Posts in category Reproductive Rights
The Christian Science Monitor looks beyond the “pro-life” rhetoric to the actual financial impact on women and children due to efforts to end abortion:
“Members of the pro-life movement spend countless dollars and hours on rallies and lobbying without providing adequate financial and emotional support for women to actually maintain pregnancies. And the majority of women who have abortions cite not being able to afford a child as one of the main reasons for their decision. …
“So while pro-life Americans spend millions of dollars on events geared toward making abortion illegal, there were 1.16 million women who came to the conclusion in 2009 … that they could not carry their child to term – many of them because of money. …
“The Guttmacher Institute’s statistics show that abortion rates are higher in countries where it is illegal and procedures are often unsafe. Even more disheartening are statistics … which showed that women who sought abortions and were turned away (because they had passed their state’s gestational limits) were three times more likely to fall into poverty than women who obtained an abortion. …
“A woman’s decision to have an abortion often stems from a very real and legitimate fear that she will not be able to care for a child. Pro-life supporters and activists spend incredibly large sums to take away that decision, but do not provide the equivalent practical support women need to have a baby. Is that really a fight for life? Or just a fight for a long sought-after political goal? It’s time the pro-life movement focuses its resources more on helping women and babies, not gaining legislative power that ultimately will do little to protect the unborn.”
It’s time to declare independence, to separate ourselves from the bad habits, the stifling expectations, and the negative messages that no longer serve us (assuming they ever did).
It’s time to declare independence from media messages that tell us we’re ugly if we don’t look like the “flawless” images of celebrities on the screen and in the magazines. It’s time to stop buying into the manipulation and stop wasting time trying to chase an illusion that doesn’t even exist.
It’s time to declare independence from the belief that having the perfect body will make us worthy of love and respect. We’re already worthy of love and respect in the bodies we have now — no amount of weight loss or plastic surgery will increase our value.
It’s time to declare independence from dieting, from deprivation, from seeing food as the enemy. The American weight loss industry makes nearly $60 billion a year trying to convince us that we’re not good enough — if diets worked, would these companies be this profitable? It’s time to stop contributing to their false sense of hope.
It’s time to declare independence from body loathing, from looking at our bodies with disgust instead of love. It’s time to appreciate all of the amazing things they do for us — the jiggly arms that give great hugs, the flabby thighs that carry us through the park, the droopy breasts that fed a child, the wounded heart that still knows how to love, the exhausted brain that still manages to tell our lungs to breathe.
It’s time to declare independence from the oppressive labels of virgin or whore, straight or gay, feminine or masculine, and all the shades in between. Our number of sex partners do not define us. Our sexuality does not define us. Our gender identity does not define us. These traits can’t possibly define what kind of person we are or what’s in our hearts or our minds. Any attempt by others to claim otherwise is an attempt to control us, to police our behavior, and to shame us so that they don’t have to examine their own ignorance and fear.
It’s time to declare independence from the belief that women can bring sexual assault upon ourselves based on how provocatively we’re dressed, how flirty we act, or how drunk we get. The only ones responsible for rapists’ behavior are rapists themselves. We have the right not to be blamed when others hurt us, and we have the right to feel safe in the world.
It’s time to declare independence from legislators who think the female body should be controlled by wealthy, middle-aged, white, Christian, conservative men. Our bodies belong to us — it’s time to declare our freedom to make our own decisions about them. Because if we cannot, then we are truly not equal citizens and this country is not as free it claims to be.
It’s time to declare independence from spending so much time, energy, and money trying to fit into someone else’s idea of who they think we should be. It’s time to put ourselves first, to focus on our own desires and do what we think is right. It’s time to trust our own instincts and make ourselves proud.
It’s time to declare independence from shame, from the belief that we’re not good enough, not beautiful enough, not thin enough, not smart enough, not clever enough, not sexy enough, not pure enough, not feminine enough, not worthy enough. It’s time to declare that we are already enough — that we are perfectly imperfect exactly as we are.
It’s time to declare our independence from any force that tries to hold us down — including those forces that limit us from within.
... nor will I allow others to treat me as if this is all I am:
- – a uterus
- – a collection of body parts
- – a vagina
- – a piece of ass
- – a pair of tits
- – a victim
- – public property
- – a virgin
- – a whore
- – a “before” photo
- – a body to legislate
- – a sexual object
None of these things can possibly define a woman.
There are 400,000 children in the U.S. foster care system, 115,000-130,000 of whom are eligible to be adopted. With all the “pro-life” rhetoric we hear, where’s the moral outrage about their lives? Many of these children aren’t the “popular” kinds to adopt (i.e., healthy, white infants), but instead are older kids, or racial minorities, or they have disabilities or were victims of abuse.
Instead of protesting a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body & her own life, instead of protesting outside of abortion clinics & treating women’s personal healthcare decisions as if they’re fair game for public scrutiny … why don’t those who claim to be “pro-life” direct all this energy onto making sure children who are already born get loving families? Why don’t they adopt or foster children themselves (especially the harder-to-place kids)? Why don’t they advocate for gay adoption? Why don’t they stop supporting abstinence-only sex education (which has been proven to be highly ineffective) & minimize the number of unwanted children in the first place? Why don’t they protest against legislation that cuts funding for food & services for poor children?
Because if you ignore all of the above & merely want to outlaw abortion, you’re really not “pro-life” — you’re just pro-birth.
