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[TW] Center for Reproductive Rights Files Case Revealing the Horrifying Reality of El Salvador's Ban on Abortion

Manuela’s story demonstrates the fatal consequences of El Salvador’s law and why it must change

(PRESS RELEASE) El Salvador’s absolute ban on abortion has resulted in tragic and often fatal consequences for the women living in that country — resulting in the arbitrary imprisonment of women suffering from miscarriages and complications in their pregnancies, according to a petition filed today with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights by the Center for Reproductive Rights and local Salvadoran organization Colectiva de Mujeres para el Desarrollo Local (Agrupación Ciudadana por la Despenalización del Aborto Ético, Terapéutico y Eugenésico de El Salvador).

Today’s petition was filed on behalf of “Manuela” (a pseudonym) and her family.  Manuela was a 33-year-old Salvadoran mother of two who was convicted of murder and sentenced to 30 years in prison after suffering severe complications giving birth. El Salvador has one of the most extreme abortion bans in the world—prohibiting abortion even when necessary to save a pregnant woman’s life and imposing harsh criminal penalties on both women and physicians.

“Women are paying a high price, in many cases with their lives, for El Salvador’s absolute ban on abortion,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), a global legal organization dedicated to advancing women’s reproductive health. “El Salvador’s laws have turned emergency rooms into crime scenes, forcing pregnant women to live under a dark cloud of suspicion. The international community must come together to demand an end to this cruel treatment of women and make a commitment to safeguard fundamental reproductive rights.” 

From the moment Manuela arrived at the hospital seeking emergency health care, slipping in and out of consciousness and hemorrhaging, doctors treated her as if she had attempted an abortion and immediately called the police. She was shackled to her hospital bed and accused of murder. 

Manuela was sentenced to 30 years in prison without ever having a chance to meet with her lawyer, without an opportunity to speak in her own defense, and without the right to appeal the decision. Shockingly, the judge overseeing her case said that “her maternal instinct should have prevailed” and “she should have protected her child.” 

After several months in prison, it was discovered that the visible tumors Manuela had on her neck for which she sought medical care several times without being accurately diagnosed, was advanced Hodgkin’s lymphoma — a disease that likely lead to the severe obstetric emergency she suffered. 

Tragically, Manuela did not receive the appropriate treatment for her disease and died in prison in 2010, leaving behind her two young children. Her illness could have been caught earlier if she had received adequate medical attention when she consulted about her tumors in years prior, and if medical officials treating her during her emergency paid any attention to her condition, rather than focusing on reporting her to authorities.

This legal campaign marks the first time an international judicial body will hear the case of a woman imprisoned for seeking medical care due to obstetric emergencies, as a result of a total abortion ban. The case argues that El Salvador’s absolute ban on abortion violates a number of human rights, including the right to life, right to personal integrity and liberty, right to humane treatment, and the right to a fair trial and judicial protection. 

“Salvadoran women have been unjustly persecuted by their government for far too long,” said Mónica Arango, CRR’s regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean. “We are bringing Manuela’s case before an international human rights body so women won’t suffer the same tragic fate, and El Salvador can finally be held accountable.”

The Center for Reproductive Rights will also issue a report later this year detailing the stories of Salvadoran women affected by the country’s absolute ban on abortion.Abortion was once legal in El Salvador under a narrow set of circumstances, but even these limited exceptions were removed in 1998, as documented by CRR in a report released in 2000. Now El Salvador is among five countries in Latin America and the Caribbean — including Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominican Republic, and Chile — where abortion is absolutely prohibited even when the woman’s health or life is at risk. More information about abortion restrictions around the globe is available at CRR’s interactive World Abortion Laws map

Under current Salvadoran law, anyone who performs an abortion with the woman’s consent, or a woman who self-induces or consents to someone else inducing her abortion, can be imprisoned for up to eight years. 

But like Manuela, many women who miscarry or experience emergency obstetric complications are charged with aggravated murder, for which they can be imprisoned for up to 50 years, and subsequently spend decades behind bars. 

“Liberalizing restrictive abortion laws, like El Salvador’s, is essential to saving the lives and protecting the health of millions of women across the globe every year,” said Northup. “Study after study has shown there are no positive outcomes to banning abortion outright.”

A recent study by the World Health Organization and the Guttmacher Institute reinforced the fact that restrictive abortion laws are not associated with lower rates of abortion. According to the study, the 2008 abortion rate in Latin America—a region where abortion is highly restricted in almost all countries—was 32 per 1,000 women of childbearing age, while in Western Europe, where abortion is generally permitted on broad grounds, the rate is just 12 per 1,000.

