April 30, 2008
So long, farewellI'm sad to say that I'll no longer be blogging with NARAL Pro-Choice America. After almost four years of working together, it's time NARAL and I went our separate ways - but what a trip it's been!
I've met wonderful activists along the way, and learned a lot. So a big thanks to the team at NARAL for all of their support and amazing work - you guys rock!
I hope you'll still come visit me at Feministing.com and that you'll continue to support the very important work of NARAL.
Posted by Jessica at 9:34 AM | Comments (9)
April 16, 2008
Welcome to our new blog!
Posted by Nancy at 9:49 AM | Comments (1)
January 22, 2008
Even more bloggers for choice!
Check out even more great posts on choice:
Pandagon: "Now, I realize that most of us tend to think that “human rights violation” is traditionally about violating someone’s rights—their liberty, their freedom, their autonomy—and thus the argument that taking away women’s rights is saving women’s rights doesn’t quite make sense. But we’re from the old school feminist camp that believed that women are humans, with rights similar to those traditional human rights."
The Galloping Beaver: "[T]here is a considerable difference in both practice and law between Canada and the US. While Canadian women may feel they have easier access to abortions in Canada than women in the US, the law in the US is actually much more firmly established than it is in Canada and has been so for much longer."
The Curvature: "Those of us who have been paying attention know perfectly well that Roe is under attack. And 2007 was a particularly interesting year. The Roberts-led Supreme Court upheld the “partial-birth abortion” ban that has no exception for a woman’s health, despite its direct conflict with Roe. States have been tripping over themselves to pass “trigger laws” that would outlaw abortion immediately if Roe was overturned. State legislators have also been proposing an endless amount of misogynist bills that would restrict women’s right to an abortion: all out bans, “informed consent” laws that lie to women, laws requiring forced, medically unnecessary renovations to abortion clinics, laws requiring women get permission from their fetus’ fathers before having an abortion, and laws granting legal rights to fetuses, or even to fertilized eggs."
Radical Doula: "Are women getting less abortions because they have better access to things like emergency contraception and birth control? Or are they getting fewer abortions because 83% of counties have no abortion provider, restrictions like the Hyde Amendment prevent low-income women from obtaining abortions (the report said that the average cost for a 10 week abortion was $413), and anti-choice sentiment around the country is making women feel shamed into carrying these unwanted pregnancies to term?"
Trailer Park Feminist: "I may be a member of the post-Roe generation, but that doesn't mean I'm naïve enough to want to go back to the bad old days. Prohibition doesn't work for alcohol, doesn't work for drugs, and doesn't work for abortion. Regulation does work, has worked, and should be allowed to continue working. "
Posted by Jessica at 4:11 PM | Comments (1)
Commemorate Roe, but work for reproductive justice
As we're commemorating the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I'd just like to point out that reproductive health and justice doesn't begin and end with abortion.
For those who are unfamiliar with the idea of reproductive justice, as opposed to reproductive rights...
The term "reproductive justice" was coined in 1994 by the Black Women's Caucus at a national pro-choice conference in Chicago. (Some of these same women went on to co-found the amazing organization SisterSong.) Instead of focusing on the right to abortion, reproductive justice takes a holistic view of women's health and social justice issues.
We believe reproductive justice is the complete physical, mental, spiritual, political, economic, and social well-being of women and girls, and will be achieved when women and girls have the economic, social and political power and resources to make healthy decisions about our bodies, sexuality and reproduction for ourselves, our families and our communities in all areas of our lives.
And as Jill says in her great Blog for Choice post: "Reproductive justice is about you."
If you want to know more about reproductive justice, check out Understanding Reproductive Justice, by SisterSong and A New Vision for advancing our movement for reproductive health, reproductive rights and reproductive justice, by Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice.
Posted by Jessica at 4:10 PM | Comments (0)
Bloggers for Choice!
Here are some great Blog for Choice posts to start your morning off...
Lawyers, Guns and Money: "While it's true that it's important to vote "pro-choice," I want to write about more than that -- why it's important to vote for someone who really understands what it means to want reproductive justice. In order to understand this, it's important to know how far Roe got us, and how far we've got to go."
Kay Steiger: "Abortion will always be available for (white) upper class women who need or want it. They can fly to Europe, drive to Canada, or take a quick weekend to Mexico City. Other women -- poor mothers and women of color may not always be so lucky. If the pro-life movement succeeds in criminalizing abortion, it will be the worst off that will pay the price."
A Gender Queer View: "As a trans-women I will never have to worry about getting an abortion so why is voting pro-choice so important to me? Well the main reason is that I am a feminist, one who holds that radical notion that women are humans capable of making rational decisions about what’s best for them. But there are other reasons to vote por-choice, ons that have to do with the rest of the anti-choice agenda."
