Legislators in Mexico City are moving towards decriminalising abortion.
Scott from Lawyers, Guns and Money makes the central point well:
The key question of abortion policy is always not whether women will get abortions, but whether non-affluent women will have access to safe abortions. It’s strongly in the interests of the forced pregnancy lobby to ignore this reality, because once you do take it into account abortion criminalization is essentially indefensible.
Not surprisingly, the Church is fighting tooth and nail against the liberalization of abortion laws in Mexico City:
“Catholic leaders and church officials have denounced the proponents as âbaby killersâ? and have warned that the law could provoke violence against doctors who agree to provide the service. A group of Catholic lawyers are pushing for a citywide referendum on the issue, hoping to avert the vote in the city Legislative Assembly.”
Yeah, the law could âprovokeâ? violence. Violence that will just fall out of the sky. I think weâve seen that it doesnât take much to prime that particular pump.
Itâs just one more example of the free pass Christianity gets in the media. If you want to threaten people in the media without getting called out for doing that, threaten them in the name of Jesus and youâll have your shot. People who openly hint that violence will just fall from the sky onto doctors need to be called out by name in the pressâif theyâre going to threaten people, they should be held accountable for it.
Indeed they should be.
There are quite a number of states in America where there’s but one abortion clinic, or none, because no local doctors are prepared to work there given the real threats of violence and death made against them by “pro-life Christians”. So constitutional rights become a dead letter through organised violence motivated by religion. How does this differ, materially, from the fanatics in Iraq, who, emboldened by the theocratic genie that the US released from its bottle, kill, threaten or kidnap women who refuse to go veiled or make themselves subservient to men as an intolerant fundamentalism would have them? So, too, we can see that in parts of both America and Iraq, constitutional rights are secondary to the violent imposition of a narrow and hateful morality, justified in the name of religion.
It was…impossible not to see, even in the beginning, the incipient dangers of a fundamentalist mind-set grappling with a huge, complex, and terrifying problem: Islamic fundamentalist terrorism. The absolutism of one almost inescapably triggered the absolutism of the other. 9/11 became, for the president, his second “born-again” moment. Just as a born-again Christian fixates upon a moment on which his entire life now pivots, the born-again presidency redefined itself entirely in terms of an absolute commitment to fighting an abstract enemy, easily conflated into a single entity, readily accessible to the fundamentalist psyche: evil.
Sullivan argues that just as there are Islamists with a mindset that paints the world in black and white and endorse and celebrate violence against “evil”, so too there are “Christianists” who are their mirror image. Hunting down “evil doers”, whether through the sanctioned state violence of war or through symbolic and literal violence within Western societies. But, of course, we’ll be told war and terrorism are two different things. And that clinic-bombers and those who make death threats are a small deluded minority. But where are the “moderate Christians” condemning this violence? And where’s the concern about the suffering and death often associated with illegal abortions?
Sullivan is himself a Catholic (of a heterodox sort) and his Oakeshottian beliefs compel him to oppose any form of utopian eschatological project – whether Islamist or neo-con – which seeks to remake the world and hasten the end of evil through organised violence. He also argues that true conservatives (his self-perception) should go with the tide of shifting social norms and avoid imposing their moral beliefs on others – for instance, in the area of same-sex marriage. We need more conservatives like him who are prepared to call the blinkered mindset that pervades political discourse in Western society by its true fundamentalist name.