Tomorrow people around the country will be out protesting, rallying, and marching to end the War on Women. I’m sure you all understand the need for something like this (if you don’t, just click on the “Feminism” section of this blog). If you’re free tomorrow, why don’t you participate in a rally/march near you? Most of them will take place sometime between 10 am and 2 pm. I’ll be marching around my city from noon to 2 pm. Hopefully I won’t get a sunburn!
Category Archives: Politics
I can’t even go a week without seeing this kind of stuff? I guess not. Here’s another battle in the current War on Women.
It looks like the Arizona (and should we be surprised that it’s Arizona again?) Senate passed a bill that allows doctors to withhold information from women if they think that that information will lead to an abortion. This includes information about ectopic pregnancies and other life-threatening conditions. Under this new law, if a doctor withheld this kind of information, s/he could not be sued for what happens as a result (like the death of the woman or the fetus). So much for all those “informed consent” laws.
So, if you’re a woman who lives in Arizona, you might want to check what kind of person your OB/GYN is. If you see crosses and bibles versus or you hear your doctor go on about Obamacare-this and Santorum-FTW-that, RUN AWAY.
This message brought to you by one very tired feminist.
This campaign season is already starting to get nasty. Especially when it comes to racist bullshit, like when Newt Gingrich said that Obama is a “food stamp president” and said that black people “should demand paychecks instead of food stamps” . Or when Santorum said he doesn’t want to “make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money.” (Oh, sorry, he meant “blah” people, not black people). And, as you would (sadly) expect, bigotry in the Republican party isn’t just limited to the idiots running for president: former Rep. Peter Hoekstra had to jump into the cesspool with this ad (above). And wait until you read the explanations from the campaign:
The Hoekstra campaign called the advertisement “satirical” and explained the broken English in the video as a reflection of China’s increasingly competitive education system.
Yeah… Do I even need to explain why this is utter bullshit? No? Good. I’ll be in that dark corner over there morning the death of our society.
I cannot count the number of times I’ve talked about abortion with someone and they got something so very wrong, and I’m not just talking about wingnuts. Even my friends who are pro-choice don’t fully understand what abortion is and what it means for many women. So I’d like to take some time to correct these myths and misconceptions about abortion.
First off, let’s learn a bit about what abortion actually means, medically speaking. How many times have you heard some crazy bullshit from conservative christians about how awful and bloody it is? Just the other week, I was
arguing with talking to a Tea Party lady who claimed that an abortion is when a doctor induces birth and then kills the baby by putting a nail through its head (“partial birth” abortion is the only kind of abortion, dontcha know). Honestly, these people have very active and gruesome imaginations; I think it’s all that bible reading they do (Srsly, have you guys read that thing? Crazy!). Anyway, that’s definitely not how abortion works.
There are two common types of abortion: medication abortion and in-clinic abortion.
This procedure can occur up to 9 weeks after the first day of a missed period. It’s called a “medication” abortion because an abortion pill, called mifepristone (or RU-486), is what is used to terminate the pregnancy. This pill blocks the hormone progesterone, without which the lining of the uterus will break down.
There are three steps in this procedure:
- A women will take the pill at the clinic, and then will be given antibiotics to take afterwards.
- A second medication, called misoprostol, will be given about three days later (usually at home). This causes the uterus to empty. This part is probably the worst part (but not nearly as bad as some would like to claim). This will cause heavy bleeding and cramping: like a really bad period. This will last a few days at most, but spotting can last for a few weeks afterwards.
- Two weeks later, there will be a followup to make sure the procedure was successful. This includes an ultrasound and a blood test.
And that’s it. Not so awful, is it? It’s just a safe, effective medical procedure.
In-clinic abortions are usually performed 9 weeks or later. There are two common kinds of in-clinic procedures: aspiration (aka: vacuum aspiration) and D&E (dilation and evacuation). The first is usually performed from 9 to 16 weeks, and the latter after 16 weeks.
Aspiration: The woman’s uterus is examined prior to beginning the procedure. She’s offered pain medication and possibly some form of sedation. Then a speculum is inserted into the vagina and numbing medication would be injected. The cervix is stretched with dilators (possibly several hours to a day before the procedure) and/or medication. A tube is inserted into the uterus and it is suctioned until the uterus is empty. Sometimes an instrument, called a curette, will be used to insure that the uterus is empty. Antibiotics will be given, like with a medication abortion. This procedure takes about 5 to 10 minutes to perform, but more time will be needed to prepare the cervix.