Think Girl: "On this 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, consider learning more about the wider reproductive justice concerns of women of color! Join me in reading books like Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organize for Reproductive Justice, and learning more about the work of organizations like SisterSong: Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective."
Angry Grrl's Rants: "Why is this decision even in danger? I resent the fact that I, and so many others, am having to expend time and energy today fighting to not lose any more ground than we already have. I’m sure all of us would rather be spending time with our loved ones, our children, our pets. But no. We’re taking part in NARAL’s Blog for Choice today. We’re giving money to Planned Parenthood. We’re marching. We’re signing petitions. We’re volunteering at clinics. We’re working to elect pro-choice officials at the local, state, and federal levels."
Future Feminist Librarian-Activist: "What wakes me from nightmares, sweating, in the early hours of the morning is the knowledge that, as a pregnant woman, I will lose my right to determine what is done to my body. What knots my stomach is the knowledge that, under current legal precedent, when I become pregnant I could be stripped of my rights to bodily integrity—including the ability to consent to or refuse medical procedures."
Babeland: "For me, remembering Roe v Wade is important not just because we need to keep abortion not only legal but accessible, but because of what this decision symbolizes. Namely, we should have the right to do what we want with our bodies. This isn’t just about whether or not to have children, it stretches into who we can love and the pleasure that each and every one of us has a right to."
Posted by Jessica at 11:17 AM | Comments (1)
Commemorating Roe's Anniversary, Blogging for Choice
For the past two years, I've blogged for choice on the anniversary Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal. Today, on the 35th anniversary, NARAL Pro-Choice America calling on bloggers to answer this question: Why do you vote pro-choice? I'll be featuring links to blog posts throughout the day, but to kick things off - here's why I vote pro-choice.
I vote pro-choice because I believe in bodily integrity;
I vote pro-choice because I want the Hyde Amendment to be repealed;
I vote pro-choice because I support healthy choices for women;
I vote pro-choice because anti-choice laws disproportionately affect young women, women of color, low-income women and women who live in rural areas;
I vote pro-choice because I don't want women to die;
I vote pro-choice because I think the Global Gag Rule is harming and killing women worldwide;
But perhaps most importantly, I vote pro-choice because I trust women to make the decision about what's best for them and their families.
Why do you vote pro-choice?
Posted by Jessica at 9:15 AM | Comments (1)
January 4, 2008
Blog for Choice 2008!
It's that time of year again - Blog for Choice Day!
The past two years, pro-choice bloggers have come together on January 22nd - the anniversary of Roe v Wade - to write about reproductive health and justice and to keep choice in the national spotlight. And we've been amazingly successful.
And don't worry, we'll send you a reminder about the date and a link to your post will appear on the main Blog for Choice page. Hotness.
Together we can ensure that on January 22, the blogosphere is flooded with pro-choice blogposts.
Posted by Jessica at 9:28 AM | Comments (1)
January 23, 2007
Thank you bloggers for choice!
I just wanted to put out a HUGE thank you to everyone who participated in Blog for Choice Day--over 500 of you signed up and that doesn't even include everyone who blogged without signing up. Just incredible.
We want to thank you properly and get a good solid count of everyone who blogged, so please--shoot us an email with a link to your post.
A roundup to follow...
Posted by Jessica at 10:05 AM | Comments (10)
January 22, 2007
Check out all the blogs for choice!
Blog for Choice day is looking fantastic, and I can't believe all of the support the campaign has gotten--so thanks to all our bloggers for choice!
Just a few posts I'd like to point out that I think are extra bad-ass...
Let’s talk about sex…about black women and our reproductive health. About how choice impacts the treatment of endometriosis, fibroids, breast cancer and other conditions black women are at risk for. Let’s discuss choice as it relates to access to basic healthcare for women…to our ability to choose treatments rather than have them forced on us…to our ability to empower our daughters rather than hand them over to a system that expects them to get pregnant…anticipates them getting an STD…and could give a damn if they die out as a result of inadequate care and government enforced ignorance.
Hear me on this, for a bitch is a witness to choice on a different level as it relates to me and mine…to sisters of color…and the poor.
Today is the thirty-fourth anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, as well as the second annual Blog For Choice event. This year it was asked "Why are you pro-choice?"
At first glance, it's an easy answer for me--because I have had abortions. I did not have to pay someone under the table; I did not have to risk my health in a dirty clinic; I did not have to wait on a street corner wearing white gloves waiting for a stranger to pick me up and take me to a strange place as women did pre-Roe. I was able to make the choice as to when--or, as it turned out, if--to have children.
Now, I've always been against forced birth on principle, because women's bodies are not machines or property and women are not slaves. Or, perhaps I should say, because women should not be enslaved. Even in the decade and a half I've spent on vacation from the threat of sperm, I've done what I could to protect women from forced birth.
Oh, and check out this piece I have at Huffington Post.
More links after the jump.
