Clearly the anti-choicers have received their talking points, and hot on the heels of FLI’s pack of lies, Right to Life has jumped up to declare we have to “protect” women (his way of saying “pregnant people”).
Just think about that.
We have to “protect” pregnant people … from choosing to have a medical procedure they want to have. From taking control of their own bodies. From a decision which, by the time they’ve jumped through the hoops of our legal system, I think we can be pretty damn sure they want to make.
Exactly what kind of mindset do you have to have about pregnant people – in your narrow-minded worldview, “women” – that you declare that they must be “protected” from actions they choose to take?
Exactly who are you addressing if “women” – over 50% of the population – are merely the objects who need to be protected?
And exactly how strong can your arguments be if you have to consistently
use American antichoice talking points lie about iconic lawsuits to back them up?
In the words of Atheist Pinko Sluts Monthly, where do I sign up?
Annex Your Uterus Life is at it again, now badgering poor Tony Ryall in an effort to stop Family Planning from getting their satanic hands on your precious, sanctified taxpayer dollars.
Their primary reason, as always, is that Family Planning commits the iniquitous crime of helping pregnant people who don’t want to be pregnant stop being pregnant.
But then there’s sex education. The winning quote:
The NZFPA is part of the sex education lobby that is systematically undermining traditional morality and is aggressively promoting an ideology of lustful sexual licence while pretending to be concerned only with the health and safety of young people.
Remember, if Family Planning really cared about the “health and safety of young people” they would be ignoring all reason, research and reality, and telling them “don’t have sex, it’s bad! If you ever have sex except in the ways Ken Orr has approved of, you DIE!!!!”
Because that approach has historically ensured there is no sex out of wedlock, no unplanned pregnancies, and no abortion, EVER.
But Right to
Burn You At The Stake Life has done their homework this time. They’ve uncovered Family Planning’s real agenda: forcing women into same-sex sexual relationships which degrade them.
It’s all encoded in a secret Family Planning document, entitled Keeping it safe, which expert symbologists will instantly recognise as an archaic slogan of the Illuminati used on documentation which is of the highest importance to the plans of our lizard-people overlords.
Ken Orr has valiantly risked his own sanity, nay his own life, to read this vile, blasphemous tome of eldritch cunnilinguistic lore, and he warns the Minister of Health thusly:
The guide is amoral, and promotes unnatural and degrading sexual practices that denigrate the dignity of women.
Now I, as a rampant slut, may read the dread words of Family Planning at a whim, and I can confirm Ken Orr’s statements. Keeping it safe contains noisome statements of utter perversion such as:
Talking about sex can be embarrassing for many women, but it’s essential in checking out what is safe and comfortable, physically and emotionally.
Be clear about what you want, and how far you want to go with any activity and value yourself enough to stick to that. The only way to know for sure if someone has given consent is if they tell you. Check out what your sexual partner wants. Be aware of her body language. Include checking if she is comfortable as part of your sex talk – a whispered “Is this ok?” or “Do you want to go further?” – can be very sexy. Stop if she says it’s not ok.
There are some things you can do to make your sex safer and to ensure that you care for your own and your partner’s health and well being.
Woe betide the dignity of women whose innocent eyes should pass over such wretched text!
Oh, fine. They do also talk about fisting. Slow, gentle, consensual fisting.
… Seriously, though. Don’t you feel so sorry for the poor admin person in Tony Ryall’s office who has to open this crap? “Any mail today?” “No, sir, just another screed from Ken Orr.” “Any laughs in it?” “Oh, culture of death, something about lesbians. I filed it in the circular bin.” “You’re doing fine work. Take an early break if you need to.”
Related reading: AlisonM at The Hand Mirror
If Right to Life wants to ‘go nuclear’ against Womens Health Action and Family Planning and attack and endanger access to womens and reproductive health over WHAT and FPA’s involvement in pro-choice decriminalisation of abortion concerns, then I suggest someone on the side of progressive social reform should retaliate in kind and draft a complaint to the Charities Commission about the activities of the aforementioned groups in the context of their opposition to marriage equality.
I like the idea, but from a quick reading of the Charities Commission website, I don’t think either effort would have a real chance of success:
Activities that are unlikely to affect charitable status
Undertaking the following activities is unlikely to adversely affect an entity’s charitable status:
supporting or opposing legislation directly related to the entity’s charitable purpose
For the goodies, I think it’s pretty obviously good news: abortion and reproductive healthcare are pretty much the definition of “directly related to the … charitable purpose”.
