I’m honestly touched by this tribute, people.
we pay tribute to the love and often heroic sacrifice that Mothers make in nurturing new life especially those mothers who rejected abortion and choose life for their unborn child in the face of abandonment by the father, these are truly heroic women.
Do you see that, people?
Ken Orr thinks my mum is truly heroic.
You see, my mum was abandoned by my douchefuck bio-donor (in Orr-speak, “father”) and despite that, and a bunch of fun societal pressure* to not be an evil bludging solo mum, she chose to keep her pregnancy and the resulting me.
And then she was supported by the now-scrapped Training Incentive Allowance to get a university education and build a career** and basically be able to raise the ridiculously awesome baby she chose to keep.
That was pretty heroic, in a nation where pissant little basement-dwellers constantly get media attention bleating about the downfall of Traditional Family Values, all right.
So my hat is off to Ken, for acknowledging the struggles of women like my mum, for being so freaking truly heroic in a society where shitbags like him are continually trying to blame all the evils and abuses and disadvantages on the world on them, and on the 364 days of the year when it’s not politic to praise them, basically calling them evil sluts, because they were given a choice and they chose.
Because that’s what Ken doesn’t really want us to focus on too much. It is fucking heroic to choose to continue your pregnancy in the face of all the shit you’ll get from people like him.
But being a mother becomes a lot less fucking heroic when there is no choice, when the whole fucking path to giving birth, from choosing when to have sex and with whom and choosing whether and how to use contraception and choosing whether or not to continue or terminate a resulting pregnancy is completely taken out of your fucking hands.
When people like Ken Orr win, the only heroism to be found is in just getting through your fucking life without spiralling into despair at the utter lack of autonomy or basic fucking dignity you are permitted, all on the basis of what some arrogant fucktard says God has condemned you to thanks to the configuration of your gonads.
Because here’s the thing, Ken:
What on God’s earth is more glorious than this: to be a mother.
Just one thing, mate: to CHOOSE to be a mother.***
*Which I’m sure Ken knows absolutely nothing about.
**Aided by having a stroppy feminist’s lack of compunction about telling little white lies to douchebag employers who ask kinda-illegal questions about whether she had children
***And end questions with question marks.
Well this nearly made me throw the computer out the window. Couldn’t quite figure out why at first. Was it the incredibly fake “appreciation” expressed toward kickass activist veteran Dr Dame Margaret Sparrow?* Was it the gobsmacking pretence that antichoicers and prochoicers just disagree in principle?**
Nah, it was almost certainly this sentence:
The commitment of this Society is founded on a deep respect for the inherent dignity of women who are invited by our Creator to share with him in bringing new life into the world.
But also, grazie, for really just illustrating how little you fucking care for women. They’re not mistresses of their own destiny, even when they plan and initiate and undergo pregnancy, they’re just helping God out with his greater plan for the species.
The rest is the usual utter pack of fucking lies. Women never really want to terminate pregnancies! (Oops.) Implication that prochoicers don’t care about coerced abortion! (Oops.) Baldfaced twisting of Dr Sparrow’s words to pretend that even the standing-down President of ALRANZ secretly agrees with them! Our laws were totally passed by people who cared about women and weren’t just throwing them a heavily-qualified bone to shut the bitches up!***
All definite signs of a movement driven by sincere ethical concerns, wouldn’t you agree?
*And how much do you reckon it pisses the antichoicers off that we’ve got a freaking Dame onside?
**Hint: one side is known for hacking websites, calling the other murderers, and killing their opponents. Probably not just an objective difference of opinion going on.
***Which is of course why our current fairly-accessible system is only working because of doctors willing to bend the letter of the law, of course. Which Right to Foetus Life want to stop.
Two out of three support informed consent on abortion
DPF’s “surprised” comment:
I asked a couple of female friends what they thought, as I was puzzled that more women said they supported a law effectively making it more difficult to have an abortion.
The actual poll question?
“Would you support a law that would require a woman considering an abortion to first see a doctor, who is not an abortion provider, to be informed of the medical risks and alternatives to abortion?”
Hmm. Something seems wrong with this picture. TO THE SLUTCAVE!
