Face Forward returns for women’s rights benefit

Face Forward returned to the main room of First Avenue and 7th Street Entry Friday to continue its mission of raising awareness for humanitarian efforts through art.

Face Forward’s mission statement says, “Art is a powerful vessel to induce change,” and one of Face Forward’s goals is “to provide an outlet for artists to successfully find their voices for change in the Twin Cities.” Friday’s Face Forward: Eyes Open event included performances by artists, dancers and musicians, as well as a fashion show.

Amanda Leaveck, St. Thomas alumnus and Face Forward executive director, has done service work in a variety of countries, but said she decided that she needed to start focusing her efforts on raising awareness in the Twin Cities.

“There is so much that needs to be done in our own country,” Leaveck said. “We need to focus our attention on how we live our lives here, because it directly affects how people live elsewhere.”

Leaveck wasn’t the only one happy with the turnout at Eyes Open. St. Thomas senior Jordyn Streater was also impressed by attendance at the event.

“It’s only the second time [Face Forward] has had an event at First Ave., and they’re already filling up the main room,” Streater said. “Just look around. The energy is amazing.”

All proceeds of Eyes Open go directly to the Global Fund for Women. The GFW is a non-profit organization that works to advance women’s rights throughout the world.

“I know that I am privileged, but I’m going to use my privilege to help others,” Leaveck said. “We must raise awareness for these causes, and together, face forward with our eyes open, to help those who need it. And that’s what this is all about.”

Kristi Battarbee can be reached at batt3378@stthomas.edu.

47 Replies to “Face Forward returns for women’s rights benefit”

  1. I wish Face Forward could have supported an agency that advocated for the rights of all women, not just those who were fortunate to be born. The Global Fund For Women, though it does some laudable work, lists “reproductive rights” as one of its main priorities, and “reproductive rights” includes advocacy for contraception and abortion, both of which cause great harm to human dignity, and, in addition to harming human dignity, abortion destroys innocent human life.
    A better agency to support would be Catholic Relief Services, which both alleviates suffering and respects the dignity of human life.
    Mother Teresa’s order, the Missionaries of Charity, does work in this area as well.
    Also, in the Twin Cities, we have Sharing and Caring Hands, which provides food and shelter for many homeless and impoverished individuals.
    There are many groups who alleviate suffering in the world without advocating for practices that harm human dignity and destroy innocent human life, and I am extremely disappointed that Face Forward chose instead to support a group that, although it does some laudable work, also support and advocates for practices that destroy innocent human life and harm human dignity.

  2. Michael, if each of these groups that you have proposed is so much better, why don’t you organize an ambitious event for each one of them yourself?  You obviously feel that you could do more to help the world.

    The Face Forward event ultimately helps people in need.  Any organization, or event that helps people is a good thing.  At the end of the day, the world is a better place because they gave support to the Global Fund for women, as opposed to doing nothing, and writing Tommie Media comments against the endeavors of other students, who not only write about their beliefs, but actually get out and make a difference.  

  3. No, the world will not be a better place because of this event. Each human being is a gift from God, and the Global Fund for Women doesn’t recognize that. They support the right of mothers to destroy their own offspring via abortion. Abortion is a grave moral evil that has resulted in the deaths of over 50 million human beings in this country alone, human beings that, just like us, were created in the image and likeness of God, with a unique purpose in mind. Because those lives were destroyed, those human beings were never able to fulfill the special vocations God had in mind for each of them, and I think that’s very sad.
    Not to mention, abortion has also harmed the spiritual and emotional wellbeing of many mothers and fathers. There’s a play called “The Vitae Monologues” that talks about the horrible spiritual and psychological trauma that couples have gone through as a result of abortion, based on the testimony of couples involved with Silent No More Minnesota, whose website can be found here:

  4. My point is that as a result of this event, the Global Fund for Women will have more money to continue their work, which includes abortion advocacy. Abortion is evil, and because of the extra money this group will get, their abortion advocacy will continue. As a result of the abortions aided and abetted by this organization, more innocent lives will be lost and mothers and fathers will have to endure excruciating spiritual and psychological trauma in the aftermath of this despicable evil.

