The Radical Notion

Encouraging women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians

Dr. George Tiller, 1941-2009 June 3, 2009

I know I’m kind of a day late and an hour short on this story, but it’s taken me a couple of days to process. For those of you who have been living under a rock with only sporadic Internet access, Dr. George Tiller, a doctor at the Women’s Health Care clinic in Wichita, Kansas, was murdered in his church on Sunday. As Cristina Page, author of one of my favorite books, writes in an editorial for the Huffington Post, this is the first casualty in the near-inevitable upsurge in domestic terrorism directed at abortion providers in the United States since Barack Obama’s election. Abortion clinics have already experienced huge increases in harassing phone calls (1401 in four months versus 396 in a year in the Bush administration), blockades, stalking, and other tried-and-true tactics that the anti-choice movement uses to intimidate women seeking abortions and those who would provide them.

When I first heard the news on Sunday, I was surprised but not shocked – coming as it does on the heels of the DHS report on the growing danger of right-wing extremism in the country, I had braced myself for the worst. I was angry, certainly, and sad in an abstract way, as one is whenever hearing about someone who’s died, but my attention was mostly focused on monitoring the maelstrom in the progressive blogosphere. I read lots of things I hadn’t known about abortion availability, and the extent to which anti-choice activists will go to get their way, and became increasingly outraged. As I think I have made clear, I feel very strongly that a woman’s right to bodily autonomy is paramount, and those that would campaign to remove it from her get on my shitlist right quick. I started collecting and bookmarking and compiling posts, planning one of my own on the matter. One thing that I noticed in several posts (such as this excellent one from Shakesville) was the mention of personal sorrow on the author’s part – something that I couldn’t really identify with. I mean, I was super-pissed, but heartbroken? Weeping? Not really. It’s not that I’m heartless – on the contrary, I’ve been known to bawl during Disney movies and Buffy season finales without reservation – but I just didn’t feel personally affected by the event. There were some vigils held across the country last night, and I could have gotten to one very easily, but I just didn’t think I’d fit in. I wanted statistics and scathing analysis, not some pseudoreligious sobfest. What would be the point? So I stayed home, and I read some more. (more…)

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On Appeasement April 1, 2009

Today, we have two recent examples of political appeasement – one in Afghanistan, and one in the United States. In the U.S., Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius, who is nominated to head the Department of Health and Human Services, has signed into law a bill passed in the Kansas legislature, restricting women’s abortion rights (via).

As far as fetal ultrasound mandates go, I think Twisty says it best:

Because stupid ignorant women apparently don’t have the slightest idea what pregnancy is; they need this vital information, available only through a medical procedure, about what is really going on in their lady-ovens. If they are given the opportunity (i.e. forced) to endure a fetus-screening (”Here’s baby’s precious little beating heart, here’s his adorable little brain stem …”), they will see the error of their ways and comply with the godbag mandate to shut up and be punished for the sin of fornication by incubating to term, followed by a lifetime of child-rearing drudgery.

[…]For a woman seeking an abortion, this weepy ultrasound intervention, like most state and medical interference in private lives, is wildly inappropriate. It’s nothing but pressure to conform by shaming the woman into a culturally-mandated response. No “information” is imparted, only social cues. The only possible rationale behind any […]anti-abortion bill is to make abortion as inconvenient, shaming, and difficult as possible.

(more…)

 

“Pro-Life” Myth No. 3.5: Pro-Choicers hate babies, so they should…have more of them? January 25, 2009

This thought occurred to me during the writing of my last post in this series, about the “pro-life” myth that people who are in favor of reproductive choice hate babies. As I (hopefully) demonstrated in that post, a lot of the the time, someone’s reason for getting an abortion is the exact opposite: they care a great deal about children, both preexisting and potential, so having an abortion when unable to care for (another) one is an expression of that respect and love. I stand by those statements, but wonder: why is it that that argument gets under people’s skin so easily? (more…)

 

“Pro-Life” Myth No. 3: Pro-choicers hate babies!

This is a persistent one. Besides being chanted by every Planned Parenthood protester with a fetus picture, it got a lot of mileage during the latest presidential campaign. Basically, at a campaign event in March of last year, Obama said the following scandalous statement:

“I’ve got two daughters — 9 years old and 6 years old. I’m going to teach them first of all about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.”

I dislike his equating “values and morals” with abstinence and lack thereof with sex, but I do like that he’s encouraging contraceptive use (this speech was not actually about abortion at all). He also recognizes, as most reasonable people do, that being pregnant when one does not wish to be is distinctly unpleasant, and when this unpleasantness is the result of sex, a pregnancy (particularly a pregnancy that one is unable to get rid of) can reasonably be called “a punishment” for said sex.

Well. I’m sure you can guess how that radical sentiment worked out. (more…)

 

Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey… January 24, 2009

Filed under: Abortion,Obama,Uncategorized — theradicalnotion @ 6:10 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Curse my lack of faith! The Global Gag Rule, officially known as the Mexico City Policy?

Buh-bye now.

To celebrate, please enjoy the following clip of the late and irrepressible George Carlin, on abortion rights: (more…)

 

“Pro-Life” Myth No. 2: “Choice” is a dirty word January 18, 2009

Are you outraged? Are you inflamed with the fires of righteous anger? Are you duly vexed?

What do you mean, you’re not?

No, I’m not talking about the inauguration or either of the pastors speaking at it (the gay one or the one that hates gays – hi, Rick!). I’m talking about the doughnuts. The abortion doughnuts. The deep-fried wonders that are, even as we speak, terminating the pregnancies of any and all pregnant women they see with their glazed little eyes, and the organization that is enabling them to do so – Krispy Kreme [shudder]. Makes me sick (So much more than that Campbell’s Soup ad did a couple of weeks ago).

You don’t believe me? Hear it from my Supreme Overlord, Judie Brown:

Washington, DC (15 January 2009) – The following is a statement from American Life League president, Judie Brown. “The next time you stare down a conveyor belt of slow-moving, hot, sugary glazed donuts at your local Krispy Kreme you just might be supporting President-elect Barack Obama’s radical support for abortion on demand – including his sweeping promise to sign the Freedom of Choice Act as soon as he steps in the Oval Office, Jan. 20.

So, there you go. And if you still don’t believe me – read it for yourself. (more…)

 

“Pro-Life” Myth No. 1: You can just give it up for adoption! Problem solved! January 8, 2009

Time for a series on wingnut myths about reproductive rights! Yay!

Every time someone says, “Oh, I don’t think you should be allowed to have an abortion. But just give it up for adoption! It’s just as good for you, and better for your baby!”, I want to punch a hole in the wall. Part of it is the blithe nature in which it’s said, exacerbating the flagrant disregard of what the mother might think is best for her or her baby; part of it is the moralistic, holier-than-thou tone – ironic, in my opinion, because said tone is coming from someone who has made it their business to guilt/force women into bearing unwanted children, and still manages to feel proud and self-satisfied.

My quarrel is not with adoption, per se. My quarrel is with these “pro-lifers” (you know what? I can’t handle putting parentheses around the term each time I use it, and don’t want to get into what the best alternate term would be, so just assume the quotes are there from here on out) who frantically trot out ADOPTION as the best (and only moral) choice for pregnant women who aren’t ready to have a child. Adoption can be a wonderful thing for everyone involved, but to assert that it’s the best choice in all cases, or for all people, is a dramatic misrepresentation of the facts, and insulting to women who choose to have an abortion rather than give their babies up. (more…)