Transcript here (h/t).
Transcript here (h/t).
KS NOW press release:
The Kansas National Organization for Women will counter-protest the “prayer vigil” organized by the Christian Defense Coalition and Operation Rescue on Saturday, June 20th outside of Women’s Health Care Services located at 5107 E. Kellogg in Wichita.
Kansas NOW is disturbed that anti-choice activist Patrick Mahoney would plan such an event after stating in regards to Dr. Tiller’s murder, “No one should use this tragedy for political gain”.
State Coordinator Marla Patrick stated, “I am astounded at the sheer hypocrisy of the anti-choice groups. They are using Dr. Tiller’s murder as an opportunity to grandstand their extremist beliefs. While they claim they will be praying for the end to abortion, I would recommend they pray for forgiveness. Their inflammatory rhetoric played a part in Dr. Tiller’s murder.” She also stated, “They routinely speak of blood on people’s hands. By the rules that they have set and claim to follow, it is very evident that they are the ones with blood on their hands.”
KS NOW State Coordinator
The hypocrisy of anti-choice groups is profound, and on Saturday we plan to hold signs demonstrating that. We know there are many pro-choice activists and who would like to join us on Saturday, but can’t. In spirit we are asking for you to submit your favorite hypocritical anti-choice quote by anti-choice leaders and sponsor a protest sign for a $5 donation to KS NOW.
Please feel free to post and pass around.
I am tired of a public debate that treats seriously the claim that pregnant women, mothers, and the people who support them are killers. I am tired of a debate that trivializes genocide by saying that what women do to deal with their reproductive lives is worse.
What I want instead is to honor George Tiller, a man who honored women. And I want instead to honor those who value fetal life, but who do not lose sight of the women who give that life, and who would never dream of murdering a doctor who was among the few to give those women the services, respect, and dignity they deserved.
See more people who honour women (and life) at IamDrTiller.com.
But let’s get one thing clear — being “pro-life” has absolutely nothing to do with compassion or saving the lives of babies or getting people to take responsibility for their actions. Instead, being “pro-life” has everything to do with ignorance and control. Being “pro-life” has everything to do with making judgments on what they know nothing about. If being “pro-life” were actually about being pro-life, then trustworthy health care, safe procedures, and birth control would be more accessible for all women, and the murder of a doctor would never have happened.
– Theresa, Pro-Life: Not About Life At All.
Guest post by L. Portes*
Dr Tiller’s assassination has riled up a semi-sleeping nest of vipers in the past few days. Even though it isn’t always reported in the media, the old same rhetoric has been going on, mostly under the radar, among the Armies of “God” and the Operation Rescues of the anti-choice movement.
Old arguments and old red herrings.
In the 1990s there were a string of terrorist attacks within the US and Canada aimed at abortion clinics and physicians who provide patients with abortion services after the (mostly) acceptable 12 weeks. Doctors were shot and killed, clinics bombed, staff harassed and terrorized. Today, career protesters still stand outside clinics, screaming and shouting at women who enter; there have even been cases where members of the police have conspired and handed over personal information to the extremists from those ID’d through their license plates.
There are some who consider abortion at any stage of the game unacceptable. In fact, some would ban contraception, as it may simply interfere with the plans of their god. But, on the whole, society has “decided” that early on terminating a pregnancy is less abhorrent to them.
It has been estimated that approximately 33% of all pregnancies spontaneously miscarry within the first trimester. That is just nature’s way of not completing a faulty conception or splitting of cells. But that magic number 12 when the first trimester ends is where what is deeply personal suddenly becomes deeply political; after 12 weeks of pregnancy it has been proposed that a woman must go forward for the next 28 weeks, no matter what–full steam ahead.
The most vocal abortion opponents would like you to believe that after 12 weeks the decision to terminate a pregancy is a matter of convenience, that abortions are being performed willy nilly up to the 40th week, that it’s simply a business venture for doctors like George Tiller. “Abortionists” perform “executions” for the money. They have said that Dr. Tiller would abort a fetus just hours before it would be born! This is not true, of course, but it makes for shocking material (and massive ratings) for those with no scruples (Bill O’Reilly comes to mind.)
But for what real reasons would a woman and her family require the services provided by a specialized clinic such as Dr. Tiller’s, or, here in Canada, the one run by Dr. Garson Romalis?
A primary one would be fetal anomalies.
You may know someone that this has happened to–a friend of a friend, a family member perhaps: A woman discovers she is expecting and, partway through the pregnancy, a test shows something that makes it apparent that the fetus will not survive. Or that if there is a live birth it will be a painful, short-lived thing. Or when the fetus is born it will be a life of nothingness.
Sometimes, carrying an anencephalic fetus to term can be detrimental to the woman. It may compromise future fertility, or the woman’s life due to infection. Hard to truly comprehend unless it has happened to you.
