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"What Can I Do?" - Suggestions for Feminist Activism

mylifeasafeminista:

mylifeasafeminista:

keepyourboehneroutofmyuterus:

Anonymous asked you:

I love this blog so much, but when I read all the articles about states efforts to close down planned parenthood, or articles about how men should have a right to veto an abortion, I start to see red. What can I do? How can I help?

Thanks, Anon.

The eternal question when it comes to this issue, it appears.  I have been asked this before (and more than once) and so am just going to repeat myself again. 

Other than raising awareness about reproductive rights, what can we do to fight the good fight?

First, maybe I’m not the best person to ask, as my response to my un-ending anger and shock at the full-frontal attack conservatives are making against reproductive rights was to start a Tumblr.  And originally it was just going to be images making fun of John Boehner.  But here I am now so I am going to do my best to answer this request. 

If you out there in the Tumblr world have resources you’d like me to post, you can either answer this post or submit a link (over there on the left side menu).  You can also shoot me an email at scatx [at] scatx [dot] com.  Also, you can simply respond to this post.

I firmly believe that the more information you have, the better.  Hands down.

So, what can you do?

That’s what I’ve got for now. 

Let’s hear it, defenders of the uteri/defenders of reproductive rights/defenders of PP/defenders of bodily autonomy. 

What resources or sites would you recommend for people who want to be out there doing something on behalf of reproductive, abortion, bodily autonomy and women’s (really, anyone who is not a cisman’s) rights?

I really love that this is being addressed because I think it is extremely important that people recognize how they can transform their feminist thoughts into action.  All of the examples listed above are really great and I encourage everyone to get involved with those organizations in any way they can: volunteer at your local clinic, donate money, contact your representatives, and stay informed about political issues.  Although this list is absolutely fantastic, I wanted to add a few more ideas:

  • Volunteer for a local non-profit organization that supports the rights of women and the LGBTQ community.  This includes abortion clinics, health centers, domestic violence shelters, LGBTQ youth programs, etc.  If you can’t get transportation to one of these places, see what you can do over the phone or the internet.  Some examples include: volunteering to answer the telephones at your local domestic violence shelter, contributing to blogs/zines/online magazines/newspapers, and organizing the social media components for a non-profit organization.
  • Make your voice heard.  Participate in rallies or protests.  Create, sign, and/or share petitions.
  • If you can, be a conscious consumer.  Support organizations and businesses that respect the environment, treat their workers well, and give back to the community.  **This is inextricably linked to class and geographic location. Choosing where to give your dollars is a privilege, as the structure of our society, specifically our economic system, is not based off a model of conscious consumerism.  For example, health and organic foods are much more expensive than genetically modified and processed foods.  Because there is such a discrepancy in the costs, the latter is much more accessible.**
  • Make feminism your lifestyle.  When someone makes a sexist comment or laughs at a rape joke, confront them.  If someone is policing another person’s body or identity, explain to them why this is a problem.  Every time you take a stand against this type of behavior, you are educating those around you.  A lot of times, people worry that these types of actions are insignificant, but I strongly disagree with that.  Any and all positive changes are worth recognizing, as they contribute to making a difference.
  • Check your own privilege.  Each and every one of us have been influenced by the media, our parents, friends, our educational institutions, etc. Confront your own internalized sexism and dissect the way you think, act, and behave.  You may call women “sluts” or oppose third-trimester abortions, but why do you think and act in this way?  Question how you have been shaped by dominant ideologies and challenge yourself to see things from a different perspective. 

If anyone else has any other suggestions, I would love to hear them!

(Source: keepyourbsoutofmyuterus)

Feminists for Choice

What is Choice?
I believe that choice means having the power to make decisions about your own body. These choices include:

  • When, and if, you want to have sex
  • Who you want to have sex with
  • What types of sexual activities are right for you
  • What type of birth control is right for you
  • The choice to get pregnant and keep a child or put it up for adoption
  • The choice to terminate a pregnancy if that is appropriate for you
  • Access to medically accurate information about reproductive options
  • The right of transsexuals to change their bodies to fit their gender
  • The right of intersex children to not have surgery until they know which gender they are
  • The right to say “no.”

