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/

New: Birthcontrol for Men

I don’t know about you but birth control is a pain in my butt and I know other women feel the same. I’ve never really understood why there wasn’t a birth control for men. Our society is very accepting of men’s sexuality (well cisgender heterosexual anyway) so it only makes sense that there would be a male form of birth control. If women have to worry about being a slut if they have sex once than why are there so many options for female birth control and so few for men? I understand that women are the ones who get pregnant but men don’t always want to be parents either. Men complain about abortion and pregnancy and how they have no say in the matter; while if you want to avoid your girlfriend/wife/random hookup from getting pregnant and determining if you are going to become a father or not than use birth control for yourself.

I here men who blame their girlfriends/wives/etc. for getting pregnant because the responsibility of not getting pregnant is on the woman. A woman is always at fault for an unplanned pregnancy even though it takes two. With a male birth control available men can have control over their own reproductive rights that they did not have before, women will feel -a little- less pressure and blame if an unplanned pregnancy happens, there will be less chance of a pregnancy if both partners are on birth control and woman who cannot be on birth control for medical or economic reasons can have their male partners be on birth control instead. This seems like a win-win situation to me.

Right now the male birth control called RISUG (reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance) is still in the trial stages in India but has been 100% affective with no side affects. RISUG works by having a doctor inject a substance that is a nontoxic polymer that forms a coating on the inside of the vas. As sperm flow past, they are chemically incapacitated, rendering them unable to fertilize an egg. This form of birth control is the creation of Sujoy Guha who has spent over 30 years working on this project. In 2010 they were in late phase III clinical trials and were expecting the product to be available by 2012 in India but the process has been slowed. Red tape and a lack of corporate sponsors has prevented it from being sold world wide. No pharmasuidcal company wants it because it will cost less and be more affective than female birth control. Big business doesn’t like it because they wont make near as much money off of it as they already do off of female birth control which is very costly. Hopefully it will become available.

For more information on this breakthrough in reproductive technology try:

This 2012 Biotech article:

http://biotechbinge.com/biotechnology/2012/11/new-birth-control-method-for-men-risug-is-one-shot-100-effective/

This  2010 wired article on RISUG:

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/04/ff_vasectomy/all/1

Wikipedia always has somewhat reliable information as well:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reversible_inhibition_of_sperm_under_guidance

 

11 Year Old Rape Victim Forced to Carry Child

An 11 year old girl in Chile known as Belén is being forced to go through with her pregnancy. Belén has been raped and abused by her mothers boyfriend since she was 9. Her mother claims that when the relationship started it was consensual. I don’t know about you but I do not believe that a child can consent to a sexual relationship with an adult, especially an adult who is in a position of power over them. Luckily Belén’s grandmother did not see the relationship as consensual and reported it.

The boyfriend admitted to the authorities that he abused Belén yet she is still not allowed to have an abortion. In the past Chile allowed abortions for medical reasons but when dictator Augusto Pinochet took power of Chile he banned all abortions. Although Chile is no longer a dictatorship it is still controlled by conservatives and the Catholic Church.

Many, including myself. believe that Belén should be allowed an abortion because of her age, the fact that she was raped, she is the victim of incest, the pregnancy is a serious health risk, and the health of the fetus is at risk. These are reasons that even anti-choice people would agree with. How anyone can expect an 11 year old to be able to physically and mentally handle a pregnancy and birth is baffling to me. Even if the pregnancy hadn’t occurred in such a horrendous way she is still too young. Her body is not ready to carry a child. She will suffer great health risks if she does not have this abortion.

This story is shockingly similar to that of a woman in El Salvador

Fighting for Life and an Abortion

A 22 year old woman going by the pseudo name Beatriz is fighting for her life in El Salvador. Beatriz is five months pregnant and has lupus and kidney problems. Her fetus has a birth defect called anencephaly (the fetus is missing parts of its brain and skull) that will cause it to die. In order to live Beatriz needs an abortion. Her doctors want to perform the abortion because they believe there is a strong chance of maternal death.

