neadods: (Default)
I have decided on my resolutions for 2013, or more accurately, one overarching resolution: Git 'er done. All the things that need to be renovated, all the places that need to be picked up, all the stuff that needs to be gone through, all the organizing. Git 'er done, so that I can head into 2014 with a clear slate and the ability to find my shit.

This does not prelude my being at Gally and ChicagoTARDIS for the Doctor Who anniversary year, plus worshiping at the altar of Scott The First in Stratford. I *am* a fan, after all.

Speaking of fans, you may be aware that someone famous in comics has mansplained that cosplaying women at comic conventions are not "real" fans. I've seen scholarly takedowns and feminist takedowns, but Dork Towers does the best job of it in 15 panels. Do NOT fuck with costumers, dude; we know from experience just how much damage can be done to the human body with a rotary cutter.

And while I'm on the topic of self-appointed gateway keepers acting badly, the men behind I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere have put their foot in it by getting all "OMG, WTF?" over faunlock - which I had to go look up, but turns out to be BBC Sherlock as a faun. (The Greek mythological kind, not the little spotted baby deer kind.) They're old school Holmesians, so the whole way BBC Sherlock fandom is unabashedly bringing in all the usual media tropes is hard for them to wrap their head around, but don't take this as me making excuses because I've asked to their (Facebook) faces why this is quantifiably different than Basil of Baker Street or Wishbone.

Dudes! There are plenty of fringes that aren't my cuppa (Mystrade? Really? They've never met onscreen!) but picking one to make a public example of and apologize "on behalf of fandom" for? Bad form. VERY bad form. And also? You don't speak for fandom as a whole.
neadods: (orange_line)
By refusing to comply with a federal law allowing women to choose their own providers of basic wellness care health services (one of those providers being Planned Parenthood), Texas has lost federal funds and denied some 70,000 women of the funded services.

Wisconsin has reinstated a strict limit on the time women are allowed to sue over wage discrimination, eliminating a law that had been written when a specific woman was denied her rights because she found out about the wage discrimination "too late."

Mississippi, which has the highest teen pregnancy rates in the nation, has laws banning the discussion of condoms in sex education *except* to discuss failure rates. Mississippi lawmakers are also trying to rewrite laws to force the state's single abortion clinic out of business. (For the purposes of overseas comparison, Mississippi state is roughly half the land mass of the island holding England, Scotland, and Wales. One. Clinic. In. The. Whole. State.)

Arizona just banned abortion after 20 weeks... which is calculated not by conception, but by the woman's last menstrual period, making the actual cutoff somewhere 16-18 weeks, depending on when the woman conceived.

Georgia tried to ban abortion for any reason after 20 weeks, including health of fetus or mother. When it was pointed out that this prevented removal of a stillbirth, one of the bill's supporters compared women carrying a dead fetus to the livestock on his farm. After the backlash, the overall ban went into affect, although with a codicil exempting mother's health or "medically futile" pregnancies.

I put on an orange vest and stood in a parking lot. (Fraulein and Father Corleone were uncharacteristically quiet today.)

We have to vote this upcoming election. But voting is not the only action we can take to fight back.
neadods: (disgusted)
I was going to just write a rant about my personal experience when a Planned Parenthood-enabled mammogram told me I didn't have breast cancer. Then I was going to put a link to a beautifully succinct message from the Komen boards from a woman whose breast cancer was discovered via a Planned Parenthood prescribed mammogram.

Then I found this article from the LA Times: Komen Officials Say It's Not About Abortion in which most of the points that I wanted to make have been tangentially made by Nancy Brinker, founder & Chief Executive of Komen, falling over her own feet.

Reading it, I planned to discuss the double standard of paragraph 6, where Brinker said that they were cutting funding to all institutions under investigation, but neither she nor the reporter made a peep about grants going to Penn State (currently under federal, state, *and* local investigation for covering up long-term pedophilic predation).

Then I was going to crow about Brinker herself putting the lie to "poor women can just go elsewhere" in paragraph 8, when she admitted that several Planned Parenthood branches will still receive funding "because it provides services that cannot be replaced through grants to another organization."

But it's paragraphs 9 & 10 that stopped me in my tracks:
Komen officials also said that the Planned Parenthood's breast-health programs may not be the best use of its funds. While women can receive clinical breast exams at Planned Parenthood clinics, patients are referred to other medical facilities for mammograms, biopsies and cancer treatment. Brinker referred to this model as "pass-through" services.

"We look at the quality of the grants," Brinker said. "This isn't about funding the same thing over and over. It's about how can we get better? We don't like to do pass-through grants any more."

