Saturday, December 11, 2010

Antis Will Not Take Responsibility.

This post was originally posted on

Antichoicers are always talking about how women need to take responsibility. They say women should take responsibility for avoiding pregnancy either by not having sex or using contraceptives (though only a few mention the latter). They say women who are pregnant have to take responsibility by carrying to term (never mind that having an abortion is taking responsibility). They attack women who they deem have not taken responsibility (women who abort, women who get pregnant, women who get pregnant while taking birth control, etc).

But do antichoicers apply their strict brand of responsibility to themselves? Of course not.

Some anti-choicers and anti-choice groups have decided to attack Dr. Carhart as he works in a Maryland clinic. Their goal is to have Dr. Carhart kicked out of the building by the other businesses there because of the protesting. The anti-choicers figure if they hurt the other businesses enough by making a big deal with their fake abortion pictures, the businesses will think it is Dr. Carhart’s fault and ask him to leave.

But we all know, the actions and signs of the protestors are not Dr. Carhart’s fault. He did not force any of the protestors to stand outside his clinic. This is simply a case of the anti-choicers refusing to take responsibility. They even practically say so themselves!

“Mahoney said he’s not bringing unwanted attention to Germantown and all of Maryland, instead pointing the finger at Carhart.”


“Pointing the finger at Carhart.” The anti-choicers are acting like children, pointing their finger and saying “it’s his fault!” even when they are to blame. They refuse to acknowledge that THEY are the ones bringing unwanted attention to the building complex. They refuse to take responsibility for the fact that THEY are the ones waving giant fake abortion pictures all over, making people uncomfortable. If the women of Maryland did not want Dr. Carhart’s services, he would not be there. But they do need his services, and he is there- quietly and respectfully, inside the clinic.

Anti-choicers need to take responsibility for their actions, and own up to the fact that they are the ones causing all the chaos in Maryland. Anti-choicers are the ones who are harming women trying to obtain a legal medical procedure.

Who Deserves to Have a Baby?

This post was originally written on November 30th, 2010 for

It’s always interesting to look into the mind of an anti and see what they believe. The latest thing I’ve noticed is that antis have a very, very strange view of who will make good parents. Many antichoice harassers will stand outside a clinic and tell any woman walking in (whether there for a pap or an abortion consult) that she would make a great mom. They tell her she deserves to be a mother and will instantly fall in love at birth.

Yet at the same time, a woman with a wanted pregnancy who has gone through fertility issues and miscarriages, who has researched the development of her fetus and given him a name, who has never stepped foot in or near a clinic- this woman they believe would make a horrible mother. So horrible in fact that they think her infant, once born, should be removed from her and placed up for adoption. Others have suggested that the mother has an emotional or mental illness that needs to be looked into.

For instance, Kristen on JillStanek’s post says
“I think they should give the baby up for adoption – they are obviously not good parents.”

Aengus O’Shaughnessy replies,
“Kristen, you are absolutely correct–these people should give the poor child to someone who will raise it properly.”

Jennifer agrees:
“The bottom line is these people are already terrible, terrible parents and they don’t deserve this baby. Lord Jesus, have mercy on this innocent child and save him from his own parents. How sick and disgusting this is.”

What made antichoicers hate this Glenn-Beck-loving woman so much that they want to take her child away by force? The simply fact that her husband put up a hoax website inviting people to vote on whether they would abort the pregnancy or not. Both prochoice and antichoice [Warning, link is to Jill Stanek] websites have proven the vote is a hoax. The couple wants people to consider how important voting is.

While I can understand an antichoicer being upset about voting on abortion, I cannot wrap my mind around the idea that anti-choicers believe it is worse than actually going to get an abortion. The only answer which looks logical from my point of view is that antis do not really want women who abort to be moms- they’re just so desperate to avoid abortion that they’ll lie to women at the clinic. This idea,unfortunately, does not lack proof.

A number of women, including young women, have been forced and coerced into adoption by antichoice organizations. These organizations belittle and mentally abuse pregnant women into thinking they are worthless and unable to be mothers. They lie to women about being unable to care for an infant without a college education, a full time job, or a family to back her up (only, of course, after she’s passed the legal limit to abort).

The truth is anti-choicers don’t want pro-choice people or women who abort or even women who have considered abortion to be parents. They believe these people don’t deserve to be mothers or fathers and should have their children taken away, to be given to a “better” family.

Regardless of who the anti-choicers believe are acceptable parents, their wish that pro-choice people not be allowed to have children is cruel and wrong. Women deserve to be mothers when they want to be mothers, and not forced to give up a child just because they’re poor or uneducated or not Caucasian. Choosing to parent is just that- a parent’s choice. No one should have the right to deny a person their choice to parent.

Birth Control Matters

This post was originally written on November 9th, 2010 for

The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear was labeled a comedy event. But for some of the attendants, it was a chance to get out their message and find more support among the general public.

Planned Parenthood was one such group. Now, if you were anti-choice, you might think Planned Parenthood was out there promoting abortion. The truth is, Planned Parenthood was out there doing work which will ultimately prevent abortions. Planned Parenthood was trying to get more support for birth control. And not just any birth control, but free birth control!

Planned Parenthood currently has a campaign running called “Birth Control Matters.” This is a petition in favor of birth control being available for FREE under the new health care law. The health care bill has a prevention provision which requires new insurance plans to cover preventative health care for free. This is the perfect spot for birth control coverage- because birth control prevents unplanned and unwanted pregnancies.

Lots of people were wearing the Planned Parenthood “BC Matters” sticker at the rally, even though the crowd far exceeded expectations. You can see one such gentleman wearing the sticker here.

The Reproductive Rights movement isn’t just about abortion. While a legal right to obtain birth control is very important, Planned Parenthood reminds us that a legal right doesn’t help someone who can’t afford their prescription. Birth control can be expensive. Some people pay $900 or more without insurance. With insurance, people can still be paying $200 or more for pills. For a single mom who’s working two jobs just to pay the rent and feed her children, that might be too much money. For a teenager who’s parents wont let her have a job, that might be too much money. For a middle aged women who just lost her job, that might be too much money.

Planned Parenthood cares about women. If you do as well, I’d like to request that you take two seconds and sign the Birth Control Matters petition.

Anti-Choicers Live Outside of Reality

This post was originally written on October 20th, 2010 for

Sometimes, when you have two different groups of people on different sides of an issue, you can explain their differences by saying that they come from different backgrounds or that they start off with a different set of assumptions. Unfortunately, that is not the case in the issue of abortion.

The differences among prochoicers and antichoicers is whether one supports and lives in reality or not.*

Of course, this has been obvious for a long time. One very common anti=choice lie which has no base in reality is claiming that abortion is murder. Abortion is clearly not murder but that wont stop anti-choicers from claiming it is- over and over and over. This is an obvious separation from reality. Even when given the facts, which clearly demonstrate that abortion is not murder, they will still disagree.

Another anti-choice claim that is false is that the majority of (if not all) women regret their abortions. Now, anti-choicers not only ignore the established fact that most women feel relief and not regret after an abortion, but they’ve even gone ahead and tried to make their own reality by publishing non-reviewed articles on their websites and blogs.

There are other anti-choice beliefs which obviously have no place in the real world- like the idea that all pro-choice women hate babies, or all pro-choice women abort.

But recently, anti-choicers* have gone even farther. There is a website that I’ve recently learned about called Ignore Roe. The concept is, as stated, that they believe everyone should just ignore Roe v Wade- as if it never happened. Via their homepage:

We begin with the premise that abortion is not legal, and can never BE legal, because abortion is the taking of innocent life, i.e. murder. Murder can never be legalized.

Just like that- taking reality and making it disappear. Or trying, at least. Thankfully, most anti-choicers (at least the ones I know) recognize that abortion is currently legal (even if they hate the fact). But the question is will this movement of ignoring established law spread?

Antichoice clinic harassers constantly ignore law, like the FACE Act. Will they be the first ones to ignore Roe? Or have they already? The murderers among the clinic harassers, such as Roeder, seemed to have decided to ignore Roe and take the law into their own hands.

How can anti-choicers be convinced to live in reality, and to accept reality? Factual evidence will not work unless the opposition is willing to accept real facts. Rational, logical discussion does not work unless both people or groups are willing to accept reality.

* Obviously this does not apply to every single individual antichoicer.

