Intra-spection: A Reproductive Rights Round-Up
''Why doesn't every woman get an IUD?'' she wondered.
Good question, especially since they've come a long way, if you don't want a baby, baby.
We discussed many aspects of the contraceptive device, including my experience with it in the early 80s when my ''Copper T'' resulted in painful period cramping, a problem I never had before or after the IUD.
But now, according to this report by The Star's Trish Crawford, this is less of a problem.
"We are under-using the IUD," says Dr. Jennifer Blake, chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Sunnybrook and Women's College Hospitals.
"We were very easily scared and thrown off by scary news," says Blake of the controversy in the early '70s over the Dalkon Shield, an IUD that was ultimately pulled from the Canadian market in 1974 and millions paid in damages. Infections, infertility, miscarriages and even death resulted from its use and women in North America turned away from all IUDs as a form of birth control as a result. "It had a chilling effect," says Blake.
But safe and effective alternative models have been developed and have flourished in popularity throughout the world, she says.
Only 2.9 per cent of Canadian women and 1.8 per cent of American women use IUDs for birth control, the United Nations department of economic and social affairs reported in 2007. This compares to roughly 15 per cent of all women throughout the world choosing the IUD, with 19.6 per cent in Asia and 13.9 per cent in the Caribbean.
However, for women who are concerned about the estrogen contained in birth control pills (such as those predisposed to certain types of cancer), the IUD is a safe, effective alternative, says Dr. Elyse Lackie, a gynecologist at North York General Hospital.
IUDs are not only more reliable than any other form of contraception except the pill -- provided you take it correctly -- but they're better designed, do not subject women to hormonal interference, and don't require forking out big bucks to Big Pharma every month.
But there is a catch, as you can see from the comments on Trish's piece.
IUDs, like the pill, prevent implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus --which is the medically-defined and agreed-upon start of pregnancy.
This has led to the anti-choicers railing against these methods of preventing pregnancy as ''abortifacient'' -- or causing abortions every month. (This leads to crazy things like this.) But then they rail against everything that gives women control over their bodies, don't they?
And here's the sequel to that sad story of the Brazilian nine year old pregnant with twins -- after being raped by her stepfather -- whose abortion led to the excommunication of her mother and doctors. Seems the Pope has dug his high heels in deeper than ever.
"Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life," reads the statement, which widely cites past Vatican documents. "The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society."
Never mind that the pregnant child had little hope of surviving the pregnancy. She is no longer ''innocent'' in the Church's eyes.
Republican lawmaker John Adams is re-introducing a bill in the state of Ohio that would require women seeking an abortion to obtain consent from the biological father. Apparently abortion isn’t all that bad as long as the ‘man’ approves of it.
Just to add flame to the fire, the bill also would require survivors of rape to provide a police report in order to obtain an abortion. Can you say re-victimization? I must have forgotten that women are untrustworthy and lie about being raped. Ridiculous, I know. Newsflash, women who are survivors of rape face incredible amounts of psychological truama, and forcing them to seek out a police report after already showing up to a clinic is torturous, in my opinion.
In cases where the identity of the father is unknown, women would be required to submit a list of possible fathers. The physician would be forced to conduct a paternity test from the provided list and then seek paternal permission to abort.
Claiming to not know the father's identity is not a viable excuse, according to the proposed legislation. Simply put: no father means no abortion.
What's next? Scarlet letters?
Ah yes, just another day of men poking into women's ... business.
The accompanying English drawing, done in 1822 by Jacques-Pierre Maygrier, shows a physician examining a woman's abdomen via the "compromise" procedure, used to avoid actually looking. (I figured you might be wondering.)
The United States and Canada face a dangerous shortage of trained abortion providers. In 2000, 87% of the counties in the United States had no provider*. The “graying” of current providers (57% of whom are over the age of 50, violence that targets physicians, and restrictive legislation threaten to drive these numbers even lower. In addition, medical schools are simply not addressing the topic; most physicians are graduating with little more than circumstantial knowledge of abortion.
It's all working out according to their evil plan, isn't it?