Women of the Anti-Choice Movement

Recently, The Washington Post ran an article about anti-choice women. “A Feminine Face for the Anti-Choice Movement” focused on several female anti-choice leaders, including Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List; Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life; and Penny Nance, chief executive of Concerned Women for America, among others.

According to Washington Post writer Lisa Miller, these women were representatives of a “major strategic shift in the abortion war” and not just because they put forth a warmer, less crotchety image than anti-choice leaders like Jerry Falwell. Because while older male leaders were unable to relate to “a poor woman with no support system and a bunch of kids at home” who was facing an unwanted pregnancy, these women are somehow able to relate, simply because they are working mothers.

The idea that no matter how much you disagree with a message, hearing it come from someone of your gender makes it better, is simplistic and sexist. If that really is the belief that the anti-choice movement is working under, then it gives women even less credit than I imagined. [Read more...]

Guess What–Women Have Brains

A whole bunch of politicians in this country–not to mention their supporters–seem utterly convinced that a vagina and a brain can not exist in the same body. What other explanation can there be for the latest round of utterly insulting and paternalistic anti-choice bills flooding state legislatures?

Let’s look at the Texas sonogram bill, just for kicks. The bill, which is expected to be signed by Governor Rick Perry, requires that a doctor perform a sonogram at least 24 hours before a woman can have an abortion. The woman must have the option to see the results and hear the fetal heartbeat; even if she chooses not to do this, the doctor still must describe to her what the sonogram shows, including any limbs and internal organs.

Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana wasn’t just content to cut off funding for the Planned Parenthood clinics in his state. Nope, he also made it illegal for any abortions to be performed after 20 weeks. And–the icing on this cake of wrong–doctors are now required to tell women that life begins at conception and that a fetus can feel pain at around 20 weeks.

Excuse me while I check out the immigration requirements for Canada, and remind myself to never, ever, ever move to Indiana. Or Texas. Or any of the number of states considering aping these and other restrictive laws, including my home state of Alabama.

I really want to know exactly what anti-choicers think goes on inside an abortion clinic. Do they imagine some sort of Snidely Whiplash character, twirling his mustache and menacingly waving around a speculum? Do they think clinic employees haunt malls and grocery stores and libraries, sidling up to pregnant women and enticing them in the manner of drug dealers, muttering out of the corner of their mouth that the first pregnancy test is free? (Oh wait, no, it’s the crisis pregnancy clinics that use free pregnancy tests to lure women in their doors. My mistake.) [Read more...]

You might NOT be a feminist if…

If you look like this, you might NOT be a feminist

After making anti-women policies a hallmark of her short political career, Sarah Palin really wants to be a feminist.

Sarah Palin is making the rounds of the campaign scene, and trying to invent a “conservative feminism” along the way. While many real feminists are outraged at her audacity, few are willing to take a stand against allowing someone like Palin into our ranks. After all, isn’t feminism “supposed” to be about tolerance of all perspectives and all types of women?

Such a stance will only serve to create a world of feminist relativism, where the word means nothing.

There are certain actions that are simply fundamentally anti-feminist, that is, they threaten the freedom, equality, dignity, or rights of a various group of people. Certainly being “tolerant” and promoting “diversity” among our ranks cannot be more important than promoting standards of true equality and progressive social change.

Just being a woman does not make you a feminist, particularly if your policies and positions are blatantly anti-woman. For those who see Sarah Palin calling herself a feminist and are confused about what feminism really means in 2010, I not only argue, but insist, that Sarah Palin is no feminist. And to prevent further confusion I have come up with four sure-fire ways to know if you or someone you love is NOT a feminist: [Read more...]

Tuesday News Roundup

mouse2Tips For Taking Care of Your Sex Toys – Lesbian Lush
Obama Administration Files Papers to Repeal DOMA – NPR
Why Don’t More People Use the Female Condom? – Splice
Personhood Bills A Big Money Maker for the Anti-Choice Movement – Air America
Dr. Carhart Gearing Up For Anti-Choicers – Omaha World Herald
Aborting Health Care Reform – RH Reality Check
If Obama Discards the Public Option, What’s Left of Reform? – The Nation
Mexico Strengthens Abortion Restrictions – IPS News