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  1. Paraxeni
    Paraxeni September 1, 2010 at 5:02 pm |

    The hypocrisy is staggering. A country that uses “Look how badly they treat their women!” as a rallying cry for war, is denying the bodily autonomy of living, breathing women over the ‘personhood’ of blastocysts, embryos and foetuses.

    It seems that even when U.S. women can access abortion they are made sitting targets by having to go to special clinics, rather than to the relative safety and anonymity of their local hospital.

    My greatest wish for my sisters (and vag-owning brothers) over the Pond would be easy access to comprehensive sexual and anatomical education, and access to the contraception of their choice, unhindered by lies, judgement, falsehoods and scare stories. I want them to have access to emergency contraception, and safe, legal access to abortion. Also for the FDA to judge drugs/devices solely by their physical or chemical nature, not by some rich, white man’s sense of the ‘morality’ of reproductive choice.

    As a citizen of another country I cannot do anything to physically help anyone, but I’ll continue to debunk myths and outright lies told to your country’s citizens in an attempt to control them, and my moral support is unwavering.

  2. Comrade Kevin
    Comrade Kevin September 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |

    What I find so sad is that the people affected by this are primarily low-income women of color, who give birth to children that, if you’d believe the rhetoric of those who pass this legislation, are responsible for violent crimes, immorality, and drain the welfare system dry.

  3. Natasha
    Natasha September 1, 2010 at 6:05 pm |

    For the 1,000th time, I can’t believe I live in a country where corporate personhood is established law, but female personhood isn’t.

  4. MertvayaRuka
    MertvayaRuka September 1, 2010 at 7:12 pm |

    And this is precisely the kind of thing that’s been aggravating the shit out of me while arguing with right-wing traditionalist pagans (yes they do exist) about the Park 51 community center thing. They’re trying to tell me that “Christianity has been defanged” and now the real threat is Muslim Americans. Because apparently all this work against abortion rights and all the work against same-sex marriage is all fundamentalist Islam’s doing. I’m supposed to listen to these dumb motherfuckers about the looming danger of sharia law while the christian right continues to make policy all over the country. *headdesk*

  5. Shelley
    Shelley September 1, 2010 at 8:24 pm |

    As a Tennessean and a Planned Parenthood volunteer, what really bothers me is that organized opposition to these resolutions is kept quiet in hopes of working out a deal through lobbyists behind the scenes. If people want to protest, PROTEST. Let the (white heterosexual male) legislators know that opposition to their pro life agenda exists. Ugh. AND, Senate Joint Resolution 127 passed the TN General Assembly this year, making it one step closer to making nearly impossible access to abortion an amendment to our state constitution — a bill introduced by a WOMAN, a NURSE. Good ole Diane Black is running for our 6th District Congressional seat this year as well, and I can only imagine what she’ll try to do in Congress. This deeply saddens me.

  6. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable September 1, 2010 at 8:28 pm |

    Paraxeni: My greatest wish for my sisters (and vag-owning brothers)

    Love this.

    Also, I’m currently in MO and thus esp. irritated by this. My law school friends say this law is unconstitutional. Any comments from the lawyers here, and if so, what I can do as a registered voter? This is his gchatted comment: “yeah i think it violates the extent that states can be involved in that process, even if it is ‘subtle’ words and not overt actions” for context.

  7. What’s Happening « Witchy Feminist
    What’s Happening « Witchy Feminist September 2, 2010 at 9:10 am |

    […] It looks grim for Women’s Rights. […]

  8. Heather Aurelia
    Heather Aurelia September 2, 2010 at 9:17 am |

    That’s some pretty grim news.