For the villains, it’s probably also good news: because organisations like Family First have completely distorted the true meaning of “family” and “social welfare” and “promoting community” to cover everything from street-based sex work to gambling locations to bail laws and the drinking age, all their obvious political activity seems related to their “charitable purpose” as outlined in the Charity Rules posted on their page on the Commission’s website.
The thing is, I don’t really believe that Ken Orr is this stupid. He probably knows full well that this strike against organisations which actually give a toss about real, born, living breathing thinking human beings is doomed to fail.
But it’s like a trope from every plucky-class-action-lawsuit movie ever: the forces of evil just try to drown the heroes in paperwork. It doesn’t matter that Right to
Control Your Uterus Life won’t succeed in getting WHA and FPA deregistered, because the goal is to take resources away from promoting health and providing education and potentially saving lives. The goal is to stop even one person from accessing healthcare information which might involve them gaining some control over their own reproduction.
If one unplanned pregnancy results from this charade, Ken Orr thinks it’s a victory. If that pregnant person then cannot access safe early abortion because of the hard work he’s put in to making it incredibly difficult to do so, Ken Orr gives himself a gold star. If that pregnant person or their baby dies because of insufficient education or pre-natal care, Ken Orr doesn’t give a fuck, because he’s all about
life oppressing people with uteri and limiting their healthcare options.
The only pity of the matter is that Right to Patriarchy Life isn’t itself a charitable organisation. Because then it might just be worth spending my own time to waste some of Ken’s in exactly this way.
Imagine my delight to see the following headline pop up on my Google Reader:
Right To Life Supports Southlanders Opposing Killing Centre
Imagine my disappointment to click the link for more delicious antichoice hate-speech, only to be disappointed with this sight:
Fear not, though, it’s still up at the Right to Life website – possibly indicating that it was the choice of Scoop’s editors to remove it, though that would be an interesting tale – so you too can enjoy the woman-hatred on display today.
Right to Life is privileged to support Southlanders for Life in seeking to protect the lives of unborn children at the Southland Hospital. The group of concerned citizens opposes the proposal of the Southern District Health Board, [Southern DHB]to establish a killing centre for Southland unborn children at the Southland Hospital.
The proposed killing centre is opposed by many of the staff of the Southland Hospital and they are to be applauded for their commitment to the Hippocratic tradition of respect for the right to life of unborn children.
After that it’s back to the usual madlibbed stuff, but this is a highlight:
It is a travesty to call the killing of an innocent and defenceless child in the womb as care. How do we provide care for a vulnerable woman by killing her baby and then call it a service?
Isn’t it, well, a little bit cute? How do we “provide care” for a vulnerable woman … by giving her the medical attention she may need to save her life? By helping her out of a potentially negative life-altering situation? By, in many cases, preventing her from having to deliver a wanted, planned baby which is already dead or dying and poisoning her bloodstream to boot?
Yeah, that’s not care. Forcing women – and any other pregnant people who don’t fit Ken Orr’s fundy gender binary – to go through pregnancy is totally caring. Ignoring the very real, very serious physical, psychological, and economic realities and risks of pregnancy is totally caring.
It’s also really, truly caring to publish the name of the specific staff person at Southland Hospital in whose name the licence to provide abortions has been given. I’m sure she will find it very caring for being targeted by hateful, judgemental wankers just because she was doing her job and probably just a victim of basic paperwork (presumably the licence has to be in someone’s name.)
Anyway, there’s little in there that hasn’t been utterly refuted before – Hippocratic Oath, breast cancer, “no child is unwanted” (which is why there are no children currently in our system awaiting adoption. None at all.)
But when they start using terms like “killing centre” – and when either they or a third party feels the need to pull their statements from Scoop – it’s nice to see the true, hatey face of the antichoice movement poking through the “but we just love babies!” mask.
On the Right to Know What We Subjectively Choose To Tell You site, there’s a link which says:
There are a range of independent support organisations there to help them with the decision, pregnancy and beyond.
While noting once more the “they” language – women are so scatter-brained they can’t type URLs correctly, of course – and of course the implied “and your decision will be to continue the pregnancy” message – I figured it would be profitable to assess just want these “support organisations” offer. It sure as shit isn’t “full information”.
Two of the URLs are broken, for a start.
“Pregnancy Counselling Services” have a very informative page about abortion. It lists every single possible side effect you could possibly experience, including “anger” and “sadness”. These things only come as a surprise to you if you truly believe that prochoicers spend all our time trying to force women to have abortions with promises of eternal youth and radiance.
We’ve already established in my previous post that antichoicers have no self-awareness whatsoever, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that they feel the need to list that people “who think abortion is wrong” generally have a harder time recovering psychologically after abortions.
No shit, Sherlock. Maybe if you had a basic grasp of empathy you could’ve figured that out yourselves.
