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Kids’ Doc in Jos
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This is where my old blog ends and the new one begins…

December 7th, 2008

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Well, well, can you believe it? I switched to a new blog at http://mikeblyth.blogspot.com and totally forgot to put that information here on my now-old blog! I’m glad my dad pointed out the missing connection before too long. Anyway, it’s true … you will still find the blog posts here through mid November 2008, but I’m now using only the new spot, mainly because of this old one requiring frequent updates if I was to keep it secure, while with Blogspot, I can let the company maintain their software and I will just write my blogs. So, on to the new blog!

Now on Technorati …

November 18th, 2008

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Technorati Profile

Unpacking

October 30th, 2008

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Yesterday, I mentioned that we had unpacked our boxes after finally arriving home. This time, we only had our normal luggage allowance (no excess pieces), and since Barb had come from the UK where prices are high, she didn’t bring much.

I, however, had crammed a lot into my two pieces. Probably too much, since it meant that I had spent too many precious hours shopping on-line, trying to convince companies to take my credit card, and so on. Anyway, here is a list of most of what fit into my two boxes (one 50 pounds, one 70 pounds), carry-on and laptop bag.

2 mousetraps
6 ball inflation needles
1 utility knife
1 set jewelers screwdrivers
1 pair work gloves
4 Matchbox cars
2 educational computer games
4 wall calendars
2 digital cameras and cases
4 laptop computers
1 desktop computer (tiny)
4 computer motherboards
1 Palm PDA
1 pair new shoes
1 basketball
2 laptop batteries
1 pair scissors
2 laptop carrying bags
1 washing machine pulley
1 washing machine belt
1 network adapter
32 laptop and desktop RAM memory boards
5 boxes vaccines
320 calcium tablets
1 roll fluorescent orange duct tape
6 small rolls colored tape
5 battery powered push lights
1 fluorescent light stick for kitchen
5 pair pants
48 2-quart sugar-free drink mix
100 blank DVD+R
50 blank CD-R
28 flash drives (4 & 8 GB)
1 WD-40 stick
1 graphite lock lube stick
1 multifunction pocket knife (for gift)
6 half-pound packs of pepperoni
2 boxes of cold cereal with strawberries
1 pound yeast
3 bottles of chili powder
1 pound walnuts
3 books
a few clothes for Luke, Saralynn, and Timothy
1 super-PDA (or tiny computer)
13 120-volt outlet sockets
6 outlet boxes
8 pounds other “stuff” for friends
all my clothes and toiletries for the 2-week trip
1 set decorative coasters from Thailand
1 toy telephone for Timothy

Stuck in Frankfurt

October 29th, 2008

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Deplaning in Frankfurt Barb and I headed home over the weekend, she from Oxford and I from Wisconsin. We were to meet back at the airport in Frankfurt and fly from there to Abuja. I made the overnight flight from Chicago all right, but her flight from London was at least an hour late. She still might have made it to the Abuja gate, but being Frankfurt, she had to deplane on the tarmac, wait for other passengers to board the shuttle bus, take the bus to the terminal, and then start trying to find the connecting flight in the Frankfurt maze.

I decided to wait for Barb, as we hadn’t discussed this contingency, so we were both stuck. Lufthansa, reasonably enough, was willing to pay for Barb’s hotel and a new flight the next day on KLM, but wouldn’t pay for me and wouldn’t let me transfer my ticket to KLM. They also charged me $200 to rebook my flight. So, instead of leaving the next morning, we had to stay 2 nights in Frankfurt since Lufthansa doesn’t make the trip on Monday.

It was an expensive hassle, but once we got over the price shock we actually had a restful time. We stayed the first night in the hotel where Lufthansa puts up their passengers, and enjoyed really great dinner and breakfast buffets. The second night, with dinner since there was nowhere else around to eat, would have cost us $260 (!) so I found a much cheaper hotel on Priceline and booked there.

That one, the Albatros Airport Hotel, was delightful with more of a family atmosphere. I’d recommend it for anyone needing overnight accommodation near the airport, when your airline isn’t making the arrangements and footing the bill. It’s clean and friendly, located in a quiet, mixed residential/commercial area, and you can easily walk to grocery stores, bakeries or a couple of eateries. The breakfast buffet was quite nice, if not as spectacular as that in the more expensive hotel.

