According to Gudorf,
the old bans on the use of contraception and of abortion as a backup
when necessary were based on theological positions that have been
undermined and proved false. She says: Christians can no longer assume
that we stand under the Genesis imperative to increase and multiply,
since to continue to do so in todays fragile biosphere undermines
the divine call to human stewardship over creation, also revealed
in Genesis. The
has, in the last century,drastically
rethought the meaning of marriage,the dignity and worth of women,the
relationship between the body and the soul,and the role of bodily
pleasure in Christian life. All
have revolutionary implications
for Church teaching
In effect,the foundations of the old bans
have been razed
Second, the Roman
Catholic Church (and Christianity in general) has, in the last century,
drastically rethought the meaning of marriage, the dignity and worth
of women, the relationship between the body and the soul, and the
role of bodily pleasure in Christian life. All
implications for Church teaching on sexuality and reproduction. In
effect, the foundations of the old bans have been razed, and their
replacements will not support the walls of the traditional ban.
that not only is contraception NOT WRONG, but that heterosexual sex
should normally involve contraception: the decision to use sex to
have a baby is the decision that has to be justified. It can indeed
be justified when prospective parents can give that baby all he/she
deserves, including an environment that is not already overburdened.
did not used to talk that way. And it is not just theologians who are
changing. In 1994, the Italian bishops issued a report by a panel of
The Pontifical Academy of Sciences that stated: There is a need
to contain births in order to avoid creating the insoluble problems
that could arise if we were to renounce our responsibilities to future
generations. They added that lower death rates and better medical
care have made it unthinkable to sustain indefinitely a birth
rate that notably exceeds the level of two children per couple
in other words, the requirement to guarantee the future of humanity.
The same report recognizes the unavoidable need to contain births
globally. That is a change. Catholic bishops were not putting
out such reports a generation ago. Has the Vatican shift predicted by
Gudorf already begun? Given the role that the Vatican has assumed in
international discourse on family planning, we must hope that Gudorf
s optimism is realistic.
By Daniel C. Maguire
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Women living with AIDS
Womens lack of control over sexual activity and
its consequences is a major factor in the spread of HIV/AIDS, now
the fourth most common cause of death worldwide and the leading killer
in Africa, where infected women now outnumber infected men.
UNFPA World Population Report 2000
Report on the Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic, June 2000. (Geneva: UNAIDS),
and 1998 Women of Our World (Washington, DC: PRB).
(To view the graphic, visit page
2 of the Acrobat Reader version)
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The New York Debut of TRC
It was an articulate and informative presentation of
reproductive and ecology issues. The audience was responsive and involved
and I was impressed. So says one of the New Yorkers who
attended The Religious Consultations auspicious New York debut,
which took place at The Top of the Times in New York Citys Times
Square. The program, New Scenarios for Planet Earth: Examining
the Role of Religion and Reproductive Health, Sexuality and Ecology,
featured a panel of Consultation authors who presented six recent
We ran out of chairs as people filled the room. Our
audience? Representatives of The United Nations Fund for Population
Activities, The UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service, US Mission to
the UN, Planned Parenthood, The Population Council, Family Care International,
UNICEF, The Alan Guttmacher Institute, The Aspen Institute, along
with other organizations and many faculty and students from local
colleges and universities.
The Consultation authors who spoke on their books were
Radhika Balakrishnan, Dorothy Ko, John Raines, Laurie Zoloth, and
Dan Maguire. The books presented were Good Sex Visions of
a New Earth Sacred Energies What Men Owe To Women
Ethics for A Small Planet Sacred Choices.
(See the Home for information
on these and other publications of The Consultation.)
Dan Maguire opened the session with an introduction
to The Consultation and a brief account of its history. He pointed
out how the Participating Scholars have produced or are under
contract to produce nine books in the seven years of The Religious
Consultations existence. He spoke of the generous support the
Consultation has had from The Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine
T. MacArthur Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation,
the General Services Foundation, and the UNFPA.
(For photos, see page 3 of the Acrobat
Reader version of this newsletter.)
Top (Table of Contents)
BOOK NEWS: Excerpts from book
Visions of a
Religious Perspectives on Population, Consumption, and Ecology
Edited by Harold Coward and Daniel C. Maguire.
