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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Consequences of Unsafe Abortion

There is a special supplement out of the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics dealing with the consequences of unsafe abortion that we can all add to our reading lists.

Unfortunately, before long, we'll be able to do a study of the impact of unsafe abortion in the United States, I suspect, as abortion becomes increasingly difficult to access with new draconian and ill-informed laws. It is as though the members of the right are trying to out do each other in their frenzy against women.

News stories are coming forward though, one off examples of terrible repercussions of ridiculous laws. One that is haunting me is about a teenage pregnant girl who died after her chemotherapy was delayed because it might cause her to abort. This is what happens when legislation is passed against abortion under all circumstances. Women die. Another story that is haunting me is one from Arizona, where state legislators have determined that pregnancy starts from the first day of your last menstrual period, effectively two weeks before conception. Pregnancy starts two weeks before conception. Hmmm. So a woman is always pregnant, or potentially pregnant except while menstruating, or at least on that first day. Which means, if we follow the illogical logic of the misogynist Republicans to the end, that women can NEVER have control of their own health.

It hasn't come to that yet, but I can see how it might. The fact that I just wrote that sentence scares me.

But the remarks of imbeciles like Akin help us in a way. They bring forward stories that indicate how bad things really are, already, even before Akin opened his mouth. This is a story of an American woman whose rapist attempted to get custody of the child that resulted from the rape. And beyond the borders of the United States, the remarks remind us that although they may be (for a while at least) considered outrageous in the US, they are pretty typical in other parts of the world where women face this kind of misogyny all the time. See this great op ed by Gail Collins for more about that.

And they remind us not to let the fetus fetishists like Woodworth, Trost, Kenney and the like get control of the agenda in Canadian Parliament. Remember to speak out against Motion 312. Apparently, Conservative anti-choice MP Colin Carrie (Oshawa) has come out in favour of the motion. Write him a letter if you get a chance. He can be found at colin.carrie@parl.gc.ca. And if you don't know what to say, here is a good sample. Write again to all the anti-choice MPs. Or just speak from your heart. Tell them that it is your right to control your own body, to determine your own health care. Tell them that their actions are misogynist. Define the word for them. Chances are, they won't know  what it means.

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