Why Film an Abortion?

Emily Letts is a woman who decided to film herself getting an abortion. I think what she did is amazing. The dominant image of an abortion in North America is of something emotionally upsetting and physically painful.

It is important that this image is challenged and the truth of abortion is shown. Many women have written and talked about their own experiences about abortion, but a video is a first.

I think a video is an especially good way to debunk abortion myths. By seeing a video you can see exactly what happens without any bias’ being placed on the experience.

For people who are thinking about getting an abortion this is very helpful. By seeing the procedure themselves before hand they may feel more reassured in their choice, and feel less nervous about the procedure.

Here is the video:
http://youtu.be/Y4xiVUeecNQ

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100 Years of Birth Control

The conservatives may not want you to have birth control but that hasn’t stopped us yet. 100 years ago Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger coined the term birth control and women* have been fighting for it ever since. You’d think that by now our society would be able to move beyond “sex, dirty, bad, no” to a sex positive, consent respecting society.

Even before Sanger greater the amazing Planned Parenthood people have been trying to control their reproduction. From acacia gum, crocodile dung, to honey and cabbage humans have been trying to not have children since the beginning of documented history (withdrawal or pull out is even mentioned in the Book of Genesis! That’s the bible people).
We all know that most people like sex, they enjoy having sex, and they don’t always want children; why is birth control such a big deal if we all know this.

Maybe before the 200th anniversary of birth control we will be living in a better society.

*in this time women refers to any person who has the ability to give birth and would want birth control

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Live Vasectomy: Australian Addition

American doctor Doug Stein is on a mission that makes men lay their balls on the line, literally. Dr. Stein is trying to encourage men to do their part to lower global population rates and lower the impact humans have on the world. Dr. Stein is trying to save the world two balls at a time.

Sixteen Australian men agreed to get their vasectomies on stage in front of an audience. The reason they did this was to help raise awareness about vasectomies. Many men believe myths about vasectomies: that it will make your voice higher, it will make you less of a man, ext. Stein is challenging these ideas by performing them live; this shows the ease, simplicity and painlessness of a modern day vasectomy. Stein is travelling the world performing vasectomies and making a documentary about this.

He believes that the world is suffering from over population, and that this is taking a toll on the planet. I think vasectomies for Mother Earth is great, but I like one thing he said much more then the tree hugger angle:

…meaning that we would actually make a sacrifice, that women make all the time.

On top of wanting to save the environment and cure poverty through vasectomies, Stein also wants men to step up to the plate. He talks about men taking responsibility, taking the burden of birth control off women, and making a sacrifice that is usually placed on women (hysterectomies are more common, but also more invasive, have a longer recovery time, and a greater chance of complications).

I think it is good that men can have greater control over birth control. As I have said before, it is more socially acceptable for men to have sex, so why aren’t men taking charge of their reproductive capacities?

If I were a man I would be fighting for my reproductive rights for the creation of and access to more then just vasectomies.

For more information on Dr. Stein check out this article: http://ww2.nationalpost.com/m/wp/blog.html?b=life.nationalpost.com/2013/10/18/florida-vasectomy-doctor-tapes-live-operation-in-australia-as-part-of-crusade-to-lower-global-population

Shocking News for Some

You might want to sit down because I have some big news for you: social acceptance and availability of birth control lowers abortion rates. I know it’s crazy, ok no it’s not shocking at all. But conservatives, religious fanatics and anti choice lobbyists are very shocked. Shocked so much that they won’t even believe it’s true.
The Guttmacher Institute released a report that showed when society is more accepting of birth control and abortions the abortion rate lowers. It also shows that having a pro-choice president in power didn’t hurt. Anti-choice groups see this as a win because there are less abortions happening, but this is not the whole story. Not only are abortion rates lower but unintended pregnancies and birth rates are lower. Women are having less abortions because they aren’t getting pregnant.
If people have access to birth control they won’t need to have an abortion because they will not have an unintended pregnancy. It’s a no brainier to me, but try telling that to anti choice conservatives.

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Above: Shows the lowering levels of abortion over the period of five presidents. The red being anti choice and the blue pro choice.

To read more about this try here: http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2014/02/09/sorry-anti-choicers-abortion-stigma-doesnt-lower-abortion-rate/

Intersex Rights

I have talked about both cis and trans women and men’s reproductive rights but what about those who do not fit those body types? Many are unaware that intersex people even exist, let alone about their reproductive rights. An intersex person is someone who is born with a mix of ambiguous genitalia, a mix of reproductive capacities, or a difference in chromosomal and genital sex. There are different types of intersex people but I must be clear it is not a choice. People do not identify as intersex they are born intersex, the same way someone is born Italian; it isn’t something you choose to be it is just the way it is.

