Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Defunding Planned Parenthood and the attack on women's health

When I read things like this (via someone's tweet--I love Twitter for that, everyone posts the most amazing things) I can't help feel angry and scared all at once: Birthright: The Politics of Planned Parenthood.

This is in the States, of course, and we have our own system here in Australia. First of all, I'm pro-choice. This doesn't mean I'm a fan of abortions. No one likes abortions. But they are necessary part protecting women's biological rights.

Planned Parenthood doesn't just perform abortions. They deal with the whole spectrum of women's sexual health, and often for America's poorest women who couldn't afford treatment otherwise. So when Republican candidates are vowing to defund Planned Parenthood, I can't help but feel disgusted.

And every time women's health rights are attacked in America, I can't help but feel worried for Australia. Especially with an opposition leader like Tony Abbott waiting in the wings. Tony Abbott, whose idea of abortion law reform is offer the alternative of counselling via church groups. Could he be more out of touch with most young women?

As always, when I get annoyed, I want to write fiction about it. Last night I pulled out my feminist piece that I started in 2009, begun just before Blood Song and have been mulling over ever since. I reworked the beginning, added a few things ... Oh dear, looks like there are now four books I need to finish this year.

Addition: While writing this, Isaac Marion (author of the amazing zombie novel Warm Bodies) tweeted this article, Teddy bears passed out to Ohio senators. The bears supposedly have the heartbeat of an 18-week-old foetus, and are meant to convince senators to pass a bill that makes it illegal to perform an abortion of a foetal heartbeat is detected. Even if the mother's life is in danger. 


  1. It seems like this issue just won't go away. I'm in Canada, and what happens in the U.S. can have ripple effects on us, too (especially with the conservative PM we have in power at the moment)... so many of us watch what's going on in U.S. politics with some apprehension.

    At least you have a good outlet for your annoyance. I'm afraid that when certain issues rile me up, I get so frustrated that I become completely unproductive.

  2. I know what you mean, I feel the same way about Australia: that we'll follow suit. Especially if Labor is ousted and the converative opposition leader comes into power.

  3. This is something that's constantly up our asses, especially around election years. What I don't understand is why political figures insist on taking such polarizing stands on topics such as these. The country isn't that polarized and even the majority of Republicans are ultimately pro-choice even if they don't believe in abortion personally.

    But then you get people like Rick Santorum who not only go bi-polar on their beliefs but sign statements in the ilk of the Promise of Personhood (or something to that effect) that has the signer recognize that life begins at fertilization and abortion is wrong in any and all cases, including rape, incest and in instances where the mother is in danger (ectopic pregnancy, for instance). Which is insane.

    And then I find out about Initiative 26 (from Laura at A Jane of All Reads) in Mississippi that tried to also peg life beginning at fertilization and would thus criminalize abortions and anyone writing prescriptions for birth control since some allow the egg to be fertilized and then it aborts it. It didn't pass but 46% of the state was for it. That's scary.

    But then you get a state like South Dakota that actually succeeded in making abortion illegal and people went insane over it. It did get repealed rather quickly. We do still have Roe v. Wade and it'll take a complete dissolution of government to overturn that marker. Just like people drank when Prohibition was in effect, women will still get abortions if it's made illegal. Too many people remember what it was like having to do back alley abortions and the benefits of such free access far outweigh any negatives that come with it. I can understand why people wouldn't want their tax dollars funding abortions but you know what, I don't agree with the rampant abuse our welfare system is going through. That doesn't mean I can protest the government and try to make welfare illegal because I don't agree with it.

    It's my body. If I want to rip off my own arm and beat myself about the head with it, I should be able to. Basically people need to stop trying to force their beliefs on others. Our child welfare system is overburdened with unwanted children and people want to add to it? To force women to bear children that they don't want because life is precious? I'm not a baby maker for those that can't have kids so if I choose to abort, that's my decision, especially when it's during a time in the pregnancy where that "heartbeat" is really nothing more than a cluster of cells with a vein running through it.

  4. Damn straight Donna. I find it amazing how extreme politics is over in the US. What you say about ectopic pregnancy is so true. I was reading about Tebow, that guy who eveyone's talking about in the states apparently, and how he's got those superbowl ads with his mum. Apparently doctor's told her to she should have an abortion because her life was endanger. She didn't and both she and her child were fine. Well congrats, mother Tebow. That sounds like it was YOUR CHOICE. And you want to remove that choice from other mothers? Excuse my French, but fuck you.