...on 21 January 2009.
More on what the global gag rule actually is here.
It is unbelievable that a country so rich in opportunity and resources would tie such horrific strings to money that means the difference between life and death. Abortion is LEGAL in the States, how DARE you insist that any aid money you give be tied to condemning it elsewhere? How DARE you kill people in the name of your own personal, rigid, black and white belief? This is relief money, and you have NO idea of the complexities and depth of their need. You have no idea what it means to force a woman raped by soldiers to carry a child to term, nor do you have any right to deny a mother whose life is endangered by her pregnancy the right to terminate it. Let the people who do know use the money unfettered, in the best ways they know how.
Charity should never have strings attached.
And as in the case of all things one tries to ban - the example of alcohol during Prohibition comes to mind - the consequences are never what you expect them to be. The impact on women's health has been catastrophic, and as is always the case, when women's health is damaged, there aren't just ripples, there are tidal waves. Read the executive summary of the report Access Denied here.
Lives over ideology, every time.
So, President Obama, welcome, and may your historic inauguration on 20 January go down as one of the most memorable in history. But on 21 January, whip out that pen and let's give women - and thus, everyone - in the developing world a fighting chance. Repeal the global gag rule.
Watch the video below and add your signature to the petition here.
Am I worried about excommunication latae sententiae for signing the petition and publicly asking others to join me in signing it? About priests/clerics who will tell me I should abstain from communion - or that they won't give it to me - the way the Bishop of Scranton warned Joe Biden he would be refused communion if he showed up at a Scranton communion rail?
Am I, f***.
In the first place, my priests have the wonderfully good sense to leave it to my conscience as to whether or not I receive communion.
Second, my conscience is absolutely clear on this - it won't even enter the confessional. Repealing the global gag rule is about saving lives. Women and children are dying - the global gag rule's impact on prenatal and maternal care, on HIV/AIDS, etc. is tremendous. Even if all I can do is sign a petition and donate a bit of money, it's what I HAVE to do.
To quote a favourite poster: Stand up for what is right, even if you're standing alone.
In my church, I most certainly will be alone on this.
But that's ok, because in my spiritual community and my world, I'm linked arm in arm with many others.
And I know that even if the Church excommunicates me, God most certainly won't.
(H/T Melissa at Shakesville)