Posts Tagged ‘Abortion’

Trigger warning; cissexist/binarist erasure, sexist rhetoric, discussion of reproductive coercion

Oh now this is encouraging. Not. The Government caving in to plans to reduce abortion rates by adding another layer of counselling. A lot hinges on the word ‘offer’ – is it being used to mean a service that is there if wanted, a compulsory ‘service’ or one that may as well be due to the level of throat-shoving people receive? However, I’m going to post independently of that – my personal opinion is the latter option, but I don’t know. And anyway, it doesn’t sound like the extra counselling would be from anyone good. I’m not the biggest expert on abortion issues (I’m staunchly pro-choice but don’t follow the discussion as much as I should because there’s often an unfortunate degree of erasure of uterus-having non-women), so I will probably miss a facet or two. EDIT – such as the demonisation of abortion providers implicit in the idea of trying to stop them doing the counselling.

So basically, boil this down to the bones and we get the claim that abortion-seekers (of any gender/s/non-gender/s, although no doubt the introducers of this are thinking purely in terms of ‘women’, sigh) need extra counselling, need to have the process slowed down, because they can’t be trusted to know what they want for their own body. Great. That really shows dedication to people’s welfare, doesn’t it? Ha ha. As if most of these abortion restrictions are even about welfare. They’re about control. They’re about asserting the power of the kyriarchally-privileged over the marginalised, about restricting the marginalised’s agency, about controlling them.

There’s this delightful quote from Dorries on the issue; “The abortion process is so fast – seven to 14 days. Women who do have doubts or niggles are on the other side before they have a chance to think it through. The majority may feel it’s fine but there are a growing number thinking it wasn’t what I wanted to do. As it gets faster and faster more women are falling off the edge. This is a women’s rights issue.”

Translation; Women don’t know what they want and are too emotional and weak to deal with things happening at this pace, they need everything slowed down for their tiny little ladybrains. Abortion is wrong and I’ve pulled some vague stats out of nowhere, and now I’m going to use emotive language and completely ignore the fact that there is a kyriarchal component to who is most likely to be pressured into aborting. And besides this, I’m incredibly cis privileged and will continue to erase the selves of anyone who might need an abortion who isn’t a woman.

We’ve seen so much of this stuff from the USA, and these ‘additional counselling’ things so often end up being barely disguised attempts to discourage abortion. There are people who get pressured into abortion, but that sort of thing is not the way to help. As for the people who choose it – their choices are valid. It’s their body, their choice.

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Holy shit. The NHS is totally failing the elderly. The anecdotal evidence for this can be found by speaking to many, many people (although it isn’t universal), but it’s now being officially recognised. I really don’t think that sporadic random-attack checks are quite cutting it, though, as a solution; yes, it’s better than nothing but it doesn’t really change the culture of care. ‘Care’ should mean exactly that. Any system claiming to look after people’s health needs to do so with compassion and respect, or they are working against their own purpose. I believe that socialised health care is a great good for all – as long as it actually lives up to the title of ‘health care.’

Oh woo. We get the chance to look at and comment on new legislation. Y’know, that would be a great thing if those comments were actually listened to. However, the Government hasn’t exactly shown itself to be very good at listening to criticism. Tell me, Coalition – just how many of us normal folks’ voices = the voice of one big-money conservative capitalist?

On tumblr, I’ve been seeing a frightening number of bills restricting the bodily autonomy of those with uteri (for example, H.R.358 ) coming from the USA. Dear American politicians – you’re being shitbags. You’re also failing at this ‘pro-life’ business since you’re quite prepared to authorise the killing of living, breathing, human beings, and don’t seem to care about people’s prospects once you’ve coerced their uterus-having parent to incubate them for nine months at all costs. And you know what could help reduce abortion rates? Sex education. Greater availability of contraceptives. Free health care. A functional welfare system. Know what doesn’t help reduce abortion rates? Restricting abortion. That just drives it underground and makes it utterly unsafe.

And I have been sadly deficient in saying this for quite a while; to everyone standing up for their freedoms, wherever you are in the world, I admire you and hope that your stand is successful.