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.