The pro-choice movement encompasses all of these aspects of reproductive health, and so much more.

Maggie Gordon in Tumblr-land: Gestational Limits on Abortion in Canada: Disproving Anti-Choice Rhetoric

maggie-gordon:

One of my least favourite anti-choice tactics is the claim that a newly born baby is only one day safe from being murdered by abortion. You see this idea pop up on bill boards and pamphlets all the time, particularly in Canada as we have no federal law regulating abortion. However, all this claim really shows is how misinformed and cruel the anti-choice side can be.

read more about abortion in Canada here.

So Rick Santorum said some shit about abortion

daskannnichtsein:

Moderator: Our next question is for Senator Santorum: In June, you said, quote, “I believe that any doctor who performs an abortion should be criminally charged for doing so.” You would allow no exceptions for cases of rape and incest. [Santorum nods.] Polls have long shown that large majorities of Americans support at least some exceptions for abortion. Are your views too much even for many conservatives to support?

Santorum: You know, the Supreme Court of the Unites States, on a recent case, said that a man who committed rape could not be killed, would not be subject to the death penalty—yet the child [sic] conceived as a result of that rape could be. That to me sounds like a country that doesn’t have its morals correct. That child [sic] did nothing wrong. That child [sic] is— [pauses for audience applause]. That child [sic] is an innocent victim. To be victimized twice would be a horrible thing.

It is an innocent human life. It is genetically human from the moment of conception—it is a human life—and we in America should be big enough to try to surround ourselves and help women in those terrible situations—they’ve been traumatized already! To put them through another trauma of an abortion I think is, uh, is too much to ask, and I so I would, I would just absolutely stand and say that ONE violence in enough!

Now, the best comment I’ve seen about this comes from Shaker Megpie71.

TW: near-incoherent rage, misogyny

Hang on a minute…

WHERE THE FUCK IS THE WOMAN IN THIS EXAMPLE?

Who got raped?

Who conceived the child?

Whose womb is being inhabited here?

She’s vanished.  She doesn’t matter; doesn’t exist save as an abstract concept (“rape victim”) or an incubator.  Nobody was traumatised by the rape (except, of course, for the rapist, who was deeply offended by first having been accused of being a rapist, then sentenced with prison time for committing it), nobody was harmed by it (with the exception of the “innocent victim” embryo being threatened with abortion), nobody had their boundaries shattered, nobody got forcibly invaded, nobody was required to sit through multiple levels of validation just to prove the rape happened in the first fucking place.  

The depth of contempt shown for women (all women) in this example by the Senator is breathtaking.

Now say it with me everyone!

Your body is a battleground.

Being Pro-Choice

bebinn:

Being pro-choice means more than supporting the right to an abortion. Being pro-choice encompasses all reproductive decisions, from contraception, to sterilization, to IVF, to adoption and surrogacy. It means supporting and respecting people’s choices of where and how to give birth, or whether to give birth at all.

It means acknowledging the variety of life experiences, and working to break down barriers, such as poverty, location, and lack of education, that impede people’s right to control their reproductive destinies. It means working to ensure that no matter what sexual orientation or identity, everyone has equal access to support for their choices.

It means understanding that many are not given choices, or that their choices are limited by their situation. It means helping those people in any way, from offering them a ride to the hospital, to lobbying for their rights in the capitol or online.

It means fighting for everyone’s rights before, during, and after pregnancy, as well as the rights of those who will never be pregnant.

When I say I’m pro-life…

desliz:

speakfortheweak:

It doesn’t mean I’m religious.
Because I’m not.

It doesn’t mean I hate LGBT community.
Because I am a supporter.

It doesn’t mean I force women to give birth.
Because I never will.

Take what you want from my blog, but never assume I’m just your stereotypical pro-lifer. It is VERY possible to ask questions, state your opinions in a civil manner on this blog. I am respectful and I enjoy answering all questions received! 

Thanks for following! :)
-speakfortheweak 

Let me tell you some things.

I used to investigate child abuse and neglect. I can tell you how to stop the vast majority of abortion in the world.

