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The murder of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller on May 31st has resulted in a lot of conversation about abortion. It’s a topic frequently hushed, or spoken about more around its politics than the actual procedure, the experience itself and the real women who have abortions. So this increased discussion is certainly something potentially positive happening because of something horribly tragic. More discussion around anything which is or may be treated as unspeakable is always a good thing.
However, often in these conversations and news stories, language is used that's confusing or inaccurate, and some statements are made about abortion or women who choose abortion which are false, unrepresentative or misleading. And any of this can come from either “side” of abortion debates or discussions, due to political aims or motivations, ideological ideas or agendas or just out of plain old ignorance. Just like a whole lot of people don't know the finer points of open-heart surgery, a lot of pRead more...
All of us who work at clinics that provide abortion, or as abortion or reproductive rights educators or advocates know we do so at substantial risk. Women who come to our clinics as clients also know that they, too, may be at risk. The slaying of Dr. Tiller yesterday is tragic and upsetting, but it is not surprising or new. We didn’t become scared for the first time yesterday. We’ve always been scared, and we have always had cause to be scared.
The independent clinic I work for part-time had a branch firebombed three times in 1983 until it shut down. In 1988, via Operation Rescue, unending and intense harassment of children from demonstrators in another of our clinics forced us to close our on-site clinic childcare center for clients and staff. And our clinic, despite being one of the 40 or so in the U.S. which provides procedures through the second trimester like Tiller's did (though Tiller’s was one of but three to go past 25 weeks to 28 weeks, the legal limit), could very wellRead more...
This is about a recent scare of mine at the dentist or how a misdiagnosis almost cost me hundreds of dollars and unnecessary pain and surgery. However, before I talk about that specific experience, I'd like to share my back story.
In many ways, it's the bane of my existence. Kids are just not part of my plan right now, and as much as I wish it were possible, the technology to shut my ovaries off at will for any length of time has not yet been developed. (Anyone who figures out how to do that will have my eternal gratitude. I might even make them cupcakes, I would be so grateful.) So, seeing as how I'm with a partner of the opposite sex, some sort of pregnancy prevention is required.
When I first became sexually active, condoms by themselves were just fine. I've never had one break or slip off, and for a couple of years there all was well. Until my mother found out. She was fine with the idea of me having sex. The idea of me not being on some sort of hormonal birth control? That, she was not so fine with. Cue major maternal freakout and a trip to the doctor to get me a prescription for the pill. (I should say that this was not forced upon me - I had been thinking at that point that havRead more...
I'm 21 years old and my boyfriend is 52. The age difference does not matter to me or to him but it bothers me that our families do not approve of the relationship. We love each other and even want to get married. Our sex life is great, we are on the same level spiritually and have lot in common. I just need some advice dealing with peoples' reactions to our relationship (family, friends and even strangers!). As far as family goes, his family does not tolerate me, they think I have some kind of conspiracy to hurt him. They think I'm going to use him and break his heart, they cannot believe that I truly love him. My family (especially my mom) is more understanding, he spends time at my house, etc. My biggest concern is that we will not be able to be happy (if we get married) because people disapprove of our relationship. I'm used to people looking at us and wondering if we're a couple or not but it bothers me when they try to make us feel bad by giving us the "look." How can we tell people to get off our backs about our relationship without being rude? Thanks for your help.
In an advice answer on Crisis Pregnancy Centers here at Scarleteen, and also reprinted for my column at RH Reality Check, I originally included a link to a hotline -- the American Pregnancy Helpline -- as one option for women looking for support with a pregnancy they wanted to sustain rather going than to a CPC.
I unfortunately, and very unintentionally, proved my own point in the piece too well.
The point is how easy it can be to be fooled by CPCs, even when you're pretty savvy, aware of practices CPCs typically employ and even when you're writing an article in protest of them. I -- and others -- appear to have been duped into thinking a site and organization was respectful of women's right to choose, when, in fact, it was itself a CPC and a funnel to other CPCs.
I gave the link because when women choosing to continue a pregnancy are seeking help, they deserve to find it, and I thought some might be found there. I -- as I made clear in that article -- would never want to send a woRead more...
Me and my boyfriend have had unprotected sex about 3 times times within the last month, but I don't know the exact dates. I didn't know before that pre-cum had sperm in it, so I thought we were safe with the whole pregnancy issue if he just "pulled out," but when I read more about it, I realized I was wrong! The last time we had unprotected sex, he told me that got a little cum inside me, which really worried us both. It's been about two weeks since the last time we had unprotected sex and I have been having stomach aches and headaches and major mood swings and I have been peeing A LOT! I took two over-the-counter pregnancy tests and they both said negative, but I am worried that I may have taken the tests too early because my period is irregular (sometimes every few months) so I never know when it is going to be so I don't know if I have missed it yet or not. I am very worried. Could I be pregnant and how can I make sure? If I am pregnant, I'm gonna get an abortion. I live in Gillette Wyoming. Since I am 13 & my bf is 18 my mom told us we are not "allowed" to have sex, so if she found out she would press charges against him (which I don't want to happen) so I was wondering if there was any close places that I could get an abortion without telling my parents.