“I was persuaded by feminist attorneys to lie”

TRIGGER WARNING: the video mentioned below might be upsetting to viewers, as it contains shaming language and pictures of aborted fetuses.

Shortly before the presidential election, former abortion activist Norma McCorvey–previously known as Jane Roe, the plaintiff in Roe v. Wade–released an anti-choice video that urged Americans not to vote for president Obama.

In the video, McCorvey states that she was persuaded by “feminist attorneys” to lie about being raped and wanting an abortion. McCorvey also says that President Obama is a “baby killer” since he supports reproductive rights and abortion.
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George Carlin – Pro-Life is Anti-Woman

The featured clip includes some profanities and may be triggering.

For many of us abortion is a very serious issue. We are clearly pro-choice and therefore focus on women’s reproductive rights, choices and agency. Pro-lifers on the other hand focus on preserving the fetus, often believing that those who are pro-choice are murderers, or baby killers. Just read the book (which is suppose to be objective, but is clearly pro-life biased) Understanding Abortion: From Mixed Feelings to Rational Thought by Stephen D. Schwarz with Kiki Latimer.

Even though this video is a few years old, it is just as relevant and relatable to today. Comedian George Carlin discusses how pro-life is anti-woman, while giving some hilarious examples along the way:

“Pro-life conservatives are obsessed with the fetus, from conception to nine months. After that they don’t want to know about you. They don’t want to hear from you. No nothing. No neonatal care, no daycare, no head start, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothing. If you are pre-born, you’re fine, if you are pre-school, you’re f#*ked”.

After dealing with the views of Todd Akin, Mitt Romney, and Norma McCorvey among others it is nice to laugh a little.

“October Baby,” and the Insidious Propaganda Which Forgets the Quiet Awe of God

Image courtesy of imdb.com

The anti-choice film “October Baby” was inspired by the true story of a young woman who, in late adolescence, discovers that her health issues are related to a late and failed abortion. (The woman whose story is credited with inspiring the film,  Gianna Jessen, is now an anti-choice activist.) And like all individual true stories, this represents a slice of reality.

One can be moved by the tears of the heroine who fights against health problems and does not know where she is in her own life. When the heroine says “life is a lie,” that could affect anyone. Of course, this story can also touch people because anyone going through difficult times, whatever they may be, in life may enter into an identification process with the heroine. This could even be a catharsis for some. But pay very close attention to the intentions of the filmmakers.

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Life Choices: The Teachings of Abortion

This month at Feminists for Choice we’ve been making a conscious effort to count our blessings and consider all we have to be thankful for. I can’t help but think I have the universe to thank for bringing Linda Weber, a pioneer feminist with over forty years of abortion counseling experience, and her book, Life Choices: The Teachings of Abortion, into my life at this particular time to help me recognize mine. Weber has a gift for making the most profound matters of human existence seem approachable, even debatable, without making them seem any less profound from the discussing.

Much of this comes from the fact that she is fearless where others might turn away–or wish away–or never face in the first place. I absolutely believe in a woman’s right to have an abortion, so I was surprised by my initial reaction to the book’s subtitle. But there it was. Uncomfortably. “The Teachings of Abortion?” “Teachings?” Didn’t that seem too … upbeat? Too celebratory?  It wasn’t until I had started reading that I realized I had made exactly the sort of judgment Weber avoids. (And exactly the sort of judgment abortion opponents are counting on.) Where I was feeling there was either good or bad, Weber illustrates patiently, time and again, that there is only experience, and it is rarely uncomplicated. (And rarely, is it communicated with precision like this: “The moral position of most women in the abortion decision is neither pro-life nor pro-choice.”) [Read more...]

MTV’s Influence on Pro-Choice Attitudes

A recent poll from the Public Religion Research Institute revealed some striking attitudes about abortion. The survey of 3,000 adults found that while 56 percent of respondents believed that abortion should be legal in all or most instances, an almost equal number—52 percent—say that abortion is morally wrong. In addition, 70 percent of respondents identified as pro-choice, while almost two-thirds said they were anti-abortion.

What I found most interesting, however, was the influence that pop culture had on some respondents. According to the study:

Americans who have seen MTV’s shows “Teen Mom” or “16 and Pregnant” are significantly more likely than the general public to say that abortion should be legal in all or most cases (65% vs. 56% of the public) and to say that having an abortion is morally acceptable (48% vs. 40% of the public). They are also nearly twice as likely as those who have not seen these shows to say that at least some health care professionals in their communities should provide legal abortions (65% vs. 34% respectively).

