Collective blogging for Dr. Tiller

Blog in memory of Dr. Tiller until June 7th – make sure to link to the Abortion Gang’s site. Here’s the 1st question:

How can the pro-choice and reproductive justice movements better support the people who have later abortions and providers who perform them?

It’s my understanding that teens tend to have later abortions because they’re so frightened and anxious about the pregnancy they take longer to come to a decision.  The other group is women with medical complications. Of course, the anti-choicers would have us believe an evil woman doesn’t want the “inconvenience” of a pregnancy – as if anyone would call being pregnant convenient or not. The decision to raise a baby to the age of 18 has nothing to do with convenience. You need maturity, financial means, child care, proper lodging, etc.

Abortion Gang

Your post can directly answer this question, or use it as a jumping off point to talk about other issues, such as:

  • Why is it so difficult for our movement to talk about and support later abortions?
  • Reflecting on Dr. Tiller’s famous quote: ”Make no mistake, this battle is about self-determination by women of the direction and course of their lives and their family’s lives. Abortion is about women’s hopes and dreams. Abortion is a matter of survival for women.”

In your post, please link back to this blog post so that folks can come here and find links to other reflections on Dr. Tiller.

NOW’s Media Hall of Shame

I have one little word: Ugh!

Newsweek Glamorizes Women’s Submission

The article attempts to support its premise with the not terribly precise estimate that “between 31 percent and 57 percent of women entertain fantasies where they are forced to have sex” (according to Psychology Today).

Picture for a moment a mainstream magazine arguing that men feel there is something “basically liberating about being overcome or overpowered.” Imagine a male author positing that men have an “incandescent fantasy of being dominated.” And try, just try, to envision that cover with a blindfolded male model.

Is it paranoid to suggest that Newsweek and Roiphe intentionally portray women as fearful of equality in order to grease the wheels for rolling back their rights? Is it too extreme to suggest that the cover image and the article work together to convey the message that women want to throw in the towel on being in charge of their sexuality and their lives in general? Would it be going too far to characterize articles like this as contributing to a cultural environment where it’s not so bad when men physically assault women, even rape them, because that’s what women really want?

Roiphe argues that feminists are “perplexed” by the persistence of dominance/submission fantasies, but when Gloria Steinem tries to explain it, Roiphe shrugs her off, writing that “maybe sex and aggression should not, and probably more to the point, cannot be untangled.” Sure sounds like a writer with an agenda that’s hostile to women’s empowerment and safety. Not to mention the fact that Roiphe never asks why men might want to dominate and hurt women, and what that might say about them.

Canadian Supreme Court rules consent cannot be given when unconscious (duh!)

It’s a sad state of affairs when you need a Supreme Court to tell you an unconscious person can’t give consent!

No consent in unconscious sex case: Supreme Court

A woman cannot give advance consent to sexual activity while unconscious, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Friday.

The decision restores the conviction of an Ottawa man who regularly practised consensual erotic asphyxiation with his longtime girlfriend.

The case goes back to a particular episode in 2007 when the woman, who cannot be named because of a publication ban, complained to police about what her partner did to her after she passed out. At trial, the man was found guilty of sexual assault but his conviction was overturned on appeal.

On Friday, in a 6-3 decision, the country’s top court restored the conviction. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin said consent ends once someone is unconscious or asleep.

“If the complainant is unconscious during the sexual activity, she has no real way of knowing what happened and whether her partner exceeded the bounds of her consent,” the ruling said.

Here’s a dissenting viewpoint:

“The approach advocated by the Chief Justice would also result in the criminalization of a broad range of conduct that Parliament cannot have intended to capture in its definition of the offense of sexual assault. Notably, it would criminalize kissing or caressing a sleeping partner, however gently and affectionately.”

Sounds like they’re protecting male entitlement. I hardly doubt any rational woman would run to court to press charges against her partner for kissing or caressing her. And if a person is not suppose to be kissing, caressing, or anything else- well, it should be a human right to seek protection from somebody doing something against our will.

