When it comes to fighting for the right for women to decide when they want to remain pregnant, our opponents often try to frame the debate as one of fickle pregnant women aborting for frivolous reasons. But it’s even more harmful when our allies fall into the same rhetorical trap.
Discussing the likelihood that Iowa Republicans will once more come after the state’s Medicaid coverage of abortions in the cases of rape, incest, and the life of the pregnant person, Iowa Democrat Jack Hatch tells the Associated Press that the Republicans will be unsuccessful, noting that these are “medically-needed” abortions versus “recreational abortions.”
As someone who has had a dilation and curettage (D&C), I can firmly state that whatever the circumstances, it was by no means “fun,” a term most people would be inclined to associate with “recreational activities.” Recreational activities are done in your spare time. They are hobbies. They are enjoyable. They are none of the things that would be associated with ending a pregnancy, and to use the term implies a flippant nature to a woman’s life decisions and we already have enough of that from anti-choice politicians… we don’t need more from those supposedly supporting us.
Abortions are the result of a decision to terminate a pregnancy after weighing one’s life circumstance and deciding, whether because of financial circumstances, current family situation, health concerns, or future aspirations, that a specific pregnancy is untenable and that the benefits of ending the pregnancy far outweigh those of bearing a child. It doesn’t matter whether this is because of medical issues, financial issues, sexual assault, or other personal reasons, the “necessary” versus “recreational” mentality is no more valid than the “good abortion/bad abortion” juxtaposition.
The choice to terminate is not a frivolous decision. Abortions are not “recreational” regardless of the reason behind them. We hope that our allies understand that and support the women who do so, for whatever reason they choose.
They absolutely believe this, though. I have no doubt that all the Republicans and the forced birthers honestly and completely believe that women have abortions as casually as they have pedicures.
Yeah, honestly, that line of thinking it blows my mind.
I would much rather use birth control, even with the various side effects I’ve experienced from both hormones and the copper IUD that are pretty damn shitty. Honestly, the pill royally fucked me up for a solid year and then some, which I’ve discussed before, and getting an IUD is PAINFUL and copper IUDs lead to pretty bad cramping and longer periods, even though I almost NEVER got crampy before and my periods used to be fairly short. But those side effects are, at least at this stage in my life, much preferable to getting pregnant. I’ve gone through SO MUCH in order to avoid pregnancy, things that just really suck on a few levels, and I’m far from the minority on that.
And the thing is, birth control DOES FAIL. And not always due to user error, either.
I just… Who the hell thinks people get abortions for fun? It’s a last resort, a result of birth control failing and/or not being informed enough on birth control options to find one that works well enough, or being unprepared because someone violently assaulted you.
What if gun rights were regulated like abortion rights? Here’s a list of just some of the hoops you’d have to jump through before you could own a gun:
- Only one store in the entire state would sell guns. (See: Mississippi, Arkansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming for states with only one abortion provider.)
- You’d have to fill out an enormous personal background check including intrusive personal information that has nothing to do with your ability to own or use a gun. Then you’d have to wait at least 72 hours and come back to the store. (Remember, it’s the only one in the state. You better hope you don’t live on the other side of Wyoming.)
- Upon your return, you’d have to sit through intensive mandatory counseling. Your counselor, regardless of his personal beliefs, would have to tell you that gun ownership is actually a bad idea, and that it would negatively effect your mental health to own a gun. (This, despite there being no scientific evidence to support the claim.)
- Next, you’d sit through a gruesome movie showing the actual aftermath of domestic gun crimes. You’d see people with half a head. You’d see dead children in their beds. You’d see the bloody aftermath of a school shooting. You’d be shown statistic after statistic warning you that you’d be contributing to this morally degenerate sanctioning of murder.
- If you lived in Virginia, you’d have to come back (again) for an invasive and uncomfortable fMRI (which costs around $300 out of your pocket) to ensure your honesty in answering all the background check information and your intentions to use your gun responsibly. (This was as close as I could get to the invasive transvaginal procedure included in the recently passed Virginia bill.)
