Managua, South Dakota
moiv printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 12:47:06 AM EST
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Men dressed as priests protest in support of therapeutic abortion in front of the National Assembly Building in Managua, Nicaragua
MANAGUA - The Nicaraguan Congress on Thursday approved a law punishing doctors who carry out abortions on rape victims and women who could die at childbirth with a four-to-eight-year jail sentence.

Women who get an abortion would also face the same punishment.

Hundreds of women from feminist organizations hurled obscenities at the legislators outside the Congress building as the measure was debated. One group of angry women tried to storm the building, but were held back by police blocking the main entrance.

The new law was backed by Catholic and Evangelical churches in Nicaragua, which have been pushing for it for years.
:::
The Nicaraguan vote came just days ahead of the November 5 election, and as the country's political parties seek to reach out to the country's deeply religious electorate.

Luisa Cabal of the U.S. Center for Reproductive Rights observes, "[I]nstead of lawmakers acting to adopt measures that protect women, they have chosen to send the message that they don't care if women die."

And that horrific situation in Nicaragua has deeply disturbing parallels to what's happening right here at home, with South Dakota's ironically titled Women's Health and Human Life Protection Act.  

Proponents of criminalizing abortion in the United States hasten to assure the nervous that under the South Dakota ban, only doctors will be subject to imprisonment. However, as noted by Lynn Paltrow and Charon Asotoyer in South Dakota's New Murderers, that apparent exception in no way protects women from prosecution under other laws already in existence.  

Those who authored the law want to create impression that only the people providing the abortions will be punished, not the women having them. They are not brave enough to admit what is clear: women will be punished and they and their families will suffer if this law goes into effect.
:::
Undoubtedly, the bill's supporters will point to language that states that "nothing in this Act may be construed to subject the pregnant mother upon whom any abortion is performed or attempted to any criminal conviction and penalty." The truth is, though, that this particular act need not authorize arrests of pregnant women for such arrests to start taking place.
:::
South Dakota has a feticide statute that makes the killing of an "unborn child" at any stage of prenatal development fetal homicide, manslaughter, or vehicular homicide as well as a law that requires doctors to tell women that an abortion ends the life of "a whole, separate, unique living human being." The new law banning virtually all abortions states that it is based on the conclusion "that life begins at the time of conception," and that "each human being is totally unique immediately at fertilization."

If the unborn are legal persons, as numerous South Dakota laws assert, then a pregnant woman who has an abortion can be prosecuted as a murderer under already existing homicide laws.

Like its Nicaraguan counterpart, the South Dakota ban admits no exception for females who are victims of rape, or even for those whose health is critically endangered by pregnancy.  That same legal provision refuses mercy even to children.  "Rosa," a 9-year-old girl pregnant as a result of rape, obtained an abortion in 2003 under a 130 year old provision of Nicaraguan law that permitted abortion to preserve a woman's health  Her highly publicized case provoked a firestorm of objection from the Catholic Church, whose Nicaraguan authorities threatened to excommunicate anyone who assisted her.  Just as in South Dakota, that same exception is now construed as a legal loophole that permits "abortion on demand," even though only 6 legal abortions were allowed in Nicaragua in 2002 -- as compared to an estimated 32,000 per year that actually take place, almost all of which are as dangerous as they are illegal.

The stylized universal symbol for woman stamps the backdrops of so many television reports on our own abortion controversy that we hardly think about what it means anymore.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

But for women faced with their total subjugation to a religiously-controlled government here and now, that symbol hasn't lost its power. With their very lives at stake, to be a woman means everything.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
[Photo: BBC]

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
[Photo: Washington Post]

The BBC reports that "hundreds of people protested outside the National Assembly in the capital Managua on Wednesday night, saying the law would be a death sentence for the some 400 women who suffer ectopic pregnancies in Nicaragua each year."

One protester, Xiomara Luna, told Reuters, "They are forcing women and girls to die. They are not pro-life, they are pro-death."

In South Dakota, as anti-choice physicians in white coats lull the public with lies about the law, some Nicaraguan doctors are more honest about the inevitable consequences of the abortion ban they endorse.

"The current law allows a small door in which abortions can be performed, and we are trying to close that door," said Dr. Rafael Cabrera, an obstetrician and leader of the Yes to Life Movement. "We don't believe a child should be destroyed under the pretext that a woman might die."

