In high school I read John Irving’s excellent book, The Cider House Rules, in which the protagonist, a young man named Homer, is raised in an orphanage under the care of a kindly physician, Dr. Larch, who he is shadowing and learning medicine from. Dr. Larch eventually reveals to him that he’s been performed illegal abortions all along and he’d like to teach Homer how to do the procedure, too. Homer balked at the suggestion, imagining that he could have been aborted instead of growing up happily in the orphanage. The response Dr. Larch gave him has always stuck in my mind: “You may disapprove, but you may not be ignorant or look away.”
That quote popped in my mind when I read Kate Harding’s piece on Salon.com, “Is There A Next Generation Of Abortion Providers?”, a frightening piece about how the ranks of abortion providers are thinning and pro-choicers worry they won’t be replaced. Keep reading »
Abortion unexpectedly plunged back into the news in recent weeks with the murder of Dr. George Tiller, who performed late-term abortions in Wichita, Kansas.
Everyone but the most far right extremists has condemned the killing and much of the media has focused on how this act of domestic terrorism is truly deplorable. But clinic violence, awful as it is, occurs rarely compared to the legislative assaults against reproductive rights. So in response, Maureen Tkacik (formerly Moe of Jezebel and Gawker) has written a piece for Lemondrop about the things we never mention about when we discuss about abortion—but probably should.
Keep reading »
Dr. George Tiller, who, among other things, administered abortions at his Wichita, Kansas women’s clinic, was shot and killed today in front of his church. He was one of the few doctors who stilled performed late-term abortions, and his clinic was the target of many anti-choice protests over the years, including a previous attempt on his life in 1993. He was 67-years-old. A suspect is in custody. [CNN]
Some anti-choices groups have condemned the killing, while others have taken the opportunity to continue to condemn him, saying, “George Tiller was a mass-murderer. We grieve that he did not have time to properly prepare his soul to face God.” Keep reading »
This week, Planned Parenthood’s mailing list included an email from Judy Blume. Here’s a snippet:
If you are the daughter whose mom had the guts to give you the answers to questions you couldn’t quite figure out how to ask… If you know a mother who is struggling to raise strong, independent, and confident children in the face of unbelievable odds… Say thanks. Say thanks this Mother’s Day with a gift that honors her courage by making a donation to Planned Parenthood in her name.
Turns out, that call for donations to Planned Parenthood has angered anti-choicers because, in addition to providing general health care for women, some Planned Parenthood clinics offer abortion procedures and administer the morning after pill. PP representative Cecile Richards says that since writing the letter, Blume has been inundated with nasty phone calls, emails, and letters. Keep reading »
The anti-choice organization, CatholicVote.org has put together this advertisement which argues against abortion using Obama as its proof that abortion is wrong. After all, IMAGINE THE POTENTIAL. If Barack Obama had been aborted, he would have never been President and…wait…defended Roe V. Wade. Uh, okay, whatever. Anyway, if Obama has been aborted, he wouldn’t have been President, and then the universe would be screwed, and the American people wouldn’t have a rock star hottie for a leader, so therefore abortion is wrong! But wait, let’s imagine the potential of other coulda-been-aborted people — Adolf Hitler, Osama bin Laden, Spencer Pratt…the argument goes both way, peeps. [AdFreak] Keep reading »
Not sure what to get one of your best girlfriends or a female in your family for a gift this holiday season? How about a gift certificate to Planned Parenthood in Indiana or Illinois, which can be redeemed for any of their women’s health services, including pap smears, birth control, STD tests, and, yes, abortions. The gift certificates can be bought in $25 increments and really would be a great gift for a woman who doesn’t have health insurance, as PP’s services are generally very affordable. Of course, it should have been expected that the religious right would go all koo-koo crazy about PP’s latest offering and when we linked to a College Candy story about this topic in yesterday’s Quickies, we didn’t understand how much larger the issue was. Keep reading »
So, yesterday was a historic amazing day, with the first African-American winning the Presidency of the United States. It was also a bit of letdown, as it became clear that much of America still doesn’t like the idea of gay people getting married. But there was more good news! Three anti-choice measures failed! Amendment 48 in Colorado, which would have granted fertilized eggs fill rights, was rejected by 73% of voters; Measure 11 in South Dakota, which would have banned abortion save a very vague medical exception, was defeated; and Proposition 4 in California, which would have required parental notification, also didn’t pass.
On another note, Proposition K, which would have decriminalized prostitution in San Francisco, lost by 16 percentage points. [WOW and Feministing] Keep reading »
DMC Pharmacy in Chantilly, Virginia, will sell everything from cold meds to contact solution when it opens this summer, but if you want condoms, birth control pills, or any other form of contraception, you’d better head in the other direction. The “pro-life pharmacy” sticks to a strict policy of not offering its patrons contraception or anything else that “interferes” with the procreation process. Virginia doesn’t have laws which require pharmacists to dispense prescriptions written by a physician, but luckily, there are at least five other pharmacies (pro-choice ones, we guess!) within spitting distance. [Washington Post] Keep reading »
You know, no matter where you stand on the abortion debate, toying with women’s lives through false advertising is pretty effed up. We’ve read a lot about “pregnancy crisis centers”, which seem like abortion clinics, but really only offer “counseling” that scares and guilt trips pregnant women into not getting abortions. Likewise, it’s really frickin’ irritating to hear that ProChoice.com is actually an anti-choice website serving up all sorts of anti-abortion information. And it’s poorly designed, to boot! [Feministing.com] Keep reading »
Sigh. Sometimes you just can’t make this junk up. Marvin Richardson, an aspiring Independent Senate candidate, has legally changed his name to “Pro-Life” because, well, he is. Previously, and I am not joking, his middle name was “Pro-Life” but when he ran for the Senate a few years ago, officials refused to put his full name on the ballot because Idaho’s policy bars the use of slogans on the ballot. But Richardson is a trickster! So he changed his name to ONLY Pro-Life so that the secretary of state’s office would have no choice but to use it on the ballot. [CBS News] Keep reading »