We spent Tuesday afternoon wandering around the shopping areas, having a snack, and buying our supper: wonderful, dark German bread, Camembert cheese, fruit yogurt, apples, and sparkling water. We had a fun and satisfying meal for under $10 for the two of us.

Having caught up on sleep and overcome the main part of jet lag, we arrived in Abuja last night and in Jos this morning. Luke was so excited to see us, he couldn’t stop talking. Tonight we unpacked our luggage … maybe I’ll touch on that in my next post.

Don’t get malaria in the US!

October 19th, 2008

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If you have to get malaria, you might be better off getting it in Nigeria than in the US.

image I’ve been in North Carolina this week for the SIM International Workshop on Information Technology. A couple of my old friends, who now live here, told me about their niece (I’ll call her Anita) who had recently been to Africa and now had been sick with malaria-like symptoms for some time. By the time they were telling me, Anita had been admitted to the ICU and the doctors were still puzzling over her condition. An infectious disease specialist had been called in but there was still no diagnosis. All the tests, including those for malaria, had been negative.

We talked about the probability that Anita had malaria … that’s just what people get when they’re in Africa. Sure, you can argue about how much malaria there is in a given setting, or how likely it is when someone has been on preventive drugs, or what other tropical diseases are possible, but malaria is still one of the biggest risks for travelers. Furthermore, it’s often hard to diagnose by lab methods as the parasite can be hard to find in the blood.

imageMalaria is a dangerous disease, particularly in those who are under five years old, pregnant, or not already “semi-immune.” After repeated episodes of the illness, people get a degree of immunity so that they tend to be protected from the severe, potentially fatal forms such as cerebral involvement, severe anemia, and shock. Even that protection starts to be lost after a few months of being away from malaria zones.

British medical journals reminder remind readers now and then of the seriousness of the risk of malaria in travelers. I don’t remember seeing quite as much info in American journals, perhaps because there are fewer immigrants and travelers from Africa.

Three days after my friends told me about Anita, I heard that her doctors had finally reached a diagnosis: malaria. The parasite was found in her bone marrow, which means she had to have at least a bone marrow aspiration if not a biopsy, painful procedures. Up to that point, according to my second- or third-hand information, she had been treated with antibiotics but not anti-malarial drugs.

I don’t know how complete the story was that I heard — and certainly these medical stories tend to get muddled and distorted especially when passed along by non-medical people. Still, it does highlight a big difference in the way malaria is treated in Nigeria compared to the US.

In the malarious parts of Africa, the general approach is to treat high-risk people when they get symptoms of malaria, until or unless the diagnosis can be excluded. Effective, cheap drugs are available and simple oral treatment with various two-drug combinations is usually successful. Two of those combinations in Nigeria are Co-artem (artesunate and lumefantrine) and and Artequin (artesunate plus mefloquine).

The most common American approach, in contrast, seems to be to treat malaria as a highly exotic disease which only specialists can diagnosis and treat, and to insist on a clear laboratory diagnosis before treating it. I’m not sure why this is, though perhaps it’s partly because the simple, effective drugs are not available. Partly, though, it’s just a different philosophy of treatment.

In Nigeria, if I am faced with a child who likely has giardia, it would take several days, inconvenience and maybe $12 to make the diagnosis. Meanwhile, the patient would remain ill and might be lost to follow up. On the other hand, for $4 I can treat the illness. Even though I may treat some patients who do not need it, nearly everyone ends up ahead.

image

The result of all this is that I encourage family and friends, when returning from Africa, to take a box of malaria treatment home with them. Then, if they get sick with what seems like malaria, they can contact a doctor who is familiar with malaria, and consider starting treatment. I don’t recommend simply treating oneself without contacting a medical professional, since other serious conditions could be missed, treatment of severe malaria might be delayed, and a doctor familiar with the drugs should prescribe them. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have the simple, effective drugs available and ready to be used on a doctor’s advice, though.

Finally, the best treatment is prevention. When traveling to malaria areas, be sure to take effective an preventive drug and avoid mosquito bites. When you return to your home, be sure to continue the medicine for the recommended time, since the malaria parasites can stay in your body for some weeks and need to be suppressed until the last one is gone.

