abortion is safe

More than a natural disaster: How Harvey and Irma put health care, immigrant communities, the environment, and more at risk

In the past few weeks, severe storms including Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc across the southwest U.S., Mexico, and island territories including the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean. Dozens of people perished, and many more were displaced from their homes. Some people’s lives will never be the same again.

The truth is that horrifying storms like Harvey and Irma — as well as the earthquake that shook Mexico — reveal the intersections of how natural disasters can impact access to health care, the environment, immigrant communities and folks with low incomes. Here’s how these crises are affecting real people, right now.

Natural disasters = heightened fear for undocumented communities

Donald Trump’s xenophobic plan to end DACA makes Hurricane Harvey even more dangerous for some folks. In Houston, the city with the third largest population of undocumented immigrants, Harvey forced many DACA recipients and mixed-status families to face difficult choices. Already anxious over Trump’s threats of deportation, undocumented people may be even more reluctant to seek out shelter and health care in Harvey’s wake, for fear of being turned away at shelters or facing hostile ICE agents.

The most vulnerable people at risk

Natural disasters affect people with low incomes the most. In Texas and Florida, folks with low incomes are more likely to live in flood-prone areas with deficient infrastructure. This means that evacuating and traveling to get medical assistance is much harder — especially for low-income people with disabilities. There’s an assumption that everyone can and should evacuate when natural disasters happen, but that’s not always possible for everyone. Not everyone can get time off of work, access resources to relocate their family, or find a place to stay.

And in Houston, many families with low incomes live near the city’s oil refineries and petrochemical plants — putting them at risk of contamination, leaks, explosions, and other hazards.

A threat against women’s health

We also can’t forget the danger that natural disasters pose for women. Because of the devastation brought on by Harvey and Irma, women looking for preventive or maternal care and women who need abortions might be blocked from getting help. What’s more, these women could be forced to travel in sometimes dangerous conditions to access the care they need, if they can at all.

In addition, Texas lawmakers have passed medically unnecessary restrictions that have led to health centers closing, jeopardizing women’s health even further. In parts of Texas, some abortion providers offered free safe, legal abortion for survivors of Harvey. But elsewhere, a lot of women don’t have this option.

And it gets worse

Folks with chronic conditions — such as diabetes, endometriosis, or chronic kidney disease — are also at risk. During evacuation, their medications can get lost or destroyed. With dialysis centers, pharmacies, and hospitals closed, there are fewer places for people to get care.

The environment suffers, too

Houston is home to America’s petroleum industry. Significant amounts of flooding spell disaster for those living near chemical factories — and the environment.

With dozens of chemical plants flooding and shutting down due to Harvey, more than one million pounds of toxic pollutants have been released into the air. A flooded factory outside of Houston burst into flames twice, leaking toxic chemicals and sending 15 people to the hospital.

And drinking water — which may have come in contact with sewage systems and contaminated with bacteria like E. coli  — is unsafe to drink in some areas of Houston and Florida. Having safe, healthy environments and clean water is a basic human right, as well as an issue of reproductive rights. Mothers, for example, need clean water to prepare infant formula or to breastfeed their babies.

We stand in solidarity with those affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma

The impact of these natural disasters is personal. Planned Parenthood is an essential health care provider in many of the communities hit hard by these disasters. Several organizations are coming to the aid of those affected by Harvey and Irma. Here’s how you can help:

Texas

Hit by: Hurricane Harvey

Help NOW:

  • Volunteer with Planned Parenthood supporters in relief efforts. Already, more than 150 Planned Parenthood supporters assembled 4,000 period kits for Harvey victims in Houston.

Mexico

Hit by: Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Katia, earthquake

Help NOW:

Florida

Hit by: Hurricane Irma

Help NOW:

  • Volunteer with Planned Parenthood and other coalition partners to help communities that are most vulnerable. Volunteer Anna Eskamani says, “I volunteered with this effort last night to pass out free food, and the Friday before Irma made landfall, I also volunteered with a homeless outreach group to let the homeless know of their shelter options.”
  • Chip in to the Irma Community Recovery Fund to stand with folks in Florida.