  5. If by “helps people in need” you mean “kills people in need,” then yes, GFW is all about helping people. It seems to me that “doing nothing” would be MUCH preferable to “helping” people in that sense. I’m disappointed that this group has returned to campus — and with the reporting that so grossly misrepresented the GFW organization. Right there on the front page of their website, GFW brags about funding activism to make abortion legal in Argentina and derides the Catholic Church’s pro-life stance. How is this in line with our university’s mission? How are these people not doing profound and irreparable evil? I HATE writing to Campus Life about mission issues, because that is not fun for anyone involved, but I don’t see that I have a choice here.

    Mike does a great deal of work with Americorps and other (more Catholic-oriented) charities. His words are not empty whining, but are backed by a lifetime of servant-leadership.

    MY words, however, ARE empty whining.

  6. Michael, one more time, if you feel there are better organizations and more virtuous causes to support, why is it that instead of planning and organizing an event such as this one in support of those organizations….you spend time seeking to merely tear down the work and the values of other students? I do not know much about the motivating factors behind the Face-Forward event, but I can definately appreciate the passion and the determination that it takes to plan and execute an event such as this. Sitting at a key-board attacking the accomplishments of others, does nothing to improve society.

  7. I completely agree with Rob Gharrity. Furthermore, I read the website and it actually says nothing about contraception or abortion under the “reproductive rights” section. To assume that GFW funds those kinds of things, without actually providing any proof, is a gross misinterpretation of the organization and it’s plain wrong. How many abortions have they funded? When did they fund them? Who performed them? To say that GFW supports contraception and abortions is like me telling you that I enjoy hamburgers and you, in turn, assume that I eat only hamburgers every day and I am grossly unhealthy. I’m bothered that some people commenting on this article had to start a commotion with lack of any substantial evidence and, as a result, detract from the main point of the article. I think Amanda and her team did an amazing job throwing this all together and at least she is doing something to help people…

  8. And here is a commentary on various laws in Uganda that talks condescendingly about laws in Uganda against abortion and prostitution, and condescendingly about Ugandan attitudes towards contraception.
    Rape, adultery, and fornication are certainly deplorable acts, but what this organization proposes will not fix the problems mentioned, and the solutions this group is advocating in this article with regard to human sexuality are contrary to Catholic social teachings.

  9. I can’t argue with the sources you have provided. However, I still think this article isn’t the appropriate medium for a discussion on the ethics of the GFW. The point is to applaud the efforts of the Face Forward team, NOT to critique every little detail such as where the money is going. If they had decided to send the money to the Red Cross would you not be satisfied then? I ask you, how many e-mails, letters, and phone calls have you made to the GFW explaining to them that what they are doing is “wrong”? Or have you just been writing to Tommie Media?

  10. My purpose in posting these comments was to alert fellow Tommies who care about the right-to-life and Catholic that this organization actively supports and advocates for abortion and contraception. I also expressed concern to Campus Life in an e-mail, but Campus Life had no power over this because it appears Face Forward is not affiliated with UST and had no authorization to be on campus.

  11. It is very unfortunate that the charity and spirit behind this event has been plagued by such a heated discussion as abortion. 
    While GFW does aid organizations who provide birth control services to women (including safe-abortion services), it is not in the spirit of advocating for abortion as a primary option of birth control. The countries that these organizations provide birth control services for (like Argentina), often have limited access to education and resources regarding birth control and family planning. Consequently, these areas have a high rate of women attempting to perform abortions themselves, often ending fatally (like Argentina who has an estimated 40% of pregnancies ending in self-attempted abortions, see article link below). The aim of the organizations that GFW supports is not to ADVOCATE for abortion (or ‘safe abortion), but to advocate for education and family planning services (like oral contraceptives and other forms of birth control) that can prevent abortions from being necessary all together. 

