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Tuesday, May 10, 2022

The abortion saints

- St Bride [St. Brigid of Kildare] by John Duncan.

The Catholic church deems abortion the ultimate sin. If you are a Catholic, are raped, and take the morning-after pill the next day, you will be automatically excommunicated. You could throw a two year old child off the roof of a skyscraper, and you would not be excommunicated, but if you abort an embryo, you're instantly anathematized.

The church treats abortion as so evil that when, in 2009, a 9 year old girl in Brazil was raped by her stepfather and became pregnant with twins, when her doctors said her life was in danger if she gave birth, the church tried to stop the abortion. When they couldn't, they excommunicated the child's mother and her doctors (but not the stepfather, of course) ...

[...] "God's laws," said the archbishop [Jose Cardoso Sobrinho], dictate that abortion is a sin and that transgressors are no longer welcome in the Roman Catholic Church. "They took the life of an innocent," Sobrinho told TIME in a telephone interview. "Abortion is much more serious than killing an adult. An adult may or may not be an innocent, but an unborn child is most definitely innocent. Taking that life cannot be ignored." - Nine-Year-Old's Abortion Outrages Brazil's Catholic Church

God's laws? Somewhere in the bible, God says fetal life is more precious than any other life? No. In fact, there is nothing at all in the bible, OT or NT, about abortion. Jewish law at the time of Jesus did not consider an embryo or a fetus to be a person.

And then there are the Irish abortion saints, including St. Brigid of Kildare. I first read about them years ago in a couple of journal articles - Of Vanishing Fetuses and Maidens Made-Again: Abortion, Restored Virginity, and Similar Scenarios in Medieval Irish Hagiography and Penitentials by Maeve Callan, and How The ‘Abortion Miracle’ Motif In Medieval Irish Hagiographies Structured Gender Roles In Relation To Female Reproductivity And Sexual Sin by Lora Lynn Horner. But the information is more accessible at The Irish Times ... Saints once did abortions – it was a lesser sin than oral sex

People on all sides of the abortion debate tend to share an assumption, regardless of their personal views on the issue: Catholicism allows only one attitude toward abortion, that it is among the worst sins, an unconscionable evil. Proponents of women’s rights over their own bodies often criticise anti-abortion legislation as “medieval”, with the Irish Constitution’s Eighth Amendment regularly characterised as such. And yet medieval biographies of multiple Irish Catholic saints, including beloved Brigid of Kildare, reverently record abortions among their miracles, and medieval Irish Catholic penitentialists, priestly authorities who prescribed penances for sins and were often celebrated as saints themselves, treated abortion as a relatively minor offence ....

Why bring all this up? The Republican party, if they win enough seats in Congress, plan to outlaw abortion in the whole country, with no exceptions for rape, incest, and in some cases, to save the life of the mother. Where do you think this extreme stance comes from? They will tell you it comes from God. I don't think that's true. It comes from their misogyny.


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