U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean

Hit by: Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma

Help NOW:

theguardian.com
Mass grave of babies and children found at Tuam care home in Ireland | World news | The Guardian

I’m not fucking around - reblog this. As we march the streets, demanding bodily autonomy and access to reproductive rights, for our lives to be valued as more than a vessel for carrying children, we are met by arguments proclaiming the preciousness of life, how we’re murderers, how we are trying to play God.

Our bodies are policed by the Catholic Church, in which these arguments are echoed and used as a weapon against us in legislation. We are condemned for getting abortions, even in the most dire of circumstances. It is against Catholic values, and downright immoral, in the eyes of the church.

As news broke today of 796 human child remains, ranging from 35 weeks to 3 years old, dumped into the ground and in septic tanks by the Bons Secours order in the Tuam Mother and Baby home, it seems like a slap in the face. The same people that impede our human rights by waving the morality flag in our faces and willing us to ‘love them both’, have long exercised a horrendous practice of taking woman from their families, god forbid they fall pregnant in the wrong circumstances, abusing them behind closed doors, and taking their babies off them for good. What they did with those babies, as we’ve seen today, seems a hell of a lot more immoral than a person seeking safe abortion of their own accord, and for their own reasons.

DO NOT sleep on this. We can’t afford to ignore yet another scandal the Catholic Church have tried and failed to cover up. They protest in favour of life, unless that life falls outside of their standards.

In a country, where the national broadcaster has the gall to air the angelus before the 6 o'clock news while a story like this is breaking, and then not make the SEVEN HUNDRED AND NINETY SIX HUMAN CHILD REMAINS the lead story, yet condemns ME for looking for reproductive rights and not cherishing every life? I can’t sit by and watch the world not realise what is going on in Ireland.

Please, for goodness sake, reblog this. Be aware of this. We can’t let this go on any longer. Read this story, be aware of what the magdalene laundries and the mother and baby homes did to these people under the guise of the Catholic Church.

Stand in solidarity with the people of Ireland on March 8th. This story broke at a pivotal point in the fight for reproductive rights, and we have to look at the people who want to shut it down and see the Church for the immoral scumbags they truly are.

Change the Conversation

Things you don’t have to say about abortion:

  • We all want there to be fewer abortions.*
  • “Safe, legal and rare.”*
  • It’s a regrettable choice, but one people need to be able make.
  • It’s one of the most difficult decisions a person will ever make.
  • Sure, some people do it for the wrong reasons, but most people do it for the right ones.

*You may feel this way, and that’s fine. But you don’t have to feel this way and you don’t have to pretend to.

Things you should say about abortion:

  • It’s a safe, legal and quite common procedure.
  • It’s nothing to be ashamed of.
  • For some it’s a difficult decision, but not for everybody.
  • 99% of people who get abortions don’t regret it.
  • There are no right or wrong reasons to get an abortion. It’s a matter of personal choice.

The way to change policy is to change culture, and you change culture by changing the conversation. Abortion isn’t regrettable, it isn’t shameful, it isn’t wrong. Abortion improves lives. It saves lives. It makes people better parents. It gives people bodily autonomy. Abortion is good.

plannedparenthoodaction.org
Guess Which 4 Groups Would Be Disproportionately Hurt by "Defunding" Planned Parenthood
Hint: It’s not the old, rich, white men, trying to shut Planned Parenthood down.

Legislation to “defund” Planned Parenthood will hit  people who rely on federal insurance and public health programs. That’s largely people who already face barriers to  accessing health care as people with low incomes, people of color, people who live in rural areas — who make up the majority of Planned Parenthood’s patients. Meanwhile, the impact of “defunding” Planned Parenthood on people in the LGBT community and whose identities intersect would be particularly acute.

So, it’s anti-abortion politicians like these who want to take basic health care away from people like these.

Impact of “Defund” on People With Low Incomes

With the aim of shutting Planned Parenthood down completely, national “defund” legislation would close health center doors to at least 60% of Planned Parenthood’s patients — those who use public programs like Medicaid (the government-funded insurance plan for people with low incomes) and Title X (the government-funded family planning program, which helps people with low incomes).

Of course, public programs are already prohibited from covering abortion. “Defunding” keeps people who use public programs from getting preventive reproductive and sexual health services like birth control, STD tests, breast cancer screenings, and family planning education at Planned Parenthood health centers. Many of these patients couldn’t get these services anywhere else — and, like we said, many of them are people with low incomes, people of color, and people who live in rural areas.

