Oh, Canada! Here Comes the Manufactured ‘Pro-Life’ Outrage

by matttbastard

Hot on the heels of the recent bestowing of the Canadian Labour Congress’ Award for Outstanding Service to Humanity, CBC News reports that pioneering abortion rights activist Dr. Henry Morgentaler is now slated to be appointed to the Order of Canada:

Dr. Henry Morgentaler, who led the fight to legalize abortion in Canada, was supposed to be honoured Monday, but the ceremony has been delayed for unknown reasons, a government source told the Globe and Mail.

The honour, considered the highest in the country, is announced by the Governor General on the advice of an advisory panel.

Conservative MPs on Monday did not directly confirm the news, but stressed that appointments to the order are not made by cabinet. Nine people, including two government appointees, sit on the Order of Canada panel.

MP Maurice Vellacott, a Conservative from Saskatchewan who opposes abortion, told the Globe and Mail that he heard Morgentaler’s appointment was not unanimous.

“This is a pretty divisive issue,” he said. “I think we can all agree on that, so why would we have the highest honour in the country being issued when there is obviously a strong difference of opinion about it?”

[…]

Morgentaler, a trained family physician, argued that access to abortion was a basic human right and women should not have to risk death at the hands of an untrained professional in order to end their pregnancies.

Morgentaler’s clinics were constantly raided by his opponents, and one in Toronto was firebombed. Morgentaler was arrested several times and spent months in jail as he fought his case at all court levels in Canada.

His victory came on Jan. 28, 1988, when the Supreme Court of Canada struck down Canada’s abortion law. That law, which required a woman who wanted an abortion to appeal to a three-doctor hospital abortion committee, was declared unconstitutional.

Cue the expected weeping and gnashing of teeth from outrage-addicted Canucklehead wing-nuts, courtesy Dr Dawg:

I was going to let this go and just party today, but reading the drivelling hatred oozing from the nut-o-sphere this morning has delayed my plans.

I’m referring to the speech-warrior crowd, the people who stand up for freedom in our Stalinist wasteland, who freep the hell out of newspaper polls, who can’t even spell the name of the person they hate, the folks who make sleazy references to Morgentaler’s Jewish ethnicity.

Yup, it’s all the old familiar faces. There’s Binky, aggregating blogposts about the Mark Steyn auto-da-fé, now dutifully directing us to various vicious anti-Morgentaler posts. Funny how the taste for freedom dissipates when women’s rights are at stake. Funny how the bigotry kicks in.

Yes, that is interesting, innit? I’d once again say something about irony’s untimely demise, but I think I’ve already buried that particular line of snark six feet under (and then some). Hey, flogging a dead horse is just too cruel, even for a baby-hating feticide-apologist like yours truly (yes, I really do think).

Maclean’s columnist Andrew Potter [almost] right [except for the part about there being “no other serious champions” for reproductive freedom]:

Dr. Henry Morgentaler risked his reputation, his freedom, and his life for decades in service of a cause that had no other serious champion in this country.

He is a remarkable man who has lived a remarkable life. He deserves to be a member of the order of Canada, because, more than the vast majority of members of the Order, he has lived his life according to the motto inscribed on the medal: He desired a better country.

Or, as JJ puts it (as only she can):

I don’t give a happy monkeyfuck if “others fundamentally disagree” — they can get stuffed. Dr. Morgentaler has contributed more to Canadian women’s right to self-determination than any other individual, and has risked his life and his freedom doing it. Before he stood up for our rights, our reproductive business was dictated by the state and whatever sex-obsessed authoritarian busybodies had its ear. Not acceptable: never was, never will be, and Dr. Morgentaler sealed the deal. His Order of Canada is long overdue… .

A-fuckin’-men, sister.

