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“Seriously, if we believe a 14 year old is too immature to know how to take a pill, do we really think she’s adult enough to handle an unwanted pregnancy? The truth is that the age restriction is completely arbitrary, tied only to our puritanical comfort levels. And listen, I get it; I think it’s fair to say that most people are uncomfortable with the idea of a 14 year old having sex. But here’s the thing - access to Plan B isn’t about keeping a 14 year old from having sex - by the time she gets to the pharmacy, that ship has sailed - it’s about keeping a 14 year old who has already had sex from getting pregnant. And despite what urban legend (or past embarrassing FDA memos) may tell you, making emergency contraception more available is not more likely to make young teens have sex - it will just make them less likely to end up pregnant. We can’t let our discomfort with teen sex trump young people’s right to sexual and reproductive health and we can’t continue to let politics trump science. If we care about young women’s health and bodily autonomy and integrity, we’ll drop all age restrictions from emergency contraception. Anything less isn’t just illogical - it’s immoral.”—“Hey, FDA: Drop the Plan B Age Restriction,” my latest at The Nation
Remember the scandal over Janet Jackson's boob during the Super Bowl?
today in white people be tripping
in my socio class, we are talking about womb out-sourcing. there is a global commodity chain where (mostly) white upper/middle class women rent out the wombs of indian villagers because of fertility issues. its tens of thousands of dollars cheaper in india, of course.
we watched a documentary where a doctor delivering the child is on his phone, talking to the ‘legal’ parents as he cuts open this woman with a knife. he yanks a baby out and instantly everyone forgets about this woman. typically the contracts only cover till the ‘job is done’ meaning as soon as the baby is out of the womb. should this indian lady, who is paid 4k for 9 months of ‘work’, develop complications because she has been coerced into a c-section, the medical bills are on her.
anyway this white woman in the class kept insisting that no one knows the trauma of being infertile, that this process is SOO HARD on the legal parents, that we cant judge people for surrogacy.
my professor, a distinguished indian researcher who has spent years working on this issue, says yes— i sympathize with the parents, of course, but we are not against surrogacy. to treat these women as human beings, that is important too….
the lady goes on about how raising the wages for the surrogate mothers means that more ladies in america dont have access to this process… protecting the cheapness is important…
every black and brown girl in the room rolls her eyes… this white boy is noticibly irritated, pipes up and says, BUT HISTORICALLY REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGY MOSTLY BENEFITS RICH WHITE WOMEN WHILE EXPLOITING WOMEN OF COLOR, HOW CAN YOU IGNORE WHAT IS BEING DONE TO THESE WOMEN? JUST BECAUSE WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY FOR SURROGACY DOESNT MEAN YOU HAVE ACCESS TO THE BODIES OF POOR WOMEN OF COLOR!!
all the brown and black girls and many white women look at him appreciatively..
the white lady ignores that doctors and facilitating agencies make 20k+ off the process… she ignores you can provide for the birth mother while making huge profits…. would it be a big deal if a facilitating agency makes 15k instead??
the professor says, i interviewed this legal mother once. she said that she watched her child being born. as soon as the baby came out, the surrogate put the baby to her breast.
this white lady says to my professor, THIS DIRTY WOMAN. SHE JUST GAVE BIRTH. SHE WAS FILTHY AND DIDNT CLEAN HERSELF UP BEFORE PUTTING MY CHILD TO HER REPULSIVE BREAST.
so she’s good enough to be your incubator but not to feed the child she sustained for 9 months??
the professor says, there is this blog about a woman who did this out-sourcing. when her child was born she signed a contract with the surrogate for 1 m of breast milk. every 2 hours, she was hooked to a pump and basically milked at the hospital where she was recovering. the mother refused to let the surrogate breastfeed directly. she had a runner go to the hospital and bring the milk every few hours.
but no, let’s not speak of this!
how hard must infertility be for rich white people…….
“In today’s binary political system, however, abortion has become oversimplified. Although fraught with social, economic, cultural, and political meaning, abortion has been reduced to a singular and isolated issue in the political arena. And yet, just below the surface of political silencing, those of us whose experiences with abortion do not fit neatly into didactic sound-bites and talking points for pundits and policymakers in their public debates about our bodies, the waters of human experience still run deep. As a full-spectrum doula, I work with people across the spectrum of pregnancy, from abortion to birth, which can include stillbirth inductions and people who are considering adoption. I hold hands, wipe tears, massage shoulders, fetch snacks, calm nerves, make small talk, comfort, inform, listen, and remind folks to breathe. Some patients hold their breath—sometimes because the decision to have an abortion is made reluctantly. Their circumstances can feel coercive: a lost job, limited income, negotiating rent and bills with potential expenses of a baby, or having parents who refuse to support their young daughter’s pregnancy because it sets a “bad example” for their other children. Others hold their breath waiting for a change in their heart or mind that may never come, deciding finally, despite the discomfort, that an abortion is what they want to do, or what they feel they should do. Want, desire, and “choice” become murky concepts in a tangled web of social and economic inequality. Some patients talk in circles: I’m not one of those women who get an abortion. I’m different than the other patients—I never planned to be here. I’m not a statistic. These examples show how women talk their way out of (or into) their internalization of public shaming and blaming, as if a certain kind of woman gets an abortion and other women do not. This circular thinking is another byproduct of the oversimplified binary of mainstream abortion politics, represented in policy and the media. But what gets lost in the respectability politics of abortion is how common an abortion procedure is: nearly 1 in 3 women have one in their lifetime. Don’t get me wrong; there are people who are crystal clear that they don’t ever want to have children, or they don’t want a particular person to father their child, or they’re simply not ready for parenthood. But as a full-spectrum doula who has worked with patients who are primarily low-income women and women of color, I can’t help but notice that all too often the experiences of many women reside in the murky waters that become silenced, erased, or forgotten in mainstream abortion politics.”—Taja Lindley, “Wading in Uncomfortable Waters: Abortion and the Politics of Experience,” Feministe 1/22/13
“Although they do overlap, the categories of “women” and “people who can get pregnant” are not the same. Some trans men, genderqueer, and gender non-conforming folk can and do get pregnant and are therefore directly harmed by legislation that restricts their access to abortion.”—Meagan Morse, A war on whom? The importance of inclusive reproductive justice conversations.
“Before Depo was approved in 1992, it was routinely used on Native women by IHS, particularly on Native women with disabilities. According to one area director Burton Attico, the Phoenix IHS had already begun to substitute Depo for sterilization on patients with mental disabilities in the 1980s because by then sterilization had been prohibited. Said Attico, "we used it to stop their periods. There is nothing else that will do it. To have to change a pad on someone developmentally disabled, you've got major problems. The fact that they become infertile while on it is a side benefit." Raymond Jannett of the Phoenix IHS suggested that Depo-Provera aided young women in dealing with PMS-like symptoms. "Depo-Provera turned them back into their sweet, poor, handicapped selves. I take some pride in being a pioneer in that regard," he said. But, while Jannett did not have any reservations about using it on Indian women, he did not plan to use it "on attractive 16-yer-old girls who one day hope to be mothers." Patrick Gideon, with the IHS in Oklahoma City, said it would be appropriate to prescribe the drug to "women who are unable to care for themselves. For hygienic reasons, we will go ahead and give it." Apparently, keeping Native women "clean" by sterilizing them is more important than protecting Native women's health; in this way, Native women's bodies are viewed as inherently dirty, in need fo cleansing and purification at any cost.”—
Andrea Smith, Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide
The intersection of racism and ableism …