What’s Your Birth Control Method of Choice?

080130-Mirena-IUDThere’s been a lot of buzz about IUD’s in the blogosphere this past week. I’ve only known one person who has used an IUD for birth control, so I am immensely curious about why the IUD has become so popular as of late. Kate Klonick at Slate writes about the economic benefits of switching to an IUD. While the Pill can cost nearly $50 a month, an IUD has a one-time cost of $300-$500, but it will last for up to ten years. Elizabeth Garber-Paul at RH Reality Check mentions another benefit: you don’t have to remember to take a pill every day, like you do with oral contraceptives.

For those who don’t know, IUD stands for “intrauterine device.” It’s a small, T-shaped piece of plastic that is inserted into the uterus by a gynecologist. Some release hormones that prevent pregnancy. Other methods have a copper coil that prevents an egg from being implanted in the uterus. According to Planned Parenthood, the IUD is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.

My preferred method of birth control is lesbianism. It’s more fun than abstinence, and it’s 100% effective at preventing pregnancy (unless you’re one of those turkey baster lesbians). I can see the appeal of the IUD, though. How about you? What’s your preferred birth control method, and why? I’d love to get your take in the comments section.

Abortion Does Not Cause Breast Cancer

denisebnWhile volunteering as a clinic escort, I have listened to anti-choice protesters try to scare patients by telling them that abortion causes breast cancer. They shout it all day long, and they even have it on the pamphlets they try to hand to people as they walk by the clinic. The pamphlet encourages people to visit the website abortionbreastcancer.com to get the 411. I was bored at my last shift – it was a relatively quiet day as far as escorting goes. So my escorting partner and I used her Blackberry to check out the website. What a joke!

The anti-choice website quotes a 1986 article in the Lancet that suggests a link between breast cancer and abortion. These anti-choicers are obviously unaware that more recent studies have disproved these claims. Either that, or they just don’t care about science. The so-called medical associations that the website quotes to support their specious claims are all blatantly anti-choice. The American Medical Association is conspicuously absent from the list.

The scientific fact is that abortion does not cause breast cancer.

In fact, in March of 2003 the National Cancer Institute (NCI) declared emphatically that “newer studies consistently showed no association between induced and spontaneous abortions and breast cancer risk.” NCI convened a symposium of over 100 of the world’s leading experts to review existing studies on the relationship between pregnancy, abortion, miscarriage and breast cancer risk and concluded that having an abortion does not increase a woman’s subsequent risk of developing breast cancer. (Source: National Abortion Federation)

[Read more...]

Forced C-Sections–Why Real Choice Matters

In a recent Huffington Post piece, Louise Marie Roth, PhD., tells the horrifying story of a mother who, during a normal, full-term birth, refused to have a c-section–against medical advice. The mother (V.M.), was accused by hospital staff of being irrational and erratic. Her refusal to have a c-section (an invasive procedure she felt *rightly* was unnecessary) was later used as evidence in a case that resulted in the termination of her parental rights.

There are so many threads to this story (and others like it), I am overwhelmed by the possibilities! It seems that a series is in order. So, for the next few Fridays, I will take up a discussion of Dr. Roth’s post and its implications for choice and for the pro-choice movement. I also have a lot to say about some of the points she doesn’t make. Its a great post, don’t get me wrong. But there is so much going on here that she could not have possibly covered it all. I invite you, dear readers, to join in the discussion! Chime in, let me know what you think! [Read more...]

Friday News Roundup

mouse2Rape Survivors Forced to Pay for Their Own Exams – Feminist Campus
A Man Who Trusted Women – Ms.
Scott Roeder’s Hearing Brought Anti-Choicers Out of Woodwork – Jezebel
Parental Notification Law to Go Into Effect in Illinois – Planned Parenthood

After the jump, there’s an Ode to Herbert the Pervert from Family Guy. [Read more...]

Scott Roeder’s First Day in Court

n1654118681_2601Guest writer Carolyn Marie Fugit is a native Kansan involved in social justice for over a decade. In addition to volunteering for ProKanDo, she has worked extensively in LGBT rights advocacy. Since Dr. Tiller’s assassination, there has been renewed interest in Kansas for pro-choice advocacy, and she is working to organize that energy to defend women’s rights. She regularly blogs for The MAD Voter.

Scott Roeder may not have been acting as a dues-paying member of any incorporated anti-abortion organization, but he was not acting as a “lone wolf” when he put a gun against George Tiller’s head and pulled the trigger.

On July 28th, I attended the preliminary hearing for Roeder, accused of assassinating Dr. George R. Tiller. I was joined not by Dr. Tiller’s family (they had told the media they had “confidence in the courts”), not by his friends or co-workers, and not by leaders of the local anti-abortion organizations. Instead, I sat with six others, some from Wichita, all familiar with the big names. They casually talked about Troy and Mark, how they had read Paul’s book, and how long they had known Scott. And while one of them recognized me as having laid a flower at Women’s Health Care Services the day of Dr. Tiller’s funeral and another knew I wrote for a progressive blog, they still spoke right by me about justifiable homicide.