Live-Tweeting an Abortion

This post was written on September 30th, 2010 for

It’s time to welcome abortion into the public world.

What? Abortion is already in the public world, you say? Politicians have positions on it, activists blog about it and laws are made yearly to restrict it.

Well, now abortion is getting even more personal. A couple of women have decided that writing about their experience on websites like or just isn’t cutting it. They have decided, instead, to tweet their abortion experience.

Being able to tweet your abortion is fairly new. As more and more women opt to use mifepristone, the abortion pill, instead of a surgical abortion, there is more of an option to share what is happening. Of course, it isn’t just the abortion itself which these brave women are sharing, but also the process.

A new twitter account called AbortionReality has just shown up, to take us through the process of obtaining and having an abortion. Already she has tweeted about the difficulty of finding the funds to afford an abortion, as well as locating a clinic which provides abortions. Another user, antitheistangie, was the first to publicly tweet her abortion. Now AbortionReality follows her down this public path.

No doubt, there will be many different reactions to people reading her tweets. Antichoicers are already trying to convince her not to have an abortion. Ironically, they are telling her “don’t just listen to one side.” At the same time, they refuse to accept her reasoning (which she shouldn’t even have to give). Prochoicers, from what I have seen, have mostly been giving her support. Which is great because regardless of our political views or job or marital status, women who have abortions are women who need support from the prochoice community. 1 in 3 US women have an abortion sometime in their lifetimes, but it’s not a label worn on the sleeve most of the time. Pro-choice activists can fill that gap by supporting women who are open about their abortions.

But not every prochoicer feels the same way. Some pro-choice folks keep to the philosophy that abortion is a personal, private matter- and therefore it shouldn’t be shared on the internet publically. I absolutely believe that these people have a right to their opinions. I also think they can still support women who abort while wishing they kept it private.

I personally think that tweeting an abortion can be a great way to show people outside the prochoice movement how difficult it is to obtain an abortion. Recent surveys show that many people believe it’s too easy obtain an abortion right now. We need to show the reality and educate people. Between the Hyde Amendment, blocks on insurance paying for abortions, waiting periods, forced ultrasounds and sidewalk harassment, many women find it extremely difficult to obtain a legal abortion. That’s why some people are turning to DIY abortions- with cow medication or trying to fall down stairs. These types of things need to be prevented by stopping and removing the outrageous and unnecessary restrictions on abortion.

The first step to remove them is to open up the eyes of the public. AbortionReality is doing just that.

College-Bound Feminists

This post was written September 7th 2010 for and is being listed here so that I may keep track of my own posts

YOU are what a young feminist looks like. And it’s that time of year again- when our young feminist friends head off to college. So here are a few tips for those heading to their dorm, whether it be for the first time or the fourth.

After going to school with the same people through elementary, middle and high school, college can be both a breath of fresh air and a strange new environment. While everyone at home might know you’re a die-hard feminist, you might choose to not shove your feminism down the throat of could-be friends at college. So here are some ways to share your feminism without making your new friends choke on it.

1. Get a Planned Parenthood magnet/business card and stick it on your fridge.

This is helpful in so many ways. First, getting a magnet means that you have to know where your local Planned Parenthood is. This means you’ll have an easier time getting there if you need to go for another reason (no being late for appointments because you got lost!). Putting a magnet on your fridge allows any friend who comes over to your dorm/apartment to notice it any time they go to the fridge to get a drink. This will allow them to know that you support Planned Parenthood, but they don’t have to have a discussion with you unless they choose to bring it up. As an added bonus, if your friend who sees the magnet knows someone else who might need Planned Parenthood’s service, they might be able to suggest PP to that person where as they previously wouldn’t have thought about it.

2. Like Planned Parenthood or NARAL or other prochoice women’s groups on facebook.

What do people do after meeting someone new at college? Of course, they go home and look that person up on facebook. You can learn a lot about a person by looking at their facebook page these days. Let your new friends know that you support prochoice groups without bringing it up when you first meet. It’s a great way to start a conversation without actually putting yourself in an awkward place!

3. Wear a prochoice or feminist button on your backpack.

The ” I <3 prochoice boys” shirt is great, but it may be a bit forward for you on the first day of classes. A button on your backpack lets you show that you support equality for women without making it the only thing people remember about you. Even nicer, someone walking behind you who sees your button might strike up conversation and become your best friend, where previously you would have only passed in the hallway.

There you go- three easy ways to share the fact that you’re a young feminist without alienating anyone. Do you, young feminist readers, have any other ideas?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Supporting Pregnant Teens/ Teen Moms

Pregnant teens or teen moms need support.

And no, I am not encouraging teens to have babies.

I am always surprised when I come across people who think that supporting pregnant teens/teen moms means encouraging teens to get pregnant. Why is it so difficult for us to understand this difference?

Of course, the first issue here is that Teen Pregnancy Is Bad (tm). Therefore, whenever a person talks about teens being pregnant or having kids, they always feel the need to put that young woman into a negative position or say negative things about her. Because in their eyes, she's done something wrong by becoming pregnant.

Maybe being pregnant as a teen is wrong. It's certainly not healthy on a massive population scale. But neither of these facts are going to help young women who are already on a path towards teen motherhood.

Because Teen Pregnancy Is Bad (tm), people will turn any discussion about pregnant teens towards preventing teen pregnancy. Which is a good thing, in theory. In practice, it means that young women who are already pregnant are getting no support.

For instance, if someone says that we should support teen moms, or have a group for teen moms to get together to support each other, someone is bound to bring up condoms.

Poloyatonki - 10 hours ago

Tracy….Are you encouraging teen pregnancy? Lets just educate them to use a condom….

This above quote is from the article Supporting Teen Moms, in which the author wants to start up a support group for teen moms to get together and chat.

I hate that I have to ask this, but does a condom help a young woman who is already pregnant avoid pregnancy? No. This tactic reminds me of the antichoicers suggesting that pregnant women looking for abortions should just keep their legs closed (and not have sex). Great advice, but unless you've got a time machine to go with it, you're not helping anyone.

In business, companies can separate their customer base into different target markets. When dealing with teenagers, we should be able to do the same. Teens who are already pregnant and planning to parent or teen moms are one target market. This market is where the support needs to be sent to. Teens that are not pregnant and not parents are a second target market where the focus of contraceptive education should be pushed. Why is this such a hard idea for people to understand?

Of course, people may response that non-pregnant teens might see the support teen moms have, and decide that teen pregnancy isn't all that bad. While this may sound dangerous, I doubt an overwhelming number of teens are going to see teen parenting as "cool" or "fun" just because teen moms get some support. Besides that, teen parents should not be treated harshly or punished just to send a message to teens who aren't parents.

Pregnant women and mothers need to have a supportive environment whether they are teenagers or forty years old. And that support needs to be a lot more helpful than "use a condom..."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

40 Days for Lies- Make it Do Good

Are you tired of 40 Days for Life [read: Lies]? Do you want to create some sort of good out of the antichoice harassment happening at clinics around the country?

Well then, let's do it! I've dedicated this post to keeping track of how much money we can raise in the name of 40 Days for "Life" (aka Lies). There are many different ways you can donate!

You could donate to a clinic in North Dakota.
Or you could donate to the EMA fund in Massachusetts.
There's also the Make a Difference Fund in San Diego, California (which has a clinic being attacked by the 40 days).
The New York Abortion Access Fund has been very low on funds lately.

There are so many more than just those! If you want to pick one closer to home, you can look at the list of abortion funds or you could just donate to the National Network of Abortion funds and they'll be sure to put the money to good use.

The other option you have is donating to Planned Parenthood. Their donations are being matched up until election day, up to $100,000.

WentRogue is the first to donate (and my inspiration for this post). Will you step up and be number 2? If you donate, please leave a comment here, and then spread the word to others!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Antichoicers wont let HIV+ women have families.

We learned that the people pushing for anti-abortion laws are actually pushing for forced abortion and c-section laws; they are one and the same.

"Why We Marched"

This quote is very important because it tells us the truth about antichoicers. Their goal is not to prevent abortions, but to control women. One way to control women is to deny them the right and ability to abort. Another way to control women is to tell certain groups of women that they cannot have sex and or cannot get pregnant and have a child.

I recently learned that a couple of the antichoicers on twitter believe that it is wrong for a woman who is HIV+ to choose to get pregnant and have a baby. This surprised me, because antis are so often talking about babies as miracles and the best thing about life.

