It's midterm time here at Lesley, and everyone's been crazy, including myself. Every day when I read various blogs/newspapers, there's so much I want to share, but not enough time to get everything done, let alone write a zillion blog posts.
So check these links out:
Great article about abortion in the Philippines. (via The New York Times). This article really showcases the intricacies of abortion policy. Married women who cannot afford more children are mutilating themselves and trying to miscarry in order to terminate their unwanted pregnancies. If they're unsuccessful, they are forced to give birth to and raise children that they cannot afford and do not want. A bad situation for everyone involved! 70% of the population cannot afford birth control and pregnancy prevention. Of course, the vehemently anti-choice Catholic church opposes all birth control and abortion access. One male official even says, “Contrary to what many are saying, that policy was meant to protect women, to protect their wombs from those who want to take away life." So, a male who will never be in the position of taking birth control, being pregnant, or terminating an unwanted pregnancy wants to "protect" the poor little women from their own choices about their own bodies. Typical. Funny how anti-choicers have the same backwards and discriminatory policies all around the world, not just here in America!
Another great article about the incidence of sex trafficking in teen runaways (via The New York Times). Warning: it made me cry! There is one part where a social worker who works to get teen girls out of prostitution and away from their abusive pimps offers help and gives his card to one sixteen-year old client. She says that she will consider leaving her pimp and prostitution with the social worker's help. Less than three weeks later, her body is found: she was stabbed to death by her pimp. The social worker's business card was still in her pocket. I was reading it in the student center, and couldn't help myself from crying over this incredibly tragic story that happens every day. This article underscores the issue of the effects of child abuse on teens, and how the current system fails them. Teen runaways who are trying to escape a bad home situation often end up in even worse situations: in very dangerous, abusive "relationships" with drug dealers and pimps.
Check out these horrifying, violent ads for women's clothing. (Via copyranter). Although I've seen a lot of violent, misogynist ads, I've never seen one where a woman is portrayed as impaled by a spike with blood staining the stone fence and grass, or pushed down a flight of stairs, her blood tricking down the steps.
Rihanna speaks out about the night where Chris Brown brutally beat her. This was a very moving clip, and Rihanna's story echoes the stories of relationship violence victims around the world. She describes feelings of shame, confusion, embarrassment and loss of privacy. I admire her for speaking out about such a painful experience, in order to help other young girls who are in a situation of relationship violence.
Maine repealed their same-sex marriage law. Ugh! Marriage is a privileged status in this country. There are over 1,000 laws that apply only to married individuals. Not allowing all people, regardless of sexual orientation, to have access is blatant discrimination. For all those who say, "Well, the public should have a right to vote on it:" what if we had allowed the public to vote on civil rights for African-Americans back in the 1800's or the 1960's, hm? Civil rights, including marriage, are not issues that should be up to a vote, they are rights that should be upheld by a court of law. For the record, every single anti-gay-marriage argument I've heard boils down to "Well, the bible says it's wrong."
Really shady story about a Planned Parenthood executive director in Texas who saw an ultrasound of an abortion procedure and magically changed her fundamental beliefs on a woman's right to choose (via Jezebel). As Anna North points out in the second link... um, first of all, having an ultrasound while an actual D&E (dilation & evacuation) abortion procedure is taking place is pretty much impossible. Many abortion procedures are medical abortions, which empties the uterus in a period of a few hours or days. So did Abby Johnson put an ultrasound machine up to a patient's uterus for three days to watch her uterus empty? Johnson also says that PP was "pushing patients to have more abortions to increase revenue," but as Anna North and many commenters point out, this particular PP referred many abortions out to other, unaffiliated clinics. There's also some really shady info in the posts about how Johnson may have given out confidential information to anti-choice group Coalition for Life, and how she got negative performance review ratings right before resigning. Here's the thing: abortions are a very small part of what Planned Parenthood does. They also provide vital health services, such as pap smears, pregnancy services, etc. If you've been working at a women's health clinic for years and have never seen an ultrasound procedure before in your life, you're either not doing your job, or something really fishy is happening in this whole situation.
This week, Massachusetts cut 11% (32% cumulatively) of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) program, which funds nurses who do rape kits for sexual assault victims. They also cut 16% of teen pregnancy prevention funding. Argh!!!
Well, that's all that I can handle for tonight. Hopefully, I can post more this week!
Thanks for reading,