See Jos and surroundings on Google Earth

October 5th, 2008

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Until earlier this year, you would not see much if you looked for Jos on Google Earth. It was barely more than a smudge on the very low resolution satellite photos. That has changed, though — now you can count the trees in our yard and see the lines on the tennis court by our house. blyths-house By loading the Jos data file for Google Earth I’ve made, you can see (in Google Earth) many of the main places in Jos and surrounds: the university, the old, burned out market, the zoo, Hillcrest school, Miango, Bezer home, and many other sites. (Unfortunately, the elevation information isn’t accurate, so you won’t see many of the hills in 3-D.)

If you already have Google Earth installed on your computer, you can simply click on the link above and choose to run the file with Google Earth, or to save the file somewhere and then click on it later to load it into Google Earth.

If you don’t yet have Google Earth, you can get it (free) at http://earth.google.com/download-earth.html. I think it’s about 12 MB in size. The program runs best on a high-speed connection, since it’s constantly downloading photo views as you move around, but you can probably get some use from it even with a dial-up connection.

Example of Jos data overlay on Google Ear

Once you’re up and running with the Jos data file, you can use the sidebar controls  to turn on or off the various features. For example, you can turn off all the roads, or turn off everything and then select individual features to see. You can double-click on the place marks to go directly to them. Use the mouse to drag the view, the shift-right-arrow and shift-left arrow to rotate, and the shift-up-arrow and shift-down-arrow to tilt the view. You can zoom with the mouse wheel or the page-up and page-down keys. Check the complete list of keyboard shortcuts or view the users’ guide.

Two warnings: first, Google Earth can be very addicting! You can go view the landscape and sites anywhere in the world. Want to see what Kabul looks like? Just type “Kabul” into the search box and off you go. Zoom, pan, tilt, view the hills and roads … and before you know it your evening is gone. The second warning is that all this does take up bandwidth. It probably won’t make a difference unless you’re somewhere like Nigeria where the connections are very expensive. The good news is that Google Earth saves the images onto your computer, so you can go back and see them again without having to download them again.

Have fun!

Another Birthday Party for Joshua

September 16th, 2008

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Joshua Gidado cutting cakeLast Saturday was Joshua Gidado’s 35th birthday. Actually, his birthday was a couple of weeks earlier, but he wanted to have the party a little later thinking that rain would be less likely. August is the height of the rainy season. If you haven’t read about Joshua before, he is bright, self-educated, the soccer coach for a neighborhood team that has played in state matches, but he is severely disabled with brittle bone disease, osteogenesis imperfecta. We first met him at his eighteenth birthday celebration, a few days after we arrived in Nigeria. (Read my post about our last visit).

Back view of Joshua Gidado's house after the rainsOn Monday, I got a text message from Joshua saying “my house collapsed in the night and we’re staying with neighbors.” The heavy rain had weakened the mud brick house until one corner had simply shifted, destroying the wall of one room and part of another. Our friend Peter Fretheim of SIM’s City Ministries sent some emergency assistance and the Gidado’s are now looking for another house to rent, but they really in tight straits financially.

Joshua and friends cutting cakeThe party went ahead anyway. We had a very hard time getting our car over the rutted, muddy road, and almost got stuck, but we did get to the house. Joshua’s mother, Esther, showed us the damage and told how they had lost a lot of supplies such as their store of rice. Joshua was on the porch of another house, greeting the visitors and posing for photos with them as they came one by one or in family groups. (See video). I talked to him about the soccer match his team had been planning, down to the southeast of Nigeria, and he said it had been canceled because of the risk of kidnapping and other violence in that strife-torn area.

Women singing and dancing in procession to greet JoshuaWe stayed for an hour and a half, but the real “program” was just getting started when we left, though there had been impromptu singing and dancing all along (see video). Once again, I was encouraged by Joshua’s trust in God even in such difficulties.

A Response to Steve Knight’s “Where I Stand Today on Abortion” — Part 2

September 14th, 2008

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Roe v. Wade

In 1973, the US Supreme Court decided, in the case of Roe v. Wade, that the US Constitution guaranteed women unimpeded access to abortion at any time right up to birth. While technically Roe allowed for some legal restrictions in the last trimester, even those were made meaningless by Doe v. Bolton, decided the same day and supported by the same five justices who supported Roe. Among other things, Doe established that a woman’s physician could, with no guidelines or restrictions, use any criteria to decide that the woman’s health was at risk, so justifying an abortion right up to the time of birth.

