Boston Walk For Choice


Posts tagged with "pregnancy"

Jul 8

I thought you all could use some humor today.Here is a link to the 70 best Walk for Choice Signs from across the Country! Click Here

For anyone who missed it the first time. :)


I thought you all could use some humor today.
Here is a link to the 70 best Walk for Choice Signs from across the Country!
Click Here

For anyone who missed it the first time. :)

Abortion in Norway compared to the USA


When I met Dr. Hauge in person, my sense of being on a different planet intensified. To summarize our conversation:

  • Abortion is “completely integrated” into the Norwegian health care system, paid for (like other medical procedures) by the government, and available virtually everywhere in the country;
  • ob/gyn residents are expected to undergo training in abortion provision, and though opt-out provisions exist, very few young physicians make use of them;
  • health care professionals involved in abortion provision are neither sanctioned by medical colleagues nor harassed by anti-abortion activists.

Abortion, in short, is largely a non-politicized issue, both within Norwegian medical circles, and the population at large.

A truly fascinating article. 

So that means Norway must have way more abortions than the US, right? And it must not care about mothers and children, right?


Norway, where abortion is freely available, subsidized by the government, and apparently not stigmatized, was recently named by a leading children’s advocacy group as “the world’s best place to be a mother” because of its family-friendly policies and excellent record of both maternal and infant mortality.

The United States, in contrast, notwithstanding the sanctimonious bows to motherhood by anti-abortion politicians, came in 31st—the worst of any developed nation, due mainly to its shameful record of both maternal mortality and under-five mortality.

Norway not only has a better record than the United States with respect to teenage pregnancies and births, but also has a lower abortion rate—a reflection, among other things, of Norwegians’ better access to contraception, its comprehensive sex education policies, and its generally more mature attitude toward human sexuality.


Planned Parenthood Saved My Daughter

I found myself in the small office of the local Planned Parenthood, with my husband discussing MY options with a counselor, giving details, setting up appointments…never letting me out of his sight, never letting me discuss what I might want or need, never letting me say more than I agreed.

The Nurse at the Planned Parenthood understood the situation I found myself in, a situation that is sadly NOT uncommon, and managed to take me aside and talk to me. She took the time to understand the bind I was in—not wanting to abort my child yet having an abusive partner who did not want me to continue my pregnancy, not having a full time job, not having income on my own, not knowing where to turn or what to do, feeling ashamed and blamed for the “situation” that “I” found myself in.

While many other women go to Planned Parenthood for assistance with abortion, I found that they were just as willing to support my choices to keep my child, offer me access to funding and programs, counseling services for abuse and transition, and legal assistance to prevent my husband from being allowed to force me to do something to my body that I didn’t want (at that time). The nurse on duty had no agenda that she was touting—she was not invested in having me keep OR abort my child, she was really and truly there to support MY REPRODUCTIVE choices…

Because of the help I received from a nurse at the Planned Parenthood office I was empowered NOT to have an abortion AND to leave an abusive marriage.

I will always be grateful to the nurse in the Planned Parenthood office for taking the time to make me feel like what I wanted mattered and that I had the right to choose to KEEP my child as much as I would have to ABORT a child.

The Fruit of Angela Carder's Agony



(Anti-choicers force cancer patient, Angela Carder, to have C-section to save non-viable fetus, resulting in her untimely death)

Three years after it ended, the story of Angela Carder remains heartrending. She was 27 years old, 26 weeks pregnant, a cancer patient at George Washington University Medical Center and close to death. The issue arose, should she undergo a Caesarean procedure? Her doctors doubted the fetus was viable yet; Mrs. Carder was too heavily medicated to make her own wishes clear, and her family believed that she would not want surgery that would probably shorten her life.

But the hospital, saying that it feared potential legal liability if it made no effort to save the fetus, sought a judicial ruling. The judge, saying he was obliged to balance Mrs. Carder’s interests against the Government’s “important and legitimate interest in protecting the potentiality of human life,” ordered the surgery. The baby, a girl, lived for only two hours. Mrs. Carder, who regained consciousness, cried on being told her daughter was dead. Two days later so was she.

In April the District of Columbia’s Court of Appeals wisely overturned the lower court’s order, saying that the only factor to be considered was what Mrs. Carder wanted, determined from all available evidence. “The right of bodily integrity,” Judge John A. Perry said, “is not extinguished simply because someone is ill, or even at death’s door.” Meanwhile Angela Carder’s parents, Nettie and Dan Stoner, sued the Medical Center for malpractice and civil rights violations.