First, make knowledge and access to contraception widely available. Start teaching kids before they hit puberty. Teach them about domestic violence and coercion, and teach them not to coerce and rape. Create a strong, loving community where women and girls feel safe and supported in times of need. Because guess what? They aren’t. You know what happens to babies born under such circumstances? They get hurt, unnecessarily. They get sick, unnecessarily. They get removed from parents who love them but who are unprepared for the burden of a child. Resources? Honey, we try. There aren’t enough resources anywhere. There are waiting lists, and promises, and maybes. If the government itself can’t hook people up, what makes you think an impoverished single mom can handle it?

Abolish poverty. Do you have any idea how much childcare costs? Daycare can cost as much or more than monthly rent. They may be inadequately staffed. Getting a private nanny is a nice idea, but they don’t come cheap either. Relatives? Do they own a car? Does the bus run at the right times? Do they have jobs of their own they need to work just to keep the lights on? Are they going to stick around until you get off you convenience store shift at 4 AM? Do they have criminal histories that will make them unsuitable as caregivers when CPS pokes around? You gonna pay for that? Who’s going to pay for that?

End rape. I know your type errs on the side of blaming the woman, but I’ve seen little girls who’ve barely gotten their periods pregnant because somebody thought raping preteens was an awesome idea. You want to put a child through that? Or someone with a mental or physical inability for whom pregnancy would be frightening, painful or even life-threatening? I’ve seen nonverbal kids who had their feet sliced up by caregivers for no fucking reason at all, you think sexual abuse doesn’t happen either?

You say there’s lots of couples who want to adopt. Kiddo, what they want to adopt are healthy white babies, preferably untainted by the wombs and genetics of women with alcohol or drug dependencies. I’ve seen the kids they don’t want, who almost no one wants. You people focus only on the happy pink babies, the gigglers, the ones who grow and grow with no trouble. Those are not the kids who linger in foster care. Those are certainly not the older kids and teenagers who age out of foster care and then are thrown out in the streets, usually with an array of medical and mental health issues. Are they too old to count?

And yeah, I’ve seen the babies, little hand-sized things barely clinging to life. There’s no glory, no wonder there. There is no wonder in a pregnant woman with five dollars to her name, so deep in depression you wonder if she’ll be alive in a week. Therapy costs money. Medicine costs money. Food, clothes, electricity cost money. Government assistance is a pittance; poverty drives women and girls into situations where they are forced to rely on people who abuse them to survive. (I’ve been up in more hospitals than I can count.)

In each and every dark pit of desperation, I have never seen a pro-lifer. I ain’t never seen them babysitting, scrubbing floors, bringing over goods, handing mom $50 bucks a month or driving her to the pediatrician. I ain’t never seen them sitting up for hours with an autistic child who screams and rages so his mother can get some sleep while she rests up from working 14-hour days. I don’t see them fixing leaks in rundown houses or playing with a kid while the police prepare to interview her about her sexual abuse. They’re not paying for the funerals of babies and children who died after birth, when they truly do become independent organisms. And the crazy thing is they think they’ve already done their job, because the child was born!

Aphids give birth, girl. It’s no miracle. You want to speak for the weak? Get off your high horse and get your hands dirty helping the poor, the isolated, the ill and mentally ill women and mothers and their children who already breathe the dirty air. You are doing nothing, absolutely nothing, for children. You don’t have a flea’s comprehension of injustice. You are not doing shit for life until you get in there and fight that darkness. Until you understand that abortion is salvation in a world like ours. Does that sound too hard? Do you really think suffering post-birth is more permissible, less worthy of outrage?

“Pro-life” is simply a philosophy in which the only life worth saving is the one that can be saved by punishing a woman.

A Forced Eugenics Survivor Speaks Her Truth (Womanist Musings)

cydne-should-be-sleeping:

When North Carolina’s Eugenics program ended in 1974 more than 7,600 people were sterilized.  North Carolina had one of the most coercive eugenics program sterilizing people for “epilepsy, sickness and feeblemindedness.”  Though the aforementioned were the stated reasons they also sterilized for promiscuity, homosexuality and so-called criminal intentions. […]

Many White reproductive activists cannot relate to the experiences of Black women.  They have never had to fight for the right to be mothers, or fight for the right to keep their children off the auction block.  Unless the reproduction of a woman of colour is directly sanctioned by Whiteness, it is deemed an irresponsible act.  Such language continues to occur in discussions of so-called third world Brown and Black women. Mommy continues to be defined as White, middle/upper class, able bodied, straight, soccer mom in a mini van. Undocumented workers are routinely accused of having anchor babies to secure citizenship, but when this is played out in the media, they most certainly aren’t refering to the undocumented workers from countries that are considered White.  They mean the dangerous Brown and Black wombs reproducing at will.