“Pregnancy Counselling Service” also has a page on adoption. While superficially supportive and letting the reader know that they have a right to withdraw their consent, be supported, etc … what do you know, no big scary bullet-point lists of Possible Side Effects Of Adoption, which I’m pretty sure would also include “Anger” and “Sadness”.
In addition, on the Abortion Will Make You Sad page, there’s a “more information” heading, which leads you to “Post Abortion Trauma Healing Service”. Here’s their “full information” intro:
When a woman has an abortion the new life being created inside her physically, to whom she is attached at some level emotionally, psychologically and spiritually has been taken from her.
Yep, I’m sure trusting people with that attitude to take care of my mental health.
“Family Life Crisis Pregnancy Centre” has a page entitled “The Miracle of Life”, so I think we can probably stop right there in any assessment of their idea of “full information”. But if you want some giggles, check out the slideshow about foetal development. I’m sure you’ll agree it was very kindly and carefully written to avoid any kind of emotional blackmail whatsoever.
“Here4U” contains little information, some testimonials from happy people who’ve used their services (I’m guessing, probably not people who were bullied out of making the best choice for them), but one glorious little antichoice canard:
How will you know if that choice is right for you?
-You will have a peace in yourself with the decision you make.
Mmmmmm, delicious bullshit. Hate to break it to anyone reading, but the fact is that sometimes in life we have to make bad decisions. Sometimes you’re out of spoons, but it’s your friend’s birthday, and either you go – and feel like crap and regret it the next day – or you don’t – and feel really guilty for standing your friend up. That doesn’t make either decision The Wrong Decision You Will Regret Forever. It means you have to accept that all your options are shit, and select the least shit of those options depending on your personal circumstances.
This argument is especially douchey for a lot of people who have abortions – people for whom that simply is the best choice, but still not a choice they want to make. Consider a person who gets pregnant, wants to remain pregnant, yet gets diagnosed with a disease the treatment for which will kill the foetus. Choice: carry pregnancy to term and risk dying vs terminate wanted pregnancy and live to conceive another day.
Almost nobody on this planet is really going to “be at peace” with either decision. But it’s one that has to be made, so spending the rest of your life beating yourself up because you were in an incredibly difficult situation is nothing anyone should have to go through.
Oh, wait, unless you’re a callous antichoice dickwad who’s quite comfortable using Hallmark-card oversimplifications of human life to bully women into doing what you want them to do.
“The Pregnancy Centre” in Palmerston North offers “A Free Service for All Aspects of Pregnancy”. Except one. Guess which one. I mean, even “Counselling after abortion” is on the list.
“The House of Grace” is apparently a residential facility for pregnant teens. I’m sure despite my inherent wincing at the concept on purely historical grounds that it’s a lovely place. But, kinda logically, it offers neither “full”, nor any information on abortion.
Saving the best till last, “Mothering Advice” is apparently run by someone who thinks the most important thing to tell you right up front on the “Abortion/Adoption” page is the story of her own miscarriage and how it fuelled her choice-denying fire.
Aaaaaaaand … oh look, nothing about abortion.
You know, for a supposed group of “independent support organisations” who are meant to help you with the decision about your pregnancy, they’re a bit poo.
On a bigger issue: let’s have a nice big cynical belly-laugh at the word “independent”, up there. It’s classic antichoice rhetoric, built on the … I don’t have the words to really describe how absurd lie that abortion providers are just in it for the money. You clearly can’t trust Family Planning, after all, they’re just rolling in the sweet, sweet government dollars they get every year to slaughter precious babies to their dark lord Satan.
Whereas those “clinics” above? Why, they’re neutral! They’re both fair and balanced! You can tell by the way they’re ~independent~, right?
Hell, they’re so neutral about abortion that they … completely refuse to offer women support towards getting abortions. Boy, what commitment.
For more about the reality behind “crisis pregnancy centres” (sadly US-centric):
This is what I learned at a Virginia Crisis Pregnancy Centre (YouTube)
Beware of Antiabortion Crisis Pregnancy Centers
Blog for Choice Day: A Look Inside Crisis Pregnancy Centers
Planned Parenthood’s Pregnancy Q&A – gosh, look at all that full information. Including the second-to-last question which covers this topic nicely.
Related reading, closer to home:
Allison McCulloch, The Return of the DIY Abortion
Imagine if your sister or a close female friend – or you, ’cause you might be a rare literate uterus-haver – was in the early stages of a temporary medical condition. This condition isn’t necessary, may not be wanted, may endanger her life, and if continued will change it forever.
She goes to a clinic where she is told that ending this condition will be murder and give her breast cancer and send her to Hell. But she isn’t told the full facts about her condition, or about the risks associated with all the different choices she has. She’s lied to.