Hillary too sexy for the shot

Where’s Hillary? Hasidic paper breaks rules by editing Clinton out of White House photo

Hillary Clinton has been edited out of the photo in the White House Situation Room because of her gender:

That would be the Ultra-Orthodox Hasidic broadsheet Der Tzitung, published in Brooklyn. The paper photoshopped Clinton, as well at the only other woman who could be seen in the room–Audrey Tomason, the national director of counterterrorism–out of the frame.

Here’s what Der Tzitung had to say about this situation:

“In accord with our religious beliefs, we do not publish photos of women, which in no way relegates them to a lower status… Because of laws of modesty, we are not allowed to publish pictures of women, and we regret if this gives an impression of disparaging to women, which is certainly never our intention. We apologize if this was seen as offensive.”

That’s really funny – they don’t want to be seen as relegating women to “a lower status” or being “disparaging to women.”  Then why don’t they forbid men to buy/see these broadsheets? They are called broad sheets afterall – let the broads see them and keep them out of the hands of men. Easy peazy.

Burqa ban goes into effect Monday

Religious leaders tell them to wear a burqa.

Politicians tell them not to wear a burqa.

Where are women’s voices in this debate? The ones insisting  they not be forced to wear a burqa are forcing them not to – doesn’t make sense to me – seems like they have an ulterior motive because their certainly not trying to liberate women.

French police arrest burqa ban protesters

“The French Republic lives in a bare-headed fashion,” he said in an official government newspaper explaining the law.

The law imposes a fine of 150 euros ($190). The person breaking the law can be asked to carry out public service duty as part of the punishment or as an alternative to the fine.

The law was passed in October but included a six-month period to inform people of the penalty before it went into effect.

Penalties for forcing a person to wear a burqa are part of the law, and they became effective immediately in October.

Forcing a woman to wear a niqab or a burqa is punishable by a year in prison and a 30,000 euro fine (about $43,400). Forcing a minor to do the same thing is punishable by two years in prison and 60,000 euro.

The government has called this coercion “a new form of enslavement that the republic cannot accept on its soil.”

Three men and a budget

Why would we even think they’d have women’s best interests in mind? Seeing men make decisions about women’s bodies – how is this progress? I’m so tired of Republicans forcing their issues on us.

Budget battle came down to 3 men and their weaknesses

With almost 24 hours to go until the government shut down, Obama gave Boehner an ultimatum on the speaker’s push to include abortion-related restrictions in the bill.

“John, I will give you D.C. abortion. I am not happy about it,” Obama said, according to a Democrat and Republican in the Oval Office. Boehner had been pushing to include both the restriction of government funding on abortions in the District of Columbia and a provision that would have placed limits on funds going to nonprofit groups that provide abortion services nationwide, including Planned Parenthood.

Press release: Anti-abortion billboards demean black women and black community

From Goddesses Rising:

Contact:

Toni M. Bond Leonard (312) 919-1211

Cherisse Scott (773) 503-7489

BLACK WOMEN FOR REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE SAY ANTI-ABORTION BILLBOARDS ON CHICAGO’S SOUTHSIDE ARE DEMEANING TO BLACK WOMEN AND THE ENTIRE BLACK COMMUNITY

Trust Black Women coalition member, Black Women for Reproductive Justice demand that billboards be taken down accusing Black women of killing potential Black leaders

CHICAGO, IL, March 29, 2011: Black Women for Reproductive Justice (BWRJ) is speaking out against the three billboards recently placed by the anti-choice group, LifeAlways, at 5812 South State Street, featuring the image of President Barack Obama that targets Black women for having abortions and demands that they be taken down.

Toni Bond Leonard, BWRJ President/CEO, says “The groups behind these heinous attacks upon Black women care nothing about Black children or the Black community. These are some of the same groups who fought against healthcare reform and oppose government safety net programs that would directly benefit Black women, our families and our communities.” “This billboard and the twenty-nine others they plan to erect are offensive to Black women and the Black community, overall. We saw them cowardly placing the billboards in the dark late last night. These billboards are painting an abhorrent image of Black women as perpetrators of a plan to eradicate the future Black race.” “That they would place these billboards in the Black community with such a despicable lie is reprehensible. It also must not go unnoted that they placed the billboards on the side of a building facing a vacant lot filled with garbage and broken glass. This only further shows their disrespect for Black women and the Black community that all they could think to do was put up billboards telling us Black women are preventing future leaders from being born. What about highlighting the need for economic resources to remove garbage-filled lots in urban areas and creating safe communities,” says Bond Leonard.