It seems not everyone is allowed to enjoy the best part of life.

One of the antis said that a couple who is HIV+ should just refrain from having sex (or at least that's how they came across). I believe it's perfectly acceptable for people to refrain from having sex; if that is what they want to do. But what about the couple who wants to have sex? Why shouldn't they be "allowed," like all other consenting adults on the planet, to have sex? The other anti said that the risk of HIV transmission to a fetus/baby was too great to risk getting pregnant, but then said that a couple could still have sex. If the risk is too big to risk pregnancy, and sex has a risk of pregnancy, I'm not sure how you can hold those two views together.

But what I really don't understand, is where antichoicers got the idea that they could tell other people they couldn't have kids and expand their families. Women and men with HIV shouldn't be punished just for having HIV. If they want to start families, they should have every right to do so- in as safe a situation as possible! Teaching people with HIV that there's a stigma against them isn't going to encourage them to seek out treatment or reveal their HIV+ status to their doctors.

I'm sure other people are worried about risk of HIV transfer. I hadn't done much research myself, but @ashleyrebeccah was nice enough to share a link with me.

Antiretroviral therapy administered to the mother during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and then to the newborn, as well as elective cesarean section for women with high viral loads (more than 1,000 copies/ml), can reduce the rate of perinatal HIV transmission to 2% or less [12]

"Mother-to-Child (Perinatal) HIV Transmission and Prevention"

This means that as long as the mother knows she is HIV+, the risk of HIV transmission is 2% or less.

I'm sure some people will think that's too big of a risk to take. But for other people, perhaps people with HIV, that's not too big of a risk to take.

At 45 years old, women have a 3% risk of delivering a child with downs syndrome. Women who have already had a child with a neural tube defect have a 3% risk of having another child with a neural tube defect, like Anencephaly. Do antichoicers believe these women too should not be "allowed" to have a family?

It is a slippery slope which antichoicers are willing to go down towards eugenics, I'm sure. First women with HIV cannot have children- then women at risk for other diseases. Will they require everyone to have genetic testing to see if they will be allowed to have sex? Or will they just force sterilization upon the people they do not want to have kids?

Women are individual human beings, who deserve to have individual control over their reproductive organs and choices. Whether they be HIV+ or not; whether they have a genetic disease or not.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

What’s wrong with pregnant teens?

Cross posted from

There is obviously a stigma attached to being a pregnant teenager.

My question is, why?

What is it about teenagers that makes us so upset when they get pregnant?

Some people might say that it’s because having a baby ruins a woman’s life- her change to fulfill her potential in the future. But then why aren’t we upset at 24 year olds having babies? They still have most of their lives ahead of them too. Or what if the young mother wants nothing more than to be a stay at home mom? Not everyone is on a track which takes them to college and then a PhD.

Other people might look down on her for not using birth control. But this is just an assumption. Perhaps she was using birth control- maybe birth control and condoms!- but happened to be a part of the statistic that contraceptives fail. Or perhaps she was raped. Can you imagine how hurtful it would be to have everyone assume you had consensual unprotected sex, when you were actually raped?

Another idea is that people look down on young people for having sex in the first place. Perhaps they would look down upon every sexually active teenager, but only the pregnant girls are physically affected in a way that gives off their sexual status. Is this a position the prochoice community wants to be in? Looking down on people for choosing to have sex?

Perhaps you’re thinking “Well, kids shouldn’t be having sex!” Most people would agree with that. But what age does “kids” cover? 19 year olds? 16 year olds? 14 year olds? I don’t have an answer for that. I do have a personal belief about how young is “too young” for sex. But my personal belief isn’t going to stop kids from having sex. Kids who are told they can’t, or shouldn’t, have sex, will continue to have sex- they just wont speak up about it, wont get protection, wont get tested.

Which brings us full circle back to young, pregnant girls.

So why do we think teen pregnancy is a bad thing? And if it really is a bad thing, how can we show that while still treating pregnant teenagers with respect and dignity?

Monday, August 2, 2010

PSA: Please vote liberal/democrat

I would like to take a moment out to ask you to please make sure you vote liberal/democrat/independent in the midterm elections, and then again in 2012.

If you think that you don't need to vote, because there's no way the teaparty/ republicans / racists / whatever can win, please remember that every vote counts.

Here are some short reminders of why you need to vote.
(Backstory: pictures floating around which were supposedly of Obama's mother. Snopes says they were actually a 1950s pin up model. These are some comments on one website thread with the pictures. Click to enlarge if you can't read them.)

Among all this, one woman chose to call out these people for their words.

This is the response she got:

Please vote.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Part III: 20 more lies to deny women equal rights.

This is a continuation of Part I and Part II, which is a list of reasons why women should not have abortions. A lot of them lies, a lot make no sense, some are even reasons to choose abortion, oddly. Read on for more.

Reason #81: Abortion after rape is a double tragedy

For some women, this could be true. For other women, childbirth after rape is a double tragedy. Let women express their own feelings, and let them decide what's best for them.

Reason #82: There are so many couples who would love to parent if you don’t

So a woman should be an incubator for another couple against her will? No thanks. There are thousands of children waiting to be adopted. The reason couples are on "waiting lists" is usually one of the following reasons: the process of adoption is too expensive, too long, too complicated OR they are waiting for a perfectly healthy wife newborn child. Putting another child into the system wont fix either reason.

Reason #83: The father might regret it too

He could. But since when is it his body being used? Besides, he could also regret parenting, or adoption. The young gentleman in "Teen Mom" who participated in the adoption seems to be extremely sad, possibly even regretful. He said "I miss my daughter."

Reason #84: Real feminists won’t ask you to kill your own child

"Real" feminists wouldn't use bullying to convince someone to make a choice they don't want to make. This is a mind trick used by people who want to make you do what you want. They'll say "Real [blank] wouldn't do this." Then you want to prove that you are a real [blank] so you do EXACTLY what they tell you to do, instead of making your own choice. It's about taking away your freedom and liberty.

Reason #85: There is still hope for your special needs child

Depending upon the fetus's condition, this could be a true or false statement. However, it's really a cruel statement if it's a lie. Parents of fetuses who are non-viable often want nothing more than a healthy fetus. But reality is that their fetus is not healthy. Making false promises and lying to them is nothing short of cruel punishment.

Reason #86: Abortion fetuses are often used in research

I don't know why this is a reason against abortion. Research helps us find cures for diseases, helps us improve human life.

Reason #87: Your unborn baby is intelligent

How do we define intelligent? A fetus in the first trimester doesn't have a functioning brain. How is intelligent, then?

Reason #88: We are self-aware before birth

Quick (google) research leads me to this information:

Many researchers even use ... the mirror test, to determine whether a creature is indeed self-aware (Jha, 2006). During the mirror test, a subject is tested to see if he can recognize himself in a mirror. The researcher places an identifying mark, like a smudge of lipstick or sticker, on the subject’s face. If he reaches up to touch the marker, he has demonstrated self-awareness. Elephants, apes, and bottlenose dolphins have all passed the mirror test (Jha, 2006). Human children can usually pass when they are about two years old.


So, according to this, we're not self-aware until we're 2 years old. So this "reason" is another antichoice lie.

Reason #89: There could be a soul just waiting to come into your life

Yes, there could be. That soul could be the man you meet leaving the abortion clinic. It could be the professor in the class you take because you're not a mother. It could be the best friend you make at the medical school that you were able to afford because you weren't paying for a child. It could be anyone.

Reason #90: Abortion is not just a Catholic issue

This "reason" is just an explanation that you don't have to be Catholic to be antichoice. Okay. Why is that a "reason" to not have an abortion?

Reason #91: The Judeo-Christian heritage is pro-life

I'd agree it is prolife, but it is also prochoice. God gave us free will for a reason. The Judeo-Christian heritage is not antichoice- we are supposed to choose God, choose to follow Jesus. No one breaks your knees and drags you along.

Reason #92: Move with the changing attitudes on abortion

"Changing attitudes on abortion" say that most people are still in favor of abortion being legal. The only thing that is changing, is that they started saying they were prolife. I believe these people are prolife, but many of them are not antichoice.

Reason #93: Abortion may not be medically necessary

Correct, it may not. Not everyone has an abortion because it's medically necessary. If a woman is in a situation where she thinks she it is necessary to have an abortion for medical reasons, I welcome her to search out a second or third opinion if she chooses to do so. But I suggest those opinions to be DOCTORS and medical personal, not antichoicers outside a clinic.