You know who else doesn't do mammograms, biopsies, and cancer treatment? ALL OB/GYNs! My doctor writes me a presciption to get a mammogram; she sent the stuff she removed from me out to a lab for biopsy; and if it did turn out to be cancerous, we would have discussed her referring me to an oncologist. She is the coordinator and the medical expertise, but she does none of this work herself. She passes it through to the other experts.


Spread this far and wide. This isn't about abortion, this isn't even about Planned Parenthood. This is about the expressed opinion of the director and founder of Susan G Komen for the Cure regarding mammogram referrals, no matter where they come from.
neadods: (disgusted)
Sorry to ruin your morning, but there's a really appalling article about the consequences of mandating that Life At All Costs Is Good coming out of Nebraska this morning.

Nebraska passed a "fetal pain" law, meaning that no abortions could be done past the time activists determine that the fetus could feel pain. There was an exception for health of the mother... but not for life of the actual fetus.

So the inevitable has ineved a mere two months after the passing of the law:

Woman is pregnant with much wanted child.

Pregnancy goes horribly wrong. Woman loses most of amniotic fluid. Doctor tells mother that fetus absolutely cannot survive outside womb.

Woman attempts to get abortion to spare herself the agony of birthing dying child and spare baby the agony of consciously dying.

Nebraska law says, "No." *HER* life isn't in danger. The fetus still has a heartbeat.

So, she has to wait to miscarry.


And when she does? Wanted, loved, desired, UNVIABLE baby smothers to death in mother's arms, trying to breathe without lungs. For fifteen minutes

I'd like to think that anyone with a functioning heart would be heartbroken. With a functioning conscience would be revolted, saddened.

The response to the "right to lifers" who pushed the law?

Speaker to Neb Legislature Mike Flood: “Even in these situations where a baby has a terminal condition, there is still a life,” Flood said. “That life is worth protecting.”

Exec Director of Nebraska Right to Life: “Isn’t it more humane for the baby to die in a loving manner with comfort, care and in the arms of her parents than by the intentional painful death through abortion?”

That isn't a quote from Planned Parenthood or some pro-choice group putting words in people's mouths. It's direct from the "women deserve better than abortion" source: A nonviable life must still be lived, however short and painful. Smothering to death slowly over the course of a quarter hour is "to die in a loving manner with comfort." It's humane.

Humane is the last word I'd use.

And I'd say this is an aberration, but I once had an argument with someone who told me how "wonderful" it was that women I know who've told me they would rather have been aborted themselves than have the childhoods they'd had "were alive to say it." So this isn't the first time I've run into the notion that no matter how agonizing, no matter how doomed, no matter what people want for themselves, someone else thinks that as long as the heart is beating, things are just peachy.
neadods: (facepalm)
South Dakota has shelved the bill allowing "justifiable homicide" in defense of a fetus.

In its place, the SD House just passed a bill mandating that women must consult with anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers before getting an abortion.. There do not appear to be any exceptions, so if that fetus is dying or killing you, you'd still have to listen to a lecture by an untrained counsellor telling you it's *their* God's will you stay pregnant.

And I'm SURE that NOBODY in such a center would DREAM of putting off that mandatory appointment until the clock ran out on a legal early abortion.

There's no point in getting too worked up because there's no way in hell it would survive a legal challenge even if it passed into law. But seriously, who thought that was a good idea?
neadods: (orange_line)
Have you ever noticed when it comes to anti-abortion legislation and activism, it's phrased with lots of heartfelt appeals to "family" and "innocent life" but take a look at the actual *result.* Especially with the two latest go-rounds hitting the news. No matter how much discussion there is of babies and innocence, the actual point of the activism and legislation is "Sluts Have No Rights."

A pregnant woman can only get pregnant one way, after all, and rhetoric about the only choice they should be given was to have or not have sex is a ha'penny a dozen on the Internet and in the news. Once the woman is pregnant, well - she "chose" to have sex (let's all take the side comments about "... not if she was raped" as a given) and thus she has to "live with the consequences" ("... even if she did plan and the birth control failed" is also a given. Not the point of this post.)

Even the faintest whiff of someone potentially having sex is dirty, bad, and slutty - that is, you may have noticed, THE main argument against mandatory vaccination against genital warts, sex education beyond "keep your knees together" and dissemination of birth control. Give girls the idea they can have sex without pregnancy or diseases, and the little tarts might just go out and do it.

A pregnant woman has, very obviously, done it.


If you've been watching the news swirling around Lila Rose and her Planned Parenthood "sting" one thing leaps out. She's not jumping up and down screaming because PP offered abortions, even though that's supposed to be what she's most upset about. It's that she's howling that PP did something horribly illegal by offering pregnant girls and women the following services:
- doctor/patient confidentiality
- medically accurate advice
- facilitation with translation for non-English speakers

And oh yeah - in case you hadn't noticed, PP also provided legal protection to the nonexistent girls caught in a nonexistent sex ring, because no matter how much Lila denies it, it's on record that PP staff called the FBI immediately after the suspect visits.

