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According to the Guttmacher Institute (http://www.guttmacher.org/sections/abortion.php), 1/3 of American women will have an abortion in her lifetime.

The majority of women who have abortions are already mothers raising children (60%).

The reason most frequently cited for obtaining an abortion is economic hardship and preserving quality of life for the woman's existing children.*

According to the Guttmacher Institute "There is no evidence that abortion is being used as a primary method of birth control." http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/2008/09/23/TrendsWomenAbortions-wTables.pdf

Late term (post 24 weeks) abortions make up only .2% of all abortions. Not two percent, but two TENTHS of a percent. None of those women who had late term abortions did so "Because, tee hee..." They underwent an arduous medical procedure because either they and/or their fetus would DIE or the fetus was already dead, or the fetus was so malformed there was no hope of life, i.e. anencephaly. All late term abortions are tragedies, but not for the reasons the Anti-Woman/Anti-Choice folks would have you believe. They are tragedies because those babies were loved and wanted, and ultimately either would have died and/or killed their mothers had the pregnancy gone to term.

Recently AntiTheistAngie (http://angietheantitheist.blogspot.com/) has caught a lot of grief for Livetweeting (http://twitter.com/antitheistangie) her abortion. Because of health, economic and other issues (she already has a special needs child) when her birth control failed, she decided on RU-486, a chemical abortion. In order to demystify the experience, because on researching it for herself, what little information and personal stories she did find freaked her the hell out, she decided to broadcast her experience to the world.

I applaud this.

However, in response she has suffered a whole lot of death threats from the "Pro-Life" faction. People have threatened the life of her four year old son. They've called her a whore and a liar. WWJD? Apparently he'd start screaming epithets and killing people. Funny, I don't really remember that part of the Bible.

She's also caught a fair amount of slut-shaming from "Feminists." I put Feminists in quotes, because slut-shaming is one of the least Feminist acts I can think of. Mary Ann Sorrentino to name one name, http://open.salon.com/blog/mary_ann_sorrentino/2010/03/08/abortion_as_self-promotion Because apparently all those Feminists who fought for the right of a woman to have an abortion, only meant if she was properly quiet and shamed about it. The fuck? Sorrentino also completely glosses over the fact that Jackson wasn't just gleefully having sex without protection, her birth control FAILED. She was being responsible, even if she didn't have a tubal ligation (which Sorrentino apparently thinks you can get just by asking for one. What world is she living in, and can I move there?)

Also, speaking out about abortion has a long history in Feminist circles, from the Redstockings Abortion speak-out 41 years ago this month, to the "I had an abortion" t-shirt campaign which began in the early 2000s, to sites like http://www.imnotsorry.net and the LJ comm http://community.livejournal.com/imnotsorry/

Sorrentino is unhappy because Jackson took a "private" matter and made it public, and she should have just kept quiet. In a subsequent podcast, she's likened Jackson's livetweeting of her abortion to the Paris Hilton sex tape.

Well, we all know how well keeping quiet works for socially charged issues, don't we? Seriously, is "Just shut up and maybe they'll let us keep our rights" the new party line? Fuck that. So once Sorrentino is done playing "No True Feminist," maybe she can take a look around and see that "keeping quiet and playing nice" has resulted in a near constant eroding of access to abortion since the 80s.

Personally, and I have been guilty of this in my younger and stupider youth, if I hear you slut-shaming a woman who has had one or many abortions, in my presence, I will call you out, loudly, profanely and probably with a lot of hand-waving and gesticulating.

Abortion is not "dodging responsibility", it is a responsible course of action. If you know you are not ready to have a child emotionally, financially or for whatever reason including just not wanting to have one, NOT HAVING THAT CHILD is a RESPONSIBLE DECISION. Not bringing another child into a country where thousands upon thousands of children are languishing in foster care and can't get adopted IS THE RESPONSIBLE THING TO DO. Not overburdening the financial capabilities of your family IS THE RESPONSIBLE THING TO DO. Fuck that, "Have the baby and the money will come" bullshit. What kind of responsible behavior is that?

Anti-Choicers are not about saving babies, because if they were they'd be for things like SCHIP, and school lunches, and subsidized daycare, and more money for education, and things in the new healthcare bill like all children are covered. Anti-Choicers are about punishing women for having sex they don't approve of. Anti-Choicers are about punishing women for attempting to control their reproductive capabilities and limit family size.

The number of children a woman has and how early is the strongest indicator that she will remain in poverty for the rest of her life. Married or not.

I've not had to have an abortion, because the one pregnancy scare I've ever had ended in a probable miscarriage (Woot! God aborted for me! Suck it, anti-choicers!) But when I thought I might have been pregnant, my first thought was, "Where am I going to get the money for an abortion?"

Now, I'm not including you in Anti-Choicers if you personally wouldn't have an abortion, but you still support the right of other women to CHOOSE FOR THEMSELVES.** No one says you have to have an abortion. It's not like we're out there rounding up pregnant women like cattle to meet our weekly abortion quotas.

Abortion is a deeply personal issue that no one else can make for you. Nine months is a long time to harbor a parasitical creature in your womb. And given maternal death rates in this country (worst in the industrialized world), I wouldn't want to play that sort of Russian Roulette with my health either, if I didn't have to.

Everyone wants to decrease the number of abortions. But how you do this is by increasing the availability of contraception and education on those contraceptive measures. You don't do it by forbidding women to have abortions, because that just results in a lot of dead women. But that's ok, right? I mean, dead or forced to give birth, they're punished, right? Fuck you.

Well, except for rich women, they'll just fly somewhere it is legal.

So you're for punishing POOR women.

It's funny that the most outspoken opponents of access to abortion are ALSO against contraception. This is point two in why we all know you're all about punishing women for being poor, dirty whores, and not about saving anyone. Seriously, pull your fucking heads out, ok?

That's all for today, and may I remind you all of my new, draconion moderation policy: http://polimicks.livejournal.com/27643.html. I will be generous with bahletion.

*Oh, and the tendency for even Feminists to buy into the "lying whores" trope drives me up a wall. I believe it was on Pandagon, in a comment thread over a year ago, where someone said, in response to the Guttmacher findings on economic reasons, essentially, "Well, I'm sure that women SAY it's for economic reasons, but of course they're probably lying to make themselves feel better."
Look, trust women, or don't. But shut the fuck up either way.

**Many women who would deny abortion to others, believe they have a "good" reason for having it, and theirs is the "only moral abortion:" http://mypage.direct.ca/w/writer/anti-tales.html
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Please go to the National Abortion Federation page and add your name to the list of those thanking abortion providers for providing a very necessary medical procedure to women everywhere.

And a big thank you to AntitheistAngie (http://twitter.com/antitheistangie) for tweeting and talking about her own abortion (http://www.youtube.com/user/AngieAntiTheist#p/u/19/59Ud3g2ymOM) in an attempt to drag the subject out of the darkness. Abortion should entail no more shame than a PAP smear or other medical procedure.

Other links you should check out are: http://www.imnotsorry.net

If you've had an abortion, or think you would if you got pregnant, there is nothing shameful in taking care of yourself. Whatever your reasons.


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October 2012

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