If you expect truth on any pro or con religious/political issue, then you'll fail the reality test.
If the issue is women's reproductive rights, the spin on both sides can make you dizzy. This probably is why many women are conflicted on the D&X medical procedure about to be voted on by a mostly male Congress who demonstrated during the hearings that they did not HEAR the women who testified.
We frankly do not know the whole truth either but we do have some facts, both historical and medical, to present for you to consider.
The media use, and change of the name of this procedure from "D&X" to "partial birth," incites controversy but does NOT elucidate. It suggest that all D&X procedures are done on full term feti -- this is an incorrect presumption.
"Dilation and extraction" has been around for some time. Initially, it's purpose was to SAVE THE LIFE AND FUTURE HEALTH AND WELFARE OF THE WOMAN. It was a technique borrowed from veterinarians who used it when conditions existed that endangered the health or life of a valued animal.
A female sheep, cow or horse, for example, has WORTH. Women, over the ages, have not been valued. Both religion and politics, until only a few short years ago, OPENLY directed doctors that, when they could not save both woman and fetus, they must sacrifice the woman and save the fetus.
The roots of this practice can be traced throughout the centuries. Church dogma stated explicitly that only men (who were made in the image of man's god) could be priests. Women were excluded because they were the sacrifice. What made them the sacrifice? The monthly flow of blood (which also made them "unclean vessels" and, of course, such creatures could not serve man's god as priests.
It was logical to save the fetus as it might be a male; it was logical to sacrifice the woman to save a possible male and if the birth produced a female child, well then, it was a replacement for the sacrificed woman.
Now that medical science has advanced to the point where such choices are usually no longer necessary, one does not hear of this religious edict in that sense. It still exists, though, in the form of political/religious, anti-woman-reproductive-rights cults and the terrorist groups they spawn.
We've written this early on in this series but it bears repeating as so many new subscribers have come on this list. We support everyone's right to the religion of their choice and respect their beliefs. We emphatically DO NOT think that those beliefs should be forced on everyone through the political process. So we write "political/religious" to indicate this.
What about this D&X procedure? For honest explanations of why and how it is done, ask the doctors in your local women's clinic or those referred to you by Planned Parenthood. You will not hear this information given by the media as health professionals are mostly prevented from speaking freely and openly. When one does speak out, she/he will find that they, their patients and staff are harassed and threatened.
However you come to feel about this procedure, weigh in the fact that it's done in animals to save the female because they are considered valuable. Ask yourself that if you found yourself (or a loved one) in a position where your doctor advised you to undergo this procedure for your health, welfare or life, if you ever hoped to have a child in the future, would you want to have this choice? Would you deny this choice to another woman?
It is also no secret that making the D&X procedure illegal is only a first step to eliminating all birth control except for the rhythm method. Only the first step toward bringing women's reproduction back under the control of political/religious factions.
Choir-boy Reed has resigned from the unChristian coalition to give full time "...to getting anti-abortion candidates elected in '98." Just in time to cover his rear end, since a Senate committee is looking at the improper campaign finance practices of the R.N.C.'s unholy alliance with the unChristian coalition.
You can sit on the sidelines or join in the battle by letting your state and federal representatives know that you will be watching their votes and that you realize, as do they, how strong a force GenderGappers are in the political process.
Remind them of that boast of a strong man of yore: "Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand and I can move the world."
Tell them to look at the gender gap created by self-defining women in '96, AND TO UNDERSTAND THAT WE HAVE THE LEVER (vote) AND THAT WE STAND ON THE VERY FIRM TRUISM THAT WOMEN'S RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS.
Copyright 1997 Renee T. Louise and Ruth M. Sprague, Ph.D. These articles may be republished for noncommercial use only, provided that they are copied intact, and that this copyright notice is attached. Address all queries to: TWANDA@ConnRiver.net.
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