Thursday, 25 July 2013

Beware the Mouthy Minority

This poll released today has USian fetus fetishists stoked.

While a majority -- 55% -- still think that abortion should be legal in all or most cases, that number is shrinking, down from 60% in 1995.

But what has the zygote zealots really revved is the answer to the time-limit question. As more and more states ban abortion past 20 weeks, the poll asks whether people support such a limit as opposed to the current 24 weeks.

A majority -- 56% -- prefer the lower limit.

OK. That is the Excited States where they are simply insane on the subject.

In Canada 94% of us think abortion should be legal in all or some cases according to a poll the National Post* and we reported on in July last year.

Some 60% of us also support the introduction of a law that places limits on when a woman can have an abortion, with an example: 'such as during the last trimester'.

Our fetus fetishists ignored the tiny minority who want to recriminalize abortion and instead cottoned onto that 60% as proof that a majority of Canadians are 'pro-life'. (Hint to FFs: I'd betcha that 99.99% of us are prolife, just not as you twist define it.)

What a majority of us are NOT is anti-choice. In fact, 49% believe that 'abortion should be permitted whenever a woman decides she wants one', in other words, 'on demand'.

By contrast,the new USian poll shows that only 20% of Merkins think that abortion should be legal 'in all cases'. Also, their nutbar fringe, as represented by the 'illegal in all cases' segment, is much bigger than ours at 15%. Oddly, though, a majority (54%) oppose making it more difficult for abortion clinics to function.

The state of abortion insanity in the US matters to us in Canada for two reasons: when their FFs get stoked, so do ours, and because we've still got a lot of work to do on access.

The NatPo* reported today on a new study on rural access in BC.

Bottom line: women in rural BC have way less access.

The author, Dr. Wendy Norman, said:
“What concerns us is that all surgical abortions in rural B.C. communities are performed in a hospital operating room setting, often under general anesthesia,” says Norman, one of the lead scientists on the Canadian Contraception Access Research Team (@cartgrac). “And half of the abortion providers reported difficulty booking time for abortion procedures due to conflict in operating room scheduling, or nurses or anesthesiologists who refuse to work with abortion cases.”
Bottom line there: Stigma and opposition.

But a hopeful note:
“One encouraging trend we noticed is that almost half of the rural cases are done medically, which is safe and affords women more privacy. This is much higher ratio than previously thought,” says Norman. “But we need to better educate women about this option as it is only available to women within the first seven weeks of pregnancy.”

As we've argued here repeatedly, medical abortion is the way of the future -- private, quick, and cheaper.

And now let's hear from the other coast, where there are significant barriers to women in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Again, there's access in St John's, but not so much elsewhere and the province does not cover all travel expenses.

Robin Whitaker argues that the procedure can and should be carried out in local clinics and doctor's office and medical abortion should be more widely available. But she points out that the preferable drug, RU486, is not approved in Canada.
In this province, RU486 could make early pregnancy termination locally accessible to many more women while saving public money. In addition to family doctors, there is no medical reason that these drugs could not be administered by nurse practitioners, midwives and even via telemedicine, provided that backup medical care was available. (It would also be vital to ensure that government did not download costs onto women by requiring them to pay for the drugs themselves.)
Our fetus fetishists will take anything a pandering CONservative government might offer: defunding, regulations based on spurious claims like sex-selective abortion, continued foot-dragging on the approval process for RU486.

In Ontario, panty-sniffer and amateur statistician, Patricia Maloney, is asking the courts to intervene in her quest for abortion statistics.

Make no mistake. Our fetus fetishists may be small in number, but they're LOUD and relentless. Right now they're sniffing some heady anti-choice emanations from the south.

And by SHRIEEEEKING and fomenting stigma, they have an undemocratically large influence on our private medical business.

Just look at what they're doing in the US with only 15% support.

Canadian women demand expanded, not restricted reproductive options.

*Fuck the National Post. They've just instituted a hit-and-miss paywall. Some stories I can read but can't get back to. Others have an immediate paywall. I'm not linking to them anymore and I apologize to readers of older posts that have links to them.


Jeri said...

Hi Fern! Yes, suddenly the US seems to have been overtaken by 12th Century religious zealots who think the universe revolves around the earth and women can't get pregnant if they're legitimately raped. In other words, they're stupid.

However, and this is a big however, our political system has been completely effed-up since 9/11 and the near collapse of the economy. People panicked and thought President Obama was going to turn things around in a couple of years. Those same people, a lot of them, don't really follow politics and are oblivious to Republican obstructionism, the fact that Republicans (especially at the State level) are responsible for most of the hateful legislation being rammed into place, and believe that they are getting unbiased news from the mainstream media - which, contrary to what the rightwing would have you believe, is skewed so far to the right that I consider it nothing but a platform for conservative Republicans at this point.

Anyway, my long-winded point is this: the 2010 midterms were a point where a lot of USian progressives and Democrats were disillusioned with their party and all of the concessions that had been made to Republicans, and the fact that Obama seemed a lot more conservative than we had hoped, and a bunch of them sat home on their asses and didn't bother to get out and vote. Instead, their counterparts, the far right fringe who were still smarting from not getting their way in '08, voted in a bunch of conservative Republicans and teabaggers at all levels of government. They have wreaked havoc ever since. However, their actions can no longer be blamed on Obama or the Democrats by even the most politically ignorant among us.

The interesting thing will be to see whether or not this has finally, finally lit the fire under the people who figured one party was just as bad as the other and there was no reason to really be engaged or vote. The midterms should be a Republican purge..... oh, please let it be a purge.

As far as polls go, I seldom pay any attention to them anymore, much like our Republican representatives. Poll after poll shows that a majority of Americans want the Affordable Healthcare Act (or Obamacare in mainstream mediaspeak), but Republicans will look you in the eye and tell you their constituents are against it (lie, in other words), and do everything in their power to go against all the polling data and the best interests of the country. So, polls here have lost much of their meaning.

fern hill said...

Hi, Jeri, thanks for that thoughtful comment.

Terrifyingly, Canada is headed in the same direction. People disengaged, thinking all politicians are the same. Voter turnout sinking fast.

We have Conservatives in power federally too. And with our fucked up system, these incompetents/thieves are running things with 39% of the popular vote.

They look us right in the eye and bold-face lie, too.

Unfortunately, we have a multi-party system, so voters who want to get rid of the Conservatives split their votes among the contenders and we wind up with a party only 39% support in charge.

Our 'opposition' parties will NOT cooperate to defeat the Cons, so this is likely to go on and on and on.

Polls here are not reliable any more either. There was a provincial election recently that every pollster got spectacularly wrong.

But -- Canada does consistently poll pro-choice by a wide margin. But we can't take our eye off that ball. We've seen what happens in your country.

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