Category Archives: abortion

[feminist] confession, why I started CFF

Question: Why are you so passionate about women’s rights, sexual victim’s rights, and reproductive rights? You’ve never been raped or assaulted, you’ve never had an abortion, you’ve never been abused.

I have three best girlfriends from grade school. Among the three there have been (pre-marriage) two abortions, and two miscarriages. Today, two are married, one has fourĀ children and the other has two cutie pies. Both, after marriage, have had a miscarriage of a much-wanted child. The thirdĀ is now happily single. I was the secret-keeper, the advice-giver, the voice and body of control and compassion. I’ve waited impatiently for pregnancy test results to show up in the tiny ambiguous window, I’ve seen how heart-wrenching the choice to have an abortion can be, I’ve seen how painful, sad, and confusing a miscarriage is.

My little sister was fourteen (I was nearly seventeen) when she was suddenly delivered home one Sunday afternoon by her then-best friend and her mother– they pulled up in front of our house after calling to say she was sick, they opened the sliding side door of the mini-van, and my father and I pulled out a limp, wet, stinking child in a bikini. My father and I carried her up the stairs into the front yard as my mother called doctors to see why she was foaming at the mouth. I held my sister as she half-consciously rested against a tree, making sure she vomited to the side and not on herself, as my father went back down to the van to find out what had happened. The only answer they could give was that the bff and my sister had been at a guy’s house, my sister had been drinking, and all of a sudden when they left she began puking. We live in a corner house, so we moved my sister around to the backyard, trying not to be seen as her breasts hung out of the bikini and she slipped in and out of consciousness. Eventually we laid her in a reclining pool chair that we had found a few weeks before on the side of the road, and hosed her down. She rambled on and on incoherently while smelling like a distillery.

Sometimes its really hard for me to forgive her stupidity, her choice of friends, her bad decisions. But she never in a million years deserved to have her drink spiked, her best friend turn her back on her, and to be drug up a flight of stairs and locked in a boy’s bedroom while she was in and out of consciousness, and then to be slid back down the stairs and drug down the street to another house where my parents were called. What a sick power play, that this same boy has done many times over in our city since then– his family has a great lawyer, and he has never even been brought into the courthouse for questioning, much less prosecution.

The evening after, my parents sat my sister down in the living room for a talk, and I was sent into the backyard. A bit later one of them came out and announced they were going to the ER and I couldn’t come. They were gone about six hours, during which my sister had an incredibly painful and invasive rape kit that was never analyzed. She was questioned by several police officers who talked down to her. The doctors said that she definitely had something fucked up in her drink (how else could you foam at the mouth like a rabid dog?), but that it had already left her system and there was nothing they could do.

 

 

 

 

 

Since there was no stray hair, no sperm, no sexual evidence, there was no “proof” that she had been raped.

Since we didn’t realize she had been raped when she arrived home that afternoon, and she was incapable of telling us, we didn’t get her tested for drugs in time for there to be “proof” of that either.

When my father was five his father died of a heart attack. His older brother began sexually abusing him as a form of power… by the age of ten my father was able to fight back, and he turned on their little sister. When my sister was raped, my father nearly lost his mind.

Who gets to dictate what is rape, who gets to dictate when and why women have abortions? Why is this a political topic of discussion? These are lifelong traumas, lifelong decisions– these are personal traumas, personal decisions. I chose to run away from the south to go to school in the mid-west. But you can’t run away from your past. So I am fighting for my future– to keep my personal decisions, my personal traumas, personal. So that it can be my decision to press charges, my decision to have an abortion, and not someone else’s. You should be able to make your own choices, and include whomever you want in those decisions. No one should be forced into including politicians or bullshit laws into their personal decisions. Ever.

[cranky] the letter you need to share: Explain That to your Daughter

 “An Open Letter to my 40-something white, male friend on Facebook”

Explain That to your Daughter

This is the letter that you’ve all be wanting to post on Facebook– calm, well-written, and absolutely slamming the GOP and their misinformed supporters. How can someone vote against their daughter’s future? How can someone vote against their own future? Does the general public have an attention and memory span the same length as my dogs? How much back tracking and mind changing does a person have to do before you realize that they’re just full of shit? Have any of them taken the time to read the Republican party platform or the Democratic party platform? Does anyone know what the term “bipartisan” truly means, and does anyone comprehend what an ass John Boehner and his friends are? How many misinformed, uninformed, racist, sexist, ignorant people does it take to throw a country a hundred years backwards in terms of rights for half of the population?

[super cranky feminist] my theory on Paul Ryan’s jobs plan

Reflecting on the religion/abortion question from the VP debate, Ryan said that (flip flop alert!) he WOULD allow abortion in cases of rape, incest, and life of the mother. Note that he said life of the mother, not health of the mother, which are two different things– if the fetus isn’t definitely going to kill the woman, there’s a chance she won’t get the abortion she still needs, or wants. We also can’t forget that Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” fiasco goes hand in hand with Paul Ryan, they’ve attempted to “redefine” rape together– further limiting a woman’s choices. “Redefined” rape would mean that marital rape, ex-partner/spouse rape, date rape, etc would likely no longer be considered rape. Only violent “stranger” rape would be considered rape (if we haven’t by then totally abolished the idea of rape…).