Your first hint might be that Family First (who have followed the Kiwi Party’s cue in wheeling out a spokeswoman when convenient) immediately state this in their press release:
“Family First NZ is calling for a law which requires informed consent including ultrasound for all potential abortions, and counselling to be provided only by non-providers of abortion services. Parental notification of teenage pregnancy and abortion should happen automatically except in exceptional circumstances approved by the court.”
That’s funny. The poll question didn’t mention any of those things. 1950s-style-Families First wouldn’t be just using a strangely-innocuous poll question to pretend there’s more support for their misogynist bullshit than there really is, would they?
As a sidenote, you’ve got to love that condition on parental notification. Circumstances approved by the court! Because a teen in the kind of situation where it’s in her best interests not to tell her parents she’s getting an abortion totally has time and resources to get a fucking court order without them knowing! “Honey, why do you have a court date to get an injunction against parental notification of an abortion? You’re not going to have an abortion, are you?” “No, possibly abusive parents, of course not!”
The poll also didn’t say anything about how this might make it harder for women to get abortions. Funny, because if DPF were so concerned maybe he could have counselled his clients about how they might not get accurate results with such an open-ended, not-considering-the-consequences question.
Let’s remember that in New Zealand, even women who get abortions often have no fucking idea at the outset how long and how stressful the process is. So it’s no fucking good to say “oh, I guess this majority of people just considered that forcing women to see yet another medical practitioner, in order to check that they do really want to undergo the medical procedure they’ve already had to see two medical practitioners whom they’ve had to convince to liberally interpret the law’s definition of “mental health” grounds in order to get permission to have.”
But that’s hardly the only problem with the question. “Seeing a doctor who is not an abortion provider” is a wonderful little dogwhistle, particularly common to US antichoicers, that somehow Planned Parenthood or Family Planning are just raaaaaaaaaking in the cash, that every Pweshus Embwyo’s life makes them miiiiiillions, that doctors just love facing daily harassment and even the threat of death in order to make the faaaaaaaaaaat dollaaaaaaaaaaaahs out of abortions.
You do realise they could just go into Botoxing women’s faces, right?
DPF’s open-mouthed innocence is brilliant, though:
One salient question I would pose on this issue is whether such a procedure would actually lead to some women not having an abortion due to “better” information, who do currently have an abortion – or would it just be an extra hassle and cost for every woman seeking an abortion, and not actually change anything.
“Salient question”, DPF? Do your clients know that you’re undermining their entire rationale for forcing women to undergo ultrasounds – i.e. “women are stupid and seeing da widdle handies and feeties (which the vast majority of aborted zefs won’t have anyway) will totes change their minds because they must just think they’re pregnant with guppies.”
And a little protip: “informed consent” is not the same fucking thing as “an antichoice doctor shoving a probe into your vagina and saying “look there’s a heartbeat, boy this little guy sure is energetic, and did we mention [insert antichoice lie of preference here]*”” … especially when there is no proof it will change someone’s mind.
And a final note: when antichoicers say “alternatives to abortion”, they mean “adoption“. Because apparently the alternative to not continuing a pregnancy you don’t want to continue is … continuing a pregnancy you don’t want to continue. Presumably as long as your baby is “healthy” and “normal” and white.
*My personal favourite is “you’ll die of breast cancer!!!” and right here I think it’s pretty salient to point out that no New Zealand woman has died due to an abortion since 1980. Out of over 380,000 abortions. Abortion? Safer than pregnancy. But you don’t see Family First arguing that we need to warn women about pre-eclampsia for their own good, that might interfere with The Breeding.
Bob McCoskrie needs to give fellow basement-dweller Ken Orr some lessons in media release structure. But his latest one is such a perfect example of antichoice bullshit it’s hard to pass up (even if it gets downright offensive at the end).
Right to Life supports legislation that recognises the humanity and personhood of the unborn child as a member of the human family that is endowed with an inalienable right to life and is deserving of respect and protection.
Firstly, dude, employ some fucking commas. Is the unborn babby the thing which is endowed (phwoar) or the “human family”, whatever the fuck that means?
Second, foetus =/= person.* And even if it were, no person has the right to occupy another’s body and live off their organs.** No actual “right to life” codified in any law I know of actually permits enslaving other people via biological hookup.
