Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Sunday, February 21, 2016

More Catholic Than the Pope

"It is the poorest women who are suffering from this crisis. It is not women in the upper-class neighbourhoods, who can protect themselves from mosquito bites."
"I haven't seen anything from the governments of these countries themselves [Latin America] that indicate they are reconsidering the restrictive laws because of this crisis. I haven't seen any of that."
"The only calls that have gone out from health ministers is 'Don't get pregnant', which is kind of an unrealistic demand I think, if contraception is not available for the poorest..."
"Of course men are responsible for having sex and getting women pregnant as well, but the reality is that men refuse to take this responsibility seriously. So women are the ones who get pregnant and they are the ones who are called upon to prevent getting pregnant."
Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, Dutch physician
Baby in Brazil with microcephaly after mother got Zika virus while pregnant
Photo: Still from video

"Not only is increased access to abortion and abortifacients [abortion-inducing drugs] an illegitimate response to this crisis, but since it terminates the life of a child it is fundamentally not preventative."
Vatican statement

"[Unlike abortion], avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil [in certain circumstances it may be viewed as] the lesser evil."
"[However, abortion is never permitted, including foetuses with serious brain defects caused by the Zika virus as abortion is] a crime. It is killing one person to save another. It is what the mafia does … It is an absolute evil."
Pope Frances 
Pope Francis
Photo: Still from news video

No woman considers the birth of a disabled child to represent a blessed event, not even when the Pope himself sanctifies such a birth giving it his personal blessing. Yet even he has compassion for the mother and the child who will be faced with a lifetime of sorrow in negotiating life's passages from such a hugely disadvantageous perspective. And so, he can personally and graciously overlook defiance of Church doctrine in the form of contraceptive for this singular situation, but never, no never, abortion, a cardinal sin.

An Internet-based helpline for women has lately been inundated with requests for help from desperate women, those who have access to computers (which rules out a lot of rural women living impoverished lives), speaking of their personal anguish, and reflecting the larger desperation of Brazil's demographic of child-bearing-aged women, as well as those across Latin America where the Zika virus is raising its grotesque head, leaving infants in its wake with uncharacteristically small heads and brains; microcephaly.

The Canada-based Women on Web providing advice and medications on request for women in need of abortion assistance haling from countries where abortion is banned, has been receiving increasing pleas for help through emails from women anxious to avoid giving birth to microcephalic babies. For those thousands of women who have already been shocked into insensibility by the reality that their newborns will face a life of uncertainty and discrimination, health misery and anguish, it is too late.

These women are begging for pills that are unavailable in Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru or El Salvador where laws against abortion procurement prevail. Abortions in El Salvador are not to be had for any reason, including rape and incest. Colombia will permit abortions if severe deformity is identified in a foetus. The organization meant to aid women constrained by law from release of bearing a malformed baby was founded in 2005 by Dutch physician Dr. Rebecca Gomperts.

Women on Web has been supplying packages of Mifepristone and Misoprostol around the globe for over a decide to women who have requested their assistance. But the numbers have taken a sharp uptick since the Zika crisis has developed. "We think [the increase in requests] is related to the Zika outbreak. We cannot explain it any other way. Probably a lot of women are looking for abortion services now", stated Dr. Gomperts.

Little wonder, when in their patriarchal society that adheres to the strictures of the Roman Catholic Church forbidding both contraception use and abortion, when the women are informed by their highest government authority that it is up to them to avoid pregnancy, a true 'catch-2' that victimizes women and punishes them for having to bear a burden whose outcome is circumstantial and not of their volition or wishes.

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