A Shuttering Week To Be A Woman

There are dozens of platforms that are discussing women’s rights this week.

In today’s world, it appears as though history doesn’t just repeat itself, but it regresses with a vengeance.

Iowa just passed the most restrictive abortion bill to date, and it is terrifyingly likely that Governor Kim Reynolds will sign it into law.

This bill will ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, and keep in mind that most women don’t know they are pregnant until four to seven weeks after conception.

That means that this bill will practically stop the majority of women from having legal, safe abortions.

This doesn’t even begin to recognize the tremendous difficulty that comes with choosing whether or not to have a child.

But this bill removes a woman’s right to really think about what she wants.

In a lot of cases, it will give her a week at most to make an incredibly overwhelming choice.

But I suppose that’s the point, to prevent her from having said choice.

This bill is a direct attack on Roe v Wade and on the well-being and freedoms of women.

Let’s be perfectly clear, access to a safe abortion is being taken away, but abortions are going to happen one way or the other.

As I sat in my living room and read the news, I thought of Alan Sillitoe’s Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1958).

It is a British novel written when abortions were still illegal prior to the Abortion Act of 1967, which legalized the practice in the United Kingdom.

There is a character in the story, Brenda who ends up terminating her pregnancy by sitting in boiling water and drinking an entire bottle of gin.

I read this book during my semester abroad in London, and couldn’t help but scoff at how crazy it is that this character had to do something like this instead of receiving medical help.

But this wasn’t just a plot line in a novel, this really happened to women.

Pro-life advocates would argue that she should have brought the pregnancy to term.

But what they wont tell you, is that as soon as that child is born it really doesn’t matter to them what its quality of life will be.

I know that’s a biting accusation, but lets specify that statement with some statistics.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 16.9 million women lived in poverty in 2015.

Now, let’s look at the children: “14.5 million kids lived in poverty in 2015”, and guess what, 1 in 3 single mother families lived in poverty in 2015.

So now that we have focused in on the issue, let’s back up to this bill today.

Anti-abortionists think terminating pregnancy is immoral, but somehow, an inability for women to care for a child doesn’t influence the debate at all.

Those are the numbers with legal abortions, do we really want to see what happens if this bill passes?

This is a law for Iowa, so let’s just look at their numbers.

The Iowa Data Center published that in 2016, 36.6 percent of single women with children under the age of 18 live below the poverty line, and that their median annual income sits around $26,532.

The average child in a lower class home costs $12,350.

So every year, a single mother is allotted $14,182 to spend on astronomically high health insurance costs, rent, food, clothes, transportation, etc.

And that is if she only has one child.

This is not a bill fighting for human rights and morals, if it were the solution would be clear, give women free and safe access to birth control, pay them more, and let them decide for themselves if they want to have a child.

Brenda, in Sillitoe’s novel takes dangerous measures to save herself and a future child from a life ridden with problems, and millions of women without access to safe abortions could die every year because they are trying to save two individuals from a horrible life and are not given access to medical abortions.

A life matters, we can all agree on that, but we need to reach a consensus on the part of the word ‘life’ we are protecting here.

Measuring life by a heartbeat causes millions of children in one of the largest economies in the world to go starving on a daily basis.

Measuring life based on a family’s ability to provide for everyone in a healthy and livable way determines whether or not we are a country of immense struggle, or one with a unified ideal to give each American a decent quality of living.

So let’s do like Brenda and toss this bill in some boiling water and drink a bottle of gin to forget that there are people out there who care more about a fetus than a walking, talking child.

Cover Photo Credit: Steve Rainwater

Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas Abortion Law

The Supreme Court struck down a Texas abortion law Monday that advocates argued made it more difficult for women to receive an abortion. The court ruled the law placed an undue burden on women. The court’s opinion is available online here. Justice Stephen Breyer authored the court’s opinion. The court ruled 5-3. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg… Read More

I Run A Pro Life Blog And Am Sick Of The Hate Mail From So Called “Tolerant” People

In an age and generation where people as a whole seem so concerned about being tolerant and respectful of other people’s opinions-regardless of whether or not they agree with them-people very quickly forget about those former words of tolerance and love and become the very thing they seek to defeat.

I would know. I have been on the receiving end of it.

As the writer and the woman behind Pro-Life Female, a popular Tumblr blog that has now reached nearly 1,250 followers in the two years of its existence, I’m used to my fair share of criticism.

By the name alone, you can guess that my stance on abortion is on the conservative side- I am a Pro-life, conservative, Catholic young woman. All rarities, I know. Regardless, my blog-just like my faith and my opinions- are part of what make me who I am.