Right to Life believes that the majority of New Zealanders support protecting the right to life of unborn children.
I believe in fairies.
The killing of unborn children the weakest and most defenceless members of the human family in the womb, is a violation of the human rights of unborn children.
That would be those rights we’ve established no human, born or
undead unborn, have, right? But let’s never let the facts get in the way of trying to play people’s emotions with a string of irrelevant adjectives – after all, if you have to remind people that ickle babby feeetusses are Vulnerable and Weak and Helpless, you may have just acknowledged you’re on the losing side of this battle.
It is also a violation of the human rights of women who deserve respect and protection for their child in the womb.
Let’s take this to its logical conclusion, folks: women deserve respect so much that we have to take away their ability to choose to undergo a medical procedure. And
Right to Life Ken Orr and his boner respect women so much they think stubby-limbed fish-beings pweshus babbies take precedence over those women’s lives and desires and bodies.
The” right to choose” is a cruel lie,there is no human right that permits us to choose to kill another human being.
Except … that pregnancy can and does kill women. Pregnancy is in fact nine times more likely to kill a woman in New Zealand than an abortion. But because Ken respects
incubators women so much he thinks they should die in order that stubby fish-beings might live.
So … Ken thinks “unborn children” do have a right to life which necessitates killing living, breathing, thinking human people. I mean, ambulatory uteri.
You might think that’s a bit extreme, surely the antichoice movement understands that sometimes pregnancy can be really dangerous to women’s health, even fatal. Surely they’re reasonable enough to allow that some abortions are necessary to save women’s lives.
Oops, no. Mind you, that was a Catholic case, they’re a totes minor voice in the antichoice movement.
ALRANZ, the spokesman for a culture of death, with a national membership of less than 200, does not represent the views of women and ordinary New Zealanders, its proposal to decriminalise abortion is a threat to the wellbeing of women.
- ALRANZ is a person (specifically, a man)*** with a really cool single name, like Cher or Prince
- Ken Orr can’t convince anyone to come down to his basement to proofread his press releases
- “Women” and “ordinary New Zealanders” are distinct, separate groups in Right to Life’s world.
ALRANZ knows that before we can decriminalise abortion we must first deny the humanity of unborn children.
Wait for it …
The decriminalising of abortion would be a denial of the humanity and personhood of the unborn child.
Wait for it ….
The denial of the humanity of Negroes gave us slavery.
That’s just the appetizer …
The denial of the humanity of Jews gave us the Holocaust.
BOOM! Godwinned it!
Yep, the all-time classic Abortion Is Just Like The Holocaust argument. Which for a start ignores some pretty complex political and social considerations around the situation in 1930s Germany/Western Europe (hint: Hitler was not the only person who wasn’t too keen on Semitic folk) but also just reveals the basic weakness of the antichoice side: they have to resort to absurd emotive “arguments” designed to make people flinch and say “oh no that’s terrible!” instead of actually relying on fact, or logic, or, well, anything.
It’s also kind of hilariously ironic that Judaism is pretty down with the abortion rights, given that whole “first breath” test for personhood. Hilarious that is if Right to Bonerlife weren’t exploiting genocide to shock people into not thinking.
See, when you have to actually rely on the horrors of the Holocaust to win people over, because the actual reality of abortion isn’t good enough … you and your boner are pretty screwed, right?
Let’s not forget the slippery slope argument for good measure:
If today we allow the denial of the human rights of unborn children by the decriminalisation of abortion, which vulnerable section of our community will be next?
I’m thinking hipsters, or maybe people who still subscribe to the Sunday Star-Times. Oh, wait, except they’re all born, autonomous beings who aren’t using a woman’s breath, blood and organs to survive. Damn.
*Any antichoicers who want to prove this is all about controlling women by commenting about how “women bring it on themselves when they have sex” should feel absolutely welcome to do so.
**And doesn’t that just tell you plenty about Right to Bodysnatch’s worldview?
Nothing like being called “evil” to warm my heart on a freezing Wellington night.
But there’s something that keeps cropping up that I need to address.
It’s this notion:
Even women who believe in abortion would know down deep what they’re doing and try to block out that side of it.
Women are in denial, people (or the more common alternative, women don’t realise it’s a Baby(TM)).
