Bishop to hospitals: let women die, that’s an order

Yes really. This isn’t my usual hyperbole, it’s exactly what the bishop of Phoenix, Thomas Olmsted, tells the president of Catholic Healthcare West in an official letter dated November 22, 2010.

I now ask that CHW agree to the following requirements by Friday, December  17, 2010. Only if all of these items are agreed to, will I postpone any action against CHW and St. Joseph’s Hospital. Specifically, I require the  following in order for me to postpone any further canonical action directed  against St. Joseph’s Hospital:

1. CHW must acknowledge in writing that the medical procedure that resulted in the abortion at St. Josephs’ hospital was a violation of ERD 47, and so will never occur again at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

The medical procedure that resulted in the abortion at St. Josephs’ hospital was done to save the life of the mother when the only alternative was that both the mother and the fetus would die.

People don’t believe this when you tell them.

December 2010: Episcopal evil

Here’s the December 2010 post in which I became aware that it’s explicit Catholic church policy that women should be allowed to die rather than have a life-saving abortion.

December 26 2010

The ACLU letter to the administrators of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says something I hadn’t known, something quite staggering. The trouble is, I haven’t been able to find it anywhere else, so I can’t be sure it’s accurate. I would email the ACLU to ask, but they say they get too much mail to answer.

…just last week it was revealed that the Bishop of Phoenix threatened to remove his endorsement of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center – where, as discussed in our previous letter, doctors provided a life-saving abortion to a young mother of four in November 2009 – unless the hospital signed a written pledge that it would never again provide emergency abortion care, even where necessary to save a woman’s life.

You see why that’s staggering. It says that the bishop demanded that the hospital sign a written pledge not to do an abortion even where necessary to save a woman’s life – the bishop explicitly demanded that the hospital let a woman die rather than do an abortion. I knew he’d been saying that in effect all along, but I didn’t know he’d been willing to spell it out himself.

[pause to say - fuck I hate these bastards. I hate them I hate them I hate them.] [Read more...]

Catholic thanatophilia, December 2010

Some readers of the Texas Taliban post have expressed surprise that some rules against abortion can be downright murderous, so I thought I would go digging through the archive. I too was surprised in December 2010 to learn just exactly how explicitly murderous the policy of the Catholic church and in particular the US Conference of Catholic bishops actually is.

Here is one post on the subject (click on the link to the original to read the comments) –

December 28, 2010

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops insists on exactly the same murderous policy that the rebarbative bishop of Phoenix does. The CCB is very clear about it. The CCB doesn’t mess around.

“Surgery to terminate the life of an innocent person, however, is intrinsically wrong… Nothing, therefore, can justify a direct abortion. No circumstance, no purpose, no law whatsoever can ever make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit, since it is contrary to the Law of God which is written in every human heart, knowable by reason itself, and proclaimed by the Church.” [Read more...]

A triumph for the Texas Taliban

So there’s this couple in Texas looking forward to their second baby, a brother for their 2-year-old daughter.

Yet now my doctor was looking grim and, with chair pulled close, was speaking of alarming things. “I’m worried about your baby’s head shape,” she said. “I want you to see a specialist—now.”

My husband looked angry, and maybe I did too, but it was astonishment more than anger. Ours was a profound disbelief that something so bad might happen to people who think themselves charmed. We already had one healthy child and had expected good fortune to give us two.

Instead, before I’d even known I was pregnant, a molecular flaw had determined that our son’s brain, spine and legs wouldn’t develop correctly. If he were to make it to term—something our doctor couldn’t guarantee—he’d need a lifetime of medical care. From the moment he was born, my doctor told us, our son would suffer greatly. [Read more...]

Currently in the news

In Morocco on Saturday, a girl of 16 killed herself by swallowing rat poison. She was raped when she was 15, and then forced to marry her rapist.

Article 475 of the Moroccan penal code allows for the “kidnapper” of a minor to marry his victim to escape prosecution, and it has been used to justify a traditional practice of making a rapist marry his victim to preserve the honor of the woman’s family.

“Amina, 16, was triply violated, by her rapist, by tradition and by Article 475 of the Moroccan law,” tweeted activist Abadila Maaelaynine.

Abdelaziz Nouaydi, who runs the Adala Assocation for legal reform, said a judge can recommend marriage only in the case of agreement by the victim and both families. [Read more...]

Secondary

More about QED later, but meanwhile, something I missed while packing – Afghanistan’s Ulema Council issued a statement outlining “the rights and duties of women under Islam” and Karzai backed it. Heather Barr of Human Rights Watch reports:

The statement said some good things. It prohibited a traditional practice of giving a girl to another family to resolve a dispute (“baad”). It spoke against forced marriage. It confirmed women’s rights to inherit and own property.

