Around the Blogosphere
April 29, 2016
"Oklahoma finds an absurd new way to make it impossible to get an abortion," Bob Cesca, Salon: Cesca writes about recent personhood legislation at the state and federal level, noting that antiabortion-rights lawmakers likely will continue to propose such legislation "as time goes on, chiefly due to the fact that it's the ultimate anti-choice stab at ending legal abortions, while leading us closer to prosecuting women who retain control over their uteruses." Cesca highlights a recently passed bill (SB 1552) in Oklahoma "that would strip doctors who perform abortions of their medical licenses" with one limited exception: "cases of life-threatening complications for pregnant [women]." According to Cesca, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) is an abortion-rights opponent who likely will sign the legislation, "leaving only the courts to overturn it." Cesca adds, "It's unlikely that a legislative solution will present itself, either, since [liberal lawmakers] in Oklahoma ... [are] outnumbered two-to-one." Cesca notes that the bill, if enacted, "would completely ban abortion in the state." He touches on how the abortion rate has "dropped by nearly half over the last 20 years," in part because of "a menu of anti-choice laws on the books there," such as biased counseling requirements, a 24-hour mandatory delay before abortion, restrictions on abortion coverage, laws hindering a minor's access to abortion care and a 20-week abortion ban with limited exceptions. Cesca writes, "The new law waiting for Governor Fallin's signature is more clever than these since it doesn't outright ban abortions, but rather punishes doctors for 'unprofessional conduct,' according to the text of the bill. Put another way, it doesn't ban abortion, it just eliminates the facilities in which to have one." According to Cesca, laws similar to the Oklahoma legislation "are multiplying faster than they can be thwarted," particularly as conservative lawmakers at the state level "grow more successful and more unaccountable." He concludes, "And while they do, the window for prosecuting women and medical professionals will widen" (Cesca, Salon, 4/26).
What others are saying about abortion restrictions:
~ "How limiting women's access to birth control and abortions hurts the economy," Michele Gilman, The Conversation/Huffington Post blogs.
"Why I'm done shutting up about my abortion" Emily Krempholtz, Bustle: Nearly a year after receiving an abortion, Krempholtz writes about her experience and the fear that kept her quiet for so long. She states, "There was never a question in my mind whether I was making the right choice for me, and I will forever stand by that ... So why have I been so afraid to talk about it?" She notes, "Three out of 10 women will have had an abortion by age 45," but "[m]ost women who have terminated a pregnancy are reluctant to openly talk about it for many reasons, among them the fact that abortions are still considered so socially taboo that many of us fear backlash from friends and family (even those friends who might think of themselves as pro-choice)." Krempholtz writes that she felt lost for months following her abortion, adding that she would constantly see stories about the Planned Parenthood "'controversy'" that arose last summer following the release of misleading videos targeting the organization's fetal tissue donation program. She writes, "I felt unsafe in my own private world, and I felt that speaking out would incite a barrage of judgment." She wrote "I don't regret my abortion, but I do regret that I, a woman who usually has no trouble speaking her mind, and certainly no trouble publicly defending the pro-choice movement, am so afraid to speak of my own experience." She states, "I won't do it anymore," writing, "Having an abortion made me feel so alone, so afraid. But finally telling my friends made me realize I didn't have to be. Abortion stigma is designed to make us feel isolated, but we are not." She adds, "My abortion was the right decision for me, and I shouldn't have to defend that decision to anyone. I shouldn't have to talk about it -- my reasons, my situation, any of it -- if I don't want to, but I also should not be made to feel afraid of the consequences of speaking out" (Krempholtz, Bustle, 4/28).