Women just don’t know – or pretend not to know – that what’s growing inside them (and using their bodily resources and permanently altering their body and potentially damaging their health or even killing them) is a precious rosy-cheeked infant just waiting to compose symphonies and cure cancer.
Women, you see, are a bit thick.*
Maybe women do actually know It’s A Baby.
Maybe that’s why they want a fucking abortion.
Maybe that Baby is the result of rape. Maybe that Future Beethoven will forever connect her to an abuser and give him another weapon to use – heck, another victim. Maybe that Precious Life is going to kill her. Maybe that Gift From God is going to take resources and energy to raise which she can’t give – oh, and fuck off especially on this one, fundies, unless you have honestly never bitched about women getting welfare to raise the children you want to force them to have.
Maybe she really, really wants this child, has planned for this child, has prayed for this child, and there are complications which mean its life will be nasty brutish and short. Or she gets diagnosed with cancer and if she doesn’t get chemo they’ll both die. Or she has a family history of illness that she doesn’t want to pass on. Maybe this is the most fucking heartwrenching horrible decision she has ever made, and yes! Yes, spucwits, maybe she WILL regret it, and feel terrible, and hate herself, and feel like she thoroughly deserves the harsh judgment you so like to pretend you’re not passing out. And yeah, she probably doesn’t want to think about The Horror She Is Committing.
But she still knows it’s a fucking Baby(TM). She still knows it would, with time and frankly luck on the health front, be born and become an autonomous human being. She knows that by having an abortion she will stop that Innocent Potential from ever being fulfilled.
The only thing that is certain, when people start saying “women hide the truth from themselves” and “women need to understand It’s A Life Growing Inside Her [against her will]”? Is that those people think women are stupid and thus denying them choice is a-okay.
When women seek an abortion, they know they have a Baby(TM) growing inside them. They’d like it to stop. That’s why they want an abortion.
PS. Chris Trotter seems oddly defensive about me commenting on his post, with that whole “OH I AM SO HONOURED YOUR MAJESTY” shtick (oh man, don’t I qualify as a “Comrade”?). Dude, you quoted me. That’s how these Internets work.
And he still doesn’t understand this “numbers without context are meaningless” concept. Did y’all know that in the past two years my salary has doubled? Quick Chris! Draw conclusions about the economy and state of NZ workers’ rights without bothering to find out if it’s because I finished uni and changed jobs, that’d get in the way of soulful rhetorical questions!
Also (dammit woman, get some impulse control) apparently Chris’ post could not possibly contribute to stigmatizing abortion. This is because Chris is a pansy effeminate bitch, and in saying that I cannot possibly have contributed to societal discourse which devalues the non-masculine because society already does that.
PPS. I also love the way some people have reacted entirely predictably to my shits-and-giggles comment. It’s hard to pick what’s really funny about “abortion images” though; is it the obviously fake stories attached (the doctor put it in the microwave and drank it through a straw!!!)? Is it the way that a smudge of jelly really fails to make the antichoicers’ “it’s a BABY!!!! With feet and an appendix!” arguments? Is it the fact that, in the age of Saw movies, even real-looking gore doesn’t really pack a punch – thus revealing the images’ creators for the out-of-touch privileged old wankers they are?
*And isn’t it fucking amazing how yet again, the reactionary forces of privilege use the same bloody arguments in every single issue? See also, “fat people don’t realise they’re fat.” Because they live in basements, apparently, with no access to mass media.
First brought to my attention by No Right Turn and also covered at The Hand Mirror (both excellent posts, so go read them!) Steve Chadwick, Labour list MP and midwife, is proposing changes to our current abortion law.
ALRANZ has a good sum-up of why our abortion laws need to change. In short: if you’re a Kiwi woman, and you get pregnant, you don’t just get to say, “I don’t want to be pregnant any more”. Nope, you get to make your case to two “certifying consultants” who get to decide if you deserve to undergo a legal medical procedure, according to a list of criteria which doesn’t even include rape as a ground for approval.
Oh, it can be taken into consideration. Thank you so much, legislators of 1977, it means such a lot to women that the repercussions* of sexual assault are something that you need to convince two consultants to “take into consideration”.