Steve Knight says that, while he used to believe Roe should be overturned, he has changed his mind and now supports it. Here are the points that appear to specifically relate to Roe:

Steve believes that overturning Roe would be an undemocratic abuse of judicial power. He says, “the dominant narrative right now, in my opinion, is simply one of fear that suggests the only/best solution is to get conservative judges on the Supreme Court so that they can legislate from the bench.”

Response: that’s a strange argument since the original decisions did exactly that, legislate from the bench, and have been heavily criticized even by some pro-choice advocates on that ground. In the period leading up to Roe, the issue was being debated and decided by the political process state by state. Roe took the issue out of the hands of elected representatives and decided it by judicial fiat.

Here are some quotes from Benjamin Wittes, a fellow of the Brookings Institutions who favors liberal abortion laws. He makes these points in the context of an article whose overall point is that the pro-choice position and liberalism have been seriously harmed by Roe and the controversy it has engendered.

Still, the liberal commitment to Roe has been deeply unhealthy—for American democracy, for liberalism, and even for the cause of abortion rights itself.

Since its inception Roe has had a deep legitimacy problem, stemming from its weakness as a legal opinion. Conservatives who fulminate that the Court made up the right to abortion, which appears explicitly nowhere in the Constitution, are being simplistic—but they’re not entirely wrong. In the years since the decision an enormous body of academic literature has tried to put the right to an abortion on firmer legal ground. But thousands of pages of scholarship notwithstanding, the right to abortion remains constitutionally shaky; abortion policy is a question that the Constitution—even broadly construed—cannot convincingly be read to resolve.

The [constitutional] right to abortion remains a highly debatable proposition, both jurisprudentially and morally. The mere fact that liberals have to devote so much political energy to pretending that the right exists beyond democratic debate proves that it doesn’t.

Steve says abortion is “national issue that requires a national solution.”

Response: There is no reason to say this for the particular issue of abortion. One could say the same thing for crime, health care, education, drunken driving, homeless, and anything else. For better or worse, the American system is built on an evolving balance of state and federal powers and the abortion issue is mostly in the areas regulated by states. Again, even pro-choice Wittes feels that the cause should be argued in the states in a democratic process:

In the absence of Roe abortion rights would probably be protected by the laws of most states relatively quickly.

… In short, overturning Roe would lead to greater regional variability in the right to abortion, but this would be a worthwhile price for pro-choice voters to pay in exchange for greater democratic legitimacy for that right and, therefore, greater acceptance of and permanence for it.

More importantly, though, asking for a national solution does not mean much without specifying what the solution will be. Would Steve Knight be willing to accept as a national solution a “Right to Life” constitutional amendment?

Steve says, “While the partial-birth abortion ban is a good thing, I would personally support a late-term abortion ban, covering other methods”

Response: a ban on late-term abortions would require overturning Roe, which guarantees an absolute right for the woman to end her pregnancy up to the moment of birth. The ban on partial-birth abortion was upheld in part because the Court found that there were other, equally effective, ways of killing the maturing fetus.

Let’s take a bit more detailed look at the cases. First, you might think I’m exaggerating when I say the the Court established the woman’s right to abortion right to the time of birth. Didn’t it allow for unrestricted abortions only in the first trimester, with some restrictions possible in the second, and with the states able to impose limits in the last trimester? Yes, but …

  • In the first trimester the decision is left to the woman and her physician: no surprises here.
  • From the beginning of the second trimester to the point of viability (generally considered the end of the second trimester at the time), the State can “regulate the abortion procedure” to protect maternal health, perhaps, for example, by requiring a certain standard of available medical support.
  • After viability, when the fetus could live if born, the State may regulate or even forbid abortions “except where necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother.” As I said above, Doe v. Bolton established what was meant by the health exception: the mother’s health concerns are whatever her doctor says they are, including “all factors - physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age - relevant to the wellbeing of the patient.”

In reality, then, Roe and Doe together guarantee that a woman can have an abortion up to the time of birth, for any reason, as long as her physician (who may be the abortion doctor) agrees.

Didn’t the Court uphold state requirements for parental consent in minors, and such restrictions?

Before viability, regulation is allowed, in the sense of making sure things are done “properly,” as long as such regulation does not impose an “undue burden” on the woman’s right to an abortion. Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) tried to clarify what regulation is allowed, and upheld the constitutionality of requirements for parental consent, informed consent, and 24-hour waiting period, but struck down the requirement for notifying the husband. (see Wikipedia article). The key difference between the spousal notification requirement and the others was that the Court found that the former would prove to be an “undue burden” on the woman’s right to choose to end her pregnancy.