At what point is it not morally and legally IMPERATIVE to provide those things? Oh, yeah: when it's a slutty slut slut who wants an abortion. It's just as illegal for podiatrists to break confidentiality, it's just as wrong for chiropractors to not have someone help translate, it's just as immoral to take a minor out to get a tooth extraction without parental knowledge. But nobody could possibly make sting videos out of any of that.

And now South Dakota's at it again. Leslie Unruh has been trying to outlaw all abortion for ages there, something that the electorate keeps stubbornly voting down. (I've seen someone straight-facedly ask how the women of South Dakota can be "trained to vote correctly" so the damn thing will finally go through.)

Since that keeps failing, it's up to Rep. Jensen to come up with House Bill 1171: "An Act to expand the definition of justifiable homicide to provide for the protection of certain unborn children."

Most people are calling it the "open season on abortion doctors bill," which Jensen finds utterly ridiculous. Not at all, he insists! It's for situations like "Say an ex-boyfriend who happens to be father of a baby doesn't want to pay child support for the next 18 years, and he beats on his ex-girfriend's abdomen in trying to abort her baby. If she did kill him, it would be justified. She is resisting an effort to murder her unborn child."

What Rep. Jensen slides right over (although the people in the comments to that article pick up pretty fast) is that the pregnancy status of a woman being beaten is pretty damned moot. She is being beaten with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm. REGARDLESS OF THE REASON WHY OR WHERE THE BLOWS ARE AIMED, SHE IS BEING BEATEN. The case that prompted this (alas, there was one) involved a baseball bat, which is classified as a deadly weapon.

Which means that in America she has every right to defend herself with deadly force. It's even right there in the original wording of the South Dakota bill: Homicide is justifiable if committed by any person while resisting any attempt to murder such person.

Unless, of course, the fucking bitch has been out fucking. Then, well - fuck her. Now only the baby has a right to self defense and she can only act to defend it.

Sluts have no rights.

(And this is before you factor in the "conscience" bill saying that nobody has to do anything that might tangentially be related to abortion if it's against their conscience... even if she might die. Like the woman in that Catholic hospital so in need of an abortion that even the Nun was like "yup, only one way to save that life, and she's too weak to be moved." That's right - it's possible to be *so* pro-life that you can let women die right in front of you! Sluts ain't got no rights, not even the right to their own life.)
neadods: (orange_line)
I got a hit on Google news today about a Chicago hospital offering to stop 2nd timester abortions mid-procedure (as in women who start an abortion elsewhere can come in during the day-long stage where the cervix is being chemically opened and the hospital will try to stop it.)

Ooooookay. Look, I know some women are ambivalent, so if they change their mind, fine.

EXCEPT! The article glosses neatly over the couple of women who didn't change their mind. The one who were harassed outside the clinic by the "sidewalk counsellors" that we call protesters or antis to the point that they were DRAGGED UNWILLINGLY to the hospital for a reversal. The article goes on and on about how the "sidewalk protesters" are a major and important part of "outreach" but only two lines to the women who got to the hospital and told the doctors "I don't want to stop this abortion, this wingnut just wouldn't leave me the fuck alone until I came here."

Shocked? I was. Moreso when the article casually mentions in passing that when one of these women tried to get loose the protester called a lawyer on her. (It's on page 2 of the linked article.)

This woman goes to get a legal abortion, gets nabbed and harassed on the way out, and when she attempts to continue with HER CHOICE of a LEGAL PROCEDURE Jane Q Random AntiChoice CALLS A LAWYER ON HER. A violation of privacy and personal rights which the article glosses right the hell over.

I repeat: WTF Chicago?
neadods: (bleh)
I've been ignoring the individual news stories, but there's been such a perfect storm of anti-choice, anti-woman actions building that I thought it was time I mentioned them in passing. The actual legislative outcome of most of this is as yet unknown.

Catholic Hospitals -- it's been almost a year since a Catholic hospital provided an abortion so clearly life-saving that even the people on their ethics committee said that they needed to save the woman's life instead of the doomed fetus'. A couple of months ago, the local Bishop ... you can Google his name; I can't help but think of him as Bishop BunchedPanties -- literally threw the hospital out of the Catholic diocese, in part because the abortion was provided and in part because the hospital steadfastly refused to apologize for, as the administrator put it, "saving the life we could save." This is hot news here (Maryland was founded as a wildlife preserve for Catholics back when it wasn't safe to be one in England and is still heavily Catholic) because there has been a hard-fought struggle over whether there will be a new Catholic hospital built in the next county or an Adventist one. The Adventists have pointed out that they don't have the same take on women and reproduction that Catholics do.

