locations — which include one off campus location as well on campus dorms — can pick up free male and female condoms, lubricant, and pamphlets about sexual health…
…Jack Dunn, BC spokesman. wrote in a statement. “We recognize that, as a reflection of society at large, many students do not agree with the Church’s position on these issues. However, we ask those who do not agree to be respectful of our position, and circumspect in their private affairs.”
In other words, we know you have rights as Americans – but, forget about them when you’re on our campus. You know – the one that doesn’t pay any taxes to Boston, Massachusetts or the United States of America.
If our Department of Justice and President Obama maintained a track record of defending constitutional rights and the laws of the nation against religious edict and caprice – confrontations like this wouldn’t be likely. Poisonally, I think our government’s habit of caving in to the demands of churches over freedoms only encourages this kind of crappola.
Federal government says Hobby Lobby cannot raise religious objections to insurance requirements.
The federal government is asking a judge to rule against Hobby Lobby, whose owners do not want to provide their employees with insurance coverage for “abortion-causing drugs and devices.”
Founder David Green and other owners of the Oklahoma City-based retail chain…are asking U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton to prevent the government from enforcing new health care rules on their business “and other individuals and organizations that object on religious grounds to providing insurance coverage for abortion-causing drugs and devices and related education and counseling…”
In a response this week, government attorneys argued the owners cannot raise religious objections to “the preventive services coverage regulations” because Hobby Lobby is a for-profit, secular corporation.
“To hold otherwise would permit for-profit, secular corporations and their owners to become laws unto themselves,” the attorneys wrote.
“Because there are an infinite variety of alleged religious beliefs, such companies and their owners could claim countless exemptions from an untold number of general commercial laws designed to protect against unfair discrimination in the workplace and to protect the health and well-being of individual employees and their families…”
The government responded that the Greens want to block regulations intended to give women access at no cost to approved contraceptive methods “that medical experts have deemed necessary for women’s health and well-being.”
“The Greens’ theory boils down to the claim that what’s done to the company (or the group health plans sponsored by the company) is also done to its owners. But, as a legal matter, that is simply not so…”
Separation of church and state must protect freedom from religion.
At the simplest operational level, our government would have to kowtow to every sect and superstition that qualifies as religion.
As a nation that respects the intellectual freedom built into our constitution, that right is deliberately broad. Equally broad, the citizens of this land should only be governed by civil and criminal laws that don’t allow favors for religions, exemptions from civil practices on the basis of one or another religion.
Here are powerful technologies developed last century that are still changing the world, even though we didn’t expect them to.
The Haber-Bosch process
Back in the early part of the 20th century, the German chemist Fritz Haber was alarmed by the growing number of mouths to feed — and the inability of farmers to keep up with the demand. Subsequently, Haber became the first person to figure out that ammonia could be created from nitrogen and hydrogen. In turn, this ammonia could be used to produce fertilizer. A lot of fertilizer…
Nationwide, 85,000 cases of vaccine-preventable diseases are reported every year. The recently debunked claim that there is a link between vaccines and autism hasn’t helped. Globally, over 3 million people die each year mostly on account of insufficient access to vaccines. More to the point, though, it’s easy to forget what it is, exactly, that we’re being protected against on account of their profound effectiveness; vaccines stave off such blights as polio, diphtheria, whooping cough, measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, hepatitis A and B, shingles, and many other diseases…
The birth control pill
The development of the pill in 1960 marked a major biological and sociological turning point. For the first time in our species’ history, women were actually able to temporarily turn off their fertility. Moreover, its presence has irrevocably altered the social and economic landscape in those countries where it has become available. Subsequently, its impact cannot be overstated…
Lots more in the whole article. Some, I don’t doubt you’ve reflected upon in your own time. Some might be a surprise – again, until you think about what each has accomplished on their own – and provided as a beginning for much more.
New York City parents who are raising questions about the city’s plan to expand its pilot program of dispensing contraception, including the morning-after pill, to high school students are doing what parents should do. They’re asking questions.
