Monday, November 29, 2010

Life Links 11/29/10

Frances Kissling discusses the Open Hearts abortion conference and her thoughts on it.
Surely something subtle changed for each of us. Perhaps, as Peter Singer, another of the organizers, had hoped, it was one on those moments when those on different sides of the issue learned that not everyone who disagrees with them is either "stupid or evil." Or simply that we are all human and things are complicated.
Amanda Marcotte disagrees because she believes prolifers are all liars who are really just anti-woman and anti-sex.
Part of the problem is that it's impossible to have a dialogue with someone who refuses to speak honestly about their positions. As long as anti-choicers continue promoting the fraudulent idea that they're in this for "life", when they are clearly in it to oppose sexual liberation and women's rights, there cannot be any dialogue. Talking to liars isn't a dialogue.
Back to Kissling, who thinks the pro-choice movement should embrace the seriousness of abortion.
Not even the reproductive justice movement, the newest and best of abortion rights frames, adequately addresses the fact that abortion is a serious decision precisely because it involves how we, as humans, will foster respect for life, even if ending it is justified and not the same as taking the life of a person. Can we acknowledge that abortion is not just a medical procedure like having one's tonsils out but entails many losses, including the inability to bring life one has created to fruition?

Is it possible that such acknowledgments might result not in greater restriction of abortion, but in a public that trusts us, and trusts women, even more?

The Globe and Mail has published a piece by a woman going by the name L. Allen who says she has forgiven herself for her abortions.
For 10 years I had tried to forget it happened. I had buried it all deep down – the guilt, the memories, everything – and convinced myself that the abortions didn't affect me. It wasn't until I came across Ms. Lamott's story and reflected on my own that I realized I'd been clinging to a whole pile of unresolved guilt for my decisions.

Perhaps it is the upcoming birth of my child that has propelled me into confronting my past. What better time to purge the wounds that have festered so long within? Silent, unspoken pain that begged to be noticed and dealt with, but which I chose to ignore.

More than 2,000 people took part in a ceremony to "send off the souls" of more than 2,000 aborted children found in a Buddhist temple in Thailand.
The ceremony started at 7am when Phrakhru Wijit Sorakhun, the abbot of Wat Phai Ngern Chotanaram, performed religious rites in the main chapel of the temple.

A prayer was given and alms were offered to 100 monks and novices to make merit for the souls of the unborn babies.

The names of the 2,002 unborn babies written on pieces of paper were put in a coffin, which was carried around the crematorium three times.

Participants placed dokmai chan, or sandalwood flowers, at the crematorium site and poured ceremonial water as an act of offering merit to the unborn babies. Similar merit-making rituals will also be organised in the next seven days, 50 days and 100 days.

In the Kansas City Star, one parent writes about answering her child's question about abortion.
Recently, my parenting skills were tested with the question, "What is an abortion?" This question was difficult enough to answer, but the follow-up question of "why" was nearly impossible.

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