They read the New York Times’ article “An Abortion Battle, Fought to the Death,” passing it back and forth during the hearing. One read a Bible at times. Another read an anti-abortion book, stopping at one point to ask me the definition of “utilitarian.” She asked me if I had any “little ones,” as she was expecting her tenth. I told her that I did not, but was looking forward to fostering. She did that, too, but unofficially. The day of Dr. Tiller’s funeral, she had a sign at his clinic that said, among other things, “Murderer not Martyr” and “60,000 babies dead.” “I’m nice to everyone!” she told me.

As the hearing commenced, I hardly recognized Roeder. He was clean cut, his hair trimmed and combed. He was growing a moustache. He wore a grey suit and red tie, hands unbound with shackles around his ankles, clacking lightly as he walked. He usually sat straight up in his chair, a wooden chair typical of Perry Mason, different than the executive maroon chairs his attorneys reclined in. Two public defenders were assigned to him, both men. The other side of the courtroom sat three women, District Attorney Nola Folston and Assistant DA’s Kim Parker and Ann Swegle. [Read more...]

Female Genital Circumcision: Uganda, Sudan and Western Debate

Uganda has moved to ban female circumcision with support from President Yoweri Museveni. The law will award the death penalty to anyone who performs on a circumcision on a girl who ends up dying from the process.

Female genital circumcision (FGC), also often referred to as female genital cutting or mutilation, happens in some communities in Asia, Middle East, Americas and Europe. However, the majority of cases occur in various African countries. The process involves partial or total removal of external female genitalia.

 It is often performed as a rite of passage into womanhood. Many parents enforce the practice in order to ensure their daughters are marriage material. The procedure is done on girls from infancy to approximately 15 years of age. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 100-140 million girls and women have been circumcised and millions more are at risk each year. [Read more...]

Get the 411 on Crisis Pregnancy Centers

The Feminist Majority Foundation and RH Reality Check have teamed up to take a look inside the crisis pregnancy center (CPC) movement. This short film highlights the gross misinformation that CPC’s provide clients. They tell women who come to them that abortion causes breast cancer and that women who have abortions are 154% more likely to commit suicide than women who carry a pregnancy to term. They even claim that having an abortion will cause women to start abusing drugs and/or alcohol. Never mind the fact that the only study they have to support the supposed breast cancer-abortion link is from the 1970′s. Right wing nut jobs never were big fans of science, anyway. But many times, the CPC’s don’t even perform an actual pregnancy test. Their strategy is to delay a person’s realization that they’re pregnant until they’re already too far along in pregnancy to get an abortion. Talk about lies and the lying liars who tell them. [Read more...]

Scott Roeder’s Place in the Anti-Choice Movement

A judge declared at a Tuesday hearing that there is enough evidence against Scott Roeder to move forward to trial. Roeder is accused of killing Dr. George Tiller, an abortion provider from Kansas. As I noted yesterday, Roeder is unfortunately not the first person to murder an abortion provider. Paul Hill assassinated Dr. James Britton in 1994. Dr. Britton was a health care provider and The Ladies Center in Pensacola, Florida. A fellow health care provider from the same clinic, Dr. David Gunn, was murdered by Michael Griffin in 1993. Here’s a Newsweek article from 1998 about Dr. Gunn’s assassination.

Michael Griffin fervently believed that an accidental encounter he had with abortion doctor David Gunn was a sign from God. On the morning of March 5,1993, Griffin, a 31-year-old factory worker in Pensacola, Florida, and a zealous follower of local anti-abortion reader John Burt, pulled into a Pensacola Exxon station, and there was Gunn. The doctor, well known to anti-abortion activists in the area, was sitting in his car drinking coffee and reading a newspaper before heading to work at The Ladies Center, the local clinic that had so often served as ground zero for the antiabortion movement in the South.

“I thought it was Providence,” Griffin now says, revealing his meeting with Gunn for the first time in an exclusive prison interview. “I knew he was getting ready to go kill children that day. I asked the Lord what he wanted me to do. And he told me to tell him that he had one more chance. [Read more...]

Thursday News Roundup

mouse_click_270x270Cue the cheesy porn music (bom chicka wah wah), ‘cuz I’m throwing some sexy links your way to get an early start on the weekend. “So I hear you need deine cable repaired, ja?” (Bonus points if you can name the film.)

Coming Out BDSM: The Upsides & Downsides – Sexgenderbody
Fisting Negativity – Essin Em
Lesbian Kissing Will Destroy the WNBA – Womanist Musings
Sex Worker Activist Projects – Feministe

After the jump, I’ve got some of my favorite Sex and the City clips. Enjoy! [Read more...]

15 Year Anniversary of FL Abortion Clinic Shooting

219Y-011-011Today marks the 15 year anniversary of the assassination of Dr. John Bayard Britton, a Florida abortion provider, and Britton’s his body guard James Herman Barrett. Dr. Britton and Mr. Barrett were murdered by Paul Hill, an anti-choice fanatic. According to a 1994 story in the Washington Post:

Britton, who authorities said had received numerous death threats for his work at The Ladies Center abortion clinic, was wearing a bulletproof vest after having just been picked up at the airport by the Barretts, of Pensacola.

It was the third shooting at a U.S. abortion clinic since March 1993, when David Gunn was fatally shot in the back as he arrived for work as a physician at another Pensacola clinic.

Hill, 40, who described himself as a former Presbyterian minister, had publicly advocated “justifiable homicide” against doctors who perform abortions and had led demonstrations at the clinic every Friday for more than a year, police and abortion rights activists said.

[Read more...]