My entire blogging career -- if you can call something that doesn't pay a "career" -- has been conducted during the Dark Ages.
It started back at Birth Pangs, now sadly gone but snippets have been saved at the WayBack Machine (hours of fun!). Birth Pangs was focussed on reproductive rights just about exclusively.
We created DJ! in 2009. Our birthday was yesterday.
With DJ! we spread our focus, but I -- and deBeauxOs to a lesser extent -- stayed on the repro rights beat.
I've been thinking about what I want to do now that the Dark Ages are over and we don't have to remain constantly on guard for sneaky fuckery from Conservative misogynist nutbars.
I've decided to go on the offensive.
According to the fetus freaks, we now have the most "pro-abortion" PM EVAH! Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC) reckons the anti-choice brigade in the House of Commons has been halved, from 38% to 18% and ALL of them are in minority opposition.
The Liberals ran on some pretty big promises to women, specifically on abortion access.
I propose we not only hold the government to those promises but push for more.
Here is ARCC's list of demands.
• Enforce Canada Health Act against NB and PEI – i.e., arbitrate to resolve access/funding issues, and if the provinces still don’t comply, withhold federal transfer payments.
• To reduce abortion, fully fund most contraception through Medicare (the Pill, IUDs, Depo, emergency contraception, etc.).
• Increase number of hospitals that provide abortions outside major cities.
• Increase medical school training in abortion; provide continuing education in abortion techniques to existing doctors.
• Incentivize and support doctors to provide abortions in smaller communities.
• Prohibit so-called “conscientious objection” in reproductive healthcare, or at least require referrals and discipline doctors who disobey.
• Screen out anti-choice medical students before they enter the Family Planning program or Obstetrics/Gynecology specialty (inability to fulfill job requirements should make them ineligible).
To which I would add:
• Require comprehensive sex ed, including consent and gay and trans rights, in every publicly funded school.
• Regulate and license so-called Crisis Pregnancy Centres to ensure they are telling the truth and treating "clients" respectfully and responsibly. Shut them down if they don't.
• Create a media climate in which any reporter who goes to a fetus freak for a "balancing" comment on a proposal that should be judged on its own merits gets laughed out of the room.
• Crowdfund as necessary to bring suit against organizations and pundits that tell outrageous lies about sexual health and reproductive law.
Of course there are other important things on the feminist agenda that we will continue to work on, like violence against women, child care, equal pay, decriminalizing sex work, and so on.
But I think we have a historic opportunity to get this one done. Once and for all.
Canada is a pro-choice country. We have the chance to move our institutions, media, and culture to the point of no return. Where it will become simply unthinkable for anyone to question a woman's right to make her own decisions on her own life.
We can discredit, delegitimate, disrupt, and demoralize the anti-choicers so that only the most insane of them think it's worth their time to continue.
We can do this. And serve as a beacon of compassion and sanity to the world.