Cholera in Yemen, Scotland Surrenders, Another Good Appointment, and Abortion and Women’s Sports

SIGNS AND WONDERS

War and Cholera. Yemen is in the midst of a civil war, but according to news service IRIN, “Cholera is now killing more people than bombs and bullets in Yemen, in a raging outbreak that is out of control.” According to numbers from the United Nations, 859 people have died of cholera in Yemen since the end of April. IRIN reports, “For comparison, the UN recorded violent deaths of 98 civilians in May.” The agency adds that rural areas are a big part of the problem: “With barely any health infrastructure or aid agency presence to serve the population or collect information on the scope of the problem, civilians were suffering at a scale much greater than anyone thought.”

Scotland Surrenders. Last Thursday, members of the Scottish Episcopal Church voted to let its clergy marry same-sex couples. According to WORLD, it is “the first Anglican branch in Britain to permit gay marriage.” The move puts the Scottish Church “at odds with the official stance of the Anglican Communion.” The decision, made by a governing church body, still requires ratification of at least two-thirds of each house of bishops, clergy, and laity. However, most church watchers think that ratification is likely. The Scottish Episcopal Church has barely 50,000 members in Scotland, though it is the third largest church in this increasingly secular country. The two largest churches in Scotland are The Church of Scotland and the Catholic Church.

Another Good Appointment. A leader in the abstinence-only movement now has a key position in the Trump administration. Valerie Huber will be the chief of staff for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, according to the Associated Press. Huber led the National Abstinence Education Association since 2007. The AP reports, “Huber established herself as one of the leading advocates of programs that stress the benefits of sexual abstinence, as opposed to comprehensive programs that include instruction about contraception. She has been particularly critical of the federally funded Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program created while Barack Obama was president and now targeted for elimination by President Donald Trump’s administration.” Democrats and pro-LGBT groups criticized the appointment, but Family Research Council President Tony Perkins applauded the announcement: “Valerie has a long history of promoting healthy lifestyles, especially for women and children. I can’t think of anybody better for the job.”

Abortion and Women’s Sports. Abortion among elite women athletes is common, or so says five-time Olympic medalist Sanya Richards-Ross in a new memoir and in an article in the Washington Post. Richards-Ross was just two weeks away from her second Olympic Games in 2008 when she discovered she was pregnant. She had an abortion. “I made a decision that broke me, and one from which I would not immediately heal,” she wites in “Chasing Grace.” “Abortion would now forever be a part of my life. A scarlet letter I never thought I’d wear.” Richards-Ross says abortion is a terrible secret among competitive women athletes. “The truth is it’s an issue that’s not really talked about, especially in sports,” she said. “A lot of young women have experienced this, like, I literally don’t know another female track athlete who hasn’t had an abortion, and that’s sad.””I literally don’t know another female track athlete who hasn’t had an abortion.” “I literally don’t know another female track athlete who hasn’t had an abortion.”

Image courtesy of gradyreese at iStock by Getty Images.

Warren Cole Smith is an investigative journalist and author as well as the Colson Center vice president for mission advancement.


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