Where lies the child?

May 4, 2007 at 12:50 am | Posted in choice, moi | Leave a comment

For some reason this has been swirling around in my head as of late, and it keeps rising in my life as a symbol in various places.

I know how adoption is a wonderful thing for many people – I am absolutely fully pro-choice, and that for me means supporting women in whatever she chooses to do – whether it be giving up a child for adoption, having an abortion (clinical or self-medicated), or keeping a baby. It is HER CHOICE, whatever it may be.

Yet for myself, I can’t imagine that I might ever adopt a child as I have such mixed feelings surrounding it. It stems from my mother’s own adoption, and her sisters as well. My grandparents are the most amazing people I know. Summers at their home in rural British Columbia are filled with memories of my grandfather strumming his guitar in the twilight while singing in his lovely mumble and whisper. Or my grandmother, gone now, buying me Harlequin romance novels, playing puzzles and solitaire with me, and teaching me about how to treat yeast infections.

My mother’s multiple issues with adoption had so much more to do with her birth parents than with her adoptive parents – but it was something that caused her turmoil her whole life and so that is why my mixed feelings.

The other day I read a lovely novel by Joanna Trollope talking about adoption issues; then tonight finally watched Grey’s Anatomy where Izzie encountered her own given-away child. I found myself sitting there with tears streaming down my face uncontrollably and I wondered if her reaction was ever mirrored in my mother’s own birth mother.

So many mixed feelings and thoughts.

Breaking news: and breaking my heart for my sisters

April 21, 2007 at 12:23 am | Posted in choice | Leave a comment

Why I am glad I don’t live in the U.S.:

Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Procedure Ban
“Most Political Decision Since Bush v. Gore

Statement of NOW President Kim Gandy

April 18, 2007

Today the Supreme Court upheld this nation’s first abortion procedure ban—a ban enacted by George W. Bush and conservatives in Congress. Five justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito—both installed by Bush and a Republican-majority Senate—ruled that the law does not violate a woman’s constitutional right to abortion.

Not since Bush v. Gore has the Supreme Court made such a political decision, or one that so completely distorts the law and disregards the U.S. Constitution.

The law is so vaguely written that it may ban the most common abortion procedure used after 12 weeks of pregnancy, and there is no exception to allow its use if the woman’s health is in serious danger. The joint ruling in Gonzales v. Carhart and Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood is a major step in the campaign to outlaw all abortions, first by chipping away at and then by fully overturning Roe v. Wade.

Bush used his allies’ control in Congress to push through anti-abortion legislation, and he used their power to confirm anti-abortion justices to the Supreme Court—justices who have now upheld that same legislation.

The National Organization for Women and other advocates predicted as much, and fought tooth and nail against the confirmation of Roberts, and even more passionately against Alito, who replaced Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Now we see that apparently, everything Roberts and Alito said at their confirmation hearings about respecting precedent was a pack of lies.

When the time came for women’s rights supporters in the Senate to prevent confirmation of Sam Alito, the “fifth vote” against abortion rights, only 25 senators stood up for women. And indeed he was the fifth vote for the majority in today’s decision. The senators who voted to end the Democratic filibuster, thus allowing Alito to join the court, must be reminded that their failure led to this day. We must stop the stacking of the federal courts and work toward a congressional majority that supports women’s rights.

Tellingly, seven years ago in Stenberg v. Carhart, the Supreme Court ruled against an almost identical ban enacted in Nebraska. The clear precedent set by Stenberg in 2000 was the reason three U.S. Courts of Appeal declared the federal ban unconstitutional. But last year the Bush administration pressed on with appeals to the Supreme Court by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

So why did Gonzales forge ahead when a clear precedent had been set only six years earlier? And why did the court uphold this ban, effectively undoing that precedent? In the dissenting opinion, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg explains it quite clearly:

Though today’s opinion does not go so far as to disregard Roe or Casey, the Court, differently composed that it was when we last considered a restrictive abortion regulation, is hardly faithful to our earlier invocations of the ‘rule of law’ and the ‘principles of stare decisis.’

In other words: The Supreme Court changed, stupid!

This is a clarion call for feminists, progressives and everyone who cares about justice, equality and democracy. We must link arms and say “No more.”

We must elect a Congress that will repeal this ban and a president who will sign the repeal.

