So I'm watching the post-Thanksgiving morning news shows, debating with myself whether or not it would be a good thing if Roe fell, as many Presidential candidates hope for. On one hand, Roe being overturned would certainly be bad for access to abortion. On the other hand, if voters continuously choose to elect anti-choice legislators, why should they be immune from the consequences of those bad choices. Were Roe to fall, voters as well as legislators would have to walk the walk. Right now, for example, there's a man in Ohio that continuously gets re-elected, and his only issue is abortion. The people of Ohio are insulated by his election in part by the other Ohio legislators, but also, to a large extent, by the federal judiciary, upon whom we too greatly rely on for the protection of our rights. It's probably a little Old Testament of me, but I'm wondering if actually giving these anti-choicers more leeway won't actually mean that people eventually vote against them, once they have to deal with the consequences of the vote...
Anyway, the news:
Denver, due to its high teen pregnancy rate, is considering making birth control available in high schools.
The Guardian explores the seeming change in Hollywood's depiction of abortion. A sociologist who writes for the Huffington Post, Lisa Wade, said that "It is as if all decisions to have an abortion are fraught with internal conflict, and then follow all women around like a dark cloud until the day they die." This is something we've discussed on this blog repeatedly: abortion isn't always a hard decision, and it's not always the wrong decision, and we don't have a lot of room in our discussion to admit that abortion can be easy, happy and/or freeing.
No surprise to most of us, but a good article on the strategy of the anti-choice movement that involves expanding the definition of "personhood". A good example is the Texas feticide law, which was upheld in a recent court decision regarding the killing of a women and her 4 - 6 week old fetus. On a more insidious note, Colorado is considering adding a provision regarding life beginning at conception that would make abortion illegal.
There's been a lot more coverage of the Crowley/Obama solution to the line in the Deficit Reduction Act that has raised the cost of birth control on college campuses. Make sure your legislator supports these efforts through ChoiceUSA or Planned Parenthood.
In Kansas, a gay man agreed to donate sperm to a friend for artificial insemination. She filed papers to terminate his parental rights, which is appears is the default for Kansas sperm donors. He is fighting, and wants to be involved with the children and pay child support.
In the UK, a woman has received court permission to keep her pregnancy a secret from the man who impregnated her, as it was a one-night stand. The court ruled that she alone has the decision-making power regarding the adoption she seeks.
Regardless of the fact that abortion is legal in the UK, there is nonetheless a black market for herbal abortifacients. Speaking of, a website is selling what I think is RU-486 to Irish women; the drug is, as are abortion procedures, illegal.
RHRealityCheck has a whole section on one of our topics of conversaion, sex selective abortions.
I wish I had a better news source, but it appears that Sweden will allow foreign women to get abortions, up to 18 weeks gestation.
I hope you all have heard, by now, that scientists have created embryonic stem cells through adult cells. I wonder what will happen to the legal status of those cells, especially if they are pluripotent and could become a fetus...or maybe I just need someone to explain this all to me. In any case, it looks like scientists will no longer need embryos to do research on embryonic stem cells!
Totally useless news: sleep helps new moms lose baby weight. New moms would love to get more sleep anyway, but thanks for the information.
Apparently Chinese doctors have come up with a new form of male birth control that blocks sperm from travelling to the penis. It is totally reversible, and only takes 10 minutes. On a similar note, it looks like there's a new FDA-approved device that is a permanent method of female birth control. The device is inserted into a woman's fallopian tubes, and within three months the tubes are completely blocked.
There's a whole lot more out there right now, so I'll post again shortly.