If they seek information from credible sources, they will learn that when taken within five days of intercourse, the morning-after pill Plan B, which contains one of the hormones found in regular pills, is safe and effective.
They also will learn that other forms of contraception have been available in many New York City public high schools for years. This new plan, open to all, is actually designed for girls who have been hardest to reach.
These young women, from poor and working-poor families, are much more likely than others to get pregnant by accident. Then, one of two things happens: A girl gets an abortion, or she has a baby she cannot support. Neither New York City’s school authorities, nor Mayor Michael Bloomberg, finds those options desirable; both are quite rightly supporting the expansion.
According to Joanna Kuebler of the National Assembly on School-Based Health Care, about 40% of school-based health centers in the United States are allowed by their school districts to dispense contraception. Sixty percent of centers are prohibited from doing so. Requirements for parental consent vary. New York’s effort to reduce teen pregnancies appears to be among the largest and most comprehensive.
Obviously, the majority of parents in the United States would rather be part of the problem – rather than part of a solution.
What hangs some people up is the school administration’s decision, during the recent pilot phase of the project, to allow parents to opt their children out of it. Parents received letters in the mail describing the program and telling them that their child would be in the program unless a parent disallowed it in writing. Only 1% to 2% of parents denied permission. It’s a good bet many parents didn’t read the letters, or if they did, thought their daughter wasn’t having sex, or weren’t sure how they felt — so they didn’t do anything.
Again, why accept parental ignorance or indecision as a decision-breaker? And use those options to walk away from offering aid to their children?
We live in one of the richest, most well-educated countries in the world, yet we have the highest teen birth rate of comparable countries. That is simply not right. Yes, parents are children’s first teachers and moral guides, but they need assistance, which is what the New York City system is attempting to provide.
No reliable scientific evidence shows that the availability of birth control encourages young people to start having sex earlier. And there is good evidence that the increased availability of birth control, as well as improved sex education, has lowered the teen pregnancy rate dramatically.
A lower teen pregnancy rate means a lower abortion rate. Among the 7,000 girls ages 15 to17 who got pregnant last year in New York City, nine out of 10 pregnancies were unplanned, and almost two out of three resulted in abortions. For that reason alone, we should embrace New York’s efforts to make all forms of contraception accessible, as well as affordable and safe.
Agreed. Overdue. Life in a nation which can afford the best educational system in the world – with healthcare to match – leads to a great deal of frustration when the ignorant and the corrupt combine to inhibit any progressive change.
I can be a bit understanding – a little bit – of parents who haven’t had the education opportunities their kids now may have. Although, my generation was aided enormously by first-generation American parents who wanted their kids to achieve more than they might have – and accepted knowledge, education as key to that.
The corrupt portion of that equation lies at the feet of churches and politicians who combine opportunism in a last-ditch defense of social and political power that should have vanished with centuries of past greed, self-serving ideology.
Photojournalist Matt Roth took this photo at a seminar on exorcism led by Paprocki
A Roman Catholic bishop from Springfield, Ill., who has called the Democratic Party platform “intrinsically evil,” challenged the likes of Sen. Roy Blunt and U.S. Rep. Todd Akin on Sunday to be more like Sir Thomas More, who was beheaded in 1535 after being convicted for treason.
Bishop Thomas Paprocki, preaching at the annual Red Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, told the lawmakers in a crowd of lawyers and judges that More, in his day, was roughly the equivalent to White House chief of staff, secretary of state and chief justice of the Supreme Court — all at once.
But More sacrificed his wealth and career on his religious conviction. He refused to accept King Henry VIII as head of the Church of England. More sided with Rome on that issue…
Paprocki is one of the architects of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ campaign against the mandate by the administration of President Barack Obama that religiously affiliated institutions, such as universities and hospitals, must soon include free birth control coverage in their employee health coverage…
In addition to Missouri Republicans Blunt and Akin, other dignitaries in attendance included state Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, and Ann Wagner, of Ballwin, a longtime GOP leader and former U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg…
Paprocki drew headlines in September when he wrote that the Democratic Party platform is “intrinsically evil” for its protection of abortion, contraception and same-sex marriage and that one’s soul could be in jeopardy depending on your vote.