*Pregnant people, not just cis women.

This is what I like to call #ProlifeBeliefsInAction. These are the real life consequences of abortion bans and personhood amendments. When embryos are viewed as having rights of their own lawmakers and doctors are forced to forget that unlike actual people, embryos are inside of someone else; and that person has rights of their own.

With personhood amendments we see all pregnant people as suspicious and guilty until proven innocent when it comes to any “irresponsible” behavior and even a miscarriage. Their own lives and health become secondary to protecting a non-autonomous, non-sentient, non-viable embryo or fetus from the person it’s inside of. Suddenly pregnant people experiencing natural occurrences like miscarriage or wanting to act in their own health’s best interest are contextualized as an actual threat.

These laws obfuscate the fact that pregnancy creates a vulnerable state for people and that no pregnancy is guaranteed to go to term without complications. So when things go horribly wrong, as they’re apt to, it’s deemed a criminal failure on the part of the pregnant person and not the unfortunate and unpredictable occurrence that it is. These laws, in effect, turn pregnant people into a special class of people whose right to bodily integrity is called into question or suspended altogether, leading to discrimination and human rights violations.

Further proof that both the fetus focus fallacy and “prolife” policies kill and vilify pregnant people.

Oh, the hypocrisy!

thisgingersnapsback:

So I escorted at the clinic for the first time this morning—well, more shadowed and learned than anything, and was bombarded by the anti’s any time I strayed too far from Pam or Rita—and while I have plenty of interesting things to talk about, the one that weighs most heavily on my mind is the biggest display of anti-choice hypocrisy I have ever witnessed in my life.

Sure, we all know how little they actually value life, and we all hear the stories about “Once the fetus is out, they stop caring” and so on and so forth, but the truth of their blatant disregard for actual LIFE was shoved directly in my face. While my heart goes out to the people involved, I could not have asked for a better, clearer example of what anti’s really care about.

I’d been standing around, chatting with the two women there that morning, Rita and Pam. I stuck close to either one or the other all morning, because anytime I got too far away, it felt like the anti’s circled me like sharks—when I first got out of the car I was hassled, them thinking I was there for the procedure, so I said loud and clear and directly to the nearest woman wearing a vest, “I want to be an Escort.”

They still didn’t leave me alone of course, wondering why “a girl so young and impressionable would choose to help such a thing” and the like, and shoved multiple pamphlets my way, but I’m pretty proud of how I handled the situation. I was polite, despite quivering with rage, and only got somewhat abrasive when Ed decided to practically corner me, bludgeoning me with questions—which I think I handled well, or at least, Pam seemed impressed.

Anyway, the three of us were standing outside the clinic, when all the sudden there was a HUGE crash at the intersection of Second Street and Market. Four cars were involved. I gasped and grabbed Pam’s arm, and in seconds Rita and I were headed down to the corner, Rita with her phone out and already dialing 911. Pam remained behind to watch for potentials, but I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the wreck. Everyone but the woman in the Pontiac was out of their cars—two men were very pissed, one older man was practically limping, and the woman… wasn’t moving. I was horrified—I’d never witnessed a wreck before, so this was intense, and there were car parts everywhere—someone very easily could have died.

But then I noticed, we were the only ones there. Some joggers were beside us, watching, but otherwise, we were alone. I turned around, and sure enough, not a single anti had moved to check the scene. Not a one seemed concerned in the SLIGHTEST that someone nearly DIED just FEET away from them. No one cried out, no one batted an eyelash—they simply continued shouting prayers at the doors and deaf ears, and I felt a rage building up inside of me.

It was proof, not that I needed any, but disgusting proof about what the anti’s really care about—controlling people’s bodies. They aren’t seeking to SAVE anyone, to SAVE any babies, they just want to stand around and tell people what to do with themselves, and when a crash which threatens the very thing which they are apparently so devoted to protect—LIFE—happens mere feet from them? They didn’t even take a second look.


I didn’t need an example of the hypocrisy and cold hatred these antis have for anyone but themselves, but honestly? I couldn’t have asked for a better, or more horrific one.*

(*Everyone appeared to be okay in the accident. The woman started moving around and the old man seemed okay, everyone just looked really shaken up. The accident could have been FAR worse than it was, but thankfully everyone made it out okay.)

(via )

If abortion and birth control become illegal

bebinn:

deathbysharpie:

What will happen:

sex

What won’t happen:

safe sex

What will happen:

abortion

What won’t happen:

safe abortions

Can’t put it much more simply than that.