SUNY Press. Price: Paper $17.95 Cloth $54.50.
Reviewed by Joseph A. Bou-Sliman for SOPHIA,
This small but intense volume of 234 pages is exceptionally well written
as to substance and form. The subject matter is one that has attracted
much media attention especially via TV. This has spurred great but
mostly superficial investigation by probers more interested in sound
bytes and foto-ops by celebs
. Such treatment yields predictable
By contrast, Coward and Maguire have gathered a coterie of well credentialed
scholars addressing fundamental human issues peculiar to the late
twentieth century. Religious Perspectives on Population, Consumption,
and Ecology could not be more vital to the perpetuation of the
human species. How few have been the piercing insights delivered by
serious scholars. The editors have remedied these lacunae in their
To bring together the perspectives of eleven major religions was a
major task by the editors. They have succeeded in their mission. From
Jewish thought to Christianity; from African animism to Hindu and
Buddhist ethics; from Islam to giant China, the topic of an ethos
relentlessly marches to conclusions.
Of significance is a chapter penned by the Jesuit, Munera, who
places a sober spotlight on the haves and have-nots of the world.
[Loys] rifle-shot conclusion that the marketplace has
swallowed ethics shocks the reader. This spawning of a new and frightening
offspring gives one pause to reflectively consider WHERE is [humanity]
going? WHAT is being created? WHO is being used? WHY is it all happening?
This is a MUST-READ for all thinking persons concerned as to
the future of planet earth and its peoples.
Feminist Perspectives from the Worlds Religions
Edited by Patricia Beattie Jung, Mary Hunt, and Radhika Balakrishnan
Rutgers University Press. Price: Paper $20 Cloth $50.
Reviewed by Christine E. Gudorf for Conscience, April 30, 2001
The various authors, most explicitly Jantzen and Jung,
agree that one necessary component of feminist good sex is justice.
Most of the authors want to consider pleasure as a component in good
sex, but for many exposed to the suffering caused by unjust sex, sexual
pleasure tastes like dessert, not the rice and beans that sustain
For example, Pinar Ilkaracan of Turkey presents
women in eastern
Turkey as lacking any degree of autonomy due to the prevalence of
arranged child marriage, lack of education, lack of economic resources
and compulsory motherhood
pleasurable sex would not make immediate
agendas for activism even if women could be persuaded that sexual
pleasure for women was achievable.
Feminists in developing nations are often unwilling to immediately
add gay, lesbian, transsexual and transgendered rights to the feminist
agenda of ending arranged marriage, outlawing honor killings and giving
women the right to reproductive decisions over their own bodies
for fear that this addition will make these other reforms politically
Other feminists in developing nations point out the risks in pursuing
only those rights that patriarchy sees as less threatening, however.
Radhika Balakrishnans treatment of capitalism as religion cautions
feminists to balance capitalisms problematic aspects against
the comparative liberation that individual paid employment
for women in many traditional patriarchal social systems.
Judith Plaskow warns religious feminists to be consistent:[women]
cannot attack and dismantle inherited authority structures for their
exclusion or subordination of women and then invoke their authority
concerning parts of the tradition that support feminism.
This project includes two very informative chapters on women and sex
in Islam, four on Christianity, two on Judaism,and one each on Buddhism,
Confucianism, and capitalism. This is a very useful collection in
terms of both the data it provides and its methodological reflections.
Feminist Perspectives from the Worlds Religions
Edited by Patricia Beattie Jung, Mary Hunt, and Radhika Balakrishnan.
Rutgers University Press. Price: paper $20 Cloth $50.
Reviewed by Marianne T. Duddy for Conscience, April 30 2001
The development of this adventurous book involved two
face-to-face meetings, as well as sharing of manuscripts in process.
What must it have been like for the contributing authors to meet,
discuss the concepts of good and bad sex from this wide range of perspectives,
agree on guidelines that enabled collaboration without insisting on
common language, write, critique, and discuss each others work,
rethink and redraft their chapters?