On women’s duties, however, the statement took a turn for the worse: Women should not travel without a male chaperone. Women should not mix with men while studying, or working, or in public. Women must wear the Islamic hijab. Women are secondary to men.
The last item is the most striking one, in a way, if only because the others are already familiar. Clerics and their stooges in other religions have learned not to admit that that last item is what underpins all the others; they pretend to think and affirm that women are equal to men but complementary, as opposed to unequal to men because “secondary.” They don’t mean a word of it, but they’ve learned to say it. Ulema Councils haven’t, and don’t plan to.

This god certainly hates women

Another one gets away. Deborah Feldman was raised in the reactionary Hasidic Satmar community based in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. She escaped.

In her memoir, “Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots,” out Feb. 14, she chronicles her oppressive upbringing and arranged marriage.

At 23, emboldened by classes at Sarah Lawrence College, she left her husband and the community for good — taking her 3-year-old son with her.

So often the way – college classes inspire and/or embolden people to escape. Fundamentalists are right, in their terms, not to want their children to get tertiary education.

She was married at 17, to a man she had met once. Their sex life was creepy beyond belief.

After the first time, you have to call a rabbi and he asks the man questions — did this happen? And he declares you either unclean, or not yet consummated. Once you’re consummated, you’re unclean, because you bled. So after the first time, your honeymoon is a no-sex period.

For two weeks every month, he can’t touch you. He can’t hand you a glass, even if your fingers don’t touch. He has to put it down on the table and then you pick it up. Secondary contact can’t happen. If you’re sitting on a sofa, you have a divider between you. It makes you feel so gross. You feel like this animal in the room. If there’s a question about your period, you take the underwear and put it in a zip-lock bag, and give it to your husband. He takes it to the synagogue and pushes it into this special window and the rabbi looks at it and pronounces it kosher or nonkosher. It’s so disgusting.

Maybe a little.

She says things are getting worse.

Over the past 10 or 20 years [the Hasidic community] has gone from being extreme to being ultra-extreme. They’ve passed more laws from out of nowhere, limiting women — there’s a rule that women can’t be on the street after a certain hour. That was new when I was growing up. We hear all these stories about Muslim extremists; how is this any better? This is just another example of extreme fundamentalism.

And notice the common element: it’s all about controlling women. It’s all about making the restraints tighter…and tighter…and tighter. God is always A Man; men are always the people, and women are always the others; the people always have to keep the others down; down down down. The people always have to strip the others of all rights, all capabilities, all modes of escape and autonomy. This kind of religion seems to be about almost nothing but puffing up men and stamping down women. It’s religion as constructed by stags in rut.

 

 

On her own she will not be able to get her rights

There’s a woman in the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Apparently she’s there to spread the word to women. She does that.

Speaking to the London based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper Saturday, Abul Hassan argued that “When a woman marches to defend her rights, this affronts her dignity.”

She added that “Does she not have a husband, a brother or a son to defend her?”

Because, to the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, “dignity” for a woman means being passive and hidden and dependent on male relatives. That’s interesting, because to me that means degradation, not dignity at all. It means subordination, which implies inferiority. It’s hard to see how that can be “dignity.”

“This march was a sectarian one, because all the groups of Egyptian society should defend women. She should not defend herself on her own. The man should stand beside the woman because on her own she will not be able to get her rights,” said Abul Hassan.

Because the Muslim Brotherhood won’t let her.

H/t Małgorzata Koraszewska.

 

This will feel a little cold

Meanwhile, in Jerusalem, the move to erase women wanders even deeper into Bizarroland.

The controversial exclusion of women from various settings in Israel because of pressure from ultra-Orthodox Jewish leaders reached a new level this week with a major conference on gynecological advances that is permitting only males to address the audience.

Yes you read that right. A major conference on advances in medical management of women’s plumbing excluded women. Well what’s it got to do with them, after all? If they don’t want a man’s arm up them, they shouldn’t have been born with female plumbing. If they don’t want men and only men telling them what’s what about their plumbing, they should…um…well they should sit down and shut up.

Women are allowed in the audience, in a section separate from men.

Ah, that’s nice. That’s very generous.

As far as Puah is concerned, it operates on a strictly kosher basis, as required by the ultra-Orthodox rabbinate. While there are women on its board of directors, its public face is strictly male, and the two sexes are not allowed to mix at its events.

Because the rabbinate is strictly male, because it always was strictly male, so it’s not about to change now, is it, so it says the public face has to be strictly male too, because it always has been, because let’s face it, women are dirty and weak and whoreish and stupid and treacherous, so obviously they can’t be part of the public face and they can’t mix with men and get dirty weak whoreishness all over them.

 

The crime of Moska

So that’s how it’s possible to treat rape victims as perps.

Just 21, Gulnaz had been released that week from prison, where she had given birth to her daughter Moska. Gulnaz seemed younger than her years, but she held my gaze almost defiantly as she told her story.

She had been imprisoned in a Kabul women’s jail after her cousin’s husband raped her.

The crime came to light when the unmarried Gulnaz became pregnant.

The police came and arrested both Gulnaz and her attacker. Under Afghan law she too was found guilty of a crime known as “adultery by force”, with her sentence increased on appeal to 12 years. [Read more...]