Look, I’m not one for overt displays of patriotism, nor for possessing much in the way of ‘pride’ in my country (as opposed to hope for humanity in general, regardless of national borders). Still, giving this particular honour to someone who essentially put his career–and his life–at risk to ensure that a Canadian woman’s right to bodily autonomy is not constrained by the State makes even a staunch internationalist such as yours truly feel a twinge in ye olde chest cavity of–yes–proud nationalist sentiment–either that, or the kielbasa I ate earlier is repeating on me. In any case, don’t expect ol’ matttbastard to take a page out of Uncle Steve’s good book and start asking ‘God’ to bless Canada (although I do reserve the right to hypocritically say ‘gesundheit’ when someone sneezes in my presence).

h/t skdadl and dBO, who offers the following wry observation in response to Liberal MP Dan McTeague’s claim that “[t]he Governor-General and the committee advising on appointments to the Order of Canada have always been careful in the past not to choose people who were controversial or who would not be unanimously celebrated by all Canadians”:

One of the commenters at JJ’s reminds us that last year, there was a choice for the Order of Canada that was controversial and affronted the fundamental rightwingnutters and fetus fetishists: the Rev. Brent Hawkes.

But-but-but what about divisiveness? Or the dead babies? FOR GOD’S SAKE WON’T SOMEBODY PUHLEEASE CONSIDER THE MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF DEAD BABIES?1?!!!11interrochittychittybangbangone

Background: more from CBC News:

Update: via Bruce and JJ: it’s official:

Henry Morgentaler, C.M.

Toronto, Ontario

Member of the Order of Canada

For his commitment to increased health care options for women, his determined efforts to influence Canadian public policy and his leadership in humanist and civil liberties organizations.

Congratulations, Dr. Morgentaler.

Update 2: More from Dave at the Beav on McTeague’s bogus contention re: anodyne OoC selections.

Update 3: More cork-popping from April, JJ, Bruce, and Dawg.

Update 4: Get some bubbly at The Stormy Days of March, thought,interrupted by typos, and Canadian Cynic.

Also, Scott Tribe in comments at Kuri’s place provides the following (scroll down, second comment):

Actually, you and everyone else should also thank Beverly Mclaughlin, chief justice of the Supreme Court, for waiving the normal requirement of a vote having to be unanimous for the panel to pass along the recommendation to the G.G.

Great. I can already envision the endless parade of unhinged harangues against our tyrannical judiciary this bit of news is sure to provoke.

Update 5: Hysperia reminds us that, while this is indeed a laudable occasion, we should try not to get too caught up in the celebrations. We still have quite a ways to go before universal access to reproductive services in Canada is achieved.

Update 6 07.03: Renee @ womanist musings on Morgentaler and the importance of reproductive liberty for lower income women.

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Letting Random YouTube Commenters Do the Hard Goddamn Work For Me (OMGWTFBBQ ABORTIFACIENTS!!!1 Edition)

by matttbastard

Sez myspace.com/stopabortifacients

(“Male
34 years old
CHICAGO, Illinois
United States “):

Sez YouTube commenter lilsasami (in response to Mr. “I <3 pre bornz almost as much as I <3 JPII”):

Oh my god! I’ve been abortin’ my four celled babies!

Christ, just when I think the [lifers] can’t get any dumber they come out with this shit. Congratulations loons, you just took crazy to a whole new level.

lilsasami = EPIC WIN.

Related: Kathryn Joyce on the overwhelmingly insipid upcoming national anti-contraception action event, Protest the Pill Day ’08: The Pill Kills Babies (h/t Fern Hill).

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The Tampon Police

Ok, this is taking the fetish to absurd, Onion-esque extremes:

The Colorado Supreme Court cleared the way Tuesday for an anti-abortion group to collect signatures for a ballot measure that would define a fertilized egg as a person.

[…]

“It doesn’t outlaw abortion, it doesn’t regulate birth control,” said Kristi Burton, 20, of Colorado for Equal Rights. “It’s just a constitutional principle. We’re laying a foundation that every life deserves protection.

Burton said the initiative would simply define a human.

“It’s very clearly a single subject,” Burton said. “If it’s a human being, it’s a person, and hey, they deserve equal rights under our law.”