 Women of colour are construed as a project in need of being saved, as long as the process does not mean truly acknowledging the role that race and class have played in our continuing oppression.  Innovations like the pill and Depo Provera, that have been touted as life saving, and important to the advancement of women’s rights, were tested on women of colour, long before they entered the precious bloodstreams of White women.  Yet, this history is erased to praise the ability of women to control their reproductive process. Once again, advancement for women was carried on the backs of women of colour. Even as I am writing this, I wonder how many blogs dedicated to reproductive justice have ignored this story and its historical significance, because it would mean confronting the horrible truth that reproductive justice is about far more than access to birth control, the right to have an abortion and supporting Planned Parenthood; its about validating the idea that women, and by women I mean women of colour, have paid the brunt of the cost in terms of violation due to the intersection or racism and sexism.

I don’t think that justice can ever truly be delivered to these survivors and no monetary award can ever return to them that which has been lost.  The only way to honour them is to ensure that in the future that women of colour have a seat at the table of plenty and are valued for who they are. If that small lesson cannot be learned from this atrocity, then their sacrifices have taught us nothing.

Next anti-choicer who says people should be forcibly sterilized after abortions should read this, then stfu forever.

(Source: keepyourbsoutofmyuterus)

I’m going to keep reposting these until someone answers them

bebinn:

Questions for pro-life people! As I stated before, I don’t need any snarky comebacks from pro-choice people; these are sincere questions that no pro-life blogger (or just anyone who identifies as pro-life) has taken the time to answer…yet.

I’ve linked to the original posts. Feel free to reblog this or either of them, or answer in my ask box any/all of the questions.

Here goes!

Questions

You say that embryos/fetuses deserve the full rights and protections of born human beings….

If this unborn person is to be treated as a born person, say, a child, they would be protected legally as a child, correct?

So, if a person was to have a miscarriage, would they need to be investigated for manslaughter, the crime of killing a human being unintentionally/without malice aforethought?

If a person engaged in activities deemed risky during pregnancy, would they need to be investigated for child abuse/endangerment?

If a person didn’t get prenatal care, or ignored/couldn’t comply with their doctor’s advice, would they need to be investigated for neglect?

If a person physically unfit to be pregnant (with some sort of illness or disability) became pregnant, would they need to be investigated for abuse, neglect, or something else?

If a pregnant person became suicidal, how should the government respond to ensure the person inside them would be safe?

Since a large percentage of zygotes, or fertilized eggs, are lost before they get a chance to implant in the uterine wall, would we need to check everyone’s period to be sure there is not a dead person in there? I know it sounds silly, but if it’s a person from the moment of conception, or fertilization, then millions of people are dying every day because they aren’t able to implant.

Will we need to issue “conception certificates,” or any kind of legal documentation, once a pregnancy occurs? If they are a person, shouldn’t we have a record of them?

Should pregnant people have the right to sue for child support? They need prenatal care just as much as born children need to be fed and clothed, if they are to keep this person inside them healthy.

Could pregnant people list their fetuses as dependents?

Could pregnant people collect welfare for their fetuses?

Could the father of this unborn person sue for custody?

Will these regulations apply to frozen embryos in fertility clinics? If a fertility clinic is damaged by a natural disaster, who will be held responsible for the deaths of the embryos?

More questions on autonomy and “right to life”

Here’s something I’ve been wondering about, and since I’m not a legal expert, I don’t have an answer.

If we were to treat embryos and fetuses as people, with a right to life and all that, what would we do about the fact that they are using someone else’s body against their will? Can abortion be justified as self-defense? There is no intent on the part of the embryo/fetus, since it is not sentient, and I imagine that would affect how they are treated legally.

Would their right to life trump the pregnant person’s right not to have their body used against their consent? If so, could that precedent be used to erode other bodily autonomy issues? This relates back to my questions on fetal personhood.

