Early this morning, after a 13-hour filibuster yesterday led by Texas state Senator Wendy Davis, Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst finally officially ruled that Senate Bill 5 – the devastating anti-abortion bill that would decimate women’s access to reproductive healthcare — had not come to a legal vote before midnight and was therefore dead. Shortly before midnight, Davis’ filibuster was sustained and a few others had to step in to help stall a vote until the clock ran out, asking a number of parliamentary inquiries. Then, Republicans legislators attempted to push for a vote, but the pro-choice activists — Texas’s “feminist army” as they’ve come to be known — who filled the gallery drowned them out with chants and cheers, making it impossible for the vote to be completed before the clock struck midnight. (Meanwhile, as history was being made live, not a single major news network was broadcasting it.) Keep reading »
In an enormous victory for women and girls across the nation, the Food and Drug Administration finally approved the Plan B One-Step brand morning-after pill for over-the-counter use. Plan B One-Step is a one-pill version of emergency contraception and this approval covers women and girls of all ages. Like all EC, it is more effective the sooner it is taken after unprotected sex. If taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, EC is almost 90 percent more effective at preventing unwanted pregnancy.
Earlier this month, the Obama administration backed off its resistance to making the morning-after pill accessible OTC to women and girls of all ages. Previously, Obama had been against girls younger than 15 being able to access the pill. Keep reading »
Liberal guys like me are often kind of squeamish when it comes to talking about abortion. I mean, we support it. We describe ourselves as pro-choice. We share the ridiculous things that asshole Republicans say on Facebook. (Did you hear the one about the masturbating fetus…?) If we’re straight, and we maybe decide to join our girlfriends or wives or whatever at the rally, we’ll wear the pink or orange t-shirt they pass out, and when they chant “My body, my choice!” we will chant “her body, her choice!” and consider ourselves allies. Look at us A-plus dudes, cisgender and incapable of becoming pregnant, out there to demonstrate for someone else’s rights! We could just stay out of it, but we care!
I know that’s how a lot of men think of abortion rights: like it’s someone else’s fight, and we might occasionally show up and offer support. And while I understand the impulse, that’s not good enough. The fact that guys like me need to realize is that abortion rights are our rights, too.
When I was 23, a young woman I knew needed an abortion. More importantly to me, so did I. Keep reading »
Yesterday, the Republican-dominated House of Representatives advanced a so-called “fetal pain” bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Fortunately, it is not expected to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate and President Obama would veto the bill. Thus, the bill is largely symbolic.
The Orwellian-worded bill called the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is based on the idea, unsupported by the medical community, that fetuses can feel pain (and pleasure! They like to masturbate!) after 20 weeks. Numerous other bills have cropped up around the country, from Minnesota to Indiana to Texas, based on the same idea.
Not surprisingly, Republicans have a renewed vigor for “fetal pain” bills after the trial of Kermit Gosnell, a doctor who was found to have been killing babies in botched abortions — ironically, because the women who went to his inexpensive, illegally-run clinic were unable to obtain safer, earlier abortions. The House bill is sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), who made headlines last week for saying that pregnancy from rape is rare. Keep reading »
Frisky staffers are not the only ones finding pleasure with their hands between their legs. According to former OB/GYN and now Texas Congressman Micheal Burgess (a Republican, natch), male fetuses are masturbating as well!
“Watch a sonogram of a 15-week baby, and they have movement that are purposeful,” Burgess explained during a House committee on Monday when arguing for more restrictions against abortion. “They stroke their face. If they’re a male baby, they may have their hand between their legs. If they feel pleasure, why is it so hard to think that they could feel pain? Sometimes we have to give voice to the voiceless, and this is one of those times.” Keep reading »
Wait, I thought the GOP attached nodes onto all white male Republicans’ balls to deliver electric shocks as soon as their lips start to form the words “rape” and “pregnancy”? What happened? How did Rep. Trent Franks dodge that?!
At a House Judiciary Committee hearing today, Rep. Franks of Arizona said his ban on abortions after 20 weeks does not need an exception for rape and incest because pregnancy as a result from rape is rare. “The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low,” Dr. Franks announced. Keep reading »
The two-pill version of the morning-after pill must be immediately available over-the-counter without age restrictions, a federal appeals court has ruled today. However, the court also upheld a “stay” on the one-pill version of emergency contraception (called Plan B One-Step), essentially agreeing with the Obama administration that its use for young teens needs further review.
In response to today’s decision, the president for the Center of Reproductive Rights said in a statement, “After more than a decade of politically motivated delays, women will no longer have to endure intrusive, onerous and medically unnecessary restrictions to get emergency contraception.”
Keep reading »
Beatriz, a 22-year-old pregnant woman in El Salvador with serious health issues, has finally had an abortion that will hopefully save her life.
The mother of a 14-month-old was 26 weeks pregnant with a fetus missing parts of its brain and skull; doctors had warned that Beatriz, who has kidney issues and lupus, could be killed by carrying the pregnancy to term despite the fact fetus was not expected to live more than a few hours after birth. Last Wednesday, the Supreme Court of El Salvador refused her appeal to terminate the pregnancy citing its strict ban on all abortions. While Beatriz’s death was possible, the court said, it was not “imminent.” After international outcry, on Thursday the Health Minister of El Salvador finally approved an end to her pregnancy by C-section, which is also called a hysterotomy.
Beatriz had the potentially life-saving procedure yesterday. As expected, her 27-week-old female fetus died. Keep reading »