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crazyoldcatlady
it's New Hampshire, and I'm not sure what prompted it, but I think it's in the House now.

i love me some blue.
ginger_kitty
Wow it's nice to hear good news, catlady! One state at a time, maybe.

culture, I'll have to check out that Time article.
fuego_lento
*drive-by delurking*
South Carolina has proposed a bill that would require women seeking abortions to look at an ultrasound of the fetus. There doesn't seem to be an exemption for rape/incest survivors.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/03/21/...in2593092.shtml
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/nation/4650972.html
http://www.thestate.com/mld/thestate/16949440.htm

This makes me really angry. If a woman can't support a child or can't continue the pregnancy for any reason, guilting and shaming her isn't going to make her any more able to earn money or continue the pregnancy. I mean, how is this so much better than showing women photos of supposedly aborted fetuses?
sybarite
That is appalling. I agree; it's no different to showing them photos. How dare the state seize a woman's need for an abortion as an excuse to foist their own conservative agenda upon them??
LoveMyPugs
I have a werid stance on abortion.

I don't think minors should be able to have it done without their parents knowledge. What if something went wrong and the parents had no idea what their young daughter was doing. They would feel so guilty letting her go through it alone. If my minor daughter wanted an abortion I'd want to be there with her to support her through the process. If she's an adult and got pregnant and didn't want to tell me about it then I'd have to respect that. I mean she's an adult right?

I think there should be a cut-off if the pregnancy is far enough along.

I don't think you should have to look at an ultrasound picutre before hand. That's fucked up.

I don't think you should have to wait in order to really "think" about it. I'm pretty sure from the moment you find out your pregnant it's the only thing on your mind. How much more thinking does the woman have to do really?

I was under the impression that, at least at Planned Parenthood Delaware, you talked to a psychologist before hand anyway. Just to make sure you were making the decision on your own and not pressured into it by parents or the father of the unborn.

If you 18 or older and you can't take care of it, were raped, it was incest, going to hurt the mother, or just don't want to have a baby then I see no reason why a woman shouldn't be allowed to decide on an abortion.

Are my ways of thinking about this totally fucked up? Please I'd like to know what everyone thinks. I'm always open to others opinions on The Perilous Position of Choice.
vesicapisces
LMP, I don't think you're weird, and I think in an ideal world we would all be able to advocate for the things you believe. It would be terrific if all young women could tell their parents they were pregnant and wanted an abortion without fear of being thrown out of the home, beaten, etc., and it would be wonderful if there never arose a situation where a woman would need to terminate late in her pregnancy. Unfortunately neither is the case, and deciding to try and make it so by law is unrealistic and cruel.

There are still plenty of teens who, because of the difficulty of getting an abortion in a lot of places (due to parental notification laws, financial considerations, or simply the lack of a provider) end up hiding their pregnancy and not getting prenatal care (because you have to have parental permission to get prenatal, too) and even go to the length of wrapping/compressing their abdomen to keep from "showing", which is bad for the health of both herself and the fetus. Some of them give birth in secret and either dump the baby or kill it. I don't know that every instance of this is someone who would have gotten an abortion if she'd had the chance, but even one of those girls going through pregnancy with no support is too many for me.

With later abortions, there is usually a legislated cut-off; in Ohio the language talks about "viability", which is getting earlier and earlier every year with changes in medical technology. (I don't say "advances" 'cause I'm not sure they're improving the situation.) But there are women who discover late in pregnancy, for instance, that they have a medical issue that makes it unsafe for them to continue the pregnancy (cancer, for instance, or unstable high blood pressure); there are also pregnancies a woman chooses to terminate because the fetus is developing without a brain, etc. Taking away access to a necessary medical procedure based on a calendar instead of the individual medical situation is callous, IMO.

On the other hand, I've heard some providers say they actually appreciate the 24-hour waiting period, because there are some women who take that last 24 hours, after they've received additional information, to decide it's not really what they want to do. Overall, I think most women do know by the time they reach our office, and there's also the additional burden to rural women who have to pay not only for the abortion itself, but for overnight lodging in the city where they go for the procedure (because 87% of US counties have no abortion provider, and most of the ones that do are in urban areas.)

