40 Days for Life
The 40 Days for Life campaign of 2013 has now concluded its 23rd day. If you are not familiar with 40 Days for Life, check out their web site here. In short, it is a gathering of pro-lifers of several religious organizations around the United States, and some other parts of the world. They campaign against abortion and protest at health centers such as Planned Parenthood during the 40 days of lent. In The United States, they have the right to assemble and to peaceful protest as guaranteed by The First Amendment of The Constitution. The protests themselves are not the problem. The ideology behind the protests, and how they affect basic human rights is where the issue lies. Here is an excerpt from their about page:
40 Days for Life takes a determined, peaceful approach to showing local communities the consequences of abortion in their own neighborhoods, for their own friends and families. It puts into action a desire to cooperate with God in the carrying out of His plan for the end of abortion.
As you can see, the ultimate goal in this is “the end of abortion.”
On the 40 Days for Life site, they have a blog that people can visit to read about the days events, success stories, etc. There is a public comment area, so I decided to post a comment with my thoughts about the issue. I also added some additional issues of controversy to try to spark some discussion. As it turns out, the only thing 40 Days for Life wants to talk about is how great everyone thinks they are. They deleted my comment less than an hour after I posted it. See the page I was commenting on here. The comment in its entirety:
40 Days for Life? Don’t you really mean 40 Days for Birth. There is a big difference you know. I believe it was Sister Joan Chittister that said:
“I do not believe that just because you are opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.”
Since we are on the subject of morality and money, let’s talk about the more than $1.2 billion that the Catholic Church has paid out to defend and/or pay off the more than 1,800 children that have been sexually abused since 1994. While we are on the subject, let us also explore the idea that once you bible thumpers have “won” the battle for so called “pro-life,” then your churches and religious organizations are going to foot the bill for every single child that was born to a mother or a circumstance unbecoming of quality life. You and you alone will be held responsible for these children….raising them, feeding them, housing them, clothing them, etc. And when one of them comes to you at age 16 with the wonderful news that they in fact are pregnant, we will see how “pro-life” you really are when it starts all over again. Something to think about.
Too bad no one would discuss any of these issues. I was looking forward to it. Oh well.
The End of Women’s Health Care
Abortion is first and foremost a health care service. Sexual and reproductive health is a large part of a Woman’s overall care. To deny Women any part of these services is a total denial of health care. As a basic human right, all people should have access to all forms of health care, without prejudice or scrutiny. 40 Days for Life disregards these services and label them as “evil.” They say it’s “God’s Plan” to stop abortion. We don’t all believe in or follow “God’s Plan.” Regardless, Women still have the basic human right to decide for themselves.
Pro-Life, or Pro-Birth?
A more accurate description of Pro-Life would be Pro-Birth. Life is not even viable until week 27 of pregnancy.
Sister Joan Chittister said “I do not believe that just because you are opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.”
One religious organization that believes it is possible to practice your faith and be involved with church, yet have a reasonable approach to the abortion issue is Catholics for Choice. I encourage you to visit their site and read their About page. They take a practical, open-minded approach to Women’s health services, including contraception and abortion.
So you see, the issue isn’t really about God or religion, it’s about Women’s health, and her right to choose where, when, and how she receives care.
What Does All This Have to do With Censorship?
Everything folks, everything! We define censorship as suppression of speech, communication or actions which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient to the general body of people as determined by a government, media outlet, or other controlling body. Read more about religious censorship here.
- Pro-choice supporters rally during pro-life prayer vigil to end abortion (al.com)
- Day 22: For greater ecumenical involvement in 40 Days for Life vigils across the UK (thebreadoflifeblog.com)
- 40 Days For Life: DAY 23: Overcoming fear (deaconjohnspace.wordpress.com)
- 40 Days For Life Fight to End Abortion (fox16.com)