Last week, in an out-of-court settlement, Mr. and Mrs. Stoner received an undisclosed sum of money from the hospital. They may also have found some consolation in the knowledge that their daughter’s death had spurred the medical center into developing a policy that should be a model for hospitals throughout the nation.

No longer will the hospital run routinely to the courts for decisions that should more properly be made by patients and their doctors. Instead the new policy upholds a pregnant woman’s right to determine her own health care, declaring that “respect for patient autonomy compels us to accede to the treatment decisions of a pregnant patient whenever possible.” If she is incompetent, the policy says, “the hospital will accede to a well-founded surrogate’s decision whenever possible.”

Should the patient’s wishes conflict with her doctors’ professional standards, the physicians can go to the hospital’s ethics committee, or withdraw from the case. But they may do this only if other doctors are available and there is an “overwhelming consensus” among them that a procedure poses little risk to the woman and could possibly save a fetus from “imminent harm.”

At G.W.U.’s Medical Center, then, there will be no more Angela Carders wheeled away for surgery that they didn’t choose and that their families were helpless to prevent. May there be no more Angela Carders anywhere in this country.

More on Angela Carder:

The Rights of Pregnant Patients: Carder Case Brings Bold Policy Initiatives

At the hearing, family members, including Angela’s husband, opposed Caesarean surgery because Angela was not expected to be able to survive it and because all agreed that Angela would have opposed it. The treating physicians also opposed intervention based on their understanding of Angela’s wishes and the clinical status of Angela and the fetus. However, a neonatologist, who had no familiarity with Angela’s medical status, also testified at the hearing that the fetus had at least a 60 percent chance of survival (just slightly less than a fetus from a healthy woman at that gestational age). (Other medical experts have since concluded that there was virtually no chance of survival and that the fetus was already brain dead)

At the hearing almost no attention was paid to what was clinically best for Angela or to what she would want since, according to the hospital, it was “the apparent desire of the patient and her family” that no intervention be done on behalf of the fetus. Instead, the hearing focused on whether to “rescue” the fetus. Balancing Angela Carder’s life expectancy as a cancer-ridden patient against that of the fetus (based on the neonatologist’s unduly optimistic guesswork), the court ordered the Caesarean. Despite the court’s order, the obstetricians refused to carry it out. The hospital was then in the ironic position of being in contempt of an order that the hospital itself had sought. Reluctantly, a staff obstetrician agreed to perform the surgery.

Coercive and Punitive Governmental Responses to Women’s Conduct During Pregnancy

When Carder was 26 weeks pregnant, doctors discovered that her cancer had returned and metastasized. Carder, her parents, her husband, and the hospital’s obstetrical staff agreed on a course of treatment aimed at keeping her alive for at least another two weeks, at which point intervention to save the fetus might be possible. According to Carder’s mother, her daughter “wanted to live long enough to hold that baby.” But, as Carder’s condition rapidly deteriorated, hospital administrators feared she would not live that long. They rushed to court and obtained an order authorizing the hospital to perform an immediate c-section. They did so without first contacting Carder’s longtime cancer specialist, who later stated that he would have testified that the operation at that point in time was “medically inadvisable both for Angela Carder and for the fetus.” Fearing that neither Angela nor the fetus would survive the surgery, Carder’s husband, parents, and obstetricians all opposed the c-section at 26 and a half weeks gestation; when Carder herself learned of the court order, she said repeatedly, “I don’t want it done.”

(Source: stfueverything)

Some facts about life before Roe v. Wade




  • In 1930, illegal abortions were recorded as the cause of death for 2,700 women, 18 percent of all maternal deaths in that year.
  • Before 1973, an estimated 1.2 million women had illegal abortions in the United States yearly. As many as 5,000 died each year as a result.
  • Between 1973 and 2002, more than 42 million illegal abortions were performed.
  • Risk of death during childbirth is eleven times higher than the risk of death from legal abortion.

(source: This Common Secret)

WOAH the bolded totally blew my mind. For fucking real?!

Yes. Abortion opponents try to claim that abortion is extremely dangerous and harmful, but the fact of the matter is that a first trimester abortion is much safer than childbirth. Basically, they try to get you to believe that since it’s surgical (or a medication) it must be unnatural and dangerous. But childbirth and pregnancy are a much, much larger strain on your body. Natural isn’t always good.

