On Wednesday, the Supreme Court is set to begin hearing arguments on the subject of abortion. But it’s not reproductive rights, per se, that the Court will be hearing about: this time it’s a matter of clinic safety.
McCullen vs. Coakley is a lawsuit against a 2007 Massachusetts law that forbids anti-abortion protesters from entering a buffer zone of 35 feet in front of the entrances and exits of clinics. Under the law, anti-abortion protesters — known for their intimidating and harassing behavior — must do all their prosthelytizing and praying from outside of a yellow line painted on the side walk, allowing clinic patients and their escorts to pass freely into and out of the facility. Protesters say this is a violation of the First Amendment.
Find out more about what the Supreme Court will be determining in McCullen vs. Coakley, after the jump: Keep reading »
“Well, I worked at McDonald’s and I spent the money I earned at McDonald’s to get my abortion. I was only 15 and the person who got me pregnant did not want to give me any money. I was $40 short, so I had my drug dealer call him and threaten him, so he gave me the last $40. I really credit [my abortion] as something that changed my life because I got a job, I took care of my business, and I moved on. And I’m not one of those people who’d have looked back and been like, ‘Oh, that kid would be 30 right now…‘ I don’t think, ‘Oh, I really regret it… ‘Maybe that’s a fucked-up thing to say but, I don’t regret it at all, number one, and number two, it was one of the best things that happened to me. Not actually being on the table and having it done, but feeling like I was responsible for my own life and realizing that when I made mistakes, there were consequences and that I could take care of those consequences. I could make mistakes and I could fix them. And live with them. It wasn’t a big deal.”
Kathleen Hanna from the bands Bikini Kill, Le Tigre and Julie Ruin spoke with The Rumpus on the upon the release of a new documentary about her career, “The Punk Singer.” Thank Goddess for women like Kathleen who offering something different to the dominant narrative that abortions make you sad and regretful and damaged forever. A lot of women — I would venture to say most women — do feel sad about having an abortion. But ultimately feel empowered and relieved not to have their lives turned upside down by an unplanned pregnancy.
After the jump, Kathleen expanded more about why her abortion at age 15 was one of the best things that ever happened to her: Keep reading »
At 14 weeks pregnant, Marlise Munoz of Texas suffered what appeared to be a pulmonary embolism (blood clot) in her lungs and collapsed on the kitchen floor. She lay there for an hour until her husband found her, during which time her fetus was possibly not exposed to oxygen.
Marlise was a paramedic who was attending nursing school; her husband is a firefighter. Given their exposure to such circumstances in their professional lives, the Star-Telegram reports, each had conveyed to the other they did not want to be kept alive on life support if such a tragedy happened to them.
But their wishes don’t matter. Forth Worth’s John Peter Smith Hospital is keeping still brain dead Marlise technically alive on life support throughout the remainder of her pregnancy because of a law meant to “protect” her fetus. She is currently 20 weeks pregnant. Keep reading »
Throughout 2014, Israel could cover the cost of all abortions for women age 20 to 33, regardless of their reason for needing the procedure.
Is it just me or is anyone else’s brain exploding? Keep reading »
This story is all kinds of fucked up: a pregnant woman in Essex, UK, was sedated and had her baby forcibly taken from her womb via C-section because she was not taking her medication for bipolar disorder. The child is now 15-months-old and in the care of social services. The woman, an Italian who was in the UK for a Ryanair training course, is now trying to get her child back. Keep reading »
Voters in Albuquerque, New Mexico defeated a proposed ban on abortion after 20 weeks in a special election yesterday. The ban would have criminalized all abortions after 20 weeks, including those resulting from incest and rape or in cases when a women’s health is at risk. Had it passed, Albuquerque would have become the first city in America to adopt such abortion restrictions. The measure was defeated 55 percent to 45 percent, with only one-fourth of the city’s voters casting a ballot, according to the New York Times. All women in NM would have been affected by the ban, as the only two clinics that perform these rare second- and third-trimester abortions are located in the city. Keep reading »
Amanda Mellet, a 38-year-old Irishwoman, is filing a petition with the United Nations Human Rights Committee to challenge her country’s ban on abortion. In Ireland, a predominantly Catholic country, abortion only recently became legal if it is necessary to save the mother’s life. In November 2011, a pregnant Mellet was devastated to find out that her fetus had Edward’s system, a fatal abnormality that causes mutations to the heart and other organs.
She was told that her daughter may not survive the pregnancy, and that if she did, she’d die shortly after birth. If Mellet carried her to term, she wouldn’t know until delivery whether she was even still alive. She and her husband decided that terminating the pregnancy was the most humane thing to do for her child, who, if born alive, would spend her only few hours on earth in a hopeless struggle for survival.
Her doctors, however, were legally unable to perform the abortion. Keep reading »
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 »