What about the partial birth abortion? The Supreme Court upheld the ban on that.

Yes, the Court decided last year in Gonzales v. Carhart that the US act forbidding partial birth abortion was constitutional. However, a crucial basis of this decision was that there were other ways of killing the baby (or fetus, if you prefer) even up to the moment of birth. Primarily, “The Act prohibits intact D&E [partial birth abortion]; and, notwithstanding respondents’ arguments, it does not prohibit the D&E procedure in which the fetus is removed in parts.” In other words, the ban does not impose an undue burden on the woman because the baby can always be taken out in pieces rather than whole.

A general ban on late-term abortions, or even any obstacle that would “unduly burden” the woman, would be flatly unconstitutional as Roe and Doe stand.

Conclusion

Opinion surveys of Americans generally show that a minority favor unrestricted abortion, a minority favor completely outlawing abortion, and a larger group favor abortion in some cases. It is true, then, that a complete ban on abortions would not be “the will of the people.” On the other hand, Roe takes the opposite extreme position, a position also opposed by most Americans, such as those like Steve Knight who oppose late term abortions.

As Wittes points out, overturning Roe would, far from outlawing abortion, put it on a more solid democratic basis. It has been said that if Roe is overturned, the US will be the only democratic country to have outlawed abortion. This is not so, since the question would be simply thrown into the political process. It would also be fair to point out that the US is the only country to have legalized abortion by going around the legislative process.

Whether you support a complete ban on abortion or a limited right to it (say, up to 20 weeks, with exceptions beyond that for serious health risk to the mother), Roe is the obstacle that stands in the way.

References:

Benjamin Wittes, “Letting Go of Roe,” The Atlantic, January/February 2005.

See links to the court cases discussed.

Anxieties

September 10th, 2008

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Luke is sleeping in our bed this evening. We got a text message at 8 pm informing us that there had been an armed robbery near a mission compound, with 4 men in a grey van. I phoned the alert to the front gate, not thinking that I should have kept Luke from hearing about it. So he was pretty anxious even though I explained that there are robbers around the city every night, and that this wasn’t close to us, and that the guards at the gate were now the lookout. In the middle of our bedtime Bible story he asked, “So, were there robbers around?” When he asked to sleep in our bed, which we never let him to, I said yes. It paid off, because he went to sleep peacefully.

A Response to Steve Knight’s "Where I Stand Today on Abortion"

September 6th, 2008

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Part 1: Summary of Steve Knight’s Position

This week I came across a blog post by Steve Knight on the subject of the politics of abortion. His post was triggered, he explains, by the fact that he was mentioned in a national news article as a young, pro-life, evangelical voter who now supports Obama for president. I hesitate to add to the millions of paper and web pages written on the subject, but since Steve and I have a lot in common (even belonging to the same mission organization) yet differ on this issue, and because his blog entry and comments are cogent and civil, I’d like to respond. Anyway, that’s what a blog is for, right?

I will try to summarize Steve’s arguments here but it would be best, of course, to read them in context, so I recommend reading his entire post first.

Steve explains that, although he still considers himself a pro-life evangelical,  “I simply do not believe that criminalizing abortion is the best way to reduce the number of abortions in this country.” He goes beyond that, however, to bring into question the whole moral position of the pro-life movement, and whether abortion is really as wrong as pro-lifers make it out to be. His main arguments are these:

  1. Many women and girls are caught in a cycles of poverty. We should be doing more to help them escape from this state. Meanwhile, we should not stop them from having abortions which, he implies, could help them cope. Having a child can be a burden to women that they should not be forced to bear. (See also point 4)

    “We had the means and the desire to keep a child. My concerns are for the many women who are in desperate situations where this is not the case.”

    Lack of access to abortion in some states would create “all kinds of problems for young women who find themselves in these desperate situations. Parents who can’t even say the word “sex” around their children will now have their pregnant teens fleeing to states where abortion is legal.”

  2. The early unborn baby or fetus (”fertilized egg” is what he calls it) does not have rights commensurate with those of the mother, or he is “uncertain” about those rights.

    “I suspect there may be many like me who have serious questions about the “human rights” of a fertilized egg.”

