Utne Reader Response

greenspun.com : LUSENET : MEd Cohort III : One Thread

"Immaculate Conception"

-- Anonymous, December 08, 1998


The Article I read was "Immaculate Conception". I have to admitt that it really opened my eyes as far as what is going on with Catholic Health Care systems and their impact on other religious and non religious health care systems. First of all, whenever I hear or we speak of abortion, it's always been on the topic of whether or not you agree with it or disagree and the reasons you either support it or don't support it. And that's always been a VERY contraversial topic with society including me. I'm a religious person, with religious beliefs, and I agree with Hutts statement in the article that " The idea isn't to impose our beliefs on anybody. We just want to be true to what we believe." But I have debated with the issue of abortion for many years, and I see and support both sides and their reasonings. I had always thought that I would oppose abortion no matter what the circumstance, but after years of learning and knowing of other peoples situations, I have come to understand why abortion for some people is the right "choice" for them.

The article, as I stated above, has clearly opened my eyes to the problems society and women are having when it comes to the issue of abortion and the ever debated question of "whose choice is it anyway?"

Clearly to me, the Catholic Church is over stepping its boundaries when it is imposing its beliefs on non-catholic women who do not share those same beliefs. Then of course you could justly say that those women could or should go to a health care provider that allows them to freely make their own choices, which brings me back to the article, and the interesting things I learned.

Why don't Catholic Hospitals or health care facilities that have merged with non cathloic health care facilities HAVE TO disclose all information regarding their policies and procedures which they have either always had, or recently merged and aquired. I for one, was unaware of how powerful and dominating the Catholic Church hospitals are.

In the article it states Catholic Hospitals can legally refuse to perform certain procedures, and they often refuse to refer patients to other clinics. It doesn't exactly state that that is also legal - so I'm wondering, is it? If it is, I believe that is wrong. A women should at least be given the information to choose to go elsewhere instead of no information at all. The article also tells a story of a women who asked to have a tubal ligation done after she gave birth, and was under the impression that it had been done, only to find out 3 years later that she was pregnant. The doctors had not only refused to do it because it was their beliefs, but they also neglected to tell her about it, so she sued them for the cost of raising that child. I personally think that's justice!

In conclusion, the issue of abortion is always going to be a touchy and contoversial subject. I have no problem with people having their own beliefs when it comes to abortion, Including the strong and powerful beliefs of the Catholic Church. I do however, have a problem with people dictating what other people should do and how they should feel. Many situations arise that are controversial to the issue of abortion, and a womens situation will almost always be different. We cannot possibly give one definite answer to solving the problem of abortion.

-- Anonymous, December 08, 1998

I, too, have a problem with people "dictating what other people should do and how they should feel". Sensitive people would never claim to know what someone else's circumstances are nor what combination of emotions a person is struggling with. None of us have the same background, traditions, life situations, or personality so why do some people think they know what is right for someone else? True, the abortion controversy will remain, but each of us can be true to our own beliefs without imposing them on others.

-- Anonymous, January 24, 1999

My second Utne Reader article / August 98

I read the article "One for the Planet" by Andy Steiner, on pg. 12-14.

The article titled "One for the Planet" is an article that is pushing for families to consider having only one child. Many families have adopted this idea of having just one child. In fact, in the United States, the number of single child families has nearly doubled over the past 15 years. However, this rise in single child families in the U.S. has been attributed to the high divorce rate and fertility problems (secondary infertility), in parents and older parents rather than by choice. The article is giving evidence to rebutt the negative stereotypes that have gone hand in hand with having an only child for ages now. In a nutshell, it says that the single child family is no more spioled, malajusted, harmful towards others, selfish or more lonely than those of multichild families. A single child family will also help aid us in saving our earth's natural resources ( which, I think is the main idea behind this article).

Personally, I'm not real fond of the idea of having an only child family. I suppose it might be the right choice or only choice for some families, but I'm not sure it's for everyone. I do, however, have a problem with women/families having numerous children just to have children, or just because the want to get pregnant, etc, etc. Especially if they aren't able to care or financially support them. If it really comes down to having an only child due to our earth's natural resources being in jeapordy, or saving our planet, I guess I would comply.

-- Anonymous, January 26, 1999

Brenda, I enjoyed your thoughtful and emotional response to the article regarding abortion, Catholic Hospitals and their sense of power and control. I also valued your perspective regarding the power of choice and one's sense of freedom. Certainly a difficult issue. If I may add my own thoughts, moving them away from abortion, to the sense of power and empowerment....Control is often based in some form of fear. The tighter the control the more pressing the fear. Perhaps the Catholic Church, et. al., has a justifiable fear regarding the possible erosion of their doctrine, and, therefore, a collapse of their spiritual foundation. Those who hold this fear tighly, would cling to control tightly. School systems that are fearful of having students express their own views or have ownership in their education (pro-choice) might also be holding onto a fear that takes the form of control.

Hospitals that do not refer patients on to other providers may not be breaking a legal doctrine, but are in an ethical dilemma. Do school systems refer children to other schools outside of their control, as in the case of charter schools, etc.?

Whereas the Catholic Church, et. al., tries to dictate what to believe, do we do the same thing with school-aged children? Can they pick and choose what they want to study, or do we adults (the higher authority) "know better than they?" Do we know more because we are older and wiser, or just have more authority and control? Do we believe we know what information children need for the future? To what extent do we impose beliefs, etc. upon children?

I pose these questions without answers but for thought.

Brenda, Your second article, "One for the Planet" regarding China's policy and environmental concerns regarding family size is a complicated and puzzling one. It, too, may have its roots in classism, control, and racism. From a purely scientific and environmental point of view, it would make sense to limit population, etc. However, this point of view is often expressed from the dominant culture's position, because they feel threatened in their existence, regarding resources, etc. If resources were equally distributed throughout the world, perhaps there would be different solutions offered. Also, many minority cultures believe the push for smaller families is racist in its roots, as many cultures already feel underrepresented and to diminish or stabilize their numbers would provide no real or direct benefit to their culture. Perhaps a greater inclusion of all people into representative government might produce a different solution as well. Native cultures, especially in the U.S., feel the threat of extermination, and to suggest stabilizing their numbers would be cultural disaster. China had a policy of population control by killing girl babies or any children about the single quota, which met not only ethical and moral resistence, but essentially a cultural one: the fear of being dominated by the Western culure if their numbers were not sufficient. So environmental concerns are also complicated and enmeshed in cultural and even military concerns. Good article, Brenda, keep up the good work.

-- Anonymous, June 16, 1999

Moderation questions? read the FAQ