Standing Up For Women’s Rights in Africa

/ posted in: Current EventsFeminism

It has been a while since I’ve gone off on a rant here but they pushed me over the edge.

My particular form of masochism involves reading some anti-feminist websites once a week. This week I followed a link to an article by R.C.Sproul Jr. You can read the whole thing here. The site doesn’t allow comments so I have to vent here.

A woman named Rachel Marie Stone wrote an article on Christianity Today that talked about a woman who works in a hospital in Malawi who praised Margaret Sanger. The article then goes on to discuss how the author felt uncomfortable with that because of Sanger’s association with eugenics. However, in this hospital in Africa there was overwhelming evidence that birth control is needed. Read the article here.

My first thought was, “You go girl!” for writing a pro-contraception piece on Christianity Today. That was not the overwhelming feeling.

Sproul:

“Rose Marie Stone stepped in it recently when she, a blogger carried by Christianity Today, wrote a brief piece in praise of contraception. That, of course, won’t get you in much trouble with many audiences. The deeper problem was that in making her case, she held up Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, as something of a hero, however wrong she might have been in eugenics. This was, in a manner of speaking, a social faux pas, a rhetorical fail, on par with observing that while Hitler had his issues, at least he got the trains to run on time.”

Wow. That’s not exactly an equal comparison.

“Ms. Stone highlighted a long list of hardships that could have been avoided had some children been avoided – mothers dying in childbirth, children laboring in difficult conditions and for long hours, sundry illnesses suffered by children and mothers in third world contexts. How wonderful, the argument goes, it would have been if the blessing of contraception could have kept these hardships at bay. Trouble is, contraception wipes out the hardships by wiping out the babies. It’s as if terrible weather came together with terrible car designs, in conjunction with terrible road design, and government subsidies for driving drunk to create a perfect storm that leads to a 100 car pile up with dozens dead and scores injured. And our solution would be to get rid of the people. If only they had never been born. That would have solved this problem.”

I have reread that analogy so many times and I can’t make it work. I read it to other people in case I was missing something. No one found it enlightening.

Here’s what she actually said about “hardships” after listing off numbers about the number of deaths that may be prevented from spacing births and from women not having babies until fully mature.

As I walked the halls of Zomba Central Hospital, I saw hugely pregnant girls of 12 or 13 years of age. I saw women with untreated tuberculosis and HIV pregnant for the fifth, sixth, or seventh time. I saw babies born too soon due to their mothers’ overwork and malnutrition; babies going blind from their mothers’ untreated venereal disease. I saw hungry children in rural villages; five-year old girls carrying water jugs on their heads and baby siblings on their backs while their heavily pregnant mothers gathered firewood or hoed the maize.

I’d maybe go more for “tragedies” instead of “hardships.” Notice who aren’t being inconvenienced in this list.

Now it is time for my all time favorite line from the Sproul piece.

“But I can’t help but notice that it is always the living who wish others had never been born.”

As my coworker said, “Yep, zombies don’t care one bit!

He finishes by saying that he wants “a good life.”

I think that is probably the goal for the women and children helped by this African hospital too.

Go to the article on Christianity Today and add some comments if you support her ideas.  The comments are overwhelming anti-woman and anti-science.