    “So I have to admit that I’ve become somewhat agnostic when it comes to the question of ‘When does life begin?’”

    “I would give deference to the life of the [woman] over the potential life of the fertilized egg inside her.”

    “When most abortions take place, it is hardly more than a fertilized egg that is “killed” (basically the size of the head of a pin). To be sure, the potential for that fertilized egg to grow into a fetus and into a baby is there.”

  3. People shouldn’t go to jail for having or doing abortions.

    “I don’t believe a woman or a doctor should be put in jail for having or conducting an abortion.”

    “Who goes to prison if Roe v. Wade is overturned?”

    “How do you plan to pay for all of the new prisons that will need to be built?”

  4. Pro-life people do not care adequately for the “women and girls who are caught up cycles of poverty and desperation.” In fact, they are more aligned with the racist oppressors, the Republican party. Since they are not doing much (or not enough) to help these women, they have no right to make their plight worse by preventing them from aborting their “fertilized eggs.”

    “I also find myself disillusioned by the apparent hypocrisy within the pro-life movement, which has tightly aligned itself to the Republican Party with its economic policies which seem to say to women, ‘You have to carry your baby to full-term, and we’re not going to do much to help you financially.’ It’s an almost Darwinian ’survival of the fittest’ political platform that is inherently racist when you realize the abortion rates are highest among black and Hispanic women.”

    “I’d just like to challenge you and others who are in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade to continue articulating … what real, concrete assistance is being given to women and girls who are caught up cycles of poverty and desperation.”

    “…my point is that if you’re not willing to ‘pay the price’ to adopt a child, support a pregnant teen, financially invest in a woman living on minimum wage to help her make the choice to keep a child, then your ‘pro-life’ advocacy is cheap and easy.”

    “How can we work together to seek justice for the poor and the oppressed who do not feel they have a safe, supportive environment in which to bring a child into this world?”

  5. Most pro-life people have never been personally affected by the issue and so, it seems, should not judge others.

    “To be honest, abortion has never had any real-life implications for me. [For most] people in the abortion debate, the actual people affected by abortion are just hypothetical and theoretical to us, and what happens on a daily basis has no real impact on our lives. I say this to my own shame, but also to hold a mirror up to my pro-life friends who fervently believe abortion should be made illegal in this country.”

  6. Decreasing the number of abortions is a good goal but overturning Roe v. Wade is not the best way to do it. Overturning Roe would be an undemocratic abuse of judicial power, would put people in jail, and would increase the oppression of the poor and minorities. Steve would support a ban on late-term abortions.

    “…but the rallying cry of the pro-life movement is ‘overturn Roe v. Wade,’ and I have to confess that is something I no longer support.” (emphasis in original)

    “… the dominant narrative right now, in my opinion, is simply one of fear that suggests the only/best solution is to get conservative judges on the Supreme Court so that they can legislate from the bench. ”

    “While the partial-birth abortion ban is a good thing, I would personally support a late-term abortion ban, covering other methods.”

  7. “Much of the birth control used by evangelicals essentially promotes ‘abortion’ by not allowing the already fertilized egg to implant on the uterine wall.”

I think we can condense these points further as follows:

  • Many pregnant women are in desperate situations which will be made worse by having a baby. Many are impoverished, uneducated, minorities, young, afraid of what their parents will say, and so on. In other words, they are victims. Abortion provides them some measure of control and the means to improve their situation, or, at least, prevent it from worsening.
  • Many if not most pro-life supporters are actively or passively complicit with the oppressors and, as such, lack moral standing to judge their victims’ attempts to help themselves. Many evangelical pro-life supporters are hypocritical by supporting the Republican party policies, using abortive methods of contraception themselves, and failing to help the very women who need it.
  • The question of when personhood begins, in terms of a being having a right to protection, is controversial and perhaps unanswerable. Therefore, it is reasonable to support the welfare (rights?) of the woman over that of the developing or potential person. At some point in development, however, abortion should be banned (”I would personally support a late-term abortion ban”).
  • Abortion is a bad thing but, in the balance, it would be worse to criminalize it by overturning Roe.

Steve makes many thought-provoking points indeed, especially telling against a knee-jerk, closed-heart anti-abortion stance. I’ll look more at some of these points in my next post. Meanwhile, I still don’t know who I’ll vote for!