Today marks the 30th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark agreement that made safe, medical abortion legal in the US for women in 1973 (thousands of years after it was legal in ancient Greece, but I digress).
On a personal note, it is also the 10th anniversary this week of the abortion I had ten years ago, a choice I still feel was the best choice I could have made then. I've spent my day today doing various projects and pieces on the topic, pertaining both to my personal experiences and to protecting reproductive choice.
What's disconcerting to me is to discover how many young women apparently don't even know about the case, or know that abortion was ever NOT legal, that for a very long time in the US, women could NOT legally choose to abort, that many women were injured or died due to illegal abortions (and many doctors, clinicians and nurses who work in clinics now are faced with a heck of a lot of violence and terrorism), and that many who opted not to abort in a land of non-choice were often hidden away in homes where pregnant young women would be unseen.
Are there any of you who are/were unaware of these things?
That said I wanted to offer up some links today to educate yourselves on some history and background in terms of the issues and where they reach, should you need it.
Should you wish to participate in an online rally to protect choice, and view a very good multimedia piece on the matter from Planned Parenthood, check out: http://www.rallyforchoice.org
For more discussion, it might be interesting to hear how many of you have made personal choices with an accidental pregnancy, including but not limited to abortion, or have heard first-person stories from those close to you about abortion, before or after the Roe decision.
(Per always, please keep any discussion about your OWN choices and thoughts about YOUR body -- ST isn't okay with assigning choices or taking them away from others in terms of reproductive rights.)
While I haven't had a personal encounter myself with accidental pregnancy, I did have a run-in last year with some pro-life protesters who were haunting the local high schools with enormous colour signs of aborted fetesus. At the time, I was a teen journalist for the local paper, so I wrote an article voicing my displeasure that not only were these graphic signs in full view of the elementary school that was near my high school, but my high school was the only one in the region that had an in-school daycare for teen moms. To me, it was unacceptable and unfair to both the teens who had chosen to give birth when they got pregnant, and also to the women in the building who decided to have abortions.
Basically in my article, I gave basic definitions of all the abortion jargon floating around (pro-choice, anti-choice, pro-life, etc.), as well as my personal stance on the subject at the time (I used to be pro-choice for all, but pro-life for myself) and suggestions for people wishing to promote either pro-life or pro-choice in healthy, non-sensationalistic ways.
After a day or two, the letters to the editor came in. One accused me of being a fence-sitter, and I should pick a side or 'go to hell'. Another said that sensational tactics were the only way to send the message that abortion. Is. Wrong., and if schools taught abstinence more often, they wouldn't be necessary. Thankfully, despite the conservativeness of my city, there was really a much smaller outcry than I anticipated, and once the hoo-ha had died down, a few letters congratulating me on tackling tough issues with sensitivity also showed up, and that meant more to me than anything. As far as I know, that particular group left soon after my article, and didn't come back. They were probably just moving on to the next town, but I like to think I helped them along.
As far as my choice goes now, I feel that if the situation should come up, I would have an abortion. Financially, mentally, practically, having a child would be far too difficult for me at this time in my life. Of course, I can't really say for sure until I find myself in that situation, but I feel confident that I've weighed how I feel about all options, and also that I practice safer sex so I hopefully will never have to find out.
But I could never condemn someone else for their choices regarding this issue. When people's bodies are starting to be policed, it gets too close to big brotherism for my taste.
(BTW: there's an excellent thread of personal stories over at 3WA.
I have, luckily, never had to make that choice. But I did have a pregnancy scare back in October. It was absolutely terrifying. I was really lucky: there's a hospital nearby, where my visits are covered, I got there quickly and got EC.
I think ST is hugely important: without it, I would never have known that EC existed, or what it did.
The doctor I saw honestly disapointed me. She prescribed it to me, but I found out later, she gave me the least-effective product. The pharmacist luckily picked up on it, and I got a much more effetive EC. I was lucky to be able to shell out the money: I had some saved up (on ST's advice)
But waiting to know was terrifying. The options are so daunting. I am a firm believer in having choice, even though it wouldn't have been MY choice.
My boyfriend and I had sat down prior (thank goodness!) and had talked over what we would do, so we knew where the other stood. It was a gut-wrenching 2 weeks. We researched our options- from adoption to abortion, and I've never been so glad to see the little blue line.