November 2008 can’t come soon enough.

###

For Immediate Release
Contact: Mai Shiozaki, 202-628-8669, ext. 116; cell 202-641-1906

DIY and the right to choose

January 29, 2007 at 12:57 am | Posted in body, choice | 3 Comments

All right, its abortion discusssion week here at One Woman Army (judging from the topics of the past week).

As I mentioned previously, in Canada abortion is decriminalized – not legal – decriminalized. I can’t help but wonder what this would mean in the case of Amber Abreu in Lawrence, Massechussetts who is now possibly facing charges of manslaughter for a DIY abortion.

Are women’s rights under attack still – 34 years after Roe vs. Wade? Just look at Amber’s case:

“Prosecutors in Lawrence, Massachusetts could charge this 18-year-old woman, Amber Abreu, with manslaughter because she took an ulcer medication containing Misoprostol, a drug that is legal in the U.S., in an attempt to terminate a pregnancy.    She has already been charged with ”procuring an improper miscarriage” and faces a possible seven years in state prison.  She is being held on $15,000 bail.   Even though abortion is legal in Massachusetts until the 24th week of pregnancy, she could face manslaughter charges depending on the results of the autopsy.   

Scared that she was pregnant, not sure, but believing she had felt movement in her abdomen, she obtained the ulcer medication from a friend.  She took three doses, began to develop stomach cramps and went to the hospital, where she gave birth to a 1-1/4 pound  girl estimated to be at 23-25 weeks gestation who survived for four days.   While in the hospital, the baby’s urine was tested and the drug was discovered.  “Social workers” (snort) alerted police when Abreu checked herself out of the hospital.” – from Women’s Space/The Margins

Wow, talk about a violation of women’s rights. The sneakiness of the “social workers” and physicians to test the baby’s urine to use against this poor girl.

What I want to know is, why is it illegal or criminal to have a diy abortion not in the santions of a legal abortion clinic? For thousands and thousands of years women have been self-administering abortions or treating their sisters with abortions thanks to abortifacients and herbal remedies. This is absolutely nothing new at all, and that it should now be made out to be criminal and “homicidal” is absurd. This is the result of a medicalized society that obeys the laws of non-feminist medicine.

What would this mean in Canada, however, where there are no laws regarding abortion? Would anything even be done? I can’t help but wonder, and I have no answers. What do you think? Discuss in comments.

For those wanting to explore more:

Bitch PhD has a fabulous post that outlines various links on diy abortions and abortifacients, as well as histories of illegal abortions.

Artemis

Thursday Thirteen #3: Best of Blog for Choice

January 25, 2007 at 3:00 am | Posted in choice, Thursday Thirteen | 21 Comments

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Monday was Blog for Choice Day in remembrance of the 34th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade.

To continue the discussion and spread the love (and choice), here’s a sampling.

1. Empowerment4Women BlogsCarly shares with us all her own experience of abortion (thank-you) while Leisha analyzes and condems the recent comments of Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party in Canada – “Having an abortion, going through the turmoil of deciding to have an abortion, of having to make a choice of how one’s life will be affected, and having to remember that for one’s entire life – is never “frivolous”.”

2. Persephone’s Box – Sage debates the viability of souls – “Although it’s clear to me that an embryo is a living human being because it’s alive and it’s human, that’s not enough to qualify it as having a right to live in a body that is in some way harmed by this life (emotionally, financially, intellectually, physically, or socially).”

3. Curry St. John’s Travels Abroad – takes us on a journey back to growing up as a woman in the 60s and 70s when Roe vs. Wade was being fought for in the first place. And what’s changed now? “Birth control is not to be discussed as an option, but abstinence is promoted as the only safe sex, and yet teenagers are having babies they can’t afford, nor do they want, and my state of Georgia is trying to overturn Roe v. Wade so that abortion might be illegal once again, forcing all women who choose to terminate a pregnancy to find someone to perform the operation for them illegally and potentially dangerously, if not attempting it themselves.”

4. AngryBlackBitch is talking about sex. “Let’s talk about sex…about black women and our reproductive health. About how choice impacts the treatment of endometriosis, fibroids, breast cancer and other conditions black women are at risk for.”

5. Tennessee Guerilla Women gives a great, brief posting about the social implications of the necessity of choice “About the only thing that hasn’t been tried is giving women an equal say in the direction the world takes.”

