Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Totally OT - I'm Furious!

High Court Upholds Partial Birth Abortion Ban
I generally don't include much, if any, political content here; this is a knitting blog, about me and my adventures with yarn and knitting and my friends who are like-minded about knitting. But I just heard about this newest Supreme Court decision (here and here), and I'm frustrated and angry.

I have been pro-choice about women's rights to sex education, contraceptives, and as a last resort, abortion, since I was 18. It was incomprehensible to me that women did not have free choice in these matters, that some felt they should not have free choice. When I was in my freshman college AP English class I wrote an essay in which I stated that IMO it was preferable for the student health service to provide contraceptives and birth control information than for women students to get pregnant. It happened that I was called upon to read my essay that day, and I was subsequently so verbally abused by the other students that I quit going to class. My professor approved this, with regret; since I finished all the assigned papers, I got an A, including his written thanks for getting the other students talking about current issues.

When I was in my late 20s, I volunteered for 3 years at the Planned Parenthood clinic near my workplace. No abortions were performed at that particular clinic, but I helped to counsel young women about contraceptives and their general reproductive health. The situations of the girls and women I encountered there made me even more pro-choice.

I am outraged that the 'George W. Bush' majority on the US Supreme Court has removed another part of women's rights to choose to bear children or not. I hope that all of you who read this will at least think about the Supreme Court's action. About how it may affect you or your daughters or friends. Mr Bush has also dictated that any state which wishes to have federal funds for sex education must teach ONLY abstinence, which doesn't work, as the news article at the link points out. California is one of a handful of states, Ohio being the most recent, to reject any of this federal funding, since it ignores the reality of humans and their sexuality.

I support the pro-choice groups in their attempts to provide a permanent legislative solution for those women who choose not to bear a child, whatever their reason. If you choose to support the pro-choice groups, you can send money to NARAL or any of the other national or local groups. You don't have to be pro-abortion to be pro-choice.

The next post will return you to the regularly-scheduled knitting content. Assuming I get anything knitted. I'm swatching my 4th - or maybe 5th? - yarn for Wren. And I haven't found the right one yet.

11 comments:

Cindy G said...

Thank you for this post. After watching the news this evening, my husband turned to me and said, "well, I guess I'm going to have to add NARAL to my giving list." Of course I applauded the decision.

One of my close childhood friends had to face the choice beween giving birth to a child that had no chance of survival, and having a late term abortion. My friend is a devout Christian, and the choice was very difficult, but she chose the abortion.

It is simply not true that there are never medical reasons for late term abortions. Women and their doctors should have the right to make their own medical decisions, even when those decisions are hard.

jayne said...

Thanks from me too, for this post.

Human beings and their sexuality, a complicated issue indeed. I recently watched a very informative program on world-wide AIDS and how different countries are trying to deal with the issue. The most powerful nation in the world seems to be the most backward of all. Backward and destructive. This new issue doesn't surprise me, but it does sadden me.

I am a devout Christian too. It was the novel The Cider House Rules, along with another book written by John Irving (My Movie Business) that got me thinking on both sides of the abortion issue.

Madge said...

Hear, hear. And hold me back - I think my head's going to spin around!

SK said...

Another big step backwards!

SK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jillian said...

Wow are we in the same court! I about ran off the road in my car when I heard this on NPR yesterday morning. It's my one big pushbutton political issue. I am mostly really shocked, angry too, but shocked that it actually happened. I am fully expecting a public backlash. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Bush and Co wouldn't be happy unless we were living in a Dark Age society and they were rich and in charge.

Lisa W. said...

having worked with women's health all my career (25 years!) and with all areas of the abortion issue....the bush administration makes me so very frustrated/angry. I fully support a woman's right to choose whether or not to parent. Pregnancy and birth is 50 times more dangerous to women than any form of contraception or abortion. the type of procedure is a privacy issue between a woman and her healthcare provider. PBA is an infrequent procedure and never performed frivolously by any provider. until you walk in a pregnant woman's shoes and live her life...you can NEVER have the right to make a judgement about her right to choose. thank you for your post. i'll step down from the soapbox now and pass the mike back to you.

LibbyKnitKins said...

Thanks so much for this post. I'm glad that I'm not the only one that agree's with you.

Having a Knit Fitt said...

Hear! Hear! Keep your laws off my body.
Cate

Christine said...

Barbara,
I'm so glad you posted this. I was literally speechless when I heard the news, although I can't think why I expected anything else from this Court. Bush has completely destroyed the Judicial Branch of our government, but it's the Supreme Court that has the ability to do the most lasting harm to freedom in America.
Government does not have the right to tell women what they can or can't do with their bodies. It's a gross violation of women's rights. And here's a government, which says it believes in small goverment, goverment that keeps out of the lives of its citizens, practicing the most patently invasive acts in history. Not content to invade our privacy in libraries and banks, now they've finally reached into our wombs.

sarah-Hope said...

Bless you for speaking up. I've always been careful about using birth control when it was appropriate, but always deeply thankful that abortion would be an option if the birth control failed. I'm also quite aware that while it was easy for me, an articulate, independent, middle-class young woman to make my way to the family planning clinic, that this process wouldn't necessarily be as easy for others due to issues of income, information, etc. I also know that it's just plain luck that as an adult I've never had to deal with a sexual assault and its aftermath, which would make family planning completely irrelevant.

At this point in my life, given my age and sexual orientation, I almost certainly won't have to deal with pregnancy--but if I did, I might decide not to have an abortion on ethical grounds. Nonetheless, I would never, ever want to take that choice away from another woman, whether or not I would choose abortion for myself. (And for most of my adult life I definitely would have opted for abortion if I'd become pregnant--I know my limitations.)