No Gravatarfrom Skepchick by Elyse

 In May of 2009, I announced that I was pregnant. I announced it here at Skepchick. I announced it on Twitter. I announced it on Facebook. I announced it everywhere. I was pregnant.

Three weeks later, I was no longer pregnant.

It was heartbreaking. It was soul crushing. It was painful, physically. But it wasn’t out of the ordinary. In fact it’s incredibly ordinary. I’ve seen estimates as high as 50-60% of fertilized eggs never make it to the delivery room, not counting induced abortions. Is that number high? I don’t know. Maybe. But for today’s discussion, it’s not really that important. What’s important is that women are having miscarriages all around you. Right now. Everywhere. And, in most of those cases, no one knows why.

And right now, in GA, State Rep Bobby Franklin is trying to make those women into felons. Felons facing the death penalty. For murdering their fetuses.

Well, not all of them. Just the ones who can prove that “there is no human involvement whatsoever in the causation of such event.”

To ensure that no cold-blooded fetus murders (also known amongst the hyper-politically correct as “women who are grieving the unexpected loss of their children” or “heartbroken hopeful mothers”) slip through the cracks, any time a woman has a miscarriage, a murder investigation is to be opened to determine whether there was “no human involvement whatsoever.” Which, is pretty much unknowable but is usually assumed.

I’ve experienced two miscarriages, that I know of, in my life. Both of those times, every medical

professional I dealt with, every piece of literature I read, everyone I talked to reiterated the same thing: it was not my fault. In 2009, I had a D&C and we sent the embryo to a pathologist.

The results? Nothing.

Nothing.

We could not know what caused the miscarriage.

I TOTALLY <3 MURDER, Photo By Surly Amy, caption courtesy of my written confession

But I did have coffee while I was pregnant. And I did take nausea meds. And I did drink alcohol a few nights before the test came up positive.  And I didn’t get enough sleep. And I didn’t eat 3 balanced meals a day. And I didn’t avoid heavy lifting. And I skipped my prenatal vitamins. I had a list in my head of every single thing I could have possibly done wrong, recalling every single step I took during that pregnancy.

And all those things are things a million other women do every day while having perfectly normal pregnancies. But no matter, that paragraph above could be enough of an admission to convict me of murder under this law.

Fortunately, I live in Illinois… and even in GA, until the law passes, it’s still legal for a pregnant woman to walk past a smoker on the sidewalk without having to worry about getting the death penalty. (Grandfathered in, SUCKAAAAZZZ!)

I don’t get it. I can’t imagine that this bill could pass; I am positive it won’t (you can’t put women to death for not being able to prove they’re not murderers), but how does a person even write this? I immediately assumed it was a Poe… and then I read the bill… and it doesn’t seem like satire. There’s no wink. There’s no little gem in there to tell me that what I’m reading is meant to be a shot at the prolife movement. It’s just the same old “women are inherently murderers who hate babies and should be put to death because they get pregnant” story we’re used to… or something.

How can you hate women so much and, at the same time, demand that they make even more women, and threaten them with death if they do not?

I have no snark. Only disbelief and a loss of faith in humanity. I can’t even rant. I want to, but what can I say besides:

What?!

The?!

Fuck?!

Soooo…. I’ll leave you with a little something to cheer you up after the jump… and I promise, it almost balances the universeimage

Those people are trying to intimidate and scare you. If you act scared, you are feeding into their fear tactics and giving them what they want. DON’T GIVE THEM THAT POWER. They are bullies. THEY are the ones who are scared. They are so scared, they’re telling lies and showing pictures of dead babies. An abortion does NOT look like that. They don’t even understand what they are talking about. Planned Parenthood is about affordable healthcare for men and women, not dead babies. They are trying to SAVE lives and help people. The protester’s anger is their fear in disguise. They don’t know any better. We need to show compassion to them. We need to REPLACE THE FEAR WITH LOVE. So when we walk out of here, you need to look them in the eye with love on your mind and smile. Remember, YOU are in charge of your feelings. Can you do that?

one woman’s story…

St Louis woman’s encouragement to her daughter at a local anti-Planned Parenthood rally.

Balázs Kovács:

I don’t know how many of you heard of this, but here in Hungary, the party in power put together a new constitution and the head of state just recently approved and signed the document.
 
The whole conception of it is questionable. They only debated in parliament for 9 days and there was an overwhelming 2/3 majority of right wingers there.
 
There were several peaceful demonstrations against some of the points of the constitution, and several international groups, like Amnesty International also spoke out against the document, not to mention the European Union itself.
 
Some of these highly questionable points are:
 
- Empahsis on our christian heritage.
- Disturbing lack of clarification on civil liberties.
- True life sentence in prison. Before, life sentence wasn’t really a life long incerceration. You could get out after a few decades, earlier if you behaved.
- A fetus has rights from the moment of conception. Basicly outlawing any kind of abortion.
- Marriage is only recognized between a man and a woman. N/C
- Genetically modified organisms are forbidden.
 
