Caperton covered the Elizabeth Smart speech about abstinence already, and my Guardian column this week is on a similar topic: How an emphasis on purity is bad for women, bad for men and bad for rape survivors:...read more
The New York Times wonders. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists thinks they should be over the counter. The Catholic Medical Association and the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists disagree, of course, because their religious beliefs should obviously dictate the kind of health care that the rest of us are able to access....read more
Journalist Kathryn Joyce has a new book out called The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption about (guess what) the Evangelical Christian adoption movement. It’s a fascinating read, enlightening even for those of us who thought they knew something about the problems with the adoption industry. I interviewed Kathryn for Buzzfeed; here’s a bit:...read more
A high-school senior and her classmates speak up for accurate information and against a terrible abstinence-only speaker. An eight-year-old girl chases down a Tennessee state senator to get some answers. And an Oscar nominee shows she’s more than just an exceptionally talented young actress. Today, on Today in Badass Young Women....read more
If you paid attention to the interwebs late last week, you probably some twitterings about Kermitt Gosnell, a Pennsylvania doctor accused of running a horror show out of his low-rent abortion clinic. He’s on trial in state court after being investigated and arrested two years ago — which you might remember, since feminist media (including this blog) covered the issue extensively. But now, lefty and centrist dudes are Very Concerned about Gosnell. Why? Because a handful of pro-lifers are whining that no one has covered the case, and lefty journalists are intentionally squelching any sort of media focus on Gosnell. In reality, the Grand Jury report was filed in early 2011, and included most of the facts now being presented at trial. In early 2011, dozens of outlets covered the report. When the trial commenced a few weeks ago, local media covered it. And when there’s a verdict, mainstream and feminist media will likely cover it again, since that will be something new to report. This is how media coverage of big court cases works, most of the time. So what’s all the fuss? And why are usually skeptical journalists taking known liars like Michelle Malkin and Jill Stanek at their word? I’m at Al Jazeera writing about it:...read more
An investigation into the death of Savita Halappanavar, a woman who died in an Irish hospital after being refused a medically necessary abortion, has confirmed that Ms. Halappanavar and her husband were indeed told that her pregnancy could not be terminated because Ireland is a Catholic country....read more
I don’t usually point folks in the direction of right-wing comment sections, but man, this one over at Hot Air about access to emergency contraception is amazing. Background: A federal judge ruled that the law making emergency contraception (referred to variously as Plan B, EC and the morning-after pill) only available without a prescription to young women 17 and over was arbitrary and capricious, and not grounded in any scientific or legally tenable basis. Cue right-wing freak-out. The always incredibly astute and never hysterical AllahPundit started the post off by worrying about the hordes of 13-year-old Plan B addicts trolling pharmacies at midnight looking for their fix (“You don’t want your 13-year-old running around town at midnight looking for a pharmacist on duty just to get hold of some Plan B, do you?”). In other words, “It’s 11pm. Do you know where your kids are? Because they’re probably running around town looking for a pharmacist just to get hold of some Plan B for huffing. D.A.R.E.” Then, of course, the genius commenters joined in. These are all actual comments from Hot Air; I could not make this up if I tried:...read more
Punting on Marriage Equality Won’t Prevent Culture Wars; It’ll Undermine the Supreme Court’s Credibility
Political commentators, at least on the left and center, seem relatively convinced that the past two days of marriage equality hearings in the Supreme Court won’t result in an opinion extending same-sex marriage rights to all people in the United States. They might be right, but I’m not sure why so many left-of-center folks seem to be warning the Court not to move too quickly on marriage equality. I get why the socially conservative right is doing it — it’s a threat, essentially. “Do a think we don’t like and we will FREAK OUT!” And they will surely throw a mild temper-tantrum if the fundamental right of marriage is found to include same-sex couples. But “Oh jeez, the religious right might act like toddlers again” is not a very good reason to delay granting a group of citizens basic constitutional rights. Also: Contrary to what has somehow become an accepted truth, Roe v. Wade did not ignite the culture wars. Abortion was controversial well before Roe, and while abortion rights were secured in a small handful of states (four, I believe), they weren’t going to move ahead in many more because of conservative, religious push-back. The idea that a Roe-free U.S. would somehow have led to the broad securement of abortion rights without controversy is flat-out wrong. As is the idea that marginalized groups of people should have to wait for the tides of public opinion to turn before they get rights. Which is what this piece in the Nation is about:...read more
Over at Feministing: Stepping into the light of my abortion. It’s a wonderful piece. Read, share, discuss....read more
A whole lot of people, as it turns out. This week at the Guardian I’m writing about the Commission on the Status of Women, a two-week-long UN conference that wrapped up on Friday and, thankfully, resulted in a signed document pledging action on women’s rights. But in the lead-up to the signing, we saw a variety of actors from all around the world try to impede anti-violence efforts. Who? Russia, Iran, the Vatican, the Muslim Brotherhood and American pro-life groups, among others. They had a variety of objections, but the chief ones were that the proposed CSW document would treat husbands who rape their wives the same way as men who rape strangers, would disallow countries from using the “it’s our culture / religion / tradition” excuse to avoid implementing anti-violence measures, and stated that women have a right to bodily integrity and freedom:...read more
Here are some good, basic ideas for fighting violence against women:
1. Violence against intimate partners is not ok.
2. Rape is rape, even within a marriage.
3. Religion, custom and tradition are not excuses for committing acts of violence.
4. Everyone has a right to bodily autonomy and integrity.
Those are the exact ideas that may tank a final communique from the Commission on the Status of Women, thanks primarily to Iran, Russia and the Vatican, but also because of objections and concerns from religious conservatives in the U.S., Egypt and Poland. Good work, guys. You must be very proud....read more
I’m writing in Al Jazeera today about how the fight over the Violence Against Women Act exemplifies the increased extremism of the Republican party. A bit:...read more