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I’ve had this post on the back burner for months, since a commenter at Shakesville (I think) said, you could never get away with restricting men’s access to Viagra the way state legislatures have restricted women’s access to abortion in America.  And no, you couldn’t.  But interestingly enough, it’s pretty easy to make a set of arguments for restricting access to Viagra, that are pretty similar to the arguments for restricting access to abortion.  For the most part, all you have to do is search the text, and replace “woman” with “man”, “abortion” with “Viagra”, and “ends a human life” with “begins a human life”.  (If pre-born human life is that important to you, you should take its creation as seriously as its destruction.)  Then there are a few restrictions that claim they’re protecting women, and you just have to look at the flip-side: preventing men from hurting women.  For some of the restrictions, I’ve invented an imaginary evil radical feminist anti-het-sex conspiracy to substitute for the Religious Right.

Every restriction on access to Viagra I propose below, is either a fact of life, or a legislated restriction, on abortion in at least one, and often many, American states.  When the restrictions and their justifications are imposed on men, they look pretty radically man-hating (never mind that being unable to get a hardon is nowhere near as traumatic as going through childbirth against your will), but in their anti-abortion form, it’s not just fringe whackaloons making the arguments I’ll list, it’s people elected to public office. Read the rest of this entry »

Somedays you go looking for trouble, other days you just step in it.  On a whim I  followed a link from a discussion over at The Drudgeretort back to one of the commenters own little putrid slice of the blogosphere.  I was greeted by the  feverish ramblings of the delusional in favour stripping women of rights to her body.   Justified, of course,  by none other than the magic christain book of inanity that says its OKAY (unsurprisingly) to treat women like chattel.

Anti-choice, anti-rational, anti-woman - Religion for the Win!

We’re going to examine a particularly vile post advocating what seems to be the end of female bodily autonomy.  The author a thoroughly bizarre narrative stream of godbag tosh referring to the christian boogyman Satan as Mr. Beelzebub.  Laughable at the onset, the patronizing tone sets the stage for the upcoming anti-woman religious baffle gab.

Mr. Beelzebub says many things to make abortion appear as just another meaningless thought with no consequences or judgement from our Creator. Here’s a few stretches on abortion along with my statement in red:”  (I guess I’ll have to use green, as our delusional friend is using red to share his wisdom with us.  You know its going to be a wild ride in the land of Fail when you see “The Creator” capitalized in the first sentence.)

1.  It’s a womans body, so it’s her right. ( Her body is her temple, and God said to protect and take care of your temple. Her right is to protect the child within her temple because they are as one.)  

Well, it is actually a woman’s body, so what she does with it is her business.  “God said…” well that’s enough to invalidate any argument, so point number one is a wash. 

2.  It’s not a child, it’s nothing until it’s born. ( He labels the child ‘It’ to distance the child from mother.)

Oh, beware of the temptations of the ‘darkside’ of my mythology of choice and creates a straw man all at the same time.  “It” has several names as it matures inside the woman uterus, blastocyst, fetus etc.  Calling it a child at these stages is one of the time honoured anti-choice obfuscations of fact.  You can call an acorn an oak tree if you’d like, but you’d still be wrong.

3.  Feminism gave you the power, use it in all ways. ( With great power comes great responsibility and like anything, Feminism should call for the respect of others and remember that ”just because I can” is not a good reason.)

Wow, channelling the wisdom of Stan Lee and Spiderman to serve the religious whack-a-nut cause.  Stay tuned for the next biblical announcement from the Flash about the horrors of premature ejaculation (god hates that too).  Feminism does call for the respect of “others” namely women, you know, the half of society that the religious wish to disenfranchise and marginalize.  Feminism argues that women should be treated like well, people,  as opposed to incubators.  

4.  Abortion clinics beats mass wire hanger abortion. (The ends doesn’t justify the means.  Legal abortion has caused irreversible harm to way more souls, the living and the unborn.)

    I have no idea what the point in black means other than that yes indeed, having a medical professional perform an abortion is much safer than illegal means.  Misogyny is always ugly, but it is contemptibly vile when dressed in the tattered religious trappings attempting to masquerade as ‘ethical’. 

Newsflash: Women will seek abortion whether it is legal are not, and by what you have said its okay for more of them to die because they cannot access the procedure withing the relative safety of hospital or clinic.  But murdering women for god is nothing new for christians, hello Inquisition.  