The conversational element of this volume the sense that these
ideas have already been heard, acknowledged, taken seriously, even
debated is exhilarating, especially when one realizes how little
room has been made for womens experience and knowledge in the
construction of sexual mores in virtually any current society or religious
culture. This is a book that is best read with other people, especially
other women, in order to allow the collaborative exchange embedded
within to continue.
While it is clear from the outset that the contributors are not seeking
to develop a single
norm, most seem to agree on certain elements
of what good sex might look like in a re-imagined world.
In addition, the book calls for people to bring the discussion of
their experiences into the open, rather than continue on paths of
silent resistance [toward] existing cultural and religious sexual
prohibitions. The authors generally agree that it is only by changing
our power to name the ways in which current and historical formulations
of sex violate women that we will effect the transformation in politics
and polity needed to make good sex a possibility for the majority
of the worlds women.
Wanda Deifelt documents the 1.4 million abortions performed illegally
in Brazil each year and the high number of women who opt for sterilization
as a form of contraception.The cultural veneration of machismo
and marianismo that preserves male supremacy over womens
bodies and lives remains unchallenged while women make choices that
allow them some level of control over their sexual selves.
Relegating sexual rebellion to the private sphere is in direct
opposition to the premise outlined by [Patricia] Jung that sexuality
draw us into one anothers arms and consequently into
an awareness of and concern about the needs of that other.
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What Men Owe to Women
Mens Voices from World Religions
Edited by John C. Raines and Daniel C. Maguire.
SUNY Press. Price: Paper $19.95 Cloth $59.50
Reviewed by Sally Cunneen for the National Catholic Reporter
The editors have done something rare in compiling such
an anthology: they brought the authors together several times to share
their work and to hear from four distinguished feminist scholars before
finishing their pieces. The result is an unusually coherent collection
offering insights into religions about which most Westerners know
little. Admittedly, the authors are from the progressive wings of
their own religions: Muslim Asghar Ali Engineer, for example, lives
under constant threat of death because of his arguments that the rights
of Muslim women are based upon the [Qu ran] itself.
The answers [to the question, what do men owe women?]
vary greatly in style and content, though all acknowledge that the
main problem is to inform the social reality of long-entrenched domination
of women with the spirit of equality that often permeates sacred texts.
In [the chapter] A Hindu Perspective, Anantanand Rambachan
provides an informative introduction to the split between Hindu religious
sources and entrenched social conditions
that have long treated
women unjustly... [women] are routinely abused through the dowry system
in marriage, widowhood, and in the overwhelming preference of sons.
Yet the classical religious texts spell out a spiritual side that
speaks of the sameness of the divine in women as well as men.
Mutumbo Nkulu-Sengha opens the window on the often-ambivalent
attitudes within African traditional religions that hurt women, manipulating
the will of the ancestors to preserve male power and privileges
Mutumbo points out that this situation exists not only within traditional
religion, but even more within the world economic order that surrounds
and affects it today. He finds in Bumuntu a key concept of personhood.
Bumuntu stresses the divine origin of personhood and the intrinsic
equality of men and women. Mutumbo concludes that the struggle against
sexism is not a charity but a duty, indeed, a matter of justice and
common sense. As wisdom of the traditional Yoruban religion of West
Africa puts it:
Good character is the essence of religion.
Buddhist Tavivat Puntarigvivat is equally damning in his description
of how global capitalism is increasing the heart-breaking trade in
girls and women in Asia, dooming them to slave labor and prostitution.
His recommendation of restoring an ancient order of nuns
rehabilitate womens dignity in the face of such oppression seems
only a small step, but the author has certainly informed us of problems
we too often forget.
The volume is rich and diverse. Rabbi Zeev W. Falk finds prospects
for a change in gender equality in the Torah
overview of the history of Catholic treatment of women is realistic,
balanced, and optimistic about the inevitability of change.
Native North American Christopher Ronwanien:te Jocks, a religious
scholar of Mohawk descent, [cites] Original Instructions
given to his people [to] make thanksgiving for all things in this
world [the] first obligation. It is the women, throughout the clan
system, who in many ways maintain and care for the very heart
of the communitys culture in the radical sense of
the fertile ground, made up of the living and the dead, from which
shared community grows. Jocks believes that technological and
economic influences have done far more to subvert traditional Mohawk
life than Christian missionaries or soldiers. Unless we stop
exploiting the earth, he asks, how can we begin to relate
more equitably to women? He is not overly optimistic, offering
only few historical precedents and ideas, but his analysis is accurate
and moving, a clear challenge to his readers.
