Yes, Abortion is part of Reproductive Rights

New Jersey Republican Christopher Smith seems to think that he can trip up Hillary Clinton by asking if “reproductive health” “reproductive services” or “reproductive rights” includes abortion. Her response is perfect:

Not only does she go in the opposite direction of many anti-choice people by first saying that she respects his opinion and how he advocates for it passionately (I have never heard an anti-choice person say the same thing to a pro-choice person). Hillary also very clearly explains that she thinks access to family planning, reproductive rights and abortion are necessary for women and for women’s healthcare.

She is right. Women need access to family planning and abortions because, as shown in the stories of her own personal experience, abortions are going to happen if they are legal or not. There is no reason a woman should have to fight for her life after a botched abortion because reproductive healthcare should be available to all women no matter what country they live in. This is not a single issue, reproductive rights and access to reproductive healthcare is a problem in every country in the world, and this needs to change.

We need more women, and men, like Hillary out there fighting for the reproductive rights of everyone.

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Wendy Davis -Live From Texas

Today Texas State Senator Wendy Davis is currently on a filibuster to try and stop a bill that would be detrimental to women’s health and women’s rights in Texas. I am currently listening to Davis on the live feed talk about her own pregnancy and abortion. It is heart breaking listening to her talk about this experience and how it will be even harder for women to make these decisions if this bill was passed. She is an amazing person for fighting against this bill and telling her own personal stories. I really hope she makes it the whole 13 hours.
I hope you can make some time to watch Davis. She is articulate even after 10 hours. She has become my hero, she stands for all women not just women in Texas. When reproductive rights of any woman are being limited we all suffer. Presidents can be set, other states follow Texas, then other countries with similar legal systems (ie Canada, England..) then it continues to move. When one persons rights are limited so are others. It is always important to fight for our rights no matter what. Wendy Davis is an amazing woman.

Dr Morgentaler Dies

Dr. Henry Morgentaler died on Wednesday May 29, 2013, according to CBC news. The cause of his death is not publicly known, but it is assumed to be from natural causes. Dr. Morgentaler was born in 1923 and moved to Canada after surviving the Holocaust. He was 90 years old when he died.

Dr. Morgentaler is best known for his work fighting for Canadian reproductive rights. He has fought for the right to safe and legal abortions for all women in Canada. He is one of the main reasons that abortions have been removed from the criminal code. His hard work and devotion to women’s rights will cause him to never be forgotten.

For more information on Dr. Morgentaler see these previous posts:

https://reproductiverightscanada.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/dr-morgentaler-2/

https://reproductiverightscanada.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/dr-morgentaler/

Oh Paul Ryan not Again

As many of you know Paul Ryan and other conservative politicians in the USA have issues with abortion. He is now trying to gain supporters for his anti-abortion ideas. I personally follow the idea that if you don’t want an abortion then don’t get one, also if you are a man and therefore will never have to go through a pregnancy and/or an abortion then your opinion on what women should do is invalid. It is a women’s choice not the choice of a male politician, especially one like Ryan who’s moral values are a little outdated and misplaced.

Some male politicians in the USA, including Ryan, have had some very interesting things to say about abortion and pregnancy. The most infamous being from Republican Todd Akin who said women do not need abortions in the case of rape because: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut  that whole thing down.”. Now I think we can all see the many ways Akin is wrong. There is no such thing as “legitimate rape” and “illegitimate rape” all rape is rape. Also if the female body had the ability to control pregnancy than abortion, birth control, and condoms would have never been invented or needed in the first place.

This post has much in common with two of my past posts if you are interested in further information from me: https://reproductiverightscanada.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/meanwhile-in-the-usa-2/ and https://reproductiverightscanada.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/politicians-vs-the-people/

And for more information from other sources try:

For more Quotes from politicians: Women’s Rights Quotes from Politicians – Stupid Things Politicians Say – Cosmopolitan

For more information on Paul Ryan check out Feministings article on him: http://feministing.com/2013/04/12/paul-ryan-wants-you-to-join-the-ranks-of-his-anti-abortion-army/

The Backlash

There are many forms of backlash that the people fighting for reproductive rights faced. The most common would be protesting and harassing women as they try to enter abortion clinics, but assaults and threats also happened.