    Considering the high rate of self-attempted abortions that occur in these areas (as a direct result of the lack of education and resources these areas provide to women) is a heated and sensitive  issue that organizations have to wrestle wit when entering…

  12. like Argentina. Lets use Argentina as an example, as it was referred to in an earlier post. Upon entering a country like Argentina, organizations (like those funded by GFW) must decide whether to provide safe services to all women, or to leave the 40% of women who have to face the decision of having an abortion out of the picture all together, and at the disposal of unsafely taking measures into their own hands. 

    Here is where I believe we need to understand our privilege. As citizens in a wealthy country we have many services available to us that help us not only avoid abortion all together, but give us alternatives to abortion once women are pregnant (social services like adoption). While these do not stop abortions all together, they do give us a greater privilege of sexual expression, as well as sexual freedom, by enabling us to engage in sexual activity with a very small chance of getting pregnant. Without education and without such services, I don’t believe our level of sexual activity would be less, but our poverty and abortion rates would un-doubtably be higher. 

    Organizations like GFW work in countries which are already plagued by extreme poverty, in which many women who have children are not able to provide for themselves or their offspring.

  13. Unfortunately, many of these women are the victims of sexual violence as well, and are forced into pregnancies which they could not prevent, and have children they cannot provide for. THIS is where I believe GFW does a majority of it’s work. Helping support organizations and movements which help women escape situations and environments that are harmful to them and keep them in poverty. They attempt to give women rights in these areas where they have little to none. This is what Face Forward supports, and why they chose to support the Global Fund for Women. 

    Supporting any organization that INDISCRIMINANTLY supports advocacy for women’s rights and safety runs the risk of indirectly supporting abortions. Because it is women who carry children in the womb, it is women who are faced with the consequences of sexual activity.  It is unfortunate that women are faced with deciding to have an abortion in ANY scenario, but the reality is in impoverished areas women who are uneducated and have little to no access to family planning services are at risk for having an abortion more so than in places where preventative birth control measures are more accessible. I commend Face Forward for supporting organizations that help keep women safe, and which educate women on family planning

  14. and provide birth control services for women. I am personally not a supporter of abortion, but I believe that before we can attack the issue of abortion, we NEED to empower women by helping them have access to resources that enable them to have the right to safe, consensual sexual activity, as well as a safe preventative birth control measures. While attempting to make this a world-wide reality, we can not ignore the women who have already fallen victim to a system which does not provide such services. The truth of the matter is that women, if not given the right to a safe abortion, will go to extreme measures to have abortions anyways. The only way we can prevent abortion is to provide education and preventative birth control measures to women, but we cannot leave behind the women who are going to harm their babies and themselves while trying, at the same time to prevent more like them. Global Fund for Women and the organizations they support understand this, and Face Forward is trying to help them move towards a goal the empowers and liberates women, which includes liberation from the decisions, and lack of resources that lead women to abortions.

    For Facing Forward,  andfor standing up against oppression everywhere, I commend GFW and everyone who participated in Face…

  15. Ms. Bouwens,
    The first line of your article is of concern to me.
    “In Argentina, nationalistic interests combined with an orthodox Catholic discourse on “family values” have historically underpinned some of the most anti-contraception and pro-population-growth policies in the region”
    So, if I’m reading what you are saying correctly, your organization marketed an event on the campus of a Catholic university that is guided by the very Catholic teachings that are being attacked in Argentina by groups like the Global Fund For Women, which is the beneficiary of the funds raised by the event you marketed on the St. Thomas campus.

  16. The Catholic teachings are not being attacked by these organizations. The article is simply laying the premise under which the country has provided a lack of education and services to women. Perhaps you might consider the separation of church and state when it comes to policies that oppress women and their rights. Please, read on in the article.