#TRUTH

Republican-Controlled Arizona Legislature On Cusp Of Defunding Planned Parenthood

Arizona is the latest battleground in the conservative war on women as the state legislature appears poised to strip funding from the women’s health care provider Planned Parenthood.

Earlier this week, an Arizona Senate panel approved HB 2800 on a party-line vote. The Arizona Senate Committee on Healthcare and Medical Liability Reform’s move came on the heels of support from the Arizona House, which approved the legislation earlier this month.

If HB 2800 is indeed passed by the full Senate, Gov. Jan Brewer (R) is expected to sign the legislation into law, stripping state funding from any group such as Planned Parenthood that performs abortions.

Unfortunately, the move would have a pronounced impact on poorer Arizona women who rely on places like Planned Parenthood for many of their health care needs. As the following chart shows, abortion accounts for just 3 percent of the patient care provided by Planned Parenthood. The other 97 percent included mammograms, STI treatment, and other health services.

If passed, Arizona will join a growing list of Republican-led states to cut funding for Planned Parenthood. The largest was Texas, who last year stripped the women’s health provider of approximately $47 million in state funds. As a result, 12 clinics were forced to shut their doors, many in rural areas with few other health care providers. Other states, such as New Jersey and Wisconsin, have taken away funds as well.

Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona, who is running for Arizona’s open U.S. Senate seat, criticized the state legislature, calling the Senate panel’s approval was an “extremely misguided” decision. “As a longtime health care professional,” Carmona told ThinkProgress, “I can say without hesitation that restricting access to reproductive health care is detrimental to the health and safety of women. Period.”

Arizona state law already prohibits using tax dollars for abortions. The real effect of HB 2800 would be to take away necessary health care services to low-income Arizonans.

__________________________________________

*Not just cis women utilize the reproductive health services of PP.

Here comes broken-record Jasper. Planned Parenthood is a vital resource, especially for low-income people and people of color.

Women’s Health [people other than “women” can and do utilize these services]

Includes:

  • birth control
  • emergency contraception
  • checkups for reproductive and sexual health problems
  • gynecological exams
  • pregnancy tests and pre-natal care
  • routine physical exams

Men’s Health [people other than “men” can and do utilize these services]

Includes:

  • checkups for reproductive or sexual health problems
  • colon cancer screening 
  • erectile dysfunction services, including education, exams, treatment, and referral 
  • jock itch exam and treatment 
  • male infertility screening and referral 
  • premature ejaculation services, including education, exams, treatment, and referral 
  • routine physical exams 
  • testicular cancer screenings 
  • prostate cancer screenings 
  • urinary tract infections testing and treatment 
  • vasectomy

General Health Care

Includes:

  • anemia testing 
  • cholesterol screening 
  • diabetes screening
  • physical exams, including for employment and sports
  • flu vaccines
  • help with quitting smoking
  • high blood pressure screening
  • tetanus vaccines
  • thyroid screening
  • STD testing, treatment, and vaccines

In addition:

  • Planned Parenthood health centers focus on prevention: 76 percent of our clients receive services to prevent unintended pregnancy.
  • Planned Parenthood services help prevent more than 584,000 unintended pregnancies each year.
  • Planned Parenthood provides nearly 770,000 Pap tests and nearly 750,000 breast exams each year, critical services in detecting cancer.
  • Planned Parenthood provides more than four million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
  • Three percent of all Planned Parenthood health services are abortion services.
  • Planned Parenthood affiliates provide educational programs to more than 1.1 million young people and adults each year.

Also see this pdf.

But, yeah, defunding Planned Parenthood is the epitome of pro-life.

[TW unsafe abortion] Anatomy of an unsafe abortion

[This is a heartbreaking story about what happens when abortion is restricted and stigmatized. Legality is meaningless unless pregnant people can actually access safe, legal abortions. There’s nothing pro-life about giving pregnant people no options. Essay by Dr. Jen Gunter. From her bio: I was born and raised in Winnipeg, Canada and graduated from The University of Manitoba School of Medicine in 1990 at the age of 23 (I started young). In 1995 I completed my OB/GYN training at the University of Western Ontario and moved to the United States to complete a fellowship in infectious diseases at the University of Kansas. After completing my fellowship I continued my studies in pain medicine. I am board certified in OB/GYN in both Canada and the United States. I am also board certified in pain medicine by the American Board of Pain Medicine and by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. That’s why I have so many letters after my name.]

I was in clinic when I heard the overhead STAT page to the emergency room.

