Tag Archives: Abortion

More Follow-Up Questions, Please

This is why I watch Aljazeera America:

Ah, those pesky “follow-up questions.” Don’t see them too often from the likes of Chuck Todd or David Gregory.

The fact of the matter is, when you ask the follow-up questions it becomes apparent that Republicans are not only legislating shit they don’t understand, they’re legislating shit they never bothered to think about. “Why would a woman want to get an abortion?” “Well gee now, I’ve never thought about that …”

Maybe you should, asshole. This should be asked of every anti-choice politician. If they can’t answer it they need to get to the end of the line.

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Filed under abortion, feminism, media, Republican Party, women's rights

Those Who Do Not Learn From History Are Doomed To Repeat It

This is what happens when you restrict women’s access to abortion services:

As policies restricting access to abortion roll out in Texas and elsewhere, the use of miso is quickly becoming a part of this country’s story. It has already made its way into the black market here in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley, where abortion restrictions are tightening, and it is likely to continue its trajectory if anti-abortion legislation does not ease up and clinics continue to be closed.

The Texas law which sparked Wendy Davis’ famous filibuster has already shuttered 12 of the state’s 40 abortion clinics, and counting. It was predicted that the law would keep 23,000 Texas women — one third of those who seek them — from getting abortions. Meanwhile,

Many of these women can be found in the Rio Grande Valley, where the admitting privileges provision forced both of the county’s abortion clinics to shut down. Now, the closest clinic for the region’s one-million-plus residents is 150 miles away. For many poor, uninsured South Texas women, that distance is beyond feasible. Few have access to a set of wheels for the long haul, and others lack the right paperwork to cross immigration checkpoints on highways that run through the state.

Meanwhile, the flea market is close to most people living in the Valley, and the massive Alamo pulga looks like just the kind of place to pick up miso. According to several of my local sources, the drug is sold here and it’s not difficult to get—you just need to know who to approach and what to ask for.

God, stop me if you’ve heard this story before. Like we don’t already know that women will do anything to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. Like we don’t have a gruesome history of coat hangers, knitting needles, women throwing themselves down stairs, etc. etc. etc. Jesus, but pro-lifers are stupid. Closing a Planned Parenthood clinic doesn’t stop abortion. It stops safe, legal, clean, compassionate abortion care. It makes women criminals for doing what the Supreme Court has said is legal.

Meanwhile, forcing women to seek out black market medication for a perfectly legal procedure puts vulnerable, poor women at risk:

One woman I interviewed at a Mexican restaurant in Brownsville told me her good friend nearly died after taking pills that her husband bought in Mexico. Instead of ingesting four of the 12 pills every three hours, as is recommended by the World Health Organization, she took two pills under her tongue, then four pills vaginally, then two more under her tongue, then four more vaginally. She began to bleed profusely, doubled over in pain. But because she was undocumented, she was afraid to seek medical help at a nearby hospital or clinic. Instead, she crossed the border to Mexico with her five children—all the while hemorrhaging—in search of medical assistance. She has since recovered but is still in Mexico with her children because she can’t cross the border back into the United States.

Women will always find a way. Always. It doesn’t matter what the law says, desperate people will go to any lengths to get what they need. This is something we women know deep in our bones, because pregnancy is something that affects our bodies and our lives, while for men it’s a mere abstract concept. Men don’t get it, they will never get it because it’s not the same issue for them.

The fetus-fetish crowd are true monsters.

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Filed under abortion, healthcare, women's rights

Fundies Silent On Israel’s Free Abortions

You know, there’s nothing more hypocritical than your modern pro-life conservative Fundiegelical American Christian. These folks have a no-compromise attitude when it comes to Planned Parenthood: every penny the taxpayers give PP for STD testing and mammograms is a penny PP can use toward aborting babies, they argue. They refused to support UN women’s health programs during the Bush years because they included abortion (as well as birth control and vital HIV/AIDs prevention). But no, millions of people in Africa could contract HIV, as long as not one penny was spent on abortion.

And Obamacare? The double backbends the Obama Administration went through to make sure no religious group directly sullied its hands by touching birth control was not enough. The demands that no insurance policy offer coverage for abortion continue.

