Happy Birthday Roe V. Wade

by sassywho

Blog for Choice Day
It’s the 35th anniversary of Roe V. Wade and Blog For Choice; NARAL wants to know why we vote pro-choice. After 35 years of legalization it’s hard to imagine why this very personal and intimate medical procedure is necessary of such vigilance in its continued support. Our public discourse is painted in caricatures and broadcasted with soundbites; there is little room for nuance or real women.

The average person can picture someone that has had an abortion, and very well may vote with her in mind. She’s the virginal woman whose fetus suffers a fetal abnormality, she’s the slut who can’t keep track of her lovers much less her cycle, she’s the rape victim, she’s the cancer patient, she’s the woman that birth control failed, she’s the drug addict, she’s the impoverished mother, she’s the incest victim, she’s the diabetes patient, she’s the irresponsible but promising college student, she’s the woman of ethnic background, she’s the career-driven bitch, she’s the vain one, she’s the taxed mother with 4 other children, she’s the mentally unstable woman, she’s the woman carrying the child of someone other than her husband, she’s the woman left by her lover; she’s the woman that many voters may pity.

While her circumstance may be acknowledged, she is not. If she was treated as a fully sentient, independent and whole individual do you believe that she would be forced to justify her choice to the phoned in straw polls every 4 years? A woman’s womb has become a permanent fixture in the town square, and the village is full of righteous shopkeepers. If she dare exercise her rights she had better be prepared to justify it to those around her with tales of woe or be forced to forgo inherent occupancy of her own body. How is this exchange any different than being declared mentally incompetent in order to obtain an abortion 40 years ago?

The justifications that women have been subjected to have been enacted through mandated wait times, parental consent, spousal approval, and even insurance coverage; a battle that also includes birth control. Voting pro-choice doesn’t focus exclusively on a woman’s right to obtain an abortion, it also subscribes to the belief that a woman is wholly capable to make the choice that is right for her within the recognized limits of the law. Unfortunately we live in a society where others(and there are plenty of them) believe women are less important than their potential to produce.

I vote pro-choice because I believe in women, their health, and the notion that every child in the world is a wanted one. I believe that women already cater to their loved ones enough to take into account what their wishes are, already care about making the world a better place to be resourceful in their paths, and know themselves well enough to have the wisdom that only comes from being the heiress of a uterus. I vote pro-choice because I trust women.

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Re: Detainee Transfers–What Impolitical Said.

by matttbastard

Stop the detainee transfers. Now. 

Compelling evidence that Canadian-transferred detainees are still being tortured in Afghan prisons emerged Monday from the government’s own follow-up inspection reports, documents it has long tried to keep secret.

In one harrowing account, an Afghan turned over by Canadian soldiers told of being beaten unconscious and tortured in the secret police prison in Kandahar. He showed Canadian diplomats fresh welts and then backed up his story by revealing where the electrical cable and the rubber hose that had been used on him were hidden.

Under the chair we found a large piece of braided electrical cable as well as a rubber hose,” reads the subsequent diplomatic cable marked “secret” and distributed to some of the most senior officials in the Canadian government and officers in the Canadian military.

The Globe and Mail has established that the report of the case is recent, written after a Nov. 5, 2007, inspection of the National Directorate of Security prison in Kandahar. That was six months after a supposedly improved transfer agreement was put in place to monitor detainee treatment. The agreement was designed to address problems raised by critics about the ill treatment of prisoners taken by Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan and handed over to Afghan authorities with insufficient follow-up.

The bottom line:

This evidence brings a violation of the Geneva Conventions directly into our house. Canada cannot be participating in such violations and should immediately signify to the Afghan government that enough is enough. We need to put an end to this barbarism now. That’s what we should do. It’s what Canadian values, humanity, morality, and the rule of law require.

Pogge’s bang on here–“Maybe that DFAIT training manual should have included Canada on that list of countries that torture.”

Indeed.  This is beyond “embarrassing”. This is shameful.

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The Manley Report: Stay the Course, Part Infinity

by matttbastard 

Teh shocking newz! Manley Report sez: NO END BUT VICTORY!

matttbastard sez:

natodutch.jpg

As intimated, I’m not at all surprised by the recommendations (extend the military mission past 2009 as long as NATO ponies up more troops and kewl new toys). 

As Stageleft observes:

It’s not just that the outcome was never in doubt. Stephen Harper commissioned an ex-politician whose views of the Afghan mission mirrored Harper’s from the outset. But that doesn’t matter: had the report been prepared by Maude Barlow, Jack Layton and the ghost of Mahatma Gandhi, the impact on the Harper government would have been the same: Very Interesting. Thanks For Your Work. We Will Study Your Recommendations. Meanwhile, We’ll Do What We Were Going To Do Anyway

In other words, once again (right-wing) ideology trumps (objective) reality.  The Great Game is rigged, regardless of who plays. Welcome to faith-based governance, Stephen Harper Party stylez. 