“My job is not to tell you for whom you should vote. But I do have a duty to speak out on moral issues,” he wrote in the Sept. 23 letter…”You need to think and pray very carefully about your vote, because a vote for a candidate who promotes actions or behaviors that are intrinsically evil and gravely sinful makes you morally complicit and places the eternal salvation of your own soul in serious jeopardy.”
No moral complicity for most of our wars, of course.
I don’t expect Catholic Bishops to suddenly leap up and publicly embrace democracy, freedom of thought and constitutional separation of state and church – though I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of that church’s membership accepts those ideas as easily as ignoring the rules about contraception.
In a period with religions and their flunkeys in politics embracing confrontation over our constitutional freedoms, I think it’s important to keep the issue in the public eye. We certainly can’t count on our politicians to take the responsibility.
A Dutch campaign group says its ship offering women medical abortions has been prevented by authorities from entering the Moroccan port of Smir.
The group, Women on Waves, provides abortions and advice from boats anchored in international waters near countries where abortion is illegal…
Women on Waves has said it was invited to Morocco by a youth group called Alternative Movement for Individual Freedoms.
But the country’s health ministry said on Wednesday that the ship would not be allowed to operate in the country and called on the authorities to apply the law against the group and the ship…
In an earlier press release the group said the ship was able to provide legal medical abortions for women who are up to six-and-a-half weeks pregnant, while it was anchored in international waters.
The group’s main intention was to promote the fact that an abortion-inducement drug is actually available to women in Morocco, but most of them were unaware of it, the group said.
Women on Waves said it has also launched a hotline number for women to obtain information about contraception and abortion…
Over the past 11 years, a Women on Waves ship has visited Ireland, Poland, Portugal and Spain, sparking protests from anti-abortion groups.
Morocco was the first Muslim country the group planned to visit.
I look forward to an invitation being issued by women’s groups in Mississippi inviting Women on Waves to anchor off Biloxi some time in the future. I doubt that enlightened self-interest will help that benighted state turn away from the reactionary path their state government has chosen.
The former archbishop of Milan and papal candidate Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini said the Catholic church was “200 years out of date” in his final interview before his death.
Martini, once favoured by Vatican progressives to succeed Pope John Paul II and a prominent voice in the church until his death on Friday at the age of 85, gave a scathing account of a pompous and bureaucratic organisation failing to move with the times.
“Our culture has aged, our churches are big and empty and the church bureaucracy rises up, our rituals and our cassocks are pompous,” Martini said in the interview published in Italian daily Corriere della Sera.
“The church must admit its mistakes and begin a radical change, starting from the pope and the bishops. The paedophilia scandals oblige us to take a journey of transformation,” he said in the interview, published on Saturday…
Martini, famous for saying that the use of condoms could be acceptable in some cases, told interviewers the church should open up to new kinds of families or risk losing its flock.
“A woman is abandoned by her husband and finds a new companion to look after her and her children. A second love succeeds. If this family is discriminated against, not just the mother will be cut off but also her children,” he said.
In this way “the church loses the future generation”, Martini said in the interview, carried out a fortnight before he died. The Vatican opposes divorce and forbids contraception in favour of fidelity within marriage and abstinence without…
Martini’s final message to Pope Benedict was to begin a shakeup of the Catholic church without delay. “The church is 200 years out of date. Why don’t we rouse ourselves? Are we afraid?“
Thousands came to Milan to pay their respects on Saturday. I imagine the Rottweiler of Rome is glad to see him gone.
Paul Ryan/Todd Akin mutual support league addressing Ryan’s voodoo budget
Daylife/AP Photo used by permission
Todd Akin’s remarks about some rapes being “legitimate,” and the ability of a woman to miraculously self-abort in those instances, have many of his fellow Republicans desperate to distinguish him from others in their party. This isn’t easy.