4.  These are unwanted fetuses and they will be an unwanted children left for tax payers to take care of. ( So we’re prejudging millions of souls, we’re suppose to judge before knowing, how is this Godly?)

     God kills millions of babies every month, every year etc.  Ever notice that thing that happens to women oh..once a month…all that egg goodness gets washed away.  Coupled with the fact that roughly 2/3 of fertilized eggs don’t implant and get exuded means your sky-daddy is all about the murder from stage one. 

Oh and you’ll have to prove there is a soul in the first place for any of  the above horsepucky to make sense. 

5.  Why make a female suffer through child-birth when raped, molested or she has medical issues where death is possible while giving birth. ( The devil is good at throwing in arguments that will make us go hmm. This is the debate we should be having regarding abortions, not the all out, everything goes policy we have now.)

That darned devil, making arguments for the idea that women are autonomous human beings and have the right to choose what goes on in their bodies. The whole idea smacks of  freedom, equality and justice.  Therefore, the religious must be against it.

“As Christians we shouldn’t [sic] except abortions as a necessary evil to protect us from us. [You certainly don’t have to, but for the rest of us who are not afflicted with jebus on the brain, piss-off.]We can also acknowledge ones right to choose, but hold firm to the idea of right and wrong choices[Decided on by who?  You amazing moral guide written by the supreme being who in his commandments made no mention of rape?  The bible is no place even to start a reasonable ethical system]. Have we gotten so soft on whats wrong that it just don’t matter anymore [I’m sorry about your problem :)].  Well it matters, when so many loose their way and open up to sin, it affects us all [citation needed], and I refuse to voluntarily surrender my soul to this foolishness, I will be no part [You make it sound like giving something up that you most likely don’t have is some sort of big deal.  It isn’t.].”

And there you have it folks, partriarchally approved anti-woman, anti-choice religious douche-baggery at it finest.  Isn’t the inherent misogyny grand? Damn women wanting a voice of what goes on in their bodies…the nerve.    

 

 

 

The anti-choice crowd, is once again basing arguments and drawing conclusions on faulty data.  Unsurprisingly though, we’ll still be seeing the talking points based on said data for quite awhile.  The Guttmacher Institute reports the following:

“Studies claiming to find a relationship between abortion and subsequent mental health problems often suffer from serious methodological limitations that invalidate their conclusions.”

Whoops!  Evidence based medicine has never been a particularly strong point with the anti-choice crowd.

“In a new analysis, Julia Steinberg, of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Lawrence Finer, of the Guttmacher Institute show that the findings of a 2009 study by Priscilla Coleman et al—which claimed that women who had reported an abortion were at an increased risk of several anxiety, mood and substance use disorders, compared with women who had never had an abortion—are not replicable.”

What a surprise, the “post-abortion syndrome” meme is most likely just another tactic to bully and scare women into not exercising their bodily autonomy.

“We were unable to reproduce the most basic tabulations of Coleman and colleagues,” says Steinberg, postdoctoral fellow at UCSF. “Moreover, their findings were logically inconsistent with other published research—for example, they found higher rates of depression in the last month than other studies found during respondents’ entire lifetimes. This suggests that their results are substantially inflated.”

“Antiabortion activists have relied on questionable science in their efforts to push inclusion of the concept of ‘post-abortion syndrome’ in both clinical practice and law,” says Finer, director of domestic research at the Guttmacher Institute. “Our inability to replicate the findings of the Coleman study makes it clear that research claiming to find relationships between abortion and poor mental health indicators should be subjected to close scrutiny.”

It is important to combat the canards the anti-choicers lob towards women.  Poor science and the conclusions drawn from it must be debunked and brought to heel quickly as destructive memes such as “post-abortion syndrome” while being patently false, can do much to impinge upon the reproductive freedom of women as a whole.

See here for the study mentioned above and here for more information about the supporting evidence.

Whoops, not Canadian, no reproductive rights for you!

The Conservative government of Canada once again proves that it is anti-choice, anti-rational and anti-woman.  The CBC said:

“A Liberal motion to include a broader range of family planning programs, including contraception, in a maternal health initiative for developing countries, was defeated 144-138 in the House of Commons Tuesday.”

A Liberal motion in the house of commons that was based on fact and evidence in the field was voted down.

“The motion tabled by Liberal foreign affairs critic Bob Rae said Canada’s maternal health proposal to G8 nations must be based on “scientific evidence, which proves that education and family planning can prevent as many as one in every three maternal deaths” and refrain from the “failed right-wing ideologies” of former U.S. president George W. Bush.”