NRT provides some very good context around why now is really a good time to be talking about this; THM encourages people to write to their elected representatives – and I do too, because you know who’s going to be writing en masse? The fundies.
But it’s a Sunday night and I’m really just up for some snark. Fortunately, the Herald obliges, as always.
A Labour MP has taken the controversial step of proposing a new law to legalise abortion on request for women up to 24 weeks into a pregnancy.
It’s a controversial step, of course, especially since:
The Abortion Supervisory Committee has repeatedly urged Parliament to review the Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act, which states the legal grounds for abortion, but MPs avoid the issue.
I see! It’s not controversial because the notion of treating women like they’re real people capable of making their own choices about their own body is terrifying to the Garth Georges of the world. It’s controversial because jeez, Steve, everyone else has done a perfectly fine job of prioritising “not rocking the boat” ahead of “sticking to their principles”, why do you have to go and ruin it?
As long as we can just keep pretending that only filthy sluts (who are apparently too dumb to realise that they can just keep the sprog and rake in The Fat Cash from The Beleaguered Taxpayer, right, trolls?) ever get abortions, not Good Girls, and anyway the law is working fine (okay, its wiggle room around “mental health” is being utilised as was completely predictable) … I mean, why do ya have to go and make us all actually acknowledge the reality of abortion, and think about women’s rights, and engage with actual issues that affect people’s lives? Can’t we just go back to stories about cute animals and Len Brown’s credit card bill, and not have to admit that really we just don’t give a shit about women’s health and rights?**
Before 24 weeks’ gestation, registered health practitioners could carry out an abortion at the patient’s request. It would be regulated like any other medical procedure.
Oh shit! Like any other medical procedure? But abortion isn’t a mere medical procedure! It’s a medical procedure that only nasty people who I don’t like to think about get!** It’s certainly not like an appendectomy, we don’t get to feel smug and superior about people who get appendectomies! And we can’t stick the appendix on billboards to shame people into doing what we want them to!
Abortion: it’s like any other medical procedure. Only for whores.
Sidenote: the current ad running on that article in the Herald is for an online bank tool. It’s motto is “take control now”. Just not of your fertility, hoydens!
The anti-abortion movement was swift to condemn the bill.
NO WAI. Quick, Herald, which antichoicer with an hilariously white-male name did you instantly ring for an inflammatory quote?
“If it came onto the floor of the House, we would fight it tooth and nail,” said Voice for Life Auckland president Bernard Moran.
… Well played, Herald. Well played. I wonder if Voice for Life actually has a membership, unlike Bob “Family First” McCoskrie.
But will Bernard live up to the standards expected of a true wingnut?
“The present law is a compromise to recognise that there is an unborn child, that there is a human person involved in this procedure.”
BERNARD DOES NOT DISAPPOINT. But you know, I have to agree with him. We DO need to remember that there is a human person involved in this procedure: SHE’S A WOMAN, AND SHE’S PREGNANT, AND SHE HAS A MOTHERFUCKING RIGHT TO DECIDE IF THAT STATE OF AFFAIRS CONTINUES.
Ahem. You know, it always fascinates me how the people who talk about the right to life, this incredibly important, vital concept, which is inalienable and universal and paramount to humanity … are quite happy to use words like compromise. Right to life! Every zygote is sacred! Except for rape zygotes, and incest zygotes, and definitely disabled zygotes. God doesn’t care about them.
Mrs Chadwick, citing United Nations data, said abortion was permitted on request in 67 per cent of developed countries. New Zealand attitudes had become more liberal than those reflected by current legislation.
You think? Shit, between then and now we even managed to come round to the idea that men shouldn’t rape their wives.
Delicious eye-rolling icing on the cake:
Prime Minister John Key did not answer Weekend Herald questions about the bill yesterday. Labour leader Phil Goff said he hadn’t given the matter much thought.
Two middle-aged white men don’t engage with the issue? Quelle bloody surprise.
I wish Steve Chadwick all the luck in the world on this one – she’s going to need it. Time to get my letter-writing on!
*I am sure it will escape no antichoicer’s notice that I use wonderfully clinical terms to describe the precious unborn potential Beethoven wunderkind iddle baybee. That’s because it actually just doesn’t matter, because unless you’re going to step up right now and offer me a 9 month lease on your kidneys? You’re a piece of shit misogynist.