    On a more personal note, I am curious to know, do you believe that the use of contraception and birth control methods is wrong and that women should not use them? If so, we have inherently different views on women’s rights. This difference will also divide whether we believe the University of St. Thomas student body should be allowed to be inspired and know what one of it’s Alums has accomplished. In such a case it is entirely possible that you do not find such accomplishments inspiring, on the premise of personal beliefs, which is why we will drag this on for a very long time. I think students at UST should know about issues like this, and if anything, be educated about issues like the one we are discussing now and what courses of action we can take as young activists.

    Also, please note that  I do not speak on behalf of Face Forward

  17. @Dave: “The point is to applaud the efforts of the Face Forward team, NOT to critique every little detail such as where the money is going.”

    This is a little like saying, “The point is to applaud the War in Iraq, NOT to critique every little detail such as whether there were any WMD.”

    “If they had decided to send the money to the Red Cross would you not be satisfied then?”

    I can’t speak for Mike, but, yes, I’d be satisfied. I don’t love everything the ICRC does, but, critically, they are not *spending money specifically to help kill people*. This point, I think, is key.

    @Sophia: For the moment, I will leave aside the long-running debate over whether contraceptive use increases or decreases abortion rates. We’re not going to settle it here, so I’ll grant you the point. Still, it seems that your five-post-long argument boils down to, “Women are going to kill their babies anyway, so we must make killing babies a safe, legal option.” Whatever else we might say about the humanity (or inhumanity) of that position, I think we can agree that it is a stark contrast to the mission of this University.

    Passion and execution are great, but only when they serve — not assault — human lives.

  18. Hello all avid debaters.

    I am merely entering the discussion, that my o so brave wife entered, to satisfy a curiosity that I have.  Who among you was in attendance for the Face Forward show?


  19. Ms. Bouwens,
    I believe that what the Catholic Church teaches is the Truth revealed by Christ and I accept all of the teachings of the Catholic Church. Among these teachings is the teaching that usage of contraception is a grave sin.
    I’ll explain briefly why this is. In the sacrament of Holy Matrimony a man and a woman give themselves completely and totally to each other, and the two “become one flesh”, as it states in the Gospels. God then, if it is in accordance with His will, makes this gift of selfless love fruitful by blessing the couple with the great gift of children.
    The marital sexual act itself echoes the two becoming one through the sacrament of Holy Matrimony, and has two ends: a unitive end and a procreative end. Both ends must be fulfilled in order for the act to be morally licit in accordance with God’s design, and the couple must be given completely to each other in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.
    I’d suggest reading Humanae Vitae, which can be found here, and explains why contraception is gravely immoral in the eyes of the Church: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html
    Janet Smith’s article also sheds light on this teaching: http://www.catholiceducation

  20. One further note. I explained above that the Catholic Church teaches that a sexual act must be between a man and a women given completely and fully to each other through the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, and that it must fulfill two ends: a unitive end and a procreative end. Contraception inhibits both the procreative and the unitive end of the sexual act. Humanae Vitae, as well as Dr. Janet Smith’s talk, explain why contraception does that, but this is how I think of it. In the sacrament of Holy Matrimony, the husband and wife “become one flesh”, what once was two is now made one, and the marital sexual act echoes this two becoming one. The marital sexual act is also a gift of self between the husband and wife, out of which, in accordance with His will, God chooses to bring new life into the world. Whether or not the marital sexual act is made fruitful or not, it is, by nature, open to this possibility. Thus we have a unitive end and a procreative end. When a couple uses contraception, two things happen. The unitive end is inhibited because the couple does not give themselves completely two each other. They are saying: I will share everything with you except the gift of my fertility.
    Likewise, the couple rejects the procreative aspect, and God’s possible gift of…

  21. Likewise, the couple rejects the procreative aspect, and God’s possible gift of children, and they say to him “We don’t trust that if You wish to give us the gift of children, You will help provide us with what we need to raise them” when they choose to use contraception.