Dilation and Evacuation: This procedure is similar to an aspiration abortion in many ways. The main difference is that, with later second trimester abortions, a drug may need to be injected through the abdomen to ensure fetal demise. This procedure takes 10 to 20 minutes, with additional time needed to prepare the cervix.
The few days after these types of abortions will be similar to after a medication abortion. Some bleeding and cramping may occur, lasting a few days.
And that’s that. Nothing scary or gruesome or dangerous. It’s just a simple, safe medical procedure.
How Women Feel
You’ve probably heard something like this before (actually, Santorum just said something like this): women are emotionally damaged by abortion; it ruins women’s lives; etc. etc. This just isn’t true. As Planned Parenthood puts it:
You may have a wide range of feelings after your abortion. Most women ultimately feel relief after an abortion. Some women feel anger, regret, guilt, or sadness for a little while.
Serious, long-term emotional problems after abortion are about as uncommon as they are after giving birth.
Most sources I’ve seen say that most women just feel relieved. Any post abortion emotional problems are rare and usually pass quickly. If you’d like to read more about it, Planned Parenthood has a good explanation of several studies on the topic here [pdf] (it also cites sources!).
A lot of pro-choicers will say things like “I’m not pro-abortion; no one is pro-abortion, but women have a right…” Well, I’m here to say that I am pro-abortion. I am absolutely for a safe, effective procedure that gives women the ability to control their own reproduction. That’s not to say that I’d prefer women get abortions rather than properly using birth control. But, hey, shit happens, even with the proper use of birth control. And I’m certainly not going to make moral judgments on a woman because she’s had an abortion (or even multiple abortions).
Another misconception floating around is that a woman must have a really good excuse to have an abortion. She must be a victim, unable to financially support a child, or have a medical problem. Well, fuck that shit. The only reason any woman needs to have an abortion is that she either doesn’t want a child or cannot safely have a child. That’s it. And if she doesn’t want to explain herself to you or someone else, then she doesn’t have to.
One thing really bothers me is how the media sometimes reports about abortion. Have you ever been watching a report about something abortion related and seen the stock-footage they use? It’s just fucking stupid. They always show women who are hugely pregnant; ones that are clearly in their late third trimester. Or they show ultrasounds that are similarly from later in a pregnancy. As if indicating that this is what women who get abortions look like; this is what their fetuses look like. Well, it’s not! Abortion that late in pregnancy just doesn’t happen. It’s not even legal in the US! I mean, I doubt they’re (usually) pushing an anti-choice agenda. They’re probably just lazy and have grabbed whatever stock-footage they found first.
These are just some of the myths and misconceptions floating around these days. There are many more, but hopefully, my dear reader, you’ve come away from this with more knowledge about this “controversial” topic.
If you’ve heard any myths about abortion that I didn’t get to, please leave a comment.
I’m currently in front of the entrance to the gallery having a sit-in with members of Occupy Tallahassee (and members of other Occupy Florida groups). The ACLU is currently interviewing people here.
Also, one of the Representatives didn’t like our presence earlier today, so he tweeted this:
UPDATE: Everyone has left the gallery area, and the Capitol building, because they’re shutting down to the public for the evening (like usual). The ACLU lawyer was given contact information (including mine) and he told us that what they did may indeed have been illegal. At the very least, the Sergeant at Arms (the guy in charge of security) will get in quite a bit of trouble with the lawyer for the place, and the local media will report on it.
Pictures can be seen here and video to come as soon as they post them.
Perhaps you’ve seen some picture of funny or odd Google autocompletes before. Well, I was messing around with autocomplete for fun (hey, what do you want from me, I don’t have any homework yet) and I began to wonder “What does Google autocomplete think of the presidential candidates?” So, I’ve found out, and in case you were dying to know, I’m going to share with you!
