Friday, January 21, 2011

Blog for Choice: Am I Concerned About Choice in 2011?


Despite my home state electing a governor who didn't quite campaign on defunding Planned Parenthood (although, I knew that just from looking at his campaign website for 3 seconds), but did exactly that like on Day One, I think we New Jerseyans can fist-pump our way out of this. Having a pro-choice legislature really helps, and they are currently working their damnedest to override Chris Christie's veto of funding women's healthcare. I think New Jersey realizes that defunding Planned Parenthood doesn't do anything but drastically reduce the capacity with which healthcare professionals can serve jobless, impoverished, and working poor women. That's because only 3 Planned Parenthoods out of 29 in New Jersey actually provide abortion services in their facilities (which didn't stop conservative websites from proclaiming "Chris Christie closes abortion clinics!" Really, just Google "Chris Christie defunding Planned Parenthood"). The rest provide preventative care. Defunding them defunds thousands of women's only access to affordable treatment. Pro-life indeed.

To answer the question posed by NARAL Pro-Choice America on this 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, yes, I am concerned about choice in 2011, because attacking reproductive freedom goes FAR beyond controlling women's reproductive capacities. It also controls where poor women get their primary healthcare. It is unfathomable that a so-called pro-life governor (one with "Christ" in both his first and last name, at that!), legislature, or constituency would sacrifice the basic healthcare of thousands of women to not even prevent a single abortion. Then again, misogyny tends to cloud judgment, so it's not all that unbelievable.

Another extremely deadly consequence of restricting abortion access is evidenced in the recent indictment of "Doctor" Gosnell, who performed countless illegal late-term abortions on mostly poor immigrant women in a filthy clinic. And when I say "illegal," I mean pretty much every thing that took place in his facility was illegal. Consider this.

1. Mr. Gosnell isn't an OB/GYN, so he should not have been performing any abortions at all.


3. Mr. Gosnell induced birth of live infants and split their spinal cords with scissors, which is no more an abortion than if someone did that to me.

4. Like I said before, his clinic was unsanitary, with cat urine, body parts, and dirty medical tools scattered all over the place.

Basically, Mr. Gosnell performs back alley abortions, the kind that caused the deaths and serious injuries of countless women in pre-Roe days. And as you saw in my last post, people can't set aside their woman-hate for a second to consider that maybe women dying isn't a good thing. In fact, some were downright gleeful. The deaths of the woman and infants that Mr. Gosnell have been charged with (and any others we don't know about) make me wonder if this would have been allowed in a society that a) respected poor women, b) respected immigrants, and c) respected pregnant women, and trusted the decisions of such women to the point where the only restriction to a woman's access to a late-term abortion was her own judgment. Instead, we live in a society that restricts abortion based on socioeconomic status and gestation of the fetus, even if the woman's health is at risk or if the fetus is dead inside of her. Certainly, the women's health was at risk the second they entered Mr. Gosnell's clinic. Perhaps if they had somewhere else to go, they would have. There's a reason pro-choicers want abortion to be safe and legal. Again, I'm concerned about choice in 2011, since if anti-choicers have their way, we'll have over a million women seeking abortions from greedy predators like Gosnell.

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