Perhaps the most surprising story to emerge from this panel was the remarkable history of the Clergy Consultation Service (CCS), the topic of Gillian Frank’s presentation. Starting in 1965, when it was illegal to provide or obtain an abortion in the United States, religious leaders created from scratch a massive abortion referral network. More than two thousand liberal Protestant ministers, Reform rabbis, and even some Catholic priests, together with their congregations and wealthy supporters, worked in forty states and more than fifty U.S. cities, with affiliates as far-flung as Tokyo and Montreal. They became conduits for information about how to access safe abortions and the funds to pay for them.
Rape and Incest Exemptions to Abortion Are Just “Political” Concessions, Says Anti-Choice Leader

“Personal responsibility” is language that often gets thrown around in the abortion debate by those who would limit women’s reproductive choices. “Abortion is selfish. Abortion is the ultimate rejection of personal responsibility,” is a familiar refrain. If a woman consents to sex, she consents to pregnancy, and should “take responsibility,” the thinking goes, by carrying through the pregnancy.

Now, there are quite a few flaws with that thinking (consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy being the most obvious), but it seems to be a line that meets with some success. While many people believe there should be limitations on when abortion is available, a full 75% of Gallup respondents, for instance, believe that abortion should be legal for rape victims. While there are many reasons that could go into that (like not wishing to force further trauma, through forced pregnancy, on a victim), at least among the pro-life people I know, the fact that the woman didn’t have a say in the matter and isn’t “just using abortion as birth control” factors heavily into their support for rape exemptions.As it happens, personal responsibility is more of a wedge tactic than an actual argument against abortion. Rape and incest exceptions become the compromise between the two sides.But this isn’t the way anti-abortion groups and activists see things. For years now, for instance, the Republican Party has maintained a strict anti-abortion platform… with no exception for rape and incest victims. The slow whittling away of abortion rights may make it necessary to concede these exemptions in the short term, but what about in the long-term?Anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List’s president, Marjorie Dannenfelser, speaking of a recent anti-abortion bill that passed in the House, answered that question. And she pulled no punches in discussing the “political calculations” of these exemptions:

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Election 2016 Champ & Chump Chart

Here’s a quick look at where the 2016 presidential candidates stand on three of Planned Parenthood’s top issues.

Learn more here

Republican War on Women posts on Profeminist

What “I’m Pro-Choice” doesn’t mean:

  • I want an abortion for myself
  • I think everyone should have abortions
  • I’m against parenthood, childbirth, or families
  • I hate babies/children
  • I’m okay with abortions but only in circumstances like rape or it being unsafe for the pregnant person
  • I guess you can have an abortion if you really need one but I’m gonna judge you for your accidental pregnancy

What “I’m Pro-Choice” does mean:

  • Regardless of my own choices, I believe EVERYONE should have the right to make their own reproductive choices and receive safe medical treatment without stigma.

TW for abortion

Republicans Are Killing Women: US Maternal Death Rate Climbs; Female Deaths Rise In GOP Counties

“Today’s mothers are twice as likely to die of pregnancy- or childbirth-related causes than their mothers were. There is no reason, given our vast resources, knowledge and technology, why we should be going backwards in this area.” – Laura Gilkey, coordinator of The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project, a nonprofit based in Sarasota, Fla.

Globally, only a few countries have seen a rise in the rate of maternal deaths in recent years. Those include Afghanistan, El Salvador, South Sudan and the United States of America. While at one time the US had all but eliminated deaths associated with childbirth, things have changed in recent years, with maternal death rates climbing from 14.5 per 100,000 to 17.8 per 100,000 between 2007 and 2011. As of 2014, the number of women who die during pregnancy and childbirth in the US has risen to 28 deaths per 100,000.

For purposes of comparison, the maternal death rate in nearly all wealthy, developed nations is a single digit number. As of 2014, the US maternal death rate is 7 times higher than that of Austria, Finland, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden, all nation’s which have a maternal mortality rate of just 4 deaths per 100,000.

