Last month, those of us concerned with reproductive rights were aghast at the story of Feng Jianmei, a 22-year-old Chinese woman who was forced to have an abortion. She and her husband, who have a five-year-old daughter, could not afford the $6,300 fine for violating the country’s one-child policy, so family planning officials forced her into having an abortion. Her husband, Den Jiyuan, told a Chinese newspaper that she was hooded, abducted by being pushed into a car, and forcibly injected with some substance that terminated her pregnancy at seven months along. Her “consent” to the abortion was someone inking her fingerprint onto a document against her will. According to the Guardian, forced abortions and forced sterilizations are technically illegal in China, but they still occur. Last year, a 37-year-old woman named Ma Jihong reportedly died from a forced abortion gone wrong. Keep reading »
What is it like to have an abortion? The Internet can be a crapshoot for honest narratives about the experience. You remember, the Internet, land of grotesque photos of bloody fetuses and rumors that breast cancer is caused by abortion?
A new Tumblr project called I Had An Abortion (not affiliated with the documentary of the same name), organized by reproductive health advocate Steph Herold, seeks to collect stories about abortion experiences which have been published around the web. Keep reading »
Women in in Mississippi can breathe easy, at least temporarily: at the eleventh hour on Sunday night, a federal judge blocked a law that would have effectively closed the state’s only abortion clinic. A law was set to go into effect on Monday that would have required doctors at the Jackson Women’s Health Organization to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. However, that was not going to happen as all four of the clinic’s OB-GYNs live out of state, in part because they, their families and neighbors are horrendously harassed by anti-abortion extremists. Only one of the practicing OB-GYNs has admitting privileges at the local hospital; the others have not been granted them yet. Had the law gone into effect today, women’s access to safe and legal abortions would have been even more impeded as they would have been required to drive out of state, which requires time and money. Keep reading »