Saturday Escorting Stories

Note: I’ve tucked one weird image from the abortion protesters below the fold. It’s morbid, but in a fantasy violence kind of way.

I was the only escort this morning! Usually we have at least three to four escorts on the weekend, but sunny summer Saturdays are precious in Minnesota, so c’était tout moi aujourd’hui!

There were “only” thirteen protesters, but they always seem to adopt a bit of mob bravery when the ratio is that off; there are a few more pointed remarks, upturned noses, snide statements. Most of them walked up and down the sidewalk praying their odd prayers to God, asking him to please baptize the unborn children before they are to be murdered so that they might enter the kingdom of heaven and sit at the right hand of…

And I do heartily beg your indulgence for the impending side rant, but isn’t that bending the rules? Doesn’t the person – or the person’s proxy – have to do the whole asking for baptism thing? Is that the point? If God is willing to baptize people without their (or their proxy’s) asking, why require baptism at all? Just baptize everyone, God, you big jerk. And if all you have to do is pray for God to baptize someone else, quit spending shitloads of money to go on expensive “Come to Jesus” missions to foreign lands. Just get on the phone with God and take care of all that, and then send all the monies to humanitarian efforts that might stand a chance of making a difference in the lives of those you want to save. Sheesh. It’s mental acrobatics of the highest order when it comes to justifying what particular tenet of the mythology one wants to believe or ignore.

And back to our story.

[Read more...]

Savita Halappanavar’s Death

On several occasions I have been asked to explain my views on the intersection of atheism and reproductive freedom. Well here it is, isn’t it? From BBC News, the story of 31 year-old Savita Halappanavar, who died in Ireland on Sunday due to complications of pregnancy:

“On the Saturday night everything changed, she started experiencing back pain so we called into the hospital, the university hospital.”

He said she continued to experience pain and asked a consultant if she could be induced.

“They said unfortunately she can’t because it’s a Catholic country,” Mr Halappanavar said.

“Savita said to her she is not Catholic, she is Hindu, and why impose the law on her.

“But she said ‘I’m sorry, unfortunately it’s a Catholic country’ and it’s the law that they can’t abort when the foetus is live.”

This was a woman, and a family, and medical professionals who knew that aborting the pregnancy was the safest, sanest medical decision. This hospital stood by as Savita Halappanavar died slowly and painfully of septicemia. They refused to treat Savita as her her husband, Praveen Halappanavar, watched helplessly as her organs shut down one after another.

Because it’s a Catholic country.

According to the article, several investigations by different groups are underway.

UPDATE: There are several hashtags on Twitter that are following activism around Savita’s case: #Savita #RIPSavita. Here is a legislative action website. A protest is taking place tonight. A Candlelight Vigil is being held in Galway this weekend.