FYI - http://www.guttmacher.org/in-the-know/providers.html
LoveMyPugs
vesicapisces -

WOW! just in your post you've pointed out a lot of scenarios where my way of thinking isn't realistic. I grew up in a pretty good home. If I got pregnant my parents wouldn't beat me but they would be very disapointed. Even now I'm 24 and I think they would be upsest because it wouldn't fit in to their plans for me. If I got pregnant now I'd be happy. I'd be nervous but happy. Mr. Pug would be happy but he'd be a wreck. He'd work 24 hours a day to stock pile money for us. Thinking about his reaction to finding out I'm pregnant makes me laugh a little to myself. I can picture his face. It would be the following smilies in this order: huh.gif blink.gif unsure.gif smile.gif

Me, I'd be more like: huh.gif blink.gif sad.gif rolleyes.gif smile.gif
culturehandy
That SC bill is horrifying. Yup, I'd want to keep a child conceived out of rape after I saw the ultrasound of it. Ummm, what a complete waste of money. Can't they be using these funds to, I don't know, cure cancer?

Cant.Even.Talk.About.This.Angry.
ginger_kitty
Grrrrr, I was so outraged when I saw that on the new last week. I thought to myself abortions are usually performed in the first trimester, and at that point a you aren't going to see a bouncing baby or anything. It's just an extra cruel step to scare women who are considering an abortion.

I don't understand the point, the government should looking for ways to spread sex ed, and promoting safe sex practices. Not torturing women who are in the middle of an extremely tough situation. It just angers me.

Also I saw a state rep. for S.C. say he didn't care it the baby was a result of rape or incest a baby is baby in his mind and it doesn't matter how it came about. *bangs head on desk*
humanist77
And now for some good news! Keroack is GONE! To refresh your memory, he's the psycho who thinks that birth control is "demeaning to women"
Here's the email I got from PP:

Dear *******,

Anti-birth control advocate Eric Keroack will no longer oversee
Title X, the nation's family planning program! The day he took
office, Planned Parenthood launched a massive grassroots
campaign against Keroack, rallying a nationwide groundswell of
opposition to his appointment.

PPFA President Cecile Richards issued the following statement on
the resignation:

"It's a good day for women's health. Keroack was unqualified to
run the nation's family planning program. The Bush
administration must replace Keroack with a legitimate,
mainstream public health expert who supports family planning and
access to birth control. More than 17 million women in our
country need access to affordable birth control. The nation's
family planning program should be run by a champion for women's
health and safety."

Cecile Richards
President
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
culturehandy
that is fantastic news!!!!!
vesicapisces
Yay on Keroack being gone!

And just to point something out re: the SC "look at the fetus on ultrasound" proposed law, nowhere does it say that the state will PAY for it. In fact, the CBS article had this line: "The state's three abortion clinics already perform ultrasounds, paid for by the woman seeking the procedure [my emphasis], to determine the fetus' age."

dry.gif
lapis
Hi, this isn't an update but rather an observation about choice. While there is legislation in place to create obstacles to women making the choice to have an abortion (like waiting periods, ultrasounds--in TX you have to listen to a recording about the risks involved that tells you dads are responsible for paying child support but they don't have to pay for abortions, etc.), from what I gather there is very little emotional support or a developed cultural framework for actually choosing to terminate a pregnancy in the US. What I notice is that making the choice to terminate seems to send US women into a lonely abyss--it becomes a secret with a negative connotation. It's like you can eat your peas or go to bed without supper--these aren't really equally balanced choices. So, even though we are supposed to have a choice--there is no real carved out place (from my understanding) of that choice being a positively rewarding situation--and I think this is because the moral issues surrounding abortion creep into both sides of the debate here. I have spoken to friends in Canada and people talk about abortions there and women feel empowered to decide as an act of self-care without feeling stigmatized and selfish. While these may be personal observations it seems like the debate about choice addresses keeping the possibility for abortion open but it doesn't develop what that choice looks like, how it might positively impact women...Having a child clearly has a productive effect--it creates life, but having an abortion, which clearly results in a death seems to 'kill' any discussion of what happens next. For some women it may be an increadible opportunity for self-defininition, a rebirth. Any ideas?
faerietails2
Supreme Court upholds Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act

