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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Roe v Wade

By Mike Sallee


February 17, 2017
Friday PM

In the spirit of the recent women’s marches around the world I offer a couple of citations. In one simple quote, Sister Joan Chittister, O.S.B. sums up the hypocrisy of many in the 'pro-life' movement:

"I do not believe that just because you're 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."

This quote applies well to many Republican lawmakers who continue to introduce/pass misogynist laws restricting a woman's reproductive rights. At the same time, the GOP works to shut down women's health clinics, with a special vengeance towards Planned Parenthood (#StandWithPP).

You don't hear of these Right Wing anti-choice extremists adopting children from unplanned pregnancies or putting funds into sex education. But you do see Republican lawmakers cut access to birth control which prevents abortions. You do see the GOP's 54 attempts to repeal the ACA/Affordable Care Act and their $24 Billion Government Shutdown both to destroy universal health reform which protects the needs of millions of American children. And you do see Republican lawmakers cut government programs like school lunches for children and block government financial aid to families who are homeless and/or in need. No, the goals of these so-called anti-choice/'pro-life' hypocrites are not about fetuses or children once born, their agenda is about controlling women's bodies and women's futures. How great to hear Sister Joan Chittister, a Benedictine nun, define the pro-life/anti-choice GOP double talk so well.

An outspoken advocate for women, Sister Joan Chittister is a lecturer and author of 50 books. Holding a Ph.D. from Penn State University, she is also a research associate in a division of Cambridge University. Other subjects of her writing include women in the church and society, human rights, peace and justice, religious life and spirituality. She has appeared in the media on numerous shows including Meet the Press, 60 Minutes, Bill Moyers, BBC, NPR, and Oprah Winfrey. You can visit Joan Chittister's website at Joan

The second is quoted from Stem Cell Research: Still Embattled After All These Years, R. Barglow and M. Schaefer, Skeptical Inquirer Jan./Feb. 2017 (p34).

“Stem cell research seized headlines at the beginning of this century, promising to revolutionize medicine by healing illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, spinal cord injury, and heart disease. These are all illnesses of severe cell deterioration or injury”---“illnesses that are in principle curable by embryonic stem cells, which have the ability to build every single tissue in the human body.”…”Yet stem cell research has to date not lived up to its immense potential.” …”it has been and remains political opposition that has been responsible for slowing down stem cell research in the United States and worldwide.”(pp35-36)

“In 1995, the U.S. Congress passed legislation that prohibits federal funding for any research that creates or destroys a human embryo at any stage of development. That legislation bars federally funded stem cell scientists from using any of the hundreds of thousands of surplus embryos stored in IVF (in-vitro fertilization) clinic freezers across the nation---embryos that are routinely discarded as waste. Lost on the lawmakers is the manifest irrationality of such legislation, which permits the destruction of excess embryos in IVF clinics but prohibits the scientific use of those same embryos.”(p36)

Finally, in deference to and appreciation of Garrison Keillor’s capacity to juxtaposition words, I perhaps because I’ve grown up around boats am one of those who when navigating the realities of existence would rather Roe than Wade.

Mike Sallee
Ketchikan, Alaska

Received January 29, 2017 - Published February 17, 2017




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