Impact of “Defund” on People of Color

People of color in the U.S. are less able to access quality health care due to the intersecting consequences of racism, sexism, classism, xenophobia, and other systemic barriers. So, they’re more likely to rely on federally funded programs to access health care.

The Black Community

“Defunding” Planned Parenthood would be devastating to Black communities. Key points:

  • Of the 2.5 million people who rely on Planned Parenthood for health care every year, 370,000 identify as African American or Black.
  • Among nonelderly Americans on Medicaid, 11 million are Black.

If they were prevented from accessing Planned Parenthood, many Black patients would have no other place to go for the services Planned Parenthood provides.

This harmful legislation wouldn’t just keep Black patients from getting care – it would undermine their ability to obtain full reproductive freedom. Too often, Planned Parenthood is the only health care provider many patients access. That means their care is more than just reproductive health services – Planned Parenthood connects patients with resources to improve other areas of their lives.

The Latino Community

“Defunding” Planned Parenthood would be devastating to the Latino community. Key points:

  • Around 575,000 Latinos come to Planned Parenthood health centers annually (nearly a quarter of Planned Parenthood’s patients).
  • Among the nonelderly Americans on Medicaid, 18 million are Latino.
  • If they were prevented from accessing Planned Parenthood, Latino patients may have no other place to go for the services it provides.

Planned Parenthood sees patients regardless of immigration status and is one of the only places undocumented people can turn to for care. Given that the majority of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. are Latino, “defunding” legislation would have a disproportionate impact on them.

What’s more, “defunding” would put two crucial Planned Parenthood programs at risk of disappearing: Raíz, which helps Latinos access health care and sex education, and Promotores de Salud, which brings reproductive health education into Latino homes and community-gathering locations.

Impact of “Defund” on People in Rural Areas

If patients who rely on public programs are blocked from care at Planned Parenthood, many would have nowhere else to go. There simply aren’t enough other reproductive health care providers out there. In areas where other providers do exist, many don’t take patients who rely on public health programs. Key points:

  • 21% of counties have no safety-net family planning alternative should their local Planned Parenthood health center close.
  • More than half of Planned Parenthood’s health centers are located in rural and underserved communities.
  • More than two thirds of states already report difficulty ensuring enough providers for Medicaid.
  • Providers of ob-gyn care who accept Medicaid, such as Planned Parenthood, are in particularly short supply.

Impact of “Defund” on the LGBTQ Community

“Defunding” Planned Parenthood also would negatively impact LGBTQ health. Members of the LGBT community face greater health challenges than their heterosexual peers because of stigma and discrimination. People in the LGBTQ community who also are people of color, or have low incomes, or who live in rural areas — or whose identities intersect — have even more obstacles to reproductive health services. For example, LGBTQ people of color face particularly high rates of discrimination from medical providers, and systemic harassment.

Planned Parenthood understands that LGBTQ people have the right to safe abortion services, access to contraceptives, STD testing and a range of other health services free from stigma, discrimination or coercion. Losing Planned Parenthood would lose this safe space for LGBTQ people seeking basic health care.

Say It Loud: #IStandWithPP

If anti-abortion politicians “defund” Planned Parenthood, shut down its health centers, and block its 2.5 million patients from care, a national health disaster would ensue — and the groups mentioned in this blog would be hurt the most. Take a stand against cutting them off from care. Take action to stand with Planned Parenthood and its patients!

7

Bans like this are based in right-wing lies and won’t stop abortion, just make them less safe. When news outlets report on this, they should be explaining that fact.

As someone who may never be able to have my own biological children, I will fight for a woman’s choice to have an abortion.

Yes, even if she’s wealthy.

Yes, even if she is married.

Yes, even if she’s of a healthy child bearing age.

Yes, even if she’s in a loving and healthy relationship.

Yes, even though it was her choice to have sex in the first place.

Yes, even if she chose to have unprotected sex.

Yes, even if she’s a sex worker.

All of this goes for people who are pregnant, but not a woman, as well.

If you’re pregnant and don’t want to be, you should have access to comfortable and safe abortions.