In a Managua press conference, members of the Nicaraguan Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics unequivocally stated that the new law would "endanger women and make doctors reluctant to perform life-saving procedures."

"When a woman arrives at a hospital with vaginal bleeding ... we're going to be afraid to do anything," said society President Efrain Toruno, according to the newspaper El Nuevo Diario. "If we treat her we could be prosecuted, and if we don't we could also be prosecuted."

Dr Marvin Buehner of South Dakota writes in the current issue of the British Medical Journal that the South Dakota law poses an urgent and identical danger to women.

[P]roviding abortion services would be professional suicide for any private practitioner, he writes.

"The environment of intimidation here is still so pervasive that neither I, nor my colleagues, nor our state medical association spoke in objection when the legislature proposed a sweeping abortion ban, vetoed in 2004, or when it was reintroduced this year."
:::
He has publicly testified that the law does great harm to women with complicated pregnancies and has worked with the South Dakota State Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to oppose the law for its "horrific medical consequences."

Dr. Buehner ... said there are certain illnesses that require abortion before effective treatment for the woman. Cancers of the reproductive organs could require chemotherapy and radiation best done after the pregnancy has been aborted, he said. Treating a pregnant woman could amount to malpractice.
:::
"You'd end up with a dead fetus, an irradiated pelvis with an immune system compromised by chemotherapy," he said. "And when the woman starts to hemorrhage from her miscarriage, removing the pregnancy from the uterus would be a perilous medical misadventure."

Gynecological oncologist Dr. Maria Bell of Sioux Falls is another doctor who has spoken out frequently, citing health serious conditions -- in addition to cancer, in which she specializes -- such as the retinopathy of severe diabetes, which can leave a woman no alternatives except therapeutic abortion or permanent blindness.

OB/GYN Dr. Keith Hansen of Sioux Falls ... fears the ban could result in the unnecessary death of pregnant women and leave doctors open to a felony charge.
:::
Determining when abortion would be allowed to preserve the woman's life could be a difficult judgment call open to legal second-guessing by a local prosecutor, Hansen said.

"If somebody has a 10-percent chance of dying, is that what they mean? Or is it 30 percent or 50 percent or 80 percent," he said. "By the time you figure out somebody is at a high risk of dying, they're probably going to die."

Like Drs. Buehner, Bell, Hansen and more than two-thirds of the other obstetricians and gynecologists in South Dakota, many physicians in Nicaragua have taken a public stand, if to no avail. In an open letter to one newspaper, a group of medical associations wrote, "Getting rid of therapeutic abortions will make the parties involved responsible for the death of women and the physical and mental handicap of children."

Marta Maria Blandon, Central American director of the reproductive rights group Ipas, said, "The worst message of this proposed law is that the lives of women don't matter to this president, or to the government or the church."

Presidential candidate Daniel Ortega once defended the heavily restricted abortion rights of Nicaraguan women, and he once was a fiery critic of the Catholic church, too -- but that was 20 years ago, when he headed a politically liberal Sandinista government.  Now, hungry for a political comeback in a hotly contested November 5 election, he has made a highly opportune return to his religiously conservative roots. Ortega's 2005 marriage was performed by a Catholic cardinal, and in recent months he has taken to quoting the Pope and releasing photos of himself attending mass.  

It hasn't escaped the notice of women's groups in Nicaragua that the text of the new law is substantially identical to a proposal drafted earlier this year by the Catholic Church.  Not surprisingly, they consider the total ban on therapeutic abortion as cynical hand-in-glove pandering to the political influence of the church hierarchy.

We have our own Daniel Ortegas in Democrats for Life of America, the Trojan donkeys who applaud the South Dakota ban as a "comprehensive approach" to ending abortion.  And just as in Nicaragua, the Catholic Church is deeply involved in campaigning for the South Dakota abortion ban.

In an "educational" booklet titled Response of the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls [pdf link], the church instructs South Dakota Catholics on why they must vote for the abortion ban appearing on the November 7 ballot as Referred Law 6, and displays the same contempt as their Nicaraguan brethren for what they call women's "health."

During the legislative session, there were attempts to amend HB 1215 to include exceptions for the "health" of the mother, rape and incest, and fetal anomalies, all of which were successfully defeated for solid pro-life reasons.

"Health" of the Mother: (Section II.D.2.)