- Oh… and if you were married, your spouse might have to sign off on your gun ownership.
Have I reblogged this before? Either way, have a truth bomb!
Yep, just so you’re aware.
look at all these places i will never live
talk about places i will never go live at
Well. Fuck Washington.
…aaaaaaaand I’m moving to a deep blue state. From my gray state.
And yet the rape rate (and seemingly most things, like the poverty rate, unemployment rate, income, etc) are better in the deep blue state.
I miss you, New Mexico.
I wouldn’t. I still don’t think of us as “safe” here. We’re still fighting this bs, and it seems with increasing frequency.
First, there was the issue last year that a new bill would basically revictimized people who got pregnant from rape and chose to carry and raise the child by making them prove the rape was “forcible” in order to get state assistant. Gov. Martinez removed the language and said she doesn’t support it but it’s not like she hasn’t used it before. (http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S2772569.shtml) And either way, whether she or CYFD determined that wording, it still affects victims here.
Then there was the blowup a few weeks ago over a bill proposed in the state house that would charge rape victims who conceive from their rape and get abortions with “tampering with evidence.” It would have never passed, and rep Cathrynn Brown said later that she was just trying to protect victims (right… Because you need a living child to get a DNA match) but still, also terrifying. She said she was trying to make it a way to punish rapists who force their victims to get abortions but I read the bill as she wrote it and there was NOTHING in there that differentiated and I have a hard time believing someone in her position is THAT dense. (http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2013/01/24/proposed-new-mexico-law-would-send-rape-victims-who-abort-pregnancies-to-prison-for-tampering-with-evidence/)
Which makes it sound an awful lot like that Utah bill from a few years back, that essentially made miscarriages illegal. (Yes, that one passed because it was about a woman who paid someone to beat her in order to miscarry, but…)We also still aren’t free of Operation Rescue’s bs here… The NM medical board ruled her free of negligence but Dr. Shelley Sella still had to face them after complications with a late term abortion she provided when the woman (who completely recovered) was sent to the ER, as the case was brought by Operation Rescue. (http://www.abqjournal.com/main/2013/02/08/news/board-clears-abortion-doctor.html) …and now I have Naked Aggression’s “Killing Floor” stuck in my head. Operation Rescue, what do you want me to do? Shove a coat hanger up my cunt?!
It’s a long-ish article, so some of the more important things to note:
The medical board’s prosecutor maintains that [Dr. Shelley] Sella breached the standard of practice in treating the woman, and contends that the abortion should have been performed at a hospital because the patient was at higher risk of a rupture due to her medical history.
But no hospital in New Mexico performs third-trimester abortions, and only 10 percent of such late-term procedures are done at hospitals in the U.S.
The complaint that triggered the medical board inquiry was filed in 2011 by local and national anti-abortion activists [Operation Rescue] who say a ruling against Sella could lead to a national medical standard of practice governing late-term abortions.
Operation Rescue’s Cheryl Sullenger told the Journal the key issue in the case is whether Sella’s actions should be judged based on obstetrical standards of care, rather than abortion standards.
If the board finds against Sella, Sullenger predicted the decision could have national ramifications.
“Right now, there really are no (national) third-trimester abortion standards and what it could do is essentially stop third-trimester abortions, which actually would be a good thing, even in the case of fetal anomalies,” Sullenger said.
The patient was discharged within three days, with no permanent damage indicated in medical records.
But Sella testified that the rupture could require her to have a C-section in the future if she becomes pregnant and can affect her ability to completely go to full term.
Her New Mexico medical licensing file shows three prior medical board investigations in Kansas that were triggered by complaints from the national anti-abortion group, Operation Rescue.
Only one was sustained, involving a handwritten note in a patient’s medical file that wasn’t legible or sufficient. She was required to take a course on record keeping.
The board is composed mostly of physicians who are appointed by Gov. Susana Martinez.
That last line is what worries me most. I’ve mentioned it in the past, but our governor? She’s one that has proposed a bill last year that people who are raped, conceive from the rape, and decide to carry, can only get state assistance if they prove they were “forcibly” raped… and we all know how difficult it is for rape victims to get justice in the court, especially if the state thinks a rape isn’t valid if the victim isn’t kicking and screaming.
