Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Unbelievable Bravery

Love this story about Elizabeth Smart, not so sure about Matt Lauer's comments at the end...

Counter protest anyone?

An anti-choice extremist group will be setting up shop on the University of Central Oklahoma campus on November 2-3. A silent counter protest is being organized on campus to promote the truth about reproductive health issues women in Oklahoma face today. Be sure to stop and stand with us!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Human Wolves

Here’s a spooky tale for you…

Carved on a headstone located in the elder part of Konowa Memorial Cemetery is the cryptic epitaph, “Murdered by human wolves.” The stone belongs to one Katherine Cross, who died Oct 10th, 1917 at the age of 18. According to the Seminole County News, her death was caused by a “criminal operation” performed by a Dr. A.H. Yates. Many have assumed, due to the circumstances surrounding her death, that this criminal operation was an abortion and the human wolves were Yates and his assistant. Thus she and her headstone have become an obscure bit of Oklahoma history and folklore.

A few Oklahoma anti-choice blogs, whom shall remain nameless, have marked the anniversary of her death with posts. Some claim her as a martyr for their “graveyard of choice”, others simply use her as a cautionary tale against abortion in general. However, they completely miss the fact that had Cross legally had access to proper medical care, or had Yates had access to the proper tools and procedures, Cross need not have died at all. Hell, if the 18th century attitude towards the female body and sexuality had been more than bupkiss and outright lies, had there not been a stigma against contraception, sex, and pregnancy out of wedlock, she might have had a fighting chance of not getting pregnant at all.

92 years and four days into the future, women in Oklahoma have the choice to terminate pregnancy in a safe and clean environment that Katherine did not have. We (theoretically) have access to the education that Katherine did not. However, every day is a constant struggle to keep hold of that choice. HB1595 is the latest in a long line of scare and shame tactics used to chip away at choice and drive young women in need of help away from those that can safely provide it. Abortion providers, referrers, and supporters have to keep constant vigilance. Everyday we face snide phone calls, harassment, even the possibility of bodily harm for providing women with all of the options. Our clinics look like bunkers and we keep a constant lookout for strange powders, people, and foreign objects. A little over four months ago, in our neighbor to the north, Kansas, Dr. Tiller was gunned down by the anti-choice activist Scott Roeder.

When I think of Katherine Cross today, I can’t help but wonder about exactly who the human wolves are now.

To see the headstone:

Guttmacher Report Cites Increases in Contraceptive Use, Reductions in Unintended Pregnancies and Abortions...and More Work To Do |

Guttmacher Report Cites Increases in Contraceptive Use, Reductions in Unintended Pregnancies and Abortions...and More Work To Do |

Posted using ShareThis

Monday, October 12, 2009

Rachel Maddow on HB 1595

Yes, it's all over the news...HB 1595 which we fought against earlier this year is getting national attention! Watch Rachel Maddow discuss the bill on her show here.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Droves of Women and Girls Moved to Change Minds After Accepting Cupcakes!

Okay, not really, but this is my light-hearted item for today.
I picked this up from the great pro-woman blog I mean, is there really no shame out there? Assuming that there isn't, in what realm could this possibly be an effective strategy? Many people believe in the power and efficacy of prayer. Do that. Silent witness. Do that, I suppose. I guess you can also this, but it just seems silly.
I mean, would we even consider pro-choice cupcakes at anything besides an event tailored to people who already esteem abortion as a fundamental right?
I suppose I'm changing my tune. Go ahead and trivialize this by placing it on a baked good. Maybe you'll come to realize that abortion is just another medical procedure.
By the way, please check out the FAQs. They are to die for!
Q: What do I do if a pro-choicer smashes a cupcake in my face?
A: Wipe the cake off your face and share the rest with someone less angry inside. Go with courage and go with love, the unborn need you to be their voice.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Costs of Unsafe Abortion in Our World

Women, naturally and quite rightly, want to have control over their bodies and dictate the terms on which they live their lives. Motherhood is a wonderful thing, but only if the the woman is a willing participant in the act of creation. Women understand, perhaps more than others, the implications of having more children than theycan afford because they see, directly, the effects a malnutrtion, sickness, and all the ailments that can effect a child.

A new study from Guttmacher Institute shows that unsafe abortions cost Latin America and Africa between $227-$280 million per year in related medical expenses. That number increases to at least $341 million when Asian and Pacific regions are taken into account.

The study, in my opinion, rightly concludes that nearly all of these costs could be negated if only men and women, the world over, had access to reproductive health. Women correctly estimate the impact to themselves and/or their family of an additional child and unsafe abortions indicate the length to which women will go to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.

The study also notes that the cost is, in fact, considerably higher than the one they can actually figure because they estimate that 15-25% of women receive no form of medical treatment for any complications that they may experience after undergoing an unsafe abortion because they lack access tyo medical services of any kind.

All of this goes far to indicate that we must protect and expand our domestic access to reproductive health, but in the same breath, we must also fight for our fellow humans in the world who suffer far more than most of us. For more information about how to do that, I invite you to visit the International Planned Parenthood Federation website.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

One, Two Sucker Punch

Wow, Tuesday and Wednesday were bad days. Not only do governments and individuals have to deal with the pain and suffering that will no-doubt result from the natural disasters in the Pacific, but we're having our own problems here in the states. So many people had pinned their hopes that President Obama would be able to push through meaningful health care reform. We'll still get some kind of reform, but the Senate Finance Committee killed the public option, which would have been our best chance at getting affordable health care for millions of uninsured or underinsured Americans. I suppose that we're just supposed to take insurance companies at their word that they'll control prices. Many companies (ahem, Blue Cross Blue Shield and, ahem, Humana) have near monopolies in their respective markets. I thought that conservatives wanted competition in the marketplace...apparently that was an incorrect assumption.

That was the first punch. Then, not only did the Finance Committee strip away the meaningful and necessary public option, they also re-instated $50 million for unscientific and absolutely ineffective abstinence-only education. That, at least, came to a closer vote of 12-11 with all Republicans and three Democrats voting to include funding for the religious programs masquerading as sex education.

So much of what's going on in Washington is getting to me. Did or did not President Obama win by a veritable landslide? My memory recalls a nation with states that had historically voted red for generations switch to blue on the promise of progressive reform. Now, Democrats are playing chicken and the Republicans do everything they can to obstruct every conceivable piece of the President's goals. We didn't have the hemming and hawing in trying to decide whether or not to go into the Iraq debacle. We undertook that fallacious journey with great gusto and yet the the government can't get behind providing health care for our society's most needy! We marched merrily along to destroy life but can't bring ourselves to save it.

Some hope remains. This bill that came out of the Finance Committee still has to pass the full Senate. I hope beyond all hope that clear-thinking minds will prevail and that this legislation will find itself back in committee with its strength reinstated to provide real comprehensive education to our nation's children and supply the basic human right of health care to each American citizen.

In the meantime, to help you feel a little better about all of this, I encourage you to watch this little video. It's not funny, though, if you think about it because it does seem that there are some men and women in Washington who are more concerned with insurance executives' salaries than health care for all Americans.