Note: This post is written from my solidly and passionately pro-choice perspective. I have no problem with those who hold pro-life convictions and lovingly and respectfully encourage women to carry their pregnancies to term and keep the babies or give them up for adoption rather than having abortions-in fact, I respect them for sharing their convictions with those around them. I do have a problem with those who legislate their pro-life convictions into state law and want to control all women’s lives and bodies. I will accept comments from a pro-life perspective as long as they’re respectful (no personal attacks, no false data, no abusive language-normal swearing is allowed, as I do it myself and say “fuck” twice and “shit” once in this post), and I reserve the right to delete any disrespectful pro-life comments.
Since it’s Ash Wednesday, I’ve decided to modify the blog a bit for Lent. (For the record, I’ve always been terrible about Lenten sacrifices, so I usually just make a concerted effort to do good deeds.) I still have several doll-themed posts planned and I still intend to publish them, but my Lenten sacrifice this year will be blogging about social issues as often as I can.
Incidentally enough, the duration of Lent has contributed to this decision: Lent lasts for 40 days; I just read about an antiabortion group called 40 Days for Life in this article from the Guardian’s Melissa McEwen (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/apr/19/extreme-anti-abortion-groups-infiltrate); therefore, as an antidote to 40 Days for Life, I’ve decided to kick off this first social justice post by spreading awareness of the Guardian article.
If I found myself unexpectedly pregnant, I don’t know what I’d do (and I don’t think I can know until and unless I find myself in that situation, because every unexpected pregnancy is different), but I know I’d want every option to be available to me. Unfortunately, Ohio is rather restrictive-here are the laws I’ve found:
1. No partial-birth abortions (I personally don’t have a problem with this, but what’s not in my uterus isn’t my domain to choose)
2. No abortions after the 24-week viability point unless the woman’s doctor and a professionally neutral second doctor can prove her life or physical health is in danger, and these have to be performed at a hospital in the manner that best allows the baby (even if the fetus is nowhere near the viability point, Ohio law still calls it a baby and not the medically correct term of fetus) to survive (what the ever-loving fuck?! IMO, that still prioritizes the fetus over the woman!)
3. No abortions for minors without parental consent or a court order overriding parental consent (ugh-what about incest? IMO, no way an incestuous male relative would let a girl get an abortion!)
3b. You have to get an abortion in your home county or the next county over-this means a minor can’t venue-shop, or go to a county with more sympathetic judges
4. Informed consent-a woman who wants to get an abortion has to let a doctor tell her she’s aborting a “baby” (still actually a fetus, according to the medical system) that’s x-weeks old, tell her the name of the abortionist, and give her pro-life propaganda, and then she has to sign a form saying she sat through all that shit and still wants an abortion
5. Freedom of conscience-a pro-life medical professional doesn’t have to participate in a medical procedure that might lead to abortion
6. Only doctors can perform abortions
7. All doctors have to report abortions to the state health department-(sarcasm)everyone knows, yay!(end sarcasm)
8. No RU-486 unless you follow federal guidelines to the letter
9. If ultrasounds are needed the woman has to watch the ultrasound and listen to the fetal development details, and the abortionist has to offer her a printed picture from the ultrasound
Fuck, it’s a miracle the heartbeat bill (no abortions after the fetal heartbeat’s first detected, which can be as early as 6 weeks) failed! If I ever find myself in need of an abortion, I might take a trip to a blue state for a few days (that is, I’m getting an out-of-state abortion with less restrictions).
I’m middle-class, so I can probably afford to take that blue-state trip if I have to. There are so many other women, here in Ohio and across the country, who can’t. This is why Roe v. Wade is so important. This is why I’m pro-choice-it matters not to me how a woman wants to handle an unexpected pregnancy or why she wants an abortion; all that matters is that she does have those choices. Not my uterus, not my business. Please fight against unfair abortion restrictions in your state/country so that all women can have control over their bodies and their reproductive health.
Of course, all the convictions in the world don’t matter unless you can openly express them, like I’m doing now. To show my support and solidarity with all those preserving and protecting free speech around the world, here’s Lara, a French artist from the Generation Girl Barbie line, with a beautiful image from last month’s #JeSuisCharlie.
Note: I have no talent for drawing, so I went to Bing Images to find an image to use as Lara’s fictional artwork. All credit goes to the original artist, DegasClover (degasclover.deviantart.com).