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.
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/
The Pro-Voice Project: A Documentary is “a film about the human stories and shades of gray hidden in our black and white abortion debate”. I believe this is an important project. It is a way to get out of the politics and controversy of abortion debates and just tell it as it is, without any interference. It is important for women to tell their stories. Story telling has always been an important way of healing and communication in women’s issues and movements throughout history. One of the best ways you can learn about something and truly understand it is when you hear true personal stories.
These women are very brave; not everyone would want to talk about abortion, especially not in a documentary. I think they are doing an amazing thing by creating this film. This film will be very helpful, and teach a lot of people the real facts about women who get an abortion.
But, the film is not done being made. Although parts of the it have been filmed already, there is still more that needs to be done. They plain on going to Texas and New Jersey and will need funding to get there. The funding will be used to afford filming, among other things. Making movies isn’t cheap and this is an important movie that needs to be made.
If you would like to help please check out there Kickstarter page. There is also a lot more information and a great video about the film on the page, if you just want more information on it.
I really hope they reach there goal and the film can be made:
Women around the world have always found a way to try to control their reproduction. They will use any means they can to do this, even if it means risking their lives. I belive that education and accessibility are key to stopping this. Women either do not have reproductive rights or are un-knowledgeable on their rights. Not only do women need complete freedom and control when it comes to their reproduction but they also need education.
As you can see in the following news clip from ABC’s Channel 7 and their discussion with National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH), knowledge is key to safety. The women being discussed in the this video are using drugs that are not made for abortions in order to induce a miscarriage. This is taking place in the USA where abortion is legal in some states.
This video is from 2009 and sadly I would say that these problems still exist. We all remember images of coat hangers during protests in Canada and the USA during R v Morgentaler and Roe v Wade. These images are still part of todays society. If abortion is not accessible women will use drugs, alcohol, being punched in the stomach, and even coat hangers to stop pregnancy. If women are to be safe and healthy they need reproductive rights.
If women are given access to reproductive technology and are educated on their reproductive rights they will no longer have to resort to these drastic measures. Women will always try to get abortion whether they are inaccessible and illegal, or legal, free and accessible. If women (and men) are properly educated and given the rights they deserve abortions will decrease. If women know they can have birth control, how to use it, and especially if it is free then there will be less unwanted pregnancies to be terminated. If abortion is accessible and free then women will no longer have to go to these drastic measures.
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 morning after pill is now available over the counter in the United States. Canada currently has the morning after pill available over the counter in pharmacy’s so it’s good to see the US moving towards the left for once. The US has a long history of being conservative when it comes to birth control of any kind other than abstinence so I like that they are finally making the morning after pill a little more accessible.
Although the pill is still expensive its better to be available and expensive than not available at all. I know that in Canada you can find the pill on pharmacy shelves in the planned parenthood section, but they can be costly. They are around $45-60 depending on where you go to buy them. They are not a replacement for regular birth control and are not an abortion. They are only to be used during emergencies.
If the USA and Canada following France and have free birth control then the morning after pill would be needed less often and would save women the stress, money and illness that can often come from the morning after pill.
For more information on the morning after pill in the US read this article on Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/05/morning-after-pill_n_3019579.html?utm_hp_ref=politics
This picture shows the abortion laws found around the world by Federal law. As you can see the USA is green by federal law but different states would be different colours:
The following images show the restrictions that are faced even in counties where abortions are legal:
Feminist and comedian Tina Fey gives us some insight on the current fight for reproductive rights in the USA, at a Reproductive Rights Gala in 2012. She pokes fun at the myths and misconceptions many male politicians have about rape and pregnancy.
This provides some insight into many of the problems feminists face when trying to gain reproductive rights. Just as these male American politicians are misinformed many other men (and women) around the world are misinformed about reproductive rights. There are many misconceptions and myths about reproduction and reproductive rights that can only be stopped by the sharing of actual information. Hopefully Fey’s speech will be helpful in shinning a light on the problem of lack of information on reproductive rights and open up a dialogue and find a way to share information to fix all these misconceptions.