Two Attempted Murders on Dr. Garson Romalis’ Life
Dr. Garson Romalis is a friend of Dr. Morgentaler and started performing abortions in 1972. His life was threatened many times, and he was shot on November 8th, 1994. This is Dr. Romalis’ description of what happened to him in a speech he gave at the University of Toronto Law School Symposium to mark the 20th anniversary of the Canadian Supreme Court decision in R v Morgentaler:

I had a very severe gunshot wound to my left thigh. My thigh bone was fractured, large blood vessels severed, and a large amount of my thigh muscles destroyed. I almost died several times from blood loss and multiple other complications. After about two years of physical and emotional rehabilitation, with a great deal of support from my family and the medical community, I was able to resume work on a part-time basis. I was no longer able to deliver babies or perform major gynecological surgery. I had to take security measures, but I continued to work as a gynecologist, including providing abortion services. My life had changed, but my views on choice remained unchanged, and I was continuing to enjoy practicing medicine. I told people that I was shot in the thigh, not in my sense of humor. (Romalis)

He was also stabbed by a young man in July 2000. He said his life was forever changed by the event but he felt that he was helping women and saving lives by performing abortions, and continued to perform them even after these two attempts on his life.

Attempts on Dr. Morgentaler’s Life
There have been attempts on Dr. Morgentaler life and this CBC news coverage from 1983 shows a man’s attempt at attacking Dr. Morgentaler with garden sheers. Author and activist Judy Rebick actually blocks the man from Dr. Morgentaler.
Dr. Morgentaler video – CBC News Toronto

“New” Abortion Caravan
This is modern form of backlash. It is a group of anti-choice people who call themselves the New Abortion Caravan. Their main tactic is to show pictures of aborted fetus as a way to scare women out of having abortions. I find this group repulsive. I think that women who do not support abortion should not get one, and not impose their “morals” onto other women.

Anti Choice Protesters Outside a Clinic
Here is a video of a man defending his wife’s abortion against women who stood outside the clinic and yelled at her. His wife needed an abortion to prevent her from delivery a still-born baby. He makes some valid points that hese protesters should learn. He says they should be helping children; I agree if they believe unwanted children should be born then they should be spending their time helping under privilaged children or volunteering at an orphange.

Dr. Morgentaler

Dr. Henry Morentaler performed his first illegal abortion in Montreal in 1968 (Rebick, 48). He is an interesting person in history because he is a man fighting for women’s rights. He is supportive of women’s right to choose and reproductive rights. He performed illegal abortions because he felt hypocritical turning away women who asked for the procedure (Rebick, 48) after he had expressed his support to free and legal abortions.

He was passionate about what he believed in and was willing to go to prison multiple times for the fight for legal abortions. In 1969 Dr. Henry Morgentaler defied section 251 of the Criminal Code by performing abortions in his clinic in Quebec. In 1970, Morgentaler’s office is raided by the police and he is charged with conspiracy to perform an abortion. He is charged ten times between 1971-73. In 1973 he is acquited by a jury but the Quebec Court of Appeal overturns the jury verdict in 1974. The Supreme Court upholds the Quebec Court’s conviction in 1975 and Dr. Morgentaler is sentenced to eighteen months in prison. While serving his sentence Dr. Morgentaler suffers a heart attack and is freed after serving 10 months. In 1975 the Morgentaler Amendment was made to the Criminal Code of Canada. This amendment was done under Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and changed the law so a court could not overturn a jury acquittal but could order a new trial

The abortion law had been fought by many people and in many ways and although Dr. Morgentaler is not the soul reason the abortion law was changed he was a very important part of this fight. His abortion clinics are still open to this day.

Leilani Muir

Leilani Muir was one of many Natives sterilized under the Alberta Sterilization act. It is her monumental court case that caused the repeal of the Alberta Sterilization act. She is committed to sharing information about the Alberta Sterilization act and fighting for the survivors. She is also in the documentary The Sterilization of Leilani Muir filmed in 1996.

Here is a speech done by Leilani Muir about the repeal of the Alberta Sterilization act. This speech was made on the 40th anniversery of the repeal in 2012. Muir talks about the importance of speaking about the past and how this will prevent that past from being repeated.