Update: Dr. Sella was cleared of the charges:
The board voted unanimously this morning to exonerate her of the complaint after more than 45 minutes of deliberation.
It has no chance of passing, but a state rep here, Cathrynn Brown, has proposed a new bill that would make it a third-degree felony for a rape victim who conceives from the rape to get an abortion, as it would be considered “tampering with evidence.”
She later added that she proposed it to further punish rapists who force their victims to get abortions (which is a legitimate concern) but the wording of the bill doesn’t protect victims at all.
This also has the added affect that it seems like they don’t intend to prosecute rapists until at least nine months after the rape has occurred. But then on top of that, if this were to pass, what would happen to victims who never conceived in the first place? Would the courts decide they don’t have the evidence to prove they were raped?
All this comes not too long after our governor, Mrs. Susana Martinez, proposed a bill last year that rape victims who conceive and decide to carry can’t get state assistance for the child unless they can prove they were “forcibly” raped. Which means she’s either completely ignorant of the dynamics of rape and abuse, or that she simply doesn’t care. I really want to shout back at the anti-choice side’s shouts of, “But what about the children?!” with the same question. Shouldn’t they be concerned with the children who are conceived from rape, and making sure their parents can take care of them? New Mexico has one of the highest child poverty rates in the country (27% compared to the national average of 21%)but our reps seem more concerned about withholding assistance from as many people as they possibly can than with helping children who have no control over their situations.
And then there’s the fact that New Mexico’s rape rate per capita is 2nd highest in the nation, falling only behind Alaska.
ok so i went to the cpc in harrisonburg today and HOLY SHIT what the fuck is up with these places
- they tried to dictate my sex life: “well, if you aren’t pregnant, you should talk to your boyfriend about maybe remaining abstinent until marriage?”
- when i said nah, that’s something we feel comfortable doing and what if we don’t get married, anyway?: “you really should stay abstinent if you don’t want to get pregnant. think about your career!”
- when i said, well there’s always birth control; i could talk to my gyno about that: “BIRTH CONTROL IS ONLY ABOUT 60-80% EFFECTIVE and doesn’t prevent stds”
- when i said, i’m in a committed relationship, i have no risk of stds b/c we’re faithful to each other: “you’re in a long-distance relationship; you don’t know what your boyfriend is doing right now” (actually, bitch, i knew for a fact that he was writing a paper that’s due tomorrow and he knew i’d dump his ass if i knew he was cheating and how fucking DARE you imply that my boyfriend was cheating on me)
- they tried to tell me how far along i was in my pregnancy BEFORE WE GOT THE RESULTS OF THE TEST BACK
- i gave them a range of two-three days of when my “last-possible start of period” day was and they chose the earliest day so i would be farther along in “my pregnancy”
- even though they were non-compliant with HIPPA, they still had signage saying that the use of phones in the building was prohibited (fuck that, i had my cell phone recording EVERYTHING)
- I GOT PAMPHLETS ABOUT ABSTINENCE. THREE OF THEM. there’s one pamphlet that they stressed for me to read to sam about not co-habiting before marriage and i was like haaaaaah fuck that b/c it’s cheaper to live together
- they offered me binkies for “my baby” and also had binkies/bottles out in the lobby
- they told me that they “really wish that i could choose abstinence” and that since i was “strong enough to come into the harrisonburg pregnancy center, that i was strong enough to hold off from sex so i wouldn’t have a pregnancy scare again”
- the little white lady that was my “counselor” was using EBONICS; she literally told me that if sam was pressuring me to have sex, that i could tell him, “man don’t be a hata” oh my god i wanted to punch her so bad
- they told me condoms barely helped to protect against hiv/aids and that they were only about 75% effective against pregnancy
- told me that i should really consider keeping the baby and not to adopt it out
- after we found out that i wasn’t pregnant (ok i knew b/c i haven’t had sex since august, but they didn’t know that; i told them it was october for the purposes of this visit), they told me that i should get another pregnancy test AT THE HOSPITAL like fuck that
- THEY HAD BIBLE VERSES EVERYWHERE
- god i want to upload the pictures i took because the forms they had me fill out were awful
- they had forms that implied that there was a proven link b/t suicide and abortion but the anti-abortion literature they had cited studies that were 20+ years old
- there was a lady who was about six months along who just found out she was pregnant and THEY TOOK ME IN BEFORE THEY TOOK HER IN EVEN THOUGH SHE WAS THERE BEFORE ME
- they took my god damn picture at reception i guess to fb stalk me (i gave them a fake name, fake e-mail, fake address, fake phone number)
god fuck everything about crisis pregnancy centers they’re the fucking worst
CPCs are quite possibly THE worst. They’re not medical centers in any possible way, though they try to get you to think they are and, as documented above, spread misinformation like mad.