As I sprinted down the stairs, I ran through the possible scenarios. I wasn’t on call, so the day to day gynecologic emergencies weren’t my purview. I hadn’t operated on anyone in the past few weeks, so unlikely to be one of my own patients with a complication.

Logically there was only one conclusion.

A nurse was holding the staff entrance to the ER open. From the look on her face I surmised this was to save the minute or two it would take to punch in the numbers on the lock and inquire at the desk for patient’s whereabouts.

“Down there,” she pointed.

On the gurney lay a young woman the color of white marble. The red pool between her legs, ominously free of clots, offered a silent explanation.

“She arrived a few minutes ago. Not even a note.” My resident was breathless with anger, adrenaline, and panic.

I had an idea who she went to. The same one the others did. The same one many more would visit. A doctor, but considering what I had seen he could’t have any formal gynecology training. The only thing he offered that the well-trained provers didn’t was a cut-rate price. If you don’t know to ask, well, a doctor is a doctor. That’s assuming you are empowered enough to have such a discussion. I was also pretty sure his office didn’t offer interpreters.

I needed equipment not available in an emergency room. I looked at the emergency room attending. “Call the OR and tell them we need a room. Now.” And then I turned to my resident. I was going to tell him to physically make sure a room, any room, was ready when we arrived, but he had already sprinted towards the stairs. He knew.

We didn’t wait for an orderly. A terrified medical student and I raced down the hallway with the gurney. The amorphous red pool dripped onto the floor as we rounded the corner to the elevators.

The double doors that led to the operating rooms swung open. “The urology room. They’re between cases,” my resident shouted.

I saw an anesthesiologist out of the corner of my eye. “You. Now!” Most emergencies can wait a few minutes to check in at the front desk and for the anesthesiologist and nursing staff to take stock of the situation. This was not one of them.

The urologist, whose room I appropriated, blustered and sputtered in behind me. “What the fuck are you doing barging in, I’ve got another case…” but as we moved my patient over to the operating table and he saw the blood, he stopped. He grabbed a tray of instruments and opened. “I’ll be your scrub.”

The anesthesiologist was pissed. Not really mad, more riled up than anything. No one likes to be blind sided, no matter how well intentioned. And he probably thought I was over reacting. That is until he put in another intravenous.

“Fuck.” What looked like blood tinged water flashed back.

And now they all understood what I knew the second I laid eyes on this patient. Abortions that go horribly wrong bleed out. Quickly.

The room filled with surgeons, nurses, and students eager to help. To do something. Anything.

I opened the vagina and by feel clamped through the holes on either side of the uterus where I knew from experience I would find the uterine arteries, the likely site of the puncture. I didn’t know which side, and at that point it didn’t matter. I just needed to stop the blood flow. It took less than a minute. She would have bled to death if I had opened her belly.

As the bleeding had stopped, it was up to the anesthesiologist to fix the hematologic tempest. A vascular system so traumatized by sheer blood loss that it had run haywire and lost the ability to clot. Disseminated intravascular coagulation. This is how many young women die when an abortion goes wrong.

My hands started to shake. Everything from leaving my clinic to this point had been one crescendoing adrenaline-fueled reflex. Now that there was nothing physically for me to do the energy had to go somewhere.

I looked around. A forest of IV poles, laden with blood instead of fruit. Everyone not directly helping was running back and forth to the pharmacy or blood bank. A nurse and another surgeon started to clean the floor. We were all bonded by this nameless woman whose life we were desperately trying to save. And we were bearing witness, because we knew if she died it was unlikely anyone would read about her in the paper. It was unlikely her family would protest. A myriad of potential reasons. Shame of the abortion. Distrust of government. Fear of immigration officials.

The urologist, a grizzled older man with whom I had nothing in common except a medical degree and this patient, rested his hand on my shoulder. It was a kind, fatherly gesture. The weight was comforting.

“You done good.” He said. And then he added, “Those bastards.”

I knew he was referring not just to the physician who did this procedure, but to everyone in society who had contributed to a disadvantaged woman finding herself in such a desperate situation.

