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Thank you, Guttmacher Institute!

1 Oct

“New study finds abortion DOES NOT cause mental health problems among adolescents.” The first thing I want to say is, I love you Guttmacher Institute. Thank you for providing comprehensive and factual information about abortion.

A summary of the report that was published last week on the Guttmacher website stated that teens who have abortions are no more likely to become depressed or have low self-esteem than their peers whose pregnancies do not end in abortion. This information comes from a piece written by Jocelyn T. Warren of Oregon State University called, “Do Depression and Low Self-Esteem Follow Abortion Among Adolescents? Evidence from a National Study”. The article will appear in the December issue of Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health and is currently available online.

I am ecstatic to read another study that confirms my beliefs and inherently helps the pro-choice movement, but I know that the antis will continue to lie and disseminate false information. I know that crisis pregnancy centers will still attempt to coerce young women who walk in the door to “choose life” by telling them that abortion causes breast cancer (another statement that is completely false). But I am not going to talk about the antis and their lies. I’m going to focus on the positive: this information supports pro-choice beliefs.

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A Battle for Our Rights, Caught on Camera

24 Aug

Last week I watched the new HBO documentary, 12th & Delaware. It documents two clinics located across the street from each other in Fort Pierce, FL. One is called A Woman’s World Medical Center and the other is called Pregnancy Care Center. A Woman’s World, opened in 1994, provides comprehensive reproductive services, including abortion. Pregnancy Care Center is a Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC), founded on “pro-life” ideas and does not provide birth control or any sort of comprehensive services. It was opened in 1999.

When I began to write about 12th & Delaware I didn’t know how to organize my thoughts. I tried different approaches and none of them sounded like anything more than a rant from an angry person. So I took a step back and thought about the film for a week. I also saved it on my boyfriend’s dvr in hopes that he would watch it. What helped me organize how I feel about it was explaining him why it is important to me that he watch it.

First I explained to him what it was about and why it’s important. Then I told him the problems with crisis pregnancy centers. I explained that they disguise themselves as women’s clinics that provide services related to pregnancy but they do not provide abortions. He looked at me and said, “okay, so what’s problem with that?” I went on to tell him that the big deal is that these CPCs lure (young) women through the door with signs that, for example, say “Pregnant? Need Help?” These messages give the idea that a pregnant woman could go into the clinic and receive the services they need or want, whether that be prenatal care, an abortion, adoption services, or other reproductive health services. I told him that this is not the case. CPCs do not perform abortions. Not only do they not perform abortions, they are extremely anti-aboriton and anti-choice. They believe that the only answer is to carry the pregnancy to full term. He understood what I was saying and seemed to have one of those ah-ha moments. I continued talking. I told him that these clinics scare me and in my opinion they are horrible. They lie to women who walk in looking for help and support and until recently they were not obligated to tell women upfront that abortion is not an option at their facility. I was upset and could have gone on forever but I stopped and he agreed to watch it.

The juxtaposition of the two clinics might have left some pro-choice viewers with something to be desired. There was not much focus on the pro-choice clinic. I definitely think that it is important to recognize the amazing work that the employees of Women’s World Medical (and the other clinics like it) do. The doctors and support staff that work at clinics that provide abortion services and comprehensive reproductive health services are heros in my eyes. But by highlighting the behavior of the employees of the CPC and the anti-choice protestors outside the pro-choice clinic, 12th & Delaware showed the closed minded, immoral, dishonest, dangerous, and harassing behavior of the pro-life movement.
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Bottom line: I refuse to have my rights taken away.

5 Apr

Bad news sucks. Let’s be honest, it’s hard to hear news about laws that deny access to abortion and make choice impossible.

When I read about the crusade to eliminate state insurance coverage for abortion care in states like North Carolina, Georgia, Colorado and Kansas it makes me angry. I wanted to scream when I found out that Stupak was adding anti-abortion language to the health care bill. He was trying to use abortion to stop health care from being passed which is just an asshole thing to do. The health care bill should not be about abortion.

The sad stories depress me and have made me cry. When I read about women who are forced to stay in abusive relationships because they are pregnant, have no options, and can’t afford to leave the situation, I am bewildered. No woman should ever have to remain pregnant if she doesn’t want to. But knowing that there are people out there who try day in and day out to block access to abortion inspires me to fight harder for choice.
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Why I Am Pro-Choice.

26 Mar

I am pro-choice because I believe that every person has the right to make decisions about their own body and life. Reading my fellow young women’s stories has empowered me to speak out about reproductive rights more than I ever have in my life.

I, like some of the other gang members, don’t have a moment or big story about why I am pro-choice. I haven’t had an abortion and I know very few women who have. But I have read stories about the tragedy that happens when a woman has no options.

The idea that someone else could make a decision for me that would affect the rest of my life makes my head spin.
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