Reason #94: Had one abortion? Don’t make it two

Why not? This "reason" isn't a reason.

Reason #95: What if the timing is right but you just don’t know it?

What if the timing is wrong and you absolutely know it? What if the timing is right for an abortion but you don't know it and choose to carry to term? We make choices in life with as much information as we can gather and find. We cannot make choices with information we wont know until 5 years later.

Reason #96: Read the messages from women who have been there

Yes, do read the messages! Client Stories from the Texas Equal Access Fund 9 Women share their personal stories of abortion 8 Women Share their Abortion Stories When Abortion Was Illegal There are many more out there too.

Reason #97: Parenting is not something you can ever be fully prepared for

This sounds almost like a reason to not be a parent. Women who abort because they're not ready to be a parent probably know you can't ever be 100% completely ready. However, they feel at that time that they're not *personally* ready to be a parent. That's their choice.

Reason #98: Motherhood is an awesome experience

For some people! For others, motherhood is not awesome at all. Motherhood can be tough and thankless work (thanks, moms!). For a woman who doesn't want a child, being forced to go through motherhood could be considered punishment almost. Why would you want someone to be a mom who doesn't want to be a mom?

Reason #99: Save a life today

Yes, save a life. And don't forget, you- a woman- are a life. Save your own life, however you need to do that.

Reason #100: You can still live your dreams

Another empty promise. Antichoicers like to make a lot of false promises that they cannot keep. How many young women are living in threadbare apartments with toddlers right now with no education and no job because someone told them that they wouldn't have any trouble and could do anything they wanted? I love the success stories of women who worked to live their dreams and be a mom (if those aren't the same thing). But not everyone is able; some are held back by finances, some are held back by stigma, some are held back for other reasons. Antichoicers need to stop making promises they can't keep.

Reason #101: Be prepared – you might just enjoy being a mom!

Be prepared- you might also not enjoy being a mom. This seems like a repeat of the "being a mom is awesome" we saw earlier. For those who WANT to be moms, or choose to be moms after learning of an unplanned pregnancy- fantastic! But for anyone forced into motherhood, I don't see how they could enjoy that. It's hard work that requires a special attention to the good parts to be enjoyed. No one should be forced into that position.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pregnant women are people.

Dear world: Pregnant women are people. They are not public property. They are not objects. They are not things. They are human beings, people, individuals, and women.

I am hoping most, if not all, of my readers are going "duh?" Unfortunately, this common sense fact isn't quite so common.

Today I read an article called I'm very pregnant - and people are unbelievably rude to me! The writer spent her time explaining about how she feels shamed when people call her huge or comment about how she looks like she's going to have a baby any minute even though she wasn't due for weeks. As I read the article, I couldn't help but agree with what she was saying; yes, people should respect your space; yes, people shouldn't make rude comments about your body; yes, you have the right to be comfortable and not attacked.

So when I reached the end of the article, I expected to see comments sharing these ideas. Instead, I found these:

Instead of getting all het [sic] up over people making comments about your body, spare a thought for the women who would never make a comment about seeing your wonderful pregnant belly.
Being pregnant is a blessing - even all the rudeness and invasion of privacy. Make the most of it.

Yes, you are an object of wonder and enjoy it while it lasts because as soon as the baby is born everyone will be looking only at it and ignoring you again!

Good god, what a load of old rubbish.
Stop moaning!

Viv, I really think you should take heed of some of the comments. The vast majority of women give birth, me included. The vast majority of those who give birth experience the same things from friends and strangers. The vast majority of us take in it the good humour in which is was intended.

I'm afraid you're quite right, Viv: when you're pregnant or have a small child with you, you are public property! However, this is not actually a bad thing...

So that's one "shut up and enjoy that stuff you hate," then "enjoy the stuff you hate because everyone will ignore you soon", one "shut up," one "shut up and join the rest of us who shut up" and lastly "stop complaining, what you hate is a good thing!"

I want to either puke or scream.

Did any of these commenters even READ the article? A woman is speaking about her feelings and about how rude and inappropriate comments make her feel. Every single one of the above comments IGNORED her feelings, IGNORED her thoughts, and told her she was either wrong or selfish. Some agreed with her that these comments are inappropriate, ("you are public property"!) but then chastised her for not appreciating them. How does that work!?

Women deserve better than this, and pregnant women are still women. They still have every right to display feelings, have their own opinions and dislike other people touching/talking about them.

The first comment especially strikes a cord with me. There seem to be a lot of people who say that other people must be appreciative of something, because the first person cannot have it. For example, if person A has trouble getting pregnant and person B is pregnant and complaining about people touching her, person A will tell person B that she MUST be thankful for people touching her, since there are people like person A in the world who can't get pregnant or have trouble getting pregnant.

I understand that we must empathize with other people, and a pregnant women should take notice that there are other women who have trouble becoming pregnant. But the existence of those other women does NOT mean that a pregnant women cannot make complaints, cannot tell people not to touch her, cannot be angry about inappropriate comments.

I also read another article today called A Woman's Body: Neither an Incubator, a House, Nor a Meth Lab. This article was about over 20 pregnant women who were addicted to drugs (meth, specifically) and were "prosecuted... under a law that criminalizes bringing children into houses where meth labs are operated." Only problem is, the "house" was the woman's body.

This again is an example of people forgetting that women are human beings. Women are not houses. Perhaps you believe that women addicted to drugs should be punished for having babies addicted to drugs. That's your call, and while I disagree with it, I'd still like for you to think of that woman as a person instead of an object, or a thing.

There is no reason in this day and age for women, pregnant or not, to be treated this way. There is no reason why we cannot fight against this culture of dehumanization. Women are people. We cannot forget that.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Use your detective skills & media for good!

Crossposted at Abortion Gang.

A couple of the antichoicers on twitter have started tweeting about a video which allegedly shows a Planned Parenthood worker being untruthful about fetal development. I haven't watched the video myself (yet) so I cannot say whether something wrong happened or not.

I can say, that when a video like this comes out, I feel so disheartened by the hypocrisy of the antichoice movement. They say they care about "babies" but they've never used their anti-abortion tactics to help mothers and babies.

Every day, there's at least one if not two updates on the site My OB said WHAT?. This website keeps track of stories of OBs, nurses, midwives and other birth industry people who lie to pregnant women, say sexist and sexually inappropriate comments to pregnant women and their husbands, belittle women, and otherwise do a disservice to their jobs and the patients they interact with.

Antichoicers have a platform. They have the space to share this type of violence against women (yes, it is violence) with the larger world, and create a movement to stop the violence. They have gone under cover at abortion clinics, so why couldn't they go undercover on L&D floors? Heck, they don't even have to go undercover- just share the stories that are already out there.

It wont ever happen. Antichoicers care about fetuses, but you don't see any of them outside L&D floors offering to adopt unwanted children or even to pay the bills for the first few years of life. I have never seen an antichoice organization go after OB or midwife that lies about fetal development to a laboring woman. I don't think the antichoice organizations care if OBs or midwives lie about fetal development, as long as the fetus becomes an infant.

In the end, their often unfounded attacks on Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers is just discrimination against doctors who are willing to help women in need. Antichoicers are doing everything they can- threats of violence, actual violence, name calling, intruding, misleading and lying to name a few things- to stop women from receiving the healthcare they need. Their potential to do good, for a good cause, goes to waste.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

WWJD? Not that. Teacher Fired for Having Premarital Sex

Cross post from Abortion Gang.

This story is making me rage.

Let's get this out there: as a Christian, I do not believe what this school did was in any way Christian.

For those who don't want to click links: A teacher at the Southland Christian School in St. Cloud, Florida has been fired from her job for getting pregnant three weeks before her marriage.

This women already had five children and her first husband had died. It's not like she'd never had sex before. But that's besides the point.

First off, the school had no right to pry into this teacher's private life like that. Most family members aren't even told dates of conception. But not only did the principal pry into the teacher's life, he then went ahead and told all the other school employees AND the parent's of the teacher's students. Totally, totally inappropriate.

Secondly, I'm pretty sure that firing a woman for having sex with the man she would be marrying in 3 weeks is NOT what Jesus would have done. There's nothing Christian in taking away a person's job, spreading personal information they wish to keep private, and publicly ruining their life over a pregnancy. The correct thing to do would have been to congratulate the teacher on her pregnancy, give her the maternity leave that she asked for, and set up a room for her to pump in when she returned.

