Abortion for black women has always been a revolutionary rejection of patriarchy, white supremacy and forced systems of oppression. The great scholars Patricia Hill Collins and Angela Davis have explained that throughout slavery and into the 20th century, self-abortion through herbal remedies, hangers, hatpins and pencils were a way out of slavery and poverty. Our ancestors fought hard to refuse to carry the children of their master rapists and rear another generation of slaves, even when it meant that “barren” women were deemed worthless chattel and sold between plantations. From generation to generation, stories and recipes were passed down to ensure that women weren’t forced to carry pregnancies they never desired or weren’t able to carry healthily. For as many powerful women that raised children in the worst conditions imaginable, so there were those who refused.
Some trans people have abortions. Some trans people need access to birth control. Some trans people could use the clinic access to get hormone replacement therapy. So why is it that in the five-plus years I’ve been involved in this movement, no one has bothered to even mention people like me?
It has always felt somewhat hypocritical to exist as a trans person in a movement that doesn’t acknowledge me.
The narratives most often used to spread reproductive justice awareness always center the discussion on “Women’s Rights.” But since I’m not a woman, I’ve felt very disconnected from the spaces I work in.
A story about abortion is not allowed to be a tale of nuance. My experience was difficult, in some ways, certainly. But most of my discomfort came from the feeling that I should feel discomfort. Wasn’t this supposed to be the most difficult decisions of a woman’s life? Wasn’t it supposed to be, even if I was vehemently pro-choice, the kind of thing you always feel a little bit bad about? If that was the case, why did I have an appointment within five minutes of finding out I was pregnant? If it wasn’t a travesty, did I still have the right to feel sad? During the week I had to wait for my procedure, I found myself worrying I wasn’t doing abortion right.
We’ve been protesting all spring and summer, and we won’t give up. People across Canada have shown their support for the pro-choice movement in NB and PEI, and together we will ensure that everyone has equal access to reproductive healthcare services.
Since 2009, more than 30,000 IUDs or other contraception devices were given out at 68 family planning clinics in Colorado, the state reported last year.
The program proved to be a major success in that, from 2009 to 2013, the birthrate for teenagers fell by 40 percent, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. In addition, the teen abortion rate dropped 35 percent from 2009 to 2012. Similar reductions occurred among single women under the age of 25 who did not have a high school degree, the NYT reported.
The state estimated that it had saved more than $80 million in Medicaid expenditures thanks to the program, which ran out of funding on July 1. The state health department has also estimated that the initiative saved $5.85 in Medicaid costs for every dollar used to fund low-price contraception.
Yet despite the evidence of unprecedented success, conservative legislators balked when asked to provide $5 million to continue the program as is. In April, the Republican-controlled state Senate killed a funding bill, putting the program in limbo.
Perhaps most concerning, one sign read: “Where is Your Church?”
At first blush, this sign might not seem any more disturbing than the others. However, its troublesome meaning becomes clear when you consider the history of Wichita. Less than six years ago, George Tiller, a Wichita abortion doctor and one of the most high-profile abortion providers in the country, was assassinated point-blank on a Sunday morning in the foyer of his church. Tiller was the eighth abortion provider murdered in this country for his work.
“Here’s the problem: Abortions are illegal in El Salvador, and birth control is hard to come by. The irony, which seems lost on El Salvador, is that the same government that denies women control over their reproductive health is now asking those same women to control their reproductive health until 2018.“
UGH “In a 2009 video, Giesbrecht is recorded saying: “Six million Jews were killed in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. That’s a staggering number, but get this: since abortion became legal in North America several decades ago, over 42 million unborn babies have been aborted.” “That’s a 9/11 every day for the past 35 years,” Giesbrecht said.”
Fredericton High School Students Suspended for Protesting Dress Code
A group of students, led by the Fredericton youthfeminists (FB, Twitter), have been organizing to petition the school to abolish the dress code:
Dress codes lead to the sexualization of young women, the punishing of women for taking control of their own bodies and the blaming/shaming of women who don’t dress overly-modest. And after all that, your school has the audacity to not even have a sexual assault policy. Rather than enforce rape culture in your school, we ask that you discuss and discourage it. (Petition/Video)
The students recently walked out of class and staged a protest on the lawn of the school:
The students walked out of class to protest, but the walkout became a lockout when the students were locked out of the school. When the students tried to enter the school via another door, they were met by the school’s police officer.
Student Tia Hanson alleges the police officer behaved inappropriately.
“Then he starts like hitting people’s hands off the door and trying to pry them off. Nobody’s really giving up, then he turns to me, pushes me right there (placing her palm on her chest), into a crowd of people,” said Hanson, who captured video of the incident. (CBC)
Several of these students have now been suspended and banned from extra-curricular activities by the administration. One of the students was awarded the YMCA Peace Medallion for her activism and suspended by her high school in the same week. We say both are signs you’re on the right track.
Please contact the administration (FHS alumni especially) and sign the petition linked above in support of these incredible young people standing up for their rights.
Fredericton High School 300 Priestman Street, Fredericton, NB, E3B 6J8 Tel: 506 453-5435 Fax: 506 453-3050
Physicians have an obligation to provide care. In cases where a physician refuses to provide care on moral or religious grounds or cannot provide care because of a lack of skill or training, the physician has a duty to refer the patient to a physician who will provide timely and effective care. Sending a patient out-of-province for emergency care is neither timely nor effective.
As their stories show, the experience of abortion in the United States in 2013 is vastly uneven. It varies not just by state but also by culture, race, income, age, family; by whether a boyfriend offered a ride to the clinic or begged her not to go; by the compassion or callousness of the medical staff; by whether she took the pill alone at home or navigated protesters outside a clinic. Some feel so shamed that they will never tell their friends or family; others feel stronger for having gotten through the experience. The same woman can wake up one morning with regret, the next with relief—most have feelings too knotty for a picket sign.
My Abortion One in three women has an abortion by the age of 45. How many ever talk about it? New laws, old stigmas. 26 stories.