Can we talk about how Steve Rogers would probably fight to keep abortion legal and safe, because he saw how many people used to die back in the day because all abortions were illegal and unsafe and he knows if a person is pregnant and don’t want to be pregnant they will find a way to not be pregnant?

Can we talk about Steve Rogers telling off right wing politicians who say minimum wage isn’t supposed to be a living wage? Can we have him saying ‘No, I remember when it was instituted. It was supposed to be a living wage, senator.’

Can we talk about Steve Rogers supporting a raise in SNAP benefits, because he knows how it feels to go hungry?

Can we talk about Steve Rogers having problems with this country’s military industrial complex?

anonymous asked:

Here's the thing: no matter what pro lifers do, abortion will not cease to exist. So you must pick. Safe abortions that are easy to access, or abortions done unsafely and painfully at home. What do you prefer? - a fed-up pro choicer

What if I said that child trafficking will always exist, so you have to choose between legal, regulated, “safe” child slavery and illegal, “back-alley” child slavery?

We can’t keep the mass killing of human children legal simply because it will “happen anyway.”

We must do everything we can to protect human rights. That includes not just banning abortion, but also providing the resources and support that mothers need to be able to choose life for their children. It also means educating people on human development in the womb and what abortion does to that developing human.

Beyond making abortion illegal, we need to make it unthinkable. Will it still happen sometimes? Maybe. But if we can reduce the numbers from 43 million per year worldwide to a few isolated incidents here and there, that would be some progress.

Honestly? The debate over when life begins is irrelevant to discussing whether abortion should be safe, legal, and accessible.

Whether you believe that life begins at conception or at birth, the issue of bodily autonomy remains the same.

I can’t be forced to donate blood–a safe, fairly common procedure with minimal discomfort and recovery–to save the life of an adult, even though there would be little risk to me and said adult is obviously a life.

In the same vein, a person with a uterus cannot be forced to put themselves through a physically and mentally draining ordeal that lasts months, involves much more risk, and can affect a body permanently for the sake of a fetus.

It doesn’t matter when a fetus is sentient, it matters whether or not the pregnant person consents to support it.

it’s willfully ignorant when people define radical feminism as being centered around the exclusion of trans women. radical feminism is centered around ending sex-based oppression, things such as female genital mutilation, lack of access to safe abortions, an epidemic of sexual violence, and so many more horrible things that happen to females (women and trans men) because of their biology. if trans women aren’t included in that, it’s because they don’t face those issues, not because they’re being purposefully excluded.

There have been speeches, chants and protest anthems, both soulful and scathing — but as the masses have rallied and marched against President Trump’s policies over the past two weeks, it is the signs they carried that are being stamped into memory.

Protesters turned Trump’s own words against him, with their “Nasty Woman” banners and flaunting signs that declared “This p—- grabs back.” They scorned his seemingly cozy relationship with Russia: “Tinkle tinkle little czar, Putin made you what you are.” They mocked his appearance: “We Shall Overcomb” and “Hands too small to build a wall.” They found many different ways to reject his authority:

Not my President

Not my Führer

Not my Comrade

Not my Cheeto

With a pithy mix of humor and combativeness, this is protest art for the social-media era. While many kept their messages serious and straightforward — “Refugees Welcome,” “Keep Abortion Safe and Legal” — it was the new breed of signage that went viral long after the crowds dispersed. Gaining wide circulation on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or various “best protest signs” listicles, they reached a vast audience that never went near a march or rally.

Read more here: Today’s protest signs are sharper, meaner, funnier — and live on long after the rallies

Shout out to abortion doctors.

So many of you put your lives and safety on the line, looking for loopholes, fighting laws and outright ignoring them in favour of the welfare of pregnant people and their right to a safe abortion.

I want to delve into a dangerous topic. I want to talk about abortion and eugenics.

Even when abortion was illegal, it was sometimes performed legally in hospitals if the pregnant person was at risk of death, or if they were disabled. People with Down Syndrome sometimes found themselves forced into hospitals to have their pregnancies terminated, often against their will. Then abortion was legalized and I will say, flat-out that this was a good thing.