As a prochoice activist, there's a third part to this that bothers me. What message is this religious school sending out? That if a person becomes pregnant, they could be fired? What if another employee were to become pregnant out of wedlock? Maybe she would decide to have an unwanted abortion instead of risk losing her job. Now we've got conservative Christian groups, which I'll assume would fall into the category of antichoice, possibly causing women to have unwanted abortions. How in the world can they put themselves in that position? Making a woman choose between her pregnancy and her job is wrong.

This whole situation just baffled and angers me. A Christian school following Old Testament stoning ideas instead of the teaching of Jesus (love, mercy, forgiveness?). A conservative school punishing a woman for deciding to have a baby. A principal sharing private, personal information with people completely unrelated to the situation!

We need to speak up against this. We need to show our support for this woman and her choice, and anyone else in her situation. The school had no right to punish her for becoming pregnant.

(And just encase you weren't mad yet, check out some of the comments on Fox News in support of firing the teacher for her "sexual sin." )

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Antichoice Contradictions

Money. Antichoicers seem to be obsessed with money. Some claim that Planned Parenthood and abortion providers only work for money (makes no sense w/ PP being a non-profit and providers offering free or discounted abortions for tough cases, but I digress). Some antis offer prochoicers money to turn in abortion providers, in the hopes that we are obsessed with money like they are (we're not).

But the one thing that drives me crazy is the contradiction between abortion and antichoicers paying taxes.

To explain further: antichoice and republican (or now, teaparty) usually go hand in hand. I'm sure there are some liberal antis out there, but they are certainly a minority.

Republicans, as a group, don't want to pay taxes. They don't want to pay for medicare, medicaid, health care for others, anything. If it involves their money and their neighbor or the kid down the street, republicans want nothing to do with it.

And yet, they want to ban abortion, which would create more welfare dependents and raise the taxes.

I do not understand this. How can you on one hand demand that there should be more people in this country, many of which would be on welfare or in foster care or need government help in some other way... and then also refuse to help pay for those expenses? Refuse to keep alive the children they've forced into this world?

Many people would jump to the logical conclusion: antichoicers don't care about born children or any born people for that matter, only fetuses. I'm loath to make such a general and almost unfair statement; but when all the facts point in one direction, it's hard to deny something is true.

If abortions are covered under health insurance and costs are kept low (by removing forced-ultrasound laws), Americans would pay lower taxes than if abortions were made illegal.

I can hear the anti reply already: "You want to kill babies to save money!!"

No. I do not want to kill babies to save money. I do not want to kill fetuses or infants to save money. I personally do not mind having a higher tax if the money goes to a starving child on welfare.

What I want to know is, do antichoicers realize the contradiction in these two ideas? How do they (you) reconcile between wanting lower taxes and wanting to increase the number of welfare recipients in America?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The things I can't say...

Cross posted from Abortion Gang.

As a vocal prochoicer, I am not able to always speak my mind.

Every single time I tweet, blog, email or post a comment somewhere, I have to carefully look over each and every word, to ensure that I haven't said something I "shouldn't."

What are these things I "shouldn't" say? Well, basically it's anything an antichoicer could jump onto, take out of context, or otherwise use against me. Against us. Against Planned Parenthood. Against women.

I hate that I have to guard my speech. I hate that I have to turn conversations onto random tangents over word use. But if I don't do these things, antichoicers will run away with my words and ignore anything I say after that.

Well you know what? I'm tired of letting antis decide what I do or do not say.

So what if a woman calls a fetus a baby? So what if I follow her lead and say the word baby too? I shouldn't refrain from using words that the woman is most comfortable with. If after her abortion she feels that her baby died and became an angel, then why can't I agree with her on that?

I'm not the only one who feels their language is limited sometimes. And for other people, it's limited not only by antichoicers but fellow prochoicers. For example:

I got this email in the Spectrum Doula Collective inbox earlier this week:

I know you think you’re doing good, but you are not. You are doing a grave disservice to the pro-choice movement by believing the lies from the anti-choicers. Please email me back, we can talk more about this, but please consider what you are doing before you proceed any further.

Wow. What, exactly, are we doing wrong? What sort of disservice do we do by believing pregnant people need compassionate care while undergoing surgical procedures? Or, at the very least, that they might want a bit more emotional and informational support while they undergo a highly mystified and generally misunderstood surgery?

How are we “believing the lies from the anti-choicers” by recognizing all reproductive experiences (and the emotions surrounding them) and believing that they are valid?

Via: Exhale is Pro-Voice

We cannot all hide behind the statistics ("most women aren't depressed after an abortion"). The facts are the facts, and they will remain the same. But abortion is about more than the facts; it's about the people involved and the emotions those people feel.

Prochoice advocates aren't the only ones silenced by antichoicers. Women who have abortions, who believe their abortion was the right thing for them but who also feel sadness afterward are stuck in between a rock and a hard place; especially when her prochoice friends feel they can't recognize that sadness because antis will it up and run off with it. Both the woman and the advocate/friend suffer. Sometimes, the woman just refuses to share her feelings with anyone because she's afraid of her friend's response or, again, that antis will take her words and run away with them (See: Why I Blame the Antis).

I will not let antichoicers control my speech, and I will not allow them to have a monopoly on emotions.

Women do not fit into our stereotypes. Not all women feel regret after an abortion, as antichoicers say. Not all women treat abortion as a lightheaded, easy matter as some prochoicers say. Some women do both these things, while some do neither.

As a prochoicer, I will work to acknowledge all these feelings and emotions before, during and after an abortion. Will you?

Monday, May 31, 2010

True Antichoice Colors.

A year ago, when Dr. Tiller was assassinated, many antichoice people and organizations cried out that it was wrong and that they did not support Scott Roeder's actions.

Today, one year later, we see their true colors start to come out.

Many antichoice activists on Twitter are denouncing Dr. Tiller as a murderer. Many of these people also claim that "guilty" people (such as convicted murderers) deserve the death penalty.

On the anniversary of Dr. Tiller's murder, they are bringing out the big guns: attacking Dr. Tiller with all the ammo they have (which is nothing, in reality, but a lot of made up stuff for them). They call him greedy, they call him heartless, they call him cruel, they call him whatever nasty thing they can think of. They compare him to Hitler.

Does it sound like they support Dr. Tiller, or terrorist Roeder?

Prominent blogger Jill Stanek used the term "baby killer" in the title of her blog about Dr. Tiller. Phrases such as this (baby killer) is part of what led Roeder to murder the doctor, as well as other terrorists to bomb clinics and shoot other doctors and nurses.

One quick sentence to the effect of, "now I don't support murder, but..." doesn't change the over all message coming from all antichoice activists this weekend.

The truth is, antichoicers are glad someone murdered our fallen hero, Dr. Tiller.

They're glad someone took up a gun and "saved the babies." Because the babies [read: fetuses] are the only ones they care about.

The week following Dr. Tiller's murder, antichoicers were afraid to support Roeder. Today, they have no problem walking the thin line between support and disapproval. Will it be next, or five years from now, when antichoicers are calling Roeder their own hero?

I hope that, instead of this grim future of terrorism support, antichoicers wake up to the effects of their actions and words. I hope that antichoicers stop calling for the murder of living human beings, either secretly or out in the open.

Roeder was not a lone wolf. He was a member of the antichoice terrorism movement.

Monday, April 26, 2010

God has a plan for all fetuses.

(Possible trigger warning for miscarriages/stillbirth. I do not mean any disrespect or harm to any reader.)

It's true. God has a plan for all fetuses.

But not every plan includes being born.

Some fetuses are meant to be born, raised by loving and almost perfect parents, become doctors or scientists, find cures for diseases and save lives.

Other fetuses are meant to be miscarried, or born still. They are mourned or not mourned, always remembered or intentionally forgotten.

Why? We don't know why. God's plan is bigger than all of us, bigger than we can see. We don't know why God runs the world the way He does.

Abortion (the intentional termination of a pregnancy, not necessarily the current day procedure) is obviously a part of God's plan. There are cases in the Bible of God's chosen people killing pregnant women and their fetuses (Numbers 31:15-17, Genesis 38:24) and God's priests causing an abortion if a woman is pregnant after cheating (Numbers 5:11-31). If you can't believe that, one must at least recognize that miscarriage (spontaneous abortion) is a part of God's plan. God controls nature- he designed it, and us- and if He never planned on miscarriages happening, they wouldn't happen.