There are also a few point about granting the government more power, but didn’t look into that part.
 
More on the subject:
http://www.euractiv.com/en/future-eu/hungarys-new-constitution-family-friendly-hostile-gays-news-503455
 
http://www.euractiv.com/en/central-europe/hungary-constitution-trojan-horse-authoritarianism-news-504128

Theocracy is the enemy of democracy.

Also unmentioned above is the fact that parents can now gain an extra vote for their children.  First person who can give me three reasons why that’s a bad idea gets a cookie: rainbow cookie

fyeahautismspectrum

On Neurodiversity and the Pro Choice Movement

fyeahautismspectrum:

I was recently told about the latest bit of backlash against the neurodiversity movement: that it’s incompatible with the pro choice movement, and therefore it’s misogynist. 

I’m completely confused as to how people can pull this tasty bit of “logic” out of their asses, but my guess is that it stems from those in the neurodiversity movement who are against selective abortion of fetuses that are diagnosed with autism (which I don’t see how that could in any way be possible but okay).

The neurodiversity movement is no way in conflict with the pro choice movement. I myself am autistic, and unabashedly and unwaveringly pro choice. I’m pretty sure I can say the same for Eric and Evan, the other two who run this blog.

I’m sure there’s a lot more to say, but all I can say is that neurodiversity is justice for those on the autism spectrum. The pro choice movement is justice for women. Please do not bring ableism into the pro choice movement, and please do not bring misogyny into the neurodiversity movement.

Mairead

"The neurodiversity movement is no way in conflict with the pro choice movement."  Definitely worth repeating.

Also:

I would like to make one addition to that last post about the “conflict” with the pro-choice movement.

And that’s that I (and Mairead) recognize that not all people who have uteruses are women, and not all women have uteruses.

Of course, the pro-choice movement itself ignores this a lot (as does society at large), and if I recall correctly, (some of?) the people who have claimed that they are incompatible did as well, but I want to make it clear.

— Eric

Six in 10 women having abortions already have a child and
many have two or more.
They know what it means to be a mother.
And they often cite the need to care for their children as a
primary reason for deciding not to have another right now.
Three out of four women who have abortions describe
themselves as religiously affiliated.
Catholic women have abortions at about the same rate as
women overall.
"Ectopic pregnancies are not viable pregnancies. And so it is essential an ectopic pregnancy be terminated as soon as possible. But by giving all fertilized eggs legal rights under the law, that calls into question what kind of methods a doctor can actually use to save a woman’s life in a situation like this."
And it’s not just medical questions raised by personhood laws. Would pregnant women be counted as two people for the purposes of using carpool lanes on the highway? Could fetuses inherit property?

Transcript of image of table.
HEADER ROWPolicy
ls this policy consistent with the belief that abortion is child murder?
ls this policy consistent with the belief that women should face consequences for having sex?
SECOND ROWAbortion bans which expressly protect the mother from all legal consequences.
NO.No one would endorse a law saying that parents who pay contract killers to murder their four-year—old may in no circumstances be punished.
YES.By cutting off women from abortion, these laws will tend (in theory, at least) to force women who have sex to bear unwanted children.
THIRD ROWOpposing contraception and comprehensive sex education.
NO.Pushing contraception and sex-ed on teens is how countries like Belgium have achieved the lowest abortion rates in the world. No one who genuinely thinks abortion is murder could rationally oppose policies that would save tens of thousands of children from being murdered.
YES.The less teen girls have access to contraception and sex ed, the more likely it is that they will suffer consequences (STDs, pregnancy) for having sex.
FOURTH ROWAbortion bans which provide exceptions for rape and incest.
NO.No one would say that it is acceptable to murder a four-year-old because of the circumstances of the child’s conception.
YES.Exceptions for incest and rape are consistent with a belief in punishing women who have sex; since incest and rape victims are not to blame for having sex, they are exempt from punishment.
FIFTH ROWBanning the intact D&amp;X abortion procedure (sometimes called “partial birth abortion”).
NO.Banning late-term D&amp;X abortions (or any other particular procedure) will not save a single fetal life, since doctors will switch to other procedures.
YES.The other procedures doctors switch to may have a higher risk of injuring the mother, thus making it more likely that she suffers consequences.
SIXTH ROWAdvocating less generous welfare for poor single mothers.
NO.According to conservatives, welfare encourages poor women to have children. If one believes that abortion is exactly the same as murder, it should be worth paying for welfare to lower the child murder rate.
YES.By keeping poor single mothers poor, opposing welfare increases the consequences of having sex.
SEVENTH ROWOpposing a vaccine for the human papilloma virus (HPV).
N/AOpposing this vaccine does not support or contradict the belief that abortion is murder.
YESIf the vaccine is successfully blocked, nearly 4,000 American women a year, all of whom have chosen to have sex, will die of cervical cancer. Allowing the vaccine would spare them this consequence.
EIGHTH ROWMorally condemning extremists who bomb abortion clinics.
NO.If abortion is exactly the same as murder, then abortion in the U.S. is evil on a scale greater than The Holocaust, and people who bomb abortion clinics should be idolized.
NOIf more clinics were blown up, more women might have to face the consequences of having sex.
NINTH ROWOpposing U.S. government funding for the U.N. Population Fund.
NO.The UN Population Fund does not provide abortions, but it is probably the world’s leading provider of birth control and reproductive health education to the third world. Defunding the Population Fund leads to tens of thousands of additional abortions every year. (Contrary to anti-choice claims, the Population Fund does not support forced abortion in China.)
YES.Cutting off funding to the Population Fund makes it more likely that third world women who have sex will suffer consequences such as S’I‘Ds, unwanted childbirth, fistula, and maternal death.

