Wednesday, July 10, 2013


A Woman's Right to Choose

A quick update: the Texas bill has passed provisionally in the state House, the North Carolina bill has run into some roadblocks but is still moving through the legislature, and a judge has temporarily blocked the bill in Wisconsin. All three of these new laws would massively restrict safe abortion access if implemented. For more information about what this year has brought in terms of reproductive rights, check out the Guttmacher Institute's study on state-level policy changes, or just keep in mind that this is where we're at right now:

In the first six months of 2013, legislators enacted 43 provisions aimed at restricting access to abortion. Although this is significantly lower than the record-breaking 80 restrictions that had been enacted by this point in 2011, it is the second-highest total on record (see chart below).

In terms of small, good things, though: there's this great Roxane Gay piece on the connection between pop-culture misogyny and legislative warfare, and also the fact that in 2013, New Hampshire, Colorado, Illinois, Hawaii and Nebraska have all either reversed previous restrictions or expanded access to reproductive health measures.

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I love the list of victories at the end. It's so important to hear about those too.


@Gulf of Finland I needed that little glimmer of hope.

In a related note, I've started researching places to move. I've never lived outside of Texas, and I feel like now is as good a time as any to spread my wings.


@Gulf of Finland Yes! I wish they were more publicised--obviously the attempts to restrict abortion are the bigger story with more negative effects, but I think it's reassuring to hear about positive developments. And I wonder if more reporting of the removal of restrictions would encourage people to think of reproductive health more positively, rather than just as a polarising issue based on the very emotive things people (particularly anti-choicers) say about abortion.


@glitterary Exactly. I think it's a rally the troops sort of thing - if all you hear are the negatives, it's easy to think, "Why bother?" Especially after the Texas filibuster being such a huge success and then the bill passing anyway. It's easy to think nothing we do generates the change we want, and it's also easy for people in the middle or on the right to think, oh look, tides are turning and we're winning, but not the case.


Sadly, there is also shit going down in Ohio, which is a unique shade of fucked-up that includes this fun provision:
"Clinics must have an agreement with a local hospital to transfer patients there in the case of an emergency, but public hospitals are barred from entering into those agreements."

DA FUCK, OHIO. The governor signed this into law last week, I believe.

Laughable Walrus

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I found out about that yesterday and BOOM! my mind was blown. Most of these bills are being presented as "Let's protect these helpless women from the dangerous abortion-death-centers. We're just making things SAFER! It's all about the SAFETY of the women!" aka concern-trolling bullshit. I can't believe Ohio just came out and was just like, "Nah, if you're getting an abortion you deserve to die." (Maybe an exaggeration, but...not really?)

Also, fun fact, most private hospitals are owned by...you guessed it, the Catholic Church!


Texas, Ohio, North Carolina, North Dakota... It makes me crazy! I'm safe in my liberal west coast bubble and I don't know how to help shut this s**t down. Anybody have suggestions on how to get involved?

Laughable Walrus

@non-commenter Exactly what I came to ask!

The only thing I can think of is to give money - any amount - to Planned Parenthood. Even if you can't give very much, being able to point to a large pool of donors helps show how much support reproductive freedom has. (Although politicians don't seem to care anymore about how these insane bills are polling.)

When it comes to voting times, help with phone banks for pro-choice candidates, which you can usually do from out of state.

I feel like there must be more ways to get involved, though - anyone have any other ideas?

de Pizan

On North Carolina, after the governor threatened to veto the first bill, today they slightly altered the bill, slapped into onto a motorcycle safety bill and pushed it through the legislative committee. http://projects.newsobserver.com/under_the_dome/without_notice_house_rushes_forward_new_abortion_bill

frumious bandersnatch


"It’s hard not to feel humorless as a woman and a feminist, to recognize misogyny in so many forms, some great and some small, and know you’re not imagining things. It’s hard to be told to lighten up because if you lighten up any more, you’re going to float the fuck away. The problem is not that one of these things is happening, it’s that they are all happening, concurrently and constantly."


Oh North Carolina, you beautiful, wonderful state - you've had a really rough couple of years government-wise and law-wise and human rights-wise, and it's so frustrating and sad.

Especially when people have been trying so hard to fight back.



So, a link to a letter from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology regarding all of the increasing state invasion of women's rights. It's wonderful, I may have teared up a little while reading it.



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