Majikthise: Happy anniversary, Roe
The Countess: Today Is Blog For Choice Day
Reclusive Leftist: Blog for Choice
Feminist Law Professors: Today is Blog For Choice Day: Try a Little Emergency Contraception Activism!
Pandagon: Blogging For Choice and beyond choice
BlogHer: Today is Blog for Choice Day 2007
Dana at Campus Progress: Why I'm Pro-Choice
Posted by Jessica at 3:50 PM | Comments (58)
Blog for Choice today!
In the spirit of Blog for Choice Day, I just wanted to write a little something about why I’m pro-choice.
My support and fight for reproductive health and justice is about more than the recognition of women’s right to control their own bodies and my feelings about how the state’s attempt to control women’s reproductive rights is connected to women’s oppression more generally. At the core of it, it’s about something much more simple.
It’s about trusting women.
I trust women to make their own decisions. I trust that women (of all ages) don’t need to be told what to do with their bodies or their futures because they know what’s best for themselves and their families. And I truly believe that the folks who are fighting so hard to limit women’s reproductive choices are doing so because they don’t trust women. And that terrifies me—because if women aren’t trusted to make decisions about something as personal as their own bodies, we’re in big trouble.
Feel free to share in comments why you’re pro-choice.
Posted by Jessica at 8:28 AM | Comments (104) | TrackBack
January 19, 2007
Blog for Choice!
Just a reminder to Blog for Choice on Monday!
Tell us, and your readers, why you're pro-choice.
And please, spread the word!
Posted by Jessica at 10:59 AM | Comments (17)
January 12, 2007
Blog for Choice 2007!
It’s that time of year again! (You know, when I bug you to blog about choice issues, duh.)
On January 22nd - the 34th anniversary of Roe v. Wade – NARAL Pro-Choice America is asking pro-choice bloggers to raise the profile of reproductive rights issues in the blogosphere and the media, and to let everyone know that a woman's right to choose is nonnegotiable.
So blog for choice on January 22nd, and this year's topic is a simple one: tell us, and your readers, why you're pro-choice.
When you sign up to Blog for Choice, NARAL will send you a reminder, and link to your post on BushvChoice. (You can also tag your posts with "Blog for Choice" to show you're joining in.)
And of course, if you're not a blog or a website, please encourage (translation: bug) your favorite sites to take part in Blog for Choice Day!
Posted by Jessica at 3:21 PM | Comments (0)
January 25, 2006
One more thanks!
Hello, and greetings from NARAL Pro-Choice America! I wanted to take a moment and echo Jessica's thanks to all of you who blogged for choice on January 22. Your voices, and your commitment to the cause of women's reproductive freedoms could not be more important. I don't need to tell you that this is a critical time for reproductive rights. At the same time we celebrate the 33rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we are in the midst of a Supreme Court battle that will impact the future of personal privacy and a woman's right to choose for generations to come.
The Blog for Choice Day was a great success. Thanks to your enthusiastic response, well over 200 people participated, encompassing a wide variety of reproductive health issues. It is my hope that you will continue to speak out on behalf of the majority of Americans who support choice. It's up to us to make ourselves heard, not only online, but offline - to our friends and family, to our elected representatives, and most importantly in the voting booths - that we share in the core American values of personal privacy and a woman's right to choose. We cannot allow Bush and his anti-choice supporters to roll back our hard-won rights.
Posted by Nancy at 8:22 AM | Comments (0)
January 24, 2006
Some Blogging for Choice highlights
Ann at Feministing gives a great news round-up, pointing out that the coverage included a lot of personal stories from women.
Feministe’s Jill gives a super-comprehensive look at choice in 33 Years After Roe.
Jaclyn over at PopPolitics thinks about a name change for “choice” in Say It With Me: Forced Pregnancy.
Lawyers, Guns and Money discusses Roe and Progressive Politics.
Bitch Ph.D. gives a eulogy.
Posted by Jessica at 10:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
January 23, 2006
Blog for Choice Day amazing success!
I just want to say thanks to all the amazing pro-choice bloggers who participated in Blog for Choice Day. Over 250 of you signed up and spoke out for choice on yesterday’s Roe anniversary. Awesome.
We’ll be compiling a list of all the posts, so keep an eye out.
Posted by Jessica at 12:22 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
January 22, 2006
You are blogging for choice
What better way to celebrate the anniversary of Roe v. Wade than with a look at a few of the pro-choice voices out there. To see all of the bloggers who have signed up to Blog for Choice today, click here.
I believe that women are smart, beautiful, and capable of whatever they want. I believe a woman’s choices are difficult, heartbreaking, but they must be their own. I believe we must protect women’s choices and women’s rights.
That is how I can sit at this computer 7 months pregnant with a child I consider to be a medical miracle and tell you that I am, in fact, pro choice. I have faced the very real possibility of having to make that choice. I recognize and am thankful every day for the incredible luxury life affords me, and that so many of us take for granted.