It’s a fucking egg, you dumb ass. As Katha Pollitt said, “[a] potential person is not a person, any more than an acorn is an oak tree.” Yeesh, how long before the Kleenex Kops begin investigating the wastebaskets of wank-happy teenage boys? (MASS SPERMICIDE BY JERK OFF JANJAWEEDS!!!11 CONVENE TEH UN SECURITY COUNCIL!!!1)

h/t Stormy Days Of March

Update: fern-with-one-eff-hill is full of WIN.

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Stanek Family Values

by matttbastard

A pro-life serial killer; domestic (mob) violence portrayed as virtuous (hey, he was doin’ it for teh unbornz!)

Jeebus.

Are fetus-fetishizing conservatwits entirely allergic to irony?  Much as I’m loathe to utilize the overused ‘fucking for virginity’ analogy, in this instance I think it fits perfectly. “Way twisted,” indeed.

h/t JJ Hippie

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Cognitive dissonance affects reading comprehension

by sassywho

Faux News reports that some study (which I can’t find right now – just take my word for it) purportedly shows that people who cannot reconcile their own personal beliefs with contradictory circumstance have difficulty reading.

It appears a recent post of mine caught the attention of some wingnuts. The first response was a Big Blue “Oh, no you didn’t, quickly followed by a hearty “Fo’ realz grrl!” from fellow fetus fetishist Jill Stanek.

I know, you are asking yourself the same question as I: “Who the hell is Jill Stanek?

Grab your gut folks – she’s a columnist for WingNutDaily, the author of theocon agitprop fair and balanced opinion pieces like “March Of Dimes marches for death”:

Tomorrow, April 28, the March of Dimes will launch its 2007 WalkAmerica fund-raisers around the country.

MOD’s stated mission is “to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects and infant mortality.”

In the interest of full disclosure, MOD should add, “… in politically correct ways.”

MOD has been at odds with the pro-life community since the 1970s for its inexplicable love affair with the pro-death movement in many areas.

One is that MOD turns a blind eye toward the link between induced abortion and premature delivery.

(h/t Feministe)

For a refresher, I was speculating that the death of Laura Smith, a young woman who underwent a 2nd trimester abortion, was possibly a result of less safe procedure being performed by her physician (covering his ass due to the SCOTUS ban on D&X). These procedures could include the use of drugs such as Digoxin and/or not dilating the cervix enough.

The primary bone of contention (other than my being an unrepentant infanticidal feminazi) seems to be that I said there was no way of knowing what kind of procedure she had. Let’s recap: the article only reported that her mother said she had a “suction-type” abortion. I may be missing something, but I’m pretty sure that is not a name for standard therapeutic abortions; there are medical (ie, drug-induced) and surgical, with all surgical abortions (and, apparently, the arguments of most pro-life bloggers) utilizing some variation of sucking:

Vacuum Aspiration:
In the first trimester, usually 6 to 13 weeks, vacuum aspiration is the procedure used to empty the uterus. This traditional first trimester abortion involves three main steps: (1) an injection to numb the cervix, (2) insertion of a soft flexible tube through the cervix into the uterus, (3) suction created by an aspirating machine to remove the pregnancy from the uterus. It is done in an outpatient clinic, doctor’s office or hospital and takes less than five minutes to complete the actual procedure.

IPAS Syringe – Early Abortion with Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA):
As soon as the pregnancy can be detected by ultrasound (typically 4-5 weeks), an abortion can be performed using a manual aspiration device called the IPAS Syringe. Similar to the suction aspiration procedure, the IPAS system consists of thin flexible tubing, but instead of using a machine to create suction, the suction is created by a handheld syringe. The procedure usually takes less than 5 minutes to complete. Aftercare is the same as with suction aspiration. Availability of this procedure is based upon doctor’s discretion. Abortion by syringe is sometimes referred to as the quiet abortion.

D & E (Dilate and Evacuate):
From 13 to 24 weeks, Cedar River Clinics use the Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) procedure. Appointments are made for 2-3 consecutive days. On the first day, an ultrasound (sonogram) is performed to determine the size of the fetus. Then, the abortion procedure is begun by numbing the cervix with injections and inserting dilators into the cervix. Overnight these dilators gently expand, opening the entrance to the uterus. The next day, the cervix is again numbed, the dilators are removed, and the doctor uses special instruments to evacuate the uterus and remove the pregnancy. The final step is suction using the aspirating machine. In more advanced pregnancies, additional dilators are inserted on the second day and the fetus is removed on the third day. The medical procedure lasts about 10-15 minutes.

