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The Power of Choice Awards & Celebration is May 8.
Senegalese Abortion Law Sheds Light On Larger Access Issue
In maybe the most heartbreaking news story you'll hear this week, a 10-year-old in Senegal who was raped and is now pregnant with twins cannot access abortion care because it is illegal in Senegal. Given its feminist prime minister, relative stability (it's one of the few African countries that has never had a coup), and the presence of NGOs like Tostan, whose community empowerment programs provide public education on poor health outcomes associated with female genital cutting (FGC) and forced marriage, it may come as a surprise that Senegal has one of the most restrictive laws on abortion among African countries.
But while all of these things are true of Senegal, it is also a former French colony, and its anti-abortion law was written under colonial rule. And this archaic law only allows for abortion in life or death cases, and requires approval from three physicians. For women living in poverty, accessing initial medical care in the hopes of obtaining an abortion is already cost-prohibitive. And doctors who perform illegal abortions and women who obtain them face years of jail time. Continue reading →
Friday Femorandum: By The Numbers
$73 million:That's the amount of money Hobby Lobby's retirement plan had invested in companies that manufacture emergency contraceptives, IUDs, and abortion-inducing drugs as of December 2012, Mother Jones reported this week. Yes, these are the same drugs Hobby Lobby does not want to cover for its employees.
New reporting on the All Families Healthcare vandalism case: Last month, All Families Healthcare, a family practice clinic in Kalispell, Montana, was vandalized because its practice includes first-trimester abortions. The damage was extensive enough that the clinic has been closed indefinitely, and the Southern Poverty Law Center reported that the suspectin the attack has ties to an anti-choice crisis pregnancy center called Hope Pregnancy Ministries. Continue reading →
Throwback Thursday: Betty Ford, Pro-Choice Republican FLOTUS
Posted by Thomas Alberts on April 2, 2014
While today's Republican Party generally opposes advancements in women's rights, that was not always the case. Historically, there have been a number of Republican figures who were major supporters of progressive social change. Among these was First Lady of the United States Betty Ford.
Betty Ford was born in 1918 in Chicago. During her teenage years she modeled clothing and taught children to dance in order to support her family during the Great Depression. After graduating high school she continued to pursue dancing in New York City despite objections from her mother. She returned home later, and married her first husband William Warren. Warren was an alcoholic who was cruel to Betty, and she finally divorced him after caring for him for several years while he was ill. Continue reading →
Spin Doctors: Debunking The Most Popular Anti-Choice Myth About Abortion & Mental Health
Posted by Thomas Alberts on April 2, 2014
[Ed. Note: Spin Doctors is a new column at AFCW, where we'll delve into the junk science behind anti-choice legislation. This week, Thomas Alberts debunks "Post-Abortion Syndrome."]
Since the 1980s, the anti-choice movement has coined a term known as Post-Abortion Syndrome (PAS), a so-called condition in which an abortion, on its own, causes depression. PAS is not recognized by either the American Psychological Association or American Psychiatric Association. But this hasn't stopped anti-choice politicians from using it to justify sweeping legislation against abortion access, and spreading and perpetuating this myth. Their primary tactics have been citing medical studies, using the testimony of women within their movement who have had abortions, and calling upon so-called "medical experts."
Continue reading →
No More: Taking On Domestic Violence and Sexual AssaultPosted by Michelle Auster on March 31, 2014
Whether you are aware of it or not, odds are relationship or intimate partner violence and sexual assault has affected someone you know. If it hasn't happened yet, it likely will. This is the saddening reality we're living in today, reinforced and perpetuated by a dominant culture of rape, but it doesn't have to be like this. The NO MORE campaign is working to raise awareness about and put a stop to intimate partner violence and sexual assault. From the NO MORE website:
NO MORE is a new unifying symbol designed to galvanize greater awareness and action to end domestic violence and sexual assault.
Why now? Because domestic violence and sexual assault are real, they're commonly misunderstood, and they affect everyone. And until we can acknowledge that they exist and take action, they're not going away. Here's the NO MORE campaign on a few more reasons we should care. Continue reading →
Hobby Lobby Case: The Potential Domino Effect
Posted by Thomas Alberts on March 25, 2014
Today, the Hobby Lobby birth control case will be heard at the United States Supreme Court. For those of you who are new to this blog, the Hobby Lobby case involves the corporate craft store Hobby Lobby suing the federal government over Affordable Care Act's requirement that employers to provide health insurance to their workers, and that this health insurance must include access to birth control. However, Hobby Lobby's conservative Christian owners do not want to provide health insurance that includes access to birth control, and they're claiming that providing access to birth control violates of their religion freedoms.
The pro-choice community has already identified two key problems with this argument. 1) Hobby Lobby is a private company, not a religious institution. As such, it does not qualify for any type of religious exemption. Furthermore, while the owners of Hobby Lobby may choose to have insurance policies for themselves and their families that do not include birth control, they have no right to make that choice on behalf of their employees. And 2), Hobby Lobby is claiming that birth control use goes against its views about sexuality and morality, but is refusing to acknowledge the simple fact that birth control is, in fact, used for a wide range of medical issues aside from preventing pregnancy.Continue reading →
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