What Men Owe to Women should be both a resource and a springboard
for further discussion. [Its] a subject critical to contemporary
life as well as religion.
You may order any of the Consultations Books through your local
bookstore, or call the publishers at these numbers.
1 (800) 328 4648
1 (800) 666 2211
Rutgers University Press
1 (800) 446 9323
Top (Table of Contents)
Unmet needs for sexual and reproductive
least 350 million couples around the world lack information about
or access to a full range of contraceptive services. This unmet need
will grow as population
year, there are 75 million unwanted pregnancies worldwide.
day, at least 1,600 women die from complications of pregnancy and
childbirth585,000 women at a minimum die each year.
of all births are to adolescent women. Pregnancy-related complications
are among the major causes of death for girls aged 1519.
65% of women in developing countries receive prenatal care, and fewer
than 30% get postnatal care.
half of all births take place without the assistance of a skilled
birth attendant (a midwife, nurse/midwife or doctor).
year, 20 million unsafe abortions take place95% of them in the
developing world. Complications of unsafe abortions account for the
deaths of at least 78,000 women each year.
least 16,000 women, men, and children are infected with HIV every
day. Half of all new cases are among young people between the ages
of 10 and 24. In most countries, 40% of new HIV infections are in
women, and the rate is rising.
than one million people a day are infected with a curable STDthe
highest reported rates of STDs are found among young people aged 1524.
Meeting the Cairo Challenge: A Summary Report. 1999
Family Care International, p. 20.
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a too well-kept secret
By Daniel C. Maguire
What is Emergency Contraception?
First of all, it is not abortion. Emergency Contraception (EC)
prevents pregnancy. A woman who engages in unprotected sex and then
uses EC too late i.e., she is already pregnant will
not dislodge or destroy the conceptum by using EC. As Jane E. Brody
of The New York Times says about EC, there is no risk
to a developing fetus if the woman should happen to be already pregnant.
EC involves taking multiple doses of oral contraceptives within a
few days of unprotected intercourse. This prevents pregnancy.
Pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg is implanted in the uterus.
There is strong medical evidence that EC functions prior to fertilization.
EC does not work by preventing the implantation of a fertilized egg.
If EC were to prevent the fertilized egg from implanting itself, this
process could trouble those holding the eccentric position that fertilized
eggs are people i.e., folks like you and me. No evidence supports
the theory that EC interferes with implantation. Anita Nelson, Medical
Director of Womens Health Care Programs at the Harbor-UCLA Medical
Center, said women who revere fertilized eggs could still use EC if
they use the pills before ovulation. Doing so prevents fertilization,
A little-known option
Although EC has been available for more than a quarter of a century,
most women even in the United States are unaware of
its existence. Doctors have been poor educators on EC. One US physician,
Edith McFadden, sees the lack of information as continuing the
conspiracy of silence about the specific medical needs of women by
a male-dominated medical profession. Thomas Purdon, President
of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, called
this lack of education,abysmal and inexcusable.
However, some areas show progress. In the state of Washington, EC
is available from pharmacists without a doctors prescription.
British Columbia, England, France, and Portugal also dispense EC this
way. In Norway, EC is available over the counter. We are not dealing
with an untested procedure.
Why Emergency Contraception is a great thing
According to Dr. James Trussell, a demographer specializing in reproductive
health at Princeton, there are about 60 million menstrual cycles
each year in which women had unprotected intercourse. For every
100 women who had intercourse even once during the second or third
week of a menstrual cycle, eight could become pregnant. EC could cut
in half the number of unintended pregnancies, making abortions
that much more unnecessary.
In a utopian world where there are no contraceptive accidents, where
sex education is perfectly effective, where sexual ardor in young
or old is always under reasonable control, where there is no forced
sex or even rape, where men and women have total respect for one another
in such a world, there might be no unintended pregnancies.