H.R.3. That's the official name of the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," the first of the money-saving bills introduced into the U.S. Congress. It saves money by reducing funding for abortions - in part by disallowing people to use their own pre-tax money to buy health insurance that covers abortions. It then reduces the number of abortions that can be funded by public money by drawing distinctions between "rape" and "forcible rape" - only that latter being allowable unter the new law. Boehner insists it's not changing anything. Women's rights groups point out that if this bill passes, suddenly statutory rape, drunk/drug date rape, or rape via threat instead of actual force aren't, in Whoopie Goldberg's prhasing "rape-rape and thus don't count. (I cite the Polansky case very deliberately, because while he was twice the girl's age and drugged her, he didn't hit her... and thus this would indeed not be rape under the new law.)

The abortion and mental health study. Big news recently; hundreds of thousands of European women were tracked for mental health between going through with a pregnancy or aborting. The study clearly found that women were more likely to have mental health (stress and post-partum depression) if they gave birth vs. having regrets after an abortion. As Justice Scalia specifically cited post-abortion depression and regret as possibilities that made it reasonable for the Supreme Court to limit abortion in the U.S., this is of major, legal interest here. I have already seen objections that it was flawed (in a LifeNews report that severely undercounted the number of women involved), that women who were already contemplating an abortion were already in a bad mental state instead of neutral as the study suggested, and that the study didn't run long enough because women don't regret it for years and years (after folks like LifeNews have been telling them over and over for years and years that they *are* and *should be* regretting it, but that, of course, isn't mentioned.)

The Planned Parenthood Sting. News is hitting today that there's undercover video showing Planned Parenthood making abortion "easier" and covering up an underaged sex ring. It's going to get lots of play, just like the Acorn and Sherri Sherrod video did. However, at least this time the reputable news outlets are *also* mentioning that two weeks ago Planned Parenthood contacted the FBI and local law enforcement saying that there was either a sex ring they should take down or PP was being set up.

Lastly, I'm going to mention the butcher of PA, the guy without a license who was killing women and apparently live-birth babies right and left. Nobody, absolutely NOBODY on the pro-choice side of things is championing this idiot. He's a charlatan and a murderer and deserves to spend the rest of his life in jail. So don't be holding him up as what really goes on in Planned Parenthood or other licensed, regulated clinics as performed by trained, licensed medical providers. You know what he is? A return to the back street illegal butchers. You know how he managed to operate for so long? Because women were THAT desperate. Read the reports of the women who survived his butchery. At least one directly says that she went to him because his hole wasn't surrounded by protesters; she started out at Planned Parenthood but was turned back by the protesters there.

And that is why I escort, right there. Because otherwise, women don't go have a baby that they magically love and take care of, or is eagerly adopted. Because if a woman who does not want or cannot bear that pregnancy to term cannot get a legal procedure done by a licensed professional, she's going to turn to the first whackaloon with a knife.
neadods: (orange_line)
I'm about to link to an article from Montana, so before people say "that doesn't affect you," yes, I know this isn't my state or even my coast. But link I shall, because I think we're seeing the opening of a new set of anti-abortion tactics.

The new GOP-led state legislature has unveiled eight new abortion-related bills they want drafted. These include:

- Rep. Keith Regier of Kalispell, to criminalize the death of an unborn child. God help you if you miscarry and can't prove it, ladies!

- Sen. Jim Shockley of Victor, to require girls younger than 16 to get parental permission to have an abortion. It sounds so reasonable and family friendly. Have I ever mentioned that I personally know someone who was knocked up by her own father at age 15?

- Rep. Wendy Warburton of Havre, to amend the state Constitution to define a person by declaring that human life begins when an egg is fertilized. See my first comment

- Rep.-elect Alan Hale of Basin, to revise health laws regarding abortion. Because, according to news reports in other states, "life and health of the mother" is actually MEANINGLESS because doctors can just decide shit like that on their own without getting antiabortionist input. So God help you if that pregnancy goes wrong, ladies, because health and life exceptions shouldn't be made.

- Rep. Cary Smith of Billings, to regulate family planning and abortion clinics. Regulate... how? Heath and life actually have legal meaning; does "regulate"?

- Rep. Pat Ingraham of Thompson Falls, to require women to have an ultrasound before an abortion. Been passed before. Known to add to stress and distress. I haven't heard of any occasions where it made a woman change her mind, though

- Sen. Jeff Essmann of Billings, to create the crime of obstructing a protest at a health care facility. The money shot, people. A crime not to obstruct the clinic itself, but to obstruct the protest. Like, say, escorts taking patients past the people shoving things at you. Escorts talking to you to drown out the shouts. Escorts standing between patients and cameras. I've done all of that. ALL of that, including blocking with my body. And now someone wants to make that illegal.