Here's the thing about the whole abortion thing: it's nobody's business but the woman's. My opinion on the "issue" matters exactly zip-point-nothing, and neither does anyone else's who's not in the crisis of an unintended or unwanted pregnancy.
Too bad the government doesn't realize this.
I have never known life without Roe V. Wade. I and never want to...
To me the right to choose has to do with a GREAT DEAL more than just abortion. It goes to the very core of women's rights and on a larger scale personal freedoms for everyone.
A woman facing a decision that is more self-preservation than a matter of ‘choice’ is entitled to receive health information from her physician, drug information from her local pharmacy and spiritual counseling from her church.
This isn’t a choice, it’s a right.
Even now, my available choices depend what state I live in. There's apparently no correlation between my available choices in a particular state and the amount resources that state devotes to pre-natal care, housing support, health insurance, food stamps, school funding, or quality child care.
My wish today is that whatever you think about abortion and all of the many aspects of that issue and the many more related issues, is that no one would ever trample upon or take away your right to make your own decisions about your body, your life, and your destiny. My thoughts today are with the people who worked to ensure this right in the past, the people who continue that work today, and the women who died from illegal abortions.
My mother's commitment to women's health and her compassion for all women's stories has inspired me to write this blog entry on the 33rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade. I am thankful that my mom was given a safe and legal abortion so that she could be the inspring mother towards my brother and I that she was.
I started actively supporting pro-choice organizations when I was at home in Missouri one summer, and due to some court cases presented by anti-abortion groups, all abortion clinics in Missouri shut down for a few days. It all of a sudden hit me that this option I had had my whole life, of the possibility of having an abortion if I needed it, was gone. It was a strange feeling. I think in a way I took legal abortion for granted, as it has been around my whole life. This experience, though, gave me a small glimpse into what it would be like to not have that option and it was scary.
Posted by Blog for Choice at 10:05 AM | Comments (69) | TrackBack
January 20, 2006
The Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood (non) Ruling
Pseudo-Adrienne is blogging for choice.
The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood case must return to a lower court-- in another words they didn't rule on the case themselves. So uh..., what does this mean? Well it certainly reminds me of how tenuous and frail women's reproductive choice is in this country, where it's still mostly men deciding how much control a woman can exercise over her reproductive destiny, that's for damn sure.
Read the full post at Liberal Feminist Bias.
Posted by at 9:22 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
January 19, 2006
Taking on anti-choicers for being anti-choice
Amanda at Pandagon is blogging for choice.
I was overjoyed to see that Chris Mooney has come over to the dark side of folks who are refusing to pretend that anti-choice is about babies or puppies or anything like that and instead taking a good, hard look at how the anti-choice movement is primarily run by sex-phobic ideologues who have it in their heads that child-bearing is woman’s punishment for having a sexuality. He’s reviewing a book called How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America, which I’ve wishlisted, since it sounds really good. From Chris’s post:
In short, the anti-abortionists aren’t necessarily who you think they are: They are far more radical, and way out of touch with mainstream American culture, which has long since accepted the notion of women regulating their own fertility.
The important thing to remember about the anti-choice movement is not only are they anti-sex, they are specifically anti-woman. (And generally anti-gay, though that’s a whole ‘nother post.) Like Chris says here, it’s about having a very narrow view of what’s moral–specifically, adherence to strict gender roles is “morality”–and it’s motivated by a belief that they are entitled to force their views on others through the law.
Read the full post at Pandagon.
Posted by at 10:25 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
When Do You Stop Being a “Teen Mother”?
Lauren at Feministe is blogging for choice.
Because my last crappy semester left this responsibility to his father, I took Ethan to his piano lessons for the first time tonight. He’s in the next room practicing right now, thrilled that he’s finally moving past the basic basics and beginning to get to the recognizable basics. He plays with the keys like I did when I was his age, making up songs, turning the exercises into peppy songs with jazz and blues beats. The kid loves music almost as much as his mom does, and this soothes me. I have a kid I not only love but like, one that shares at least one major interest with me.
When he was a little baby, fresh home from the hospital, I’d often load him into the car and take long drives, listening to music and weaving through the country roads. I chose the quietest music in my selection, some Cowboy Junkies, some Elliott Smith, some Jeff Buckley, and off we’d go. It was a miserable time for me, so I’d cry as we traveled the straight Indiana roads, knowing he’d be lulled to sleep by the vibrations of the moving car.
Part of what made the time so miserable was the painful transition I was making from child to adult, or at the very least from childhood responsibilities to adult responsibilities. The other part was the unfair judgement placed on me by family, peers, and outsiders. I dealt with some nasty commentary as I moved about my world sick and pregnant, one woman even remarking to a friend within earshot at a coffee shop that people like me were the reason she hated welfare. The most painful things came after E was born when everyone’s expectations of me were significantly lowered. I still had shreds of hope for myself — I knew I was smart and that I could be successful, maybe, if I had the help I needed to make the most of my chances.
