Friday 25 January 2008

Celebrating 20 Years of Lawlessness

Twenty years ago today, Canada became the only country on the planet without a law on abortion.

Here, you can see an annual review of abortion law around the world.

Here is the page for Canada, which we reproduce in its entirety:


Canada has no abortion law.

Is this a good thing?

Let's let
Dr Jehu-Appiah of Ghana have the last word:

Despite Ghana having a more progressive law than many African countries, he believes there should be no law on abortion at all, following in the footsteps of countries like Canada where the maternal mortality rate is very low, "if we did not have a law restricting abortions we would be able to reduce this figure to zero." He added "a woman of 15-25 years old does not deserve to die just because she is pregnant."

(First published at Birth Pangs.)

Tuesday 22 January 2008

Blog for Choice

Thirty-five years ago, I was a 20-year-old hippie travelling through the US with my hippie boyfriend in a VW van. Life was pretty groovy. Like most 20-year-olds, I didn't have much historical sense. Events seemed to be unfolding as they should. Civil rights were on the march. The Merkin people seemed to be succeeding in protesting an unpopular war.

Then, women's rights took a leap forward with the USian Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision.


Thirty-five years later, women's rights in the US are going backwards.

Harvard puts out an annual review of the laws on abortion around the world. Scroll down to the United States there to view the state of play in the 50 states.

Parental notification laws. Extended wait times. Mandatory counselling. Mandatory ultrasounds.

And in an election year the word 'abortion' is on the lips of every slimey huckster seeking office. The less slimey merely want to 'reduce' the number of abortions. The truly scary theocrats want to outlaw abortion entirely and jail women who succeed in obtaining one.

(I won't even get into the creeping attack on contraception in general.)

While we at Birth Pangs stand in solidarity with our USian sisters, we sometimes despair. You've got a fuck of a long way to go yet, baby.

(First published at Birth Pangs.)

Thursday 17 January 2008

Offensive to Some Normal People

Today, two stories about normal people pushing back at the fetus fetishists.

From Wisconisn:

Peggy Bell didn’t know what to do with the tiny plastic fetus she received in the mail, so she recycled it.


She also got mad.

“I don’t care what literature you send me, but I just think they went too far,” said Bell, who sent the group a letter expressing her feelings. “I was offended. I think it was in poor taste.”

She found the plastic fetus in her mailbox Tuesday in a manila mailer addressed to “Resident.” The model of a roughly 2-inch fetus came with a card detailing the development of an 11- to 12-week-old “pre-born.”

Dave Obernderger, project chair for the Racine chapter of Wisconsin Right to Life, said people react to the issue with varying degrees of emotion, but his group meant the mailing to be informative not offensive.

“We hope that she and everybody else that has received the model that they take it in a positive way,” he said. “We meant it as an educational piece.”

Now, isn't it nice that the newspaper -- and a telly station -- thought this newsworthy?

The next story is closer to home, from Hamilton, Ontario:

The city has pulled a pro-life ad from its bus shelters after a handful of complaints.

Don Hull, the city's director of transit, said he made the call after a Westdale shelter was defaced with pro-choice graffiti early this week. His office has also received three complaints about the ads that went up Dec. 31.

"We don't think it's appropriate for that medium to be used for controversial community messaging," said Hull.

We at Birth Pangs will not reproduce the ad. Go to the Spectator link to see it. It shows a woman's very pregnant belly with this copy: '9 months. The length of time abortion is allowed in Canada. No medical reason needed.' At the bottom: 'Abortion. Have we gone too far?'

Councillor Brian McHattie said he asked for the ads to come down after his office heard from upset residents. "For me personally, it definitely was offensive."

These ads are part of a nationwide campaign maybe coming to your town too. Fredericton refused them.

Get ready to clutch your pearls and SHRRIEEEEEK to your councillors. And don't forget to call the local paper. :wink:

UPDATE: More ads pulled from public transit in Newfoundland.

(First published at Birth Pangs.)

Thursday 10 January 2008


We at Birth Pangs are pissed off. Looky here.

I believe that similar rhetoric, that attempts to trivialize pregnancy and the decision facing women considering an abortion, from those that support the Pro-Choice movement, is just as deplorable and does not help the movement in maintaining credibility and broad public support. What I find to be particularly disgusting is the use of the terms “fetus fetishists” and “fetus fetishizers”.

This follows a post from yesterday supporting choice, which starts like this:

As a male, whether to have an abortion is a decision that I will never be faced with. It is also a decision that I would hope no one would be faced with.

Were you surprised that this is a male writing? Nope, us neither.

Now, since we at Birth Pangs weren't named, we can't be absolutely sure that that finger is wagging our way. But we do use the terms 'fetus fetishist' and 'fetus fetishizing' and variants quite a bit here.

So, we thought we'd have a go at straightening this fellow out.

First, this fellow should be told that the authors at Birth Pangs have given birth to -- um, I ran out of fingers -- more than ten actual babies. In fact, the author of Why Stop at Alcohol? was actually preggers (and a little pissed off too, evidently) at the time of writing.

The author of this excoriation of forced abortion is a mother several times over.

Our infrequent author, but thankfully more frequent commenter, BLANCHE, is a mother and a grandmother.

And our often scathing, but often lyrical deBeauxOs is also a mother.

The present author, who took some exception to one woman a minute dying of pregnancy-related causes, while not a mother, considered abortion twice. And decided in favour of if both times.

An accusation of TRIVIALIZING pregnancy or abortion lobbed at us is a bit rich, yes?

He ends his little snit with this:

I wish to disassociate myself completely from the use of such terms.

Consider it done. (Can you believe the fucking arrogance? And this guy is on Progressive Bloggers? Go figger.)

(First published at Birth Pangs.)