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Hillary Clinton’s speech for the International Conference on Population and Development

January 11, 2010 Leave a comment

On January 8th, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a speech commemorating the 15th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development and it was a great speech for women’s rights, health and reproductive rights. Here are some excepts (via The Broadsheet):

“One woman dies every minute of every day in pregnancy or childbirth” and, “for every woman who dies, another 20 suffer from injury, infection or disease every minute.”

“20 million unsafe abortions” occur every year, millions of women die annually from preventable sexually transmitted diseases and millions of lives are destroyed by fistula, which is often “the result of pregnancies that occur when a girl is too young.”

“Seventy million — that’s sev-en-ty million — women and girls worldwide have been subjected to female genital cutting,” which can lead to life-threatening infections and complications while giving birth.

One quote I love, as it is seems so simple, yet…the world doesn’t get it, is:

“Investing in the potential of women and girls is the smartest investment we can make. It is connected to any problem on anyone’s mind in the world today.”

There is much more than these small excepts, I encourage all to watch the speech here.

Mother sterilized against will

January 5, 2010 1 comment

Not cool. Tessa Savicki, a mother of nine, is saying that she was sterilized against her will, when all she wanted was a IUD to be inserted, obviously making a birth control choice. But of course, doctors, with all their enlightened knowledge, power and authority (because you know, doctors are the be all and end all, right?), decided that it would be better to permanently sterilize her. Why? Well, as the Boston Herald puts it:

Savicki has nine children from several men, is unemployed and relies on public assistance for two of the four children who live with her. She receives supplemental security income, or SSI, for a disability, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, she said. Her mother has custody of three of her children. Two of her children are no longer minors.

Um, so? Since when does that give anyone else the right to decide for another person whether or not they should be permanently sterilized? An article over at Jezebel about this brings up the age old support for eugenics in the United States, and Savicki would definitely be deemed one of those “unfit” parents who would be sterilized.

Despite all of this, Savicki knows that she was “not ready to make that kind of decision”, and in fact, was hoping to have one more with her fiance. She’s suing the hospital, and rightfully so. We’ll have to see how this case goes. Either way, no woman should have to participate in forced, or unwilling sterilization. These doctors should seriously be ashamed of themselves.

A positive personal testimony of having an abortion

December 28, 2009 6 comments

It’s always nice to come across these, not just because I’m pro-choice or think it’s just fine for women to have abortions, but because we’re constantly bombarded with horror stories of abortions and how it ruins women’s lives. Maria Elizabeth Rubio, of InTheFray, shares her story of having an abortion and how she knew it was the right decision.

I found out I was pregnant and knew immediately that I wasn’t yet ready to become a mom. I didn’t have to think very long or hard about it; I knew that, given who I was at the time, I simply did not want to give birth to a child.

Look at that, a women who knows herself and knows what decision she needs to make, despite our society not being trustful of the capabilities that women have in decision-making when it comes to their bodies and their lives.

I thought a lot about my decision, about the morality behind taking the potential life of a human being…I wanted so much out of life, and I didn’t want the complications of pregnancy or motherhood to deter any of my aspirations from becoming realities…I thought about becoming a mom, and the more I thought about it, the more I knew that it just wasn’t for me.

She then talks of her experience going through with the abortion and how everyone at the clinic was great. She was completely put under for her abortion, and she tells of her feelings after:

The moment I opened my eyes, a wave of serenity washed over me. I felt giddy, euphoric, completely at ease. I knew I was no longer pregnant, and I was certain in that moment of tranquility that I had made the right decision.

Now, she doesn’t make it all sunshine and roses, even though her personal experience was good. She talks about another woman who had an abortion the same day and was weeping after her procedure. Obviously, abortion is something that can affect everyone differently. She doesn’t shy away from that aspect. But as for her, she didn’t feel upset.

Later on in life, she did decide to become a mother. Throughout having a child, she tells of “dreams permeated by thoughts of my aborted would-be child.” However, she states that her “What if’s” about her unborn baby are short-lived and superficial.

Thanks, Maria. It’s so refreshing to hear a positive abortion experience!


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An abortion compromise made for health care reform

December 21, 2009 Leave a comment

I have neglected to post anything about the abortion debates/Stupak-Pitts/health care reform before this, because I just felt that others could explain things much better than myself, as I’m Canadian and don’t completely understand all the ins and outs of the American political system. However, I can’t neglect this anymore. As most of you may know by now, there is now an abortion compromise being proposed for the hopeful passing of the health care reform, just for that one damn vote from Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb.. Pretty much, most women are still getting screwed out of abortion coverage. Shit. Here’s how it goes:

No health plan would be required to offer coverage for the procedure. In plans that do cover abortion, beneficiaries would have to pay for it separately, and those funds would have to be kept in a separate account from taxpayer money.

Moreover, individual states would be able to prohibit abortion coverage in plans offered through the exchange, after but passing specific legislation to that effect. The only exceptions would be those allowed under current federal law.

So, what I’m hearing from this is that women are still getting screwed. Women should not have to pay a separate check for abortion coverage. That’s the most ridiculous thing ever. Seriously. Abortions should be considered a medically necessary procedure for those who need or want them (similar to how they are labeled in Canada), and there should be equal access across the board, for all women. The access thing is absolutely more difficult, but the first step is to allow abortions into the health care reform without any separation. This seriously just boils my blood. It’s ridiculous.

So how are other people responding to this? NARAL gives their take and states,

“At every turn, our standard has been consistent and clear: Women should not lose ground in the new health-care system…the language regarding abortion coverage comes at too high a price for reproductive health. Thus, we must oppose this new Nelson language.”

Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif., says that she’s “disappointed that women’s access to full reproductive health care is again paying the price.

Planned Parenthood gives their thoughts:

There is no sound policy reason to require women to pay separately for their abortion coverage other than to try to shame them and draw attention to the abortion coverage. Moreover, it is highly unlikely that insurance companies will be willing to follow such an administratively cumbersome system, leaving tens of millions of women without abortion coverage.

No doubt, there will be more news about this and more to say about it in the coming days and weeks. Right now, I have to say that this is not good enough, and some fighting still needs to be done, especially since people who support Stupak-Pitts aren’t going to go down without a fight.

Update: After I wrote this post, we now have found out that the Senate has voted yes (60-40) on the first health care reform vote.


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Um, not to sound “man-hating,” but…

January 22, 2008 Leave a comment

Alternet has a sweet piece called “If Men Could Get Pregnant, Abortion Would be a Sacrament.

It’s not really about men too much, but just a little history of abortion and those rights. Check it out!

Applauding anti-abortion activists? Ugh.

January 22, 2008 3 comments

That’s what’s happening in Washington! Bush is thanking these people for their continuous work and “calling for continued vigilance.” Are we glad that Bush isn’t going to be the President of the United States of America much longer? Yes infinity.

“We’re heartened by the news that the number of abortions is declining, but the most recent data reports that more than one in five pregnancies end in abortion. America is better than this, so we will continue to work for a culture of life,” Bush said.

So, Bush, are you saying that everyone who gets an abortion is not suited for America and essentially a “bad” person? I cannot express my frustration into words.

I really think I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – there is no need for anti-abortion activists. Firstly, anti-abortion activists are not set out to improve the quality of life for everyone. Secondly, they do not have to get abortions. Everyone can respect that. But they need to respect the decisions of other women who do choose to have an abortion, which is probably for a variety of reasons. Do people not understand that? Are they that ignorant?

Video on why we love Roe vs. Wade!

January 22, 2008 1 comment

This is an awesome video on why so many people (women and men alike!) loooove Roe vs. Wade and support choice.