At a time when religious extremists around the globe have repackaged their efforts to undermine reproductive rights within a call for greater protection for religious liberty, will the Salvadoran Supreme Court of Justice respect Beatrizâs freedom of conscience?
Nearly one month has passed since lawyers representing Beatriz, a 22-year-old pregnant woman suffering from lupus and renal deficiency, filed a petition to El Salvador’s Supreme Court of Justice requesting an exception to the country’s total ban on abortion. A positive ruling would allow Beatriz (not her real name), who has a young child, access to the procedure she needs to save her life. The Supreme Court has yet to make a decision on the case, despite the fact that doctors at El Salvador’s national maternity hospital determined that Beatriz’s pre-existing medical conditions mean that the threat to her life increases as her pregnancy continues.
The Salvadoran Minister of Health and the Human Rights Ombudsman both stated weeks ago that they support implementing the recommendations made by the doctors at the national maternity hospital to save Beatriz’s life. So, why the delay in the Supreme Court’s ruling? The Salvadoran constitution guarantees a secular state, yet the country’s policies on abortion reflect extremist religious views rather than best practices in public health. Not only is abortion prohibited by law in El Salvador, but women suspected of inducing an abortion (including those who miscarry naturally) may be tried for homicide and have been sentenced to as many as 30 years in prison. Doctors and other medical personnel suspected of assisting in an abortion procedure also face jail time if convicted.
There is growing concern that religious extremist and anti-choice forces within El Salvador are pressuring the court not to allow for a legal termination. In recent weeks these groups, including anti-choice NGOs and the Catholic bishops’ conference, have issued statements to the press and hit the airwaves. They claim that abortion is never medically necessary and that “the feminists” are using Beatriz’s case to decriminalize abortion across the board in El Salvador. Their callous, unfounded, and unscientific claims seek to undermine Beatriz’s case for a legal termination and to convince Salvadoran policymakers and Supreme Court justices that there is no need for an exception to the country’s absolute ban on abortion—in this case, or in any other.
It is perhaps not surprising that the Catholic bishops are influential in El Salvador, where approximately 60 percent of the population is Catholic and the Catholic Church is the only religion recognized by name in the country’s constitution. It would be a mistake, however, to assume that all Catholics in El Salvador agree with the hierarchy of their church when it comes to denying Beatriz’s request for a safe and legal abortion.
Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir en El Salvador (Catholics for the Right to Decide in El Salvador, or CDD El Salvador) believes that Beatriz, like all women, should be able to terminate a pregnancy legally, safely, and promptly. CDD El Salvador is an active part of the reproductive rights movement in its country, where the group defies the stereotype that Catholics cannot, or do not, support abortion rights. In fact, the group does so, not in spite of its supporters’ Catholic beliefs, but because of them. They profess a commitment to fighting for social justice and for the life, health, and well-being of women because of the many lessons learned from our faith—among them, to maintain a preferential option for the poor, to treat those who are sick and suffering with compassion, and to respect the right of all people to choose according to the dictates of their conscience.
n a recent statement, CDD El Salvador called on the Catholic hierarchy to adhere to its own teaching, which states, “Hence man’s dignity demands that he act according to a knowing and free choice that is personally motivated and prompted from within, not under blind internal impulse nor by mere external pressure.” To quote CDD El Salvador:
Beatriz has been informed regarding her state of health and that of the unviable fetus she is carrying. She has decided in good conscience to interrupt her pregnancy. She is choosing to save her life, a choice which is entirely valid according to the [Catholic] Code of Canon Law.
In a message likely to resonate with all Christians, CDD El Salvador urged its fellow citizens:
Let us remember what Jesus Christ said in the Gospels: the law was made for human beings; human beings are not made for the law. The law which penalizes abortion is cruel and inhuman, as it condemns many women to death and prison.
Since the petition was filed before the Supreme Court of Justice, Beatriz’s case has become known throughout the world. Amnesty International has sent a global appeal to human rights activists asking them to petition the Salvadoran government to permit the termination. United Nations officials have urged the Salvadoran government to take all necessary action to protect Beatriz’s health and life. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights issued emergency protective measures instructing the Salvadoran government to “adopt all necessary measures to implement the treatment recommended by the National Maternity Hospital in order to save the life, personal integrity and health” of Beatriz.