  9. William
    William September 2, 2010 at 9:20 am |

    I find it surprising that so many on the left still haven’t worked out the strategy. Forced birth advocates watched the gun rights movement and are aping their tactics. You don’t try to legislate at the national level because its difficult, expensive, the power is more limited, and there is more attention. Instead you targets the states and slowly build a consensus. You start in states with legislatures sympathetic to your cause, you move quietly, and you use successful legislation in those early states as part of your argument for the next round of states later on. By the time you make a move on the national level your opponent appears to be in the minority, behind the curve. Granted, the pro-choice movement has a lot more to work with constitutionally than the gun control movement did, but that might not matter much if the forced birthers are able to get personhood laws in a majority of states.

  10. Astrid
    Astrid September 2, 2010 at 9:24 am |

    I am so glad I live in the Netherlands. Abortion is restricted to the first 21 weeks of pregnancy here because of viability (which is ironic, since babibes born before 25 weeks will be left to die anyway), but anyone can obtain an abortion free of charge. The only bill in this list that I agree with, is the 24-week limit in Nebraska, although I would say since 24-weekers are viable, aborted 24-weekers can just be treated at the NICU rather than forcing a woman to carry to term.

  11. Drakyn
    Drakyn September 2, 2010 at 12:04 pm |

    Not USA, but an Australian state Attorney-General has just appealed a ruling because he wants trans people to be sterilized before we can be legally recognized as our actual gender/sex.
    ~Yay eugenics!~

    This is just after the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, Thomas Hammarberg, has come out as against forcing trans people to divorce their spouse or be sterilized to change their legal markers.

    A book came out this year about women who had children despite being told they shouldn’t/couldn’t.

    Parents of kids (and guardians of adults) with autism are using a drug that is sometimes used to chemically castrate sex offenders to “treat” autism.

    (btw, reproductive rights: way more than just abortion access)

  12. Paraxeni
    Paraxeni September 2, 2010 at 12:38 pm |

    @ PA – thanks. I’ve known more than one guy be told “Oh yeah, T makes you sterile” and go on to have to self-abort because a) they couldn’t access abortion services in their state and b) couldn’t face the financial and emotional cost of travelling elsewhere, as a man, only to have to negotiate a termination.

    @drakyn – yep, it is about more than abortion access, it’s about the denial/restriction of contraception, it’s about sex mis-education, about partner-coercion, but those things help lead to the need for safe and accessible termination.

    As for the issue of forced sterilisation in trans communities I agree that it is abhorrent. It’s bad enough forcing surgery on people so that they’re allowed to legally present as their actual gender, but adding procedures on top of that is shameful.

    I’ve read a bit of Defiant Birth – but the bits about parenting disabled children grated a bit. I can’t read my print copy any more, I wish I had access to an electronic version so I could look them up. Over all it was good, but the all too-common trope of “What about the carers?” appeared a smidge too often for me.

  13. Paraxeni
    Paraxeni September 2, 2010 at 1:13 pm |

    @Astrid – from my research into statistics available in my country (Great Britain) almost all of the terminations carried out past 20 weeks are due to foetal anomalies that are incompatible with life, so there’d be no ‘saving’ of the baby that was ‘cooked’ until 24+ weeks anyway. They’ve deliberately eased restrictions that increase waiting times, so that as many abortions as possible can be carried out before the 9 week mark. Thankfully it’s very rare that a citizen could get to 24 weeks gestational age by accident. A lot of the later abortions (20+ weeks) are carried out on EU citizens who cannot legally get the procedure in their own jurisdiction.

    Roughly 90% of all abortions in the UK occur under 13 weeks, and 1% are between 20-23+6 weeks, and any necessary after 24 weeks (0.1% of the total number of abortions, a figure that has remained steady since pre-1995) can only be carried out in an NHS hospital, so the stats regarding late terminations are virtually error-free.

    So if the data for 2006 alone is looked at, 136 terminations occurred in NHS hospitals, and all of those were due to congenital or chromosomal abnormalities. Congenital malformations accounted for 95 of the 136, with the most common reason overall (congenital and chromosomal) being brain malformation.