6. Our Bodies, Ourselves Blog pares it down to the basics – “I think, therefore I am.”

7. Bitch PhD is so fabulous – the social ability of birth, pregnancy, stillbirth, miscarriage, sexual abuse, infertility – and what it really comes down to is “If there’s one thing we should, as feminists, recognize, it’s that human beings are not brains on sticks. We cannot, and do not, have conscious deliberate control of what happens to our bodies.”

8. Postcards from Guyville talks about the politics of forced birth: “But forcing women to give birth against their will is not an answer to anything at all.”

9. Feminist Law Professors are getting active on Blog for Choice Day! So go over there and try a little Emergency Contraception Activism!

10. I’m Not a Feminist, But… goes to the fear of all those anti-choicers out there: “No matter how much anti-choicers may whine on and on about the tiny weeny babies and wave their gory placards around, what really pisses them off is the fact that abortion allows women to have sex without fear, to take control of our own bodies and our own lives and to stick two fingers up to their misogynistic ideologies.”

11. Carrie Callahan brings it all down to humour. Because we feminists have to have our sense of humour! Thanks Carrie! I used to be really pro-life in high school, but what changed for me was in college I had a pregnancy scare. Before my pregnancy scare I thought about abortion in terms of “When does human life begin?” and “When can the government regulate people’s bodies?” And then after the pregnancy scare, the question that kind of framed the debate for me was, “You want me to have a motherfucking baby?””

12. The Second Shift – Kelly Bean gives a nice synopses of a few select news bytes.

13. One Woman Army! Sorry, its late, and because of an excruciatingly slow dial-up connection this post has been over 2 hours in the works as links slowly attempt to load. So I’m adding in my own Blog for Choice post as #13.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Courtenay, Raggedy, Alisonwonderland, Dangerously Simple, Andrea, Nancy, Rose, Ocean Blue Fire, Lisa Kae, tvaddictgurl, Sybil, Rashenbo, Sharala, incog, Kelly Bean!, Buttercup and Bean, … (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here! The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Pro-woman, pro-equality… pro-choice!

January 22, 2007 at 11:40 pm | Posted in choice | 2 Comments

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Today is the 34th Anniversary of Roe vs. Wade.

The U.S. has been fighting for abortion rights hot and heavy this year – 34 years after they became legal.

But in Canada they are not legal.

They are not illegal.

They are just – not.

Legally, women have no abortion rights in Canada. Abortion is decriminalized – very very different, but there are no laws surrounding them. As such, there are still protests, there is lack of services, there is lack of medical coverage in a country where medicine is supposed to be covered. There are provinces with one government-supported abortion clinic, leaving women in remote rural areas to fend for themselves, to cover expensive travel costs – or just to not get one at all.

Most recently abortion rights in Canada came under attack when women’s rights in New Brunswick were rolled back this year.

In Canada, the government is supposed to pay for abortions in both hospitals and abortion clinics. However, many provinces do not pay for abortions in clinics, or pay only part of the costs.

This year in New Brunswick, the medicare system was changed to only pay for abortions if it takes place by a gynecologist in a  recognized hospital and only if 2 doctors deem it medically necessary for the woman.

Women who have no medically necessary reason for an abortion can go to Fredericton, New Brunswick to pay $750 for an abortion – plus travel costs and expenses and lost work wages – if they can get to Fredericton in the first place.

In Prince Edward Island, the government will not pay for abortions at all. Women must travel out of province to the abortion clinic in New Brunswick. If they can.

So why am I pro-choice?

Because it is my body.

Because someday, I might need the option of having an abortion. Of not being a single mother, of having choice in my life to move my life forward.

Several years ago, I learned that my mother had had an abortion as a teenager. As I was born in 1978 when my mother was 21, I cannot imagine the circumstances  that my  mother might have gone through to have to have an abortion as a teenager in rural British Columbia in the 1970s. But I am thankful that she had the option, had the choice – because without that, her life would’ve been entirely different. So would my life, and my brother’s if that existed at all.

Why am I pro-choice?

Because there truly is no other choice when you believe in women’s lives, in women’s equality, in women’s rights to freedom and respect and choice and equality and justice.

Today is the 34th Anniversary of Roe vs Wade and I’m blogging for choice.


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