Akin, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives who is seeking to unseat Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, is not an outlier. No less than Paul Ryan, the Republican candidate for vice president, shares his views. Ryan, Akin’s colleague in the House, has sponsored legislation with him that also sought to distinguish between types of rape: Instead of “legitimate,” it used the word “forcible.”
What Akin’s remarks have unleashed is a discussion in the presidential race over social issues that will be hard for Republicans to control. They were reasonably sure they could paper over the differences between Ryan and his running mate, Mitt Romney, on Medicare. On social issues, the problem is the opposite: The difference between Ryan’s views and Akin’s could fit on a Post-it note.
On Sunday…when asked on a St. Louis TV program if he would make an exception to his anti-abortion stand for rape, Akin said he would not because in those instances a woman’s body will somehow know to end the pregnancy itself…
The Romney-Ryan campaign has come out with escalating rejections of Akin’s remarks. Yet Ryan and Akin are in the mainstream of the prevailing House Republican view on abortion.
Not only did Akin and Ryan co-sponsor legislation redefining rape, Ryan ran for Congress as a strong pro-lifer and has a 100 percent rating from the National Right to Life Committee. “This includes support for the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” the committee notes. Last year Ryan and Akin were co-sponsors of the Sanctity of Human Life Act, also known as “personhood” legislation, which would give a fertilized egg the same rights as a human being and would outlaw some forms of birth control…
What Akin apparently fails to understand is this: Just because colleagues like Ryan share his views, that doesn’t mean he can talk about them when there’s a presidential race going on — especially a race in which his party’s candidate is fudging his views on the subject in hopes of attracting moderates…
Given that the clown-in-charge of the Republican platform committee for their convention is Governor Ultrasound from Virginia, Akins won’t have to worry about being separated from the Kool Aid science portion of the Republican Party. So-called leaders remaining from the dregs of traditional Republican politics haven’t grown testosterone-producing organs in the interim.
Join those two currents with the Ron Paul voodoo-economics brigade and the Republican convention might be fun watching for someone who doesn’t DVR segments from daytime Bloomberg TV or House Hunters International. Since my household falls into the latter category, I’ll give the Republicans a miss to match our non-view of the Democrats.
Admittedly, the Dems may come up with a few decent speeches that touch down into the reality column – a little bit of science, economics bypassing Herbert Hoover’s last campaign, a willingness to support civil rights for all Americans, support of libertarian choices for women as well as men. You know – stuff today’s Republican Party rejects out of hand.
The only process I find interesting enough to track is where and when Democrats have sufficient backbone to pursue a progressive agenda to counter the nutballs in charge of the GOP – instead of sticking to the Clintonesque drone about centrist ethics. Whatever that might mean – this week?
Daylife/Getty Images used by permission
Philippine lawmakers today voted to speed up legislation that will give poor families access to free contraceptives, marking a victory for President Benigno Aquino over the country’s influential Catholic Church.
The 284-member House of Representatives agreed a day ahead of schedule to end a debate on the bill that has languished in congress for 14 years, allowing amendments to be considered next week. Aquino earlier met some of the chamber’s legislators over lunch, House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales told reporters in Manila.
“Even though it’s as slow as a tortoise, the bill is moving forward,” said Gonzales. “It has never gone this far.”
The legislation, which consolidates six previous versions, seeks to provide universal access to birth control in an effort to rein in population growth that is twice the Asian average. Aquino, who has said he’s ready to be excommunicated over the bill, is confident Congress will pass the measure…
“Today’s vote was a precursor of what the eventual vote should be,” said Carlos Celdran, a birth-control proponent who was jailed for a day after protesting at a 2010 meeting of bishops in Manila’s cathedral. “The previous administrations never really supported it. Now that it’s a priority, I’m pretty confident it will be passed”.
One can only hope. Right? And turn out support from the public to counter the backwardness of a religion that says a whole nation should obey their 14th Century rulebook.