If their right to life didn’t take priority over bodily autonomy, then what? Would physicians be restricted to only performing inductions, no matter at what stage of development the fetus was? That is, would the fetuses have to be surgically removed or birthed, so as not to commit murder? Would letting them die be infringing on their right to life? Would it be more cruel to keep a severely underdeveloped baby alive, knowing it had little to no chance of survival, but was in great pain and anguish, or would likely suffer severe developmental problems?

These are questions we need to ask. There has to be a solid reason for outlawing abortion, and the most common reasoning I’ve seen is this “right to life.” I think that the treatment of uterus owners pre-Roe would not be as accepted today (though stranger things have happened), so old justifications wouldn’t hold much water. So, what happens when two people with equal rights are residing in one body?

My question is: Are frozen embryos political prisoners? Should they be immediately implanted in random uteruses in order to be “free”?

Crisis Pregnancy Centers in the State of Illinois

daskannnichtsein:

What is a Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC)?

A CPC is a fake clinic that advertises to those who are unsure of what to do with their unplanned pregnancy. Their ads offer help, counseling, and, usually, free pregnancy tests. However, these “clinics” are actually not staffed by any medical professional, are extremely anti-choice, and will guilt trip the person into NOT getting an abortion. They also DO NOT provide referrals for someone seeking an abortion. They also will not provide any prenatal care or help if the person does decide to carry out their pregnancy. Some CPCs locate themselves near or directly across from a Planned Parenthood in order to lure confused patients. These centers are extremely religious.

Further Reading: The Feminist Campus’s collection of articles exposing CPCs

Feminist Campus’s “What Are Fake Clinics?”

Have you seen these popular CPC advertisements?

“Pregnant? Need Help? You Have Options!”
“Pregnant? Scared? We Can Help! Call 1-800-XXX-XXXX”
“Free Pregnancy Tests!”

They advertise on your campus and in your community with names like, “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” and “Pregnancy Resource Centers.” They pose as comprehensive women’s health clinics and advertise under “abortion” and “family planning” services. Although they are often located near comprehensive clinics, using similar sounding names, they do not offer abortion services, contraception, or referrals.

Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) are typically run by anti-choice organizations with staff and volunteers who usually are not licensed medical professionals. They often use misinformation to intimidate women from considering abortion and provide false information about birth control and the effectiveness of condoms for the prevention of STIs and HIV. Ultimately, their tactics delay women from receiving comprehensive medical care.

Fake clinics target college students by locating near campuses and advertising “free” pregnancy tests. According to a 2008 survey by the Feminist Majority Foundation, 48% of responding Campus Health Centers include CPCs on their referral lists for students facing unintended pregnancies.

It is estimated that 3,500 CPCs exist nationwide, outnumbering comprehensive women’s health clinics 2 to 1. Most fake clinics are affiliated with one or more national anti-abortion, anti-birth control organizations.

A Congressional investigation of CPCs revealed that 87% provided false or misleading information about the health effects of abortion.[1] The Congressional report found many of these federally funded centers grossly misrepresent the medical risks of abortion by telling women that having an abortion could increase the risk of breast cancer, result in sterility and lead to suicide and “post-abortion syndrome.”[2]Abortion is not associated with an increase in breast cancer risk or infertility.[3] An eleven year longitudinal study of 13,000 women found that women who give birth have the same rate of need for psychological treatment as women who have abortions[4]. 

1. United States Congress House Committee on Government Reform, Special Investigations Division. False and Misleading Health Information Provided by Federally Funded Pregnancy Resource Centers. 109th Cong., 2nd Sess., 2006. Washington: GPO, 2006, p. i.
2. Ibid, p. 7 – 13.
3. Ibid, p. 7, 9. 
4. Ibid, p. 11.

What can I do to help?

Educate yourself! Make sure you and your friends never step foot into these clinics. Find out if there’s a CPC in your neighborhood/campus and post up fliers! Check out the above Feminist Campus link for info on how to do so!

From my knowledge, there are SIXTY-NINE CPCs in Illinois. I’m going to list every single one. Please be aware of their existence.

Read More

This is fantastic. Great resource for the state of Illinois.