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.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Are you really prochoice?

The Abortioneers Blog has asked a number of questions. The point is to learn how prochoice you are. Here are my answers.

Do you Agree or Disagree with the following statements:

1. Every woman has the right to choose to terminate a pregnancy regardless of when during the pregnancy. Yes. However, I believe that a c-section or vaginal delivery is also a way to terminate a pregnancy, and those methods should be taken over abortion after viability.

2. Abortion should be allowed even beyond 24 weeks of pregnancy. Yes.

3. Parental consent should be required for any teen under the age of 18 requesting an abortion. No. A woman is a woman regardless if her years on this earth are more or less than 18. EACH person gets to decide whether she wants to abort, not her parents.

4. Women who have more than 5 abortions are irresponsible. Nope.

5. Women who have more than 10 abortions are irresponsible. Nope. Though depending upon the reasons, I do think someone needs to reach out with offers of information and assistance.

6. Women should not use abortion as a form of birth control. Abortion IS a way to control birth, but I do not think it should be used as a contraceptive. From my point of view, this has more to do with safety and finances than rights. For the majority of people, the risks of abortion, especially repeat abortions, is higher than using hormonal birth control or condoms. As well, abortions are more expensive. For this reason, it simply makes more sense for people to use hormonal birth control and/or condoms over abortions.

7. I think reproductive health advocacy organizations should promote the use of emergency contraception in order to decrease the number of abortions in the US each year.Among many other things- yes!

8. I feel uncomfortable if a woman has an abortion because of the gender of the pregnancy. I do feel uncomfortable, yes. However, I stand for a woman's right to abort regardless of WHY she chooses to do it. I don't have to agree with a woman's choice to support her legal right to do so.

9. Male partners should have the right to be a part of the decision to terminate a pregnancy. A legal right, no. Do I think a woman should take her sexual partner's opinion into consideration? Yes. Unless her situation is one of rape or other violence, I think a woman should definitely ask her partner what he thinks/feels and take his opinion into consideration. But at the end of the day, it's HER choice and she is not obliged to do something that HE wants.

10. I think a woman's right to choose to have an abortion is an absolute and inalienable right no matter what. I don't think I can say yes to this. I definitely don't think women can choose abortion in the middle of giving birth. However, I don't think race, age, education, income level, method of conception or country of origin should stop someone from obtaining an abortion.

One more activity to sit with is an open-ended finish the sentence:

1. Abortions are: the termination of pregnancies; a legal right; healthcare.

2. Women who have abortions are: normal.

3. A woman facing an unwanted pregnancy needs to: Speak with her doctor, speak with those close to her (family,friends,etc), consider her religion and make the best choice for her.

4. In this country, abortion should be: legal, protected and funded.

5. People working to restrict abortion should: stop right now, because they are hurting women!

6. People working on behalf of women's right to choose should: be praised to high Heaven for standing up for equality in the face of danger.