Serious complications arising from aspiration abortions provided before 13 weeks are quite unusual. About 88% of the women who obtain abortions are less than 13 weeks pregnant.4 Of these women, 97% report no complications; 2.5% have minor complications that can be handled at the medical office or abortion facility; and less than 0.5% have more serious complications that require some additional surgical procedure and/or hospitalization.5

-National Abortion Federation | Safety of Abortion

They say that it’s actually ten times safer, though:

Death occurs in 0.0006% of all legal surgical abortions (one in 160,000 cases). These rare deaths are usually the result of such things as adverse reactions to anesthesia, embolism, infection, or uncontrollable bleeding.9 In comparison, a woman’s risk of death during pregnancy and childbirth is ten times greater.5

Contrast with this:

The U.S. maternal mortality rate rose to 13 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2004, according to statistics released this week by the National Center for Health Statistics.

The rate was 12 per 100,000 live births in 2003 — the first time the maternal death rate rose above 10 since 1977.

I can’t math… how much greater is that?

(Source: stfuconservatives)

Amanda Kimbrough is one of the women who have been ensnared as a result of the law being applied in a wholly different way. During her pregnancy her foetus was diagnosed with possible Down’s syndrome and doctors suggested she consider a termination, which Kimbrough declined as she is not in favour of abortion.

The baby was delivered by caesarean section prematurely in April 2008 and died 19 minutes after birth.

Six months later Kimbrough was arrested at home and charged with “chemical endangerment” of her unborn child on the grounds that she had taken drugs during the pregnancy - a claim she has denied.

“That shocked me, it really did,” Kimbrough said. “I had lost a child, that was enough.”

She now awaits an appeal ruling from the higher courts in Alabama, which if she loses will see her begin a 10-year sentence behind bars. “I’m just living one day at a time, looking after my three other kids,” she said. “They say I’m a criminal, how do I answer that? I’m a good mother.”

- US Women Who Have Stillbirths Face Murder Charges (via prolifehypocrisy)

Outcry in America as pregnant women who lose babies face murder charges


I read this article about fifteen minutes ago and since then I’ve been sitting here trying to decide how best to write about it. I can’t come up with a way. It’s horrifying and depressing and exactly what we thought would happen when people started introducing fetal homicide laws. Instead I’m going to say you should read it yourself, and excerpt a few of the key stories and sentences in this article.

Gibbs became pregnant aged 15, but lost the baby in December 2006 in a stillbirth when she was 36 weeks into the pregnancy. When prosecutors discovered that she had a cocaine habit – though there is no evidence that drug abuse had anything to do with the baby’s death – they charged her with the “depraved-heart murder” of her child, which carries a mandatory life sentence.

Amanda Kimbrough is one of the women who have been ensnared as a result of the law being applied in a wholly different way. During her pregnancy her foetus was diagnosed with possible Down’s syndrome and doctors suggested she consider a termination, which Kimbrough declined as she is not in favour of abortion.

The baby was delivered by caesarean section prematurely in April 2008 and died 19 minutes after birth. Six months later Kimbrough was arrested at home and charged with “chemical endangerment” of her unborn child on the grounds that she had taken drugs during the pregnancy – a claim she has denied.

“That shocked me, it really did,” Kimbrough said. “I had lost a child, that was enough.”

She now awaits an appeal ruling from the higher courts in Alabama, which if she loses will see her begin a 10-year sentence behind bars.
Perhaps the most persuasive argument put forward in the amicus briefs is that if such prosecutions were designed to protect the unborn child, then they would be utterly counter-productive: “Prosecuting women and girls for continuing [a pregnancy] to term despite a drug addiction encourages them to terminate wanted pregnancies to avoid criminal penalties. The state could not have intended this result when it adopted the homicide statute.”

(that last part made me chuckle out loud. Because it’s funny in the darkest, most twisted way, and they’re totally right: this is not even a good strategy for anti-abortion activists).

Read it, pass it along. It does a really good job of explaining why exactly such laws are so dangerous, and it’s refreshing to read about it from a non-American source.

