[UPDATE: As of this afternoon, the veto on SB 749 has been overridden and the bill will become law.]
Over the summer, the Missouri state senate passed a “conscience clause” bill which would have allowed employers to opt out of offering contraceptive co-pay coverage with their employee insurance package based on religious or moral objection. This would have had profound effects on basic healthcare coverage for employees of such institutions as Catholic hospitals and schools, of which there are plenty in Missouri. As I reported in mid-July, however, Governer Jay Nixon vetoed the bill, allowing the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate to take full effect in the state in August.
Today, the Missouri state legislature begins their session with a vote on whether to sustain or discontinue Nixon’s veto. PPMO Advocates is encouraging folks on Facebook to call their representatives, illustrating the implications of discontinuing the veto by displaying $600 worth – the cost of a years’ supply of birth control pills with co-pay – of groceries for a four-person family. As reproductive justice advocates, I am sure we understand this basic truth, but I’ll say it again: despite popular national rhetoric about “choice,” the right to “choose” is meaningless to someone who cannot afford to purchase the service or medication they prefer. This veto override is being pushed by several anti-choice legislators of Todd Akin’s ilk – they will need to achieve a two-thirds majority to override the veto.
Pearl has a bowl cut now and there’s nothing you or anyone else can say that will change that.
The first question I asked my doctor after coming out of anesthesia last Tuesday was, “How many eggs?”
The second question was, “How long does the hCG stay in my system?”
Friends, Walter White is not the only one who uses chemistry for evil. The Sunday before my egg donation surgery, my neighbor helped me inject a dose of human chorionic gonadotropin, which would get the huge, swollen bundles of ovarian follicles I”d been cultivating all month to finally release their mature eggs so the IVF doctors could retrieve, fertilize, and monitor them for a few days before placing embryos in my recipient. Incidentally, hCG is also the hormone that tests positive in pregnancy tests.
…Pregnancy tests, including, of course, the pregnancy tests they use at crisis pregnancy centers, like the CPC that opened up on my block this spring. It”s conveniently located next to a fried chicken joint, and across the street and down a bit from the West Lindsey Planned Parenthood location where I walk over every month to get my birth control.
Hey, that”s MY PP! I”m glad this guy and his camera weren”t there any times I skipped gleefully out that door with a purse full of whore pills and double fistfuls of condoms, because they probably would have been offended at the songs I was singing.
The Eden Clinic (of Norman) has cute pink ads on the OU bus I take to work that have a picture of a positive pregnancy test with “Uh oh!” and a phone number printed next to it. Google that number and you see their website, which has the same Aryan-looking model”s stock photo as seen on this thing. This spring, while they were making their move to Norman, the Eden Clinic surveyed the student union lunch crowd to find the least-threatening looking logo or something (It”s got a leafy tree, it”s okay for a logo). Their executive director, Linda Cozadd, is affiliated with Abolish Human Abortion on Facebook, and even did a feature for them where they didn”t spell her name right!
I have been trying to find out for some time if the Eden Clinic is associated with any local church. Their new property on West Lindsey used to be the Singles Ministry building affiliated with Bethel Baptist Church, the church proper of which is located on the same part of the intersection as me, where it floods really deep every time it rains. (I went to last week”s church service to check it out, but they didn”t talk about evil abortionists or gay folks or retributive floods from God or fried chicken or anything like that and I was pretty bored.)
Home sweet home!
But Bethel may have sold it. It”s possible that the Eden Clinic is affiliated with Journey Church, the big megachurch up the highway, which also has a .tv website, lots of funding, and is the home church of Cozadd and other volunteers. According to the Eden Clinic”s volunteer application, though, they take any flavor of abortion-hating Christian, so probably they get their funds from a variety of sources, including Care Net, the largest CPC network in the U.S.
Here”s a fun story from my past: I once volunteered for a CPC, back when I was a wee braceface Catholic schoolgirl! Oh yes. This girl from my sixth grade Girl Scout troop with these adorable blond French braids I was crazy about was like, who wants to help me collect dry goods and maternity clothes for this charity my mom works for that helps pregnant women? And I was like me, me, me, I want to do that, with you! So we did. There”s a picture of the two of us somewhere way back in the archives of The Catholic Moment with the director of this Birthright clinic, just after she creeped me out by showing us her wacky plastic fetuses and telling us a story about running after a pregnant lady who somehow escaped into the street without any mutilated fetus pamphlets!