Open your eyes. This is not Utopia. EC is a blessing. It should be
made available over the counter so women can use it when
they need it.
Top (Table of Contents)
Putting it in perspective
Professor Charles Derber of Boston College writes:
billionaires today own more wealth than half of all humanity
is bigger than 163 countries
is bigger than Israel or Finland
the top 100 economies in the world today,50 are corporations.
Professor Derber continues, The corpocracy unites economic,political,
and ideological power, much as the Catholic Church did in the Middle
Ages. The Church owned the most land, dominated new nation states,
and created a global faith. With its concentration of wealth and political
power, todays corpocracy creates a new religion of the market.
From Boston Research Center Newsletter, Winter 2001
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the Activities of Our Participating Scholars
Movers and Shakers
Barzelatto attended the 17th Biennial Congress of ALIRH
(Asociacion Latinoamericana de Investigadores en Reproduccion Humana
Latin-American Association of Researchers in Human Reproduction).
This prestigious congress accepts only active and serious researchers
in the field. Jose delivered the Roberto Caldeyro Barcia Memorial
Lecture at the conference, where this distinguished international
audience discussed emergency contraception. (See p. 7)
spoke at the 15th Annual Conference for Student and Community Activists
at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, March 30April
1. The 3-day conference sponsored by the Civil Liberties and Public
Policy Program and the Population and Development Program was entitled,
From Abortion Rights to Social Justice: Building the Movement
for Reproductive Freedom.
delivered a paper at a conference on Ethical and Religious Traditions
and Weapons of Mass Destruction at Mt.Holyoke College in April
winner of the 1998 National Jewish Book Award, has received the 2000
Award from the Institute for Jewish Studies from the University
of Potsdam, Germany. Her recently published book, Abraham Geiger
and the Jewish Jesus (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998)
has been translated by Christian Wiese into German as Der jüdische
Jesus und das Christentum: Abraham Geigers Herausforderung an die
christliche Theologie (Munich: Knesebeck/Jüdischer Verlag,
2001). Susannah has also published these articles:
Beyond Heroism and Victimhood: Gender and Holocaust Scholarship,
Studies in Contemporary Jewry,Hebrew University, 2000.
Emanuel Levinas in feministischer Perspektive,
(German) Kirche und Israel vol. 15, no. 1 (January 2000),
When Jesus Was an Aryan: The Protestant Church and Antisemitic
Propaganda, In Gods Name: Genocide and Religion in the
Twentieth Century, Omer Bartov and Phyllis Mack (New York: Berghahn
Meeting of the Spirit, by the Spirit: The Relationship between
Abraham Joshua Heschel and Martin Luther King, Jr., Black Zion:
African-American Religious Encounters with Judaism, ed. Yvonne
Chireau and Nathaniel Deutsch (New York: Oxford University Press,
1999). Also reprinted as Theological Affinities in the Writings
of Abraham Joshua Heschel and Martin Luther King, Jr., Conservative
Judaism vol. 50, no. 23 (Winter/Spring 1998), 126143.
is currently a Research Fellow at the Center for the Study of Values
in Public Life at Harvard Divinity School where she is exploring
the efforts to legalize gay/lesbian marriages and to allow openly
gay/lesbian/bisexual and transgendered people to serve in the US military.
Her research asks if such steps are real steps forward. Or are they,
in fact, ways to re-inscribe and reinforce socially conservative institutions,
e.g. marriage and the military? (Strategies to distract from the need
to imagine new forms of relationships and to scale down the military
after the cold war.) This dynamic of seeming progress masking social
conservatism is a key issue in policymaking.
Mary is also working on a volume on same-sex love and religion for
a series of books published by Columbia University Press on religions
in the US. This book will be the first general overview of the remarkable
progress made in virtually all mainstream religious groups to include
gay/lesbian/bisexual and transgendered persons on their own terms.
In late May, Mary
and Wanda Deifelt, another of
our Scholars and a contributor to the Consultations Good Sex
book, traveled to Brazils Lutheran Seminary in Sao Leopoldo,
near Porto Alegre, to conduct a workshop on the book.
and Joseph A. Coray are editing Sexual Diversity and Catholicism:
Toward The Development of Moral Theology, The Liturgical
Press, 2001. This volume brings a range of progressive Roman Catholic
voices from a wide variety of disciplines (theology, philosophy, ethics,
biblical studies and social science) into conversation with official
Catholic teaching on gay/lesbian/bisexual/ transgendered realities.
