Because I am a Woman

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Posts tagged "abortion"

An important measure is on the ballot in North Dakota, but you wouldn’t know it by talking to residents. So why isn’t anyone talking about it?

National Review Online (NRO) attacked State Senator Wendy Davis (D-TX) for speaking out about her own experiences with abortion, calling her description of the abortions — one of which saved her life — “convenient,” and downplaying the serious health problems that can lead women to choose the procedure.

More via Media Matters

We don’t have a problem, pop culturally, with people making too many inappropriate abortion jokes. We have a problem, pop culturally and beyond, with people not talking about abortion at all. We struggle with just acknowledging it as a standard medical procedure, that many, many women will need at some point in their lives. Stigma and shame flourish in silence. By not talking about abortion we contribute to that silence and, by extension, perpetuate the stigma and shame surrounding a legal medical procedure that one in three American women undergo. That silence is what makes women who are part of this vast population feel completely alone. Not speaking of a thing gives that thing power, power to be terrifying or, possibly worse, power to be misunderstood. How many politicians talk and legislate about abortion with a stunning degree of illiteracy? Would they be able to get away with that if we were more literate ourselves? Abortion isn’t Voldemort. We shouldn’t be afraid to say it. We shouldn’t be so wary of making jokes about it.

When conservatives talk about their idea of a woman who needs access to contraception and/or abortion services, she is always poor, uneducated, promiscuous, and irresponsible. By painting this image, they make it easy for women to distance themselves from each other. Not only is the debate around restrictions on birth control and abortion gendered, it also becomes classed. We stop caring that these restrictions impact all women on some level because we tell ourselves, “Well, I am not like ‘that’, so I do not care if that woman has access to the services she needs.” Furthermore, this picture of the woman who is “poor, uneducated, promiscuous, and irresponsible” is also how conservatives have historically stereotyped Black Women. Thus, this image is gendered, class-specific, and racialized. And I would argue that so are their restrictions on reproductive health services.

Conservatives’ obsession with limiting access to birth control and abortion is one that affects all women. But their reasoning also lets me know they are, indeed, targeting Black Women. It is time that Black Women become more vocal about our right to make decisions about our bodies, sexualities, and reproductive choices without interference or regulation from others. In the same way that we are speaking up about their right to define ourselves and narrate our own lives, we must also be vocal about reproductive justice.

Today, when advocates on both sides of the debate talk about the decision to have an abortion, they preface their statements with adjectives such as “difficult,” “hard” or “reluctant.” For anti-abortion conservatives, the reason for using such language is clear: Abortion is murder, they contend, but characterizing a woman who has one as a murderer is a bit, well, harsh. A more charitable view is to assume that she must have struggled with making this immoral choice. Pro-choice advocates use the “difficult decision” formulation for a similar reason, so as not to demonize women. It also permits pro-choice candidates to look less dogmatic. But there’s a more pernicious result when pro-choice advocates use such language: It is a tacit acknowledgment that terminating a pregnancy is a moral issue requiring an ethical debate. To say that deciding to have an abortion is a “hard choice” implies a debate about whether the fetus should live, thereby endowing it with a status of being. It puts the focus on the fetus rather than the woman. As a result, the question “What kind of future would the woman have as a result of an unwanted pregnancy?” gets sacrificed. By implying that terminating a pregnancy is a moral issue, pro-choice advocates forfeit control of the discussion to anti-choice conservatives.

micdotcom:

Leaked audio reveals the horrifying tactics of Texas abortion protesters

Tracking license plates, walking picket lines, harassing employees and misleading patients — anti-choice protesters have a plethora of tactics for accomplishing their No. 1 goal: eradicating abortion in America.

Just how far these advocates are willing to go was highlighted in undercover audio secretly recorded from a mass training session of Texas pro-life abortion protesters and released by Progress Texas this week.

Listen to the full transcript | Follow micdotcom 

“You have a lady who ruptures her membranes — there’s no way she’s going to get to 24 weeks,” Davis says. “But just looking at her now? She has normal vitals. So what do you tell her [in a state with a 20-week ban]? ‘You have to sit in the hospital and wait until you get very sick. Then we can end the pregnancy.’
“If you did that under any other circumstance it would be wild negligence. If you had a patient that you knew was going to get an infection and did nothing, what kind of doctor would you be?”

Fetal Pain is a Lie: How Phony Science Took Over the Abortion Debate

Conservative politicians are willingly endangering their constituents over junk science and their personal religious beliefs.

(via bebinn)

(via skyrimmingtothetop)