Screenshot_2014-12-17-17-45-40These two stories just happen to come up side by side in my Facebook newsfeed and I was struck by the disparity between our severely commercialized holiday season and other countries, other people, who are never safe and face atrocities such as this on a regular basis.

ISIS executes 150 women for refusing to marry militants and buries them in mass graves, but you can get up to 50% off in-store!

We will never be able to right all the wrongs of the world, but stories like this make you realize just how far we still have to go in at least trying to achieve a decent, just and humane planet.

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pastor wants women to shut up in church and quit being whores

image1Source article

Source article

These articles are very short reads, coupled with footage from several rather conservative sermons this guy has given. Both the writer and the readers are justifiably outraged about his comments and the understanding of women and their “placement” that he demonstrates. It’s hard to swallow religious crazy.

But while most of the outrage seems to be over the fact that he’s talking about this super old-fashioned and extremely limiting understanding of women, my disgust is directed in a different direction. What he’s saying, he’s pulling from the bible, the actual holy book of Christianity. Yes, it sounds boorish, stupid and downright sexist. Guess what? That’s the holy book that any self-identifying Christian is upholding. And if you’re going to pick and chose which parts you want to follow, doesn’t that kind of eliminate the whole, “God wrote this book so it’s holy” thing?

This is a huge part of why I left Christianity as a teenager. This guy is a misogynistic jerk, but then so is the supposed god he gets his information from.

WC

what every american should know about the “biblical” definitions of marriage

AttackThere have been a lot of good articles floating around on Forward Progressive lately, but this one really struck home for me. As a former Christian, this article highlights one of my biggest issues with the bible – inconsistencies and the not so nice reality of that time period.  It would be one thing if the Christians regarded the book as a historical document, but to hold it up as THE holy book, and scream that every word is god-inspired when there are so many horrible things (and things that often conflict with each other) is frustrating. You realize your holy book condones having slaves, don’t you? And murder. And rape. And rapists having the right to marry their victims, because the father of the girl lost out on selling her virginity.

woman dies after being denied abortion by irish hospital

This article was originally posted on Ms. Magazine’s website.

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Feminists and pro-choice politicians are calling for an urgent revamp of Irish abortion law after the death of Savita Halappanavar, a 31-year-old dentist who died in the Republic of Ireland after doctors refusedto terminate her pregnancy. Halappanavar went to University Hospital Galway on October 21 and was found to be miscarrying, but doctors refused to induce an abortion as long as a fetal heartbeat was present.

Halappanavar’s husband, Praveen, claims his wife requested an abortion several times but was told, “This is a Catholic country.” She spent several days “in agony” before the fetal heartbeat stopped and doctors removed the dead fetus, and then died in the intensive care unit of the hospital from septicemia. Investigations into Halappanavar’s death will now be held by Ireland’s health executive and by the hospital itself.

Abortion law in the Republic of Ireland last came under international scrutiny when the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that the law violated the rights of a woman forced to travel to England to obtain an abortion. The court stated that the woman’s treatment violated her right to a private and family life–similar to the legal basis for Roe v. Wade. However, no changes have been implemented in Irish abortion law since the 2010 ruling, and it appears that legislators’ slowness to act has now claimed its first victim.

Even though the Irish Medical Council states that abortion may be performed if “there is real and substantial risk to the life (as distinct from the health) of the mother,” the reality is that decisions are left to the discretion of individual doctors. The ECHR found “a lack of effective procedure in the Irish Republic for [a woman] to determine her right to an abortion,” whereby women are not necessarily informed of their right to an abortion in life-threatening cases.

More worryingly, a conference of Irish medical professionals held just six weeks before Halappanavar’s death claimed that “direct abortion is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman.” Today’s news runs in direct contradiction to these doctors’ conclusion that “the prohibition of abortion does not affect, in any way, the availability of optimal care to pregnant women.”

While provoking heated debate about the need for Ireland to overhaul its 151-year-old abortion law, Halappanavar’s needless death may also serve as a warning of things to come if Ohio’s fetal heartbeat bill passes. As opponents point out, despite an exception to save the mother’s life, the bill would mean doctors have to wait until a woman is gravely ill before being certain that they can perform an abortion without prosecution.

And as we can see from this case in Ireland, there can be no waiting. There can be no obstruction to a woman’s right to abort a non-viable fetus. Because when there is, women can die.

Photo from 2012 pro-choice rally in Dublin by Flickr user informatique under license from Creative Commons 2.0