I can comprehend.
My pregnancy was a wanted one, very much so. The first weeks were uneventful, except for the happiness and the worry which intermingled. I’d had two miscarriages in my life already; never really accepted being pregnant again as a reality until the 12th week.
Hurdle one vaulted.
Entering into the second trimester, we were finally feeling confident and making plans for the new arrival. We didn’t have much at the time, but we were gathering supplies for the coming weeks: a second hand stroller, blankets. I could feel the baby moving already, at first a small quickening; that grew into more kicks and swimming sensations. I had been seeing my doctor regularly from about 12 weeks, as I had been out of the country when I discovered the pregnancy. He ordered an ultrasound, which was performed at about the 18 week mark.
Our baby had a heartbeat, which I already knew. But something alarming turned up as well. More detailed scans were ordered and the grim details were told to us by a special team who looked at them.
Broken bones, some healed already. Bowed legs and arms, etc. Ostegenesis Imperfecta Type II, they called it: Brittle Bone.
Our baby wasn’t going to live. And whatever time he spent in the womb, or out, was just going to be painful. Pain that you or I cannot imagine.
We were given two options: Carry on with the pregnancy, knowing what was to come, ignore his pain, and ours.
Or terminate the pregnancy.
Not much else to be said, really; we made the most kind decision, one that no parent-to-be should ever have to make.
A harrowing, sad, anguished couple of weeks followed. I mostly just remember being in the recovery room, missing him so much. Alone suddenly after weeks of activity.
Alone with our broken dreams.
I had aborted at 21 weeks. My body thought it had delivered a baby who needed sustenance, so it began to lactate. Just another painful reminder of what was lost.
We talked to the doctors to ask what the odds were of this happening again and were told that it was less than 6%, as it was not recorded on either side of our families. So a few months later we tried again. We were on pins and needles until the 18 week mark, as this condition can only be seen on an ultrasound and can only be confirmed or discounted after about 17 weeks.
When we finally held our little baby girl in our arms, whole and healthy and screaming like thunder, we did not forget about our son; the love is still there. We have moved on as much as we can, knowing we did the right thing. The pain is still very real, less sharp, sometimes bittersweet.
But I also know that because of medical professionals like Dr. Tiller and Dr. Romalis (who in the past has also faced near-deadly harassment) there would not be the peace that we now feel. Indeed, if our son had died in utero (which also happens in cases like ours) there is a good chance that we wouldn’t know the joys of our two youngest children. Most distressing of all, so much suffering would have been inflicted for no real reason on someone we didn’t really know, yet loved and wanted with all our being.
And that is what the anti-choicers do not want you to know about: situations faced by families like ours.
Our stories are not often told; to do so makes many listeners uncomfortable. Some will not even look me in the eye when I tell them in person. A lot of women like me simply don’t say anything, as there is the very real possibility that we might be labeled, with much revulsion, as monsters.
We see reports of extremists screaming at women outside clinics, hear of those same extremists targeting medical professionals. These are deeply personal, deeply painful stories that have been made deeply political by those who really do not give a damn about babies, families, or people in general. But it is time to start speaking up.
We are not monsters. We are parents who love our children, and love the children we lost. And Dr Tiller was nothing short of a hero.
Now, after so many years of personal sacrifice and personal pain he is now a fallen hero. We cannot let him have died in vain. We cannot let parents who face these sorts of tragedies such as fetal anomalies or a life-threatening pregnancy go it alone.
These anti-choice extremists must finally be dealt with, publicly denounced and called what they are.
Pro life? No. They are nothing but low life terrorists who, through fear and intimidation, want to force everyone to bend to their will.
And, because of them, families that face the same wretched news we did need help now more than ever.
*name changed for privacy and safety reasons
Despite repeatedly getting spanked by provincial courts, apparently New Brunswick’s provincial government STILL fears women’s reproductive freedom enough to consider taking Dr. Henry Morgentaler’s 7-year-old lawsuit over public funding of private clinic abortions in the province all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada:
The New Brunswick government is reviewing the latest Court of Appeal ruling that cleared the way for Dr. Henry Morgentaler to sue the province over its refusal to fund abortions performed at his clinic in Fredericton.
The government has argued it only has to pay for abortions approved by two physicians and performed in hospitals.
Attorney General T.J. Burke told reporters on Friday that his staff will use the next 30 days to decide whether they will seek leave to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.
“Our office will review the procedural decision made by the Court of Appeal to determine whether there’s any palpable or overriding errors in law and determine whether or not we should appeal,” Burke said.
Morgentaler wants medicare to cover the $750 fee for abortions performed at his clinic, which currently are paid for by the patients themselves.
The province argued Morgentaler couldn’t sue on the issue because it affects women, not him. In January, after a Court of Queen’s Bench judge ruled in Morgentaler’s favour, the province appealed the decision.