  22. I was at the Face Forward, show I might actually be the only commenter that was given that I didn’t see any of you there. However, that isn’t too relevant for this conversation. The Global Fund For Women does some good as we all seem to acknowledge. It seems rather arbitrary to highlight the perceived negatives done given one of their many objectives. Those arguing for the The Global Fund For Women are at a disadvantage given the transparency the GFW has. I have no idea how exactly the Salvation Army or Catholic Relief Services spend their money. Nor do I know how their employees spend their money, chances are at least one of them promotes a cause at odds with the Catholic church. What is the solution now, donate to no one?

    Having shared class with you Michael I can personally attest to your critical thinking skills and I implore you to put them to use in this situation. You don’t honestly believe contraception can overcome God’s will and no one even claims 100% effective contraception. Besides when it is genetically impossible, there is always a chance for pregnancy. I understand and respect your faith and these recycled claims do not do it justice. This slippery slope you are on is illogical.

  23. I meant to delete that last sentence as the whole message wouldn’t fit. So I’ll just finish it now. You can’t fault the Face Forward group for not choosing an organization that adheres to every value you hold. My employer paid me and I used that money to buy a Face Forward ticket am I as much at fault as the Face Forward group? Is my employer? Your only true issue is with The Global Fund for Women and you shouldn’t punish the Face Forward group for its association. In fact, every student that pays tuition contributed to Amanda’s success as she recieved an education from St. Thomas before being in a position to launch this initiative.

  24. Given that methods of natural family planning beyond abstinance are permissible according to the catholic church, that explaination of why contraceptives aren’t allowed is either incorrect, or a mark of inconsistancy.

    To James and Michael, no where is GFW endorsing abortion as a solution. They are however responding an epidemic of violence against women. The point is not to merely to help secure safe abortions because women are getting them anyway- the point is to preserve life, and women are dying of back alley abortions.

    And given what happened in Arizona this last year, I have difficulty believing that an “abortion-under-no-circumstances” stance is particularly good at respecting the dignity of human life.

  25. Brett, let me explain this a different way. Let’s assume for, the sake of the argument, the existence of God and that He is the creator of mankind. We’ll assume that as a given. Now, if that’s true, then I think it’s a reasonable assumption based on that and on the biological and psychological differences between man and woman that he created them to be complementary to each other. I think it’s also a reasonable assumption that He designed sexual intercourse as the vehicle by which new human life might be brought into existence.
    Now, as I discussed earlier, in order to be morally licit in the eyes of the Catholic Church, a sexual act can only take place between a man and a woman given completely and totally to each other through the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, and the sexual act must fulfill both a unitive and a procreative end. I think the unitive end and the procreative end can be easily ascertained by the physical and psychological complementarity between men and women and by the fact that sexual intercourse between a man and a woman is the only way by which human life is transmitted. If indeed God intended these two ends to a marital sexual act, then I surmise that fulfilling both these ends aids human flourishing and not fulfilling these ends detracts from it.

  26. Now, if this is correct, Brett, then usage of contraception is harmful to humanity because it interferes with human flourishing.

    Now, as far as the Global Fund for Women is concerned, I don’t think it’s moral to support them because they strongly advocate for abortion. St. Thomas Aquinas states that for an act to be just, the end and the means to accomplish the end must both be just. Now, let’s assume that I want to contribute my money to help eliminate poverty in Africa, and there’s a group there that helps alleviate poverty by running a soup kitchen, but they also advocate for the legalization of abortion in Africa. Even if I gave money to the group and requested that the money only go to help with the soup kitchen, money is fungible, and the donation I gave to the group to help with the soup kitchen may well end up being used to support the group’s abortion advocacy work. Plus, by giving the group money, even if for other work the group does, I am still supporting an agency that I know full well is complicit in a grave moral evil, and it can be argued that by supporting that group, I am supporting the entire mission of the organization, which includes abortion advocacy.

  27. In giving money to the pro-abortion group, one can argue that I am cooperating materially in the abortion work that the group does, because of the fungibility of money. Thus, although the end, alleviating poverty, is a good end, the means chosen to accomplish that end, namely giving money to a group that, although it runs a soup kitchen in Africa, also advocates for abortion, is unjust if one accepts the premise, as I do, that abortion constitutes the destruction of innocent human life.