Read the full post at Feministe.
Posted by at 10:04 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
January 17, 2006
A Different Anti-Choice Strategy
Jill at Feministe is blogging for choice.
The New York Times has an article yesterday on the quieter side of the anti-choice movement — Crisis Pregnancy Centers. The article makes the centers sound a whole lot peachier than they actually are, but can’t avoid the fact that the very purpose of these centers is to lie, mislead, and coerce women. It starts out focusing on “post-abortion recovery” groups which, honestly, I don’t have quite as much a problem with. The fact is that some women do feel depressed after abortion, and we have to acknowledge that. If these women seek out religious healing, then that’s their business. More pro-choice groups are recognizing that some women who have abortions, just like some women who give birth, do experience depression or other psychological side effects. There’s at least one group in New York called Exhale which focuses on non-judgmental services for women and those close to them after abortion. It recognizes that some women may be struggling, and that while the majority of women report feeling relieved after abortion and experience no negative psychological consequences, we shouldn’t ignore those who may need to talk to someone but who don’t need to hear that they’re evil baby-killers or sinners who should repent, or at least feel very guilty.
We should also ask, why are some of these women feeling guilty? Perhaps because “pro-life” people have convinced them that abortion is an evil, shameful thing that they’re expected to forever repent for?
Of course, the crisis pregnancy center in the Times article doesn’t offer groups for women suffering from post-partum depression, because having a baby makes every woman happy.
There are between 2,300 and 3,500 crisis pregnancy centers nation-wide, compared to 1800 abortion clinics. They’re funded with millions of dollars. They don’t focus on things like contraception access, which would prevent future unintended pregnancies. Instead, they lay down black-and-white judgments, treat women like children who need coercive direction into “doing the right thing,” and mislead them about basic medical facts (not that we should be surprised, given the anti-choice penchant for lying to women).
Read the full post at Feministe.
Posted by at 8:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
January 16, 2006
The myth of the pro-choice Republican
Anticipating the demise of Roe and finding the novel silver lining is a cottage industry in American political journalism. Newsweek columnist Eleanor Clift takes this fanciful genre to a new plane of implausibility when she argues that the end of Roe would destroy the Republican Party:
There are no secret pro-choice Republicans. If you don't care enough about choice to oppose Alito, you just don't care. At this point, even "out" pro-choice Republicans like Arlen Specter don't care enough about Roe to vote against Alito.
Read the full post at Majikthise.
Posted by at 10:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
January 13, 2006
What We Have Learned About Alito
Bill Scher of LiberalOasis is blogging for choice.
LiberalOasis highlights the three main things we’ve learned about Alito; here’s one of them:
He does not believe the Constitution protects a woman's right to an abortion
We already knew that he said exactly that in 1985. But in the hearing, while he tried to disingenuously signal his attitude would be different as a judge, he steadfastly refused to say Roe is settled law.
When he says he will have an "open mind" on abortion (the same phrase Clarence Thomas used, before he got on the court and sought to overturn Roe), Alito cannot be taken at his word.
For the other two points, read the full post here.
Posted by at 10:03 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
January 12, 2006
On Alito and Husband Notification
Tiffany of BlackFeminism is blogging for choice.
One of the things that most disturbs me about Samuel Alito is his 1991 dissent in a challenge to a Pennsylvania law restricting abortion access. In his dissent, Alito argued that legally requiring a woman to notify her husband before seeking an abortion did not constitute an “undue burden.”
My disagreement with Alito is simple, but from a common-sense standpoint, not a legal one: my health and safety are on the line. Why should anyone else have a say, and why should the government legally require me to put my health and safety at risk? Not only is pregnancy itself a risky proposition, but for many women, so is revealing a pregnancy. In fact, some researchers say that homicide is the leading cause of death for pregnant women. And what if that pregnancy wasn’t a result of her husband’s good lovin’? Thank goodness the other judges in the case had more sense. (You may also be interested in reading Alito’s Casey Dissent on Lawyers, Guns and Money.)
Read the full post at BlackFeminism.
Posted by at 1:57 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack
Alito dodges questions on Roe, privacy rights
You know, I keep hearing kudos from Republican senators on how forthcoming Alito has been. Maybe I’m missing something. Seems to me Alito has been more evasive--particularly on questions concerning Roe--than even Roberts was.
I’m even seeing some news headlines about Alito keeping an “open mind” on abortion. But what does that mean?
The Boston Globe reports that legal specialists think Alito hasn't given up anything on how he feels about choice. He certainly hasn’t reassured anyone that his views have changed since he wrote in 1985 that "the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion."
Both amendments create protections sometimes referred to as ''privacy rights," but only the 14th Amendment is relevant to abortion, said Richard Fallon, a Harvard professor of constitutional law. The Fourth Amendment protects only people's personal space, while the 14th protects their liberty to control their personal lives.