Shocking as it may seem to the CPC, access to reproductive services saves lives.

“Earlier in the day, Rae said the government has refused to acknowledge scientific evidence that shows reducing deaths of women during childbirth in developing countries is inextricably linked to the availability of family planning”

So rather than own up to their anti-woman, anti-science platform the Conservatives decide this is an attempt to reopen the abortion debate?  How the frack does this make sense?  The question of Abortion in Canada has been settled legally (Access to facilities though is another story).   Women have the legal right to access abortions and other health services when they deem fit.  Nothing to debate.  What minister Oda says is just a sad attempt to cover the Canadian government’s twisted socially conservative roots.

Denying Women Rights World Wide - A compassionate conservative.

“Oda described the Liberal motion as a “transparent attempt to reopen the abortion debate that we have clearly said we have no intention to getting into.”

She insisted the government understands the urgency of ensuring that women can have a safe, healthy pregnancy, and she cited statistics suggesting that as many as 80 per cent of deaths during childbirth are easily preventable by providing basic needs such as clean water and access to trained health-care workers.”

Just be open with us Bev, the freedoms Canadian women have should not apply to women of other countries, after-all it is God given right for a woman to die in childbirth.

I keep wondering why certain things are not just pushed through the legislative process in the US.  George Bush was excellent and getting his boneheaded policy through congress and the senate.

As Jill from Feministe says:  Katha Pollitt hits it out of the park. An excerpt from her article :

You know what I don’t want to hear right now about the Stupak-Pitts amendment banning abortion coverage from federally subsidized health insurance policies? That it’s the price of reform, and prochoice women should shut up and take one for the team. “If you want to rebuild the American welfare state,” Peter Beinart writes in the Daily Beast, “there is no alternative” than for Democrats to abandon “cultural” issues like gender and racial equality. Hey, Peter, Representative Stupak and your sixty-four Democratic supporters, Jim Wallis and other antichoice “progressive” Christians, men: why don’t you take one for the team for a change and see how you like it?

For example, budget hawks in Congress say they’ll vote against the bill because it’s too expensive. Maybe you could win them over if you volunteered to cut out funding for male-exclusive stuff, like prostate cancer, Viagra, male infertility, vasectomies, growth-hormone shots for short little boys, long-term care for macho guys who won’t wear motorcycle helmets and, I dunno, psychotherapy for pedophile priests. Men could always pay in advance for an insurance policy rider, as women are blithely told they can do if Stupak becomes part of the final bill.

President Obama, too, worries about the deficit. Maybe you could help him out by sacrificing your denomination’s tax exemption. The Catholic Church would be a good place to start, and it wouldn’t even be unfair, since the blatant politicking of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops on abortion violates the spirit of the ban on electoral meddling by tax-exempt religious institutions. Why should antichoicers be the only people who get to refuse to let their taxes support something they dislike? You don’t want your tax dollars to pay, even in the most notional way, for women’s abortion care, a legal medical procedure that one in three American women will have in her lifetime? I don’t want to pay for your misogynist fairy tales and sour-old-man hierarchies.


Great article.  I just hope that Stupak-Pitts is a stillborn amendment.  Women must not take another hit because of the radical christian rights inroads into politics.

Sometimes here at DWR headquarters I get a little discouraged by all the people whose beliefs are so horribly vapidly wrong about the reproductive issues women face.

UNreproductiveissues ENTER THE UN: with little snippets such as :

  • All women have access to contraception to avoid unintended pregnancies
  • All pregnant women have access to skilled care at the time of birth
  • All those with complications have timely access to quality emergency obstetric care.

Wow, people working to actually help women, instead of stripping them of their rights.

I’m not one to pull punches here at DWR, but sometimes you gotta farm out the smack-down.  What Pedgehog from Anti-Choice is Anti-Awesome has to say about the people protesting at the clinic.  Read the whole post here.

“[…]Also, one thing I want to set straight – you guys are not saving babies. I have worked here for over two years and I’ve never seen one woman change her mind because of the protesters. Some of them change their minds, of course, but for their own reasons. The closest the protesters come to changing minds is when women drive by and are too intimidated or scared by the protesters to come in. If that’s how you want to “save” “babies”, by bullying women into continuing pregnancies, then congratulations. You are absolute scum. […]”

Good show Pedgehog, we appreciate you manning the front-lines against the induhviduals who wish to denude women of their reproductive freedom.

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