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!
The GOP grows more and more unpopular with female voters seemingly every time one of its leaders gets in front of a microphone. Misogynist is as misogynist does. The GOP and its bloviating pundits don’t like women and they are unable to hide it, nor do they seem to make much attempt to do so. Repeated use of the word “slut,” the parsing of the word “rape” and their insistence that the vaginal canal has the amazing ability to play good sperm-bad sperm did them serious damage.
To anger female voters in America is to tread on the tiger’s tail. Women turn out in huge numbers, and they are well aware of how their bodies work and what they need. Any politician worth his or her weight in re-election would be absolutely insane to mess with them.
Yes, and also talk, educate others, and motivate people to vote.
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.
The next time someone tries to tell you, “But assault weapons are already illegal! That guy didn’t have an assault weapon!” in response to another mass shooting carried out with a semi-automatic rifle, please direct him to Tom Diaz’s Fresh Air interview from last month. Diaz works for the violence policy center and is also a former member of the NRA. And as he explains about the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban:
It defined a semi-automatic assault weapon in terms of a gun that had at least two of certain features. One of them was the actual crucial feature, which is the ability to take a high capacity magazine. … The others were … almost decorative features that were on these guns, such as a bayonet mount, which means you could put a bayonet on the gun; a thing called a … flash hider, which means that the flash from the barrel of the gun is less observable; a stock in the rear that could be extended or shortened. … The requirement that you have at least two of those meant that gun manufactures could say, ‘Aha, we can keep the ability to take the high capacity magazine and just knock off the rest of these bells and whistles [and] we still have essentially the same gun, … but it’s now federally legal. And that’s what Bushmaster figured out. They actually rose to prominence after the 1994 semi-automatic assault weapons ban because they took off all the truly irrelevant bells and whistles and just produced a basic gun.
No matter where you stand, I strongly encourage listening to this interview. It’s about 40 minutes long, but it’s full of great information and discussion.
Today’s shooting at Lone Star College in Texas brings the ongoing gun control debate to the forefront again. What causes mass violence in the US? What can be done to lower the number of shootings each year?
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) joins “The Young Turks” TONIGHT at 7E/4P to talk about progress on gun legislation in Congress.
Every deflection - video games, violence on TV, mental illness - is a deflection from the real issue: guns. Every other industrialized nation plays the same video games, watches the same movies, and has people with mental illnesses. They have media outlets that cover violent things. The difference in America is the access to and volume of guns.
Also, other countries do not have the same culture of guns the US has.
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.
The United States has broken another one of its records but, unfortunately, this isn’t one to celebrate. The U.S. military saw a record number of suicides last year since it began tracking suicide statistics in 2001, with 349 active duty suicides, 54 more deaths than the 295 combat casualties in Afghanistan. The number of suicides even exceeded the Pentagon’s prediction of 325 for 2012, an expectation that surpassed the previous record high of 310 suicides in 2006 and 2011’s 301 active duty suicides.
These startling statistics reflect and confirm the Pentagon’s fear that annual suicide rates of active duty personnel will only continue to increase, particularly as individuals further tire from multiple tours. Even though suicide prevention remains a top priority to the military, the measures taken have not been successful. 65% of those who killed themselves had a history with behavioral issues and many who were close to the victims cited the military’s failure to effectively provide the necessary resources and treatment to prevent the unnecessary tragedies.
Follow the link to read more about this important issue and explore resources for those in need.
Brad Staats, who ran on “family values” and defending “traditional marriage” just got arrested on assault charges for hitting his wife.
Smells like karma.
Just another one of the many fucked-up assholes who actually have a political career in my fucked-up state.
Barricades blocking a Pennsylvania election precinct: “NO PARKING FOR DEMOCRATS - WALK THAT WILL BE THE MOST WORK YOU DO ALL DAY.” Full story here.
Yes, this is important! According to the Citizen Media Law Project:
If you want to take photographs or shoot video inside your polling place, you must be cautious to avoid violating the law. Election laws are serious business – you could be removed from the polling place and even subject to criminal penalties. Some states like Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, and Texas expressly prohibit the use of photographic and recording equipment inside polling places. In addition, a majority of states have laws prohibiting the disclosure of your own marked ballot, although the details of these laws vary significantly.
We’ll be honest: This is an awesome/scary new-media problem that we, as journalists, didn’t anticipate before today and haven’t tracked in all 50 states.
CMLP has a handy chart that documents the laws in each state. Check these AND double-check with your state elections board to find out specific laws in your state, but err on the side of caution — a misstep could get your ballot challenged, and could lead to civil and criminal penalties.
Obviously, this is an interesting conflict of rights: Our right to free speech versus the long-held American ideal of a truly secret balloting system. As this story develops, we’ll have more.
I doubt there are people checking instagram and removing your ballot if they see it posted (because how could they know which ballot is yours? or are the ballots not anonymous in all states?). Still, be cautious while you’re at the polls and just don’t do anything stupid. If you’re caught taking photos while you’re there, that’s probably where the big problems lie.