I've done a lot of research on abortion, mostly for English, and religion prjects with school and University. I still find it's a topic that people are uncomfortable with, and tend to shy away from. I have tremendous respect for anyone who has made that choice- it must be SO difficult. But you made it through (the universal you) and while it will never go away, take comfort in knowing that you were strong enough, and had the right, to choose.
quote:Originally posted by Miz Scarlet: (and many doctors, clinicians and nurses who work in clinics now are faced with a heck of a lot of violence and terrorism)
My mom works in a CLSC and they have problems with that. I don't know many details in the story, my parents are the not-a-word-in-front-of-the-kids type, so I only overheard the conversation. Basically, my dad was asking my mom to stop working on the abortion project because of death menaces they had gotten. She replied she wouldn't because she wasn't part of the main team, she was just helping and offering suggestions, and her name wouldn't appear on the papers anyway.
Last year in morale class we talked about abortion, the teacher taught us the history of abortion in Canada (or maybe only Quebec?), important trials about it, what they used to do before it was legal... She also made a list of pro-choice and pro-life arguments. It was very interesting, and I'm glad we worked on it before the sex ed term, because by then she wasn't our teacher anymore (and that was sad because she really knew what she was talking about).
I've never been pregnant, or had an abortion, but I still feel that if that situation arises, I feel that I and everyone else should have a choice. That said, I went to sign the petition, but was frustrated to find that as I'm not in the USA I couldnt fill out the required fields. Basically, I was just wondering if there is anyway that I could make my voice heard in the UK, as I feel this is an important issue.
Lastly, thanks to Mizz Scarlet for posting this topic.
Here in Buffalo, NY, the Army of God came to rally in support of James Kopp on said anniversary. (Kopp is the admitted murderer of Barnett Slepian, who was shot here in 1998.) The rally and counter-demonstration was entirely peaceful, on the physical level.
As far as the whole "let's shoot people to stop killing" thing goes, I fail to see the immediate logic or any theological backing for it. Last time I checked, Jesus didn't go around murdering sinners.
------------------ Sapphire Cat, a feline who can be both pink and blue...
There is a clinic about 15 driving minutes away from me that offers abortions as an option, there are always people out there protesting, with pictures of dead babies..i think this is wrong. Does anyone else feel it is gross what they are doing? Not gross as in there are dead babies, because that IS what an abortion does pretty much...kills an unwanted baby. But gross because they are pretty much attacking someones right to do what they want to their body. I have never seen people outside of a piercing parlor protesting...i guess it is sorta different...
Posts: 92 | Registered: Jan 2003
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Well, you may want to talk to a medical student about that.
The sentiment aside, the visuals shown are images of fetuses WAY later in their development than fetuses are at the time of a legal abortion.
And any med student or doctor knows that because they've seen the difference.
And if it bothers you, a good thing to do is to GO to that clinic and see if they need volunteer escorts for women coming in during those protests: it's a needed service.
It's also worth noting that clinic violence is huge and ongoing: it's not rare and it's not in small isolated incidents. There are thousands, sometimes tens of thousands, of reports of clinic violence -- harassment, bomb threats, vandalism, etc. -- every year in the US.
I can handle false advertisement when it comes to seeing juicy tender looking burgers on an ad, then going to burger king and it is bland dry...icky food, but the dead babies and stuff...now that is just wrong. I think its a good idea to become an escort at an abortion clinic, I might go and volunteer. It is so silly for them to send bomb threats and vandalize property, that is creating more hate crimes. Make love not war! (when you DO make love tho...be sure to wrap your whacker lol!)
Posts: 92 | Registered: Jan 2003
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quote:Not gross as in there are dead babies, because that IS what an abortion does pretty much...kills an unwanted baby.
Well, no, it doesn't. Whatever your feelings about abortion, a fetus isn't the same as a newborn baby.
For example, doctors and researchers agree that a fetus doesn't have any capacity to feel pain or experience suffering (which a baby certainly does) until relatively late in gestation - probably well after the limit for legal abortion (and remember that 90% of abortions take place in the first trimester, at the end of which the fetus is just a few inches long).
Can abortion pills be assigned to someone from their doctor without going to an abortion clinic? Do protesters protest only surgical abortion, or all forms. In my mind, I don't think many women would have an abortion unless under severe conditions, and the people outside protesting most likely can't do anything to change the mind of the person wanting to get an abortion...they shouldn't waste their time...perhaps they could make quilts or something...send them to cold people...make good use of their time.Either way, I am really considering volunteering at an abortion clinic. What other types of volunteer work do they have at one?
[This message has been edited by janedoe101 (edited 02-03-2003).]
I do abortion clinic escorting once a month. It's a pretty easy way to make a concrete difference. The only requirements are to be able to stand outside for a few hours, be comfortable greeting and walking with women, and stay calm in the face of the protesters who try to harrass the women coming into the clinic. Some clinics have an age minimum of 16 or 18.
------------------ You were never no locomotive, Sunflower, you were a sunflower! -Allen Ginsberg
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