*sigh*
culturehandy
fuck
maddy29
I knew this would happen, but I'm still shocked and upset. Roe v. Wade is next. sad.gif If that gets overturned I'm going out on a penis-chopping rampage. Seriously, wtf? These men don't even understand how this procedure works, or why a woman would need to have it, and they are making laws about it? Bullshit!!!! I'm sure all those "pro-lifers" out there are just so fucking happy today. Makes me sick.

I also love how these headlines are sooo tiny and are put under about 10 headlines for the shooting at VT. Grrrrrr.
anarch
well-written personal essay about her 2nd trimester abortion and the bill banning "partial birth" abortion

2004 Harper's article discussing the history of the ban and future implications

good time for another Planned Parenthood donation.

*waves to maddy*
maddy29
Hey anarch! You are so right-time for another PP donation. This is just insane to me.
culturehandy
That essay was intense.

This so called partial borth abortion ban makes me so angry. Why should a woman be forced to carry a pregnancy where the developing fetus isn't even alive?!?!?!?

Who gave anyone the moral authority to say you should carry a pregnancy to term even if it kills you? That you have to carry a child, that is dead, to term! Who has the right to say that.

Like what happened to the anti-choice woman who's child was born without a brain, wait until it happens to one of these anti-choicers, then we will see...
treehugger
A couple weeks ago I changed my will to donate my entire estate proceeds, to be split 50/50 between planned parenthood, and a local domestic abuse safehouse. I feel proud of that. Especially in light of this.

Gah.
mornington
thanks for posting those anarch - I wasn't sure quite what the ban involved and I was going to ask someone to explain it. I didn't realise quite what it was doing, and it's terrible. In many ways worse than banning first-term abortions because it really does endanger the lives of women in a way that is entirely unneccessary (that doesn't make sense... ok, separate early and then second trimester abortions - i see this as banning an entirely medical procedure, and one that, to be honest, has nothing to do with the right-to-life arguments; the fetus in this case is never going to have a life anyway - anyone who's seen an encephalitic fetus can see that)

treehugger, I think that's wonderful.
lapis
NewsJunkie, I think mornington is referring to abortions in situations where the fetus would have a very low quality of life or no ability to live if carried to term. I completely understand if you want to discuss abortion as an issue, but antagonizing (even with well-placed emoticons) others does not seem the best way to start a conversation.

Anyway, maybe I've missed something but does this ban take effect immediately?
nickclick
not immediately, i remember reading somewhere, but i don't remember exactly when. probably within a few months though.

go NY Times editors !
culturehandy
Once again, how is carrying a fetus with no brain to term healthy? Well I can just picture it now, a woman giving birth and saying, awwww jeez am I ever glad that I didn't have the option of aborting this fetus and I'm so glad I had to give birth to a dead child! Wow what an experience!

How traumatic is that, knowing that your child is dead and being forced to carry it to term and giving birth. Who thinks that they have the authority to do this? Can you imagine what an horrific experience this would be to any family?
mornington
word, culture.

lapis, that's exactly what I was saying. The ban doesn't provide for exceptions of the health of the mother or the viability of the fetus.

newjunkie, I - and no doubt others - would be happy to discuss abortion as an issue in a rational non-screamy way, but keeping antagonism to a minimum.

woo on the NYtimes article.
anarch
Treehugger, that's fantastic. God knows they need it.

Great NYTimes article. Thanks, nickclick.

culturehandy:Like what happened to the anti-choice woman who's child was born without a brain, wait until it happens to one of these anti-choicers, then we will see...

