A couple of things have crossed my radar recently that don’t really merit posts of their own, but I want to share them with you, so here we are. It’s an odd combo, I grant you. But there is a common thread here: both of these issues are tied together by religious views of (cis) women.
I’ve always supported abortion rights, but I used to be a lot more conservative about it. I’d got infected by the prevailing American squeamishness, and figured abortion should have some restrictions. I was never one of those life-of-mother-only people, but I thought abortions past, say, about four months into the pregnancy maybe should be restricted to threats to the mother’s health and problems with the fetus and so forth. Then, as I began to learn more about what pregnancy does to a woman, and as abortion foes made inroads on abortion rights, I decided fuck restrictions. I actually got to a point where I figured a pregnant person should be able to have an abortion any damned time they pleased, up to and including right around labor. Until that fetus was actually on its way out, it had no rights to use another person’s body whatsoever. And the formerly conservative part of me sort of cringed at that. I mean, it’s pretty extreme, right?
Before we begin, I have a confession to make: I was born in Indiana. I don’t like to talk about it. We moved away when I was three, and I’ve always been grateful for the choices my parents made. I’m sure some people love the state, but while there are tiny bits in my memory that stand out as fun or pleasant, most of it is a foreboding, empty gray abyss, and it’s full of cornfields. When my mom moved back there and tried to get me to follow her, I laughed bitterly. I loved her, but there was no way I’d ever be able to live there.
I’ve never been more happy about that decision than now. See, I’m a uterus-bearing American of reproductive age who doesn’t want to bear children under any circumstances, ever. In Indiana, they have decided to take that decision away from people like me. They’ve decided to take it away from people who want a kid someday, but not this soon. They’ve decided to take the choice away from people who are in a dangerous relationship and will be trapped by a child. They’ve decided to take it away from people who are already unable to feed the children they have, much less a new mouth. But they’ll generously allow people who became pregnant through rape or incest to abort, and they’ll even allow people to have an abortion if the pregnancy is putting their life at risk, but even if you fall into one of those categories, you’ll still be forced to listen to the fetal heartbeat first, and wait 18 hours, and other assorted things meant to strong-arm you into changing your mind.
And then, if you’ve stayed the course and cleared all the hurdles put in your way by the patronizing assholes of the Indiana legislature, you’ll be forced to have a funeral.
CONTENT NOTE: medical images of human fetuses below the jump.
There are few people in the world I find more irritating than secular pro-lifers. I mean, religious right-wing anti-abortion activists at least have the excuse of indoctrination. Secular folks should be able to reason without getting misty-eyed over a clump of cells. But there’s a group that fetishizes fetuses above all else. They pretend, occasionally, to care about the women forced to carry said fetuses, but those women are secondary to their desire to populate the earth with bouncing babies. And they have a remarkable amount of magical thinking going on. They believe a world without abortion will be some kind of utopia where men will take care of those darling little bebbies, and women are never ever tricked or forced into becoming pregnant, and the only problem they see is that since everything will be so wonderful, there will be no way to terrorize teens into never having sex.
HB 1794, sponsored by Rep. Mike Moon (R-Ash Grove), would establish the All Lives Matter Act, an example of what activists view as anti-choice legislators using the Black Lives Matter movement for their own restrictive agenda. It would amend state law to define a fertilized egg as “a person” and life as beginning at conception.
These people are fucking rancid.
But fine. Whatevs. They’re going to keep doing this, so we need a law of our own. I’m gonna call it the “Your Life First” law.
If you’re going to propose pregnant people be forced to give birth no matter the circumstances, if you’re going to claim that “all lives matter,” and that includes little blobs of brainless fetal tissue (but obviously not the living, breathing, brain-possessing person they’re riding in, because if that life mattered to you, we wouldn’t even be discussing this), then here’s the deal: Continue reading “Put Up Your Organs or Shut Up”→
In my earliest memories, there were people bombing and terrorizing women’s health clinics. The anti-abortion crowd declared a war on women’s reproductive rights. I’m sure some of the people who declared it and who continue to fight it think they’re doing it for the precious babies, but you barely need to scrape a nail across the surface of their motivations to reveal the lie: if they really wanted to prevent abortion and help all those beautiful babies, they’d do much more than try to pass laws banning terminations and chuck a few free diapers at pregnant people. They’d be fighting tooth and nail to ensure everyone had access to safe, effective contraception. They’d be clamoring for laws strengthening the social safety net. They’d be pouring their hearts and funds into making sure children and parents have universal health care, robust food and housing programs, comprehensive education, affordable day care, and everything else it takes to help a baby be safely born, thrive, and become a successful adult.
Funny how their acute concern for precious babies ends with birth. Why, it’s almost like they have a fetus fetish – or are more interested in controlling women’s sexuality and reproduction than saving actual babies.
Many forced pregnancy fans limit their activities to electing anti-abortion politicians to office and shouting lies at pregnant people on clinic sidewalks. But others go much further. In this post, I have collected many links to show that there’s an awful lot of lone wolves out there. In fact, once we look at all those “isolated incidents,” once we peruse their very own rhetoric, and once we notice some patterns, it looks very much like an appreciable number of Americans, from proles to politicians, are inciting others to violence.
I don’t care if Planned Parenthood provides nothing BUT abortion services. I don’t care if it’s a million-story abortion superpark with abortion waterslides and an abortion electrical parade. Abortion is legal. ABORTION IS LEGAL. If I read one more “defense” of Planned Parenthood that says “it’s not JUST abortions!” or “only 5% of what they do is abortion! And abortions aren’t federally funded!” I’m going to abort myself. Abortion is legal, culturally necessary, and good for humanity. It has been and will be practiced for millennia. It is essential. It is a fact. By minimizing, denying or apologizing for this fact, you are allowing these venal anti-woman Nazis to frame this debate and continue to chip away at this essential right. Abortion is not tragic. It is not painful. It is a fact. It is a right. Demand it, fight for it, and for the sake of the women who have given their lives to defend it, stop apologizing for it.
And I pretty much completely agree with it, except for the legal part. I don’t think that’s an argument we should be making. Yes, in the United States, it’s legal. It’s not currently legal in many countries. Does that mean abortion is wrong in some countries and right in others? No.
Imagine going to a hospital, and being told that although they could fix the problem that brought you there quite easily, they won’t do anything for you until you’re dying. Imagine lying in a bed, in pain, terrified, begging to be treated, and being told no. Not until your condition has progressed to the point where you’re gravely ill and at risk of losing your life. Then you can have the simple procedure that could have prevented all your suffering and ensured your survival. Maybe. If the doctor isn’t so terrified of losing their job that they wait until it’s too late, and you die before they get round to treating you. In which case, if you haven’t had the proper magic water sprinkled over you, you’re assumed to be burning in hell for eternity for the crime of having a medical emergency.
This is basically the situation when someone having a miscarriage goes to a Catholic hospital for treatment. Let me tell you what one of my abiding fears is: it’s that I’ll have a crisis in my ladyparts, and the only hospital within a hundred miles is Catholic. Allow me to show you why.
Here are stories from abortion doctors who have been doing abortions since before they were legal. They’ve seen what society is like with and without access to safe, legal abortion. They’ve seen how bad things were, how good they got, and how we’re backsliding toward a time when desperate women were willing to risk death to terminate their pregnancies. These are stories all of us need to listen to. Especially those who are uncomfortable with or opposed to abortion. Make sure you send this to every friend, acquaintance, and relation who is anti-abortion or who thinks that abortion is a necessary evil rather than a medical right. Send it to everyone who thinks abortion should be legal, but tightly restricted. Force them to confront this reality.