It’s not just forced ultrasound: Abortion rights under assault

From Salon:  http://www.salon.com/2012/10/21/its_not_just_forced_ultrasound_abortion_rights_under_assault/?source=newsletter

In 2012, some 1,100 bills targeted reproductive rights — and 135 passed in 36 states. The cost? Women’s health

By
Sunday, Oct 21, 2012

A young girl in a green tank top lies on the examination table in a stark exam room in a Houston clinic. Her pink toenails dangle belowthe sterile covering draped over her thighs. The doctor inserts a probe between her legs and the two watch a grainy blob blossom on a sonogram screen suspended below the room’s industrial fluorescent lights. He gives a state-mandated description of the fetus: almost exactly seven weeks, he says, “nice and early.” She is well within the time frame for an abortion pill, rather than surgery.

The doctor, an avuncular, silver-haired man who’s been providing abortions, in the words of one colleague, “pretty much since Roe v. Wade,” turns the screen toward her and traces the outline of her uterus and the embryo, while the girl looks on blankly. He plays the heartbeat, which rises from the machine in a loud, shrill electronic pulse. The ritual, which is repeated several times a day at this Planned Parenthood in Houston and in clinics across the state, is mandated by a new Texas law designed to intensify the experience of abortion — to impress upon a woman, with images and sounds, the sense that she’s about to terminate a living thing.

Ultrasounds are a routine procedure at Planned Parenthood and many other clinics, a tool doctors use to gauge gestational stage — which can affect which procedure to use — or to detect complications. Some abortion patients prefer to see the sonogram, others are indifferent, others are traumatized by the very idea. But the new law makes displaying the ultrasound mandatory. Under Texas law, even if a woman averts her eyes, the doctor must give a verbal description of the fetus anyway. And it’s just the latest addition to a bureaucratic juggernaut of regulations that restrict how abortion providers practice in Texas.

In recent years, lawmakers across the country have enacted a dizzying array of arcane rules dictating everything from the dimensions of their buildings to the advice they must offer to patients about “abortion alternatives.” Thirty-five states, including Texas, have enacted pre-abortion counseling laws, which in many cases force women to make extra clinic visits. Legislatures in 10 states have introduced new measures for pre-abortion counseling and waiting periods in 2012. In addition, 18 states have introduced bills for ultrasound requirements this year, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights research institute.

Continue reading at:  http://www.salon.com/2012/10/21/its_not_just_forced_ultrasound_abortion_rights_under_assault/?source=newsletter

“Like a Dog?” Nasty GOP Insults Flung at Women Candidates

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/dog-nasty-gop-insults-flung-women-candidates

Todd Akin put his foot in his mouth again with comments about his opponent, while Mayor Michael Bloomberg attacked Elizabeth Warren.

By Alex Kane
October 22, 2012

Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin can’t stop putting his foot in his mouth.

During an October 20 fundraising event with Fox News star and evangelical Christian Mike Huckabee, Akin compared Claire McCaskill to a “dog.” McCaskill is Akin’s Democratic opponent for the Senate seat.

“She goes to Washington, D.C., it’s a little bit like one of those dogs, ‘fetch,’” said Akin, according to the website PoliticMO.com . “She goes to Washington, D.C., and get all of these taxes and red tape and bureaucracy and executive orders and agencies and brings all of this stuff and dumps it on us in Missouri.”

The comments  are only the latest controversial remarks from Akin. He became a household name in August when he claimed on television that “legitimate rape” victims rarely get pregnant because “ the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Akin also said last month that McCaskill’s debate performance against him was not as “ladylike” as she was in 2006.

Akin is trailing McCaskill narrowly in the polls.

Meanwhile, another male, conservative politician has hammered away inaccurately at a female candidate. In a New York Times interview, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg threw his weight behind Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts, who is running against the progressive Elizabeth Warren. Bloomberg told the Times that a vote for Warren is a vote to “bring socialism back, or the USSR.”

Complete article at:  http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/dog-nasty-gop-insults-flung-women-candidates

Conservatives’ HPV vaccine dilemma: are they anti-cancer, or just anti-sex?

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/16/conservatives-hpv-vaccine-dilemma

Proof that vaccinating girls against the HPV virus does not cause promiscuity puts culture warriors in a spot


guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 16 October 2012

According to a recent study, giving children tetanus shots will not, in fact, encourage them to stab themselves with rusty nails or be less cautious when playing outdoors. Various political organizations have advocated against the tetanus vaccine, arguing that tetanus shots send the message that recreation is acceptable, and that if children know they’re protected from lockjaw, they will be less vigilant about avoiding the kinds of cuts and scrapes that can lead to deadly nervous system infections. Attempts to require tetanus vaccination have met extreme backlash from conservative groups who argue that mandating the vaccine is an assault on parental rights and family values.

Even bills that simply would have made the vaccine free for low-income children without mandating it were vetoed by Republican governors. Doctors hope that these study results, which show that tetanus-vaccinated children are no more likely to engage in unsafe recreational behavior than their unvaccinated peers, will increase the tetanus shot rate for children of parents who fear that tetanus shots encourage risk-taking.

At this point, you’re thinking, I hope:

“What in the world is this lady talking about? Everyone gives their kids tetanus shots! You’d be irresponsible not to inoculate your child against tetanus, and you’re nuts if you think that giving a kid a tetanus shot will make him be less careful about slicing his skin with filthy rusted metal. And there’s absolutely no political controversy around tetanus shots.”

You would be right. If only the same were true of the HPV vaccine.