(Above: a blurry Youtube scene from “Citizen Ruth”, 1996, where Laura Dern”s character is taken to a CPC. Movie night, anyone?)
I was expecting The Eden Clinic to be the over-the-top-harass-you kind of pro-lifers, but they were the far less theatrical kill-em-with-kindness, keep-em-coming-back-with-stalling-tactics pro-lifers, which are harder to make fun of. Hard, BUT, for bad people like me, NOT IMPOSSIBLE! The intake form clearly stated that they did not provide abortions or abortion referrals, for example. But it also asked for my address, cell, social security number, family medical history, OB/GYN history and STI history, race, income, church affiliation, and what I was likely to do should I test positive for pregnancy, in addition to offering me a “helpful” consultation on my pregnancy options and the risks of abortion. That”s a lot of personal information for a clinic whose only licensed medical staff is the person operating the ultrasound machine. For anyone from the Eden Clinic performing a background check on me right now: hi!
To be honest, even though I knew I was still just drugged up on IVF hormones instead of actually pregnant, I was jumpy and nervous from the minute I entered the lobby, where they were playing Christian alternative radio and where crosses and “miracle” and “believe” art was hanging on the wall. I felt like the young receptionist in scrubs knew from looking at me that I had offered up 24 of my eggs to laboratory insemination two days before, and that I was the kind of person who was infinitely more worried about my sick kitty cat, home with a urinary infection, than the fate of any of those embryos.
I handed in my intake form, which truthfully stated I was an atheist, there for a free pregnancy test, who would most likely consider abortion if pregnant, and who was interested in their thoughts on the risks of abortion. For several minutes, the receptionist closed the window and talked with someone, who then ran across the hall to the director with my intake form, then ran back, then ran to the director again, and back. I read a Food Network magazine and jiggled my foot. They brought me out a water bottle and apologized for the wait.
Then, a different volunteer in scrubs came out and introduced herself. She was friendly , seemed about my age, and had freckles that made my heart melt. We went back to a counseling room with a TV and five chairs, and she asked me polite questions about my life, my job, my possible babydaddy, my online casino parents, my apartment. I answered them honestly, but did so while imagining the two of us together, watching reality shows and sipping green tea. Freckle Girl, I would watch Sarah Palin”s Alaska for you if you want. Not even a big deal.
Then they had me pee in a cup, which, get real, they”re just going to dip a pregnancy pee test from the grocery store into, anyway. I found myself wishing it would test negative (even though I knew it would be positive for hCG, due to my not-so-dry run earlier), so it wouldn”t upset my volunteer when I inevitably told her I was going to murder the shit out of whatever drugged-up Rosemary”s Baby creature was in my uterus.
Freckles and I waited some more, and then another lady in scrubs came in, told me my test was positive, and patted me on the knee boredly. We were sad together for a little bit, for her, I think, because whatever fake-but-reasonable date of my last period I put on the intake form was too recent for anything to show up on an ultrasound machine (you have to be six weeks pregnant at the earliest, luckily for me). She suggested I come back and get an ultrasound in a week or so, and I was like, why? And she was like, shrug.
Then she suggested I watch a video about the surgical abortion procedure in the first trimester, which would accurately show me the risks of abortion. (No such video for the much more life-threatening risks involved in pregnancy and birth.) I asked her if she would stay and watch with me, and she shook her head and left. That was it for her. Maybe I just didn”t warrant a lot of fetus-saving effort.
Freckles and I were alone. She apologized for the video she was about to show me, which seemed sincere, and promised it wasn”t too graphic and that she would stop after the part about first trimester abortions, because after that it got yucky. So we watched. It was computer animated, and when the super-developed-for-first-trimester fetus disappeared, it did so with a dissolve animation, like on Star Trek. Nothing too bad. She stopped the video when she said she would. I told her it didn”t look too scary, which is true, and she halfheartedly responded with “It”s a big decision.” She saw me look away, and asked what I was thinking.
I told her: I was thinking about how scared I was the last time I had had surgery.
