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  1. Quote

    | 144 notes
    The message is clear: our government doesn’t care about women’s health. Politicians can say all they want about trying to protect women from the evils of abortion clinics by enforcing these new standards, but most of us aren’t buying it. While the rich will continue to have safe access to abortion as they always have, poor women of color will be the ones who suffer.

    Erika L Sànchez on the new Texas abortion laws http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jul/17/texas-abortion-bill-affect-latinas

  2. Quote

    | 104 notes

    Unfortunately, while “pro-life” is a hideous misnomer, a simple term like “pro-choice” cannot encompass the gravity of bodily integrity and just how critical it is for women to have rights to our own bodies.

    So, perhaps it’s time to emphasize what Roe has wrought, 40 years on.

    For women, the ability to control the number and spacing of your children is fundamental. It’s nearly impossible to overstate just how crucial that right is: without it, we simply don’t have the same prospects and abilities to live full, free lives. It’s no coincidence that the dual rights to abortion and birth control ushered in some of the most profound cultural shifts in human history.

    While gender equality is far from perfectly realized, women today have more rights and opportunities than ever before. We go to college and most graduate schools at the same rates as men, and are increasingly present in high-paying jobs. We are better able to leave abusive marriages and relationships. We’re healthier, and so are our children – child mortality has greatly decreased, and a low child mortality rate is directly tied to reproductive healthcare and reproductive rights.

    Reliable birth control and access to abortion means that we can pursue an education and work to build a stable career before getting married and reproducing – and the marriages that come later in life between two highly-educated people are by far the most stable. Among couples who have children, those who plan the pregnancies are happier than those who don’t.

    Between 1970 and 2009, child mortality around the world fell by half, which is largely attributable to women being better-educated and better able to make their own reproductive decisions. In the US, along with Roe came safer and earlier abortions; emergency rooms are no longer lined with women injured by illegal terminations, and abortion is now one of the safest medical procedures a woman can have.

    What’s not to support?

    Roe v Wade at 40: what American women owe to abortion rights, by Jill Filipovic

  3. Quote

    | 34 notes
    An abortion would have absolutely been better for my mother. An abortion would have made it more likely that she would finish high school and get a college education. At college in the late 1960s, it seems likely she would have found feminism or psychology or something that would have helped her overcome her childhood trauma and pick better partners. She would have been better prepared when she had children. If nothing else, getting an abortion would have saved her from plunging into poverty. She likely would have stayed in the same socioeconomic strata as her parents and grandparents who were professors. I wish she had aborted me because I love her and want what is best for her. Lynn Beisner: I wish my mother had aborted me
  4. Photo

    | 5 notes
    Hannah Betts: On abortion, beware the overshare

The notion of giving testimony to negative experience inherits a complex knot of religious, psychoanalytic and political associations. Nevertheless, in all these discourses, such disclosure implies a victim – even where this is understood to be a victim at the beginning of a redemptive journey. Talking about the reality of women’s bodies certainly had a role within the Our Bodies, Ourselves era of feminism. However, termination outing is in danger of reducing women to their bodies in a way patriarchy could only have dreamt of.
Read the rest here

Illustration: Gary Kempston

    Hannah Betts: On abortion, beware the overshare

    The notion of giving testimony to negative experience inherits a complex knot of religious, psychoanalytic and political associations. Nevertheless, in all these discourses, such disclosure implies a victim – even where this is understood to be a victim at the beginning of a redemptive journey. Talking about the reality of women’s bodies certainly had a role within the Our Bodies, Ourselves era of feminism. However, termination outing is in danger of reducing women to their bodies in a way patriarchy could only have dreamt of.

    Read the rest here

    Illustration: Gary Kempston

  5. Here’s a new way to stand up to the anti-abortion bullies

    | 41 notes

    Sometimes there’s no obvious way to tackle bullying or harassment. The 40 Days For Life US-based anti-abortion group has set up in the UK, and is picketing abortion clinics across the country. In particular it is targeting a site run by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), which offers family planning counselling to thousands of women a year, and is the UK’s largest independent provider of abortion care.

    Staff and patients at the clinics have complained of intimidation from the protestors, who’ve also been accused of filming staff members and women using the clinic’s services, though the group says those filming were not affiliated with their protest.

    There are legitimate ways to campaign against abortion, but intimidating women outside clinics – deliberately or otherwise – is not one of them.

    But how can such aggressive tactics be stopped? Simply launching a counter-protest outside the clinic in London’s Bedford Square might make things worse: the atmosphere for women trying to use these services in private would become still more charged, and the abortion clinic door risks being legitimised as a place of protest.

    A group of us had a different idea: turning the anti-abortion vigils into a fundraising exercise for BPAS.

    We asked people to donate money for each day the 40 days for Life vigils continue, whether it’s 50p, £1 or £5 per day. The longer the anti-abortionists’ campaign, the more money a worthwhile pro-choice charity receives.

    The response was fantastic, raising £1,000 in just two hours and nearly £2,000 by the end of the first day – all from small donations. Comments from donors were amazing, and touching:

    "Here’s my tiny contribution to say thank you to BPAS, who supported my own difficult decision four years ago," said one. "I only hope these thugs who so lack in compassion and empathy do not stop the amazing work that BPAS do every day."

    Another wrote: “The protesters do not have a right to harass these women who are already undergoing a terribly stressful time. Awful conduct.”

    The best reaction, however, came from BPAS staff themselves: “The whole thing has actually reduced some of us to reaching for tissues! I guess it’s a bit novel for people to be so spontaneously generous to us,” BPAS chief executive Ann Furedi wrote on the donation page. “It sends a lovely message to all our staff.”

    There’s more than one way to stand up to a bully.

    • You can donate to the campaign here.

    Photograph: Andrew Winning/Reuters

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