Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Tagged: abortion

Abortion Stigma is Global

By Leila Hessini, Director of Community Mobilization & Youth Leadership at Ipas Abortions have existed since time immemorial and are one of the most common and safest medical procedures. But the stigma that often surrounds abortion and anyone associated with it—women, providers, pharmacists and advocates—contributes to abortion’s social, medical and legal marginalization. At Ipas, we know that stigmatizing abortion is inherently harmful to women’s health — preventing them from getting the care they deserve. When abortion is inaccessible either legally, financially or physically, women are more likely to delay receiving care, suffer from trying to pull together the resources needed or turn to unsafe methods of pregnancy termination. Abortion stigma plays out on so many levels. Women who need abortions face stigma and may even perpetuate it, as do providers of abortion… Read more »

Are we ready?

The headline read: “Surrogate offered $10,000 to abort baby” Let me begin by saying that I really don’t have an answer for this. With this situation there is no moral or ethical high ground to stand on. But this story leaves us with a lot of questions that we must begin to ask ourselves with this new age of medicine upon us. If you haven’t read this story, stop now and read it. I will recap it just in case. A couple pays a surrogate $22,000 to carry their child. Their contract stipulates that in the case of extreme defects, the surrogate will terminate the pregnancy. Indeed, the fetus began to develop many life-threatening problems. Couple asks that the surrogate mom have mercy on the fetus and to not continue… Read more »

Alabama Legislators Try to Pull a Mississippi

If you haven’t been keeping up with reproductive rights happenings in the Southern states, no worries! Here’s what happened on Plea, a dramedy about a group of young adults in Alabama who can’t access birth control because their state legislators are nincompoops! Several weeks ago, the Alabama House of Reps introduced HB-57, a measure which would require abortion clinics to have a doctor present for every procedure. While this seems okey-dokey in print, HB-57 is really just one of many sneaky bills designed to hurt—not help—clinics and those seeking out abortions. This legislation imposes unnecessary and costly restrictions on providers in the hopes that they will be forced to shut down. The representative who is sponsoring this bill is Mary Sue McClurkin, a woman who is presumably not of reproductive… Read more »

Looking in the Fun-house Mirror: Decoding Anti-Choice Spin

This post is written by Kate Londen, Choice USA Communications Manager Do you ever look at anti-choice news websites? I wouldn’t recommend it, unless you want to spend a good hour or so hate-clicking on sensationally titled articles out of a masochistic fascination. Reading their take on things is like looking in a fun-house mirror. Abortion causes breast cancer. Planned Parenthood is an abortion mill. Contraception ruins sex.  You thought Beyoncé’s super bowl performance was awesome, right? Nope, it turned our children into guinea pigs for “an unfettered, out of control social experiment.” Up is down, down is up. But sometimes news comes down that is unequivocally pro-choice.  What do anti-choice news site do then? Spin, baby, spin… and sometimes straight up lie. For example, earlier this month two separate reports were… Read more »

Kansas Activists Are Not Giving Up

For the second time in one month, Kansas activists descended upon the state capitol to ensure that all of our voices are being heard. On February 4th, with the help of Choice USA, we raised our concerns to legislators concerning the impending catch-all abortion bill. Soon after the bill was officially introduced as HB2253 and named: AN ACT concerning abortion; relating to the funding of abortion services; relating to restrictions on late-term abortions; relating to the woman’s right-to-know act.   Of course we couldn’t stop there. Organized by Kansas NOW, a group of more than 40 pink wearing advocates from Wichita, El Dorado, Manhattan, Lawrence, Kansas City and Topeka packed the statehouse to bear testimony in front of the committee. I personally was unable to attend but I did give… Read more »

Philosophies of the Womb

Do we base our politics on our philosophy, or are our philosophies based on our politics? This is a question that I will begin to explore this semester in my Ethics of Dying course that I’m taking at the University. I find myself continually thinking about politics without really understanding the meaning of why I hold these personal beliefs, too often I think. What does it really mean to be progressive of thought, pro-choice, and accepting of unique identities? How do our experiences of self shape the way we think about others? Being prompted to really examine my belief system is mostly distressing at the beginning stages, but for me that stems from the desire to justify my feelings, which in the world of philosophy, isn’t completely necessary. For further… Read more »

Heart Beats in the Heartland

This past Monday I had the opportunity, along with 25 other students across Kansas, to express my concerns regarding a piece of legislature that has been introduced once again concerning abortion restrictions. – HOUSE BILL No. 2253, Introduced by the Committee on Federal and State Affairs. After having lobbying trainings the day before, we set out to Topeka with one mission: to defeat this bill before it even gets introduced. Knowing this highly unlikely, we came equipped with confidence and personal anecdotes. Each group according to geographic location was divided into smaller groups to meet with their representatives. Some of these meetings were scheduled and some we just dropped in. From a few of their reactions they didn’t know what hit them when 10 of us walked through the door… Read more »

The Yellow Brick Road to Freedom

To me writing about Roe v. Wade in 2013 is really just a practice in futility. On the 40th anniversary of this watershed moment in the history of civil liberties in America, it is spent celebrating the victories of our elders, while others march in mourning. For the past week the thought that’s been running through my head is – so what? As a woman of child bearing age, what is Roe really doing for me these days? I know this seems harsh and you may think I should be sitting here telling you all the great things Roe has provided for me and millions of other women. I don’t mean it to take away the historical significance – I agree it was huge. Key word: was. 40 years after… Read more »

Roe v. Wade: to 40 years, Infinity, and Beyond!

Next Week is the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion inUnited States Over the past 40 years we have seen opponents make numerous attempts to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision and to outlaw public funding for abortion care entirely, but recently, these efforts have become way too extreme. Government funding for abortions has been illegal since the Hyde Amendment passed in 1976, but it’s so much more than that. If public funding was outlawed, no woman could use her private insurance to cover an abortion. In a society with the internet and technology more present and user friendly– and therefore influential–than ever before, we’ve seen more and more women and girls taking matters into their own hands; risking their lives because they… Read more »

The Summer of Mercy: Revisiting My Hometown’s Dark Anti-Choice History

Mercy: Compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm The dark side of anti-choice politics hits home no harder than in my hometown Wichita, Kansas. When meeting new people, especially in the reproductive justice movement, there’s always that moment of infamy, “Ah, Wichita.” Now most are aware that the late Dr. George Tiller also called this place home until 2009 when he was shot in the face during a church service by anti-abortion extremist Scott Roeder. Less people are aware of the Summer of Mercy, I would be the first to admit that it took 21 years to hear of it, but when I did, I was speechless. Above, I’ve defined exactly was mercy means, because after reading more about the summer I… Read more »