(via Do They Really Believe Abortion Is Murder?)

Transcript of image of table.

HEADER ROW
Policy

ls this policy consistent with the belief that abortion is child murder?

ls this policy consistent with the belief that women should face consequences for having sex?

SECOND ROW
Abortion bans which expressly protect the mother from all legal consequences.

NO.
No one would endorse a law saying that parents who pay contract killers to murder their four-year—old may in no circumstances be punished.

YES.
By cutting off women from abortion, these laws will tend (in theory, at least) to force women who have sex to bear unwanted children.

THIRD ROW
Opposing contraception and comprehensive sex education.

NO.
Pushing contraception and sex-ed on teens is how countries like Belgium have achieved the lowest abortion rates in the world. No one who genuinely thinks abortion is murder could rationally oppose policies that would save tens of thousands of children from being murdered.

YES.
The less teen girls have access to contraception and sex ed, the more likely it is that they will suffer consequences (STDs, pregnancy) for having sex.

FOURTH ROW
Abortion bans which provide exceptions for rape and incest.

NO.
No one would say that it is acceptable to murder a four-year-old because of the circumstances of the child’s conception.

YES.
Exceptions for incest and rape are consistent with a belief in punishing women who have sex; since incest and rape victims are not to blame for having sex, they are exempt from punishment.

FIFTH ROW
Banning the intact D&X abortion procedure (sometimes called “partial birth abortion”).

NO.
Banning late-term D&X abortions (or any other particular procedure) will not save a single fetal life, since doctors will switch to other procedures.

YES.
The other procedures doctors switch to may have a higher risk of injuring the mother, thus making it more likely that she suffers consequences.

SIXTH ROW
Advocating less generous welfare for poor single mothers.

NO.
According to conservatives, welfare encourages poor women to have children. If one believes that abortion is exactly the same as murder, it should be worth paying for welfare to lower the child murder rate.

YES.
By keeping poor single mothers poor, opposing welfare increases the consequences of having sex.

SEVENTH ROW
Opposing a vaccine for the human papilloma virus (HPV).

N/A
Opposing this vaccine does not support or contradict the belief that abortion is murder.

YES
If the vaccine is successfully blocked, nearly 4,000 American women a year, all of whom have chosen to have sex, will die of cervical cancer. Allowing the vaccine would spare them this consequence.

EIGHTH ROW
Morally condemning extremists who bomb abortion clinics.

NO.
If abortion is exactly the same as murder, then abortion in the U.S. is evil on a scale greater than The Holocaust, and people who bomb abortion clinics should be idolized.

NO
If more clinics were blown up, more women might have to face the consequences of having sex.

NINTH ROW
Opposing U.S. government funding for the U.N. Population Fund.

NO.
The UN Population Fund does not provide abortions, but it is probably the world’s leading provider of birth control and reproductive health education to the third world. Defunding the Population Fund leads to tens of thousands of additional abortions every year. (Contrary to anti-choice claims, the Population Fund does not support forced abortion in China.)

YES.
Cutting off funding to the Population Fund makes it more likely that third world women who have sex will suffer consequences such as S’I‘Ds, unwanted childbirth, fistula, and maternal death.

(via Do They Really Believe Abortion Is Murder?)

Leads to dangerous and heart-breaking situations like this:

Ms. Deaver, 35, a registered nurse, was pregnant with a daughter in a wanted pregnancy, she said. She and her husband were devastated when her water broke at 22 weeks and her amniotic fluid did not rebuild.

Her doctors said that the lung and limb development of the fetus had stopped, that it had a remote chance of being born alive or able to breathe, and that she faced a chance of serious infection.

In what might have been a routine if painful choice in the past, Ms. Deaver and her husband decided to seek induced labor rather than wait for the fetus to die or emerge. But inducing labor, if it is not to save the life of the fetus, is legally defined as abortion, and doctors and hospital lawyers concluded that the procedure would be illegal under Nebraska’s new law.

After 10 days of frustration and anguish, Ms. Deaver went into labor naturally; the baby died within 15 minutes and Ms. Deaver had to be treated with intravenous antibiotics for an infection that developed.