At the same time that some American states such as Texas and North Dakota are taking gradual small steps to make abortion more restricted and difficult to get, the very Catholic country of Ireland is taking a tiny step in the direction of expanding abortion rights.  The Irish parliament has voted to allow abortions in certain “life-saving” situations, including when the woman is threatening to commit suicide because of her pregnancy, or if her life is endangered by continuing the pregnancy.

Here is what one of Ireland’s Catholic bishops has said about his opposition to the bill:

The Bill is not necessary to ensure that women receive the life-saving treatments they need during pregnancy.  The medical treatment of mothers whose lives are in danger is always morally permissible even if this results in the unintended death of a child in the womb.  The Catholic Church has never taught that the life in the womb should be preferred to that of the mother.”

Unfortunately, it hasn’t always worked out that way.  The abortion controversy in Ireland was stoked in 2012 by the case of Savita Halappanavar, an Indian dentist who was admitted to an Irish hospital while miscarrying.  She requested an abortion for health reasons, was denied one, and died of septicemia a week later.

So either the Bishop doesn’t really mean what he’s saying—which wouldn’t be surprising for a representative of the Church, and I say that with sadness—or what he’s saying has not been communicated clearly to employees of Catholic hospitals in Ireland.

Even if you are looking at this from the pro-life perspective, I would think the bill is a good idea.  Wouldn’t you be happy not to lose two lives instead of one?

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Here’s what really sucks about the Komen Foundation’s decision to cease their support of Planned Parenthood:  it forces women to take sides in a political conflict they don’t want to be in.  I have supported the breast cancer cause in the past and would like to continue to do so, without all this…excess baggage.  Most women would.  We all oppose breast cancer, no matter which side of the aisle we’re on.

Part of me says this shouldn’t matter.  The Komen leadership has a right to its own views and the cause of finding a cure is so important we should be able to transcend our differences.

But another part of me says this is just a small piece of a larger battle.  The Komen Foundation decided to withdraw its Planned Parenthood funding after getting consistent pressure from pro-life groups.  I can’t help but think that the effort to put us all in a time machine and take us back to the bad old days has been accelerating lately.  Rep. Cliff Stearns’ right-wing witch hunt against Planned Parenthood is one symptom of this.  State governments have been proposing a slew of anti-abortion bills, and we have Presidential candidates in the running who don’t even think the Pill was such a great idea in the first place.

So I think many of us feel we have no choice but to stand up against this—before it gets even worse.  Hence the head of Los Angeles County’s chapter of the Komen Foundation resigning, and the many protest posts to be found on Facebook.  The Komen Foundation is losing support from many women, and it is doing this damage to itself—unnecessarily.

I would love to be able to continue to wear the pink ribbon, and to have it stand just for that, pink and the fight against breast cancer.  But I suppose it’s a sign of the times:  our nation is so divided right now that even the most innocent cause is no longer innocent.