Pressed for his views about the kind of privacy right that relates to abortion, Alito repeatedly demurred.
Sneaky, sneaky. But very smart.
Alito did the same dance around questions on Griswold:
So really folks, let’s not call Alito’s ability to word his answers carefully “forthcoming.” Because he’s been anything but. Alito has not distanced himself from his previous anti-choice statements. He is dangerous for choice, and dangerous for women.
Posted by Jessica at 10:32 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Alito: Roe v. Wade Could Be Subject to Revisiting
Talk Left is blogging for choice.
With all the hoopla over the dust-up between Sens. Kennedy and Specter and Mrs. Alito's tears, it's important not to overlook one of the more substantive moments at Wednesday's hearing: Judge Alito refused to say Roe v. Wade was settled law and left open the possibility of revisiting it.
Let's go to the transcript.
Read the full post at Talk Left.
Posted by at 8:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
January 11, 2006
Alito Mischaracterizes Key Reproductive Rights Case
The latest analysis from NARAL:
Check out the full report.
Posted by Jessica at 5:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Republican pro-choice group opposes Alito
RMC is an organization whose core mission is to protect the right to choose as outlined in Roe v. Wade and to represent the millions of Republicans who strongly support this right. After much research and analysis of Mr. Alito’s own record and statements on this issue of individual freedom it is clear that he is an advocate for further restricting this right.
Judge Alito seems by all measures to be an experienced and capable jurist, but one who is out of step with mainstream Americans on the issue of abortion and maintaining the legal right to choose.
Good stuff. Let’s face it--Alito hasn’t quashed anyone’s fears about his very obvious anti-choice stance. Alito has not distanced himself from his previous statements on Roe and has been nothing but evasive. His confirmation would be devastating for women’s rights.
Posted by Jessica at 12:58 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
Shorter Tierney: We Own Those Bitches
Natasha at Pacific Views is blogging for choice.
From behind the NY Times firewall, John Tierney writes that...
... But there's no reason that it couldn't be a
little fairer. As Alito ruled, it's not an undue burden for a wife to
notify her husband before an abortion. And it's not unfair, as
Goldscheider proposes, for a single woman expecting child support to be
required to tell the father as soon as she decides to keep the baby. If
men are going to pay to play, they should at least know the score.
And some readers, who might be husbands themselves, think that maybe they'd like to know if their wife was going to have an abortion. Yet just as with parental notification situations, in the vast majority of households, wherever a healthy and open line of communication exists, this is precisely the type of medical decision that most women would probably want to talk about to those closest to them.
But as we know, all households aren't healthy. Some women would face beatings or expulsion from their homes if they were either pregnant or contemplating an abortion. A woman trying to get a divorce might have such a thing held over her head by a vindictive spouse unwilling to let go, or even by a retrograde judge. Even when a judicial bypass option exists, a woman might feel intimidated by the idea of going to court, or even be unable to take the time to appear and so never try. Or she might end up in the court of someone like Priscilla Owen, and just end up screwed. Again.
This is a law that sounds reasonable to middle class to wealthy people with no more than the usual level of family dysfunction. People don't get thrown out of the house in their circles. It would never be a burden to them, so they don't see why it should bother anyone else. It survives through a failure of empathy, with people who don't understand the problem reinforcing the social backing of abusive parents and spouses. A law like this could wind up forcing married women in bad situations to have and continue having children that they didn't want.
Perhaps Tierney has never had a physically larger partner with a bad
temper and a jealousy complex watch and question his every move, take
control of his money, monitor his calls, vet his friends or leave him
somewhat dependent on that partner for transportation. Maybe he's never
dealt with the sort of poverty or self-worth issues that leave so many
women feeling trapped in abusive partnerships. It could be that he
can't concieve of such a relationship dynamic in a situation where the
husband was adamantly opposed to contraception. Buy a clue, dude.
Read the full post at Pacific Views.
Posted by at 12:10 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack
Blogging for Choice stats
Bitch PhD is blogging for choice.
Let's begin with a few details and statistics, okay? Worldwide, over half a million women die each year. From pregnancy.
Here are some of the risks of pregnancy.
In the U.S., about 300 women a year die from pregnancy. More than one in five pregnant women who is admitted to a hospital goes there not to deliver, but because of some pregnancy-related complication. Ectopic pregnancies *alone* constitute a little over 1.5% of all pregnancies in the U.S.; for women of color, for some reason, the rate of ectopic pregnancy--which is always fatal if not terminated--is 2%. Here's an interesting PDF about pregnancy morbidity in the U.S.
