For too long, there has been an unwritten rule that religion is off limits as a discussion topic when it comes to global warming and climate change. The new book Drawdown examines the 100 best policies that humanity can implement to reduce the effects of climate change. The empowerment of women is in the top 5. Transitioning to electric cars is far down the list at number 49.
Rather than empowering women, however, Donald Trump now seeks to punish them in cruel and unusual ways by denying them access to the health and family planning options they need in order to fully participate in the climate change process the authors of Drawdown envision. Trump’s weapon against women is called the Global Gag Rule, a construct created by the Religious Right to satisfy their own severely skewed view of female sexuality.
For a harrowing account of the impact of this sadistic policy, please take the time to read the full account of the horrors women across the world must deal with in The Guardian. In the name of humanity, this despicable policy simply cannot go unchallenged.
A Deacon Looks At The Global Gag Rule
Here to help us do that is Kevin McGrane, a deacon in the Episcopal church. He serves in the Diocese of Missouri and lives on a ten acre homestead in the Ozarks with his wife. Prior to his vocation as a clergyman, he was a business executive who worked for GE and IBM. Kevin is a staunch supporter of a movement known as Christians Tired Of Being Misrepresented, which styles itself as a “ministry of the Christian Left.”
Here is what he has to say about Trump’s re-imposition of the global gag rule. “Recently the Trump Administration activated a draconian version of the Mexican City policy. Also known as the ‘Global Gag Rule’, it requires NGOs to certify that they will not perform or promote elective abortions anywhere in the world as a condition for receiving US family planning funds.
“The Global Gag Rule is stringent enough, denying women in Third World Nations full medical reproductive options, but the Trump administration has adopted an even narrower version of the gag rule that seems designed to kill reproductive choice options offered by these same NGOs once and for all.
“Any agency that refuses to conform to the policy will be denied all financial assistance, not just for family planning but for primary care, nutrition, tuberculosis and malaria programs as well. They could cut as much as $8 billion in global funding of medical care to the poorest, most distressed people on earth.
“Apparently, this new twist in policy is to please the anti-abortion activists of the pro-life movement and other conservative voters, mostly conservative evangelicals. This is hardly pro-life. It looks more like extortion. Conform, or die.
“To compound the cruelty of poverty and war crimes with the cruelty of neglect is hardly in the spirit of the Way of Jesus. It is reminiscent of the parable of the Good Samaritan, the fellow who stopped and helped the robbed and beaten traveler where the priest and the scribe walked away, either because the robbed man was a burden or ritualistically unclean.
“My diocese has had a multi-year relationship with a sister diocese in South Sudan, and my colleagues who who have spent time there have seen a land and its people wounded and traumatized by years of civil war — towns burned to the ground, people mutilated and murdered, women and girls raped and sold into slavery. These are the very people these NGOs try to assist and the people most in need of medical care.
“Those who escape the horrors of warfare and make it to refugee camps are the weakest, most sickly people on earth. To deny these poor souls the rock bottom basics of medicine and food because a 12 year old rape victim may require a life saving abortion shows a level of ignorance and insensitivity to the victimized that is breathtaking.
“What’s more, if an NGO in Somalia refuses to sign on to the Gag Rule, its sister NGO office in Colombia, South America also gets defunded. Those on the other side of the world are punished, as well.
“There is nothing of Christ in this policy. It is only a cold, calculating attempt to punish the traumatized even further if the NGO does not fall into line. There is no nuance, no outreach to negotiate, no understanding.
“It is not a scalpel but an axe to cut away that which people find unacceptable, even though there is no direct proscription against elective abortions in scripture. In order to place a wall between funding and merely advising patients about abortion, tens of thousands of people are placed in serious medical risk. It is extortion, plain and simple.”