On Medical Procedures and Limited Choices

by matttbastard

Via Lauren @ Feministe, WaPo looks at the difficulty US med students face if they want to seek out abortion training:

She had joined Medical Students for Choice, an abortion education group with chapters on 135 U.S. campuses, as soon as she arrived at Maryland. The nation’s abortion doctors were graying, and unless a new generation took their place, the right to abortion might be rendered meaningless. Lesley imagined herself being part of that new generation. But would her support for abortion translate into action?

“I won’t know until I’m faced with doing it, but I think I would absolutely be able to provide [abortions],” she said. “It’s walk the walk, instead of talk the talk. I want my actions to be consistent with my words.”

How medical students choose to become abortion providers is in some ways no different from how they choose to become cardiac surgeons or pediatric neurologists. They explore the specialty and test themselves in it, finding some connection to a patient or a mentor that ignites their passion. Except for one difference: Medical students must explore abortion largely on their own.

Thirty-five years after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion in Roe v. Wade, any mention of abortion is rare in the first three or four years of medical school, when students must zero in on a specialty and eventually apply for residency training. Even in Maryland, where about 61 percent of voters approved a referendum guaranteeing abortion in 1992 and which has the fourth-highest abortion rate in the country, abortion is not taught in any formal lectures at the state’s flagship medical school. The subject is viewed as too controversial, despite the fact that, according to the nonprofit National Center for Health Statistics, abortion remains among the most common surgical procedures for reproductive-age women. Nevertheless, many people, including some of Lesley’s friends, believe abortion is the murder of an unborn child and should not be legal, much less taught to future doctors.

Make sure to read the whole damn thing.  As Lauren aptly points out, “a lack of doctors willing and able to perform the procedure will render the right to abortion meaningless.” And, as previously noted, the situation isn’t much better here in the Great White North.

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Read This Now: bfp on Alice and Rebecca Walker

by matttbastard

bfp (who, due to technical issues at her pad, is once again guesting @ elle’s place) takes a look at race, feminism and how some have framed the complicated (and at times contentious) familial relationship between Alice and Rebecca Walker.

Go.

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“Dry Language, Dry Bones”

by matttbastard

Tom Hayden:

Antiseptic language is sometimes necessary in journalism and law to make objective evaluations. But it also can suppress moral and emotional responses to suffering and serve as a sedative in managing public opinion. Riveting stories of torture dungeons don’t rate much in the media in comparison to domestic violence between white Americans. For instance, clear evidence that Sunni children were being murdered by the Shi’a captors, persuasive to a top US military investigator, made it into the Salt Lake Tribune, but not much further. The US Judge Advocate happened to be from Utah, making it a local story.

Counterinsurgency often is framed as winning hearts and minds, not as crushing the alleged insurgents to protect the civilian population. In South Vietnam, that led to “strategic hamlets” and the Phoenix program. In Central America, it was death squads who killed priests, nuns and thousands of civilians. In both cases, American and world opinion was shocked.

In the case of Iraq, there is silence in the West.

h/t Nell in comments @ ObWi

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Various Reads

by matttbastard

Today looks to be a busy one in the meatworld, so here’s are some recommended reads to keep you distracted until I can find some time to throw up something substantial:

James Carroll, What the pirates say, Boston Globe

Javier Marias, Déjà Vu All Over Again, The New Republic

Marie Cocco, Where Are the Female Arnold Schwarzeneggers?, WaPo Writers Group

Azadeh Dastyari, The detained refugees Obama will not free, The Age

Robert Weissman, The 10 Worst Corporations of 2008, Multinational Monitor

Charles P. Pierce, Torn Up, Boston Globe Magazine

James Surowiecki, The Perils of Efficiency, The New Yorker

Tamura Lomax, William R. Jones Revisited: Is God a Racist Misogynist?, Religion Dispatches

Michelle Goldberg, Proposition 8, The Mormon Coming Out Party, Religion Dispatches

John Harwood, Change Is Landing in Old Hands, New York Times

Gary Younge, Americans have never felt so excited, and yet so depressed, The Guardian

