[Marxism] Abortion under the Sandinista Revolution (was Ahmadinejad, an Islamic Feminist)

Yoshie Furuhashi critical.montages at gmail.com
Fri Jul 21 19:14:58 MDT 2006

On 7/21/06, Michael Hoover <mhhoover at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 7/21/06, Yoshie Furuhashi <critical.montages at gmail.com> wrote:
>  > <blockquote>Despite symbolic pledges to gender equality, the FSLN was
> > fast becoming restrained in its ability to enact its progressive
> > platform. Reproductive rights and low-cost contraceptives in
> > particular became major demands of women actively involved in the
> > Nicaraguan women's movement. Such activism was primarily enacted
> > through AMNLAE. In particular, despite the progressive reformist
> > rhetoric of the FSLN on contraceptives and sex education, abortion
> > remained an extremely controversial issue.
> > (Emily S. Mann, "Familialism in Nicaragua: Reproductive and Sexual
> > Policy Regimes, 1979-200,"
> > <http://www.northwestern.edu/rc19/Mann.pdf>)</blockquote>
> > Yoshie
> <<<<<>>>>>
> Catholicism's traditional attitudes about the family had a significant
> influence on much of the FSLN. Moreover, even those Sandinista leaders
> supportive of reproductive rights for women were quite reluctant to
> confront the Church on this issue. While AMNLAE's leaders privately
> favored free abortion upon demand, they were unwilling to initiate
> public discussion because they believed the issue's "time" had not yet
> come. Result was that the anti-abortion law enacted under Somoza
> remained in place.
> About 5 years would pass before the pages of Barricada included
> articles about abortion. Among other things, the stories documented
> the extent to which women opted for illegally performed and
> self-induced abortions as well as dangers to the health, fertility and
> very lives of these women. The newspaper articles had essentially no
> impact upon the government's abortion policy. Rather, their principal
> contribution was to "open up" discussion about the need to introduce a
> sex education program (eventually established). Prior to the Barricada
> series, the FSLN had not only been silent about abortion, it also did
> not have a formal/official position on family planning. In fact,
> Sandinista leaders by and large considered increasing the birthrate to
> be an important part of Nicaragua's development.   Michael Hoover

Now, it would have made sense for Western leftists to let the
Sandinistas know that they would have liked to see reproductive rights
and freedoms for Nicaraguan women through their criticism, gentle or
sharp.  After all, Sandinistas were socialsits, and they courted
Western leftists, so they cared about Western leftists' opinions about
them to a certain extent.  But Western leftists tended not to speak up
about that.  Instead, they would rather criticize Iran on the same
problem, even though there is ZERO evidence that any faction of
Iranians -- in or out of the government, of whatever ideological
stripe -- care about their opinions.  This choice doesn't make sense
to me.

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