So, to begin with, let's acknowledge that pregnancy, in and of itself, is dangerous to women's health. In the U.S. it is much less dangerous than it is in the developing world--but it is still difficult and dangerous, especially for women with health problems, and more so for women who are poor, very young, or for other reasons unable to obtain good health care and good nutrition. (Believe me, simply eating while pregnant is not cheap: I went through a half gallon of milk every day, and I estimate that our grocery bill doubled while I was pregnant.)
We worry a lot about the number of women who will die from unsafe abortions if abortion is outlawed. And that's a legitimate worry.
Read the full post at Bitch PhD.
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January 10, 2006
2 Ways To Skin A Precedent
Scott Lemieux from Lawyers, Guns and Money is blogging for choice.
For those of you who don't read the long, boring articles, let me briefly summarize why Alito's elevation to the court will be extremely bad for reproductive rights, with links to some more detailed arguments. There are two viable possibilities, and both lead to exactly the same place. And for both outcomes, it is important to remember this fact, which is too often forgotten: abortion bans are always enforced in a grossly arbitrary and inequitable manner (cf. not only the pre-Roe period but the sky-high abortion rates in Latin America.) Affluent women, who have the resources to travel and the connections to know which doctors perform grey market abortions, will have access to abortion irrespective of the legal regime. The question is whether this access is will be given to all women, or whether some classes of women will have to resort to illegal abortions. Once we understand this, the implications of Alito's elevation are clear.
Read the full post at Lawyers, Guns and Money.
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Wherein your blogger tries to write a “non-angry” blog for choice
Amanda at Pandagon is blogging for choice.
I’ve been dutily informed that if I want to convince anyone that I’m right, I need to be less angry when I’m writing about the upcoming battle over what basic rights half the human race should be permitted to enjoy. I thought, well, rights are an important issue and if it’s going to work to be less angry, then that’s what I’ll have to do. So here you go.
For some reason, the very lovely ladies at Bush v. Choice have tapped me to be a blogger for Blogging for Choice. I’m thrilled with this honor though of course I’d never do anything so unladylike as to assume that my body is mine to control. But still, I have to admit, I think abortion should be legal.
Not for me, of course! I mean, in the past, I’ll admit that I’d gotten a little, shall we say, “strident” and even downright “selfish” when it came to claiming that my rights were important for me–a bunch of nonsense about how yes, even I’m a human being and I have as much right as anyone else to demand my rights on principle. The truth is (*sob*) that I was being bitter and sad because I’m 10, possibly 15 years, past my “sell-by” date and here I am without a McMansion of my own, not a sweater set in sight, no Ford Expedition, and no set of 4 adorable tow-headed children starting with a boy named Junior and ending with a little girl named Ashley with big blue eyes and a lisp. Because I don’t have what every woman is supposed to want, I got defensive and bitter and even went so far as to suggest that there’s nothing wrong with a woman who doesn’t want to leave her city apartment and probably her job to find what is surely a woman’s greatest fulfillment in shopping at CostCo. I beseech the audience to take pity on me–what I keep claiming is a choice to live my life how I like is in fact a pitiful attempt to keep my undeserved dignity in the face of my complete failure as a woman. I can’t even bake a pie, seriously.
Still, I think that abortion rights should remain legal. For the children! And puppies and hugs and rainbows! And the flag and America and the soliders overseas. And kittens! (Though not cats, of course. Cats, as we all know, are often the preferred pet of apartment-dwelling single urban women and really, by keeping them, we send the dangerous message that we deserve simple pleasures like having pets.)
Read the full post at Pandagon.
Posted by at 11:10 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack
More Unintended Pregnancies Carried to Term
Jill of Feministe is blogging for choice.
This has already been blogged about quite a bit, but I think it’s worth mentioning nonetheless — and it’s worth pointing out the “pro-life” reaction to it. The story, basically, is that more American women are giving birth to babies that were unwanted when they became pregnant. To start, I think this story has been over-simplified on both sides. Many pro-choicers responded with, “This means women lack access to abortion,” while pro-lifers claimed, “This means women’s attitudes have shifted to be more pro-life.” Those both may be true, but I’m willing to bet that, like most social shifts, it’s a lot more complicated than that.
First, I’d be interested to see where these unintended pregnancies are most strongly concentrated. That isn’t detailed in this article, so if anyone has info on it, post away. The article points out that the number of abortion clinics has decreased from 2,000 in 1996 to 1,800 in 2000. While I’m sure this has an impact, the bigger issue to me is the fact that so many women are getting pregnant in the first place when they don’t want to be. Something is going on with access to contraception, the education on how to properly use it, and the stigma related to being on it (or to having sex). Something else is going on with race and education issues here, too.
Eighteen percent of women with college degrees delivered such babies.
