I first wrote about my abortion in the spring of 2012. At that point, it had been seven years since my procedure, and something that never crossed my mind. Although the majority of the responses were overwhelmingly positive and other women took to the comments section to share their own abortion stories, those who were against my right to choose were, of course, cruel and heartless in what they had to say. For the next several days, I was attacked on Twitter and emailed threats by religious zealots, and was event old that my mother should have aborted me so I couldn’t abort my baby. (Someone explain that logic to me, please.)
A week later, despite all the hate being thrown my way, I wrote a follow-up piece declaring that I was happy that I wrote about my abortion, because I was. I was just as happy that I wrote about i as I was that I had the abortion in the first place. It was an election year with women’s reproductive rights at the forefront of many candidates’ platforms. It was this fact that made me write about my abortion; I wanted to put a name and face to the issue. I wasn’t ashamed. Looking back, whatever guilt I felt the day of my abortion was guilt that I didn’t feel guilty at all. I had gotten pregnant accidentally despite having been on the Pill, I was in no way emotionally or financially ready to have a child, and abortion, for me, was not just a solution, but a gift. My abortion, in many ways, saved my life. Keep reading »
Anti-abortion activists have many approaches to stopping abortion. One is to spread lies about the science around reproductive health. Another is to pressure women to feel guilty for terminating pregnancies, regardless of their reason. Another is to restrict abortion access through the courts. And yet another is to target the employees and property of abortion clinics, which includes harassment and violence towards abortion providers and damage to their buildings.
“Leave The Abortion Industry Day” on April 8 is one such effort towards that goal — and thankfully, an effort not involving violence. It’s a project of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director turned anti-abortion activist; “abortion industry” is a term used by anti-abortion folks to describe people who work in the women’s health field in regards to abortion. Keep reading »
Finally, something positive happening for the reproductive rights of women in Kansas. Four years after abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was fatally shot by anti-abortion activist Scott Roeder in Wichita, Kansas, his clinic is re-opening.
Activist Julie Burkhart, who worked with Dr. Tiller for seven years, started the nonprofit organization Trust Women Foundation in 2010. The foundation purchased Tiller’s old office, and after raising nearly $1 million, is ready to open the South Wind Women’s Center.
There will be some changes: unlike under Dr. Tiller, the clinic will not provide late-term abortions. The Kansas City Star reports that despite the fact that Kansas allows abortions 22 weeks into a pregnancy, the clinic’s cutoff will be 14 weeks. South Wind Women’s Center will also provide other women’s heath services including fertility counseling and other routine health care, like Pap smears. Keep reading »
Mostly when we discuss the “right to choose,” we focus on the right to safe and legal access to abortion. We mostly focus abortion as the “choice” because a woman’s right to make her own family planning decisions is constantly under attack from conservative politicians and the anti-abortion movement, both of which are pickled with the Religious Right.
But a woman’s right to make her own family planning decisions also includes the choice make a family — even, in a recent case out of Texas, if the woman in question is a pregnant 16-year-old girl whose parents were trying to force her to have an abortion. Keep reading »
No one ever really asked what the bros had to say about the Republican “war on women.” Which was sad, really, because they stood to lose quite a lot of blowies if we all had to be barefoot and pregnant. They will be ignored no longer! Now Sarah Silverman is putting that whole having-dated-Jimmy-Kimmel thing to good use and is urging bros to be bro-choice. You should watch it, bro.
Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra from MTV’s “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” have been, surprisingly, one of the more controversial couples on the two shows. Catelynn was the only teen mom in the first season to carry her pregnancy to term and put the child up for adoption; the little girl, Carly, is now a toddler and the adoptive family is still in touch with the birth parents. Over the years, some people have wondered why Catelynn and Tyler are even on “Teen Mom” anymore, since she is not a day-to-day parent like the others on the show. Some have even suggested MTV might be exploitatively harming these two for keeping them on a show that’s sole focus is the child they gave up for adoption.
Catelynn and Tyler are in the news less now that younger casts of “Teen Mom” are in the limelight. To their credit, they haven’t had public battles with drug abuse, domestic violence and mental illness quite like Amber Portwood, another teen mom from the first season. They seem like basically good kids with solid heads on their shoulders; last year the two even got engaged and set a date for 2013.
But lately Catelynn’s been making headlines recently for another reason: she’s an anti-abortion extremist. Keep reading »
Who’d've thunk?! Suggesting that pregnancy from rape is “God’s will,” that some rape is “legitimate” while other rape is not, and saying a woman’s body has “a way of shutting the whole thing down” so pregnancy does not occur from rape DOES NOT MAKE WOMEN WANT TO VOTE FOR YOU. Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin may have found two women — including one who was raped and had an abortion — to appear in a campaign ad proclaiming him the second coming of Gloria Steinem, but the rest of us ladies were not buying it. Keep reading »
This piece was originally published at Patheos.com and is being reprinted with permission.
The spring of my sophomore year of college I was president of my university’s Students for Life chapter. The fall of my junior year of college I cut my ties with the pro-life movement. Five years later I have lost the last shred of faith I had in that movement. This is my story. Keep reading »