Her face screwed up in sympathy. She got all apologetic, and asked if I was still considering abortion. And I got all apologetic, for giving what felt like obviously the wrong, non-people-pleasing answer for that place, and said, yes, I”m afraid I was. And I was uncomfortable, and she was uncomfortable, but there we were: the good Christian volunteer feeling bad about misleading pregnant people, and the not-really-pregnant dirty unbeliever feeling bad about misleading her back.
She seemed pretty convinced by that point, so she just brought me my goodie bag and free Bible and promised that I could come back for any free services I wanted, including an ultrasound if I wanted to wait long enough, or to talk about any emotional stuff or fear surrounding the abortion procedure or pregnancy. “I absolutely do not judge you,” she said. “I think you will make whatever decision is right for you.” Oh, Freckles! How do you make fun of that sincerity, respect, and trust?
She asked my permission to pray over me, which I granted, and then I filled out the outtake form with a glowing review of her. I walked home slowly, swallowed another of my post-surgery antibiotics, took all the pamphlets out of the goodie bag, and read how I was a murderer who was going to become infertile, develop psychological problems, and be ruined for marriage for the rest of my life unless I got saved and stayed pregnant like I was supposed to. I put the pamphlets back in the bag, curled up with my kitty, and told her she was my baby.
Jessie hopes none of the embryos that go into her egg donation recipient turn into any Rosemary Babies.
The latest series of public political conversations about sexual and reproductive health – specifically abortion and rape – kicked off this month with Missouri Rep. Todd Akin’s now-infamous statements on a local Saint Louis morning show and subsequent non-apologies. Coincidentally, the other massive, hyper-reported story in August involved a Russian riot grrrl collective being arrested, tried, and sentenced for actions taken against the fusing of religion and state in that country. So, what measures of protest and direct action are being levied against the ideological force of right-leaning anti-choicers and opponents of reproductive justice in this country? I’ve rounded up a few from the past couple of weeks that were covered in state and national media to see where and how large-scale protest movements are happening.
Most visibly in mainstream media this week have been the protests at the Republican National Convention in Florida. Code Pink showed up in vagina costumes, waved signs, and chanted things. Fine. Someone also got kicked out of Paul Ryan’s speechfor yelling pro-choice slogans, triggering a “USA! USA!” chant from the crowd, because free speech and protest are un-American. Dramatic!Actual garbage heap Todd Akin got 40,000 petitionsdropped on his head by Planned Parenthood action team members the other day. Planned Parenthood is currently on a bus tour, promoting candidates with pro-choice voting records and generally wearing pink shirts and waving professionally-printed signs and looking sort of unenthusiastic.
Slightly more militant than chants and petitions are marches, and some of those also happened last Sunday, for the anniversary of suffrage. A relatively new organization, Women Organizing to Resist and Defend, held marches in several cities to protest the “War on Women” (scare quotes because The Media). From WORD’s promotional materials and online presence, we can deduce this is a group aimed mostly at getting lots and lots of relatively privileged, new-to-feminism folks to show up and march and yell. Fine. They’re not explicitly transphobic, which is more than I can say for certain other faces (that look like Caitlin Moran’s face) of modern feminism.
Looking ahead, it would seem that tactics are changing. Clearly, we in the RJ community have been engaging in direct action such as hotlines, abortion funds, and transport services for awhile. Folks who attended the Take Root conference can probably speak to the current state of direct action and resistance with regards to explicitly RJ-oriented goals eloquently, and I invite you to do so. On a national scale, however, intersectionality and access issues always seem to be overshadowed by gigantic “Keep Abortion Legal” signs that were literally designed forty years ago. But as this letter from the New York Times helps to illustrate, direct action training sessions and camps are on the upswing. Environmental activists in Texas recently trained in blockade tactics, and as the Occupy movement prepares to mark its one-year anniversary, that type of escalation no longer seems so radical and new. This year’s predicted (or rather hoped-and-planned-for) wave of civil disobedience may just decide to focus on achieving and protecting true reproductive justice. Our generation is admirably rage-filled. Some of us just hit the snooze/privilege button on our “shit is fucked up and bullshit” alarm clocks a few too many times.
Pearl just got back from Oklahoma where she died and became a ghost due to being surrounded on all sides by badass OK4RJ contributors for a solid hour or so.