____________________________________

ETA: In a follow up post Dr. Jen Gunter confirms that the above case was POST Roe v. Wade and that the patient survived.

stfuconservatives:

undercoverangryangel submitted: “In case you didn’t see this. (They still got $10 from me. Right thing to do, regardless.)”
—-
HOLY BALLS! That is fucking amazing. Please, please continue to donate and support the thousands of other pregnant people who desperately need abortion funding. I’ll keep posting your screenshots with celebratory “hurray for abortions!” gifs. But yeah, wow, we got JM the life-saving hospital abortion she needed.
SMUG FEMINIST HIGH FIVES ALL AROUND

-Jess

I am so happy for her! I didn’t have money to donate so I took to twitter to help raise awareness. I heard from two people that they donated after seeing my tweet, so I’m glad I could help in that way.
Honestly though this story brought out the worst in “pro-lifers” on twitter. Look at the #ProLifeLove I received and try to tell me these people don’t hate pregnant people:
TW FOR VILE ANTICHOICE HATRED AND SHAMING



[That above tweet is in SUPPORT of littlebytesnews]







[yay for tone arguments!]



[Let’s read that again, “She doesn’t ‘need’ a life saving abortion; if she survived cancer…she can survive giving birth”]
Did you read the story at all? She’s had multiple transplants and is suffering from kidney disease/failure. Get off my planet.



[I’m pretty positive Georgia meant “if you can’t see why that’s shaming…”]


[And this just came out of left field. Nothing to do with the issue at hand]
Fuck, this is giving me a panic attack. I just can’t read shit like this and not have a hard time breathing. No, you’re not prolife at all. JM I’m glad you’re going to get the care that you need and I’m glad that there are people in the world willing to help out their fellow human beings without asking offensive and intrusive questions before doing so. I’m sorry that this wasn’t a cause that prochoicers and so-called “prolifers” could unite on.
This is why we call you anti-choice. There is nothing prolife about this type of behavior. Don’t let antis fool you into believing they don’t want pregnant people to die or that they support abortion if the pregnant person will die. They don’t support it at all. 

stfuconservatives:

undercoverangryangel submitted: “In case you didn’t see this. (They still got $10 from me. Right thing to do, regardless.)”

—-

HOLY BALLS! That is fucking amazing. Please, please continue to donate and support the thousands of other pregnant people who desperately need abortion funding. I’ll keep posting your screenshots with celebratory “hurray for abortions!” gifs. But yeah, wow, we got JM the life-saving hospital abortion she needed.

SMUG FEMINIST HIGH FIVES ALL AROUND

-Jess

I am so happy for her! I didn’t have money to donate so I took to twitter to help raise awareness. I heard from two people that they donated after seeing my tweet, so I’m glad I could help in that way.

Honestly though this story brought out the worst in “pro-lifers” on twitter. Look at the #ProLifeLove I received and try to tell me these people don’t hate pregnant people:

TW FOR VILE ANTICHOICE HATRED AND SHAMING

[That above tweet is in SUPPORT of littlebytesnews]

[yay for tone arguments!]

[Let’s read that again, “She doesn’t ‘need’ a life saving abortion; if she survived cancer…she can survive giving birth”]

Did you read the story at all? She’s had multiple transplants and is suffering from kidney disease/failure. Get off my planet.

[I’m pretty positive Georgia meant “if you can’t see why that’s shaming…”]

[And this just came out of left field. Nothing to do with the issue at hand]

Fuck, this is giving me a panic attack. I just can’t read shit like this and not have a hard time breathing. No, you’re not prolife at all. JM I’m glad you’re going to get the care that you need and I’m glad that there are people in the world willing to help out their fellow human beings without asking offensive and intrusive questions before doing so. I’m sorry that this wasn’t a cause that prochoicers and so-called “prolifers” could unite on.

This is why we call you anti-choice. There is nothing prolife about this type of behavior. Don’t let antis fool you into believing they don’t want pregnant people to die or that they support abortion if the pregnant person will die. They don’t support it at all. 

(Source: stfuconservatives)

prochoicegeneration:

Funny thing is, doctors that preform abortions are reproductive health doctors.  Meaning they do STD testing and treatment, birth control prescriptions, pre-natal care, and delivery.  So, you know, the doctors who preform safe and legal abortion also practice those life saving procedures. Not to mention that abortion being safe and legal protects the lives of those seeking the procedure.
—Maria

Maria, logic has no place here ;) And OP I’m willing to bet that you support H.R. 358 which means you think the religion and moral “discomfort” of a doctor is worth more than my life, and they are within their rights to let me die. That makes my uterus warm and fuzzy from all the #ProLifeLove.

prochoicegeneration:

Funny thing is, doctors that preform abortions are reproductive health doctors.  Meaning they do STD testing and treatment, birth control prescriptions, pre-natal care, and delivery.  So, you know, the doctors who preform safe and legal abortion also practice those life saving procedures. Not to mention that abortion being safe and legal protects the lives of those seeking the procedure.