Beatriz may be Catholic, like most Salvadorans; she may be Evangelical Christian, like many others. She may be of another faith, or of no faith. Regardless of her religious beliefs, CDD El Salvador declares:
We demand respect for Beatriz’s freedom of conscience; she has freely decided to interrupt her pregnancy in order to save her life!
At a time when religious extremists around the globe have repackaged their efforts to undermine reproductive rights within a call for greater protection for religious liberty, will the Salvadoran Supreme Court of Justice respect Beatriz’s freedom of conscience? Will the justices protect her from the demands of religious extremists and affirm the secular nature of the Salvadoran state? As the days continue to tick by without a decision from the court, Beatriz’s life, which now hangs in the balance, moves closer and closer to a potentially tragic, and avoidable, end. I sincerely hope that the solidarity we are witnessing from around the world heralds the beginning of the end for all draconian anti-abortion laws.
Anti-abortion movement offers no evidence of sex-selection abortion.
First, while it is easy to feel outrage about the idea of sex-selection (like almost all Canadians, we do not support sex-selection as a principle), the first step of sound policy-making is proving that a significant problem exists. This step is particularly relevant in this case since some obvious facts (that gender-determination ultrasounds usually take place at around 20 weeks and the Canadian Institute for Health Information’s latest data shows that less than 2 per cent of all abortions take place after this) suggest it isn’t a widespread phenomenon.
The anti-abortion movement has failed entirely to make the case for this. Advocates often reference a CBC report showing that some private ultrasound companies in Canada offer gender-identifying ultrasounds before 20 weeks. This perhaps says more about the effects of injecting a private profit motive into health care than it does about sex-selection. But neither it, nor any other study, has provided any evidence that abortion clinics or hospitals offer early ultrasounds or sex-selection abortions.
It is also notable that there are no academic studies that prove sex-selection abortion is a significant issue in Canada. The anti-abortion movement likes to cite several studies of macro birth rates to buttress their case — the idea being that we can assume sex-selection abortions exist if certain communities demonstrate a higher ratio of male-to-female births.
hi guys! this is a comic i made for a final in my comics in literature class. we had to do a research paper on a topic we’d discussed in class and then accompany it with a comic with a relevant subject. my paper was about hyper-sexualization of women in comic books, but i decided to broaden it out here as well as personalize it and make myself the subject and discuss something i’ve been subjected to in the convention circuit and on the internet as well as thousands of other women, as well as give a cue to thought about how the comic book industry as well as the video game industry and even just media in general (all of which are male dominated) push such ridiculous pressures onto girls and women.
also, it feels kind of silly to have to add this since i hope it’s obvious, but i am very aware that there are men that don’t subscribe to this attitude, and am incredibly grateful that these issues are brought to light to people other than the ones that are subjected to it.
anyway haha i have literally been staring at this for 9 hours i don’t even know which direction is up anymore. thanks for reading!!!
Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he remains skeptical that a national inquiry would give answers to concerns about missing or murdered aboriginal women in Canada.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he remains skeptical that a national inquiry would give answers to concerns about missing or murdered aboriginal women in Canada.
Harper made the comment Thursday in New York City, where he was promoting Canada-U.S. trade and the Keystone XL pipeline to business leaders.
During a question-and-answer session hosted by the Council for Foreign Relations, Harper was asked by a member of Human Rights Watch about the prospects of a federal inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women.
“I remain very skeptical of commissions of inquiry generally. My experience has been they almost always run way over time, way over budget, and often the recommendations prove to be of limited utility,” he replied.
Harper said the issue has been studied extensively, and that “it is time to pass to action.”
The Conservative government, Harper said, has invested resources to establish prevention programs and to buttress the investigative powers of police, and has also worked to improve the status of aboriginal women living on reserves, including legislation to protect their property rights.
On Thursday, the civilian watchdog that oversees the RCMP announced it will investigate allegations that aboriginal women and girls were abused by police in northern British Columbia.
Human Rights Watch, the Assembly of First Nations and federal opposition parties have for months called for a national commission of inquiry looking at the issue of missing aboriginal women.
The Conservative government responded by offering up a special parliamentary committee to study the issue.
Three human-rights groups, including two from the United Nations, will be visiting Canada over the next year to look at living conditions in First Nations communities.