I mentioned the article "The Only Moral Abortion is My Abortion" (I think Doodlebug originally posted it in one of these threads) to a Planned Parenthood doctor recently. She said "Yeah we get a lot of that." I said stupidly "Oh you've read it?" She said "No. I mean, we get a lot of women in the clinic who say 'I don't agree with abortion generally, but my case is different.'" I hadn't made the jump from reading the article and thinking "Wow, all these hypocritical anti-choice women at the clinics in this article" to realizing that lots of anti-choice women must get abortions at EVERY clinic, in every community, including mine. And afterwards most of them keep right on lobbying to restrict other women's right to control their own bodies because hey, their own abortions were the exceptions to the rule.

I wonder if PP keeps records of how many of their clients who have abortions done are anti-choice? That would be really interesting to have the numbers aggregated, to point out to these women that hey, you're NOT one exception.

mornington: i see this as banning an entirely medical procedure

yeah. So many serious medical problems aren't diagnosed until later in the pregnancy. I mean geez, like women would be casually choosing this for fun.

US 2002 abortion stats including later trimesters

1973-2002 chart
anarch
Good for the Boston Globe too.
erinjane
Gotta love the ignore function.
culturehandy
Anarch, that was a really great editorial.
mornington
yay!

feministing has some great articles in thier weekly reader as well. Tbh, I had to stop reading as I felt rather sick. I really, really hope that the UK doesn't attempt to follow suit as it so often tries to.
culturehandy
Canada has no abortion laws...
anarch
Go New England Journal of Medicine !

from the first paragraph of the first one, "The Partial Death of Abortion Rights":
"a physician who knowingly performs an intact dilation and extraction (D&X) is subject to 2 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and monetary damages for psychological injury to the husband or parents of the pregnant woman."

WTF? "monetary damages for psychological injury to the husband or parents of the pregnant woman"? What century is this? If I don't consider myself damaged why TF would my husband or parents be entitled to monetary damages? Oh right we've got no rights compared to even NON-VIABLE fetuses. Right. Fuck you very much, old male judges.
culturehandy
I guess the damage to a husband and fetus born without a brain is far worse than what happens to a baby factory...oops I mean woman.

Once again, I guess women have to carry a baby even if it means death

Fuck you Supreme Court and Fuck you Bush administration. Never in my life have i wished something so horrible on someone, but in this case, I really do.
crazyoldcatlady
re: supreme court decision

*heavy, heavy SIGH*

sometimes i feel like we're all asleep at the wheel.

i wanted to just come in here and SIGH and hope that conveys my dismay/contempt, but i feel a quasi rant coming on.

perhaps later.
culturehandy
Crazyoldcatlady, I know how you feel. Sometimes I wonder what the point of fighting is anymore.

Le Sigh.
faerietails2
QUOTE(erinjane @ Apr 21 2007, 04:18 PM) *
Gotta love the ignore function.


Word!

anarch, that excerpt you posted is insane! grrrrrrr! mad.gif
culturehandy
That whole article. Uhhh, I don't even know where to begin. I'm so fucking angry that a bunch of asshole fundamentalist, evangelic prick men seem to think they have the right to tell me when I should and should not carry a child! That a woman should have to die to carry a child? Un-fucking-believable.
crazyoldcatlady
tomorrow is Freedom of Choice (legislation) National Call in Day

National Call in Day

done and done. i can't take these people anymore.



and btw, did we really need a study to tell us that abortions don't cause breast cancer? NEWSFLASH.
at least we have a hard scientific paper to counteract the haters. not that they believe in SCIENCE anyway.
faerietails2
Re: National Call-In Day

Thanks for the heads up. Consider it done.
anarch
Another neural tube defect story.

Though I think she confuses the terminology a bit (no doubt in rushing to write the article to get it published in time) - she refers to her procedure as "intact dilation and evacuation", but the "Partial Death of Abortion Rights" article distinguishes between "dilation and evacuation" (D&E, "requires dismembering the fetus within the uterus, which poses risks of uterine damage or perforation from surgical instruments and sharp remnants of fetal bone"), and "dilation and extraction" (D&X, "dilating the cervix, partially extracting the fetus, puncturing the skull while it remains in the uterus, and removing the brain tissue through suction, thus allowing for easy removal of the otherwise intact fetus through the birth canal").