I’m not sure why I did it to myself, but I watched every night of the RNC. I tried to stay away, but then I’d see someone on my Twitter say that Mary Fallin upped her twang to Reba standards or that Jeb Bush was speaking coherently. I’m weak for their lies and awful jokes. Plus, I apparently really enjoy watching old, white people dance as well.
Did you know that Janna Ryan, wife of RPR (Ryan Paul Ryan), is an Oklahoman? She even watched a Sooner game in her wedding dress. It’s okay if we make fun of her now for marrying a total tool, right?
My sk8boarding for Jesus friend, Keith Mason, must have cried a river of a thousand fertilized eggs that his presh personhood amendment failed to make it on a ballot in Colorado for the THIRD time. Keith will overcome his failures, I’m sure, while listening to the Deftones.
Here’s the story of a person saying they are the survivor of an abortion. The medical records back up that she was spontaneously delivered at 18 weeks. Melissa claims she was 7 months old when the abortion occurred and that she was ‘thrown in a dumpster, crying’ when the medical records show she was taken to NICU. Y’all ready for some math? 18 weeks does not equal 7 months, and there’s no dumpster mentioned anywhere. It’s also impossible to find anything else besides this about her except that her story changes all the time. Not to downplay anyone that this could have happened to, but something stinks. So why is she all over the place? BECAUSE OBAMA WANTS TO KILL BABIES AFTER THEY ARE BORN (but not really).
So, let’s say you’re on your way to get an abortion. A van pulls up, asks you to get inside, and pee for them while they pray for you. Nope, that’s not creepy at all. Are they offering candy too? But don’t worry, these Urolagnians just wanna talk to you about Jesus for a little bit and then make you pose for a picture after! Don’t you just love their hair and Northface jackets? They also seem to have a MAJOR issues with Mr. Rogers..? HEY STORK PEOPLE! YOUR VAN = CREEPY!
Amy Poehler, who plays perfect person Leslie Knope in Parks and Recreation, stars in a new PSA about the California Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. The bill extends basic labor rights to domestic workers like nannies, cooks, housekeepers and other caregivers that do not receive fundamental protections under federal labor law. Read more about the bill here.
Notable in the video is Amy’s admission that “Every day, so many working women get to do what they do because there are wonderful people in their home, helping them.” This truth is often ignored in conversations about work-life balance for (usually middle class) women with careers. Though this bill would only apply to domestic workers in California, domestic workers nationwide deserve basic employment protections, including in Oklahoma (duh).
Hi, I’m Amy Poehler. I’m an actor and a mother and a working woman. Many people ask me how I balance it all and the truth is it wouldn’t be possible for me to do all those things without the help I get in my home every day. Every day, so many working women get to do what they do because there are wonderful people in their home, helping them. These workers, who inspire and influence our children, who take care of our loved ones and our homes, have been excluded from basic labor protections for generations. Please help us right that wrong and pass the California Domestic Workers Bill of Rights this year. It’s time these workers were treated with dignity and respect. Visit DomesticWorkers.org to add your voice.
There’s a hurricane on it’s way to Tampa just in time for the Republican National Convention. Those evangelical GOP’ers better use their Bibles & portable constitutions as flotation devices as the RNC gonna wash into the gulf, y’all.* Call Kevin Yoder, he’s an expert on Tea Party Swimming!
Oh geez you guyz. (Trigger Warnings at the links) This week was a shitsterm of awful, terrible people saying awful, terrible things.
This fartknuckle running for sheriff says he’ll use deadly force to stop anyone going to get an abortion. uuhhhh…but it’s okay y’all. He’s totes sowwry now!
Can we stop with the abortion hierarchy crap? It’s all or nothing, you shitsticks! We aren’t doing ourselves any favors here. (Cough…Moveon.org…cough)
Looks like my BFFs over at Abolition Human Abortion have been called out nationally for using a symbol that looks alarmingly like something a Nazi would have used…hmm. I don’t really think they love the pre-Jason-Bourne babies that much because they didn’t take me seriously when I suggested this site about personhood funerals to them.
