Reproductive Rights Round-Up
Lots of news and views to report on this front:
Yesterday, while driving with the pooch to the beach, I spotted two small and silent anti-choice demos on two rather busy intersections. Both were near churches, but that may have been a coincidence. They are probably, in some way, connected to the 40 Days for Life prayer-rama on right now. But I can't be sure as I did not stop the car and get out and ask.
I didn't have a camera with me so I could snap pictures but some of my Tweeps were digitally-equipped when they saw similar demos at other corners around town. (Credit for the photo goes to @michalhay.) I also have received reports of other demos in other Ontario towns.
The two I saw consisted of no more than 4-6 people, most of them men. One group was holding up signs that said ''Abortion kills children'' while the other's poster boards read ''Life: The First Right.''
Now, we can go around endlessly, as we already have many times on this blog, as to whether an embryo=a child. But, if you are going to talk rights here, then a woman's right not to be an incubator trumps a zygote's right to exist.
Meanwhile, over on Twitter, the ''I am #prochoice'' challenge continues, with women (and men) tweeting their reasons for wanting to protect a woman's right to choose in a time when that right is under attack. Read some of them here and here.
Here are two of my own Tweets:
If antichoicers told the Pope that condoms & the Pill should be available everywhere, maybe they'd be more credible. #prochoice
If antichoicers spent as much energy lobbying for daycare instead of shaming pregnant women, maybe they'd be credible. #prochoice
Common sense, no? If they're all about the ''child'' and not about punishing the woman for having sex by forcing her to bear the consequences of having sex -- kids as punishment, that's a concept -- then why aren't these people fighting for universal access to contraception and, when that fails, childcare?
Which brings us to this thoughtful post over at Feminists for Choice. Note that the figures are American but they are probably relevant here as well:
... it costs a mere $10K a year, per kid, for part time daycare at a center–but that’s for a school aged child! Placing an infant in day care is WAY more expensive–A NACCRRA report detailing child care costs for 2008 lists the cost of one year of full-time infant care at as high as $15,895! Considering that the median family income in the US is $50,740.00/year, some families are paying out as much as a THIRD of their annual income in day care costs alone!
A parent might be able to find lower-cost care, but that usually means placing their children in a home day care, but as NACCRRA points out, many are unlicensed and it is harder to accurately determine the level of safety/quality of care received at such facilities.
Faced with such daunting day care rates, medical care costs, a couple of years worth of diapers, clothes, food, school supplies and anything else required for even the most frugal of budgets, even the average family is, realistically, quickly priced out of having a child.
Unless we turn the clocks back to 1952 and make Mommy stay at home.
Which could explain that (sarcastic snort here) very helpful $25 (minus the tax) a week baby bonus the Harper Conservatives gave us instead of a national daycare program.
Speaking of contraception, I picked this up via the current, green-focused issue of Maclean's:
According to the UN, about 40 per cent of all pregnancies worldwide are unintended -- that's a lot of babies spewing CO2 into the environment and consuming precious resources. So, of all the green technologies out there, birth control might be the most environmentally friendly.
A new report from the Optimum Population Trust at the London School of Economics finds that for each $7 spent on basic family planning over the next 40 years, global CO2 emissions would be reduced by more than one tonne.
Seems simple enough, no?
But not according to those ''Be fruitful and multiply'' sexist nutbars.
(Oh and, while we're on the subject of contraception, check this out to clear up a common misconception.)
Finally, via JJ and Dammit Janet!, the story of the tweet heard round the world. (And I thought my Tweets made waves.) To begin at the beginning, with a minor bleep and some links, here is Penelope Trunk, the ''Brazen Careerist'' who tweeted about ... well ...
Recently I ran the following twitter:
"I'm in a board meeting. Having a miscarriage. Thank goodness, because there's a f**ked-up 3-week hoop-jump to have an abortion in Wisconsin."
Why the uproar over this twitter?
Not only have bloggers written whole posts about the disgustingness of it, but 70 people unfollowed me, and people actually came to my blog and wrote complaints about the twitter on random, unrelated posts.
So, to all of you who think the twitter was outrageous, think about this:
Most miscarriages happen at work. Twenty-five percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Seventy-five percent of women who are of child-bearing age are working. Most miscarriages run their course over weeks. Even if you are someone who wanted the baby and are devastated by the loss, you’re not going to sit in bed for weeks. You are going to pick up your life and get back to it, which includes going back to work.
This means that there are thousands of miscarriages in progress, at work, on any given day. That we don’t acknowledge this is absurd. That it is such a common occurrence and no one thinks it’s okay to talk about is terrible for women.
Exactly. It's like sitting in a board room, with buckets of sweat pouring down your face even though the AC is down to 65, and trying to pretend you are not having a hot flash. Why the secrecy? Why the shame over this perfectly natural and uncontrollable function that, I hasten to add, doesn't stink up the room?
To all of you who said I should not be happy about having a miscarriage: You are the ones short on empathy. Any woman who is pregnant but wishes she weren’t would of course be grateful when she has a miscarriage. Yes, there are many women who want the baby and have a miscarriage. I was one of them. I cried for days. I get it.
But if you have ever had an abortion, which I have, you would know that a miscarriage is preferable to an abortion. Even the Pope would agree with that.
And what is up with the fact that just one, single person commented about how Wisconsin has a three-week waiting period for abortions? It is absolutely outrageous how difficult it was going to be for me to get an abortion, and it’s outrageous that no one is outraged.
Wow, to be one of the teeny tiny nanofraction of the hundreds of thousands of women who have had abortions and have never admitted it publicly takes guts. Real guts. And to say you wanted another one?
It's a legal procedure. It's a woman's choice. But the way the holy rollers are carrying on, she should be a shame-faced slut made to bear her children whether she will love or care for them or not.
And, if you don't buy that, here's the relatively liberal Rick Sanchez of CNN giving Trunk the third degree.
Note that he refers to her as ''young lady'' -- and she's a mother in her 40s.
And did she say ''period?''
Why yes, yes, she did.