I think that with a new republican majority, it’s expected that there will be a lot of new legislation reflecting more conservative ideas. One of the big topics I am concerned about it birth control and abortion. This article does a good job of explaining what exactly could begin happening.
Now that the election is [mostly] over, here’s an update on the amendment I previously covered in “Incongruous Terminology” from North Dakota: it failed. It failed by a lot. That doesn’t mean that anti-abortion measures and restrictions are done and over with though. In Tennessee an amendment of similar importance was passed. It’s a measure that has been long in the making, having originally been introduced more than 10 years ago. It, just like Colorado and North Dakota, seems to use relatively bland language to avoid offending either side of the pro-life, pro-choice debate. To me, it looks to use vague-ness and confusion to its benefit, attracting voters much like the other two amendments aimed to. Tennessee already offers many restrictions on abortion and abortion rights. This will simply make it easier to enact more of those. The reason this becomes an issue that involves more people than just those who live in Tennessee is that Tennessee is surrounded by states with heavy restrictions on abortions. In places like Texas, Missouri, and Mississippi, it’s almost impossible to find anywhere that can still offer abortions. The ridiculous restrictions being put on these places in an effort to close them has worked. So many women in these states have relied on neighboring states like Tennessee to keep their abortion clinics open. I don’t think I need to say that without these regulated, clean, responsible clinics, dangerous alternatives begin popping up. An underground medical clinic is not the place to get an abortion. When you hear about all the dangers of abortion: this is where they come from. They come from places that aren’t government approve. They show up when government-approved clinics can’t exist anymore. That is why, regardless of your beliefs regarding abortion, you should carefully rethink your opinions regarding restrictions on abortions.
Interestingly enough, this article posted by Alternet.org mirrors a lot of the issues and opinions I covered in my “Heinous Masquerade” post. Seeing other people as concerned and devoted to change as I am is a bit comforting. If you read the post, you know I was absolutely appalled. Understandable, the Alternet writer who posted it understandably had a bit more information than I did at the time, so I encourage everyone to read the article.
Apparently some new legislation was put in place that required the Crisis Pregnancy Centers to advertise that they do not provide abortions. They responded by rebranding themselves and saying that they provide services to “undecided women.” This is better than nothing, but it’s still deceptive, in my opinion. The article points out that they still make an effort to appear pro-choice, even though the connected videos and undercover reporting on the subject quite obviously proves otherwise. I’m not saying that these centers are solely bad, or even that they should be shut down completely. I’m simply suggesting that they need to be much more transparent. If they improve in that area, they will attract women who actually want the type of counseling and help that they are offering, instead of bringing in women who are looking for alternative options, and then verbally berating them until they can worm their way out. These centers (although not the most professional places), can have their own place within pregnancy counseling.
The article includes lots of other information regarding abortion legislation. It also talks about politicians who, like the Pregnancy Centers, disguise themselves as pro-choice when their bills and other propositions say otherwise. It’s incredibly informative, and it’s something that every women should read. In fact, if you care about women, you should also read it. Obviously by that I mean everyone. There are lots of current issues that are important for women’s rights and reproductive rights that are being hidden, swept under the rug, and generally not being discussed at all. If you want to know what’s happening, you need to inform yourself. It’s not going to be broadcast like many of the other big-ticket items in the current elections.
I’m not planning on having a family. At least not in the traditional way. I’ll probably have lots of dogs…
Ironically, this makes me very invested in “family planning” legislation and debates. The term doesn’t quite sound right when applied to people without families, but the sentiment stands. The term “family planning” actually applies to lots of things, birth control, STI/STD testing, prenatal health, and fertility testing included. This category is full of lots of helpful medical measures that keep both women and babies alive and thriving. Without access to them, both women and babies tend to be more prone to issues like ectopic pregnancies that are both hard to detect and life-threatening. Salon.com posted an article that defends access to family planning measures, but also explains why providing them is fiscally responsible. Their results come via the Guttmacher Institute, which is an EXCELLENT resource for all of your birth control, reproductive health, and public policy questions. They dedicate all of their time to educating and researching these methods. I hope they sent a copy of their study straight to Washington.