via abortiongang: Transgender and Choice: Can We Start a Conversation?

The language of the last reproductive justice wave was about women, “women’s health,” “women’s needs,” and “women’s rights,” and with good reason, but it is becoming increasingly apparent that that language is exclusionary – too exclusionary, to my mind, for the movement I hope to be a part of building. We’ve had the start of this conversation several times on this blog. Women are no longer the only ones who get pregnant. Many people now can and do get pregnant who do not identify as women. This war on reproductive justice may in many ways still be the “war on women” it is often referred to as, given the narrow gender identities the antichoice community too often ascribes to, but it is not only a war on women when so many people suffer in a silence imposed by language and many kinds of violence.

How do we make prochoice about more than the gender binary? How do we work with language? How do we do direct outreach, how do we make clinics and doctor’s offices and family planning centers truly safe spaces?


Making it clear that I don’t believe it’s anyone’s responsibility to teach/inform, I’d be really excited to see where this conversation goes. More than that, it’s going to require research, and active learning, rather than waiting for someone else to come teach those of us still ignorant on the subject.

Oh yeah, and hopefully this means I’m back on a more regular basis.


signal boost: Maddow on South Dakota’s Anti-Choice Crisis

Rachel Maddow’s Monday show had a segment on South Dakota’s new anti-choice laws and proposals that have explicitly made it near impossible for women to exercise their own rights to their own bodies. I highly recommend watching the entire segment here (the show’s transcript here – search for part that says “In South Dakota…”).

She did a great job of highlighting the worst parts of the laws against choice here. All emphasis made here is mine:

In South Dakota, there‘s only one abortion provider, operating in one corner of the state.  And there‘s not a doctor working there every day.  Typically, it‘s just once a week.  So, once a week, a woman can go to this one place, to this one Planned Parenthood clinic, in this one part of the state, to get their women off and drive seven or eight hours one way to get there.

When a woman arrives, if she wants access to this supposedly constitutionally protected right, first, she has to sit through an anti-abortion lecture written by the state legislature.  She is required by South Dakota law when she arrives at this clinic to be given a lecture that is designed to talk her out of her decision.  The lecture will include her being shown a booklet on fetal development and shown information on a state Web site that directs her to so-called crisis pregnancy centers that are also going to try to talk her out of getting an abortion.

Then, after the state-mandated politician scripted lecture, she has to wait 24 hours before the procedure can actually be provided…Once the 24-hour waiting period is up, the doctor is required to offer the woman a medically unnecessary sonogram and to record her response to that offer in her medical records.  Then, it‘s time for another state-mandated lecture written by politicians.

The doctor is required by South Dakota law to read her an anti-abortion script that includes a laundry list of medically dubious or scientifically disputed claims about the health risks of abortion, at least one of which has essentially been suspended pending the outcome of a lawsuit.  Then, after that, she is required to sit and wait after that lecture for two more hours.  Only after that can a woman in South Dakota have access to abortion services.

That‘s the law in South Dakota right now…And, remember, that doctor‘s only there once a week.  So, time it out wisely.

Maddow went on to give information on the new laws signed in by the governor in March:

However, on March 22nd, South Dakota‘s Republican governor, Dennis Daugaard, signed into law what is probably the most creatively draconian anti-abortion law in the country.  Under this new law, there is a new three-day waiting period between when the woman first meets with the doctor and when she can get an abortion.


The new law doesn‘t just extend the waiting period to three days.  It tells women what they have to do with that time.  Get this, under the new law, during the time in between the first state-mandated scripted lecture and the second state-mandated scripted lecture and putting her decision whether or not to have a medically unnecessary ultrasound in her permanent medical records, during the new 72-hour waiting period between all of those obstacles, a woman seeking an abortion will be forced by the state to visit a so-called crisis pregnancy center, where she will be lectured at by anti-abortion activists about why she should not be having an abortion.

Crisis pregnancy centers are not health centers.  They are not counseling centers.  They‘re not medical in any way.  They‘re, generally speaking, anti-abortion organizations run by anti-abortion activists whose mission is to stop people from having abortions.


South Dakota‘s attorney general refusing to clarify to the “Argus Leader” whether abortions would be prohibited if no pregnancy center registers with the state, saying, quote, “We plan on addressing only the issues that arise and become an actually controversy.”

I would very much like to see what counts as an actual controversy in South Dakota these days.

Monday Linkspam

In Brazil, blacks live six years less than the white population || Brasil Defato
The life expectancy of the black population – made up of blacks and browns – is 67 years in Brazil. According to the Annual Report on Social Inequalities, this time is lower than that recorded among whites, who live 73 years on average. The survey was conducted by the Center for Population Studies, Unicamp, and published by the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) on Tuesday (19).

What Voting and Fetal Pain Laws Have in Common || Abortion Gang
The list of absurd laws goes on: South Dakota has a new law that forces women to wait 3 days before having an abortion and Indiana even has a bill working its way up to the governor that would force doctors to tell women in writing that abortion causes cancer (yet there is medical no link between the two).  Abortions cause cancer the same way voting causes cancer: it doesn’t.

Standardizing Sizing || Feministe
It would be nice if women’s clothes, like men’s, were sized in inches and were fairly standard; it would also be nice if so much value weren’t assigned to the size on your pants tag.

ABW’s The Tyler Perry Project || Angry Black Woman
Really, Tyler Perry? Is that what your movies are about? You could have fooled me, because from the small sliver I’ve seen in passing or been forced to watch by my family members (who have unfortunate bad taste), I haven’t seen much that’s spiritually uplifting or been imparted any wisdom that might make my life better. Perhaps it’s because I have not sat down and watched any of these films in full that I’m not experiencing the full effects…I will watch every movie made by this man in an attempt to offer critical analysis based on actual experience and viewing. As I watch each, I’ll liveblog it, then I’ll write up my thoughts after it’s over and I’ve had time to settle.

Women are Wild Animals; Men are Hunters || Sociological Images
Dmitriy T.M. sent in another example, via Jezebel, of the use of hunting as a metaphor for dating/attaining sex with women.  The metaphor portrays men as predators and women as prey,  suggesting that women are inherently unwilling and men inherently deceitful, coercive, and aggressive.

A Year After SB 1070, the Deportation Pipeline Still Begins in Washington || Colorlines
For the last year, the country’s stare has focused on Arizona as it has vied for most fantastically anti-immigrant state in the country. This month, that designation has shifted to Georgia, and the fight is on to ensure that it’s the last place where this show unfolds. But whether or not the SB 1070 wave has finally crested, little will change unless immigration policy changes at the federal level, where the ultimate the power lies.

Five Different Types Of Racism Explained || Angry Black Woman
She argues that there are five main types of racism, each equally as detrimental as the next: Aware/Blatant Racism, Aware/Covert Racism,Unaware/Unintentional Racism, Unaware/Self-Righteous Racism, Internalized Racism.

#FeministFriday Week-End Linkspam

I’ve been reading:

All links archived at theramblingfeminist@delicious!

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