There are many problems that intersex people face when it comes to their reproductive rights and control over their bodies. They get forced into the body of a man or a women through surgery and this can prevent them from being able to have children, or sexual arousal.

To shed more light on this topic I will send you to a Huffington Post video that has intersex people discussing the new change to German birth certificates where you can choose a third gender option:

To watch this

http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/is-being-intersex-a-third-gender/527167872b8c2a470e000166

Reproductive Knowledge

You can’t have reproductive rights without reproductive knowledge. In the 1960s there was a feminist movement to try and understand the female body; specifically it was a movement to get to know your own body. It is amazing how many women back then, and to this day, do not know their own bodies. I believe that you can’t have control over your body if you don’t know anything about it.

In order to help you know more I am sharing this video that I found through Everyday Feminism but is by Sexplanations about the Vuluva:

I hope you learned something new and that this helps you understand your body and reproductive rights.

How Not to Talk to Someone Who had an Abortion

It isn’t always easy to talk to someone who has had an abortion, but it is important to realise that your opinions need to be left at the door. The conversation should be about the person who has had the abortion and how they feel. Some people are happy and others are sad; people face a wide range of emotions when they get an abortion and you need to be there for them no matter what emotion they are going through.

Since it isn’t easy to find the right words I thought I would share an article by Kassi Underwood published on the website Exhale a pro-voice abortion support center created by and for women.  The article gives advice on eight things you should not say to someone who has just had an abortion. Not only does it tell you what not to say but it explains why you should not say it and what you should say instead. Hopefully this article and Exhale’s website will help you talk to someone who has had an abortion.

Here is the list of eight things not to say to someone who has had an abortion:

(To see the full article go here.)

1. But weren’t you unstable before the abortion?

We’re smart people. We are fully aware of the lives we’ve led. If our state of mind beforehand seems relevant, then we will discuss it in our own time. We came to you because we would like to talk about how we feel right now.

What to say: I’m glad you came to talk to me about this.

2. That was years ago, dollface. Isn’t it time to move on?

We know exactly how much time has elapsed. If we could have moved on already, we would have. Some people see their abortion as the loss of their identity, or their child, or their chance. While it is important to make no assumptions about why someone is having feelings around their abortion, you can tell us you know how normal we are for feeling the way we do. We are completely acceptable as-is.

What to say: I know this happened years ago, and it’s okay if you’re still really, really sad.

3. All this sadness makes you sound like you’re against abortion.

Our emotions may have nothing to do with our opinion about abortion. I know women who have marched on Washington for their right to choose while privately regretting their own decisions. I know women who believe very deeply that abortion is wrong while feeling that abortion was the right decision for them. Our personal stories do not always reflect our political beliefs. When we come to you, please do not match our emotions to a political narrative.

What to say: There’s no right or wrong way to feel.

4. You weren’t ready for a baby.

This tells us that we are inferior, irresponsible, and immature, which is simply not true. We made the most mature, responsible decisions we could at the time. Some of us feel proud of the independence we gained from all the footwork this decision required. If we tell you we didn’t have access to the resources we needed, feel with us. Remember a time when you didn’t have what you needed. Acknowledge that we are worthy of having everything we need. All of us.

What to say: Sounds like you know what’s best for you.

5. Well, I support your right to choose.

This one sounds like support, but it ends the conversation. It may be a positive assessment, but it’s a judgment nonetheless. What we need is space to connect with you. If we would like to know your political views, please trust us to ask you. If we don’t ask, then perhaps we don’t need to know.

What to say: Take your time — I’m listening.

6. I don’t support what you did, but I’m here to support you.

It can be difficult to feel unconditionally loved and supported by someone who condemns what you did. You don’t have to support what we did, but when you are supporting us, please leave your opinions and expectations at the door. Then come in, listen to what we are saying, and try to put yourself in our shoes.

What to say: I’m here to support you.

7. No — it was actually a baby/child/fetus/embryo/zygote/clump of cells.

Many of us have done the research. We know the terminology. Sometimes it takes nerve to use the word we like best. Please don’t correct us. Instead, use our terminology when you talk to us.

What to say: You’re allowed to call it a fetus or a baby — it was yours and you can call it whatever you want.

8. But are you really happy now?

Some of us really are very happy right after the procedure for reasons so vast and diverse that I could write about them for pages. Even if we’re not happy right afterward, many of us become happy in our own time. If we tell you that we’re happy, we may have done a lot of work to reach this extraordinary place. Please celebrate with us. Do a little dance. Hip-bump. Yay.

What to say: I’m glad you feel relieved and rejuvenated.