Tag Archives: reproduction

Sister of Mercy excommunicated for being well merciful.

This is insane.
Those that ruined lives are still being protected by the roman catholic church, while those who are seeking to save them are being excommunicated. Is the church really that much of an old boys network?

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126985072

Last November, a 27-year-old woman was admitted to St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. She was 11 weeks pregnant with her fifth child, and she was gravely ill. According to a hospital document, she had “right heart failure,” and her doctors told her that if she continued with the pregnancy, her risk of mortality was “close to 100 percent.”

The patient, who was too ill to be moved to the operating room much less another hospital, agreed to an abortion. But there was a complication: She was at a Catholic hospital.

“They were in quite a dilemma,” says Lisa Sowle Cahill, who teaches Catholic theology at Boston College. “There was no good way out of it. The official church position would mandate that the correct solution would be to let both the mother and the child die. I think in the practical situation that would be a very hard choice to make.”

But the hospital felt it could proceed because of an exception — called Directive 47 in the U.S. Catholic Church’s ethical guidelines for health care providers — that allows, in some circumstance, procedures that could kill the fetus to save the mother. Sister Margaret McBride, who was an administrator at the hospital as well as its liaison to the diocese, gave her approval.
Documents
Church Q&A On Abortion, Sister Margaret McBride And Excommunication
Catholic Hospitals Fact Sheet About Abortion

The woman survived. When Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted heard about the abortion, he declared that McBride was automatically excommunicated — the most serious penalty the church can levy.

“She consented in the murder of an unborn child,” says the Rev. John Ehrich, the medical ethics director for the Diocese of Phoenix. “There are some situations where the mother may in fact die along with her child. But — and this is the Catholic perspective — you can’t do evil to bring about good. The end does not justify the means.”

Ehrich adds that under canon or church law, the nun should be expelled from her order, the Sisters of Mercy, unless the order can find an alternative penalty. Ehrich concedes that the circumstances of this case were “hard.”

“But there are certain things that we don’t really have a choice” about, he says. “You know, if it’s been done and there’s public scandal, the bishop has to take care of that, because he has to say, ‘Look, this can’t happen.’ ”

A Double Standard?

But according to the Rev. Thomas Doyle, a canon lawyer, the bishop “clearly had other alternatives than to declare her excommunicated.” Doyle says Olmsted could have looked at the situation, realized that the nun faced an agonizing choice and shown her some mercy. He adds that this case highlights a “gross inequity” in how the church chooses to handle scandal.
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted in 2003
Enlarge Roy Dabner/AP

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, shown here in 2003, declared that McBride was automatically excommunicated because she allowed a patient at a Catholic hospital to get an abortion. But some say her quick punishment stands in stark contrast to the protection many pedophile priests have received from their bishops.
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted in 2003
Roy Dabner/AP

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, shown here in 2003, declared that McBride was automatically excommunicated because she allowed a patient at a Catholic hospital to get an abortion. But some say her quick punishment stands in stark contrast to the protection many pedophile priests have received from their bishops.

“In the case of priests who are credibly accused and known to be guilty of sexually abusing children, they are in a sense let off the hook,” Doyle says.

Doyle says no pedophile priests have been excommunicated. When priests have been caught, he says, their bishops have protected them, and it has taken years or decades to defrock them, if ever.

“Yet in this instance we have a sister who was trying to save the life of a woman, and what happens to her? The bishop swoops down [and] declares her excommunicated before he even looks at all the facts of the case,” Doyle says.

Ehrich agrees that sexual abuse can’t be tolerated. But he says neither can McBride’s actions.

“She said, ‘Yes, you can kill that unborn child.’ That’s a heinous act. And I’m not going to make a distinction between what’s worse. They’re both abhorrent,” Ehrich says.

Ehrich says the nun can be admitted back into the Catholic community by going to confession and repenting. McBride still works at the hospital in another position. Whether she is allowed to remain in her religious order, Erich says that is up to the Sisters of Mercy

“The Dark Side of Birth Control:” 50 years of the contraceptive pill.

Found this article yesterday, it is nice for this to be spoken about.
I think too many drs just hand out the pill and expect women to read and understand the leaflet with it (which has tiny print and is in medical gobbledygook) with out explaining how hormonal contraception works or what the side effects might be.

Seem it takes women talking to other women to find out what the side effects are and so that we think we are not going mad.

www.alternet.org/sex/146041/the_dark_side_of_birth_control%3A_the_pill_still_has_many_adverse_affects_glossed_over_by_big_pharma

The Dark Side of Birth Control: The Pill Still Has Many Adverse Affects Glossed Over By Big Pharma
On the 50th anniversary of the pill, we need to appreciate this remarkable innovation while also being honest about its limitations.
March 17, 2010 |

As we get ready, in 2010, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of hormonal contraception in the United States, women have every right to stand up and cheer for a birth control option that has revolutionized how effective a contraceptive can be. “The Pill” and its descendants have indeed provided women with a unique tool that has changed the terms in which women control their social and professional choices.

Amidst all the applause, though, let us not oversimplify the history of a drug that has often coupled danger with opportunity, and indeed reinforced some serious inequities even as it promised to enhance women’s rights. Today, 50 years later, ovulation suppression through hormonal drugs still harbors many adverse effects, which range from mood swings and diminished libido, to fatalities from blood clots. The innovation itself emerged at the cost of experimentation on poor women, and came, in part, out of a desire to control the fertility of poor populations.

