Tag Archives: pro-choice

Feminist Friday

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Kidlet and I at a pro-choice rally in Richmond a few weeks ago.

There’s another one tomorrow that I’m really disappointed I can’t make. The illustrious state of Virginia (the Board of Health, anyway) instituted some regulations a few weeks back that could put around 80% of the states abortion providers out of business. The rally tomorrow is to show Governor McDonnell that Virginia is a pro-choice state, and we’re pissed. LISTEN UP MCDONNELL. (I’ll interject here that one of the great weaknesses of Virginia is that governors can only serve one term at a time. So a governor really has no vested interest in keeping constituents happy – they’re done at the end of their four years. Makes it pretty hard, in my opinion, to put any pressure on the position.)

We’re on an impromptu vacation in the outer banks of North Carolina – what are you all up to this weekend?

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Conscience clauses in health care

I’ve written about my distaste for conscience clauses in healthcare before. I find it absolutely ridiculous that someone who elects to become a professional in healthcare can also refuse to provide care that they find “morally objectionable.” (Which, apparently, in some cases protects providers who refuse to perform blood transfusions or counsel about vaccines. I’m not going to get into the merits of vaccinations, but I AM going to say that they are one of the most BASIC sorts of healthcare, and if you’re a provider who doesn’t want to talk about them…what’s next? You don’t want to write prescriptions either? Become a homeopath then. There are lots of other healthcare avenues open to you – explore one.)

So I read a story like this one, and my blood pressure sky rockets. (Let’s hope conscience clauses don’t protect providers from taking blood pressure…) The anger and sadness and rage that I feel can’t even be measured, it’s THAT significant. I read the article over 2 weeks ago and have just NOW calmed down enough so I can write about it.

A woman presented to the hospital 20 weeks pregnant with significant vaginal hemorrhaging. An abortion needed to be performed TO SAVE HER LIFE. (As the article explains she was experiencing a placental abruption, which, if serious enough, will cause fetal demise, and can lead to death of the mother.) The doctor assigned to her care, “didn’t do abortions.” Nor did any of the other on-call doctors. An alleged mis-communication left her painfully bleeding to death in labor and delivery.

Fortunately someone did call a doctor who DOES perform abortions who was able to come quickly to the hospital and perform the procedure. The patient had lost so much blood by this time she required transfusions to stabilize her enough that the procedure could be performed, AND the surgeon counseled the patient’s husband that the procedure might be too late, and the patient’s life might be lost.

So here it is – a patient is dying, and a doctor is legally protected from performing life saving surgery. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? How, in the name of all things holy, does this make sense?

Let me be clear that I don’t think a woman should need to be dying in order for an abortion to be performed. I believe that women should have unfettered access to abortion at any time, and for any reason. But I believe FERVENTLY that conscience clauses harm patients, and this case illustrates it so very neatly.

If you are not willing to act in the best interest of your patient, (and not yourself) do something else. Become a veterinarian. Or a naturopath. Or a plumber. I don’t really care what you do – but DO NOT stand in the way of my access to health care because you believe that your so-called morals are more important than my health and well-being.

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“Abortion is not about babies…it’s a matter of survival for women.”

Two years ago, today, I sat on the couch, stunned, as I read the news that another abortion provider had been killed.

It was a Sunday morning when Dr. George Tiller, perhaps the country’s most controversial, and steadfast, abortion provider was shot while attending church. I was reading the news online, as I did, when I saw the headline. My heart sank, and my rage rose. Tiller wasn’t the first provider to be ruthlessly murdered, and sadly, he probably won’t be the last (just last week a man in Wisconsin was arrested for plotting the first-degree murder of an abortion provider).

The elections of 2010 drove home the absolute, unqualified reminder that women’s right to safe, and accessible abortion is under assault. The Guttmacher Institute has tracked over 900 pieces of anti-choice legislation. According to the San Francisco Chronicle,  in April alone, 33 anti-choice laws were passed in 9 states. Last week the House of Representatives Committee on Rules rejected an amendment that would have reversed the ban on insurance covered for abortion for military rape survivors. (The Hyde Amendment bans federal funds from being used to pay for abortions. Since military insurance in funded by federal money…)I could go on. In fact, I could go on for HOURS. There is THAT much anti-choice activity right now.

But I digress. I started this blog to ask everyone to take a minute and reflect on George Tiller’s death. Watch this video where he talks about what it means to be a “Woman educated physician.”

He says, “Abortion is not about babies, it’s not about families….it is a matter of survival for women.” And he’s absolutely right. Abortion is about survival for women. Think about that. Survival. Not pleasure, not convenience – SURVIVAL.

Sign up for action alerts from NARAL, and Planned Parenthood. Donate time, or money, or blog space. Write a letter to the editor, and to your representative, and to your senator, or attend a rally. Do something. Anything. Get involved. Stay involved.

Women need to control their reproduction, or they’re not free.

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Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a badass.

She’s been chosen to succeed Tim Kaine (D-VA) as the Democratic National Committee Chairperson.

According to Politco,

“the final choice came down to Wasserman Schultz and former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland. …Wasserman Schultz was chosen to head off the possibility of a revolt by the party’s base over abortion issues: Wasserman Schultz is a strong supporter of abortion rights, whereas Strickland’s record on the issue is mixed.”

To which I reply – THANK MAUDE.

Hopefully she will bring the party back to standing strong on the women’s rights issues.

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I put my money where my mouth is – 2

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The War on Women

I’ve been angry a lot lately. And angry, and angry, and more angry. Oh, hey, did I mention angry?

Each of those links leads to a news story wherein a woman’s right to safe and legal choice is being diminished. There is an ALL OUT WAR on women’s reproductive freedom in the United States right now. It is happening in more states than I am comfortable counting, and it is being waged without the slightest bit of humility, understanding, or sympathy. IT IS REAL, and I find it unconscionable.

Women NEED reproductive freedom. It’s not a luxury. It’s not an afterthought. It is an ESSENTIAL part of healthcare, AND an essential component of freedom. It is not negotiable, and there is no room for compromise.

Without reproductive freedom (the ability to access and choose safe and reliable birth-control, and abortion) women become subjugates of lawmakers. Their political autonomy ceases to exist, as they have been defined as incubators.

Stay informed. Add Rh Reality Check to your news feed. Visit Keep Your Boehner Out of My Uterus daily (@scatx does a great job of collecting and disseminating information and links). Sign up for news and alerts at the Planned Parenthood Action Center, and at NARAL. Donate money. Donate time. Attend a rally. Write to your Representative. Contact your Senator. Write a Letter to the Editor. Post some information on your Facebook page. Blog about it. Don’t remain silent. SPEAK UP. Remain in the conversation. Decisions are made by those who show up. SHOW UP. VOTE.

This onslaught of anti-choice, and anti-woman legislation will not go away on its own. There is no compassion or understanding in this movement. IT MUST BE CHALLENGED.

Today, my challenge to you, dear readers, is to click one of the links in the above paragraph. Just one. Pick the best way for you to take action, and do it. Read some of the links from the first paragraph. Educate yourself. Understand what is happening. Even if you don’t live in one of the states with the most aggressive attacks, understand that they are still important, because, as women, as defenders of women’s freedom, an attack on one woman, is an attack on us all.

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