Posts in category Reproductive Rights
Excerpt from my upcoming book:
I'm sick of hearing the "irresponsible slut" rhetoric. Sometimes, NOT having kids IS the responsible thing to do! (And before you start, please refrain from that "If you don't want to get pregnant, then don't have sex" BS. It's naive, judgmental, + it's none of your business anyway.) ...
During the second Presidential Debate, while Mitt Romney explained how concerned he is about fairness and equality in the workplace, a meme was born. Someone quickly set up a Tumblr page called Binders Full of Women and it's since gone viral. Here's the infamous binder comment:
"In response to a young woman named Katherine Fenton's question about females making only 72 percent of what their male counterparts earn, Gov. Romney talked about how when he was elected in Massachusetts, he made 'a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet.' He continued, 'I went to a number of women's groups said 'Can you help us find folks?' and they brought us whole binders full of women!' ...
First of all, who SAYS something so completely condescending and sexist like that -- referring to potential female hires as 'binders full of women'?! Sure, blame that tired old excuse that 'words don't always come out the right way,' but there's a reason that phrase jumped out at people. It's because it reflects how Mitt Romney really feels about women."
The Tumblr page has quite a few "binder" memes, but here are a couple of my personal favorites:
See more here. :)
Sex selective abortion is a controversial issue that the anti-choice movement has co-opted in an effort to end all abortions. Since female fetuses are typically the ones being aborted, anti-choice proponents have manipulated this to argue how abortion hurts all women -- those having abortions and the unborn, future women that are aborted. However, what they fail to take into consideration is that sex selective abortions take place when a society devalues the female gender. The paternalistic attempts to eliminate a woman's right to control her own reproductive health is proof that her choices, her decision-making ability, and her desires are not valued.
In countries such as India and China, sex selective abortions are much more common. They occur because of cultural and economic factors that favor families for having male children.
"We know that in Asian countries [a preference for sons] is the dominant cultural factor. The reasons are: parents think sons alone have the obligation to provide security to the parents in old age; undertake the responsibility of younger sibling's education and marriage; bear the burden of family debt; perform the last rites for parents; bring in dowry; bring in return on investment made on their education; carry on the family business and protect the ancestral property.
But daughters are always considered as liability ... since any investment on them, especially on education will benefit only the husband and the in-laws and heavy dowry has to be paid for them. Moreover, their entire marriage expenses are borne by their parents. The society does not accept the practice of parents living in daughters’ homes in old age. Hence even in the 21st century these reasons prevail and have caused aversion towards girl’s birth. Girl children are not allowed to be born through feticide or abortion and in poor families not allowed to live through infanticide."
But the answer to ending sex selection isn't to ban abortion. The solution lies in changing cultural attitudes in which being a female is a detriment.
"One unfortunate consequence of that ban could well be the increase in the number of newborn female infants killed, or worse still, chronic neglect of the unwanted girls. The effective measures would be ... provide information and materials for effective contraception; ... enforce measures for higher education of girls so that gender equity is achieved in education and employment matters. The last measure would help in treating girls as an asset than a liability. They can meet their expenses without depending on others. Economic independence for women is an effective tool to counteract [the preference for sons]."
This can not only be applied to the issue of sex selective abortions in countries such as India and China, but also to abortion rights everywhere.
"An ideal feminist world would not be one in which abortions are free and common, but one in which women have greater control over pregnancy, and in which the circumstances that make pregnancies unwanted, have been transformed. Until then, in a hugely imperfect, unfair and sexist world, I believe feminists must defend women’s access to legal and safe abortions whenever they decide to have them – whatever the reason for their decision."
No fair -- I want cool ranch!
They'll pay for the erection, but not the protection. This ad is for a product that treats impotence. It's covered by (taxpayer-funded) Medicare and (employer-subsidized) insurance plans. Where's all the moral indignation and talk of religious beliefs now? Oh that's right -- it's only a moral issue when it has to do with female sexuality. A dick vacuum is a valid healthcare need, but not those slut pills.