I believe in free, unlimited access to legal, safe abortion. Whether you believe life begins at conception or at birth, you still have no say over somebody else’s bodily autonomy. It is abhorrent to force somebody to carry a pregnancy to term if they don’t want it. Especially considering what a toll pregnancy has on a body. Also, legislating abortion only increases the number of unsafe, back alley abortions, with more and more people becoming injured or dying by coat hangers and knitting needles. Abortion needs to be safe and legal and accessible, full stop.

Over the last few decades there has been a rise in availability of pre-natal testing. Sonograms and amniocentesis leads to pregnant people finding out sooner and more frequently if their fetus has an impairment or a genetic disorder. Since genetic testing has become more available, the number of abortions due to “defect” are on the rise. Fetuses that are screened and found to have Down Syndrome or spina bifida are being aborted more and more, with promises from doctors and nurses that the parents can always “try again.”

Over the past few decades more and more money is going into genetic autism research, in the effort to create a test to reveal whether or not a fetus will become an autistic person.

Aborting a fetus simply because of impairment or disease is eugenics.

Pro-choice advocates often say things like “forcing a woman to carry a disabled fetus to term is abuse,” with emphasis placed on the idea that disabled children are burdens on their parents and society. They talk about “quality of life” of both the parents and the potential child, but usually weighted more to the parents. This is all ableist rhetoric. To be entirely honest, all children are “burdens” in that they need to be taken care of and protected and housed and fed and clothed without being able to contribute to society. But we don’t usually tell parents that all their healthy, able-bodied kids are burdens, do we? We call children “gifts” and “treasures.”

Anti-choice advocates often say things like “Disabled children are a gift from God! They’re a blessing!” But this is ableist rhetoric too. It dehumanizes disabled children, turns them into objects and life lessons. Disabled children are human beings just like everyone else, with gifts and faults.

When a pregnant person is told by the doctors that their fetus is disabled or has a genetic disorder, they hear a lot of ableist rhetoric. They’re told by doctors that their future child will have no quality of life. That they’ll be a burden. That they’ll suffer. That their life is basically worthless. Doctors often urge and wheedle and even bully pregnant patients into terminating disabled fetuses. They are told that even if they follow through with the pregnancy but give the baby up for adoption–because they can’t afford to take care of a special needs child–the child will likely not be adopted because “nobody wants a broken child.”

So where do we draw the line? Do we make it illegal to terminate a disabled fetus? No. That sets us down a slippery slope and then it’s only a short trip from “some fetuses can’t be terminated” to “no abortion for anyone,” which leads us right back to back-alley knitting needle abortions.

Do we limit access to pregnancy screenings? Maybe. In India, when more and more couples were aborting fetuses determined to be female due to institutionalized sexism and misogyny, they made it illegal, as of 1994, to find out the sex of your child during pregnancy. But that could also lead us down a slippery slope. After all, parents are entitled to be prepared for what’s coming next right? And especially in regards to genetic diseases like Tay-Sach’s, where the child will be in excruciating pain and suffering, and then die by age four, isn’t it sometimes kinder to know? I’m not sure, this is an ethical discussion that I’m not sure I’m qualified to make a definitive ruling on.

Here’s what I think should happen. I think that when a pregnant person discovers their child has an impairment or genetic disorder, they need to be immediately educated. They should be given research into the condition, and introduced to living adults who have the condition in question. Not just parents who believe their disabled child is a burden, but living adults who can tell their own stories about growing up with the condition in question, and give voice to their own quality of life. Pregnant people should be encouraged to make informed, educated decisions, not just jump at their doctors suggestions uninformed.

Also, we need increased access to support systems and services. It should be a lot easier than it is to take care of a “special needs” child and raise them to be an independent adult.

We need to destroy the systemic ableism that tells us disabled people are burdens, disabled people are pitiable, disabled people suffer, disabled people can never be healthy and happy and live long successful lives. We also need to destroy the idea that quality of life is determined by accomplishment and productivity.

Also, please remember that doctors are not the be-all, end-all definitive voice of what is. A doctor’s opinion is an educated OPINION. Feel encouraged to get a second opinion and to do your own research.

Our enemy is not disability. Our enemy is not abortion. Our enemy is ignorance and oppression and a society that benefits from racist, sexist, ableist exploitation and oppression.