- Rep. Mike More of Gallatin Gateway, to provide abortion screening to prevent provider negligence and patient coercion. Another standard, meaningless bit of propaganda. It sounds so reasonable - and yet how are these to be measured? By what standards? Especially 'patient coercion' - neither the doctors nor the escorts go grabbing women off the streets nor block their exit once they go into the clinic. There have been some heartbreaking cases where a woman goes into the clinic and comes back out almost immediately and then sits in the car for a long time, arguing/talking/crying with whoever they went in with. You think we all don't know what's going on? Sometimes they go back in. Sometimes they drive off. You know what NEVER happens? Nobody pulls them back in. None of the escorts argue with them or even talk to them unless directly addressed... it's our job in those cases to make sure that they have privacy and that the protesters don't start pushing their literature right up against the car or come into the private parking lot to shout at them. We know it is a CHOICE, we know the choice isn't easy, and we know that it's not our right to make that choice, just make sure that the legal options remain open.

So don't talk to someone about 'patient coercion' if they haven't stood in a fucking parking lot trying not to cry because someone is hurting THAT MUCH and you can't do jack shit about it... except literally and silently stand with your back to them between them and the person shouting "BABY KILLER! DON'T KILL YOUR BABY! JESUS LOVES YOU!" Who's doing the fucking coercion then?
neadods: (disagree)
Two new laws were passed into Oklahoma law over the Governor's veto.

The first, called the "informed consent" law, requires all women coming in for an abortion to undergo an ultrasound with the screen turned towards them and listen to a detailed description of the developmental stage of the fetus. Although there are reports of clinic patients bursting into tears at this, none of them have actually changed their minds.

So if the law is supposed to reduce abortions, it's a miserable failure. If, as its critics have been saying, it's supposed to humiliate and browbeat women (not to mention retraumatize rape and molestation victims, who are not exempted), it's working wonderfully.

The other law makes it legal for doctors to withhold information about the health of the fetus if they think that the mother would abort if they had that information. It also provides protection for these doctors against "wrongful life" lawsuits in the case of women who are blindsided by the discovery that their fetuses are unviable, have major congenital defects, or are otherwise impacted by information the doctor did not see fit to pass on. (I wish I could find the post I read when this law was first being discussed; it was by a woman who did not abort her fetus once she knew it had spina bifida, but instead took the gestation time as a chance to do research, line up a neonatal surgeon, and make arrangements to give birth in a properly equipped hospital. As she points out, this law doesn't just saddle women with children they may not want to have, it saddles the babies with the consequences of being born to women who are not prepared in hospitals which are not prepared... consequences which can be fatal in themselves for the baby. Aren't these laws supposed to save the babies?)

According to a state senator, "Our pro-life legislation protects not only the unborn child, but the mother as well, allowing her to have informed consent prior to an abortion." A key supporter says it will prevent psychological trauma to pregnant woman.

Except for the picky details that women ARE being traumatized, AREN'T getting information and DON'T consent.

The repeal lawsuits have already been filed. After all, the OK Supreme Court struck down a similar law as unconstitutional two years ago. (Bonus rage for another aborted OK law in that last article, the "2009 law that created a public web site where doctors would be forced to publish personal information on women who have had abortions (including their names and the reason for their abortions)" Golly, I can't IMAGINE why that would be ruled unConstitutional!)
neadods: (disagree)
I've been staying away from the whole knot of issues regarding the infamous Georgia billboards because I couldn't even figure out where to start - the idea that abortion=racial genocide (a point of view espoused by Eeyore, our most vehement protester) or the utter racefail of the billboard's caption. (Y'all don't want to click that link, I'm telling you. It will do your blood pressure no good at all.) There's a lot of fuss and kerfluffle about the legislation Georgia Right to Life is trying to ramrod through, but I discovered on research that attempts to ban abortion due to the race or sex of the fetus have been dying in various state legislatures for the last three years. It doesn't take long for someone to ask "so, if a woman is raped by someone not her race, she can't abort a pregnancy due to the race of the fetus?" and then the whole thing collapses in shuffles of embarrassment and "I didn't mean THAT even though that's how I voted."

Utah is already claiming that they didn't mean THAT with House Bill 12 (pdf warning) in which "a person commits criminal homicide if the person* intentionally, knowingly, recklessly with criminal negligence or acting in a mental state otherwise specified in the statue defining the offense, causes the death of another human being including an unborn child at any state in its development." The next clause goes on to state that abortion itself is not prohibited.