—Maria

Maria, logic has no place here ;) And OP I’m willing to bet that you support H.R. 358 which means you think the religion and moral “discomfort” of a doctor is worth more than my life, and they are within their rights to let me die. That makes my uterus warm and fuzzy from all the #ProLifeLove.

The initiative would protect a prenatal person regardless of whether or not the prenatal person would live, grow, or develop in the womb or survive birth; prevent all abortions even in the case of rape, incest, or serious threats to the woman’s health or life, or when a woman is suffering from a miscarriage, or as an emergency treatment for an ectopic pregnancy. The initiative will impact some rights Nevada women currently have to access certain fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization. The initiative will impact some rights Nevada women currently have to utilize some forms of birth control, including the “pill;” and to access certain fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization. The initiative will affect embryonic stem cell research, which offers potential for treating diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, and others.

A Nevada District Judge decided that  the Nevada Prolife Coalition’s description of effect didn’t inform voters well enough. This is the language he required them to use…. because he’s fucking awesome, and he realized the true implications of what a “life and conception” amendment would mean for uterus-possessing people. 

No seriously, ask yourself: do you want to live in a place where  any abortion  would be deemed illegal, even if it saved your life? I mean…why is a fetus that isn’t even viable more important than my life? I mean, this beyond insulting. This is terrifying. 

(via adventuresofporter)

(Source: The Huffington Post, via stfuconservatives)

BASHING SCHOOL MEAL PROGRAMS, LIMBAUGH CALLS POOR CHILDREN ‘WANTON WAIFS AND SERFS DEPENDENT ON THE STATE’ | Crooks & Liars catches conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh being even more insulting to poor children than usual. Limbaugh, who once gladly accepted government welfare himself, went on a rant about school meal programs during the school year that “condition [children] to not feed themselves.” According to Limbaugh, getting used to being fed by schools turns children who would otherwise starve into “wanton waifs and serfs dependent on the state.” “If you feed them, if you feed the children, three square meals a day during the school year, how can you expect them to feed themselves in the summer?” he asked.

The number of students receiving subsidized lunches rose to 21 million last school year as many parents have lost jobs or homes during the economic crisis. The decades-old social safety net program reflects extensive research that students have a hard time learning when they’re hungry.

[You cannot call yourself “prolife” if you advocate for taking food out of children’s mouths. People like Limbaugh honestly just disgust me. He obviously has no clue what it’s like to live in poverty or how hard it is to concentrate in school if you’re always hungry. How can you expect children to succeed in life if they’re hungry. This is just one more example that once you’re born these people couldn’t care less whether you live or die. Why am I not surprised?]

After 20 Years Of Poisoned Babies, EPA Will Finally Cut Coal Industry’s Toxic Mercury Pollution

Long-delayed rules to limit toxins like mercury and arsenic from coal-burning power plants will be approved today, after twenty years of delay that protected coal utility profits at the expense of American health. The Los Angeles Times reports that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will finalize its mercury rule today, marking the end of an era of deliberate pollution despite the scientific knowledge that pregnant women and small children were being poisoned:

The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to approve a tough new rule on Friday to limit emissions of mercury, arsenic and other toxins from the country’s power plants, according to people with knowledge of the new standard. Though mercury is a known neurotoxin profoundly harmful to children and pregnant women, the air toxins rule has been more than 20 years in the making, repeatedly stymied because of objections from coal-burning utilities about the cost of installing pollution control equipment.

In 1990 the bipartisan legislation that amended the Clean Air Act ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to set standards for the emission of mercury, arsenic, and other toxic air pollution from power plants. Although a court decree mandated EPA standards by 2000, the rules were repeatedly delayed again. In 2006, the Bush administration released rules that were thrown out by the courts for failing to protect the public health. The health risks of mercury and arsenic are enormously well-documented. In the 21 years since the EPA was ordered to issue these rules, 17 states have independently acted to limit mercury emissions from power plants. Coal-fired power plants alone produce 772 million pounds of airborne toxins every year—2.5 pounds’ worth for every American.

Even with this finalized Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rule, power plants will have years to comply. Upgrading power plants to cut air toxics is expected to create 31,000 construction jobs to 158,000 jobs installing pollution controls. “Jobs are created” when power companies are forced to clean up their plants, Mike Morris, CEO of American Electric Power has recognized.