But when it comes to Israel? Well, Fundiegelicals love, love, love Israel, because Jesus and Nuke The Ragheads and the Chosen People and Zionism, etc. etc. etc. So when it was announced late last year that Israel would offer free abortions to all women age 20-33 for any reason whatsoever, one might expect cries of outrage, demands to withhold U.S. aid, etc.

Aaand you would be wrong. We got crickets. Worse than crickets. Some of them have even defended the decision:

Ari Morgenstern, spokesman for Christians United for Israel (CUFI), which boasts more than 1 million members nationwide, the abortion policy won’t change the organization’s support for the Jewish State.

“CUFI is a single-issue organization that supports the democratically elected government of Israel regardless of whether or not we agree with the decisions taken by that government,” he said.

Got that? It doesn’t matter what they do, we will support them regardless. I find that … odd.

And then there’s this:

Tom McClusky a spokesman for the March for Life said, “It seems that especially while a lot of Europe and also Russia and the former Soviet Union is having trouble keeping up with birthrates, that it’d be a pretty poor policy for a country to take right now.” When asked if he thought the new provision might alienate pro-Israel American conservatives, McClusky added, “A lot of people that I’ve partnered with here and at my former job [the Family Research Council] who were pro-Israel were also pro-life. It seems they’d just be another country where we’d be looking to overturn a law.

See? No biggie. We can still send them billions of dollars in defense aid, we’ll just work to overturn the policy. (Hey: can Planned Parenthood get that deal? No?) You could argue that every Israeli bomb and fighter jet Americans pay for is money the Israelis can now spend on abortion. You could argue that, unless of course you’re a right-wing pro-life Fundiegelical American Christian, in which case you won’t, because you’re a hypocrite.

Writes Ed Kilgore:

Most antichoicers who are also aggressive supporters of a Greater Israel form of Zionism clearly just don’t want to “go there” in examining Israel’s abortion policies. It just would not do for them to apply the sort of “abortion as Holocaust” rhetoric to Israel as they routinely do with respect to America’s less liberal laws.

The bottom line is that many of the most adamant conservative Christian supporters of Israel (or at least the Israel represented by politicians like Bibi Netanyahu and those to his right) treat that country as an instrument for their own fantasies about the Middle East, not as a society representing their own values. Jewish Zionists who welcome their support ought to keep that in mind.

I would point out that this applies to American politics, as well. To paraphrase Kilgore, the most adamant conservative Christian opponents of abortion treat that issue as an instrument for their own fantasies about a conservative America, not as a policy reflecting any real religious conviction.

Or to put it another way: the abortion issue is simply a political tool used by leaders of the organized Christian Right to raise funds, get out the vote, gather mailing lists, win elections and achieve other political ends. The leaders of the religious political movement don’t give a shit about fetuses or babies or anything else. Fundiegelicals who support them ought to keep that in mind.

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Filed under abortion, Israel

Fundie RWNJ Admits Climate Change Is Man-Made

Sorta:

“We’ve made God angry by allowing abortion! Abortion causes climate change!” claims Barton.

Barton claims that we opened the door to losing God’s protection over our environment by supporting abortion which, he says, will lead to just killing everybody anyway.

Progress?

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Filed under abortion, climate change, religious fundamentalism, religious right

Go Back To Your Man Cave, Asshole

Via Twitter, scenes from the anti-choice protests at the Texas state capitol today:

Mansplaining.jpg-large

AND:

BOMvY-eCYAAVqvQ.jpg-large

Dudes who regret their abortions? This is a new thing!

Here’s an idea. When you can carry that fetus 9 months and not have to worry about how you’re going to a) care for it and yourself and whatever other progeny you have while you’re pregnant and after giving birth and, b) figure out how you can care for it for 18 years amid all the challenges and life issues you may be dealing with right now? Come talk to me. Until then, STFU.

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Filed under abortion, feminism

“Pro-Lifers” Gave Us Kermit Gosnell

Republicans like Rep. Marsha Blackburn might want to be careful about invoking the name of notorious Pennsylvania butcher Dr. Kermit Gosnell as they push to restrict access to abortion.

Beside the fact that it defies logic — what Gosnell did was illegal, DUH, that’s why he was put on trial and is now in jail, dumbasses — a brief look at his practice shows his clientele was driven to him by the very anti-choice, anti-woman policies that the Marsha Blackburns of this country keep clamoring for.