That’s a huge difference, and I’m not sure what accounts for it. I’m sure part of it has to do with basic ambition and worldview — women who are college-educated are probably more likely to see lots of doors open to them, and want to delay childbirth so that they can seek out other options for their lives. That isn’t to say that women who don’t graduate from high school lack ambition or intelligence or drive; simply that lacking a high school degree leaves most people with fewer options, and can leave a lot of people feeling generally trapped. When you feel like there are fewer options in front of you, there may be less of a reason to delay childbirth. But I’d guess that the bigger connection to education level is the education itself — I got pretty good sex ed in high school, and I had a great mom who told me that she would get me birth control if I needed it (and told me that I could get it from my doctor without her having to know), but I didn’t have easy access to comprehensive information about contraceptives (and the contraceptives themselves) until college. The best sex ed also came later on in high school. Women on college campuses generally have easy and anonymous access to condoms, birth control, and sexual health information. It’s a little harder for women living at home, or in rural areas without sexual health clinics.
Read the full post at Feministe.
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January 9, 2006
The Sunday Talkshow Breakdown
LiberalOasis is blogging for choice.
LiberalOasis sized up what Republicans were saying about Alito and abortion on the Sunday talk shows, and found they can't get their story straight:
Interestingly, the GOP Senators lacked a coordinated message on [abortion]. They couldn’t decide if they should duck or be defiant.
Cornyn generally ducked, though he did offer the usual smokescreen:
I believe that Judge Alito — I don’t know exactly how he’ll handle this; this is really up to him — but I expect you’ll hear from him what you heard from Chief Justice John Roberts, and that is he respects the [Roe] decision under the principles of stare decisis.
As LiberalOasis noted when Roberts said as much in his hearings -- that he believes in stare decisis, giving great weight to Supreme Court precedents -- that’s a meaningless comment.
Because in the Bizarro Conservative World, you can use stare decisis to overturn Roe.
When Justices Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas sought to overturn Roe, they wrote in their opinion:
We believe that Roe was wrongly decided, and that it can and should be overruled consistently with our traditional approach to stare decisis in constitutional cases.
Sen. Sam Brownback, on ABC’s This Week, went a step further with the smokescreen, and tried to suggest that Alito’s views had changed since he flatly said in 1985 that “the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion.”
Things do change, and positions change. He’s advocating for a position in a conservative administration at that time.
[ed. Note – No he wasn’t. Alito was applying for a job and stating his judicial philosophy.]
Now he’s going on the Supreme Court of the United States if approved by the United States Senate.
And these are different jobs altogether, and they have different parameters with them all together.
And he’s not going to answer questions about how he’s going to rule on a Roe-type case, and he shouldn’t.
Of course, Brownback had a very different attitude when Harriet Miers was nominated for the Court, telling ABC that if she “implied” Roe was “settled law” that there was “a good chance” he would vote against her.
On Fox News Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham took the defiant route:
... we're not going to sit back and watch a double standard to be imposed here.
People who have come from Democratic nominees have openly embraced the idea that they believe there's a constitutional right to abortion. They were not disqualified.
If Judge Alito advocated that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided, that's not a disqualifying event...
...the fact that he may disagree with somebody on a particular issue like abortion -- well, that happens all the time.
That happens when Clinton picked [Ruth Bader] Ginsberg and [Stephen] Breyer...
...I disagree with [Ginsburg] about everything she basically advocated. But I can understand why she was given 96 votes [in the Senate].
First off, if the Senate confirms a someone who recognizes that Constitution protects privacy rights, including abortion rights, and doesn’t confirm someone who refuses to recognize those rights, that’s not a double standard. It’s a single standard.
And it’s a standard supported by a clear majority of the country, consistently so for years.
Read the full post at LiberalOasis.
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Butthead Aussie Fetalist Lacks Clue
Twisty Faster is blogging for choice.
Sure, he’s an Australian, but he’s clearly been studying American godbaggery:
For pete’s sake. Why shouldn‘t women have an easy way out? Men sure as hell do.
I could not be more sick and tired of the intolerable misogynist position that women should (a) suffer horrible emotional debilitation over the supposedly traumatic decision to excise a few parasitic cells from our personal organs, and (b) crawl on our knees over broken glass to get it done.
Go to I Blame the Patriarchy for the rest of the post.
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Blog for Choice!
BushvChoice and NARAL Pro-Choice America are proud to announce the launch of the Blog for Choice campaign. Blog for Choice is bringing together top pro-choice bloggers to speak out on reproductive rights and health issues.
I just want to say welcome and give a big old shout out of thanks to our Bloggers for Choice! You can look forward to seeing posting from Pandagon, Feministe, Bitch PhD, LiberalOasis, Majikthise, Pseudo-Adrienne's Liberal Feminism Bias, Blackfeminism, I Blame the Patriarchy, TalkLeft, MediaGirl, and Pacific Views. Whew!
I’m really excited to have such amazing pro-choice thinkers take part in NARAL’s Blog for Choice campaign.
Come back often for up-to-the-minute choice news and coverage of the Alito hearings.
If you have a blog and want to get involved, click here to find out more about Blog for Choice Day. It will be a doozy.
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