Of course, the primary economic benefit of the mercury rule comes from its life-saving impact. Methylmercury from coal pollution accumulates in fish, poisoning pregnant women and small children. Mercury can harm children’s developing brains, including effects on memory, attention, language, and fine motor and visual spatial skills. Upgrades to the aged and dirty coal plants will also significantly reduce harmful particle pollution, preventing hundreds of thousands of illnesses and up to 17,000 premature deaths each year. “The ‘monetized’ value of these and certain other health benefits would amount to $55–146 billion per year,” the Economic Policy Institute states.

[pregnant people, not just pregnant women]

What “Pro-Life” Really Means for Women in the US

[*people capable of getting pregnant]

When the GOP puts out “pro-life” ads, they don’t show the real consequences of denying women the right to control their reproductive destinies. They don’t show the staggering number of women who are not healthy enough for pregnancy, or suffer from complications. They show you sugary images of smiling families and healthy babies. “Pro-life” as pro-family is a blatant lie, and it’s time the GOP fessed up.

Amnesty International has released a study (PDF) of the statistics for maternal health care in the US, and the results are more than a little disturbing. As the same Tea Party Republicans who call themselves “pro-life” condemn birth control and Planned Parenthood, they stand against Obama’s much needed health care reform that would bring health insurance to millions. The United States currently ranks 50th in the world for maternal deaths. This is worse than most European countries, Canada, and some countries in Asia and the Middle East. In fact, the number of maternal deaths grew in the US from 1990 to 2008, while 147 foreign countries experienced a decline.

The biggest problem for women was a lack of access to healthcare resulting in women becoming pregnant while having untreated health issues and a lack of pre-natal and post-partum care. Uninsured women are less likely to be in good health when they become pregnant, yet the GOP doesn’t see fit to extend them healthcare. The cost of maternal healthcare is incredibly high but most providers do not accept Medicaid, and it is incredibly difficult to get Medicaid once pregnant.

The number of women who die during childbirth is still frighteningly high, and is at a 20 year peak. The number increases significantly for any minority. The number of women who suffer from severe complications has increased by 25%, and the report also

“found a lack of comprehensive and accurate data on maternal mortality, morbidity, and health care practices; a lack of coordinated oversight needed to improve the maternal care system and research; inadequate review of data; and a lack of concerted efforts to eliminate disparities.”

In a time when costs related to pregnancy and birth make up 25% of all charges to Medicaid, why is the GOP not increasing access to family planning for women instead of slashing the Medicaid budget? When it has been proven that a child whose mother dies is 3-10 times more likely to die, why are none of the GOP leaders calling for better healthcare for pregnant mothers and oversight boards for the statistics? When the GOP uses every opportunity to claim it supports families, why is it driving them to poverty by trying to force women to have children they may not be able to afford or may not be healthy enough to have? Why when the GOP says it stands with families, is it doing everything it can to break them apart?

It’s time to tell the GOP that healthy families need healthy women, and family planning is a key part of this goal.

afunnyfeminist:

theoppressedlittlefetus:

Thousands of couples seeking to adopt, eh?
What about the roughly 500,000 kids waiting in foster care for couples like them? Or the 127,000 kids eligible for adoption? What’s the problem?

Kermit Gossnell was never an abortion doctor, and cutting the spinal cord of a neonate is no more an abortion than if I were to do the same to the ignoramus who drew that cartoon.  And let me just add to your point. I’ve known a few teens who have aged out (that I know of. Most teens at my job stop being clients of ours before they age out, so I’m only counting those teens who stopped receiving our services because they aged out). Where are all those people desperate for a child? Teens aren’t just lucky if they get adopted. They’re lucky if they live in a foster home and not a group home. Every day that goes by for these kids , the less likely they’ll be adopted. And should the lie that people are waiting for kids to adopt be the story? For a movement that is supposedly pro-child, they sure don’t put the child in the center of their thoughts. It’s the kids who are waiting for parents, not the other way around.
This is precisely what happens when you murder reputable, caring abortion providers and leave vulnerable pregnant people with too many obstacles and restrictions for access to be possible or meaningful. You created this recipe for disaster and now you want to capitalize on the resulting tragedy to make abortion even less accessible? Shame. On. You.

afunnyfeminist:

theoppressedlittlefetus:

Thousands of couples seeking to adopt, eh?

What about the roughly 500,000 kids waiting in foster care for couples like them? Or the 127,000 kids eligible for adoption? What’s the problem?