BWRJ says their research has revealed that LifeAlways is, in fact, financially supported by the anti-choice group Heroic Media which has been involved in numerous fundraising events for former Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Cherisse Scott, BWRJ’s Health Educator/Campaign Coordinator says, “The fact that LifeAlways and Heroic Media would use the bodies of Black women as a way to further their own political agenda is unconscionable.” “Black women have the least access to reproductive and sexual health education including family planning, prevention and transmission of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections. Our communities are overwrought with violence, lack of access to education, high rates of unemployment, and lack of access to healthy foods. Those are the real issues – not Black women making the decisions that we understand are in the best interest of our families.”

BWRJ is one of the Midwest anchor organizations for Trust Black Women, a national coalition of Black women’s reproductive justice organizations around the country, who have come together to take a stance in defending reproductive justice for Black women and girls.

“We will not fall for, or stand silently by while those who are against human rights attempt to divide the Black community around reproductive and sexual justice issues,” says Bond Leonard. “Groups like LifeAlways and Heroic Media cannot pull the wool over Black women’s eyes and that of the Black community. We will not be silent victims in this assault upon our reproductive and racial integrity. Their placement of these billboards in the Black community only further highlights their lack of competency around the reproductive health disparities that Black women and girls face and these groups’ unwillingness to deal with the social and economic disparities of the entire Black community.”

Round up: The war against women

Just as Libertarians and Republicans are calling for less government, we’re witnessing the opposite – more government – for women. More budget cuts, too. Meanwhile, the military and fatherhood initiative (including marriage promotion) is safe. Here’s a round up of articles on the biggest assault – abortion.

I saved the best for last, so please scroll down to see how progressive groups are fighting back!!

This is a 2006 article by Jennifer Pozner that’s still relevant today:  It discusses the anti-abortion fanatics

The terrorists who aren’t in the news

http://www.alternet.org/story/43182/

 What’s behind the surge of abortion bills?

http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2011/03/24/whats-behind-the-surge-of-abortion-bills/?xid=rss-topstories

The GOP’s plan to fund anti-abortion activists

http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/03/gops-plan-fund-anti-abortion-activists

GOP bill would force IRS to conduct abortion audits

http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/03/gop-bill-irs-abortion-audits

The House GOP’s plan to redefine rape

http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/01/republican-plan-redefine-rape-abortion

Revealed: The group behind the bills that could legalize killing abortion providers

http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/americans-united-life-justifiable-homicide-bills

Anti-abortion bill passes in Idaho

http://www.feminist.org/news/newsbyte/uswirestory.asp?id=12932

There is NO waiting period for gun purchases in SD, but a woman must wait to have an abortion-

SD anti-abortion bill requires 3-day waiting period

http://www.feminist.org/news/newsbyte/uswirestory.asp?id=12930

SD Rep who authored abortion bill nixes Sharia ban

http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/02/sd-rep-who-authored-abortion-bill-nixes-sharia-ban

Of course he did

 In Michigan, class war and war against women converge

http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/539083/in_michigan%2C_class_war_and_war_against_women_converge/#paragraph2

 Georgia lawmaker’s anti-abortion proposal could punish women for miscarriages

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/02/26/georgia-lawmakers-anti-abortion-proposal-punish-women-miscarriages/

Ohio heartbeat bill poses biggest challenge to Roe v. Wade yet

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/ohio-heartbeat-bill-abortion-paves-roe-wade-challenge/story?id=12876224

20 week abortion ban passes Iowa house panel

http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2011/03/25/week-abortion-passes-iowa-house-panel

Exclusive: Progressive groups launch campaign to fight GOP’s War on Women

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/03/25/exclusive-progressive-groups-launch-campaign-to-fight-gops-war-on-women/

Notice there are only men in the photo