That leaves miscarriage.

Yes, girls, if you miscarry in Utah and someone thinks you were recklessly causing it, your miscarriage is exactly the same as "aggravated murder, murder, manslaughter, child abuse homicide, homicide by assault, negligent homicide or automobile homicide."** And it is punishable in the same manner as criminal homicide.

Oh, and ONLY the woman is to be punished. At no point does the bill address any actions other than the woman's. Go back to a guy who hits you and you lose the baby? Your fault, not his. Fall and lose the baby? Better be able to prove in court you weren't tumbling downstairs intentionally. (Think I'm kidding? Happened in Iowa.)

Utah legislators are crossing their hearts and swearing that they only mean illegal abortion and not miscarriage, despite the fact that they've thrown the burden of proof onto women, who could end up arguing, in court, that they really "just" miscarried and weren't being intentionally reckless.

On the other hand, there are a couple of outs... the bill specifically decriminalizes the death of a fetus if the woman acts against medical advice.

Just as long as she isn't reckless about it.

*(What I completely love is that this anti-miscarriage bill originally said he here.)

**Utah's never heard the phrase "vehicular homicide"?
neadods: (yay!)
After scaring us all with the possibility of a "voluntary manslaughter" charge (in which someone can get out of jail in a mere five years as long as they believed killing someone else Really Really Needed Doing Honest Cross My Heart, however "unreasonable" that belief) the jury took slightly over half an hour to convict Roeder of Murder One.

Because yes, it fucking IS premeditated murder to fantasize about maiming or killing someone, buying a gun, taking target practice, stalking the victim to find the "best" place to blow them away, showing up armed at the planned assassination spot THREE TIMES, and finally running up, putting a gun against the victim's skull, and pulling the trigger from point-blank range. No matter how many times "Tiller the baby killer" is repeated, that's pretty much the textbook definition of first degree homicide.

According to one news report, Roeder was also convicted of two counts of aggravated assault; I'm assuming that this is for the men in the church who tried to stop him and who he also threatened to shoot.

In other excellent reproductive rights news, England is announcing a new form of emergency contraception that can be used up to 5 days after.
neadods: (goodbye)
I urge everyone who wants to see reproductive rights continue in this country to donate to Planned Parenthood and Medical Students for Choice.

Me... I'm getting off my ass and doing something I should have done a long time ago. I'm joining the next session of escort training at Washington Area Clinic Defense Task Force.

Once, I marched. Now it's time to walk.
neadods: (goodbye)
[ profile] amilyn says it best: Homegrown Terrorism: America at War on Women.

Click through my tags below, too. Read about Noel Noeson, whose right to conscience involved stealing prescriptions and refusing to answer telephones lest he be asked about birth control. Read about the Biting Beaver, who was shuttled from hospital to hospital attempting to find Plan B until it was too late - and then was given abortion "advice" that might have killed her. Read about the head of Health and Human Services calling it "an important statement" that women be denied birth control. Read, and do not wonder why women need abortion in a country that treats them like this.

Then keep reading. Read about the doctors who've performed abortions on people who picket them - and who then return to the picket lines, because the only moral abortion is theirs. Read about the woman whose fetus died late term in utero - unable to get a doctor to remove the corpse that was festering and sickening her because nobody did late term abortions. Not even to remove a CORPSE. Read about the pro-life girl all ready to do the right thing and adopt - only to discover that none of the prolife shelters she'd helped advertise wanted a biracial baby.

There has been a war for a long time. A war of shouting, of vandalism, of intimidation, of attempted murder, and real murder. Call it for what it is:

A war.

A hate crime.



May. 31st, 2009 01:59 pm
neadods: (goodbye)
George Tiller shot dead walking out of church.

Doctor George Tiller survived clinic bombings, being shot in both arms, and years of violent threats. Women would come to him from all across the country, as he was the one of the very few who would perform late-term abortions.

Operation Rescue's smarmy obituary claims that it worked through peaceful channels (read: screaming at women, blocking the clinic, picketing his home and targeting his children) to stop him and fails to note that its many attempts only made him more convinced that his services were needed. OR's press release adds insult to injury by removing his title and claiming that the family needs to find Jesus, somehow missing the fact that the man was killed on the steps of a church. A church they claim they have the right to picket.) Priests for Life is apparently saying that the shooter may well be a woman angry over an abortion.

The police are looking for a powder blue Ford Taurus, license plate 225 BAB. A suspect has been arrested. It also turns out that he was not shot coming out of church, the killer went in and shot him as he handed out bulletins to people going into church, one of several ushers that day.