The Supreme Court has upheld the ban on D&X, claiming that because some (!) doctors think it's never medically necessary, it's never medically necessary. D&E is still legal. So far. (Supposedly less "gruesome", though I suppose the reason they think uteruses punctured by non-viable fetal bone fragments are less gruesome, is that they have penises. For brains.)

Yes, thanks for posting about the National Call-In Day. Glad to be able to do something constructive with this anger. It took me a couple hours to be able to think about anything else yesterday after reading the thing about "psychological damage to husband and parents". Patronizing, infantilizing bullshit.
lilacwine13
Even if she did get some of the terminology wrong, I still think it's important for people to hear stories like hers, maybe then more people might realize just how wrong the federal government is on banning this procedure.
anarch
"I start to think about the abortion debate. About pro-lifers, in particular. I think about all those meddling politicians that would want to interject themselves into everything that just happened to me, interject themselves between me, my wife, and her doctors. And then I had a strong, visceral reaction. I wanted the mutherfuckers to die. I wanted to rip off their heads and tear out their hearts, because how DARE they play politics with my wife's life? The baby was fine until the end. I wondered if that would have meant they'd force us to let my wife bleed until almost death before they'd let us abort, because well, if she's not near death, then it is just a 'health' exception, and we can't have that!"

via

One man's wrenching account of being put in a position to choose. Nothing to do with late abortions. Everything to do with why it's immoral for legislators and judges to make blanket rules, shutting down options that only individuals and their doctors should make.

Similar stories are posted in the comments. Also anti-choicers claiming that no pro-lifer would choose to let this guy's wife die...which completely ignores the the guy's point about blanket legislation that allows exceptions for a woman's "life" but not her "health". This commenter makes that point AGAIN and the subsequent anti-choicers STILL ignore it (tho I haven't finished reading the comments yet):
"if abortion law is passed that limits abortions to cases where the mother's life is in danger then women like DDB's wife will die in ER's while waiting to pass the threshold between "normal bleeding" and "life threatening". Who will determine how much risk to take? Once you've entered "life threatening" you've already taken unnecessary risk with the mother's life."


lilacwine, I agree with your last comment. I didn't mean to come across as criticizing that author. I just wanted to clarify, in my own head and in case anyone else was confused like I was.
mornington
oh god, that story made me cry.

has everyone seen the wall of protest?
faerietails2
There was an explosive device found at an Austin, TX clinic today.

"Pro-life." Right.
lilacwine13
Anarch, I didn't mean to criticize you, I was commenting on how few times you read or hear about people talking about their experiences. Your post did clear up a couple questions I had about the article, though.

That guy's experience with his wife is heart-breaking, and the commenter who said he'd let his wife die before she had an abortion is scary. Pro-life indeed.
humanist77
Oh, so women who have gotten late-term abortions now can be charged for causing grief to the father and her parents, but grief to the father and parents caused by the woman dying because she couldn't terminate the pregnancy doesn't mean shit, huh? Is the life of a fetus (even of horribly deformed ones)-more important than any woman's life?

mornington, I think it's wonderful that you're so concerned about reproductive rights in the U.S. We all need to care more about the issue in other countries, even if it doesn't directly affect us.

I got an email from Planned Parenthood, asking to write a letter to newspapers across my state, so I typed up this one..the two major Chicago newspapers weren't accepting any more letters about this issue (which fortunately means there are tons of them coming in) so I sent them to some others around IL. It had to be 250 words or less, so it's a bit more short that I want it to be..but hopefully gets a point across.

Seldom has there been such a horrific breach of integrity and intellect from the U.S. Supreme Court; this undermining and endangerment of the lives and choices of millions of American women can be only described as deplorable and misogynistic.