When antichoicers say "God has a plan for your [fetus]!" they're trying to trick women. Trick women into thinking that God always plans for a fetus to be born. Or that God plans for their specific fetus to be born, and the woman is going to mess up that plan. But God is smarter than that! He knows us; He knows what choices we will make in this life. God's plans coincide with the choices we will make. God would not put, say, the future curer of cancer inside a woman who plans to abort if she ever gets pregnant.

So don't think that you can't make your own choice because 'God has a plan.' God's plans work with you, not against you. Whether you abort or carry to term, God walking the path with you.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

"Imagine if the Tea Party Was Black" - by Tim Wise

I just read a beautifully written, eye opening piece by Tim Wise over here. I think you should go there to read it. However, I have also reprinted it here on my blog. Full credit goes to Tim Wise.


Let’s play a game, shall we? The name of the game is called “Imagine.” The way it’s played is simple: we’ll envision recent happenings in the news, but then change them up a bit. Instead of envisioning white people as the main actors in the scenes we’ll conjure - the ones who are driving the action - we’ll envision black folks or other people of color instead. The object of the game is to imagine the public reaction to the events or incidents, if the main actors were of color, rather than white. Whoever gains the most insight into the workings of race in America, at the end of the game, wins.

So let’s begin.

Imagine that hundreds of black protesters were to descend upon Washington DC and Northern Virginia, just a few miles from the Capitol and White House, armed with AK-47s, assorted handguns, and ammunition. And imagine that some of these protesters —the black protesters — spoke of the need for political revolution, and possibly even armed conflict in the event that laws they didn’t like were enforced by the government? Would these protester — these black protesters with guns — be seen as brave defenders of the Second Amendment, or would they be viewed by most whites as a danger to the republic? What if they were Arab-Americans? Because, after all, that’s what happened recently when white gun enthusiasts descended upon the nation’s capital, arms in hand, and verbally announced their readiness to make war on the country’s political leaders if the need arose.

Imagine that white members of Congress, while walking to work, were surrounded by thousands of angry black people, one of whom proceeded to spit on one of those congressmen for not voting the way the black demonstrators desired. Would the protesters be seen as merely patriotic Americans voicing their opinions, or as an angry, potentially violent, and even insurrectionary mob? After all, this is what white Tea Party protesters did recently in Washington.

Imagine that a rap artist were to say, in reference to a white president: “He’s a piece of shit and I told him to suck on my machine gun.” Because that’s what rocker Ted Nugent said recently about President Obama.

Imagine that a prominent mainstream black political commentator had long employed an overt bigot as Executive Director of his organization, and that this bigot regularly participated in black separatist conferences, and once assaulted a white person while calling them by a racial slur. When that prominent black commentator and his sister — who also works for the organization — defended the bigot as a good guy who was misunderstood and “going through a tough time in his life” would anyone accept their excuse-making? Would that commentator still have a place on a mainstream network? Because that’s what happened in the real world, when Pat Buchanan employed as Executive Director of his group, America’s Cause, a blatant racist who did all these things, or at least their white equivalents: attending white separatist conferences and attacking a black woman while calling her the n-word.

Imagine that a black radio host were to suggest that the only way to get promoted in the administration of a white president is by “hating black people,” or that a prominent white person had only endorsed a white presidential candidate as an act of racial bonding, or blamed a white president for a fight on a school bus in which a black kid was jumped by two white kids, or said that he wouldn’t want to kill all conservatives, but rather, would like to leave just enough—“living fossils” as he called them—“so we will never forget what these people stood for.” After all, these are things that Rush Limbaugh has said, about Barack Obama’s administration, Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama, a fight on a school bus in Belleville, Illinois in which two black kids beat up a white kid, and about liberals, generally.

Imagine that a black pastor, formerly a member of the U.S. military, were to declare, as part of his opposition to a white president’s policies, that he was ready to “suit up, get my gun, go to Washington, and do what they trained me to do.” This is, after all, what Pastor Stan Craig said recently at a Tea Party rally in Greenville, South Carolina.

Imagine a black radio talk show host gleefully predicting a revolution by people of color if the government continues to be dominated by the rich white men who have been “destroying” the country, or if said radio personality were to call Christians or Jews non-humans, or say that when it came to conservatives, the best solution would be to “hang ‘em high.” And what would happen to any congressional representative who praised that commentator for “speaking common sense” and likened his hate talk to “American values?” After all, those are among the things said by radio host and best-selling author Michael Savage, predicting white revolution in the face of multiculturalism, or said by Savage about Muslims and liberals, respectively. And it was Congressman Culbertson, from Texas, who praised Savage in that way, despite his hateful rhetoric.

Imagine a black political commentator suggesting that the only thing the guy who flew his plane into the Austin, Texas IRS building did wrong was not blowing up Fox News instead. This is, after all, what Anne Coulter said about Tim McVeigh, when she noted that his only mistake was not blowing up the New York Times.

Imagine that a popular black liberal website posted comments about the daughter of a white president, calling her “typical redneck trash,” or a “whore” whose mother entertains her by “making monkey sounds.” After all that’s comparable to what conservatives posted about Malia Obama on last year, when they referred to her as “ghetto trash.”

Imagine that black protesters at a large political rally were walking around with signs calling for the lynching of their congressional enemies. Because that’s what white conservatives did last year, in reference to Democratic party leaders in Congress.

In other words, imagine that even one-third of the anger and vitriol currently being hurled at President Obama, by folks who are almost exclusively white, were being aimed, instead, at a white president, by people of color. How many whites viewing the anger, the hatred, the contempt for that white president would then wax eloquent about free speech, and the glories of democracy? And how many would be calling for further crackdowns on thuggish behavior, and investigations into the radical agendas of those same people of color?

To ask any of these questions is to answer them. Protest is only seen as fundamentally American when those who have long had the luxury of seeing themselves as prototypically American engage in it. When the dangerous and dark “other” does so, however, it isn’t viewed as normal or natural, let alone patriotic. Which is why Rush Limbaugh could say, this past week, that the Tea Parties are the first time since the Civil War that ordinary, common Americans stood up for their rights: a statement that erases the normalcy and “American-ness” of blacks in the civil rights struggle, not to mention women in the fight for suffrage and equality, working people in the fight for better working conditions, and LGBT folks as they struggle to be treated as full and equal human beings.

And this, my friends, is what white privilege is all about. The ability to threaten others, to engage in violent and incendiary rhetoric without consequence, to be viewed as patriotic and normal no matter what you do, and never to be feared and despised as people of color would be, if they tried to get away with half the shit we do, on a daily basis.

Game Over.


This is something everyone should consider. Tea Party members are violent and angry, and their actions would *not* be acceptable if they didn't have the privilege of being white. One commenter on the original blog mentioned the Blank Panthers, and their actions & the reactions of other people in comparison to the teaparty members. I am sick of the teaparty groups being allowed to get away with doing ANYTHING just because they are white conservatives. The violence, racism, rude and offensive behavior and lies need to stop. Now.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What Planned Parenthood does.

Many people have personal experiences from when they visited their local Planned Parenthood. Depending upon where we go, why we go, and when we go, we can each have a different experience.

Some people claim that Planned Parenthood only deals with abortions, and backs this up with a personal experience about how they went to their local PP and were counseled on abortion. For some reason, they seem to think that this means every single Planned Parenthood clinic and the organization as a whole only does what the one counselor they encountered did. This could not be farther from the truth.

Planned Parenthood is an international organization, yes. But their clinics are not franchises, where every "item" on the "menu" has to be exactly the same (such as a McDonalds does). Each Planned Parenthood has different services they are able to provide, based upon their location, the laws of the area and the doctors/nurses/workers available in the area.

For instance, some Planned Parenthoods perform abortions. Others do not. The one I visited the first time I needed a checkup does not perform abortions- they only deal with STDs, birth control and exams. Some PPs offer prenatal care- I have a friend who went to Planned Parenthood for all of her prenatal care during her first pregnancy as a teenager. Other Planned Parenthood locations have agreements with local adoption groups to provide resources and avenues for women looking to place a child up for adoption. Some PPs can even test you for fertility, and provide infertility treatments!

There are a whole range of services offered by Planned Parenthood as an organization. If you want to know which ones are offered at your local clinic, you can look it up here.