The pill was able to be born because of deep social and economic injustices, not solely as a response to them. The pill trials were conducted on poor women in Puerto Rico, in part because they had fewer legal protections against some of the dangers of new drug trials. Male doctors scoffed when female doctor Edris Rice-Wray suggested that the side effects of the new pill might be too numerous to be generally tolerable and carried on with hardly a pause when more than one woman in the trial died mysteriously. It turned out that Rice-Wray was right about the risks of the pill but wrong about women’s willingness to endure them.

It might be easy to see the approval acceptance of hormonal contraception as a pure female victory, and indeed it happened in part because women deeply hungered for reliable birth control. It is also true that it was moved forward not only to satisfy this need, but because of deep anxieties among the powerful that a booming population in the developing world would lead to the spread of communism, and that a similar growth in poor (and non-white) populations within the United States would cause domestic instability. Even as the pill offered the promise of liberation to affluent women it provided a powerful and easily abused tool for controlling the fertility of poor and disempowered women. Margaret Sanger realized this, and readily voiced deeply racist and classist sentiments in service of her otherwise valiant agenda.

Within just a few years of the approval of Enovid, the first pill, it became clear that women were experiencing serious adverse health effects. Barbara Seaman, a young journalist for Brides and Ladies Home Journal magazines realized how common truly frightening health problems were when she began receiving letters from readers. Experiences ranged from the aggravating —weight gain, mood swings, sexual problems—to the life threatening—blood clots and other potentially fatal problems including cancers. Seaman’s ground-breaking 1969 book, The Doctors’ Case Against the Pill, chronicled the suffering of real women on the pill and documented the multiple health risks tying the silence and lack of information about them to drug company greed, unequal power between doctors and patients, and sexism in American life.

It was a tough message for many women to hear, and certainly one that defied (and continues to defy) a narrative that argues simply that access to reliable birth control gives women power. But for those who were willing to take up the difficult implications of Seaman’s work, an important feminist model emerged. When members of DC Women’s Liberation disrupted hearings on the pill spearheaded by Senator Gaylord Nelson it was to protest the manipulative way the pill was being marketed to women, not to praise the product. Women were demanding something truly radical: the right to insist not just on access to contraception, but to demand that the products be safe. Today, while many valid questions about the pill’s safety and side effects remain, the hormone dose has been reduced ten times, and patient package inserts have been added to warn patients of the risks. This is due to the tireless efforts of the women’s health movement.

Women have certainly seen their lives and opportunities transformed in the past fifty years. While the pill is one powerful player in this remarkable story, this revolution has occurred largely through the persistent efforts of women (in multiple contexts and conditions) on their own behalves. The pill did not create second wave feminism. And likewise, it did not create all the changes that that remarkable movement oversaw. Those things happened because courageous women were willing to sacrifice and fight over time for them. In recent years, the reproductive justice movement, powerfully led in many cases by feminists of color, has made the point that single-mindedly striving for the right to birth control and abortion ignores the complex power systems that too often dictate the terms in which women make decisions about their health in general and their reproductive and sexual health in particular.

Laura Eldridge is a women’s health writer and activist. Her upcoming book In Our Control: The Complete Guide to Contraceptive Choices for Women (Seven Stories Press; June 2010) will be the most comprehensive book on birth control since the 1970s.

Someone you know has had an abortion.

IFPA Launches Campaign for Safe and Legal Abortion in Ireland
http://www.ifpa.ie/news/index.php?mr=111

Between January 1980 and December 2004, at least 117,673 women traveled from Ireland for abortion services in Britain. There are no statistics to account for the number of women who travel to other countries for abortion services

http://www.ifpa.ie/abortion/iabst.html

These are not faceless numbers.

This is your sister, your friend, your work college, your aunt, your mother, your girl friend, your ex girl friend, the person you see on the dart, luas, bus every morning,the girl in the newsagents, or checkouts or the girl that was giving you the eye the last time you were in that bar.

Every one of them made that very hard choice, made even harder by having to travel and in years gone by not being able to get information.

And then you have those that could not get the money together.
Who say they love their kid but wished their life could have been different but they did not have the money for flights ect.

Ideally every act of conception should be one that both people have planned but life doesn’t work that way, esp with the lack of education and of cheap contraception in this country.

So we ignore the big taboo.
Women don’t tell their stories.
They don’t share why they full of relief, guilt,sadness and happiness twice a year, usually the date of their termination and that date the child would have been born.

Being in the enviable position of having to think about an abortion is hard.
Having to make that choice is hard.

Having to make an appointment to get information or a referral is hard.
Keeping that appointment and talking out loud about your choice is hard.
Booking flights and traveling over, knowing that the mid morning flights
carry other women like you and the air stewards can spot them is hard.

Having to get into a taxi and give the name of the clinic and seeing the look of sympathy or shock, hard.
Facing the dr and the counselor in the clinic in the UK and having them ask
you if you are sure even after you have traveled all the way there is hard.
Traveling home, telling no one, having to go through the mental , emotional, hormonal and physical aftermath of a termination and most people not knowing what is up with you and you can’t tell them is hard.

Having this topic bandied about by people who have never been through it is hard.
Seeing pro lifer nuts on the streets of our city condemning so many women is hard.
Having it used as a political foot ball is hard.
Having it said that it is political foot ball is hard.
Having people make moral judgment about who would or could have a termination is hard.

And they say we DON’T punish women for having abortions in this country don’t make me laugh.

Being able to be there for a friend and travel with them and offer solace
and waiting for their call or text on those two days a year is hard also
but nothing compared to what they have been through.