Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Anti-Choice: Coming after the Rights of Other Minority Groups Now.

Health care reform, Britain's recent clarification of assisted suicide laws, the legalization of Death with Dignity in Montana, and countless other countries' discourse on assisted suicide have caused "pro-life" groups to share the anti-abortion stage with anti-assisted suicide work. While "euthanasia" has always been one wheel on the "pro-life" machine (abortion, stem cell research and cloning, being the other three - war and capital punishment thrown to the wayside long ago), abortion has been the "sexy" topic, stealing the limelight, stirring emotions and raising vast amounts of money.

However, "pro-life" events, websites, advocacy sites, and churches are now giving more or equal time to "anti-euthanasia" work.

The 2010 National Prayer Breakfast, to be held in Pittsburgh, PA June 24-26, has announced that LaRee & Mark Pickup will be keynote speakers. The couple have long spoken against abortion, having elected for an abortion decades ago and regretted it ever since. And as a multiple sclerosis patient, Mark is triplegic and wheelchair dependent. From their website:

Throughout their grief journey, they confronted fundamental issues revolving around the profound sorrow and grief that often comes with acquired catastrophic disability ― and can draw people to question the value and purpose of life.

LaRee and Mark will explore reasons why people choose assisted suicide and family dynamics that contribute to such a terrible decision or deciding to euthanize a terminally/chronically ill loved one.

They will illustrate parallels between a mindset that sanctions abortion at the beginning of life and the acceptance of euthanasia consciousness at the other end of life.

LaRee and Mark will conclude with a challenge and plan to counter the prevailing culture of death.

Women have long been accustomed to the double talk espoused by anti-choice groups. They have been told that they shouldn't have to make reproductive decisions themselves, they have been paternalistically encouraged to listen to their male spouses, pastors or doctors. They have been told that choice will damage them, their families, and the social fabric.

Now the elderly, disabled and infirm are being targeted by anti-choice groups. They are told that the medical industry knows best, that they are incompetent to decide how or where they wish to die. They are told that their suffering will make them stronger and that choice of medical services will erode the social fabric and perpetuate the culture of death down a slippery slope.

Same song. Different end of the life spectrum. Same machine and tactics; new minority groups to push around and infantalize. Anti-choice groups feed on fear and control. And they are working to maintain their jurisdiction over the suffering.

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