(Image originally from Paul Ryan's photoshoot with Time, showing off his P90X workout routine.)
"The actions I'll take immediately is to remove funding for Planned Parenthood." - Mitt Romney, Oct. 10, 2012, Washington Post
There's been a lot of talk recently about religion in politics. From employers seeking religious exemptions for contraceptive coverage in health insurance premiums to pharmacists denying women emergency contraception because it violates their religious beliefs -- it appears that there's an increasingly blurry line separating church and state. And those who try to point out the importance of that line are accused of starting a "War on Religion".
For an increasing number of Americans, this blurring of the lines may very well be giving religion a bad name, making it seem less about loving thy neighbor and more about oppressing them.
One in five Americans report that they don't belong to any religion, according to data from the Pew Research Center. While 79% still identify as religious, those without religious affiliation has risen from 8% to 20% in the past two decades. In the same time, there's been an increasing association between religious beliefs and political affiliation, with white evangelical Christians comprising a large part of the Republican Party and 68% of those with no religious affiliation identifying as Democrats. According to the Washington Post:
Congregations used to be a blend of political affiliations, but that’s generally not the case anymore. Sociologists have shown that Americans are more likely to pick their place of worship by their politics, not vice versa. ...
'We think it’s mostly a reaction to the religious right,' said Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam, who has written at length about the decline in religious affiliation. 'The best predictor of which people have moved into this category over the last 20 years is how they feel about religion and politics' aligning, particularly conservative politics and opposition to gay civil rights.
America was founded on the concept of religious freedom. But what some people fail to understand is that this doesn't include the freedom to impose their personal religious beliefs on others. Jezebel writer Lindy West sums it up well:
I am not religious, but I certainly don't care if other people want to be. The only sticking point emerges when people want to use those religious beliefs ... to encroach upon people's legal rights. When religious conservatives attempt to dismantle the separation of church and state (making women's healthcare into a moral issue, for example; or denying gay couples the same legal rights that straight couples enjoy ...), that's when I take issue with religion. When we start getting into conversations like this:
'Wait, why don't I get equal rights?' 'Because the Bible says so.' 'But I don't believe in the Bible.' 'Well, I do. So tough shit.'
... that's when we have a problem."
Amen to that.
"SUPPORT THE TROOPS!!!" (until the troops turn into homeless veterans) & "PROTECT THE UNBORN!!!" (until they're born & turn into hungry children) ...
Nope, no irony there.
“They will know your habits and routines. They know where you shop, who your friends are, what you drive, where you live. ... You will be checking under your car everyday — because maybe today is the day someone places an explosive under it.” [from Salon]
Who would expect that a health care worker would receive death threats for providing a legal and patient-requested medical procedure? But this isn't just an isolated incident by a single disturbed person. In fact, the number of these types of incidents is higher in states with more restrictive abortion laws. Researchers studied whether there was an association between harsh abortion restrictions and amount of harassment and violence directed at abortion providers. Results showed a statistically significant relationship between the two.
"'When state legislatures pass laws around abortion, the added attention to the issue fuels the obsessions of volatile people. ... [T]he targeting of providers’ state governments 'probably in some way sanctions targeting us for harassment.'”
Extreme anti-choice conservative lawmakers are unwittingly offering a justification for abortion protesters to act on their own extreme anti-choice ideologies. Not only are they undermining the rights of women to make choices about their bodies, but they're also fueling the fires of those who make choices to take "justice" into their own hands.Read the original study here.
"This map shows the birth rate among girls aged 15 to 19 by state. And it clearly shows that more conservative states have higher rates of teenage births. ... Many of them, including the seven states with the highest rates, do not require schools to teach contraception. Some states do not require sex education at all. Other states that do have sex education require teachers to stress abstinence and advise children to wait until marriage. Studies have concluded time and time again that abstinence-only curricula are not as effective at reducing teen pregnancies and births."(Mouse over each state for info & click/hold to move around the map)