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.
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A 51-year-old anti-abortion activist is in custody in Wichita, KS, after he allegedly shot and killed Dr. George Tiller, 67. Tiller, who had provided abortions to women for over 30 years, was gunned down in the foyer of his church while he passed out the church bulletin. [NY Times]
Some anti-choice extremists think all doctors who perform any abortions should be killed. But Dr. Tiller, in particular, was a lightening rod for controversy because he was one of only three doctors in the country who performed abortions on women in the third trimester, also referred to as “partial birth abortions.” But why are abortions in the second or third trimesters so controversial? Here are five things you’re probably asking yourself right now. Keep reading »
We think it’s pretty dope that Sonia Sotomayor, Obama’s pick for Supreme Court justice, is (a) a lady and (b) could the first person of Hispanic descent to don Supreme Court robes. But many pro-choice advocates are sounding alarm bells today because they have a sneaking suspicion that, once on the bench, Sotomayor may not uphold Roe v. Wade, something they think should be a “no duh” for a judge appointed by a pro-choice president. What’s got them worried, after the jump… [NY Times]
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Mary Rambin, part of the “three-headed blogging Hydra” that is Non Society (which, cheekily, made our list of the best female bloggers of 2008), is arguably the most absurd and vapid of the bunch. While her fellow “lifecasters” have moments of ingenuity, intelligence and creativity, Mary bugs me because her sole contribution to the Non Society platform are blog posts about what she’s wearing, occasional commentary about celebrity style, and thinly veiled endorsements of weight loss juice cleanses like Blueprint. But she just hit a new low. In a blog post entitled, “My Body, My Botox,” Rambin actually compares a women’s “right” to have cosmetic enhancements to the right to have an abortion. Rambin writes:
“I site Roe v. Wade because it serves as a marker of people accepting (maybe not respecting) a woman’s right to choose. Although abortion is still an issue at the forefront, it’s notable the Supreme Court recognized women should be able to do what they feel is right for themselves. Cosmetic procedures should be viewed in the same light. Not to mention the procedures are in no way effecting another human being, so the severity of the issue is considerably less. But as with breast implants, time will have to pass before others view cosmetic procedures as acceptable. I won’t say ‘the norm’ because I do think artificial enhancement should carry with it serious consideration before you undergo any sort of procedure. Other things like manicures and pedicures, dental work, highlighting your hair, are all ‘procedures’ that are completely unnatural but we consider normal.”
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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 »
Today is Blog For Choice day, when pro-choice bloggers everywhere “raise the profile of reproductive rights in the blogosphere,” while commemorating Roe V. Wade, which celebrates its 36th anniversary today. Each year, Blog For Choice poses a question and ask the blogosphere to answer and this year’s is especially timely, given the inauguration of President Barack Obama. “What is your pro-choice hope for President Obama and/or the new Congress?” My hope is that Obama and Congress will work together to redistribute the money spent on abstinence only education the last eight years and put it towards comprehensive and compassionate sex education. Everyone, pro-choice and anti-choice, wants abortion statistics to go down and the only way to get there is by making sure everyone, particularly teenagers, understands how to protect themselves from pregnancy (and STDs). So what’s your pro-choice hope for President Obama and/or Congress? Answer in the comments! Anti-choice? Sorry! [Blog For Choice] Keep reading »
On Inauguration Day, Krispy Kreme is giving away free donuts to celebrate “freedom of choice.” Ruh-roh. CHOICE. Naturally, pro-life activists are flipping out over that choice of phrase and are calling the move an endorsement of abortion. Mmm, abortion donuts. Seriously can the pro-life community get worked up over something that would truly help curb abortions, like making sure everyone has easy access to birth control and is educated about safe sex? ‘Cause I’d like them to keep their paws off my body AND my breakfast, thank you. Keep reading »
Women, like 41-year-old mother and five time Olympic swimmer, Dara Torres, made a lot of headlines this year. However, we also made some incredible strides out of the swimming pool. In honor of all those hardworking, won’t take no for an answer kind of bad asses who made those achievements possible, here are the Top 5 Women’s Rights Wins of 2008:
1. Aborted Anti-Choice Legislation: As America enthusiastically voted in Obama, the overwhelming majority also rejected anti-abortion legislation that would have restricted women from their legal right to choose as dictated by Roe v. Wade. Way to go South Dakota, Colorado, and California!
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Last night, MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow talked about one of the scariest things Bush has ever planned. After reports of sanctioned water board torture got slapped on an eight-year-long list of other horrors this week, it’s hard to imagine the Bush/Cheney administration understands the meaning of “conscience.” Yet, that appears to be their lame duck attempt to prevent a woman from having the right to choose. According to Bush’s latest “right of conscience” federal regulation, medical professionals can refuse to provide birth control, abortions, Plan B, and IUD’s if they don’t want to, on the basis that it offends their beliefs. You know, because we patients really want a political opinion when we’re merely looking for personal health care! While the bill is set to go into effect this week, don’t fear, women of America. According to The Wall Street Journal, Obama and his administration already have that at the top of their to “Undo To Do” list! Now, fingers crossed they’ll also take care of “the global gag rule” which has halted funding for family planning services around the world. [Lawyers USA/DC Dicta] Keep reading »