* The South Dakota Legislature clearly understood that a "health" of the mother exception would have made the rest of the bill worthless. The "health" exception is what has allowed abortion to be available on demand in our country because "health" has been interpreted by the courts to include any reason.

Rape and Incest: (Section II.D.3.)

  • If you believe that life begins at conception, and that life should be protected from that moment on, and then go on to say "except in the cases of rape and incest," then you logically would also support the killing of the child after its birth. ... You cannot logically choose conception as the defining moment in non-rape cases, and birth as the defining moment in cases of rape and incest.

  • If you support a rape and incest exception, then you must be prepared to also support an exception for the "health" of the mother - the exception that swallows the rule.

Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life and the Rev. Thomas Euteneuer of Human Life International join the chorus of near-universal praise from the Christian right -- and their views are at one with the hierarchy.  So saith the church.

As election day approaches, Leslee Unruh, who is managing the "Vote Yes for Life" campaign with dubiously legal tactics, says that people need to "forget the rhetoric and vote what they know what is right in their hearts."

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Rosa, a pregnant nine year-old girl in Nicaragua who didn't want to have a baby because she would have to "share my toys with other children," knew what was in her own heart. During her weeks of waiting to find out whether she would be allowed to have her abortion -- which ultimately was clandestinely performed by doctors who defied church and government pressure -- Rosa drew this picture of herself lying in bed.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

"Rosa triste" . . . "Rosa sad."

moiv sad, too.

[Title photo by Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters, from The Guardian UK]




Display:
in This Week in South Dakota of her conversation with Healthy Families campaign manager Lindsay Roitman.

According to Roitman, the pro-ban side is running "two campaigns." On the one hand, they are trumpeting to their base that they have passed a complete, no-exceptions ban in South Dakota. On the other hand, their campaign ads say that the ban does have exceptions both for a woman's health and for victims of rape and incest. Roitman called this campaign message "a slippery pig."
:::
The pro-ban side also claims that victims of rape and incest are protected because they can use emergency contraception up to 14 days after a sexual assault. Roitman was indignant about this claim. "It's one thing to be deceptive, but it's another to publish false information that can harm women," she said.
:::
Roitman also reports lots of intimidation out in the field. Several campaign spokespeople, including a doctor and a rape victim, quit after they got threatening phone calls. Canvassers find that many people won't say what they think because of the ugly social climate. Security is an issue at the campaign office. Strange men are hanging around outside taking pictures of volunteers and their car license plates. The Planned Parenthood clinic is under siege. "It's ground zero here," she said, "but I think we can win."
:::
[O]ne of the nicest things people could do is send notes of encouragement to the campaign office, because, "this is all hard work for the volunteers and there are no fun events like you get with a candidate. People call us names."

Messages of support can be sent to info@sdhealthyfamilies.org.  And Lindsay also says, "If people want to, they can pray for us."

That's better than sending homemade cookies, folks. They would be afraid to eat them.

by moiv on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 01:02:09 AM EST


for votes is underway, according to Saturday's Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

The American Life League ... is hosting a national conference call today to raise money for Vote Yes For Life, the South Dakota group that's defending the abortion ban. An anonymous donor has promised to match every dollar raised up to $250,000, league spokesman David Bereit said.

"We're using this conference call as a way to get 2,000 people on the phone to share what's going on and hopefully raise a large chunk of money," Bereit said.

The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, which supports abortion rights, is holding a "virtual vigil" on its Web site for women and girls in South Dakota. Vigil participants can post comments and light virtual candles.

"We're asking people to set aside a few minutes to think about and be with, in spirit, the people who are most affected by what is going on, and that is the women and girls (of South Dakota)," said Marjorie Signer, the coalition's communications director.

The American Life League is sending six people from its Stafford, Va., headquarters to South Dakota to help organize concerts and educational forums and participate in get-out-the-vote activities.

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America is sending 10 staff members to help with the South Dakota Campaign for Health Families' get-out-the-vote activities.

The Washington, D.C.-based Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and Catholics for a Free Choice will be running separate ads in local newspapers.



by moiv on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 01:36:57 AM EST


"Be not too hasty to trust or to admire the teachers of morality: they discourse like angels, but they live like men" ... Samuel Johnson, Rasselas (1759), 18.
by AnnRose on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 08:01:31 AM EST

How far is it from here to the criminal prosecution of women whose babies are born with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome?