Romney says ‘birther’ is just a weird term to use for someone who might be a…dun dun dun…anchor baby! (Yes, both of these terms are terrible. I’m throwing them back at him. If I had poo, I’d throw that at him as well)
You need to be following Retta (Donna from Parks And Recreation) on Twitter, like yesterday. She’s live tweeting Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 1 and tearing that Angel a new one!
All that Kirk Cameron talk has me longing for my youth. Seven-year-old Molly had quite a thing for Diamond Dave.
Molly just wants some decent BBQ. Airmail her some ribs or just follow her twitter while she tweets about TV and farts.
*No, I don’t wish anyone bodily harm. I just kinda want the RNC to get canceled and watch Republicans cry. That’s all!
What an apology looks like: I am so sorry for having fucked up beliefs and saying those out loud, I obviously have a lot to learn about sexual violence, abortion, and how the body works. I have no business representing the people in my district as I should dedicate my time to educating myself and making amends to rape victims in whatever way they see fit. There is no excuse for my words or actions, and I am sorry for pursbonus the pain I support and have caused.
What an apology does not look like: I , but a fetus shouldn’t suffer. JOBS JOBS JOBS!
Who is a victim of “legitimate rape”: anyone who has experienced rape
Who gets to decide if what happened was rape: The person who experienced rape
Who does not get decide if someone was raped: literally everyone else
Who is most frequently told they did not experience a “legitimate rape”: people of color, people struggling with addiction, people using alcohol/drugs at the time, people wearing certain amounts of clothing, people in certain locations at certain times, people who are married or monogamous, fat people, queer people, people with disabilities, people who consented to previous sexual contact, people who do sex work, trans* people, people who do not report immediately, people who are pregnant, people who are victimized by celebrities, etc.
Who decides if a person can get an abortion: the person seeking an abortion
Who does not get to decide if a person who was raped can get an abortion: literally everyone else
For what reasons can a person seek an abortion: literally any reason
Who is the last person on earth that will be the strongest advocate in the Senate for people who experience rape: Todd Akin
Who does not suffer the most from Todd Akin’s comments: Todd Akin, the Republican party
Whose suffering should we be discussing: Not Todd Akin’s, not the fate of the Republican party or Republican politics in Missouri
Who gets justice in a system that allows people like Todd Akin to have political power: no one
Jen is always angry, but never surprised, about the fucked up things people say about rape.
Why hello lovely ones! Sorry I”ve only been able to do these roundups sporadically. You know how I was whining about working in politics and wah, wah, wah? Well, all the campaigns I was working on LOST! So that means the Lard above just wants me to write roundups Fridays, drink mimosas and yell at the TV. You okay with that?
So let us discuss RyanPaulRyan. I”m going to call him that because I can”t remember his name and I don”t care and it doesn”t really matter. Yes, this dude blows. Why didn”t RomCom just pick RickySanty? I”d be down. RyanPaulRyan, or RPR, was named “Biggest Brown Noser” in high school. Obviously he”s graduated to biggest rim jobber…yeah, I said it. But you were thinking it! So the internet is ablur with how awful RPR is, what a little scumbag, sack of shit, smegma toothed misogynist he is, and the internet is right! It is my professional opinion, after running a couple losing campaigns, that being VEEP ain”t shit. I ain”t the only one. He is so much more dangerous in the house. On the off online casino chance these buttwads are elected, let”s make sure Romney”s batteries and hardware are always running, k?? (Ick, that”s a scary thought)
Y”all know I love to bitch and moan about people giving lip service when referring to reproductive justice and the need for it in certain areas. I think people really do care but aren”t sure what to do or where to start. Well, some well known bloggers/activists have started a site, Flyover Feminism, that will hopefully let some light shine down on “flyover” states and the amazing people working in them. (Ahem..)
MS is a state in danger of having no abortion access; ridiculous regulations (that we are seeing all over the country) are coming down hard on the clinic and the state is ready to shut the clinic down. Dr. Willie Parker has stepped in to do everything he can to make sure this won”t happen.
Ah yes, the new face of feminism! That looks just like the old face!
Oh for the love of vodka! Noted racist Gov. Jan Brewer (R-Arizona) said she won”t allow anyone undocumented to get ID, ugh. I hope you stick your nasty, pointy finger into an electric socket!
You know what I”m really sick of? Lazy, freeloading little kids just leeching off the public school lunch system. Luckily Todd Akin (R-MO) feels the same way! Get a job, Junior!
