38 Years Later

On this day 38 years ago, the Supreme Court decided the landmark case of Roe v. Wade, holding that women have a privacy interest in the decision whether to bring a pregnancy to term, and thus ending an era of back-alley unsafe and illegal abortions.  (LBJ also died on January 22, 1973, but that news was overshadowed by the Roe decision).

In the intervening four decades, the Court has limited its decision. Access to a full spectrum of reproductive health services, including abortion, is limited by geography and state laws.  Despite ongoing efforts by politicians, primarily Republicans, to further limit women’s access to abortion, 62% of Americans oppose overturning Roe. In fact, one out of three women in the United States will have an abortion at some point in her life.

The efforts to limit abortion also encompass contraception. Among the new legislation for consideration in Congress is a bill that would strip all federal funding for Planned Parenthood‘s more than 900 clinics nationwide that provide birth control, STD testing and treatment, and pap smears to more than a million low-income women every year. And yes, they provide medical (medication) and surgical abortions at some Planned Parenthood clinics, as well, but federal funds have not been used to pay for abortions for poor women since 1976.

Given the current composition of the Supreme Court, concerns about the future of Roe are not outlandish.  And as our Mistress Cynica accurately pointed out earlier this week in a discussion of corporations’ privacy rights:

I feel sure AT&T and other corporations have far more privacy rights than women who want to control their own reproductive choices.

[Previously on Stinque: Frothy Mix of Lube and Fecal Matter Plays a Very Smelly Race Card]

I am one of those “one in three,” and I have to say it’s one of the best decisions I ever made, for both of us.

@SFL: No, not too much. Glad you went there.

@JNOV: The annual convergence of Central Valley Roman Catholic churches on downtown Ess Eff happened today. For some reason the buses (almost all with the tell-tale 559 area code on the side of them) were dropping off the anti-choicers right at the Ferry Building during the height of Saturday Farmers’ Market. I was picking out some carrots, bok choy and beets at a stall when an old priest went staggering by carrying a four-foot-tall crucifix with 20-odd parishioners following him as they went to go pray at Justin Hermann Plaza. The middle-aged Asian guy from Salinas who was selling me the produce rolled his eyes as they passed.

I thought Catholics weren’t supposed to proselytize, but these Catholics were trying to talk to all the locals and tourists buying produce. (We were ignoring them).

@SanFranLefty: Ugh. In 11th grade, they showed us an abortion movie (full of aborted fetal parts). I started crying and they let me leave. When I was out in the hallway trying to compose myself, a nun and priest tried to get me to go with them to DC to protest AB. Thing was, while the movie was disturbing, I was still adamantly prochoice and a virgin.

I’m in the safe, legal and rare camp, as most prochoice people tend to be. We don’t focus enough on pregnancy prevention, and while teen pregnancies during the Clinton years were dropping, they are on the rise again.

I recently read about a Memphis school where teen pregnancy is on the rise. The school district says it’s because pregnant teens and teen mothers go to that particular school because it’s designed to help them while other Memphis high schools aren’t. Okay. But here’s the thing that stuck in my craw: They are instituting ANOTHER abstinence-only program to try to stem the tide. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Sorry, folks, but sex is fun (usually), feels great (usually), and once you start, it’s damn near impossible to stop.

Abstinence only. Why? People need to take their fucking heads out of the sand and realize that we (adults and teens) are sexual beings, and if we weren’t, we wouldn’t be here arguing about it.

In the 80’s when my older daughter was born Planned Parenthood had childbirth education classes, prenatal health counseling and childrearing classes. The ex and I took advantage of the excellent services.

I’ve mentioned that I am catholic previously but I will say that I am lot led by the nose on most issues. A lot of their bullshit really just pisses me off. Sitting in mass while my younger daughter was singing in the children’s choir a few weeks ago, there was a visiting priest from some church funded anti abortion group out of Phila Pa who gave the sermon and asked for donations. I really just wanted to walk out. I wish I had taken notes on the numbers of abortions that he claimed are performed in a month. The numbers just seemed so unreal, I don’t know how anyone could believe him. He railed against PP and asked parishoners to call their congressmen to get federal funding withdrawn. I feel that PP never gets credit for all of the other services they provide which far outweigh the abortion services. What they do for the community in general is why I support them through the United Way.

Sorry if my spacing is old fashioned.

@DElurker: Your spacing is fine. ETA: I think WordPress automatically fixes it for you.

Have you been following Dr. Kermit Gosnell? We have ties to his family, one of my relatives did his bookkeeping in the 80s, and I have tangential ties to the DA. I am flabbergasted by the whole thing.

And yes, PP was my first trip before I ever had sex. I had the pleasure of walking past a dude sitting at a card table holding a huge gory poster. Ugh. He looked pretty bored. And I was in my Catholic school uniform at the time. My blood pressure was so high, they made me sit for 30 minutes before they examined me. And they taught me about all sorts of BC options, how to properly use a condom, etc. They do good work.

Here in New Mexico, the archbishop of Santa Fe is giving the new GOP gov some heat over her plan to reinstate the death penalty. Word is that he refused to give her communion at the New Year’s Eve mass because she’s divorced and remarried, which the church basically says is the equivalent of adultery. Have not heard on what they’re planning on reproductive rights here, although the Gov wants to defund the state Commission on the Status of Women.

Ha! Ha! Getting an ad for “Pro-Life Checks.” I had no idea.

@DElurker: Political pressure inside a house of worship is what pisses me off. They’re effectively telling you how to vote.

Seems to me, once they start doing that they should lose their tax-exempt status.

(I’m so happy to get “edit” back!)

@DElurker: Thank you! My biggest issue is that there is this whole universe of people who have received services from a Planned Parenthood, but they’re in this crazy closet. It’s not just ladiez getting abortions. It’s guys like you getting parenting classes, or JNOV learning about condoms, or me learning about HPV. Unfortunately the crazee folks have scared a lot of us who have received excellent (and boring) mainstream services into a closet, so then the anti’s define the narrative in the media and it seems like there’s nothing but 30-week pregnant women going in to PP clinics for abortions to fit into their dress for the club.

That said, my first time I went in to a PP clinic, the one at 15th and K Streets N.W. in DC, much like JNOV there was this ass-hat middle aged fat white dude with fetus pictures sitting outside. He told me “Don’t kill your baby, mommy” as I went in. I came out 30 minutes later, weighed down with a pound of condoms and a scrip for a new type of birth control, and he said, “I hope you didn’t kill your baby” and according to a friend who witnessed it, I screamed, “No, you dumb ass, I got a pap smear and antibiotics and condoms but you don’t know what those are because nobody would ever fuck a freak like you!”

Good times.

@karen marie has her eyes tight shut: Yep. I wish I had the attention span or brains in law school to do tax law, because my dream would be to become IRS commissioner and start auditing all of those fucking “non-profit” churches…

I don’t go into closets for anyone. I do not have a problem with the church preaching against abortion to their own flock. What I don’t like is them targeting an organization like PP and organizing pickets outside the clinics. I do feel that their stance against birth control of any sort is stupid and in some instances, dangerous.

Regarding closets, another pet peeve is when priests make anti-gay comments from the pulpit. I wear pink or lavender shirts every time I go to church. If anyone says anything to me about the color I ask if they know it is the color of the triangles that gays had to wear in Nazi death camps.

@DElurker: The contraception opposition is what really gets me and what shows the true motives of the abortion opponents. Love that you wear pink or purple to church.
P.S. I wasn’t intending to imply that you were in the closet about the PP love – more a comment in general about how so many people have benefited from them but there’s somewhat of a stigma about admitting it.

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