  28. Brett, to me abortion is just as evil as murder and genocide. If there was a group marketing an event on campus that, although it helped provide clean water to needy Africans, advocated for murder and/or genocide against a group of innocent people, wouldn’t you speak up about it?

  29. Michael,
    The existence of God, especially as the creator of Mankind, can not be “a given” if that were universally known and backed with factual reason, there would be no point in having “faith”.
    Human, physical intercourse is not the only way life can be created.  Artificial insemination requires no man to be present at the time of conception, merely his biological contribution from an earlier time. 

    If contraception really detracted from “human flourishing” then the world would be witness to a population decline, as opposed to the current, and consistent increase in population size which appears to grow regardless of the prevalence of contraception. 
      A healthy sexual relationship can be considered a contributing factor to the success of many marriages.  Contraception allows a healthy sexual relationship, without an uncontrollable number of offspring.  Would God not want a marriage to be both enjoyable as well as fruitful for the couple?

  30. “The existence of God, especially as the creator of Mankind, can not be “a given” if that were universally known and backed with factual reason, there would be no point in having “faith”.”
    I know that Brett believes in God, that’s why I said for the sake of the argument, let’s assume God’s existence. I was using a common ground that we both share to try and explain something.
    “Human, physical intercourse is not the only way life can be created. Artificial insemination requires no man to be present at the time of conception, merely his biological contribution from an earlier time. ”
    I’m well aware of that, but I would argue that IVF and other assisted reproductive technologies, such as artificial insemination, are forms of sexual intercourse, albeit deficient and perverted forms.
    “If contraception really detracted from “human flourishing” then the world would be witness to a population decline, as opposed to the current, and consistent increase in population size which appears to grow regardless of the prevalence of contraception. ”
    Read the books “Empty Cradle” by Phillip Longman, a liberal atheist, who argues that the falling fertility rates worldwide (and he cites U.N. statistics) threatens the flourishing of human society.

  31. “A healthy sexual relationship can be considered a contributing factor to the success of many marriages.”

    What would you consider a “healthy sexual relationship” Can you define that for me, please? That’s a vague term.

    “Contraception allows a healthy sexual relationship, without an uncontrollable number of offspring.”
    So large families are a bad thing?

    “Would God not want a marriage to be both enjoyable as well as fruitful for the couple?”

    Again, you are presupposing that having a big family is harmful to a marriage. I am the oldest of seven children, and my parents have been happily married for 26 years now. We didn’t have some of the material comforts that other families have, but at the same time, we had a lot of love and I always knew I had my parents and my siblings to turn to when things were hard. We all looked out for each other, and there was so much love in our house it was incredible.

  32. Paying for contraceptive deployment is wrong-headed, to be sure, but it hardly shocks the conscience as GFW’s abortion policy does. I’m not personally going to contribute to it, but I’m not going to get my knickers in a twist over those who do. If contraception directly harms anyone, it’s only the couple involved. Abortion, by contrast, is an attack on somebody else, which makes it a matter of social justice, public concern, and civil law.

    As for the event in Arizona, Kathryn, I assume you’re referring to the McBride abortion case, rather than the surprising revelation that Planned Parenthood Arizona’s abortion-to-adoption referral ratio is 134:1. To the first, I’ll only note that, even if we grant that the hospital’s extraordinary diagnosis was accurate and in no way bent the truth, direct abortion was not the only option available. See, for instance, http://tinyurl.com/2eqga3n .

    GFW does indeed promote abortion for reasons other than “protection” of life, as evidenced by their opposition to the 2006 proposed regulation of abortion in South Dakota. Even were this not the case, the fact that some people are willing to go to great lengths, and even risk their lives, so that they can murder somebody else is hardly an argument for legalizing the murders!…

  33. Ha! TM cut off my very very last words. I meant to say:

    “The fact that some people are willing to go to great lengths, and even risk their lives, so that they can murder somebody else is hardly an argument for legalizing the murders! …is it?”

