Today is Blog for Choice Day 2013. The topic for this year is “Why are you pro–choice?”
I am pro–choice because reproductive freedom is an essential prerequisite for women’s rights. Societies where abortion is illegal are among the worst places to be a woman. Societies where opponents of abortion and reproductive freedom get their laws kill women. Reproductive freedom saves lives. Reproductive freedom is one of the most powerful ways to lift women out of poverty.
And with today being the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the need for reproductive freedom is more essential than ever. Recent times have seen record numbers of attempts in the US at chipping away at reproductive rights.
Blog for Choice mini-roundup:
Anti–choice policies claim another victim:
Savita Halappanavar (31), a dentist, presented with back pain at the hospital on October 21st, was found to be miscarrying, and died of septicaemia a week later.
Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar (34), an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway, says she asked several times over a three-day period that the pregnancy be terminated. He says that, having been told she was miscarrying, and after one day in severe pain, Ms Halappanavar asked for a medical termination.
This was refused, he says, because the foetal heartbeat was still present and they were told, “this is a Catholic country”.
Anti–woman policies killed a woman. Thank a pro–lifer today.
Via RH Reality Check, DAMMIT JANET!, and a lot of other places.
According to a study in The Lancet, widespread availability of contraception in developing countries could prevent an additional 104,000 maternal deaths yearly. Furthermore, in places where contraception is already available, 272,040 maternal deaths were prevented. (More specifically, perhaps as few as 127,937 or as many as 407,134 maternal deaths were prevented.)
You see that? Birth control saves lives. No one in their right mind could possibly be opposed to saving 200,000 lives each year. This therefore means that those so–called pro–lifers will be all in favour of more widespread contraception availability in developing countries, right? (Crickets chirping….)
Yesterday, the United States House of Representatives voted 240–185 to end all funding for Planned Parenthood and eliminate Title X. The supposed rationale, that Planned Parenthood supports child sex trafficking, is utter bullshit. Lie–la Hosebag, one associated with the James O’Keefe circle, released videos in an attempt to discredit Planned Parenthood. Since Hosebag’s videos were edited, as were O’Keefe’s against ACORN, to rational people their credibility is shot. Furthermore, Planned Parenthood performed the proper action by informing the appropriate authorities.
Nor can the House be doing this because of opposition to abortion. Only a tiny fraction of Planned Parenthood’s funds go towards abortions, and furthermore the Hyde Amendment prohibits the US government from funding abortions (in most circumstances). In other words, none of Your Money™ goes towards abortion.
Indeed, most of Planned Parenthood’s funds go towards screening for STDs and cancer, or towards contraception for poor women. The first improves healthcare, and the second increases access to contraception, which is the number one way of reducing unintended pregnancies and therefore the abortion rate (cite, cite, cite). This continues the socon pattern of always taking the opposite position of what one would rationally take if they were truly against abortion. That’s because they are really motivated by a sick obsessive desire to control female sexuality, and not by any belief in the “sanctity of life”.
Personally, I doubt that this law has a realistic chance of passing. It has to get through the Senate and then past Obama’s veto pen. Furthermore, this is likely an unconstitutional bill of attainder. Still, Democrats have shown a disturbing tendency to compromise….
If there’s any good news, an atrocious refusal clause regulation has been rescinded (h/t: Echidne).
Will Saletan writes columns about abortion on a fairly regular basis. Usually, I have some issue with them, but this time he nearly gets it right. It’s about Representative Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who was recently incorrectly condemned as “pro-abortion”. Saletan’s column correctly concludes that Ryan was kicked out of Democrats for Life because he disagreed with them on contraception. But Saletan does not go far enough and explain why those so-called pro-life groups are against reducing the need for abortions. That’s because, as this chart indicates, they are really motivated by a puritanal view of sexuality; they want to punish women who dare to fuck for fun.
Shorter Jill Stanek: Premarital sex is as bad as murder.
Steven Waldman of Beliefnet e-mailed Jill Stanek and asked her about why people like her were opposed to using contraception as a means to reduce the need for abortion. She mentioned that she was against it because she thought it led to sinfulness. Waldman then asked her for clarification, arguing that even if contraception led to the sins of hypocrisy and premarital sex, wouldn’t these be less bad than abortion?
Stanek then responded, arguing that there is no scriptural basis for allowing “lesser sins” to prevent “greater sins”. She then said (emphasis added), “That premise aside, it is no “lesser sin”to commit extramarital [sic] sex — both before marriage and during marriage.” Since Stanek thinks that abortion is murder, and since she thinks premarital sex is as bad as abortion, she thinks that premarital sex is as bad as murder! Since 95% percent of Americans have premarital sex, she clearly thinks that 95% of Americans are the moral equivalent of murderers. Since we punish murder with lengthy prison terms or the death penalty, I’d like to indicate that doing the same to 95% of the US population would be pretty brutal.
Stanek is entitled to her beliefs, and it may well be possible to argue that premarital sex is wrong, but is it as bad as murder? (Hint: no.)
Via RH Reality Check.