Elaine Scarry, Presidential Crimes, The Boston Review

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Re: Online Publication of BNP Membership List (OH NOES!)

by matttbastard

anti-fascist_sign

What Voltaire’s Priest said:

Do you people not get it? This isn’t some bastardised version of Pastor Niemoller’s famous speech, which as I recall did not in fact begin “first they came for the fascists”! The people whose rights you are so concerned to protect are the political inheritors of a tradition which runs from Kristallnacht, through the Holocaust, via the NF marches of the 1970s and random acts of violence against non-white people in the UK, through Nick Griffin’s anti-semitic rant “Who Are the Mind Benders”, to today’s “respectable nationalism” and the sick-making “Racism Cuts Both Ways” campaign. They are the ultimate enemy of socialists, liberals and democrats everywhere, and if you think they would have the slightest concern for your rights were the situation to be reversed then you are utterly deluded.

I would not endorse or encourage acts of physical violence against anyone on the BNP members’ list. But frankly if the publication of this list results in these sickos being driven out of politics completely then that would leave me unequivocally delighted. They are a poisonous presence on deprived estates across the nation, and they are a malignant parasite upon politics in the working class. I have none of the middle class, beltway liberal concerns about their destruction that have been written over the past few days, and neither should anyone else.

Yeah, I’ll sign off on that.

Update: The list (h/t Dawg).

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Dividing the Spoils

by matttbastard

Um, Alison, I’m not sure if this what John Quiggin meant when he said “Citigroup’s global operations are too big for the US to handle alone.”

Still, your scoop does lend credence to the theory that modern capitalism was invented by pirates.

Ahem.

Related: For more on Citigroup’s woes (and how fucked we are), see The Wall Street Journal, Yves Smith, and Shaun Mullen, who wryly observes that “[b]eing shocked [by the economic freefall] implies that you still have faith in government and the markets.”

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Missouri State Senate Panel Report Blames Abortion For Influx of Undocumented Workers

by matttbastard

UPDATE: My bad — this story is actually from 2006. Not to say that’s any comfort, since, as Ann notes in comments, both Tom DeLay and Mike Huckabee have since repeated the spurious claim that abortion causes illegal immigration. END UPDATE

Via Jill and Sylvia/M (by email), McCain’s consolation prize has further affirmed its right-wing bona fides:

A Republican-led legislative panel [in Missouri] says in a new report on illegal immigration that abortion is partly to blame because it is causing a shortage of American workers.

The report from the state House Special Committee on Immigration Reform also says that “liberal social welfare policies” have discouraged Americans from working and have encouraged immigrants to cross the border illegally.
The statements about abortion and welfare policies, along with a recommendation to abolish income taxes in favor of sales taxes, were inserted into the immigration report by Rep. Edgar G.H. Emery (R), the panel’s chairman.

[…]

“You don’t have to think too long. If you kill 44 million of your potential workers, it’s not too surprising we would be desperate for workers.”

[…]

“The lack of traditional work ethic, combined with the effects of 30 years of abortion and expanding liberal social welfare policies have produced a shortage of workers and a lack of incentive for those who can work.”

Hey, at least they didn’t blame Satan; that’s a small purple post-partisan victory of sorts.

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Quote of the Day: In Memoriam

by matttbastard

Transgender Day of Remembrance is not a once-a-year deal. You don’t show up for services, murmur “lest we forget” and then promptly forget for the rest of the year. Today lives within us, because we cannot afford to forget.

Still. Today most of all, we remember those who were killed. Because we die violently, unmemorialised, and are mocked after our deaths.

Because the world sees us disposable, less than human (and who can mourn that?). Many of the dead lost their lives because they were trans women of colour, doubly disposable.

Who would mourn a thing, a that, an it?

[…]

Sometimes we forget ourselves, you know. Sometimes we think that if we look like cissexuals, pass like them (are passed like them), that they must accept us. And we forget that it is only the fact that they have assumed we have the same gender history as them that keeps them from hating us.

We do not live fake lives. We do not live as nicknames, as aka. We live hard, we love hard–we have to. And we deserve to be mourned.

— Queen Emily, how to mourn

h/t Sarah J

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