Don’t get me wrong: it’s tragic that Laura Smith died. My heart sincerely goes out to her family and friends. But perhaps the main reason baby-worshipping wingnuts are so disturbed by her death is not because abortions inevitably kill teh wimmins, but because she was one of them.

Once again, mere speculation.

(And it’s Stacy, without the gratuitous ‘E’. Maybe you should stick with ‘sassywho’ – it’s easier.)

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Same Old, Same Old

by matttbastard

x-posted @ Comments From Left Field

WaPo: Bush puts birth control opponent in charge of family planning office:

Susan Orr, most recently an associate commissioner in the Administration for Children and Families, was appointed Monday to be acting deputy assistant secretary for population affairs. She will oversee $283 million in annual grants to provide low-income families and others with contraceptive services, counseling and preventive screenings.

In a 2001 article in The Washington Post, Orr applauded a Bush proposal to stop requiring all health insurance plans for federal employees to cover a broad range of birth control. “We’re quite pleased, because fertility is not a disease,” said Orr, then an official with the Family Research Council.

Yes, that Family Research Council. Wait – it gets better (via Shakesville):

– At the 2001 Conservative Political Action Conference, Orr cheered Bush’s endorsement of Reagan’s “Mexico City Policy,” which required NGOs receiving federal funds to “neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations.” Orr said that it was proof Bush was pro-life “in his heart.”

– In a 2000 Weekly Standard article, Orr railed against requiring health insurance plans to cover contraceptives. “It’s not about choice,” said Orr. “It’s not about health care. It’s about making everyone collaborators with the culture of death.

– Orr authored a paper in 2000 titled, “Real Women Stay Married.” In it she wrote that women should “think about focusing our eyes, not upon ourselves, but upon the families we form through marriage.”

My oh my, I do believe we have ourselves a textbook fetus fetishist of the highest order here! Anyone who considers using sensible and, um, legal methods of birth control to be collaboration with “The Culture of Death” (ZOMG!) totally deserves a complimentary 5 year subscription to Monthly Uterus Magazine. And while we’re at it, give one to acting Surgeon General Steve Galson and the new director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Janet Woodcock, too (Berlynn, I’m gonna singlehandedly put your ad rev through the motherfucking roof!)

Consider it penance for many, many years of death culture collaboration on my part, although I did somehow manage to avoid partaking in any teen sex cult activity (sigh).

Oh, and try not to think too hard about the low-income families and young women whose access to vital contraceptive services, preventative screenings for cervical cancer, and counseling has once again been placed in jeopardy by this latest ideologically-motivated appointment on the part of the Bush admin (hey, remember how well the last one worked out?) I’m sure The Decider had good reason to decisively assert his relevance (“unfinished business” indeed) by throwing the underprivileged under the bus, and wasn’t cynically pandering to an increasingly dissatisfied base GOP constituency.

As they say, “women and children first.” Although I always assumed that colloquialism meant “first to be saved,” not “first to be tossed overboard.”

More on Orr and the FRC from RH Reality Check and Jill @ Feministe (h/t Kyle), who also links to a Planned Parenthood petition calling on (reproductive) freedom-loving Americans to express their opposition to Orr’s appointment.

Related: As the increasingly-militant USian anti-choice lobby continues to escalate the war on regulated pregnancy by attacking access to contraception, Fern Hill examines the “lively tug-of-war going on between morality and merchandizing.” Gee, maybe free-market absolutists are onto something.

I said ‘maybe.’

Update: Deborah Lipp gets to the crux of the matter (emph in original):

It is absolutely true that if you want to prevent abortion and preserve life, then safe, legal abortion combined with safe, legal, accessible, inexpensive birth control is the way to make that happen. The fact that the “pro-life” (snort) movement doesn’t favor any of those things doesn’t mean it’s not true. It means they’re not pro-life.

Indeed.

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