  14. Paraxeni
    Paraxeni September 2, 2010 at 3:34 pm |

    Bugger. The beginning of my last paragraph should read “So if the data for 2006 alone is looked at, 136 terminations occurred in NHS hospitals at 24wks+, and all of those were due to congenital or chromosomal abnormalities. “

    I ctrl+z’ed when I should’ve ctrl+y’ed!

  15. Wednesday
    Wednesday September 3, 2010 at 1:41 am |

    Passed a law requiring a woman take a trips to an abortion provider at least 24 hours before she receives her abortion, known as a “two trip” law. At that first visit, she’s required to receive a packet of information that must contain the following sentences: “The life of each human being begins at conception. Abortion will terminate the life of a separate, unique, living human being.”

    Similar guidelines exist where I live. (i.e. two-trip regulation with 48h time lapse, as well as pre- and post-abortion counselling and ‘educational materials’)

    But The life of each human being begins at conception. Abortion will terminate the life of a separate, unique, living human being.? That’s not even science.


  16. The War on Choice : Lawyers, Guns & Money

    […] a large number of states still seem to have not received Ross Douthat’s memo about how no rest…. Share and […]

  17. The clamp down on American women : Peter Daou

    […] at Feministe expands on one aspect of the list, the steady infringement on women’s reproductive rights: Yesterday […]

  18. William
    William September 3, 2010 at 9:29 am |

    That’s not even science.*angry*  

    Since when have religious restrictions on moral behavior been bound by science. Their 5000 year old mountain god says its so, how can science compete?

  19. A.
    A. September 3, 2010 at 12:41 pm |

    Wednesday: But The life of each human being begins at conception. Abortion will terminate the life of a separate, unique, living human being.? That’s not even science.

    *angry* Wednesday

    and Christian bias. Not all religions claim this.

  20. joel hanes
    joel hanes September 3, 2010 at 1:32 pm |

    … the idea of ‘ensoulment’ at conception is actually a radically new change in Christianity that dates back only to 1869. For the first 1800 years or so of Christianity, the fetus was NOT considered human and was not ‘ensouled’ with a human soul until ‘quickening,’ some time in the second trimester. Abortion before that point was NOT considered murder or a mortal sin by the Church. Though, to be sure, a number of Christian scholars argued for instant ensoulment, the Church rejected their theological arguments and stuck to the dogma of delayed ensoulment.

    In 1869, Pope Pius IX was trying to gather support within the church hierarchy for the adoption of the principle of ‘Papal Infallability.’ He approached the French leader, Bonaparte III, an Bonaparte demanded a political trade. Worried about a century-long decline in the French population. Bonaparte agreed to back Papal Infallibility, but only if Pope Pius IX would ban all abortions, even those before quickening when the fetus changed from fetus inanimatus to fetus animatus and received a human soul.

    Pius IX accepted the political quid-pro-quo and, in exchange for Bonaparte’s political support, he issued a new Papal Bull declaring that conception was the point at which the pre-embryo became ensouled.

    It wasn’t until 1917 that that Church Canon was finally changed to remove the distinction between the fetus inanimatus and the fetus animatus.

  21. Adrian
    Adrian September 3, 2010 at 3:18 pm |

    I am deeply troubled by the laws requiring pregnant women to get ultrasounds before having abortions. The linked article at The Curvature says ultrasounds have no effect on abortion rates, but I don’t believe it. They are just talking about women who can afford (time+money, with assistance in some cases) the abortion and the ultrasound, and saying that none of them changed their minds after viewing the ultrasound.

    Increasing the cost of abortion, or adding more administrative delays to the procedure always reduce abortion rates. The way health insurance reform makes it difficult for women of low and moderate income to have this aspect of their health care covered by insurance is likely to make it worse. Health insurance companies aren’t even restricting contraception and abortion coverage because they want to save money. Just giving birth in a hospital costs about 20 times more than an abortion. (More for a C-section, of course.) Surgical abortion in the first trimester is even safer for women than giving birth–less risk of health complications, as well as less risk of dying.

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