Archive for Pro-choice

It’s Blog For Choice Day

Blog for Choice Day

NARAL Pro-Choice America wants to know why I vote pro-choice.

I vote pro-choice because I believe that women’s bodies are their own property, and not anyone else’s.

I vote pro-choice because, as someone who is currently 30 weeks pregnant, I am quite certain that no one should ever be forced to do this.

29 weeks 3 days (twins)

29 weeks 3 days (twins)

I vote pro-choice because I love my soon-to-be children, and want them to have all of the rights and opportunities that I have had.

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Pregnant ≠ Brainwashed

John Dias:

Just when I thought that you were so enamored of the gift of life that is now growing in your womb — the inherent goodness of that child — you prove yourself once again an ideologue.

Translation: What? Women keep thinking even after they’re knocked up?

I’ve actually been waiting for this moment. I knew, at some point, someone would assume that pregnancy had negated my feminism. Please let me assure you: it has only strengthened my beliefs. I want my children of either sex to have reproductive choice and freedom. I want my children to be artists like their parents, but I also want them to eventually solve the world’s most pressing problems of disease, hunger, and injustice, and I don’t want any path closed to them because of their sex, gender, or sexual orientation.

I believe that good parenting is, in large part, about being a good role model. If I want freedom and choice, opportunity and achievement for my children, then I have a duty to embody those things in my own life. And I intend to do so.

Sorry to disappoint, John! Oh, wait. No, I’m not.

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My new favorite blog

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SCOTUS, you displease me mightily.

Yesterday, as I’m sure you’re all aware by now, the Supreme Court of The United States voted to uphold the “Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003,” previously struck down by two circuit courts. In taking this action, please note, the Court did not explicitly limit post-viability abortion – it simply decided that one type of medical procedure – the inadequately defined “intact D&E,” was “gruesome and inhumane,” and “never medically necessary,” because it involves puncturing the skull of the fetus while the body remains intact. The more common method, dismemberment of the fetus in utero, was deemed acceptable. Both of these procedures are used for pre- as well as post-viability abortions.

As Ema eloquently said, regarding a brief she read earlier in this case:

If your argument–as articulated by Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH), a sponsor of the federal ban–is that you want to ban a medical procedure because it’s barbaric and gruesome and inhumane, on what basis do you declare an intact delivery barbaric and gruesome and inhumane, but one involving dismemberment, not so much?

And since I’m asking questions: Why is a D&E barbaric and gruesome and inhumane, while bleeding out from a torn cervix is civilized and acceptable and humane?

From the same post (italics are quotes from the brief):

(A) the government wishes to ban a medical procedure but fails to define it (The uncontested evidence presented in the New York trial established that any D&E or induction…may fall within the definition of “partial- birth abortion” contained in the Act.)

(B) the government seeks to stigmatize one [procedure] as aberrant [intact D&E] and to embrace the other as “standard [D&E involving dismemberment], despite the fact that whether the fetus is dismembered or removed intact, the physician must reduce the size of the skull to complete the delivery, and that both variants are used at the same point in pregnancy.

While I’m quoting, I honestly don’t feel I can say it much better than Scott Lemieux presciently did here, back in November:

If the Court overturns the health exemption [ed: which it did], this will deal a body blow to Casey, giving states hostile to abortion much more leeway to legally harass doctors and patients in ways likely to have a chilling effect on abortion providers. (Remember that D&X abortions are not limited to post-viability abortions.) If the Court gives a free pass to legislatures that make bogus medical claims to evade the health exemption requirement, as the drafters of Federal Partial-Birth Abortion Act did, this will have the same effect with an extra layer of dishonesty added on top. (It will also send a signal to legislatures that the Court will not scrutinize the motives and consequences of abortion regulations with any seriousness, further diluting the “undue burden” restriction.) If, alternatively, the Court upholds the law pending “as applied” challenges, this will make challenges to abortion laws much more difficult and expensive, exacerbating the class inequities already present in abortion access.

And irrespective of the precise rationale the Court ends up citing, the larger problem is that, because the distinction between D&X abortions and any other procedure is wholly arbitrary, legislatures can invent further distinctions and continue to tie the hands of abortion doctors. As Eve Gartner, the lawyer representing Planned Parenthood, put it during the oral argument, “to allow such an expansion of pre-viability abortions that can be banned would set the stage for continued legislative efforts to ban other iterations of the classic D&E method of abortion, until truly there would be nothing left at all of Casey‘s holding that it is unconstitutional to ban second-trimester abortions.”

Partial-birth abortion bans involve inventing a scary-sounding but scientifically meaningless term, applying it to an abortion procedure morally indistinguishable from any other, and using the legislative results as a Trojan Horse to undermine popular judicial protections of a woman’s right to choose. They are the ultimate example of the increasing cynicism and emptiness of the leadership of the American “pro-life” movement, and the crass exploitation of its rank-and-file by Republicans (and too many Democrats) happy to use the issue to mobilize the base as long as the access to abortion of women in their social milieu aren’t affected. Congress is employing rank dishonesty to play political games with the lives and bodies of American woman. The Supreme Court may not end up telling it to stop, but it certainly should.

But, of course, it didn’t.

Further reading:

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It’s a crisis, all right.

What would you think of an organization you could turn to when you faced an unplanned, unwanted pregnancy? One that had kind counselors, who explained all of your options and helped you make the decision that was right for you? Wouldn’t something called a “crisis pregnancy center” seem like a good place to go?

Sure, if accurate, unbiased counseling were actually what you would get there. But it’s not.

From the LA Times, last month: States fund antiabortion advice.

U.S. Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Los Angeles), an abortion rights supporter, last year asked undercover investigators to contact 23 crisis pregnancy centers; 20 gave misleading information, such as exaggerating the risk of abortion, he reported. In Austin, the diocese hands out a booklet — approved by the state — that suggests a link between abortion and breast cancer, though the National Cancer Institute has found no such connection.

Make no mistake, these clinics are neither few nor far between, and they’re getting your tax money. “Altogether, local antiabortion and crisis pregnancy centers have received well over $60 million in grants for abstinence education and other programs, according to a [Washington] Post review of federal records.”

Now they’re targeting Black communities with their campaign of misinformation. They are “[fr]aming their cause as the new frontier in civil rights — an effort to stop ‘black genocide’ . . . [t]he black activist group LEARN tries to rally political outrage by touring colleges with the Genocide Awareness Project — giant murals that juxtapose photos of aborted fetuses with images of slaughter in Rwanda.”

A single statistic underlies all these efforts: African Americans make up 13% of the population but account for 37% of all abortions in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That’s a pretty scary statistic. But here’s an equally scary one: in the year 2001, 69% of all pregnancies among black women were unintended, as opposed to 40% among white women and 54% among hispanic women. [PDF]

If you feel the abortion rate is too high for any group of women or for all women, provide better education, healthcare, and birth control options to them. Maybe even fund improvements in infrastructure and promote job creation and local small businesses to support struggling families.

But don’t lie to them and deny them their right to choose.

Via Feministing
Obligatory Planned Parenthood link

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