What about women with histories of spontaneous abortions who persist in getting pregnant?

I'm really not trying to be overly sensationalistic here or anything.  I can make a good reductio ad absurdum when I want to.  But this isn't one of those times.



by sporkyy on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 05:41:29 PM EST
Women are already being prosecuted for stillboarn babies or babies born with indications of blood or drugs in their systems.  South Carolina, Oklahoma, several other states have joined in.  In other cases, the babies are being removed.  One case of 9 women, most of whom were arrested from their hospital beds after they delivered, went to the US Supreme Court.

Check out the National Advocates for Pregnant Women.  

by cyncooper on Wed Nov 01, 2006 at 01:27:04 PM EST
Parent




WWW Talk To Action


Cognitive Dissonance & Dominionism Denial
There is new research on why people are averse to hearing or learning about the views of ideological opponents. Based on evaluation of five......
By Frederick Clarkson (99 comments)
Will the Air Force Do Anything To Rein In Its Dynamic Duo of Gay-Bashing, Misogynistic Bloggers?
"I always get nervous when I see female pastors/chaplains. Here is why everyone should as well: "First, women are not called to be pastors,......
By Chris Rodda (26 comments)
The Legacy of Big Oil
The media is ablaze with the upcoming publication of David Grann's book, Killers of the Flower Moon. The shocking non fiction account of the......
By wilkyjr (23 comments)
Gimme That Old Time Dominionism Denial
Over the years, I have written a great deal here and in other venues about the explicitly theocratic movement called dominionism -- which has......
By Frederick Clarkson (23 comments)
History Advisor to Members of Congress Completely Twists Jefferson's Words to Support Muslim Ban
Pseudo-historian David Barton, best known for his misquoting of our country's founders to promote the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation,......
By Chris Rodda (26 comments)
"Christian Fighter Pilot" Calls First Lesbian Air Force Academy Commandant a Liar
In a new post on his "Christian Fighter Pilot" blog titled "BGen Kristin Goodwin and the USAFA Honor Code," Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan......
By Chris Rodda (21 comments)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors' -- UPDATED
Today, Donald Trump appointed C-FAM Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti to the US Delegation To UN Commission On Status Of Women. (C-FAM is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (18 comments)
Controlling Information
     Yesterday I listened to Russ Limbaugh.  Rush advised listeners it would be best that they not listen to CNN,MSNBC, ABC, CBS and......
By wilkyjr (19 comments)
Is Bannon Fifth-Columning the Pope?
In December 2016 I wrote about how White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who likes to flash his Catholic credentials when it comes to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (9 comments)
Ross Douthat's Hackery on the Seemingly Incongruous Alliance of Bannon & Burke
Conservative Catholic writer Ross Douthat has dissembled again. This time, in a February 15, 2017 New York Times op-ed titled The Trump Era's Catholic......
By Frank Cocozzelli (10 comments)
`So-Called Patriots' Attack The Rule Of Law
Every so often, right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan lurches out of the far-right fever swamp where he has resided for the past 50 years to......
By Rob Boston (14 comments)
Bad Faith from Focus on the Family
Here is one from the archives, Feb 12, 2011, that serves as a reminder of how deeply disingenuous people can be. Appeals to seek......
By Frederick Clarkson (21 comments)
The Legacy of George Wallace
"One need not accept any of those views to agree that they had appealed to real concerns of real people, not to mindless, unreasoning......
By wilkyjr (9 comments)
Betsy DeVos's Mudsill View of Public Education
My Talk to Action colleague Rachel Tabachnick has been doing yeoman's work in explaining Betsy DeVos's long-term strategy for decimating universal public education. If......
By Frank Cocozzelli (11 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (26 comments)

Respect for Others? or Political Correctness?
The term "political correctness" as used by Conservatives and Republicans has often puzzled me: what exactly do they mean by it? After reading Chip Berlin's piece here-- http://www.talk2action.org/story/2016/7/21/04356/9417 I thought about what he explained......
MTOLincoln (42 comments)
Fear
What I'm feeling now is fear.  I swear that it seems my nightmares are coming true with this new "president".  I'm also frustrated because so many people are not connecting all the dots! I've......
ArchaeoBob (20 comments)
"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (22 comments)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (70 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (19 comments)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (24 comments)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (32 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (16 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (18 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (18 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (17 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (18 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (18 comments)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (18 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (20 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.