"Crisis pregnancy centers" and use of Harassment and Breach of Confidentiality


Harassment and Breach of Confidentiality

While I love my son dearly, I can’t pretend the way he came into the world was anything close to ideal. I was eighteen years old, a first-semester student at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  I became pregnant by my fiancé (now my husband) sometime in August of that year and found out just before Halloween. Once my pregnancy test from the pharmacy turned blue, I remembered seeing a place called Pregnancy Resource Center in town and figured that would be a good place to start.  I called the number in the phone book to make an appointment.  I noticed some strange things about the receptionist’s language, but figured that must have been typical of all family planning clinics for security purposes. I made an appointment for the following day.

I don’t know what I was planning to do once I walked through the doors of the Resource Center.  I hadn’t considered abortion explicitly, but wanted to know more.  Like so many confused young women who get pregnant by accident, I just wanted to hear what my options were.  That’s what the Resource Center promised.  What I got was entirely different.  While awaiting my results of the same EPT test I’d already taken (the kind that takes like 2 minutes), I was forced to watch these videos about “fetal pain” and saw a sensationalized ultrasound that featured a fetus “retreating” from the abortion tools.  The video also showed a lot of pictures of “aborted fetuses” which I thought was weird because I’d seen my older sister’s 20 week ultrasound and it hadn’t looked like this video at all.  These photos almost looked like the pictures from Iraq of the dead babies on the street following the Fallujah massacre: heads, eyes, mouths, fingers, toes, and even some hair.  I remember thinking, “Is that really a fetus?!”  The video said it was a fetus at 8 weeks.  I was probably 10 weeks.  I didn’t want to be there anymore. 

The staff member eventually walked in and told me the test was positive.  I said, “Does that mean I’m pregnant?”  She said, “Your test was positive.”  She handed me a pamphlet about adoption.  I didn’t know what to think.  I asked her about abortion and she told me that if I murdered my baby I would go to hell.  She said I would probably get breast cancer or commit suicide, or be infertile.  It didn’t seem right.  I started to leave.  The woman told me that if I left without signing up with this adoption agency, she’d call my parents and tell them I was going to murder their grandbaby. I started to get sick.  She threatened to call me at home, to come to my house, and to tell all my friends I was pregnant if I didn’t sign up.  I finally ran for it.  Unfortunately they had my phone number and address.  They called my dorm roommate and somehow got her to give them my parent’s phone number.  Fortunately, I had gotten to my parents first and told them everything.  They hired a lawyer and got the Resource Center to stop harassing me.

I eventually did go to a Planned Parenthood and, through talking to staff there, learned all about abortion, adoption, and parenting.  With the support of my parents and my fiancé, as well as the wonderful people at the Planned Parenthood, I decided to keep the baby.  I think maybe I was going to anyway, not that I have anything against abortion.  It just wasn’t for me at that time.  And I got amazing pre-natal care with a midwife that the Planned Parenthood referred me to. 

My best advice for anyone who finds themselves in this situation would be to be honest with your parents before the agency can get to them first.  If you find you’ve been to one, tell your friends to be on the watch for these people.  Don’t listen to what they tell you about your options because they’re not doctors and don’t know anything.  Oh, and if you so much as have a lawyer call them they’ll probably back down. 

and this is why I don’t go to clinics that are anti abortion. Because before they even know what you want to do or what you are thinking, they’re already harassing you and calling you a murderer.

Taken from the site

(Source: filthylittlefeminist)

Beyond Condoms: The Long Quest for a Better Male Contraceptive


For decades new, reliable contraceptives for men have seemed imminent. Why isn’t there one available yet?

[Image description: Several pale blue/white sperm are moving toward a large pink egg.]

A joke among researchers in the field of male contraception is that a clinically approved alternative to condoms or vasectomy has been five to 10 years away for the past 40 years. The so-close-yet-so-far state of male contraceptive development has persisted in large part because of three serious hurdles: the technical challenges of keeping millions of sperm at bay, the stringent safety standards that a drug intended for long-term use in healthy people must meet, and, ultimately, the question of whether men will use it.

Read more

**Please note that although the article says male contraceptive, they really mean a better contraceptive for people who produce sperm because not all men can produce sperm and not all people who produce sperm are men. To assume so erases people who are trans* or have non-binary genders.

Jun 9

Teen Pregnancy Prevention and Reproductive Justice: What's the Real Problem?


Why, instead of advocating for policies that meaningfully address the barriers faced by young mothers, is the answer to vilify their choice?