(Fyi – “inter alia” means “among other things”)
The majority should not get to decide whether the minority can enjoy the same rights that they get to take for granted. This should be common sense.
I’ve recently started posting a few original memes here and on my Facebook fan page (which has over 2,700 fans — so please check it out!). As an artist, I enjoy creating these images. I add a small mention of my website, Facebook page, and logo to my memes in case they’re shared. Unfortunately, another fan page on Facebook, Women’s Rights News (which has about 100 times more fans than I do and should know better), has shared several of these images, but cropped my info off.
- J.K. Rowling: http://beautyisinside.com/2012/10/is-fat-really-the-worst-thing/
- Portia de Rossi: http://beautyisinside.com/2012/10/portia-on-body-image/
- Iyanla Vanzant: http://beautyisinside.com/2012/10/what-we-believe/
- The 1950s Kitchen: http://beautyisinside.com/2012/10/1950s-kitchen/
Contrary to what many conservatives would have us believe, affordable access to birth control isn’t about making taxpayers pay for slutty women to have sex. Birth control is an economic issue and a basic human right:
“Access to contraception isn’t just a privilege, it’s a basic human right, the United Nations says in its Population Fund’s annual report, which came out on Wednesday. Lack of access to contraception, the report finds, is an economic barrier that can hinder economic opportunity and growth.”
Read more at Buzzfeed.
This is what can happen when a country (Ireland, in this case) allows the religious beliefs of some to trump a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy: Savita Halappanavar, 31, was a dentist and was 17 weeks pregnant. She was miscarrying, but was refused an abortion even after her health started to fail. Ultimately, the fetus died inside her, and then she died shortly after from blood poisoning. It’s simply disgusting how self-righteous ideology caused this woman’s death:
“Savita was really in agony. She was very upset, but she accepted she was losing the baby. … When the consultant came on the ward rounds on Monday morning, Savita asked if they could not save the baby, could they induce to end the pregnancy? The consultant said: `As long as there is a fetal heartbeat, we can’t do anything.’ Again on Tuesday morning … the consultant said it was the law, that this is a Catholic country.”
Read more at Huffington Post.
I love this advice! But even if you took a different path, it’s never to late to grow into yourself.
When our rights are attacked; when we’re treated with condescension and our morals, maturity, and ability to make decisions about our own bodies and lives are questioned; when the definition of rape is twisted to benefit the rapist and punish women — well, damn right we’re going to take it personally! We’re going to defend ourselves against insulting, selfish, and paternalistic attacks against our humanity. We’re going to stand up against sanctimonious bullies who use religion and legal maneuvers to chip away at our civil rights. We’re going to vote for the people who actually respect our constitutional and moral rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And we’re going to question the integrity of those who are so willing to throw our rights under the bus. How dare you speak about freedom when you are so intent on attacking ours.
In this election, we had more on the line than you did. We had more to lose. And guess what? YOU built that. So hell yeah — of course we’re going to celebrate and we’re going to do a bit of gloating about how we prevailed.
We won. You lost. Deal with it.
Yeah, that’s probably not a good sign …
Hey Girl, Ryan Gosling would like to celebrate with you. ;)
The conservative social forces conspiring to roll back the clocks on women’s reproductive rights have much in common with the forces that tried to keep women from having voting rights. In an attempt to undermine suffragettes’ struggles to gain rights that men were able to enjoy, these women were demonized as ugly, masculine, bad mothers, morally challenged, promiscuous, childish, and emasculating to men. Nearly 100 years have passed since then, but not much has changed:
“The social pressures that resisted suffrage can’t be underestimated. … It wasn’t just that women had to fight for the right to vote, but women had to fight for the right to speak in public to be able to advocate for their own rights. …
The battle for suffrage wasn’t just about the legal right to vote, but it was also about women’s ability to be public figures, not confined to the home. It was more broadly about women’s role in society. …
“The messages you find on anti-suffrage postcards from the 1910s are not dissimilar from what you might hear from Rush Limbaugh or Bill O’Reilly today in the 2010s. Suffragettes were drawn as conniving coquettes, ugly, mean spinsters or, worse, ugly, mean wives who left their families helpless as they attended town-hall meetings. …
“That was a common theme, that if women were given political power they would crush men and upset the gender roles in society, particularly in the family. …
“We operate with this zero-sum mentality, which is, if women gain rights, men lose them. … You see the same sort of idea that if people of color or ethnic minorities make gains, whites therefore lose something. So if men only understand their identity in relationship to being bigger than women, then it’s a trade-off. You see it in dozens of anti-suffrage postcards, showing men being hurt if women advance. Human beings seem to operate with this mentality where if you expand the rights of some, it diminishes the rights of others, instead of collectively expanding the rights of all of us as a people.”
Read more here:
Madeleine Albright, 1st woman to become United States Secretary of State, appointed by former President Bill Clinton …
Infuriating, yet not surprising news of the day: Another middle-aged conservative mansplainer, Washington State Republican representative John Koster, discusses how “the rape thing” is not a good enough reason for a woman to have an abortion:
“‘Incest is so rare, I mean, it’s so rare,’ he said. ‘But the rape thing – you know, I know a woman who was raped and kept the child, gave it up for adoption, and she doesn’t regret it.’ He added, ‘On the rape thing, it’s like, how does putting more violence onto a woman’s body and taking the life of an innocent child that’s a consequence of this crime – how does that make it better? You know what I mean?'”