Mary E. Hunt and Bishop
Thomas J. Gumbleton are also contributing to this volume.
Paul Knitter was invited to participate
in a program hosted by Bavarian State Television. The program focused
on the theology and the theologians who were the object of Cardinal
Ratzingers Dominus Iesus. The title of the program, which
aired February 13, was Die Herausforderer Wie gefährlich
ist die pluralistische Theologie?( The Challengers How Dangerous
is Pluralistic Theology?)
The program included brief bios and detailed interviews with theologians
whom Bavarian TV thought were on Ratzingers hit list
John Hick, Perry Schmidt-Leukel, a Catholic German theologian
formerly of the University of Munich, Paul Knitter,Michael von Brück,
a Protestant German theologian, and Francis DSa, a Jesuit teaching
The various interviews converged on how the Divine can be as richly
present in other religions as in Christianity. All the theologians
agreed that the question of religious pluralism and Christians understanding
themselves in relation to other faiths needs further exploration.
All were, therefore, gravely concerned about the efforts of the Vatican
to squelch such a conversation.
John Raines book, The
Justice Men Owe Women: Positive Resources from World Religions,
will be published by Fortress Press soon. The book is part of the
Consultations Sacred Energies series. John has also completed
work on a new anthology of the writings of Karl Marx on Religion,
which should be published next year by Temple University Press.
At the end of May, John leaves for five weeks in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
to teach in the new Comparative Religious Studies Program at Indonesias
Gadjah Mada University. He will also be organizing a National
Conference on Religion and Science hosted by Gadjah Mada in 2002.
The conference is funded by the Templeton Foundation.
John and a natural scientist at Gadjah Mada, Achmad Mursyidi, have
won a Templeton Course Prize and will be teaching a joint course
on Religion and Science in 2003 at Gadjah Mada University.
John points out that Indonesia is the fourth-largest country in the
world, and 90 percent of its population is Muslim which means
Indonesia has more Muslims than the combined total of all Middle East
nations. Islam is primarily an Asian religion, not a Middle Eastern
religion. The countries with the largest Muslim populations in descending
order are Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, China, and Egypt.
Lloyd Steffen. Professor and Chair
of the Religion Studies Department at Lehigh University has recently
been elected to the Board of Directors of the Religious Coalition
for Reproductive Choice. He will serve a three-year term.
Chun-fang Yus book, Kuan-yin,
the Chinese Transformation of Avalokitesvara (Columbia University
Press) is now available in both hardcover and paperback editions.
Top (Table of Contents)
Speak out now
On the very first
day of his presidency, George W.Bush responded to the will of his
conservative supporters by reinstating the ban on federal funds for
international family planning organizations that provide abortion
information. While Bush may have been appeasing the anti-choice wing
of his party, he did not hit the mark in preventing abortions. Instead,
he curtailed the very programs that prevent pregnancy. And preventing
pregnancy in the first place is one of the surest ways to prevent
Given the present
atmosphere in Washington, it is time to speak out. As issues of family
planning and sexuality education arise as well as Supreme Court
nominations, which could reverse the Roe v. Wade verdict
we need a voice to counter those who would see us turn back the clock
to the days of alleged family values. These values
were blind to the hardship of the worlds impoverished women,
depriving them of the resources needed to space and limit the number
of their children through contraception.
contact the Public Affairs department of your local Planned Parenthood
affiliate or call their New York office at (212) 261-4721. (Web site:
ww.plannedparenthood.org) This organization has position statements
you can endorse and will keep you aware of ways to make your views
heard. Many threats to reproductive rights loom ahead: for example,
the issue of Title 10 funding may put funding for US contraception
in jeopardy. Act now, so you dont regret not doing so later.