On Thursday, three appeal judges also ruled in Morgentaler’s favour. The province had argued it would be better if the lawsuit was launched by a woman who had been forced to pay for a clinic abortion.
Chief Justice Ernest Drapeau said that argument doesn’t pass muster. None of the many women who have had abortions at Morgentaler’s Fredericton clinic in the past 15 years has come forward to file a lawsuit, he noted.
Gee, wonder if the consideration of yet another appeal reflects the personal anti-choice zealotry of New Brunswick’s Health Minister?
New Brunswick’s health minister says his personal view on when life begins makes him “not entirely” comfortable administering the province’s laws and policies on abortion.
Michael Murphy was among several Liberal and Progressive Conservative MLAs who attended an anti-abortion rally [!] in front of the legislative assembly on Thursday.
Murphy told the crowd of more than 300 that he believes life begins at conception.
“It is my own personal belief that the unborn, at any stage, is human life, and I believe in human life, and I support it,” Murphy said.
That personal view is at odds with provincial regulations that allow abortions in hospitals, he said.
Medicare funds abortions in hospitals if two doctors agree the procedure is medically necessary.
When asked, Murphy admitted his personal beliefs do not make him comfortable in administering some of his duties as health minister.
“Not entirely, but that’s the way it is,” he said.
Plus, y’know, Morgentaler might keel over soon — and that means EPIC WIN FOR TEH INNOCENT BABIES!
Peggy Cooke, who works at the [Morgentaler] clinic, hopes the province will stop stalling the legal process.
“So I think they’re kind of waiting for him to give up and waiting for him to be incapable of doing it anymore,” she said.
Morgentaler is 86 years old and there have been reports his health has been declining.
Morgentaler’s name is on the lawsuit. His death would force another plaintiff to restart the legal process.
Also, with regards to the province’s oft-refuted contention that a woman should have initially tendered the suit, Cooke once again layeth the smacketh down:
As Cooke points out, the reason Morgentaler is suing is because no woman has been willing to take on the provincial government.
“There’s so much stigma with abortion, and secondly the money is a huge problem. It costs thousands and thousands of dollars to do this,” Cooke said.
Yeah, because, um, if one doesn’t have a spare $750 to terminate their pregnancy it’s highly unlikely they’ll have several grand kicking around to take the freakin’ government to court over said $750.
Oh, and speaking of that oh-so-contentious procedural cost and the public purse, deBeauxO nails it in comments @ DAMMIT JANET (h/t):
Before the shrieeeking starts about the cost of this medical intervention, it’s important to to note that root canals can cost over $1000.
Also, the New Brunswick government is running up quite a legal tab by refusing to accept the judgement of its own courts. Taxpayers will be footing that bill.
Women’s health and bodily autonomy? The law of the land (as confirmed by TWO provincial courts)? The proper allocation and utilization of taxpayer dollars?
Pshh. Wevs. Clearly New Brunswick stubbornly and steadfastly serves a HIGHER power.
According to [Missouri] Republican State Rep. Bryan Stevenson, the proposed pro-choice “Freedom of Choice Act” is the biggest federal power grab since the “War of Northern Aggression.”
Oh well. At least the fetus fetishists appear to be finally broadening their eye-gougingly overwrought rhetorical palate. I mean, really–genocide analogies are, like, so 2008.
Well, isn’t this lovely:
The Utah House of Representatives will hear a controversial proposal that could hold physicians responsible for homicide if they perform abortions deemed illegal by the state.
Under current state law, abortion is allowed only in cases of rape or incest, if the fetus cannot survive outside the womb or is unlikely to survive, or to save the mother’s life or preserve her health.
Abortions that don’t meet any of those standards can result in third-degree felony charges.
Under House Bill 90, sponsored by Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clinton, physicians who perform illegal abortions could be charged with second-degree felony criminal homicide.
“In my opinion, illegal abortion is the same as murder,” Ray said. “This is the right step for Utah to take to protect the lives of unborn children, because they don’t have a voice.”
Note how it’s the doctors who performed the “illegal” abortions potentially facing charges under this proposed new law, not the women who ‘contracted’ the “killing”. In a (perverse) sense, it’s almost gratifying to see the fetus fetishists explicitly affirm their belief that women are merely empty vessels that bear teh innocent baybees over to this mortal coil–boxes on a biological assembly line, if you will.
Which perhaps answers the question posed via IM by Sylvia/M (h/t):
“Will women be accomplices, then? Or scenes of the crime?”
If you live in Utah or you want to send some strongly-worded letters to the Democrats in their House of Representatives about this bill, here’s the UT House website. Tell these representatives that doctors protecting women’s health is not an air quotation myth.
Update: Jill Miller Zimon has compiled a plethora of info on this proposed anti-woman legislation. Go.
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.