Kermit Gossnell was never an abortion doctor, and cutting the spinal cord of a neonate is no more an abortion than if I were to do the same to the ignoramus who drew that cartoon. And let me just add to your point. I’ve known a few teens who have aged out (that I know of. Most teens at my job stop being clients of ours before they age out, so I’m only counting those teens who stopped receiving our services because they aged out). Where are all those people desperate for a child? Teens aren’t just lucky if they get adopted. They’re lucky if they live in a foster home and not a group home. Every day that goes by for these kids , the less likely they’ll be adopted. And should the lie that people are waiting for kids to adopt be the story? For a movement that is supposedly pro-child, they sure don’t put the child in the center of their thoughts. It’s the kids who are waiting for parents, not the other way around.

This is precisely what happens when you murder reputable, caring abortion providers and leave vulnerable pregnant people with too many obstacles and restrictions for access to be possible or meaningful. You created this recipe for disaster and now you want to capitalize on the resulting tragedy to make abortion even less accessible? Shame. On. You.

(Source: what-about-this)

Even A Pregnant Woman Can’t Get “Prolife” Sympathy!

[TW misogyny, victim blaming, police brutality causing a miscarriage, mention of rape]

So antichoicers couldn’t wait to jump on the misogynist, victim blaming train known as “let’s kick Jennifer Fox while she’s down.”

I figured their coverage would center around false equivalencies between abortion and grieving a miscarriage of a wanted fetus, but no. They did that, but they seem to have honed in on “what was a pregnant lady doing out of the house exercising her first amendment rights?! What was she thinking?! Doesn’t she know she should expect to be beaten senseless by police, rather than trusting police can control themselves?!”

Rape narrative anyone?

Here’s an excerpt:

Some time later, she miscarries, but it’s the cops fault.  She was ‘ready to have a kid’, yet she was homeless, even though her family was going to support her?  Sure.  “Her name was going to be Miracle”, even though at 2 to 3 months pregnant, there is no way to know if the baby was a boy or a girl.  So much of this story doesn’t jive. 

It’s a sad day when any unborn child is lost, but this is no more than a vain attempt at sensationalism.  The woman will get her name and picture in media across the country.  But the police, civil servants who’s job it is to protect us, are the bad guys.  The shenanigans of the protesters is perfectly fine.  Blocking bridges, entrances to banks, even hindering traffic to the local children’s hospital is fine!

Feminists have been shouting for years they want equality.  Well welcome to equality ladies! 

What we learn from this brief encounter with the inner workings of a hypocrite lacking self-awareness is that:

  • homeless people can’t want to have children, nor can they be ready to be pregnant (yet homelessness and financial instability is never a good enough reason to abort).
  • it’s impossible to pick out a name for a future child before you know their sex.
  • pregnant people should never leave the house lest something happen [like being attacked against your will], because pregnancy means you forfeit all rights.
  • it’s wrong to blame police for their actions but pregnant people are fair game.
  • miscarriage due to police brutality is part of our feminist utopia.
  • police brutality and blocking traffic are on par with one another.

Good to know, very good to know.

Why am I even surprised? These are misogynist, anti-women, anti-child, racist, classist, rape apologists we’re talking about after all.

So, this happened…

I just found one of the most misogynist, ableist, antichoice blogs I’ve ever seen [TW]: #MoronicProchoiceQuotes: all the stupid, all in one place! It takes screenshots of tweets and then blogs about them. I don’t know if I have the spoons to properly deal with this. There is so much to address, it’s not even funny. Anybody wanna help, now or in the future?

"Fetal Remains" Bill Pleases Anti-Choice, Traumatizes Women Who Miscarry

When Michigan anti-choicers claimed they found “fetal remains” in a dumpster at an abortion clinic, state Republicans quickly stepped up to push a bill legislating how products of conception could be discarded.

In the end, it turns out that there was no proof of mishandled remains.  But a law was proposed regardless, and because of it, one of the first questions that may be asked of a woman who just miscarried or had a still birth is likely to be “what do you want to do with the fetus?”

Via the Detroit News:

"I think some women will be devastated," says Joanne Mulhere, who counsels women undergoing loss of pregnancies at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, where about 175 women lose pregnancies through miscarriage or stillbirth annually.

Patients would be handed Kleenex, as well as a form to sign, requesting the remains be cremated, buried or interred.

They’ll be forced to make a potentially emotional choice that will, for some women, redefine how they think and feel.

It’s a “choice” that effectively reframes the way women are supposed to think about early pregnancy, imposing new opportunities for grief where none might have existed.

Unfortunately, Michigan legislators have crafted a bill that’s more sensitive to the needs of tissue that fits in a tablespoon than to grown women who, at vulnerable moments, will face a new form to sign, an unsought, disturbing decision to make.

Yet another thoughtless bill with unintended consequences that will hurt more women.

CUDDLE FUDDLE by DEDDY