So next time, instead of making an assumption about what Planned Parenthood does based upon the one nurse you interact with, remember that you're seeing one small part of what Planned Parenthood is and does.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Not everyone cares

There's something I've been thinking about. I don't want to accept it. I don't want to admit it. But I think it's time I do.

Not every woman cares. Not every woman wants women to have equal rights.

This baffles my mind, at first. I can't imagine a woman who doesn't want equal rights. I can't imagine a woman who doesn't stick up for the rights of other women. But they're out there.

The latest example is @MrsDigger who got into a debate about women "exposing" themselves while breastfeeding. Excuse me? Breastfeeding isn't exposing anything. It's feeding a child. I was double surprised to learn MrsDigger, and the people I saw coming to her defense, are all conservative. I thought conservatives were in favor of family values? Isn't breastfeeding a family value? Taking care of kids?

Perhaps I don't really understand it.

I've never hated a woman for breastfeeding or wanting to sleep with her child. Before I became involved in women's rights, I didn't think of these things. They just, didn't appear in my mind. So at first, when I saw others saying rude and unsupportive things to and about women, especially new mothers, I thought "Oh, they just not be informed." Realizing that these people were informed, and just didn't give a darn, well, that was a shock. Especially when some of the people were involved in the birthing industry.

But I really shouldn't be surprised. Even when women were fighting for the right to vote, there was a group of women saying "No, women shouldn't have the right to vote."

Can you imagine being one of the women who stood up and said "No, I don't want the right to vote." ? I can't!

It scares me that we haven't moved past this "don't give me my rights" idea yet. Will we ever get past it? I hope so! I'll stand up and say "give me my rights!" for all issues- abortion, VBAC, breastfeeding, adoption, anything and everything. Will you?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Breastfeeding in Public.

Why are people against breastfeeding? Why are people against breastfeeding in public?

I don't get it.

Adults go out in public and eat. That's why we have those things called restaurants and fast food joints. Do some people forget that infants and toddlers are human beings?

Newsflash: Newborns are human beings, and have just as much right to eat food as you or I do.

So if it's not the infant, what is it? The breast?

What do people have against body parts? You use your arm to pick up the fork and shovel food into YOUR mouth. What do you have against a breast?

I can see what you're thinking, reader: But breasts aren't the same as an arm!!

Yes, you're right. Breasts are so much better than arms. Breasts make food of their own accord! They provide all the nurishment that a young human being needs in the first 6 months of their life, if not longer. Breastmilk doesn't go bad, doesn't need to be warmed up, tastes sweet (so I've heard), helps protect young ones against diseases and illnesses and is what our bodies were made to do.

Breastfeeding should be the NORM of our society, not something we have to fight to protect.

There is nothing indecent about breastfeeding.
There is no inappropriate body part "exposed" during breastfeeding.
A breast feeding a child is not a sex object.
Seeing the skin of a breast while a child is being fed is no different than seeing the skin of your arm.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Blogs you should read!

Alright. Everyone seems to have this sort of "roundup" of posts or blogs they think others should read. Why not me too?

I actually decided to do this because of The Feminist Breeder. Her blog is so awesome, that it broke the internetz last night. That's just how important it is that you read her posts.

So here are a few which I think are "must reads:"
When it comes to Breastfeeding, We can't handle the truth.
Once a Cesarean, Rarely a Choice
VBAC Access is a Human Rights Issue
How to Have a Better VBAC
Full-time Worker, Full-time Student, Full-time Breastfeeder too

Actually, just read everything she writes.

Next blog: ProChoiceGal!

She writes wonderful posts about abortion rights and feminism and awareness of violence and assault against women.

"I Don't Support Roeder BUT..."
Hijacking Feminism: The Feminists Who Hate Women
10 Reasons Why Choice is a Good Thing
The "Pro-Choicers" Who Force Birth

I also really love the Abortioneers blog. Really. There are so many good posts there, that I don't know where to start. Read 'em.

Joyful Birth Services doesn't update as often as I like, but when they do update it's chalk full of useful information about birthing. I need to put in effort to go and back read her older posts.

MotherWit Doula had two posts that I really loved:
Doulas behaving badly
A Path to Good Doula/Midwife/Medical Professional Relationships

Lastly, Public Health Doula writes interesting things! Information about breastfeeding, hospital births, and other related information.

Honestly, there are a million blogs that I want to read. All day. All the time. But I don't have that much free time! Still, I love to hear of new blogs to read. Have any suggestions?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Baby vs Fetus & Human Beings.

Two things I've been seeing antis claim a lot lately, and I wanted to go over them.

1. If you think a fetus isn't a baby, then you're crazy.

Antis are pretty solid in this. If you don't use the word "baby" to describe, well, a fetus, then you must have either had an abortion you are trying to not think about, or you support abortion and don't want to think of the fetus as human.

Well, news for them. Fetuses are human. Fetuses are alive. Fetuses can be aborted.

I honestly don't care if an individual calls a fetus a baby, a peanut, a poopie, a butterfly, a clump of cells or a "unique, individual person with a life planned by God!" It can be aborted. Period.

Another thing I notice when antichoicers bring up this "baby" thing, is that they make a LOT of strawmans. For instance, if I say "it's a fetus, not a baby" then the antichoicer might respond, "Well, when does it come alive then!? Oh, you're crazy for thinking it's not human! What is it, a melon?" These are both strawmans. Calling a fetus a fetus does not mean you think it's dead (in fact, most prochoicers I know recognize that a fetus is living). Calling a fetus a fetus doesn't mean you think it's a zebra fetus; it's still a *human* fetus. But it's a fetus.

Fetus. fetus. fetus. fetus. fetus. fetus. fetus. fetus.

Baby is a word that can apply to any number of things. For instance, a 70 year old women can call her youngest son a baby, even though he's 40 years old. Or, a cashier in the grocery store can go "that customer was such a baby, they wanted ALL their groceries in individual bags" when the customer is 27. Babies can also be of other species- there are baby lions and baby zebras. Heck, I consider my cats to be my "babies."

So when an anti insists that a fetus isn't a fetus but a baby, I just shake my head. That's failure to understand science.

Of course, it should be noted that once you *do* convince the anti that a fetus is a fetus, they simply go "Oh, well that means 'young one' in Latin." You would think this definition would allow them to accept the word more often. Alas, not so much.

2. Antis also claim that if a person recognizes the fetus as a human being, then they must be antichoice. This is because, in their minds, human beings cannot be killed.

Of course, this is obviously wrong. Antis like to live in a pretend world when talking about abortion. For instance, a quote:

By the way, how can they believe in "rights" when they believe our entire lifespans can be taken from us, we therefore do not have a right to live our lives and therefore cannot have any "rights" at all?
By Joe at Jill Stanek's blog.

This above quote shows that the writer, an antichoicer, wants the reader to believe that he doesn't think that people can be killed. However, I'm willing to bet that Joe is either for the death penalty, supportive of war, or both. Or more.

See, antis have no problem with killing born people. It's just something about fetuses that gets them.

But back on topic. When one recognizes that human beings can be killed, then this entire argument falls apart. Especially when we see that human beings can be killed legally (outside of abortion, of course, since that is what we are questioning). I've already gone over this. More than once. But it just doesn't seem to stick.

Even if the fetus is a living person, it can be aborted. Alright? Got it? Thanks. Now try to make a new argument. Because I'm really tired of this one.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Why I can't have kids.

I've had a crazy week, and I just want to relax. So I decided to write a kind of funny, random post. At least, it will be funny to me.

So without further ado, reasons why I can't have kids (yet).

1. I haven't finished Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.
2. If I went into labor, I'd be thinking more about arguing with the OB/nurse about letting me have a natural birth than actually having the kid.
3. I would force my child to eat when he/she wasn't hungry, so that I could breastfeed in public.
4. I haven't convinced my fiance that he would be in charge of diaper duty.
5. My cat doesn't like to share.
6. No one has sent me a copy of the parenting manual yet.
7. My mother-in-law (to be) would probably move into my house as soon as she heard I was going to have a child.
8. I just told the census that only two people live in my house.
9. My camera can't hold how many pictures I would take of my growing belly and the child once born.
10. I would be more interested reading mommy blogs, abortion rights blogs, and other blogs than spending quality time with a child.
11. I haven't decided if my child will be bilingual, trilingual, quad-lingual, or just bajillion-lingual.
12. I would have too much fun taking my child to rallies and marches.
13. I'm waiting for tantrums to come with an "on/off" switch.
14. I'm also waiting for men to produce breastmilk so I don't have to do all the night feedings.
15. I've yet to find a company which offers a return policy if I change my mind.
16. I would spend all my money on babywearing wraps because I can't pick a favorite fabric.
17. I don't think people want to read me tweet about poopy diapers and puke.
18. I don't want to tweet about poopy diapers and puke.