It might surprise conservatives to learn that the maternal death rate in the US is 14 times greater than that of Israel. While right wingers might be under the impression that Israel’s very low maternal mortality rate is the result of strict abortion policies, nothing could be further from the truth. The country has very liberal abortion laws, and women are provided with government subsidized abortion services. The country’s liberal policies regarding women’s health has led to a maternal death rate of just two women per 100,000.”

Read the full piece here | See the study here

This post is for everyone who didn’t vote because “both parties are the same.” The parties are FUNDAMENTALLY OPPOSED on the issues that most affect women: reproductive freedom, stopping rape and helping survivors, contraception, maternity leave, equal pay. 

To my U.S. readers: are you in the U.S. and registered to vote? If not, register now, it takes A FEW MINUTES for womens’ lives. http://www.vote411.orgThis way you’ll be qualified to vote these misogynists out the next chance you get.

  • Liberal:you shouldn't be allowed to own a gun
  • Liberal:you shouldn't be allowed to sell unhealthy foods
  • Liberal:you shouldn't be allowed to choose who your business serves
  • Liberal:you shouldn't be allowed to use words that offend me
  • Liberal:you shouldn't be allowed to choose what school your child attends (or to homeschool your child)
  • Liberal:you shouldn't be allowed to choose what health insurance benefits you offer your employees
  • Me:you shouldn't be allowed to kill a human child.
  • Liberal:you are anti-choice! I'm pro-choice! I'm pro-ALL choices! You're taking away my rights! My freedoms!

“Bernie Sanders has a 100% rating with NARAL, Planned Parenthood, AAUW & NOW. He has an outstanding voting record on issues that are specifically important to women. He’s not only a man of the people, he’s a man who truly cares about women’s equality and a woman’s right to make her own choices.

Image via Women for Bernie Sanders 2016


The Supreme Court has voted to keep Texas abortion clinics open

Pro-choice activists are celebrating today: The Supreme Court announced that it will allow nine Texas abortion clinics to remain open until the justices can hear an appeal ordering them to close. Unfortunately, this is only a partial victory and maintains a troubling situation for Texas women.
The Conservative Strategy To Defeat Wendy Davis: Sexism

Erick Erickson doubled down on his sexist attack on Texas State Senator Wendy Davis as “Abortion Barbie,”writing on RedState that the moniker “fits perfectly” and recommending it be used on the campaign trail. Erickson writes:

Abortion Barbie fits perfectly and I hope that moniker haunts [Wendy Davis] on the campaign trail. She is, after all, intent on building a national name for herself through abortion and pink shoes. I’m sure MSNBC will send her tampon earrings to go with the other accessories.

Let me quickly explain this to Erick. Applying the moniker “Barbie” to Wendy Davis in that context specifically demeans her based on physical attributes. Erickson also connotes the stereotype of “Barbie” representing a shallow and empty headedness. This is inherently sexist. 

Anytime a female politician is singled out simply based on looks – including certain attacks on Sarah Palin – it’s incredibly problematic.

Furthermore as the punch line of his joke, Erickson tosses in a shot at MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry wearing tampon earrings to protest women having their menstrual products taken from them as they entered the Texas State Capital. For Erickson the state aggressively attempting to control women’s reproductive health is a joke.

In the world of Erickson his sexist remarks are fine because Davis “is ignorant of the horrors of Kermit Gosnell.” Never mind that according to experts the Gosnell case has “nothing to do with the way in which the standard of care and later abortion procedures are performed in the United States.” Any excuse to make a sexist attack. 

For Erickson, whose history includes both odd sexist remarks and a defense of indefensible remarks by Todd Akin, recommending a sexist messaging assault as an electoral strategy belies just how the conservative media views the recommendations of the Growth and Opportunity project - the report written by the Republican National Committee after the 2012 elections on how to improve their electoral standing. Its findings are clearly being ignored.