According to a recent study, giving girls the HPV vaccine will not, in fact, encourage them to engage in sexual activity any earlier than their peers. Various political organizations have advocated against the HPV vaccine, arguing that the vaccine sends the message that sexual behavior is acceptable, and that if girls know they’re protected from HPV, they will be less vigilant about avoiding the kinds of risky sexual behaviors that can lead to pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/16/conservatives-hpv-vaccine-dilemma

Mitt Romney’s Heartless Advice to a Woman Whose Pregnancy Might Have Killed Her

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/mitt-romneys-heartless-advice-woman-whose-pregnancy-might-have-killed-her

Mormon women remember Romney’s advice when he was a church leader, and there wasn’t much ‘moderate’ about it.

By Geoffrey Dunn
October 17, 2012

The summer of 1983 was blistering hot in New England. A record heat wave saw temperatures soar toward the 100-degree mark from June well into September. July had been the hottest month ever recorded at Boston’s Logan Airport.

The region’s beloved Boston Red Sox, full of hope and promise early in spring and claiming first place in the American League East as late as June 1, apparently melted in the heat, losing game after game and tumbling to last place by mid-July, where they were to remain the rest of the season.

It was also during the sweltering summer of 1983 that the family of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made its celebrated escape from the oppressive New England heat for the cooler climes of Beach O’Pines, Ontario, where the Romney family owns a beachfront cottage in a gated community on the shores of Lake Huron. Prior to departure, Mitt Romney placed the family dog—an Irish setter named Seamus—into a dog carrier and lashed it to the roof of the family’s Chevy station wagon for the 12-hour drive into Canada.

The infamous dog ride (dubbed the “Seamus incident”) was to become a full-blown issue in the 2012 presidential primaries, as Romney’s chief Republican opponent, Rick Santorum, invoked the incident to attack Romney’s “character.”

Political cartoonists and late-night comedians had a field day with the story. The incident inspired aNew Yorker cover, while the punk band Devo recorded a song entitled, “Don’t Roof Rack Me, Bro.” ABC’s Diane Sawyer, in an interview with Romney during the primaries, dubbed it the “most wounding thing in the campaign so far.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/mitt-romneys-heartless-advice-woman-whose-pregnancy-might-have-killed-her

Illinois Family Institute, Anti-Gay Hate Group, Condemns School For Transgender-Inclusive Policies

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/17/anti-gay-group-condemns-school-transgender-inclusive-policies_n_1974096.html?ref=topbar

10/17/2012

An Illinois anti-gay Christian hate group voiced its condemnation of a newly affirmed school policy for transgender-inclusion, claiming the “feckless school board has made a decision to accommodate, not the needs of gender-confused teens, but their disordered desires.”

The East Aurora school board voted Oct. 15 to approve a policy that addresses the needs and rights of transgender and other non gender-conforming students, with policies such as allowing the student to use the restroom he or she associates with and using the modified name he or she has chosen, The Beacon-News reported.

On Tuesday, the Illinois Family Institue released an angry vitriol against the new transgender-inclusive policies.

“Apparently, all that’s needed for school personnel to be compelled to participate in a fiction is for a student to pretend ‘consistently’ at school that he or she is the opposite sex.The school board is now imposing non-objective, ‘progressive’ moral, philosophical, and political beliefs—not facts—about gender confusion on the entire school. This feckless school board has made a decision to accommodate, not the needs of gender-confused teens, but their disordered desires and the desires of gender/sexuality anarchists who exploit public education for their perverse ends.”

The IFI goes on to say transgender individuals “suffer” from a “mental and moral disorder.” The group calls the school board’s decision “biased, radical, and offensive” to taxpayers, warning that it could very well “embolden activists all over the state and country.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/17/anti-gay-group-condemns-school-transgender-inclusive-policies_n_1974096.html?ref=topbar

Australia: Julia Gillard speech prompts dictionary to change ‘misogyny’ definition

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/17/julia-gillard-australia-misogyny-dictionary

Australian prime minister’s impassioned attack on opposition leader’s views of women provokes debate over word’s meaning


guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 17 October 2012

When Australian prime minister Julia Gillard launched a ferocious attack on the leader of the opposition for his repeated use of sexist language, she was feted by feminists the world over. But critics in Australia rounded on her for supposedly misusing the word misogyny and falsely accusing Tony Abbott of hating women.

Now, however, Gillard’s critics no longer have the dictionary on their side. In the wake of the row, the most authoritative dictionary in Australia has decided to update its definition of the word, ruling that a contemporary understanding of misogyny would indeed imply “entrenched prejudice against women” as well as, or instead of, hatred of them. Sue Butler, editor of the Macquarie Dictionary, admitted that, on this occasion, the dictionary had failed to keep pace with linguistic evolution.

“Since the 1980s, misogyny has come to be used as a synonym for sexism, a synonym with bite, but nevertheless with the meaning of entrenched prejudice against women rather than pathological hatred,” she said in a statement.

While the Oxford English Dictionary had reworded its definition a decade ago, staff at the Macquarie had been alerted to the issue only in the aftermath of Gillard’s extraordinary speech in parliament, she said. “Perhaps as dictionary editors we should have noticed this before it was so rudely thrust in front of us as something that we’d overlooked,” Butler told the Associated Press.

Gillard – Australia’s first female leader – accused Abbott, head of the centre-right Liberal party, of repeated instances of sexism and misogyny, including his description of abortion as “the easy way out” and a political campaign against Gillard using posters urging voters to “ditch the witch”.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/17/julia-gillard-australia-misogyny-dictionary

Posted in Feminist, Misogyny, Uncategorized. Comments Off

Mitt Romney’s Condescending Views Toward Women

Posted in Feminist, Misogyny, Uncategorized. Comments Off
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