You’ve probably seen an image similar to this one before. Despite every single person with common sense telling them that it’s a bad idea, Springdale Drycleaners in Cincinnati, Ohio, thinks the best way to convince people to be anti-abortion is by putting their pro-life message on a wire hanger.
Stay classy, anti-choicers.
There is a prochoice blog who is currently 12 weeks pregnant and is wavering on if to abort or not. Message me for the name and help me talk her out of it.Great idea! I’ll set up a bank account where every anti-choice person who calls her can also donate $5000 to raise the child!….Hello?…..Hello…?
Seriously. Did the person you’re planning to talk out of an abortion ask for your opinion? Do you know the circumstances that have led to them making this decision?
I highly doubt that’s a “no” on both counts, so leave them alone. This is their choice to make, and if it were ME you were getting anti-choicers to ganging up on, I’d most likely be pushed even more to the “go ahead and get an abortion” side.
Not your uterus or your life? THEN BACK OFF.
This story was produced by The American Independent.
Anti-abortion restrictions should be designed to raise “the costs” of abortions in order to discourage women from obtaining them, a prominent scholar for a leading anti-abortion group told an audience of social conservative activists in Washington last weekend.
Abortion rights advocates have long suspected that the purpose of restrictive abortion laws is to impede access to abortion. Anti-abortion advocates generally refuse to concede the point, countering that laws that require women to make multiple trips to the abortion clinic, for instance, are intended to help women make informed choices. But speaking at the Values Voter Summit, an annual gathering of religious conservatives sponsored by the Family Research Council and other conservative groups, anti-abortion scholar Michael J. New veered from abortion foes’ traditional argument when he specifically advocated policies to raise “the costs” of abortions.
To no one’s surprise…
stop calling it ‘anti-choice’ because it called pro-life
using your logic people who are pro-life would be calling pro-choice ‘anti-life’
which sounds just as ridiculous and stupid
Nope. Pro Life is an inaccurate term for people who desire to restrict abortion access or make it illegal because all that does is result in loss of life and a decreased quality of life. Calling Pro Choice people Anti Life is inaccurate because they’re for choice, not against giving birth and having children.
that’s really hypocritical and i think you got your definitions mixed up but ok
Nope, it’s not hypocritical. I don’t use the term “Pro Life” for a reason - those people aren’t very Pro Life. When abortion access is restricted or illegal people die and people get hurt, how Pro Life is that? These ‘Pro Lifers’ are very often the first people to support the death penalty or war, as well, how is that Pro Life? They also rarely care about the quality of life someone has, which I don’t think is very Pro Life either.
Pro Choicers are not Anti Life, we are far more Pro Life than Anti Choicers. Pro Choicers support safe and legal abortion, meaning desperate people won’t die or get hurt trying to abort. If someone wants to have a carry to term and become a parent or put the kid up for adoption, we support them doing that too! Being ‘Anti Life’ would imply otherwise. We generally care more about people than ‘Pro Lifers’ in general, at least enough so that we don’t go appropriating others tragedies and shitting on their dead to further the cause.
[A transparent, headless female mannequin filled with dozens of babydoll limbs and heads, aka “How Republicans view women”]
That is such a frightening idea but it sounds exactly right.
bolded for accuracy