This was originally published on Off The Main Page on June 21, 2017.
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are very much pro-life. But, are anti-abortion activists really that “pro-life?” They talk about a “culture of life,” but what would that look like?
So far, Trump has reinstated a global gag rule, which prevents funding for organizations that provide reproductive health care overseas. He also passed a billthat would allow states to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood.
Is this what a “culture of life” looks like? These Republicans are cutting women’s reproductive rights. Unfortunately, that is not going to stop women who want abortions from getting them. They imagine a perfect world full of bouncing babies, but many women don’t want that. We would just end up with a bunch of dead women.
Take a look at El Salvador. They have banned abortion completely. Many women die from illegal abortion procedures. Either that or they ingest poisons to try and force a miscarriage.
It is hard to track just how many because these procedures are performed illegally. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that at least 11 percent of these women die from illegal abortion procedures. That is, at least, 2,000 women. Amnesty International reports that 57 percent of deaths of teenage pregnant women in El Salvador is from suicide. We don’t want our country to turn into this.
This was originally published on Liberal America on June 19, 2017.
Birth control can have many great benefits, some of which include regulating menstrual cycles, controlling acne, and, obviously, helping prevent women from becoming pregnant and having children before they are ready to do so.
Republicans love to try and prevent women from getting access to birth control, and then try to outlaw abortions too. As if a woman must become pregnant regardless of her desire to do so.
Many women are being forced to choose more long-term birth control options, or to choose methods that they may not have chosen otherwise. One Twitter user is a nurse at a women’s clinic, and she is witnessing the effects of this.
She had a patient curse House Speaker Paul Ryan while having her intrauterine device (IUD) inserted. The nurse tweeted:
“This was funny, yes. But the meaning behind it is what should frustrate everyone. With all of the threats to reproductive health care, women everywhere are feeling pressured to get long-acting contraception. A lot of docs won’t even provide IUDs if you haven’t had children. It’s very stupid. So women feel pushed to get IUDs or implants when that may not be the right choice for them ultimately. So once again, the choice is being taken away from women. So sincerely, fuck you, Paul Ryan.”
She works at one of the few Planned Parenthood clinics left in Iowa. She also said:
“We see women who are rushing to get long-acting contraception because they feel they are backed into a corner. These women are afraid of losing their coverage and their clinics altogether while this administration is in power. On one hand, it makes me so happy that we can provide these services and contraceptive methods to women, but it is so frustrating when you understand the fact that women are, once again, feeling like their choice and their bodily autonomy is being taken away from them.”
For most women, a contraceptive pill or the Depo-Provera shot is a better choice, but they are losing faith in having access to medical care to be able to get refills on the pills or the shot. IUDs can last five to ten years, depending on which version is inserted.
This was originally published on June 19, 2017 on Liberal America.
Under this new Republican regime, reproductive rights are taking a hit left and right. Many states are limiting abortion rights and access to birth control. Women in Missouri may be facing another setback in their reproductive rights.
The Senate in Missouri just passed a bill that would legally allow hiring managers to discriminate against women who use birth control or women who have had abortions. The law also requires abortion clinics to meet the same standards as outpatient surgery centers.
Governor Eric Greitens said:
“We want to protect life. We want to defend life, and we want to promote a culture of life here in the state of Missouri.”
Currently, the state bans employers from discriminating against these women. However, this new law would repeal it.
Alison Dreith, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri, criticized the lawmakers for waiting until midnight to vote on this bill. She said:
“Passing further restrictions on women’s access to abortion in the dark of night is shameful, at best. Republican senators know this, or they would have allowed the hundreds of people rallying at the Capitol on Wednesday take part in the process.”
The Kansas City Star reports:
“It also would provide stronger whistleblower protections for employees of abortion clinics and new requirements for pathologists who provide services to abortion clinics.”
This is a huge step backward in the fight for women’s rights. A woman’s reproductive decisions should not cost her a job. An employer has no business even discussing it or asking about it. That is a private decision between a woman, her spouse, and her doctor. The bill is using the rights of faith-based employers as an excuse, but it’s a pretty thin excuse. No employer has the right to discriminate against women in this way. This would set a scary precedent for other states, as well.