Conscience

A publication of Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC), this journal examines such topics as wome.'s rights in society and in religions, reproductive rights, sexuality and gender, feminist theology, social justice, church and state issues, and the role of re

Articles from Vol. 25, No. 3, Winter

Archie Bunker, Vatican Theologian
WHEN I READ THE VATican statement on relations between men and women, I passed through a time warp. I thought I had returned to the 1960s and Archie Bunker had been appointed theologian to the pope. In Bunkeresque mode, the Vatican's fear that "women's...
Bookshelf
The Abortion Rights Controversy in America: A Legal Reader NEH Hull, Williamjames Hoffer, Peter Charles Hoffer (eds) (University of North Carolina Press, 2004, 343pp) A selection of documents, predominantly culled from primary sources, that includes,...
Come Again?
The Tablet, a liberal Catholic weekly magazine published in the UK, recently described the Vatican's appointment of Mary Ann Glendon to be head of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences as "a welcome appointment." The new post makes her, according to the...
Distortion, Misrepresentation and Caricature: The Vatican's Letter to Women Is Confused about Scripture and Feminism
THE "LETTER TO THE BISHOPS of the Catholic Church on the Collaboration of Men and Women in the Church and in the World," released by the Vatican Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on May 31, 2004, has already drawn extensive...
Editor's Note
THE ABORTION DEBATE HAS BECOME EVEN MORE furious than normal. Undoubtedly the close US presidential race has played its part, but we are not simply seeing the repetition of old arguments. There are new and welcome dimensions to the discussion--not...
Is There Life after Roe? How to Think about the Fetus?
IN THE THIRTY YEARS SINCE ROE V. Wade ushered in a new paradigm in the legal understanding of the right to choose abortion, there has been little about the issue that has not been said--and said time and time again. Supporters of choice have argued...
On Making Mistakes: Whom Do You Trust?
HERE'S A BASIC TRUTH IN LIFE: MISTAKES happen. Mistakes will happen under any system, under any organization. Mistakes will happen on any issue, any question, any problem. Mistakes happen. So the question is not how can we stop mistakes from happening....
Republican Catholic Outreach Campaign Leader Resigns
DEAL HUDSON, PUBLISHER of the conservative Catholic monthly, Crisis, and leader of President George W. Bush's outreach effort to Catholic voters, resigned from both positions after Joe Feuerherd of the National Catholic Reporter exposed a sexual scandal...
Selective Reduction Redux
WHEN I FOUND OUT THAT I was pregnant with triplets, I had three options: a high risk pregnancy, a termination, or a selective reduction. My obstetrician laid-out the scenario of a high-risk pregnancy: automatic bed rest at 20 weeks, premature babies...
Storm Clouds Gathering: While the Number of Mergers Wanes, the Threats from the Catholic Hierarchy to Reproductive Health Care Continue
DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE number of mergers between Catholic and non-Catholic hospitals has been declining, the influence of the Catholic church in seeking to limit women's access to reproductive health care has continued. The Catholic Health Association...
Telling the Truth
AT FIRST, THE NEGATIVE LETTERS IN response to Amy's interview about her decision to have a selective reduction--that is, to carry one fertilized egg to term rather than three--made me feel protective of her and skeptical of the writer who interviewed...
The Benefits of Speaking Out
MORE THAN 70,000 WOMEN DIE EVERY year as the result of having an unsafe abortion. Countless more suffer needlessly and, as long as the subject of abortion remains controversial, laws will remain restrictive and societies will continue to stigmatize...
The Case for Second Trimester Abortion
DURING THIS YEAR'S SLOW news summer months, British newspapers repeatedly examined the legitimacy of the current abortion law. In particular, the time limit for abortion has been called into question--the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990...
The Choice to Speak Out
THE CHOICE TO SPEAK PUBLICLY ABOUT one's abortion is usually a difficult one. Prochoice supporters need to acknowledge that the decision to have an abortion is usually an ambivalent one. It is a choice between a potential life and the ability of the...
The Fetus Does Not Feel Pain
THE SUGGESTION OF FETAL pain rests on a false equivalence regarding the biology and psychology of the fetus, babies, children and adults. Pain is dependent upon the presence of higher cortical (brain) regions that do not develop before birth and is...
The Fetus May Feel Pain from 20 Weeks
PAIN IS A SUBJECTIVE EXPERIence. The fetus cannot tell us what it is feeling, and there is no objective method for the direct measurement of pain. To address the question of pain in the fetus, one must use indirect evidence from a variety of sources,...
Unfulfilled: The Holy See Backs off from Its Claim for Full Membership of the UN, Settling for the Rights Already Held by Palestine
AFTER SKILLFUL LOBBYING and diplomacy, including a year and a half of publicly announcing that it was considering full membership of the United Nations, the Holy See "settled" for an increase in its rights as a Nonmember State Permanent Observer. But...
When Abortion Is a Crime: The Reality That Rhetoric Ignores
IN OCTOBER 2004, PORTUGAL'S capital, Lisbon, witnesses its first abortion trial of the 21st century. The defendant is a 17-year-old girl who faces three years in jail. She was reported to the police by a health worker at the hospital she went to after...
Why Must We Moralize about Abortion?
THE CONTROVERSY STIRRED BY AMY Richard's public acknowledgement that she chose to have an abortion shows how successful the antiabortion movement has been in shaping the terms of the debate in the US. Antiabortion activists, in their 30-year war against...