Wednesday, November 14, 2012
When Religion is Murder
Almost every day of my life I read about the cruelty of religion, its ignorance, its bigotry, its barbarism.
But most of the time I just shake my head and don't say anything.
For what's the point eh? People will believe what they want to believe, there are many decent religious people, and since I have seen how it can comfort the dying, and those who love them, I try to ignore its atrocities, and keep my mouth shut.
But not today. For this is murder.
"This is a Catholic country," was what Irish doctors told Savita Halappanavar after she learned she was miscarrying her pregnancy and asked for an abortion to avoid further complications. She spent three days in agonising pain, eventually shaking, vomiting and passing out. She again asked for an abortion and was refused, because the foetus still had a heartbeat. Then she died.
She died after three and a half days of excruciating pain. She died after repeatedly begging for an end to the pregnancy that was poisoning her. Her death would have been avoided if she had been given an abortion when she asked for it – when it was clear she was miscarrying, and that non-intervention would put her at risk. But the foetus, which had no chance of survival, still had a heartbeat. Its right to life quite literally trumped hers.
And madness. For if a woman's life can be sacrificed so easily and so cruelly, no woman is safe.
So I'm with Jodi Jacobson:
"These are the lives of your sister, your mother, your daughter, your aunt, your friends, and your colleagues. These are the lives at stake. These are the very people that the fanatical anti-choice and religious right see as 'not people'. They are all Savita Halappanavar. We are all Savita Halappanavar. But we do not have to die at the hands of misogynists.
Not just because I share the goals of the women's movement, but also because we share the same enemies.
The ghastly old patriarchs of this world who would put their hateful superstitious dogma before the humanity of others.
And Ireland is a Catholic country.
And that's all I have to say eh?
Except I hope all those Cons who voted for that abortion bill remember poor Savita, for if that bill had passed Canadian women would have suffered the same fate she did.
And we WILL remember.
And of course, fight them, fight them, fight them.
Don't ever let them win...
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