A grass-roots movement is already beginning to urge people to donate to Medical Students for Choice in his name.
neadods: (freedomfromreligion)
The Obama Administration is wasting no time in repealing the skewed 'moral conscience' act. This rule, passed at the nth hour of the previous Administration, allowed anyone in medicine the right to refuse to do anything that conflicted with their conscience without reprisal. The head of Health and Human services, in the face of already existing laws that protect doctors from not having to perform acts against their beliefs, felt that this was needed - and that if it passed and women were denied birth control (which he equates with abortion), that was "an important statement." (That web page now appears to be blank.)

I've had a few statements of my own regarding living in a country where people are already denying women their legal rights in the name of illegally enforcing said women to have to live within the dictates of beliefs they do not share.
neadods: (freedomfromreligion)
If you're American, care about women's rights, and have not yet emailed or written, the 30-day comment period on the Department of Health and Human Services Proposed Regulation Ensuring that DHHS Funds Do Not Support Coercive or Discriminatory Policies is still open. (HTML version here.)

I have talked about this before.

There have been many responses to this. None of them include a precise example of what health care would be like under this rule - so today I'm going further back in my posts to show you the future Leavitt envisions: the saga of Neil T. Noeson.

In April of 2005, the State of Wisconsin Pharmacy Examining Board reprimanded him and limited Noeson's license. This was in response to the fact that Noeson had not informed his employer of his objections to providing birth control, which ultimately led to his being the only pharmacist on duty one day, refusing birth control to a patient, refusing to refer her elsewhere, and refusing to pass on the prescription to the next pharmacist she found. She sued. He hid behind the very conscience clause that Leavitt proposes. The Pharmacy Board concluded (emphasis added):

The Wisconsin Pharmacy Examining Board has never held that a pharmacist is not entitled to exercise his or her conscience in the practice of his or her profession, nor is Respondent’s exercise of conscience the basis for prosecution of this case. Rather, this case is about following professional standards in the exercise of one’s conscience. This, Respondent failed to do. The discipline recommended in this Order is a consequence of Respondent’s failure to act as a professional. The Respondent is not being sanctioned for exercising his conscience. Rather, he is being held accountable, as would any other registered pharmacist, for engaging in a practice that departed from the standards of care that govern his profession.

Page 9 of Leavitt's proposed regulation whines the standards of professional organizations have been used to define the exercise of conscience to be unprofessional. Read that again, in conjunction with what the Board actually said. (And note that at no point in Leavitt's regulation mentions standards of care or patients' rights.)

This is not the end of the Noeson story. He went to a different pharmacy, one which had other pharmacists on staff to help women wanting birth control, even having a separate basket for such drugs so he didn't have to touch him... but he refused to talk to women who asked at the desk, refused to tell anyone else they were there, and even refused to answer the telephone lest he be asked about birth control. Unable to deal with that amount of refusal to do his damn job, they fired him.

He sued them over the very conscience clauses Leavitt cites as current legal precedent.

He lost the first case. He appealed. In April 2007, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago handed him his ass on a platter. The very regulation that Leavitt suggests is reasonable and right a Chicago court finds "would impose an undue hardship... an accommodation that requires other employees to assume a disproportionate workload (or divert them from their regular work) is an undue hardship as a matter of law." (page 4 of the pdf)

Leavitt keeps talking about the hot topic of abortion (limiting of which he apparently considers "an important and legitimate social statement".) Noeson refused BIRTH CONTROL, something the vast majority of American women use. He refused to tell his own supervisors what duties he would or would not perform. He prejudged and refused to serve women. He refused to answer the fucking phone in case he had to hear something he didn't want to hear!

THIS is what DHHS thinks "nondescrimination" looks like. This is the test case of what the DHHS wants to make legal, acceptable, and praiseworthy behavior. If you think this is not the sort of "caring service" that you, your mother, your sisters, your wife, and your daughters should be subjected to, if you don't want to see the floodgates opened to yet more normal and needed services reclassified as "objectionable," then WRITE NOW!

Your voice DOES make a difference. Under the stewardship of Leavitt, the DHHS has also come up with such nonsense as assuming and treating all women as if they are "pre-pregnant" and redefining all forms of birth control equaling abortion. Both of these bits of utter nonsense were shot down as regulations after sustained public outcry (as you can imagine, due to some 98% of American women using birth control at one point or another). This is yet another attempt to get the same notion across, and even if we can't get the notion that women have rights through Leavitt's pointy head, we can make sure that his personal bigotry does not become Government regulation.


Nov. 15th, 2007 07:23 am
neadods: (contemplative)
I need a neutral-looking icon because some of these links are "YAY!" and others are "Oh good GOD, are you insane? Wait, don't answer, we already know."

The ultimate iPod accessory NOT SAFE FOR WORK!