Imagine if those who were pretending to provide your sister or friend (or you, mythical person-with-womb-who-can-read) with full and frank information about the risks of that operation were actually actively seeking to mislead her in a religious quest to fuck her life up.
In addition, let’s imagine your sister or friend wasn’t provided with adequate information about alternatives to continuing this life-changing condition – there was also no respect for the decision she’d already made, and the delays induced by these so-called “caring people” only increased the difficulty and risk of the choice she was going to make anyway.
Imagine that once she had made a decision, people not only lied to her, but insisted that she had to think things through – like she was just a flighty child who couldn’t make decisions for herself.
Would we think this was ok?
Wouldn’t you want her to have all the important information she needed before going ahead with this irreversible, life changing condition? Wouldn’t you want to take the people who are lying to her for their own purposes and smack them upside the head?
Our medical system, policy makers, and health code all recognise the importance of making truly informed and free decisions in healthcare. However, when it comes to the issue of abortion, these minimum standards are often not enough. Many NZ women often end up being conned into going to “crisis condition centres” where people claiming the moral high ground attempt to deceive and frighten them into making the choice those people want.
Pregnancy isn’t a risk-free condition, and for many women it certainly isn’t the blissful carriage-ride it’s often portrayed to be, with a range of serious risks associated with it.
Pregnancies can lead to reproductive problems, impossibly strained finances, domestic violence, miscarriages or even infertility and death.
In the worst case scenario abortion can kill you too – but in New Zealand it’s so fucking rare that antichoice liars have to give you – and your sister or female friend, who probably look to your strong manly visage for advice – a single example from Australia with no context, even though they’re having a whinge about pro-choicers not giving you (sorry, your “sister or female friend”, because only cock-possessors can access the Internet) “the full story”.
Those lying bastards will also talk up the risk of “complications”, which are almost certainly only as common as they are in New Zealand because anti-choicers put obstacles in pregnant people’s paths, denying them the ability to have earlier, safer abortions.
Women who obtain abortions are possibly at increased risk of subsequent mental health issues, including major depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. Antichoice liars want to tell your sister or female friend that this is because abortion will ruin her life, and despite really, truly wanting her to have full information, they strangely won’t acknowledge their part in creating a society which treats women who have had abortions like shit. Which might not help on the mental health front.
Studies also indicate that antichoice douchewads are fond of phrases like “post-abortive women”, which emphasise how you will be forever marked and shamed by exercising your reproductive choice. They aren’t fond of thinking about whether calling people who have had abortions “babykillers” might have something to do with increased suicide risk. Or the innovative idea that women who have abortions might already have mental health issues – hence not having the spoons to carry a pregnancy to term – or that any “long-lasting psychological suffering” could possibly have roots in a culture which denies them full information and compassion during a difficult time.
They want to pretend to care about people who have had abortions who feel an increase in sadness or depression or anxiety as time passes, but they won’t think about whether the pressure to bottle those feelings up, to not talk about it, to feel eternally conflicted because of antichoice rhetoric plays any part in that.
Women have the right to know about all of the reasonable risks associated with abortion, and the harms that could result. They have the right to full and frank information, so that they can be empowered to make a free and fully informed choice.
They should also know that abortion is many, many times safer than carrying a pregnancy to term, that abortion will not increase their risk of breast cancer, that people will support them no matter what their situation or decision (unlike certain others who’ll bully and berate them right up until the baby crowns and then vanish in a puff of smoke).
Women also have the right to know about all the different options available to them without those options being portrayed as the only ones which won’t inevitably render them traumatised soulless shedevils.
This shouldn’t be about the politicisation of information, and it certainly shouldn’t be about massively over-emphasising the negative emotional issues around abortion, which is nothing if not politicising it. Instead women should be trusted with all of the available facts, and then allowed the freedom and space to make a properly informed decision – which is a far cry from the antichoice desire to impose mandatory waiting periods just in case the silly little girls crack under their advanced interrogation techniques.
Women should also be trusted to know their own minds, but antichoicers don’t think walking uteri have minds (it’s also why they don’t comprehend that not only women have abortions, because walking uteri don’t have gender.)
Let’s trust women, and not hide important facts and information from them when they are faced with one of the most difficult and life altering decisions they will ever have to make.
Let’s trust women, and not lie to them, trick them with the trappings of real health clinics, insist that they can’t be fully informed if they’re not weeping, hating themselves, and choosing not to have abortions.
Women do have a Right to Know. Unfortunately, Pro-
Fucking Your Life Up NZ only want them to know their side of the story. But it’s okay, I fixed it for them.