Friday, October 31, 2008

Pro-life...or Pro-punishment

Created by: Jillian

In an October 22nd post in Slate, Emily Bazelon shed light on a new law, planned to go into effect on November 1.

"Oklahoma's new statute dictates that either the doctor performing the abortion or a "certified technician working in conjunction" with that doctor do the ultrasound, "provide a simultaneous explanation of what the ultrasound is depicting," and also "display the ultrasound images so that the pregnant woman may view them." The law goes so far as to specify the doctor's script: The physician must describe the heartbeat and the presence of internal organs, fingers, and toes. The patient then has to certify in writing that the doctor or technician duly did all of this before the abortion. She can avert her eyes from the screen, the statute allows."

How in the world is that a "pro-life" position??

For some women (not all) that might be one of the most cruel experiences of their life. I just can't, for the life of me, understand a "movement" that preaches the sanctity of life one minute and then the next minute inflicts such pain on a living human being.

I hope that in the next four years, the anti-choice movement will decide to stop pushing laws that seek to punish women and start working on bills that seek to help them.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bush's Legacy in the Courts

We're all painfully aware that George W. Bush's appointments to the Supreme Court have turned it far to the right, and that another Republican administration may do irreparable damage. Lest we forget, Bush has brought the federal appeals courts to the far right as well. The Supreme Court gets far more attention, but it is in the appeals courts that more decisions are made.

Republican-appointed judges, many of them conservative ideologues, now hold the majority in 10 of the 13 circuits. Democratic appointees hold a slim majority in only one. While Republicans decry what they call "legislating from the bench", it is Bush's appointees who have upheld South Dakota law that forces doctors to inform women that abortions “terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique living human being” — using exactly that language. For more detail, check out the front-page article in today's New York Times.

Democrats have a filibuster-proof Senate majority in sight this election. Less than a week to go... it's critical to keep the pressure on!

Monday, October 27, 2008

DNA Testing...are we going too far?

Created by: Jillian

I want to hear what you think?
Check out this article on new DNA screening of fetuses.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Does Poll Show Support for Restrictions or Confusion on the Issue?!

Created by: Jillian

The Knights of Columbus released a poll on people's opinions on abortion. What do you think?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Chipping away at global access

As we all know, one of the great misnomers is that being anti-choice is somehow akin to holding a "pro-life" position. Yet under the so-called "pro-life" mantle, the Bush administration has extended its global policy in a way that will result in tens of thousands of additional abortions every year, as well as more women dying in childbirth.

In the last couple of weeks, the administration decided to cut off birth control supplies to some of the poorest women in the world. The U.S. Agency for International Development banned the supply of contraceptives to Marie Stopes International, one of the largest providers of health care and family planning to poor countries in Africa and Asia. You can learn more about the Bush ban, as well as the global outrage it has rightly garnered, by clicking here.

As reported in Nicholas Kristof's op-ed piece in today's New York Times:
"The irony and hypocricy of it is that this is a bone to the self-described 'pro-life' movement, but it will result in deaths to women who just want to space their births," said Dana Hovig, the chief executive of Marie Stopes International. The organization estimates that the result will be at least 157,000 additional unwanted pregnancies per year, leading to 62,000 additional abortions and 660 women dying in childbirth.
The cut-off in supply is predicated on the false assertion that Marie Stopes International has supported the use of forced abortions to enforce China's one-child policy. While the horrible reality is that China has used forced abortions in some of the poorest areas, the suggestion that Marie Stopes International participated is decidedly untrue.

The quote above may overstate the true numbers somewhat, since people in some of the larger African cities may have other access to contraception, but there is no doubt that the administration's actions will have devastating consequences in these nations. Marie Stopes International is the only provider of services in most rural areas, which leaves women in these areas with no viable alternatives.

McCain has supported Bush consistently on this issue, and there is no reason to believe he would reverse the administration's position in this case. This election not only has tremendous consequences to our own reproductive health, but it will directly affect the lives of millions of women globally.