November 01, 2011


A little push-back came through from the Obama administration today when the Department of Health and Human Services revoked a long-standing grant to the Conference of Catholic Bishops that had previously been in awarded for it's work on human trafficking. The gov't decided that ultimately, despite the good work the agency was doing, their refusal to refer rape victims for reproductive services was not in the best interest of the victims — and their needs could be better met by other agencies without such hangups.

While the Church believes that "all sexual encounters be open to life," in the words of Sister Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman for the Catholic Bishops, it is naive at best to expect the government to contract with an organization that has a serious and controversial limitation supported by a belief system that is not even held by the majority of it's own church members.

I remember when I was in 7th or 8th grade and we had do a persuasive speech project and stand before the class. The deacon's daughter gave a speech on abortion, and argued the point about rape — stating that it was clearly not the unborn child's fault, and therefore, the "child" should not be punished. It sounded totally logical, of course — but didn't take into account the trauma that a rape victim experiences. I'm guessing that most of our 7th grade class couldn't conceptualize that kind of pain. But now that I'm older...I know a few more things about myself and even about some of the kids I grew up with. I know that some of the girls I went to school with were family members. Raped. I know that I had blocked out my own sexual abuse and wouldn't remember it until I was 17 years old. I know that as a mother...and a child who was raised by a single-parent....every child should feel wanted. And I know that while abortion is certainly not the best case scenario, it's also not "intrinsically evil" in every circumstance.

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