Saturday, April 21, 2007

UK Abortion Rights Threatened. Or Not. Depending On Who You Listen To...

From Feminist Wire Daily News:

"Experts say that a healthcare crisis is imminent in the United Kingdom due to a growing number of doctors who are declining to provide abortion services, particularly to low-income women. Many healthcare providers fear that if the availability of safe and legal abortion services continues to decline, women will begin to turn to alternative and less-safe methods of ending their pregnancies.

While the UK Department of Heath has acknowledged that the number of doctors who are willing to provide abortion services is declining, it will not categorize this trend as something that could hinder women's access to abortion."

Well what a surprise. As if the DoH could care less.

My own personal experience of abortion can be summed up in a short paragraph: GP refuses abortion on NHS but recommends private clinic where abortion may be purchased for approximately two hundred pounds (in 1992). Client arrives at said clinic to find that GP is on board of directors at clinic. Work out for yourselves how humiliated and used client felt.

For all of our country's pride in the NHS and "reasonable" abortion rights, we still have a loooooong way to go before we get safe, free abortion on demand. If our primary abortion providers are declining at this rapid rate, we need to start asking why. What's behind this change? How can we best combat it? How may we help our low-income sisters in times of need?

Monday, April 16, 2007

Happy Monday!

Yes, I know I'm late today. I went shopping with my mother. Delightful. Let's get this week off to a belting start with some news about feminist activist successes last week...

Don Imus lost his job!! Woohoo! If you missed it, Imus is a radio host and last week he made some crappy and offensive comments on air about the women of the Rutgers University basketball team. Feminists got moving and campaigned like billy-o for Imus' sacking. They won. I almost can't believe it. But I do.

Portugal legalised abortion! Fanfriggingtastic! Up to ten weeks gestation, so it's still very limited, but it's a start. Other conditions may include: women may be shown an ultrasound of the fetus, they may be informed about adoption alternatives, and be educated about the various consequences of an abortion. There is to be a three day "reflection" period between deciding to terminate and going ahead with the procedure.

Portugal's previous abortion law was one of the most restrictive in Europe, only allowing abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy if the mother’s health was at risk and in cases of rape up to 16 weeks. CNN reports that the government hopes that this new law will prevent dangerous illegal abortions, which have killed and seriously injured over 10,000 Portuguese women each year. Well for goodness sakes, this news just made my week. Imagine how it feels to be a Portuguese woman today. Now spread that joy!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Oh. My. God.

I have been doing some digging around looking into this MRA idea. I keep seeing it. Keep bumping up against the pale opininons of these "activists" for men's rights. What do they want? What rights do they think they don't have? Well, my digging paid off big time when I hit on this site UK Men's Movement and finally got to understand what all this male angst is about.

I urge you to go there today. Read of the suffering. The pain. The centuries old struggle to maintain power over women. Read about how women live longer than men. Learn about the injustice of "women returners" courses at various colleges, where women who have taken time out of their careers to give birth and raise children are helped back into the workplace. Marvel that there is no equivalent course for men.

Be appalled at sexual harassment laws used "deliberately by women against men they wish to attack." Take umbrage with these men at the existence of "women only syndrome", where women get their own male-free hour at the swimming pool or library. Feel the rage that comes from knowing that there is, in the UK, a Minister for Women with no male equivalent. But above all that: think about, digest and understand the feelings of violation and degradation knowing that "circumcision on men is still allowed by law, while being a criminal offence on women." The horror.

Yes. Now I know all I needed to know. Men's Rights Activists are just not that bright. Go, read the whole thing. You'll get angry, you'll want to argue each and every point. You'll want to explain how and why these men are getting it wrong. You'll really want to explain the difference between circumcision and FGM. But after a while you'll settle down and wake up to the fact that you would be wasting your words. You'll slowly come to the knowledge that this is only a part of the overarching patriarchal society in which we radfems make our homes. You'll realise that this MRA crap isn't the new threat you thought it was, it's just the boisterous ramblings of a few angry men. We see and hear it every day in many forms. Get over it men, you're saying nothing new.