    And I am sincerely curious what the answer to that question will be.

    To answer Tyler’s question, I was NOT at the FaceForward event.

  34. James, I wasn’t clear (sorry, I’m often not when commenting from my phone which is a bit more difficult to type on). My comment about preserving life was directed at the references to the situations in Uganda and Argentina.

    However, with that said, regarding the proposed restrictions in South Dakota, the GFW website says “This would be a public health disaster. Statistics prove that when women’s reproductive rights are protected and they have access to safe and legal contraception, reproductive health care and abortion, the actual rates of abortion are much lower than they are in countries where women do not have such rights.” Now, we can debate whether statistics do prove that, but it does seem as though the intent is to preserve life overall.

    With respect to your question, no, the fact that someone is going to die anyway is not in and of itself justification for legalizing abortion—nor was I trying to say that it is. I do however think that it’s relevant information for understanding the context of those situations—if that information is good for nothing else, it should be good for a little empathy.

  35. The thing is, although Michael listed a number of charities that he feels would be better to give to, but as near as I can tell from perusing their websites, none of them are working on efforts specifically to protect women from violence, or assist victims of sexual violence as GFW does. We can argue all day long about whether or not abortion is morally permissible, but I just don’t think it seems fair to criticize Face Forward for giving to GFW unless you can come up with, or are working towards, alternatives for these women who are in traumatizing and desperate situations.

  36. It’s all fine and dandy to live behind a wall of dogma until something – such as rape – happens to you or someone you love. I pity those who must go that far to gain empathy for others.

  37. Ms. Taffe,
    I think rape and incest are horrific experiences, and my heart goes out to all those who have been affected by that. However, I think destroying a child for a crime committed by the child’s biological father is wrong. It’s not the child’s fault that he/she was conceived that way, and it’s not the mother’s fault, either. There’s a testimony of a woman who was impregnated as a result of rape, and, although she considered abortion, chose to keep that child, in a 1998 edition of “American Feminist”, a magazine put out by “Feminists for Life”, and you can read the article here: http://www.feministsforlife.org/taf/1998/fall/Fall98.pdf

  38. Ms. Taffe, one more thing. I know firsthand what loss and tragedy are like, as when I was 17 years old, my youngest sibling was stillborn at 22 weeks gestation.
    I was devastated when I learned of my sister’s death, and I’ll never forget when I went over to the hospital to visit my mother, and my mom showed me the body of my sister, which she was cradling in her arms. I saw my sister’s little fingers, and her little toes, and her little face. She was so perfectly formed at 22 weeks gestation, that it was incredible!
    I had always been pro-life prior to losing my sister, but going through that episode confirmed and strengthened my conviction that human life was sacred from conception until natural death. I knew that my sister was as human as you or I, but little unborn children, just like my sister, and some of whom are at the same stage of development as my sister, are called “blobs of tissue” by the medical establishment, and the only difference between them is that my sister was wanted and they are unwanted. In my opinion, when whether one is wanted or not becomes the criterion for determining whether one is human or not, that’s a horrifying prospect.

  39. Mr. Blissenbach,

    You can hide behind dogma as much as you want, but when the real world hits you as close to home as Ms. Taffe has described, your worldview will change completely. Not all of us can experience the perfect Catholic life as you have.



  40. Good discussion. It seems that only two are on the right side of this issue, that is the side of Church teaching. And what in the name of God is a “safe abortion”? SAFE FOR WHOM? The baby gets killed!!! Sorry, this organization is on the list to be avoided by its own admission. Those pick-and-choosers who want to support it are treading in dangerous waters. Our Church teaches the Truth (“I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”) and it is always safe to stay as close to that as we can.

  41. It seems that most of these comments are arguing the morality of this organization based on Church teaching.  I think that some of us have forgotten that only about 50% of St. Thomas’ student population claims to be Catholic.  Yes, it is a Catholic institution, but this in no way holds all of the students (aka customers) of the University to the teachings of the Catholic church.  

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