I direct you to the BBC World Service, which today did an in-depth radio documentary on the Gosnell case, and which I recommend you hear, graphic details and all. I transcribed a few pertinent excerpts:

“It wasn’t the cleanest place … the rooms were small, it was dimly lit. It just didn’t seem like a kind of medical situation you would want to be in — unless you were desperate. Because the abortions weren’t expensive. He was cheap! So that brought people that couldn’t afford to go anywhere, but to him. And that’s why they would sit down in that lobby and that waiting area for hours at a time.”

A country which lacks a functioning healthcare system that serves the reproductive needs of poor women — women who are desperate — is asking for a Kermit Gosnell in every city. That is reality.

Margaret Davidson, whose cousin died after Gosnell perforated her uterus during an abortion, says he had a reputation. “He was known in the community for doing abortions, it didn’t matter what the gestation was. That you could get it done quickly, you could get it done cheaply, no questions asked.

If you are going to make women jump through medically unnecessary hoops like transvaginal ultrasounds and radically restrict the gestational date at which abortion is permitted — some states have gone to ludicrous lengths — then you are asking for a Kermit Gosnell in every city. That is reality.

He says Gosnell didn’t just treat women from West Philadelphia. “There was always a group of white women who came to the clinic for a lot of the same reasons. Some of them were poor and they needed an abortion and Dr. Gosnell was there. Others were suburban teenagers that got pregnant and their parents wanted them to get an abortion and Gosnell once again was there. So he developed a reputation, not just in Philadelphia but pretty much along the East Coast as the abortion doctor of last resort.

If you are going to restrict women’s access to affordable reproductive healthcare, including birth control and abortion services, then you are asking for a Kermit Gosnell in every city. That is reality.

In 2009, Karnamaya Mongar traveled up the East Coast to see Gosnell. Her story reveals just how shambolic Gosnell’s clinic was. Her family’s lawyer is Bernard Smalley.

“She was a political refugee from a country called Bhutan. She came with her husband, her two children, and her grandchild here to Northern Virginia, and found herself once she got here pregnant, and made her own decision not to carry through with the pregnancy.”

(Neal Razzell): So, explain how it is that a woman who wants an abortion in Virginia ends up getting it in Philadelphia?

“What we know is, abortion is legal in the state of Virginia. She attempted to go to a facility in Virginia and then later in D.C., and was told that they could not assist her.

(Neal Razzell): And in Washington D.C. they say the same thing?

“We can’t help you. But why don’t you go to Dr. Kermit Gosnell, we believe he can help you.”

One more time: if you are going to prevent women from having legal, safe abortions, a large number of them are going to seek out an unsafe alternative. And yes, you are asking for a Kermit Gosnell in every city in America. That is reality.

I have no idea what Virginia and D.C. clinics Karnamaya Mongar went to, or why she was denied services and sent to Gosnell. I have to wonder if she’d mistakenly gone to one of those Christian “crisis pregnancy centers” which routinely lie to their clients.

Kermit Gosnell is the inevitable result of these anti-choice policies. It’s not like we don’t have history to prove this is true. Prior to 1973, the country was filled with Kermit Gosnells, preying on the desperate and poor who were denied a choice.

How utterly, completely, positively predictable that following decades of chipping away at abortion rights, Kermit Gosnell has reappeared. If this horrifies you, Marsha Blackburn and Diane Black? Look in a mirror. You’re the ones responsible.

I have no doubt there will be another Kermit Gosnell making the headlines in years to come, too. Just you wait. The more you restrict access to affordable, safe abortion care, the more you are asking for the alternative. And women’s lives will be lost.

Not that you so-called “pro lifers” care. Apparently “life” ends at birth with these clowns.

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Filed under abortion, reproductive rights

Idiots

[UPDATE]: Word in some corners is that the “some idiot” in question is named Erick Erickson.

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Some GOP idiot started this Twitter hashtag today, to universal derision:

Sit Down

This, of course, referencing the heroic fillibuster of Texas state senator Wendy Davis. They just don’t get it, do they?

Republicans still think if they find female mouthpieces to spout their crap, they’ll endear themselves to women voters. And they have no idea how insulting that is.

Wendy Davis galvanized more women voters than any S.E. Cupp repeating Frank Luntz-written talking points ever will.

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Filed under feminism, reproductive rights, Republican Party, women's rights