It's about damn time the liberals took control of lingual framing. Am I the only one who remembers that one of the first things Bush did in office was claim that the laws regulating the amount of arsenic that leeches into the drinking water were "too stringent?"

Meanwhile in Colorado, every sperm is sacred. 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...
If approved by voters, the measure would give fertilized eggs the state constitutional protections of inalienable rights, justice and due process.

How long does it take for a "due process" court case to go through? Compare to length of time it takes an ectopic pregnancy to kill a woman. And who's going to sift through all the rivers of menstrual fluid to see if one of the high percentage of fertilized eggs that naturally don't implant is swimming around in there - and do you charge the mother with "natural" abortion (that being the medical term and all) or merely miscarriage? What are the penalties, and how does one show legal proof? I mean, in Virginia, a proposed law stated that failing to report a miscarriage to the police within 12 hours of it happening netted the miscarrying woman 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine, but for some odd reason the minute most people saw that in black and white, they got all upset and appalled and voted it out, the anti-baby bastards. (If you scroll down, you'll see that the original moron who proposed the law defends it as being about "delivery of a baby that is dead" and that he would NEVER suggest that a woman who miscarried early should be put through such a wringer... except for the minor point that if it is a "person" from the moment of conception then it is, as the forced-birth crowd insists, as much a "baby" at nine cells' development as it is at nine months' development. So, yes, the original reading of the law as Some Jerkwad Wants to Check Your Used Tampons is pretty much correct.)
neadods: (disgusted)
Two Horror Stories for your Halloween Season:

The Personal:
The air conditioner repairman has come and gone, taking an $80 check with him. The problem with the A/C fan? The corpse of a mouse tumbling around the housing. (So far, I appear to be paying the exterminators solely for a reduction in number of sightings in the living room. Not keeping up that contract!)

M, the former biology student, is all enthused. "And what's cool is, it's still in one piece! It's in a bag on the kitchen table."

She promises that it will NOT be on the kitchen table by the time I get home...

The Political:
Representative Franks of Arizona has just stood on the House floor with a bigass picture of a fetus behind him, accused Democrats of "exploiting America's love for children for temporary political gain," and explained that because abortion is still legal, he cannot in good conscience vote for a health care plan that provides insurance for the children of poor women who carried their pregnancies to term.

I weep for my country.

I weep blood for the people who think that it's perfectly fine to punish all poor women and children because pro-choice women exist.
neadods: (disagree)
Just when it looked like it was going to be a nice day, my office mate finds this:

Cop sees a man beat a woman. Police arrest man for domestic abuse. Woman does not show up at trial. Does the judge wonder about fear? Flight? Witness intimidation? Nope. "The state is stepping into the shoes of the victim when she obviously doesn't care," the judge said Oct. 3 before acquitting Michael Antonio Webb of second-degree assault. "It's that big brother mentality of the state."

The judge said without the victim's testimony, he couldn't be sure she didn't want to be beaten.

He couldn't be sure that she didn't want to be beaten. That has to be repeated. Without her testimony, he had to assume that she wanted to be beaten. Because there are sado-masochists out there, y'know.

Seriously, that's what the judge cited. "[S]adomasochists sometimes like to get beat up."

In public? In front of a non-consenting cop?

I've been in the kinky community for a long time without finding anyone who thinks that's hot, as opposed to "the most stupid-ass way of getting arrested EVER."

But because there's something like a .000000001% chance that the cop interrupted a consensual public sado-masochistic scene, the guy - the 6+ foot-guy - who pounds a woman in front of a cop (for the crime of being late picking him up) is acquitted.

The judge (a recently benched Republican, natch) continues to insist that the state has to prove that the victim wasn't consenting. And that he's not a complete asshole either: "I'm probably as against domestic violence as anybody, when the case is proven."

Gotta love the "probably" in that sentence!

At least one person in this mess has his head screwed on right, though: "It's not like there is a rule saying you can't get a conviction without the victim's testimony," [Andrew D. Levy, an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland School of Law] said, noting judges infer murder victims didn't want to die all the time.

That's local. At the federal level, of course, we've got the new the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs [which is, among other things, in charge of national family planning (low-cost birth control to poor women)] who thinks that making people provide contraceptives is not about choice. It's not about health care. It's about making everyone collaborators with the culture of death ... fertility is not a disease."

No, but it's damned inconvenient when you don't want to be fertile while still doing certain activities that are safe, sane, consensual and - I can't believe how often I have to remind people of this - legal.

Silly women out there having sex! Apparently we're supposed to work out our adult ya-yas getting our faces caved in instead. THAT'll be just peachyfine, and you don't even need contraceptives!


neadods: (Default)

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