The first person I Googled was Barack Obama because he’s the incumbent and it seemed like a good place to start. In case you’re wondering, the first result is a website that generates non sequiturs about Obama (apparently it was popular during the last campaign and is now a book). Other than that strange result, it looks like what’d you expect people (many of which I’m rather surprised can use a computer) to Google about Obama; e.g. he’s an idiot, a muslim, gay, the antichrist, and a socialist. But the last one seems a bit odd: apparently people think that Obama is Osama (or looks like Osama)? I don’t even know.
The next one I did was Santorum, because he seems to be the new “It” candidate. Nothing too surprising here and a few things I can’t say I disagree with. But there’s “gay” again; don’t worry, you’ll keep seeing that one.
The next person I did was Romney (and lets face it: we’ll be hearing about him until November). The first result is accurate but a little strange: he’s so mormon? I mean, I’ve heard of way more mormon-y people, but ok. And some people don’t consider mormonism to be a form of christianity, so Romney “is not a christian”. And I guess if he’s not a christian, then he must be the antichrist. Also, he’s “hot”? Really? Maybe I’m just incapable of finding an idiotic mormon-antichrist-douchebag-liberal-liar attractive.
It’s The Newt’s turn. The only thing that I find surprising here is “smart” and “bad”. I don’t really think he’s smarter than any other politician (well, except maybe Sara Palin or Rick Perry or others of that ilk). The “bad” autocomplete is kind of strange; he’s just “bad”? Bad how?
Since Ron Paul is so popular on the internet (which I’ll never really understand) I figured that he’d have the most positive results, and it looks like I was correct. The positives are that he’s apparently winning, exploding (I think that’s a positive here?), somebody’s homeboy, and right. But then again, he’s also a crazy idiotic insane incorrect racist.
Perry is as you’d expect him to be: mostly not very bright. There’s “gay” again, as well as “a joke”.
Huntsman has two positives, so that’s nice for him. I guess people don’t know too much about him because the first suggestion is ” is he a mormon”, so people aren’t too sure about that. Once again, people seem to find this guy “hot”, but I just don’t see it. He’s certainly not a liberal though, unless you mean by Ron Paul’s standards (I wish they’d stop calling these people “liberals”; as a real liberal, I’d rather not be placed into the same group as these guys).
I know Bachmann isn’t running anymore, but hey, I figured this one would be interesting. So, it looks like she’s “hot”. She’s also “a witch”, which seems like a strange suggestion. Of all the things I could think of calling Bachmann, a witch is not high on the list. But the rest of them are about what I expected.
I’ve learned two things from this little experiment of mine:
- Apparently many of these candidates are “gay”. This is more than a little troubling. Not because they might actually be gay, but because people seem to be using “gay” as an insult a lot more than I expected.
- Google autocomplete is very negative. And yeah, I know it isn’t Google, but rather what people search. I guess it’s like when someone is reviewing something online: most people usually only do it when they’re pissed off and hate the thing/person they’re reviewing (e.g. Rate My Professors).
So, the Iowa caucus happened and it looks like they went with spinelessness and an side order of bigotry; that is, Romney and Santorum (24%) were virtually tied for first. And I guess Perry (10%) and Bachmann (5%) thought that they’d do better, because they’re so disappointed that they’re both dropping out of the race. Ron Paul (21%) finished in third (but was in the lead early on in the entrance polling because his nutty fanatics always show up early) and the Newt (Gingrich, that is) finished in fourth (13%). Newt Gingrich seems pretty disappointed with his performance and bitter at Romney for all the negative ads that have been thrown his way. I wouldn’t be too surprised to see him drop out after the next few states, but I doubt he’ll give his support to Romney easily, if at all. Oh, and don’t forget that Huntsman still exists: he finished in dead last (1%) and is still betting on a good showing in New Hampshire.
There, now you don’t have to watch the ridiculousness that CNN calls “political news coverage”. Yes, you can thank me now.
*Edit: So it looks like Rick Perry isn’t going to drop out just yet(?). I’m not sure the guy knows how presidential campaigns work.
Today is the two month anniversary of of Occupy Wall Street. Occupy groups across the country and around the world will be having events to celebrate. Today is a great day to participate in an Occupy group near you! Or at least check out the live updates and livestream for Occupy Wall Street.
I’m going to try to head down to my local protest when I’m done with classes (I have quizzes, otherwise I’d skip).