“16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” have both drawn a significant amount of flack for ignoring the issue of abortion, and also for glamorizing teen pregnancy. While I’m in the camp that criticized the former, I always found the latter argument a bit ridiculous. The teens profiled on both shows are perpetually stressed out, undereducated, struggling financially, and more often than not raising their children as single parents (with varying degrees of family support). But aside from a stand-alone special aired by the network last December, neither series seemed too eager to address abortion head-on; any discussion of that option was usually dealt with in a brief conversation, if that.  [Read more...]

Michael Steele Interview on Rachel Maddow

I had heard and read much about Michael Steele, but had not actually heard him speak the interview on Rachel Maddow last week.  And I think I’m beginning to understand why the Republicans were so harsh on him–I actually like him and appreciate his candor, even if I disagree with many of his political positions.  I think Michael Steel may hold the dream pro-choice/pro-life position. Well, he would if he would stick to his guns. Last night he, so poignantly, said in regard to abortion you have to look at the entire situation. You have to understand where people are coming from and respect their choices and respect the law.  Steele advocates for pro-life, but clearly made the distinction between a hard nosed linear position on the issue and a 360 understanding and respect for women.  If you missed the interview you can watch it here.

I think Michael Steele’s position is the ultimate goal for the conservative position on abortion. Its not about convincing people that abortion is good or right or always medically necessary, its about respecting women and showing understanding and compassion for the whole picture, not just one narrow view point. This goes for both sides of the issues. Those who do not hold the religious opinion and opposition to abortion still need to respect those with whom they disagree.

And there needs to be that third option in the debate–for people who are personally against abortion but understand that life is difficult and complicated and cannot be ruled by a narrow perspective. These are the people that need to be heard. Not the extremists who attempt to advocate for the unborn by murdering the mother. I make the argument again and again, what I call the for-life position, if you are truly interested in lowering the abortion rate, then you don’t advocate for more restrictive abortion laws because they only lead to the increase of illegal and medically unsafe procedures that unnecessarily endangers the lives of more women. To truly work to lower the abortion rate, then advocate for more access to reproductive care, comprehensive sex education and contraceptives like candy–available everywhere.

Oh PETA. You Never Fail to Horribly Disappoint

I tried to find an image for PETA and all I could find were pictures of naked women. Epic fail PETA.

Wow PETA. Wow.

I mean, seriously? I shouldn’t be surprised. As has been written about on this site again and again and again, PETA is about as misogynistic an organization as they get. But this is beyond the pale.

This proposed billboard and press release essentially embodies the fundamental argument against abortion, which is that the woman doesn’t matter. I can’t…I don’t even know what to say. I am fuming right now. If anyone still had any thoughts that PETA might be a feminist organization, or even a feminist-friendly organization, I think this should clearly show it is not. PETA, much like pro-life, thinks of women merely as cattle.

Actually, I guess for PETA cattle gets a step above women.

ALL About Lobbying–and Tax Evasion

Check out the ALL Logo on this sign

Check out the ALL logo in the corner!

U.S. tax code limits the political activities of 501(3)c organizations–basically, non-profits can’t participate directly in political campaigns, nor are they allowed to use a large percentage of their funds for lobbying activities.

The American Life League (ALL) has been caught doing just that. Clearly visible in the corner of the anti-healthcare reform sign (above) is the ALL logo.

Of course, the technicalities of the IRS code and the specifics of the ALL case will likely be sorted out in court. They may not ever be found guilty of anything.
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The intersection of pro-life and pro-choice

I could certainly see myself identifying as pro-life, but never in the way that the current movement defines itself.  The problem is that life and choice are not at opposing ends of the spectrum, and considering that the debate is about choice, and not about life, I will happily take the moniker of pro-choice.

The weird thing to me is that the “pro-life” movement actually has very little to do with the protection of life, but rather is centered around being invasive and robbing contemporary womyn of their agency, rights and choice.  The way I see it is that this debate has little, if anything, to do with abortion or access to it.  A responsible pro-life advocate would take a harms reduction strategy, because the cold truth is: no matter the legal status of abortion, abortions will happen.  This means that the most responsible strategy would be to make the abortions that will happen safe and affordable, and to create an atmosphere that gives womyn options to decrease the need for abortion.  But that’s not what happens, rather there is a movement that shuns birth control, sex education and open sexual discourse. [Read more...]

Military Spouses, Freedom & Choice

Being the spouse of an active duty U.S. Marine has its benefits, for sure. Of course, it also has its drawbacks. I have a little of both on my mind at the moment.

One major benefit is that I have very good health coverage, for a decent price. Our premium is $28.00/month. The most I pay for a prescription is $3.00/30 day supply, and I usually don’t have to pay that. Prescriptions filled at a base pharmacy are free. I have access to world class medical professionals–providers who are federal employees (or are military themselves) and are salaried. They don’t prescribe pills just because they had a visit from the drug rep and they aren’t concerned about profits, so their advice isn’t guided by an ulterior motive.

There is a catch, (or two) of course.
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