**Antichoicers: this is a trap.
***It’s fascinating, as I write this, just HOW MUCH these arguments parallel the prostitution law reform “debate”.
After all, it’s not like incubators people women should possibly be aware of all their options. Not if a qualified professional licensed practitioner person with personal religious beliefs disagrees with one of those options, anyway.
That seems to be the basis of a legal challenge to new Medical Council guidelines which would force Good Christian Soldiers to Mercilessly Slaughter the Unborn – I’m sorry, they would
Well fuck. That’s terrible. I mean, forcing medical professionals to make a statement of fact about the existence of a medical procedure? I am aghast. Such an imposition! Such an inconvenience! It’s like those bastards at the Medical Council think these people trained to offer medical advice!
Deborah puts it with less snark:
[The subtext of this challenge] says that they will make moral decisions for their patients, because women can’t be trusted to make those moral decisions themselves.
Now wait. Maybe I’m jumping to conclusions, I mean, I’m not a doctor, obviously, I’m just a currently vacant uterus woman. Maybe this “abortion” thing is some kind of drastic procedure, involving expense and trauma and danger?
Well, maybe if you’re the person getting it, especially if you’re not blessed to live in a major metropolitan centre of NZ or if you find the prospect of having to justify your reproductive choices to not one but two consultants who, if you’re lucky, will interpret “mental health” widely and help you circumvent decades-old patriarchal bullshit.
Having to sit there and admit to a person in your medical care that yes, there is an option legally available which you personally would not choose? Cry me a fucking river.
And I’m speaking here as someone who went to a Catholic fucking high school. A high school where we were taught about contraception … and abortion.
And sure, our teacher stood at the front of the class and said “girls, I do not agree with abortion and the Church teaches that it’s wrong, and please don’t have sex and please don’t have abortions”, and sure other classes in my year got shown The Silent Scream (and were apparently so traumatized we didn’t get to see it), and sure the STD talk was accompanied with a “horrible infections you will get if your immune system is suppressed by AIDS” slideshow. So we’re not talking objective information here.
But we still knew what our options were. And when a few girls in my class were pregnant in the year following seventh form, and chose to have their babies, you know what? I know that they were able to choose to have their babies.
And they didn’t need some fucking self-righteous morality-pushing douche abusing the privilege of being a medical professional treating them like they couldn’t be trusted with autonomy over their own bodies.
H/T: The Hand Mirror
On the lighter side of things, Scott at Imperator Fish very nicely demonstrates why Jonathan “Concert FM is Radio Pyongyang with a harpsichord” Coleman’s suggestion that NatRad look at commercial sponsorship is a bad, bad, bad, bad thing.
ALRANZ now has a blog up at issues.co.nz. Pro-choice blogging is definitely something we need to see more of in the kiwiblogosphere; even with Right to Zygote Life threatening women’s access to healthcare as we speak, a lot of people just don’t think abortion is an “issue” in NZ.
Of course, the easiest way to let the pro-controlling-women’s-bodies crowd know that they are a dying people and we should let them pass would be to just have some clear, concrete legislation that throws out the whole “two certifying consultants” and their little bag of good-enough-reasons situation. To just give women abortion on demand. To have better, comprehensive sex education so a shitload of unplanned pregnancies don’t happen in the first place.
Hell, then we might not even need to put folate in everyone’s bread! But this is clearly Crazy Talk and I am just a mere woman who cannot be trusted with her own damn body; besides, with a Government that happily aligns itself with the Nonsensical Sentencing Trust we shall probably have to consider ourselves lucky if the High Court simply upholds the status quo.
Update: and now this has hit the blogosphere in force, there’s also a round-up of posts at The Hand Mirror, in addition to what I’ve garnered at the end of this post.
And it’s kind of, do-I-laugh-or-do-I-cry:
In a review of the workings of the Abortion Supervisory Committee, initiated by Right To Life New Zealand, Justice Forrest Miller said there was a reason to doubt the lawfulness of many abortions.
Here’s the deal in the liberal hippie communist paradise of the South Pacific, bastion of human rights and progressive thinking (see also Women’s Suffrage, Abyssinia, nukes, Georgina Beyer):