Top (Table of Contents)
Meet two new members of the
Consultations Board of Directors
(Nikki) Jones has worked in the field of gender, population
and reproductive health for almost 30 years as an activist, researcher,
and teacher. Much of her time has been spent supporting womens
empowerment and reproductive health in urban poor communities and
in developing countries with a focus on social, cultural, ethical,
policy, and gender issues that impede womens equality and good
Nikki currently works with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
as Chief of the Office for Results-Based Management, Strategic Planning
and Coordination Division, which leads the mainstreaming of results-based
management throughout the organization. She also chairs an informal
Ethics and Reproductive Health Working Group, with members based in
35 countries. The Group works on issues of ethics and religion as
they relate to reproductive health.
Before joining the United Nations, Nikki worked for the Ford Foundation
where she was responsible for funding and managing the Human Development
and Reproductive Health Program in the Philippines. Earlier, she developed
the Ford Foundations first reproductive health program in West
Africa, overseeing the Foundations efforts in Nigeria and the
Francophone West African countries, including Senegal, Mali, Togo,
and Burkina Faso.
As a consultant to UNFPA, she has also participated in missions in
Burkina Faso, Tanzania, and Algeria, with special responsibility for
women and youth. As a consultant on women and community development,
she worked with international NGOs in Mali and Angola. As a faculty
member at the University of Provence, France, Nikki taught a graduate
program and carried out research in Senegal and Mali.
Nikki literally brings a world of experience to our Board. Besides
working around the world, she earned her PhD in Social Policy and
Administration from the University of Kent based on research
among Catholic and Muslim families in France. She received a Diploma
in Specialized Advanced Studies in population policy from the University
of Provence. In addition, she holds an MA in social work from the
University of Kent, and a BA in linguistics and philosophy from the
University of Lancaster, UK.
Lauire Zoloth is Professor of
Social Ethics and Director of the Program in Jewish Studies at San
Francisco State University. She is President of the American Society
for Bioethics and Humanities. She is also the co-founder of The Ethics
Practice, a group that provides bioethics consultation and educational
services to NASA, health care providers and health care systems nationally,
including the Kaiser Permanente System, five San Francisco Bay area
medical centers, and regional long-term care networks.
Laurie has also worked as a registered nurse in obstetrics and neonatal
intensive care. She has taught, researched, and published extensively
in the areas of ethics, family, feminist theory, Jewish Studies, and
social policy in the Journal of Clinical Ethics, Theoretical Medicine,
The Hastings Center Report, HEC Forum, Medical Humanities Review,
The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, and Tikkun Magazine. She
has contributed chapters to 18 books, and has authored one book, The
Ethics of Encounter that discussed justice, health policy,
Oregon health care reform, and the ethics of community. She co-edited
four other books: Notes from A Narrow Ridge: Religion and
Bioethics; Riding on Faith: Religion, Popular Culture and the World
of Disney; Margin of Error: The Necessity, Inevitability
and Ethics of Mistakes in Medicine and Bioethics Consultation;
and Immortal Cells, Moral Selves: Ethical Issues in Stem
Laurie is a member of the national advisory boards of the American
Association of the Advancement of Sciences Dialogue on Science,
Ethics, and Religion the Robert Wood Johnson Project on Excellence
at the End of Life The Louis Finklestein Institute for Jewish
Social Ethics Ethics Section of the American Academy of Religion
Geron Ethics Advisory Board. She is also on the editorial boards
of Shofar: A Journal of Jewish Studies, Journal of Clinical Ethics,
and Second Opinion.
She earned her PhD in Social Ethics as well as an MA in Jewish Studies
from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley; her MA in English
from San Francisco State University; her BSN from the University of
the State of New York; her BA in Womens Studies and History
from the University of California at Berkeley. We welcome Laurie to
the Board. She will enrich us all with her experience and her perception.
Top (Table of Contents)
Choices: the book, the video
The Right to Contraception and Abortion in Ten World Religions
by Daniel C. Maguire. Fortress Press, June 2001.
Price: Paper only, $13.00
Fourteen of our
scholars have completed our project, Sacred Choices: The
Right to Contraception and Abortion in Ten World Religions,
funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. The first fruits
of the project are now out in paperback.
The books message is that alongside the well-known no
choice position on contraception and abortion, 10 major religions
of the world offer an equally