Disturbing news out of Illinois today: a teenage girl from Missouri escaped from a home in which she had been held captive for the past two years.
The young woman, who was 15 when she went missing, said she had been sexually assaulted and beaten almost daily by an older man. She became pregnant by her rapist and gave birth to a two-year-old child. Keep reading »
A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that Texas is now allowed to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood clinics that participate in Texas’ Women’s Health Program. Planned Parenthood performs abortions, which the state opposes, and therefore they are allowed to defund the clinics.
The program helps roughly 130,00 low-income women with health care; it aids women who would not qualify for Medicaid unless they are pregnant. The WHP has always funded Planned Parenthood clinics in the past; its mandate is not to fund “abortion-providing entities” and Planned Parenthood got around that by creating a separate legal entity to accept the funds to use for non-abortion health care. The state knew that and funded the clinics anyway. But then the state of Texas decided it was more de riguer and keeping with the times to defund Planned Parenthood over all this. It rewrote language saying WHP funding couldn’t even go to abortion-providing affiliates. Keep reading »
Poor anti-abortion Republicans. It must be so hard having the general public pay attention to your extremist views. Case in point: Mitt Romney’s vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan is against legal abortion and joined Republicans — including Rep. Todd Akin! — last year to try to rewrite language in the No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act (background here), saying government funding could only cover abortions in the case of “forcible rape.”
The language was rejected when more reasonable minds were horrified that a woman who had been roofied and raped would be told “no” if she asked for help terminating a pregnancy resulting from it. Because that’s rape, too. The implication was, of course, that if a woman wasn’t “forcibly” raped — as in, a man jumps out from the behind the bushes — she might be lying and really doesn’t deserve to get help ending her pregnancy. You might even say she was not the victim of a “legitimate rape.” Keep reading »
Did you know that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime?
This astonishingly high statistic is one of the many things I learned about breast health at Planned Parenthood’s Breast Health Initiative briefing yesterday. Surrounded by some incredibly influential and inspirational women, including Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards and actress/activist Gabrielle Union, I was informed about the lives that screenings have already saved and the ways in which Planned Parenthood is expanding their services. Keep reading »
Amelia is still down on the floor of her bathroom with her hand mirror, trying to find that anti-pregnancy rape mechanism thingamajig [APRMT] inside that will keep her from getting pregnant if she’s raped. I keep telling her that no such body part actually exists in a woman’s body and Missouri Rep. Todd Akin is just a dumbass, but she is all, like, “No, Jessica! Our elected officials would not lie to us. I will find this thing!” Hmm. I don’t think she’ll get much editing done today.
The good news is that a lot of people have come out to say Rep. Akin’s comments were medically inaccurate — a 1996 study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that approximately 32,000 pregnancies each year are the result of rape— and that casting doubt on whether rape is “legitimate” or not is horrible. The bad news is that other people have come out to defend him. Keep reading »
This piece first appeared on Eyelid’s LiveJournal and has been reprinted with her permission. You can read some clarifying background info here.
So uh, don’t freak out, but I was pregnant and had to have an abortion last weekend.
Yes, yes I know, my uterus is ruled by Murphy’s Law. Patrick and I both thought it was pretty funny, in that “oh, life” way, when it occurred to me a few days after I missed my period why I wasn’t bleeding.
Being first-trimester crazy (I have fits of horrific rage, I get depressed, I can’t sleep, I can’t concentrate) has made everything more difficult these last couple weeks. Having an abortion is really not that big of a deal, but it would be even less of a deal if one were not suffering from overhormones when it’s all going down.
I didn’t really waffle at all on it. Patrick and I are both exhausted. When we are at home dealing with the kids, someone constantly needs something (or many people need things at once), and then there’s cleaning up after four kids, etc. We already should do more for our kids than we do. There is no way we can deal with another pregnancy or baby on top of one-year-old twins, two older children, work, and life. I could feel Patrick’s terror at the thought; he’s already on his last nerve. It would also be very difficult to afford. and where would we put another baby? Keep reading »
God bless America, the land where you can resign from your job in shame after doing something douchey and then turn around and blame it on the victim of your attack. I speak, of course, of Karen Handel, an anti-abortion ex-politician and former executive of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, who resigned in February after attempting to defund Planned Parenthood. Although Komen’s grants were only used for cancer screenings, PP was targeted because some clinics perform abortions.
Handel has signed a deal with Simon & Schuster for a book called Planned Bullyhood, out in September. Planned Bullyhood, huh? Because giving Pap smears to low-income women who have no other health care options is so bullying! “Glee” should do a dance number! Get Lady Gaga on the phone! Anti-abortion activists were born this way! Keep reading »
Next month the Democratic National Convention will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, where Democratic delegates will nominate President Barack Obama for their candidate. Such events are not just about nominating a candidate, though, but an overall PR blitz for their party’s values.
Politico has seen drafts (“a starting point”) of convention-planning documents describing the DNC’s alleged plans, most notable of which will include pairs of individuals discussing Obama’s policies in comparison to Mitt Romney’s. But it is the precise people they suggest that leaves a slightly bad taste in my mouth. Instead of a gay couple — the documents explicitly say “not a gay couple” — one pair will be a “parent and a gay son or daughter.” Another pair, who will discuss Planned Parenthood, will be a “husband who talks about how a Pap smear saved his wife’s life,” as well as his spouse.
Keep reading »