The groups will also probe whether government and law enforcement are doing enough to resolve the cases of missing or murdered aboriginal women, which number as high as 600 according to the Native Women’s Association of Canada.
In 2006, The Walt Disney Company bought the computer-animated feature film powerhouse Pixar. This makes the lead of their most recent movie, Brave (2012), not just a princess, but a Disney Princess. Merida is having a royal coronation at the Magic Kingdom this morning.
For her coronation, the princess has gotten a good ol’ Disney makeover. On the left is the new Merida (“after”) and on the right is the old Merida (“before”). Notice any differences?
Here are the ones that I see:
I rang the literary editors of a few ‘respected’ papers and asked them how much space they were giving to women writers in their ‘review’ sections. Perfectly predictable response. They all said the allocation was fair. One said it was equal, and one prominent editor went so far as to say women are dominating the reviews!
… What happened when I asked who was doing the talking in mixed sex conversations? Well, it was the women of course. And then when you get to measure it you find that women get to talk about 10-20% of the time in conversations with men. A woman who talks about a third of the time is seen to be dominating the talk.
And what happened when I asked teachers who got their attention in class? Well, it was all equal, wasn’t it? No preferences there. And you measure it and find that girls get about 10-20% of the teacher’s attention. Any more, and the boys think it unfair - and go into revolt.
So what do you think I found with the reviews?
I would have predicted about 10-20% of the space went to women’s books. Well, it is less than 6% of the column inches. And the reasonable editor who thinks that women are getting more than their share is one of the worst offenders. Poor boys! It really tells you something when they think only 94% of the review section is not enough, doesn’t it? When 6% for women is too much you get some idea how much men think they are entitled to - as a fair deal.
More research into factors behind trend, effects on outcomes is needed, study author says
MONDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) — A new Canadian study has uncovered an apparent gender bias in the hospital setting, with women less likely than men to get trauma center care following a severe injury.
“Gender-based disparities in access to health care services in general have been recognized for some time, and evidence is emerging that these disparities extend to the treatment of severe injuries in trauma centers,” study author Andrea Hill, a postdoctoral fellow at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the University of Toronto, said in a news release.
“Our study,” she added, “confirms and expands on these earlier findings by evaluating the relationship between gender and trauma center care in a large cohort of patients from across Canada.”
Hill and her colleagues are scheduled to present their findings Monday at the American Thoracic Society annual meeting in Philadelphia. Research presented at medical meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The team’s findings stem from an analysis involving nearly 99,000 adult patients throughout Canada. About a third were women, and all had sought hospital treatment following a severe injury.
Across all age groups, just less than half of the women received trauma center care, compared to more than 63 percent of men in the same situation.
Among patients aged 65 and older, roughly 38 percent of the women got trauma care, compared with nearly 50 percent of the men.
The trauma gap held even after accounting for a wide array of demographic and socioeconomic factors, the study authors said. A gap also was observed when looking solely at injuries involving either falls or motor vehicle accidents.
“Our study provides yet more evidence of important gender differences in access to trauma center care for people with severe injuries,” Hill said. “Future research should focus on the factors underlying these differences and on the effects of these disparities on patient outcomes.”
I read several dozen stories a year from miserable, lonely guys who insist that women won’t come near them despite the fact that they are just the nicest guys in the world.
..I’m asking what do you offer? Are you smart? Funny? Interesting? Talented? Ambitious? Creative? OK, now what do you do to demonstrate those attributes to the world? Don’t say that you’re a nice guy — that’s the bare minimum.
“Well, I’m not sexist or racist or greedy or shallow or abusive! Not like those other douchebags!”
I’m sorry, I know that this is hard to hear, but if all you can do is list a bunch of faults you don’t have, then back the fuck away..
..Don’t complain about how girls fall for jerks; they fall for those jerks because those jerks have other things they can offer. “But I’m a great listener!” Are you? Because you’re willing to sit quietly in exchange for the chance to be in the proximity of a pretty girl (and spend every second imagining how soft her skin must be)? Well guess what, there’s another guy in her life who also knows how to do that, and he can play the guitar. Saying that you’re a nice guy is like a restaurant whose only selling point is that the food doesn’t make you sick. You’re like a new movie whose title is This Movie Is in English, and its tagline is “The actors are clearly visible”.