I thought about this today after I read an article about Joe
Biden not being denied Holy Communion by a right wing ant-abortionist priest. It
made me think deeply about the ongoing war on women; it is so important that men
join this war alongside them and fight for women’s rights. This is a long and
at times violent war. A book I read some time ago that I think is worth reading
about this is Caliban
and the Witch by Silvia Federici. It’s a bit of a slog but a fascinating
book. I would ask though, that my critics accept that I am not an expert on this
subject other than fighting for women’s rights in the workplace as a union activist
and in campaigns against domestic violence both inside and outside my union
activity. So constructive criticism is welcome.
|Source: Abortion is Not Murder|
Afscme Local 444, retired
So the WSJ reports today that poor old Joe Biden had a bit of a rough day of it last October. When he arrived at a Catholic Church in Florence South Carolina, he was not only a few minutes late for Mass, when he went up to the altar for what we called in my time Holy Communion, when the priest hands you this little wafer and you eat it; the priest refused to do hand Joe one. This is important as Catholic teaching maintains that priests turn bread and wine into the body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
That must have been a shock for Biden who is a Catholic though it has happened before apparently. But he has received communion many times before, “….including from the Holy Father…..” he told PBS NewsHour after the brush off. The “Holy Father “ is the Pope. “Any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of church teaching.”, the priest, a man named Robert Morey said at the time.
I am somewhat familiar with this having been educated in Catholic schools and having attended a few Masses in my time. I was not only taught that a Jewish woman had a baby without sex and it was the son of the supernatural being that created the cosmos and humans. I understood that the Tabernacle where they store that little wafer is where Jesus lives.
Morey, a former attorney, said that instead of communion he offered Biden a “blessing” and that, “…..he felt sorry for Joe Biden and that after the Mass he prayed two rosaries for him”
Anyway, I don’t want to get too much in to that as I don’t believe in magic anymore.
But I have to say, I get a little peeved when this culture of men, who, by the way, never have to make the decision about whether to have an abortion or not, demand that women must have them. They demand it most fervently and many of them are prepared to commit violence or murder in order to intimidate those who believe differently to tow the line.
Former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz, a Trump supporter, told the followers at the Republican Convention that, “The Biden-Harris ticket is the most radically pro-abortion campaign in history, they and other politicians are Catholic in name only.”. I think that the Catholic Church and the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) are two organizations that have no credibility giving morality advice to anyone. Both are infested with rape culture, pedophilia and corruption.
Biden’s response of course is the usual one for politicians when it comes to this subject, “My private beliefs relative to how I would deal with church doctrine is different than my imposing that doctrine on every other person in the world—equally decent Christians and Jews and Muslims and Buddhists.”, he says.
The history of controlling a woman’s productive rights goes back a long way. But the right to control their own bodies and when they have children must be theirs.
I would prefer that a woman would be sharing these views but in the absence of one I want to share some thoughts about abortion rights.
I don’t give too much credence to those who claim to love human life so much that they deny the right of a woman to control her own body and reproductive process, yet support social legislation that deny a woman the ability to adequately care for a child and still work or further her education if she wants to. Most of the so-called “pro-life” proponents oppose a publicly funded health care system, free education, or decent social housing and so on. You will rarely, if ever see them at an antiwar rally or condemn the US war machine’s slaughter of a few million people and the displacement of some 35 million others over the past few decades, all in the rapacious quest for profits.
I have always felt that having an abortion was most likely an economic issue and poked around a bit. I found this 2004 study by the Guttmacher Institute that came to the following conclusion:
“The reasons most frequently cited were that having a child would interfere with a woman’s education, work or ability to care for dependents (74%); that she could not afford a baby now (73%); and that she did not want to be asingle mother or was having relationship problems (48%). Nearly four in 10 women said they had completed their childbearing, and almost one-third were not ready to have a child. Fewer than 1% said their parents’ or partners’ desire for them to have an abortion was the most important reason. Younger women often reported that they were unprepared for the transition to motherhood, while older women regularly cited their responsibility to dependents.”
“In 2008, the abortion rate for non-Hispanic White women was 12 abortions per 1000 reproductive-age women, compared with 29 per 1000 for Hispanic women, and 40 per 1000 for non-Hispanic Black women.2 Disparities in abortion rates also exist by socioeconomic status (SES), with women with incomes less than 100% of the federal poverty level (FPL) having an abortion rate of 52 abortions per 1000 reproductive-age women, compared with a rate of 9 per 1000 among those with incomes greater than 200% FPL”
The more anti-abortion legislation, the more harmful the result. South Carolina, where Biden was refused the body of Christ, is one of the states where maternal mortality rates have soared in the past, nearly 300% in 2015 wrote Nina Liss-Schultz in Mother Jones Magazine, pointing out that in the same year, a “….third of women in South Carolina had no dedicated health care provider”. The US has the highest maternal death rates in the industrial world.
I am not an academic or an expert in this field of study but it seems obvious to me that the victims of the restrictions on abortion rights and women’s rights in general, hurt the poor most and that also means women of color; that’s how capitalism works. The same forces that place women in this position, and support eliminating access to abortion services is one method, then condemn poor or working class women for inadequate care or not spending enough time with her child which is a luxury that is not available when one is working two or three jobs.
The reality is that an unwanted pregnancy among the wealthy is not only easier to avoid and if an abortion is needed, legal or not, they will have access to the professional services necessary for it, discretion guaranteed of course. I saw it quite a while ago but I seem to recall Mike Lee’s Film Vera Drake, making this very clear.
It is important that men, and the labor movement, stand in solidarity with women on this issue. But while we support a woman’s right to have an abortion if she so chooses and that society provide the means for that. We must also fight for the right to have a child and not be driven in to poverty and despair. For her right to have a child and continue her education or her career. If I am correct in thinking that the decision to terminate a pregnancy is often an economic one we must take that out of the equation, society has an obligation to do so.
We stand for the right of women to choose in the fullest sense.
We stand for the right of women to choose not to have their baby if this is their decision. We stand for this to be their decision and their decision alone. We stand for a free national health care system within which they can have the benefit of the best and most modern treatment if they choose to have an abortion.
We also stand for the right of women to choose to have their child if that is their decision. The right to choose means to choose to not have a baby or to have a baby. The right to choose to have a baby means the right to a well-paid job with full health care benefits, a decent and affordable place to live and free on sight childcare at work, school and home.
It is these two choices, the right not to have a baby and the right to have a baby that go together to make the real and full right to choose.