This ruling, banning abortion in the second trimester, with no exception to a woman or fetus' health, is based entirely on the court majority's purely self-righteous and disregardful agenda: to support their conservative party by serving the unfounded special interests of powerful lobbyists and organizations who will in turn keep the right-wing in power.

Not only is this ruling disparaging and without consideration to the private lives, health, decisions, and unique circumstances of every woman in the country, but it is a plain derision of the constitutional amendment of Roe v. Wade, and the requirement therein of an exception for women's health, regarding the enaction of any abortion regulations.

The given ideology upon which this ruling is based is such alarming delusion, there is reason to believe that the judges themselves are aware of its utter absurdity, only having upheld the ban in their own and political associate's self-interest.

Politicians, judges, and special interest groups have no place in the private decisions between women and their doctors. The circumstances that might face one with the decision to have a late term abortion is something that cannot possibly be understood by someone who has never been in that situation.

There will not be silence when our rights are taken away. We will fight back hard.
culturehandy
I remember reading somewhere that is abortion was a man's issue, this debate wouldn't be occuring.

That essay by the blogger was heart renching. Politicians always seem to forget that there are people who will be impacted by these decisions. They just don't care. Will take actual blood on their hands or a crisis before this situation is rectified? Does it matter that women will die, and for no good reason? Last time I checked, pregnancy wasn't a death sentence.

The abortion cause is one that's close to my heart. I know that, while there are no laws in Canada, and things are fairly safe here. I feel that any time anything in the states changes with abortion that women's rights around the world are getting further and further eroded.
pollystyrene
Article about new legislation up in various states.

My favorite (ha!) part:
And four states say abortion leads to severe psychological distress, also disputed.

Karen Nelson, who had an abortion in 1978, wishes she had been told the procedure can be traumatic. Nelson, now a 50-year-old homemaker and mother of seven in Elkton, S.D., says her life went spiraling out of control. She dropped out of college and began drinking heavily, "trying to hide my guilt and shame."

Nelson believes the state should require abortion providers to tell women in advance that terminating a pregnancy may lead to depression and suicide, among other complications.


How about telling them how pregnancy and raising a child (especially an unplanned and/or unwanted one) might lead to depression and suicide?

There was a professor of law and ethics on NPR this morning (they've been doing pieces on the abortion debate all week, from both sides and it's been very interesting) who was talking about how medical progress has affected the fight over abortion. Mostly about how when R v W was written, it said that abortion could be carried out legally up until the fetus was considered viable. As the years have passed, that definition has changed due to medical advancements, and also how the concept of viability has been ignored all together. She was saying that in the end, you're still more likely to die of pregnancy/birth-related causes than from an abortion.
culturehandy
Oh polly, I like this part;

"Had I seen an ultrasound of my pregnancy -- [had I seen] that this little baby was indeed a baby and not just a blob of tissue -- I know I would have chosen to carry it to term," she said.

It is a blob of tissue! Do people seem to think that at the moment of conception, there a little miniature, fully formed baby???
prophecy_grrl
polly - I just read that article myself and it is thoroughly depressing.

I don't buy all this crap about "I didn't know what I was doing when I had an abortion." It's just more right-wing propaganda aimed at making us think of embryos as real, actual human beings and doctors who perform abortions as conspiratorial murderers out to kill as many babies as possible. You're telling me these women didn't know what "terminating a pregnancy" was? They were somehow duped or misinformed? Gimme a break. You wanna talk misinformation, let's talk Crisis Pregnancy Centers.

I know that abortion is a difficult decision for many women and I don't doubt that some may regret it or feel guilty (I would argue that the guilt is a social construct, but that's another conversation), and they are certainly entitled to feel that way, just as other women should be able to have the procedure without feeling bad about it. Every circumstance is different for every woman, which is exactly why it is a personal and private decision.

humanist - you're letter is great and completely on-point - how many women will have to suffer just so that some *ahem* male judges can make an absurd statement supporting a political party that's about to have its ass handed to it in 2008? It's just another example of how those in power use the rest of us as pawns in their power-plays. Infuriating mad.gif
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