A police officer, not a doctor, by her bed

In El Salvador, a nightmare I can’t even read about without quaking with fury.

Cristina Quintanilla was 18 years old in October 2004 when, seven months pregnant with her second child, she collapsed in pain on the floor of her family home. “I felt like I was choking, like I couldn’t breathe,” she says, shaking at the memory.

Quintanilla, who lives in San Miguel, El Salvador, fell unconscious and, bleeding heavily, was taken to hospital by her mother. When she woke up, dizzy from blood loss and anaesthetic, and having lost her child, she says she was startled to find a police officer, not a doctor, by her bed. [Read more...]

She did not have enough money to travel north

So let’s check in with the ACLU on the subject of religious interference with access to birth control. There’s Texas for instance…

Yesterday a federal appeals court upheld a Texas law that has left large parts of the state without an abortion provider. Women who already are struggling to pay rent and put food on the table for their families must now travel hundreds of miles to obtain abortion care. For many, the obstacles will be too burdensome to overcome.

For example, one woman in the Rio Grande Valley who showed up to her appointment the day the law took effect was devastated to learn that she could not have an abortion in her area. She was happily married with several children, but she could not afford another. In tears, she said that she did not have enough money to travel north and had no choice but to carry the pregnancy to term. [Read more...]

Nowhere to hide

Catherine Briggs of LifeSiteNews (yes, the anti-abortion site) seems to have missed the point of a certain fundraising campaign by a wide margin.

In the world of social media, instant news has become a way of life.  Thanks to Twitter and the diffusion of information at less than a moment’s speed, the DC Abortion Fund’s latest outrage has nowhere to hide.

In a move that can only be described as tasteless and sickening, the DC Abortion Fund has offered a gift of a coat-hanger pendant to anyone who signs up to donate $10 a month or more to their organization.

[Read more...]

Actual people with personalities, characters, wishes

A striking thing that Gilliel said in a comment on Greta’s post Having a Reasonable Debate About Abortion yesterday:

And here’s another thing that’s been driving my blood pressure up and I will bold the beginning so that people

READ THIS:

I have been pregnant three times which resulted in two kids. My first pregnancy turned Wahoonie-shaped around week ten and I needed an abortion (which is never counted as an abortion-abortion, but as a reasonable medical intervention because reasons. Probably because I suffered enough since I actually wanted to be pregnant very much). I had two wonderful kids afterwards.

To act as if the death of that embryo was somewhat comparable to one of my children, actual people with personalities, characters, wishes, likes, dislikes, a central nervous system, even breaking a bone, let alone dying is so deeply fucked-up and beyond belief offensive that I hardly have words for it.

Surely that’s right.

Parents mourn miscarriages of wanted pregnancies, of course, but they’re mourning a potential, not an actual, and there is a difference.

A chance to air their nostalgia

Emily Bazelon at Slate takes a look at some of the more…eccentric far-right arguments in the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood briefs against the Obamacare rule that employers must provide contraception coverage as part of their health care plans.

Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood, the companies whose suits the Supreme Court will hear later this month, have been careful to frame their objections narrowly. They’re not refusing to pay for all birth control. They just don’t want to fund “items” like the morning-after pill and the IUD, which they say effectively cause abortion by preventing a fertilized embryo from implanting in the uterus. Many scientists say that’s not true. But the companies are trying to take a limited, reasonable-minds-may-differ position. [Read more...]

A woman’s request for abortion cannot be treated as a lottery

In better news, however – on March 7 the Council of Europe’s Committee of Social Rights ruled that conscientious objection cannot stand in the way of women receiving the reproductive healthcare services guaranteed by Italian law.

The milestone decision on conscientious objection and abortion delivered by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Social Rights is welcomed by the International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPPF EN). IPPF EN lodged a collective complaint[1] against Italy which stated that the weak regulation of health personnel’s conscientious objection violates the right to health protection. IPPF EN is pleased to announce that the claim has been successful – and in time for Saturday 8th March, which is International Women’s Day.

The Committee’s decision supports the position held by IPPF EN, LAIGA and the Italian lawyers Marilisa D’ Amico and Benedetta Liberali. They clearly state that conscientious objection cannot stand in the way of women receiving the reproductive healthcare services guaranteed by Italian law. The Italian State is obliged to make sure women get access to abortion services – as and when required. “A woman’s request to abortion cannot be treated as a lottery, dependant on the luck of the patient, her wealth or where she lives,” saysVicky Claeys, the Regional Director of IPPF EN. [Read more...]

Abandoned by all medical staff

Why is it a problem when medical personnel are allowed to refuse to perform abortions because of their “sincere religious beliefs”? Well one reason – though only one – is cases like one that happened in Rome in October 2010.

Valentina Magnanti was forced to abort her dead foetus in a toilet in Rome’s Sandro Pertini hospital, abandoned by all medical staff and with only her husband to assist her. This is what can happen when medical staff are allowed to follow their “consciences” and refuse to participate in abortions. [Read more...]

Fighting for something we thought we had won

Thousands of people got together in Madrid today to voice their opposition to government plans to take away abortion rights.

Under pressure from the Catholic Church, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s conservative government announced on December 20 it would roll back a 2010 law that allows women to opt freely for abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.

The new law — yet to pass parliament, where the ruling People’s Party enjoys an absolute majority — would allow abortion only in cases of rape or a threat to the physical or psychological health of the mother.

Other than that, laydeez, tough shit – you’re stuck with it unless god sends you a miscarriage. No whining. It doesn’t matter if you’re poor and can’t afford it, if you’re in school and don’t feel ready to be a mother, if your husband or boyfriend just left you, if you just have absolutely no desire at all to have a child – you are stuck with it. If you don’t like it you should have plugged that sinful thing up with cement. [Read more...]