Sunday, January 25, 2009

Must we listen to the Vatican?

The Vatican, and they would like us to believe, the majority of Americans, do not support President Obama's lifting the so-called "global gag rule" which cut off funding to overseas family planning clinics if the had anything to do with abortions. Archbishop Rino Fisichella has gone so far as to call our president arrogant.

Fisichella is president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, one of a number of so-called pontifical academies which are formed by or under the direction of the Holy See.

"What is important is to know how to listen... without locking oneself into ideological visions with the arrogance of a person who, having the power, thinks they can decide on life and death," he added.

I’ve always viewed the global gag order as an attempt at legislating morality. It  is also anti-science and anti-women. The whole point of medical care is to provide the widest range of alternatives so that the best solution is chosen. If abortion, even abortion related services like simply talking about it, are off the table, then the possible solutions are limited and the resulting service may in fact not be in the best interest of the patient.

I’ve stayed out of the abortion debate for many reasons. But I think it is time to state my position. I believe in a woman's right to choose. I also believe that abortions are an undesirable. The two positions can coexist. The key to abortion rights (at least in my mind), is giving a woman all the possible information and services available so the she can make the right choice. This includes preventative measures, like contraception. It also includes counseling, the morning after pill,  adoption, and if necessary, abortion. The problem is… all of these were replaced to some extent by a big black hole of misinformation under the theocratic Republicans. And that’s simply wrong.

The Vatican could always forbid Catholics from having abortions… I’m not sure they will listen.