There you go! Some of the reasons I can't have kids.

I want your 2 cents.

So I've been trying to keep two things in my mind these past two weeks.

1. A way to bring the birth(/breastfeeding/other) activists and abortion right activists together.

2. A twitter hashtag to use for my "generation" of people who support all rights for all people. There is already a hashtag "#reprojustice but that one is a bit long. I'm looking for something shorter- I thought #reprojust but that's practically the same.

So this is a shorter post. I want you to COMMENT and tell me what you think. Answer one or two or both, I don't mind. I just need people to help me come up with ideas. This is about a community, not a single person. I can't do it alone.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Why Prochoicers should care about VBAC access

I learned something new today! (An important part of daily life.)

One of the lovely members of Abortioneers explained to me over Twitter that the scars from a c-section can be reason to deny a woman an abortion.

I had never even thought of this. I knew of women being denied a vaginal birth because of their risk of uterine rupture, but I had never considered women being denied an abortion because of previous c-section(s). It shouldn't have surprised me, of course. 60% of women who abort already have at least one child, which means they've already given birth at least once. And with a c-section rate at somewhere around 32% or more, depending upon the state, it makes perfect sense that many women wishing to obtain an abortion would have had c-sections.

This past week, when I haven't been worrying about real life, I've been trying to think of a way that the birthing activists and abortion rights activists could be brought together, to fight together for reproductive justice. Could this be it?

I know that prochoicers who fight for abortion rights, when they think about it, fight for all reproductive rights. However, a lot of our time is spent focused solely on abortion rights. I think a lot of people, even feminist activists, don't realize that women have trouble accessing vaginal birth. The stigma surrounding abortion makes it obvious to us how difficult accessing abortion can be. But there isn't a stigma surrounding vaginal birth (except inside a hospital room behind closed doors). We're just never told that women are denied vaginal births after c-sections, unless we suffer it ourselves or find our way into the birthing community.

Even though I'm sure abortion right activists care about birthing rights, I can see where some might decide to focus solely on abortion rights. However, when we consider the above, birthing rights BECOME abortion rights. If a woman is forced to go through repeat c-sections, and then she is denied an abortion because of her c-sections? That's an abortion rights issue. We can't change that a woman is denied an abortion because of medical reasons. But we CAN change that she is forced into a repeat c-section for no reason besides hospital policy.

If we care about abortion rights, we have to care about birthing rights.

Now just to figure out how to bring the birthing community majority into abortion rights activism. :-)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I'm mad at you, prochoice Americans.

I'm ticked off. I'm ticked off at prochoice Americans.

Now before I go any further, I want to say that people who are actively involved in prochoice activism (lol redundant) year round, 24/7/365, need not read on. This is not about you.

To those of you who sit around and go "Roe v Wade is law, why should I speak out?" or "The Hyde amendment doesn't bother me"- yeah, you keep reading.

My big question is- DO YOU CARE? Do you care about women? Do you care about children? Do you care about your sisters, your mother, your aunts, your daughters, yourself?

If you care, why don't you speak up until the damage has already been done?!

Healthcare reform passage is an epic, historic event, even if it happens as the bus rolls over us women. But it seems there were some women on the bus, who are just now realizing that they're being thrown under it. What took you so long? Where were you when Stupak brought out his amendment months ago? I remember the fury that appeared right after that passed. Where did it go between then and now? All those wonderful, beautiful, prochoice ladies (and some gentlemen, too!) disappeared into the woodwork. And now you want to come back and suddenly complain that the antichoice men are kicking you off the bus?

It's enraging.

There's only one benefit to this. If we can keep this fury around this time, we can do good with it. We can convince Obama that the antichoice Executive Amendment should not have happened, because it pleased 6 Congressmen at the expense of millions of women. We can fight out against antichoice laws which are being brought up in numerous states across the US (don't forget, miscarriage is illegal in Utah). We can remind the world that America is a prochoice country with a prochoice majority.

So please- I'm begging you- don't crawl back into the woodwork. Don't give up in a few days and go home. Don't. Stop. Caring.

Because while today they only took away your sister's right to freedom, tomorrow they'll be coming for yours.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Abortion- an easy or difficult choice?

There are many different opinions on whether abortion is easy or difficult. Some people (both anti and prochoice) claim that abortion is always a difficult choice. Others, including women who have aborted, claim that abortion was an easy decision for them without any need for racking the brain. I don't think we can say for sure whether abortion is ALWAYS a hard choice or ALWAYS an easy choice.

Choices aren't either yes or no, easy or difficult. There is a scale, which allows for different amounts of comfort and easy. For each person, that scale is different.

I'd say, for most people abortion is:
a harder choice than what you're going to wear today and an easier choice than your career choice.
a harder choice than whether to have your wisdom teeth removed and an easier choice than who you will marry.
A more difficult decision than if you want to ask out your elementary school crush, and an easier choice than what to do if you have cancer.

Of course, each person is unique, and their opinion of where abortion stands as a decision may lie somewhere else than where I've placed it.

We cannot make claims about abortion being ALWAYS a hard choice or ALWAYS a difficult choice. Because its not. Each individual woman will have a different experience with abortion.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Reasons to be Antichoice

Before I begin, I would like to mention that today is Abortion Provider appreciation day. So, THANK YOU to all those wonderful people out there who provide abortions. Secondly, tomorrow is a doula-healthcare action day: Click here to learn more.

Now, onto my topic. I would like to list, and possibly explain, the reasons I see that people choose to be antichoice.

Jealousy. This reason most often causes infertile antichoicers to fight against pregnant women. Infertile antichoicers are incredibly jealous of other women and their ability to produce offspring. When a woman chooses to not have offspring, an infertile anti will be outraged; why would someone "throw away" something she* wants with all her body and soul? For this reason, she becomes angry at pregnant women, especially those choosing abortion. She decides that other women should give their babies to her, because she wants them so badly. Somehow, she twists it in her mind that other people have a *duty* to produce offspring for *her.* Like all antis, she doesn't care for the pregnant woman's rights.

Hatred. This is probably the majority of the antichoice movement. Many, many, many antis will say "Well she had sex so now she has to have a baby!" This foolish idea (which completely ignores miscarriage and even stillbirth, let alone abortion) stems from their hatred of women who have sex when they "not supposed to." "Not supposed to," of course, is some magical time completely made up in the anti's head. It could be that she's not supposed to have sex as a teenager; she's not supposed to have sex as a college student; she's not supposed to have sex when drunk; she's not supposed to have sex when she doesn't want to have kids; she's not supposed to have sex if she can't afford a(nother) child; she's not supposed to have sex if pregnancy endangers her life- etc. None of these are laws (moral or legal). These are simply random qualifiers created in the anti's head. If a woman "disobeys" and breaks these qualifiers by having sex when she's not supposed to- then the anti wants her punished. She will be punished with pregnancy. Antis who tell women they have a "responsibility" to give birth really just want to see women suffer for having sex when the anti deemed she was "not supposed to."

Ignorance. Unfortunately, this is common among antichoicers as well. This can range from ignorance about pregnancy, to ignorance about abortion and ignorance about the law. Some examples include:

1. Believing that abortion deals with newborns instead of embryos and fetuses.
2. Believing that abortion is more dangerous than full term pregnancy and childbirth (Its not).
3. Believing that abortion is murder (that's wrong too).
4. Thinking that abortion causes all women to suffer regret and pain (Nope).

There are many more misunderstandings and incorrect beliefs. All of them can lead to an antichoice position. I think, of all the reasons to be antichoice, this is the "best" one in terms of prochoicers because this belief has the possibility to be fixed. All we need is a little education! Although getting antis to listen is not always easy.

These are really the only reasons I can think of for being antichoice. Do you think I missed some? Please leave a comment, and explain!

*Whether I say "she" or "he," all of these can apply to male or female (or trans) antichoicers. It's simply easier to type using one pronoun.