After Tiller after nearly three years

Last night I watched After Tiller for the first time ever. I know, I know…I just haven’t been in the right mindset to watch it before now. I was pretty sure that what I was going to see was compassionate doctors and heartbreaking stories of fetal anomalies and clinic/provider harassment. Hard to choose that over Parks and Rec, Lost Girl and rewatching Buffy and…

Anyway, that’s pretty much what After Tiller was, so for someone who’s familiar with abortion care there weren’t a lot of surprises. WE KNOW why people seek third trimester abortions. WE KNOW that doctors and clinics are subjects of harassment. WE KNOW that the doctors who do this work are caring and compassionate human beings.

But there were a couple of takeaways for me, someone who is familiar with the previous facts:

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Talking Points from Planned Parenthood

As a Planned Parenthood volunteer, I have been impressed with the communication coming out of the volunteer coordinator’s office about the recent attacks on the organization. They have sent several emails out to us with offers to provide information about the attacks and reassurance about this organization that we support with our time, money and efforts. They’re doing their due diligence even though most of us – and the mainstream media – are moving rapidly away from this embarrassingly incompetent and transparent attempt to discredit Planned Parenthood.

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Speaking at MVUUF this Sunday

I – along with my partner in abortion advocacy, Niki – have been invited to speak at the Minnesota Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship church this Sunday. According to their website, we’re actually doing a sermon!


Well I’ll be.

As the sermon description implies, we’ll be talking about our experiences as clinic escorts and how to support access to abortion (although what happens on the sidewalk is not a picket line, and we escort for Whole Women’s Health, not Planned Parenthood…but close enough!) This is the second time that we’ll be doing this talk together; the first was for Minnesota Atheists and it appeared to be well received.

So I guess this weekend I’ll be putting on some Sunday finery and heading down to church to spread the good word. Whodathunk?

No You Can’t Refuse Service

Hey everybodyyyyyy!

I was jumping online to do a blog post about this convention that I’m attending this weekend, but it has to wait because I have to tell you about This Other Thing That Is Really Awesome!

H/T to Niki for pointing me in the direction of Michael Stone’s article Appeals Court Rules Pharmacies Cannot Cite Religion To Deny Medication

In Washington state it is no longer legal for pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for emergency contraception based on the justification that to do so would violate their deeply held religious belief that slutty women should literally bear the consequences of their sluttiness. Well, a clarification: These pharmacists can refuse to fill prescriptions… as long as they are on duty with a coworker who acknowledges that women are sentient life forms capable of making medical decisions about their own bodies, and who will fill the prescriptions.

This is huge! Not just for reproductive rights, but for putting a slight damper on the creep (tidal wave) of religion into public life and government.

Stone cites a statement by The Washington, D.C.-based Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty: “The government has no business punishing citizens solely because of their religious beliefs.”

No. If you refuse to provide professional assistance to someone because they don’t share your political beliefs, then you are the one who is doing the punishing.

And thanks to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this kind of petty-minded punishment is not going to be tolerated. Pharmacists no longer get to decide that they know better than the doctors who prescribe emergency contraception and the people who are choosing to take it. They no longer get to use their professional status as an opportunity to prostelytize and pass moral judgments that have very real consequences to their clients. They no longer get to be the gatekeepers of this type of medical care.

You know, at least in Washington state.

You’re f*ckin it up, Indiana

So I haven’t written about Purvi Patel yet. Or the spike in HIV cases. Or the RFRA. I think it’s party because I’ve been too numb and scared and bewildered and trying to grok what’s going on in Indiana. And across the country. Across my country. So let’s break up this overwhelming set of circumstances and take them in smaller bits. Today let’s talk about Purvi Patel.

For an explanation of who Purvi Patel is and the ordeal that she’s been put through, check out this article from The New York Times, Purvi Patel Could Be Just the Beginning.

Someone was just sentenced to 20 years in prison for aborting a fetus. This just happened in the United States of America, y’all. The first person in US history to be convicted of feticide for aborting her own pregnancy.

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Pregnancy Doesn’t Have To Be A Crisis

I just spent the last twenty minutes digging through the website of a “pregnancy and family resource center” located here in the Twin Cities. The organization that I was reading about looks like they have a pretty decent program, focusing on providing prenatal care, helping with getting medical insurance, providing physical resources (cribs, clothes, diapers, food, etc.), support groups, referrals to mental health programs and housing programs, and life skills and job skills training. Because you know where this is going, dear reader, there was of course the conspicuous lack of “abortion” or “pregnancy termination” referral in the many services that the group offers. I finally found the language I was looking for in one of the testimonial videos in which they advertise that they offer prayer and talk about “women in crisis.” [Read more…]

Local Lefty Liberal Progressive Hippie Things

I have two reading recommendations and one restaurant review for you from the land of spoon and cherry.

Robin Marty – Joining the Other Side

Robin Marty is an independent journalist, well-known for her articles on reproductive justice. She is based in Minnesota, the author of Crow After Roe, and she has recently published an article on Contributoria called Joining the Other Side. The article is about the week she spent in Washington D.C. this January observing the annual March for Life…ugh…celebration. She speaks about watching die-ins, clinic protests, panels and sharing drinks with anti-abortion activists like Jill Stanek and Troy Newman at after parties.  [Read more…]

Today in Pro-Lifers Annoy Me News

Did you hear about Oklahoma abortion doctor Naresh Patel who did some illegal, horrible things and was consequently investigated, arrested and had his medical license pulled? Yeah, so did every anti-abortion supporter and organization in the country. And boy are they gloating about that and using it as an excuse to rally the troops. They’re trying to paint Patel’s arrest as the turning of the tide, as a sign that Americans are starting to see that abortion is an arrest-worthy crime. [Read more…]


Today is the 42nd Anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. Between work, and planning for this weekend’s FTBConscience 3, and coincidentally, tonight’s last minute quasi-emergency drive to the OBGYN with a friend who just went through a miscarriage and subsequent evacuation – the same process as an abortion – two days ago (she’s doing just fine), I ran out of time to do the super-awesome post that I had planned to do on Doe v. Gomez.

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