That”s it considering I think I might have gotten a little bit of food poisoning. I”m not sure. I”ll keep you updated.
Well, I”ll have to get over RickySanty and move onto RPR..So stay away! THAT BOY IS MINE!
Molly went kayaking last week and now she doesn”t know who she is. Help her figure this out on her twitter
this person thought about politics so much their face turned into a building (??)
(Ed. note: This article discusses personal dating experiences from a cisgendered and heterosexual feminist perspective.)
I have always struggled with feminism. On my Facebook profile, I list “feminist” as my political party, but when I’m at my parents’ house, I’m a good quiet daughter that represents the family well and would never speak out of turn. It’s silly to say the least, but it’s always been hard for me to put what I feel is right into action. I’m getting better about it. My parents are seeming to come around to the notion that I have a few political thoughts in my pretty little head, even if it drives my Persian father and Mexican mother crazy. Cultural training is hard to overcome, but I’m getting them there.
Another area of my life I’ve struggled with staying true to feminism is dating. Being a twenty-something straight woman, I’m sure I’m not the only one who has had a moment on a first date that made them want to scream, or maybe just cringe. And before I met my boyfriend, I used to have a go-to list of questions to ask a guy before I What’s more is that you can use the flash version to play free blackjack and test out free online casino games before making a deposit. would officially date him. Perhaps it was a little odd to ask a guy these questions when we had just met for drinks or were standing around the punch bowl at a party, but I asked them nonetheless. And the main question I asked without fail was this:
If I became pregnant while we were dating, what would you do?
That’s a loaded question to ask a dude that you’ve only seen a handful of times, but if
RANDY SAVAGE SAYS " BE A MAN " !!
said dude wanted to enjoy consensual activities with me, then he had to answer. Many of them hemmed and hawed, ultimately giving me the sort of non-answer that makes you think critical thinking skills aren’t always being taught to their fullest extent. One man puffed out his chest when I asked and said something to the effect of “I’d be a man about it.” Problematic gender descriptions aside, I knew that meant I would have a baby and he would work to take care of us. When I protested and told him that I had two more degrees than he did, he just rolled his eyes and acted like that was immaterial. (Needless to say, that didn’t go past the first date.)
A little over two years ago I got the right answer and I’ve been with him ever since. When I asked my boyfriend what would happen if I got pregnant, he looked me in the eyes and said we’d talk about what to do. And that’s all I really wanted. Maybe it’s a trick question to ask, but I knew I wanted to be with someone who would always be open to communication. And really, who knows what I would do if I became pregnant? That would rely on a million factors and nobody can really say what would be right at the time.
Marisa is a professional student and writer. Follow her on Twitter if you like irreverence and links to silly pictures.
On Sunday, the Texas Tribune reported that a growing number of people in that state seeking abortions are looking to Mexico for chemical abortifacients in the form of a potent medication – not prescribed on its own in the U.S. to terminate pregnancies – called misoprostol. According to the Tribune article, the World Health Organization has stated that even on its own, the drug can be an effective method for medically inducing abortion when used properly. Unfortunately, the proper method for the use of misoprostol to induce abortion is not widely known in the border communities affected, which results in a variety of health risks.
From an access perspective, the recent uptick in such a practice seems to be the logical result of recent cuts and restrictions on public health services, including reproductive health and domestic violence services, in the state of Texas. Other states – especially red border states – can learn from this story in the fight for reproductive justice. It may seem far-fetched to prepare to distribute facts on proper use of misoprostol to possible affected communities, but if state TRAP legislation continues to pass, such education may be necessary to prevent injury or illness. Ideally, community reaction to such a trend will be mostly to increase knowledge of and access to safe, legal, affordable, and discreet abortion services through hotlines and abortion funds.
The people using misoprostol, also widely used in Mexico due to poor reproductive health access, are mostly poor Latino-Americans living in sparsely-populated areas near the southern border of the United States. This story will probably not be widely covered because it has yet to affect urban middle-class white Americans, and I sincerely hope that the big state to the south can stave off further increases in the practice. I highly recommend reading the original article from the Tribune and checking in on Robin Marty’s coverage of the story.
Pearl is making two pizzas tonight, just try and stop her