I come across words of encouragement every day- messages thanking me for using my voice to further the pro-life movement, messages from people who with my words, have had their hearts and minds changed on the subject of abortion.

I have had women who with my blog and through personal messages have been successful in stopping a friend from going through with an abortion.

I even get messages of support from people who do not necessarily agree with my stances on abortion or even with my religion, but respect the fact that I am respectful of others, and do not make people feel horrible and make them feel like they are evil for believing differently than I do.

But then, I also get the messages that would make anyone’s skin crawl.

The ones who try to seem cool or edgy because they believe their words will have such a life changing impact that anyone who reads them will go back and think to change the way they believe, or what they said.

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Such was my experience when I woke up one April morning to find a flurry of about 5 hateful messages, seemingly coming from only one person.

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“Please don’t reproduce, spare our gene pool of your misguided sense of justice & equality,” said the first.

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“Subjecting the unborn offspring and the mother to untold trauma by limiting their resource to legitimate practitioners of abortion is fucking oppressive and you are a cancer to our specie,” said the next.

The consecutive ones were even more aimed towards me than the others.

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“What if you were out one day, got raped and impregnated with a baby you didn’t planned for? God has a fucking plan for everyone? Fuck off with your bullshit sense of justice.”

“How stupid do you have to be to think it’s right to limit other people’s right to exercise choice just because you have a different fucking religious belief? Separation of church and state is a fundamental principal and pro-life & other bullshit ideals on conception have no place outside of the Catholic Church.”

Over the last two years, I had gotten more hate mail, though thankfully nothing as terrible as other like-minded bloggers have gotten; death threats, notes to kill themselves, wishes for rape and other horrific things to be put upon them-just because they hold different beliefs and are not afraid of expressing them.

Even amongst blogs who do not share the same views, hateful speech that is truly threatening to a person’s livelihood is everywhere, and it is time that we all took a stand against it.

In order to truly become a place where we practice what is preached and become more tolerant of other people’s beliefs, we need to be tolerant, not just say we are tolerant to make us sound enlightened.

We need to respect and cultivate a culture where Catholic and Atheist, Pro-Life and Pro-Choice, can engage in complete freedom of debate and in expressing their beliefs without wanting to pull steak knives at each other near the end of the conversation.

Of course, making these changes and advancing towards a more respectful and truly loving society will take time, and it won’t be easy.

But we have to make the effort to do so and practice the tolerance that we so preach and expect in this advanced society.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Terry Johnston/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Those Planned Parenthood Videos

On Monday, a grand jury indicted David Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress, and Sandra Merritt, a center employee, on felony charges of tampering with government documents and a misdemeanor charge related to purchasing human organs. The charges stem from the investigation surrounding the controversial Planned Parenthood videos that surfaced last summer. Marjorie Dannensfelser,… Read More

Supreme Court Scores Victory For Pro Choice Camp In Planned Parenthood Videos Saga

The Supreme Court just dealt a blow to the Center for Medical Progress, a California-based anti-abortion group that released a series of videos in which Planned Parenthood employees appear to discuss the sale of fetal tissue. David Daleiden, the pro-life auteur behind the videos, asked Justice Anthony Kennedy to block an order from a district judge…

Read More

Man At Virginia Commonwealth University Loses It Over Planned Parenthood Lies

The culture wars are alive and well on some college campuses across the United States.

This reality is documented by a video uploaded to Youtube this past Tuesday by Students for Life of America, which as you can imagine is an anti-abortion national student group.

In the 100 second long video titled, “#DontFundPP Tour: Virginia Commonwealth University”, a man on a bicycle is seen to get very upset at student anti-abortion organizers due to their apparent belief that Planned Parenthood traffics in the sale of fetal body parts.

That claim has been proven incredibly misleading at best.

It is not clear what provoked the man to begin screaming, but Students For Life Of America have an idea as fleshed out in a blog post on their site titled “Embracing some controversy this semester? #worthit”

“Upon one look at the #PPSellsBabyParts banner, he shouted that we were all liars and the videos were a hoax,” an unnamed regional coordinator for the group said. “There have been a number of other students claiming the videos are fake, but most students stop and take time to have a discussion.”

The unnamed regional coordinator went on:

“I patiently stood with copies of the forensic report in my hand while this man yelled in our faces interrupting every response we offered. I was also holding my four-month-old, Lucy, when another woman rushed over to stand in between him and the baby.”

60% of Americans want to maintain federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

You be the judge. Did the man go too far? Was he justified in the way he behaved? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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Cover Photo Credit: Screenshot of  Students for Life of America Video/ Youtube

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