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Blog For Choice: 35th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

by matttbastard

Blog for Choice Day

Roe v. Wade built on the social and legal trends in the country at that time to make abortion legal, more accessible and safe. This reflected the growing concern about women seeking abortions despite the risks to their health and safety.

Estimates of the number of illegal abortions in the 1950s and ’60s ranged from 200,000 to 1.2 million per year. One analysis, extrapolating from data from North Carolina, concluded that an estimated 829,000 illegal or self-induced abortions occurred in 1967

When abortion was illegal, it was primarily higher income, white women who were able to travel or arrange to obtain safe abortions. Death rates clearly reflect racial and income disparities: In New York City in the early 1960s, one in four childbirth-related deaths among white women was due to abortion. In comparison, abortion accounted for one in two childbirth-related deaths among nonwhite and Puerto Rican women. The mortality rate due to illegal abortion was 12 times higher from 1972 to 1974 for nonwhite women than for white women nationwide.

Today, as we celebrate the anniversary, we celebrate the many powerful improvements in the health and general well-being of women and families as a result of the right to legal, safe abortion. The right to make childbearing decisions has enabled women to pursue educational and employment opportunities that were often unthinkable before.

Health risks are vastly reduced: In 1965, 17 percent of all deaths due to pregnancy and childbirth were the result of illegal abortion.

Today, fewer than 0.3 percent of women undergoing legal abortion procedures sustain a serious complication.

Jane Parker, Now’s time for vigilance over women’s rights

For most Americans, it’s difficult to imagine that abortion in the U.S. could actually be criminalized once again.

While legal scholars and journalists debate the likelihood of a Roe reversal, healthcare providers like Planned Parenthood must seriously consider the outcome of such a devastating legal action.

According to a recent report from The Center for Reproductive Rights, the consequences of overturning Roe sound frighteningly similar to pre-Roe days when women risked their lives in order to control their reproductive destiny.

[…]

If Roe fell, abortion law would revert to the states, where emboldened anti-choice hard-liners have already unleashed a pre-emptive battle.

According to the CRR study, 21 states are poised to immediately ban abortion should Roe be overturned, and six states already have laws on the books to criminalize women who self-induce, with consequences that include fines and imprisonment.

[…]

The incremental approach of the abortion-rights opponents is working. They considered it a major victory when last April the newly composed U.S. Supreme Court broke with over 30 years of precedent and upheld the first federal abortion ban since Roe that does not include an exception for the woman’s health.

Let’s be clear. Banning abortion won’t reduce the need for it. It will, however, result in untold misery, and possibly even death, for women desperate to obtain the service.

Cheryl Rollings, Roe Reversal Would Bring Untold Misery

Download the CRR report, What if Roe Fell? (PDF)

Statement from Nancy Northup, President Center for Reproductive Rights, on 35th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

In the thirty-five years since the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade, two trends have emerged in the legal landscape around reproductive rights—in the United States, a troubling retreat from longstanding commitments to the principles of Roe; and around the world, a growing recognition of women’s fundamental human right to reproductive health and self-determination. Once in the vanguard, the United States Supreme Court has reneged on the robust constitutional protections embedded in Roe. While in sharp contrast, legal protections for reproductive rights internationally have increasingly been moving ahead.

To cite just a few recent examples, on April 24, 2007, Mexico City lawmakers voted to legalize abortion, recognizing the right as central to women’s health. A few months earlier, Portugal adopted a similar measure. And in 2006, the Constitutional Court of Colombia declared unconstitutional the country’s blanket criminalization of abortion. Citing fundamental rights to life, health, equality, liberty and bodily integrity, the Court held that “reproductive rights have finally been recognized as human rights.”

Yet in the face of such global progress, the United States, whose Constitution is one of the world’s first and most majestic human rights documents, is sliding backwards, away from its promises of equality and freedom, back towards a society in which women are presumed not to know their best interests. This attitude was reflected in the Supreme Court’s 2007 decision in Gonzales v. Carhart, which all but invited anti-choice extremist to step up their assault on Roe.

In 1973, Roe v. Wade gave strength to the global struggle for women’s equality and dignity. And though the debate over abortion in the United States is as heated and political today as ever, we at the Center for Reproductive Rights pledge to remain vigilant in our work, advancing laws and policies that protect not only the right to abortion, but also the right to comprehensive sex education, safe and healthy pregnancy, and the full range of safe and effective contraception both here in the U.S. and around the world.

More Blog For Choice posts throughout the day!

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