They fear she may die because of her current complications and the complications of her last pregnancy. Beatriz almost died when giving birth to her 14 month old son. She had many complications with her pregnancy due to her illnesses, and had to have an emergency C-section. Her son was also in the hospital for over a month after he was born because of digestive and respiratory problems. Her doctors fear they will go to jail if they perform a medical abortion.

In 1998, El Salvador passed a strict abortion law that prohibited all abortions for any reason even medical, incest and rape. El Salvador has jailed 628 women for having abortions since 1998. Some of these women have been sentenced for 30 years. This is a little ridiculous if you ask me. If that many women are getting abortions even when prohibited by law then why have the laws not been changed? It just makes sense to me. Women need access to abortions, especially in countries that are predominantly Catholic and therefore have not/do not have access and promotion of birth control. I believe the state and the church need to be separate in all cases. The church should not be in control of women’s rights, reproductive or other wise.

Women need abortions, especially medical ones. The laws need to change to save Beatriz. Without the laws changing then more women will end up like Savita Halappanavar. I hope that Beatriz and any other women who needs an abortion will be able to get one. When the women’s life is in danger there is no “moral”, legal or religious reason that a woman should not be able to have an abortion.

Ireland Keeps Abortion Restrictions In New Bill

Ireland keeps restrictions that make abortion only legal when it is an emergency abortion but makes changes in order to “clarify” when an emergency abortion may be performed. The new protection of life during pregnancy bill does not necessarily change the law it really only makes it more specific. The law is meant to clearly say when an emergency abortion may be performed. An abortion may be performed legally in Ireland when the:

a)that procedure is carried out by a registered medical practitioner at an appropriate location, and

(b) two medical practitioners, have, in accordance with this head, jointly certified in good faith that –

(i) there is a real and substantial risk of loss of the pregnant woman’s life other than by way of self-destruction, and

(ii) in their reasonable opinion this risk can be averted only by that medical procedure.

Now I have not read the bill in its entirety but I do not like what I have read. As you can see above you must have two medical practitioners in order to receive an emergency abortion. This causes inaccessibility even in cases when a women’s life is in danger. Not only would it be difficult to find two doctors willing to perform an abortion there are also restrictions on what kind of doctor you can have. One of the doctors must be an obstetrician/gynaecologist who is registered  with the Specialist Division. Also the doctors cannot be the women’s own general practitioner because they must be consulted by the other two doctors. This is could cause a women to be unable to find doctors willing to give her an abortion and therefore cause her to die.

Even after the death of Savita Halappanavar the laws have not changed to help women. For those of you who did not hear about Halappanavar here is her story in little detail. She was a 31 year old dentist in Galway Ireland who went to a University hospital complaining of pain. She was having a miscarriage but the doctors could not help her because the fetus still had a heartbeat. They told her and her husband that they were a Catholic country and therefore could not abort her dying fetus. Halappanavar and her husband are not Irish or Catholic, yet they had to follow the Catholic laws against abortion. Halappanavar and her fetus died as a result of the lack of treatment at a hospital.

There has been much public outcry and protest after Halappanavar’s death yet this new bill does not address this. The new bill, as far as I have read, does not allow for the termination of pregnancy in Halappanava’s case. I am avidly pro-choice as you know from reading this blog and therefore believe that there should be no restrictions at all when it comes to abortion, birth control and reproductive right. I understand that Ireland is a Catholic country and therefore religion is influential in cases like this, but when it comes to cases like Halappanava religion needs to realise that the women’s life is important. Halappanava could have lived. If she was in England, Canada, Switzerland, even in most US States she would have survived.

Bills should not be changed to clarify existing restrictions they should be changed to remove restrictions and help women. Women have a right to life, and a right to their own physical and emotional safety that is being ignored in this bill.