Saturday, 6 October 2012

World War on Women

Women's rights are in peril again -- now in the UK too.

The new Minister for Women, Maria Miller, who has the gall to call herself 'a very modern feminist', wants to lower the legal abortion limit from 24 to 20 weeks.

Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May also back a reduction to 20 weeks.

And now the new Minister of Health, Jeremy Hunt, is going even further. He wants to lower the limit to 12 weeks.

Note that this Minister of Health backs homeopathy, or as a science blogger put it, 'he believes in magic'.

And of course there, as here, women's rights are considered a frippery, subject to a free fucking vote.

And there, as here, women's rights are always open for negotiation. Abortion came up in the 2010 election, not long after a similar reduction in the time limit was voted down in 2008 but only because Labour's deputy leader, Harriet Harman, whipped her party members, demonstrating again why people call her Harriet Hardwoman.

To add insult to injury, 40 Days of Harassment has slithered across the pond. Abortion clinics are under siege from Christian nutters, who learned from their USian counterparts.

This is at least the second year the UK has been invaded by clinic harassers. Last year I started following someone calling herself @40daysoftreats, who countered the fetus fetishists' efforts by encouraging people to bring treats for clinic workers and patients. Insults outside, Jammie Dodgers inside.

Natch, the Brits are appalled. There, as here, sane people watch what's going in the USian War on Women in slack-jawed wonder, thinking: 'That can't possibly happen here'.

Oh yeah?

The UK rightly prides itself on its abortion law. It's been legal there since 1967, albeit with some conditions.

Conditions that sane people would like to see liberalized, not CONservatized.

Viz, the first comment here by Josh Kutchinsky.
UK law should be brought in line with that of Canada in relation to abortion, i.e. repealed so as to decriminalise abortion.

I am more pro-life than many who usurp the name but not the meaning. I would provide good sex and relationships education. I would provide support and counselling. I would provide contraceptives and knowledge as to how to use them properly. This is how to reduce all abortions not just control some in order to increase the number of back street ones or encourage self administered procedures. Numbers of foetuses aborted would be reduced, number of women dying reduced, number of unwanted, malnourished, sick and dying children reduced. Respect for women as autonomous human beings to be treated with dignity and equality and not patronised and infantalised would be much increased. That's really pro-life.
Yep. That's what I would call pro-life too.

ADDED: A call to arms from a British blogger, who warns that anti-choice will win if pro-choicers aren't prepared. A lesson we've learned well in Canada,eh?


Anonymous said...

Doesn't the UK have real issues? Youth unemployment? Forcing seniors with i.e. Parkinsons' to "get a job"?

As much as I detest the attacks on women's rights in Canada, no way would I trade places with Americans or Europeans. The sky-fairy true believers have taken over their governments. Their addiction to forced births seems insatiable. Eternal vigilance, as tedious it is to fight the same battles over and over again is necessary.


the regina mom said...

There's a war on women

and the United Nations knows it, created the Convention
on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination
Against Women. CEDAW.

See, duh? It's true.
There's discrimination. Otherwise, why
do women make up 52% of the world's population
but own only 1% of its land.

There's a global war on women
but no one's talking about it, not really.
CEDAW's not working so well so the UN's shifted
to Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) to fight an msg headache
the size of which no one wants to believe.
Women world-wide living in poverty, violence, disease
targetted by goals to make change. Goals.

There's a war on women and it's happening in Canada, too
Mulroney and the boyz axed NAC, dissed
women's work for equality. Chretien kept it up. Cretin.
Chopped away at women's programs, goodbye
and hello Paul Martin, Minister of Finance
turned PM, carrying the axe for far too long.

There's a war on women
and now Harper's leading the charge.
No need for equality. Mandates
for feminism. Organizations which won significant rights --
Charter rights
reproductive choice
employment equity
same sex marriage --

There's a war on women
and it's happening here, in Saskatchewan, too.
Ah, but the NDP, they're different!
Not! Romanow, a lover of feminists
until elected, he tossed us aside
in favour of debt reduction, big biz,
derided us as too radical. Quietly
he called us feminazis. Calvert
closed Women's Sec, purging policy wonks
too Keynesian, catching headline praises
from Fraser's Institute, that rightwing think
tank the Harperites love.

There's a war on women
and it's right here and now
Wall won't appoint a woman
to be Reponsible for our status,
won't balance gender on Enterprise SK,
would rather men continue their war
leaving us in poverty, earning 70 cents on a dollar.
Wall would rather have his boyz
call us dumb bitches than do anything to help.

There's a war on women
and it's right here and now
It's in your face, if you dare open
your eyes to it.

There's a war on women
and we're standing up to it.
Proud. Together. How radical.

c. Bernadette Wagner

Beijing York said...

Nice one, Bernadette!

the regina mom said...

Thanks, Beijing. It could use some tighter images and tidying up, I think, but ya, there's something there.

e.a.f. said...

I really liked the column with the I'm pro life. It is what life needs to be.

Recently in the Comox Valley there was a demo by the compulsory pregnancy people. Some one got out of their car & asked them if they would take in unwanted children, provide money for them, etc. The anwer the person got was no to all of them. So these compulsory pregnancy people are only pro fetus, not pro life. If these people were actually pro life, in its true meaning, B.C. would not have the highest rate of child poverty in Canada for 8 consecutive years.

I have never considered people who were against abortion as pro life. they are people who want to impose their beliefs on others. These people do not have the right to determine what anybody does with their vagina or uterus.

I consider this anti abortionists the western version of the taliban. Their philosphy is similar, control women. At the age of 63 I still sit & wonder how it got to be this way & I still don't know. I do know I don't want things to return to what they were. We may not have come a long way, but we have come a bit of the distance. We still have a long way to travel. I doubt if I will live long enough to see the goal achieved, I can only hope.

Sixth Estate said...

"So these compulsory pregnancy people are only pro fetus, not pro life."

As George Carlin once put it, if you're pre-born you're fine, if you're pre-school, you're fucked.

What exactly is a "very modern feminist," anyways? You know, until pretty recently I would have said that one of the most annoying things I hear people tell me on a regular basis is "I'm not a feminist, but..." followed by something that is actually feminist. Very similar to "I hate unions, but," etc. etc.

But I think I have a new most annoying statement: "I'm a feminist but," followed by something that doesn't at first glance appear to be remotely concerned with women's rights.

fern hill said...

I guess a 'very modern feminist' is a Palin-esque anti-feminist.

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