And how much work would a woman have to do to “prove” that she was raped? (Definitely not saying men are not raped, because I have male friends that are rape victims. I’m only talking about women right now because only women can get pregnant.) Already women usually pay out of pocket for a painful and humiliating rape kit that quite often is never analyzed; she would likely be required to press charges against her rapist(s) in order to secure an abortion (remember the rate of conviction is estimated at less than 3%); and she would have to face the public humiliation and stigma associated with publicly admitting to being a rape victim in today’s society.

So then, if we’ve lowered rates of rape by redefinition, then why do Rape Crisis Centers need funding?
If we’re going to teach and preach abstinence-only sex ed, why do we need to offer birth control? Why do we need to ensure that insurance companies cover birth control in health insurance plans? (just a reminder– no one is asking for FREE birth control, we’re asking for our health insurance to cover our birth control in the same way it covers other medications like pain killers and ED treatments) Should all sex be purely for procreating?

Reminder– Romney has promised to de-fund Planned Parenthood (which just like PBS, can’t run on donations alone).

Will my birth control pill, used primarily for controlling ovarian cysts and endometriosis, suddenly cost $120 a month instead of $30 a month because my insurance company (or my mother’s employer offering insurance) suddenly has a “moral objection” to birth control?

Oh, and that Plan B you can get from the pharmacist? Forget that right now– with fetal personhood lighting Ryan’s toes on fire it will be outlawed. “Life begins at conception.” Did you learn in your health/sex ed class that its quite common for eggs to be fertilized but simply fail to implant in the lining of the woman’s uterus? So then is the woman a murderer for failing to have the perfect uterus for that particular egg to implant in? Plan B works to prevent a fertilized egg from implanting, and Paul Ryan wants to make sure that not only is Plan B off the market (it would help to “kill” a 2-cell “innocent life”), but that it’s not available to any rape victim that asks for it. This implantation-prevention form of birth control would become illegal, and it includes IUDs as well as other forms of birth control. It also, in theory, makes IVF illegal (unless of course your last name is Romney)– all of the eggs that are harvested and fertilized must be implanted, and if you chose not to implant some and have them frozen, you honestly have to include the frozen test tube fertilized eggs in your will (and you can’t dump them as medical waste, either). You can’t make this shit up.

And just for good measure, lets not forget that when you’ve got kids at home to take care of you often can’t work. Day care isn’t an option for everyone, especially when you’ve got several kids. This could mean that 50% of the sexually-active working-age population would be at home, and out of the formal economy. I guess that means that there are more jobs for men and the women that aren’t yet mothers… but that sure sounds like a shitty jobs plan to me.

[feminist] DNC- wednesday: where were you four years ago?

I’m hanging out with the four Unite Women national directors and a regional director, screaming and yelling at the TV and our computers. Right now its several small business speakers, but last night we had the tissues out for Lilly Ledbetter, Julian Castro, and Michelle Obama. (our mom-in-chief). I was floored by Nancy Keenan (president of NARAL, ProChoice America) being given prime time national coverage– is this what progress looks like? Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood spoke earlier tonight, which was also incredibly exciting, but for NARAL/Democrats/Obama to be so publicly affiliated seriously just about knocked me over. Maybe we’re seeing the end of abortion-shaming and more general woman-shaming.

Like Sandra Fluke just said, its time to choose which America we are going to live in– Paul Ryan, redefining rape, advocating fetal Personhood; or Barack Obama, advocating affordable or free birth control for all women. Elizabeth Warren is on now, and we’re sitting in awe. I’m attempted to tweet from the national account @UniteWomenOrg (cough, you should follow) while paying attention, while smelling brownies baking in the kitchen. I don’t know which is most distracting, haha!

I want to know, where were you four years ago? What did you think about your reproductive rights, health care, jobs, education, debt, etc four years ago? I was just beginning my first semester of undergrad, with no concerns for how my meds would get paid for every month, or how my co-pays would be paid– not to mention what would happen when I turned 22 and was out of school. Life is scarier for me now, the future is scarier, but without Obama I have no doubt in my mind that I’d be on Medicaid and without all of the medicines that I need. I would lose my left ovary through an emergency room trip and several ovarian cysts. It would mean I’d be out of work for several weeks. It would mean I’d lose my job. I’d go back to waiting tables for $2.13/hr and wondering how I’d eat. But instead, I’m still going to wait tables for $2.13/hr, but I’m going to have my medicine, I’m going to have a whole body and a healthy mind– and that is priceless. I’m ready to go forward, and I’m ready to fight for it. Where were you four years ago? Are you ready to fight for progress?

NARAL
Planned Parenthood
UniteWomen

[feminist] #LegitimateRape and Todd Akin

when asked about allowing abortion in cases of rape, Todd Akin replied:

” First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”

from our own cranky feminist Jessica Anders (thanks!)

articles:

videos:

why this is even scarier: 


“science” of women’s bodies behind Akin and the Teabaggers

responses:

actions:

Mailing Address:
PO Box 519
St. Charles, MO 63302
Physical address:
820 S. Main St., Ste 206
St. Charles, MO 63301

  • leave Todd Akin a voicemail:

Voice: (636) 949-6826
Fax: (636) 949-3832
District office in St. Louis: Voice: (314) 590-0029
Capitol Office in Washington DC: Voice: (202) 225-2561

  • email Todd Akin:

https://forms.house.gov/akin/webforms/issue_subscribe.htm

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