Koman Ditches Planned Parenthood, Abandons Poor Women


Note: Koman has apologized and taken back their recent threat. But the fight is not over, and I have a follow up piece brewing. Until then, enjoy!

For those of you that do not know me, I think Planned Parenthood is awesome. But a lot of people out there do not share that opinion. They think that since a tiny portion of what Planned Parenthood does is related to helping women that need legal abortions, that PP should be burned to the ground and the fire victims left unmourned. I think those assholes should go to whatever hell they believe in, and let the rest of us live our lives as we see fit.

Recently, these wicked forces have been pressuring the Susan G. Koman for the Cure FoundationNPR breaks some of it down here. The Washington Post has some news here. Now, many have valid issues with the Koman Foundation, and  we are not going to debate those here and now. But overall, what they are doing is a Good Thing (TM). Until now. Now they are leaving poor and rural and black and brown women to fend for themselves else they face the PR Monster of the Forced Birth advocates. (No, I will not call them "pro life" because they only care about control of the uterus, not promoting life.)

arvan's picture

that time when I was 12 and forced to deal with abortion

My parents sent me to Catholic grade school, catechism and the whole nine yards.  My mother was Catholic but she was also a Democrat, pro women's rights.  She dragged us to church but she was not on board with a lot of the Church's ways.  My dad was Presbyterian and never went to church.  He didn't buy into much of the rah rah business.  But, Catholic school was where we went.

By the time I was 10, it felt like I had every sacrament except marriage & last rites.  I had one clip-on necktie and a drawer full of white shirts & black pants.  My instructors were nuns or priests.  I still have scars on my knuckles from steel tip rulers being applied in response to some hijinx or another.

Until about the age of 10 or 11, us kids were kind of like a room full of puppies.  Adults, nuns and priests mostly talked at us making announcements, scolding and instructions of some sort.  Nobody asked us what we thought.  We talked to each other in the schoolyard or on the weekend as we ran around on our own.  We never asked the nuns or priests that much either.  Nobody wanted to get pulled into some lecture about Jesus or some obscure holiday / saint / rite that we would then be responsible for remembering later.

That all changed around the time I was 12 or 13.  Maybe it was  because we were going to be leaving for high school in a couple of years, or perhaps it was the times we lived in.  Probably, it was because we were or I was now becoming aware of the world around us.  Our little brains were looking around the world and forming opinions and making choices.  That shit right there is like kryptonite in the Catholic Church, let me tell ya.

Jaded's picture

The (Othered) Woman In The Veranda

The past two weeks, the US-ian leaning feminist blogosphere has been on campaigns against the horrid and religious-state sanctioned policy on codifying when can one press charges for being ‘really’ raped; this way the State-Religious-Oligrachal system that embodies most US-ian policies, can re-define a person’s right to abortion, which in not so pleasant terms comes down to only when the State deigns the person to be ‘really’ raped¹. I don’t need caffeine in my system to conclude that this is one of the most heinous laws I’ve come across; I’d probably file it under the law that proposes to normalise a particular hijra body over another and above the one that anyone who is NotWhite needs to identify themselves and prove their ‘legitimacy’. Last week I was chatting with a self-proclaimed ‘White Feminist With More Privileges Than You Can Count’ when she said, “I’m just glad that abortion in India is legal and you don’t have to fight such basic human rights”; and these words haven’t left me. She’s not wrong, well not wholly anyway considering abortion laws out here are pretty diffident to encroaching on human rights — there are definite loopholes when it comes to trans*, hijra, ‘mentally unstable’ bodies — and that the Govt doesn’t seem to want to start an overt war over reproductive laws. Not yet anyway.

But, like most narratives seen only through the Western lens, this one is too simple too neat too easy to consume without challenging it. Under this narrative, our only challenge is access and the patriarchal control of female — queer identities get erased yet again, of course — bodies; but when we look at it theoretically, the law is in place to all protect the right of uterus-carriers at least. This assumption is all too familiar that all we have to fight against is Our Orthodox Culture, the age-old trope that if we have to be patronised ‘helped’ it is to ‘save the brown women from the brown men’ and that our ‘problems’ exist in this horribly restrictive frame only. Here, the Third World Woman’s body — quite literally — becomes a palimpsest to be written over, She is simply a medium through with competing discourses of Imperial Feminism and Irate Conservative-Nationalism represent their claims, yet again written over with words of other’s desires, other meanings.

James Turnbull's picture

Resisting the Criminalization of Abortion in South Korea

( Source )

Like Lindsay Lohan says, some stories do indeed keep on growing. And the more I’ve learned about abortion in recent weeks, the more certain I am that if it doesn’t become a hot political issue for Lee Myung-bak in the remaining years of his presidency, then it certainly will be if not addressed by his successor.

Not so much because Koreans feel strongly about the issue itself however. Rather, because this is the same president that despite campaign promises not to, immediately tried to abolish the (then) Ministry of Gender Equality for instance. And also, because a year later, he encouraged targeting women for mass layoffs as a solution to the financial crisis.

Criminalizing abortion simply in order to increase the birthrate rate then, is really part and parcel of a wider mentality that is fundamentally failing to get to grips with women’s entrenched inequality here. And perhaps could come be the symbol and/or catalyst for later volatile protests about any number of related issues, much like those in 2008 were never really simply about imported beef.

James Turnbull's picture

Newsflash: Korean Doctor Sent to Jail for Performing Abortion, Korean Woman Fined for Planning to Have One


( Source: Dramabeans )

Yes, those really did happen in the last couple of months.

Perhaps it was naive of me to be so shocked and surprised however? After all, according to the Korea Herald, “about 30 [doctors] have been brought to the court over the past 5 years, mostly resulting in probation or fines”, so presumably this latest case technically isn’t the first time a Korean doctor has been incarcerated for performing an abortion (for 1 year, with probation for 2 years). And then the Lee Myung-bak Administration did signal it would begin enforcing Korea’s long-ignored abortion laws over a year ago too, in a vain and wholly misguided effort to increase the record-low birthrate, so prosecutions had to emerge sooner or later.

Still, I’d be surprised if this wasn’t the first time a pregnant woman has been fined for just planning an abortion, and according to the law she could even face having her baby in jail herself if she tries again. And the fact that she was charged as a result of her husband informing the police? It sounds positively Dickensian.

Seriously, is he physically confining her to their home as I type this? Is she still allowed to divorce him, or has she been stripped of that right too?

My second surprise was that, yet again, I didn’t actually learn of this important news via any English-language media, but rather via the following humble-looking video passed on to me by my Facebook friend Mee-young Cherry, who in turn found it via her friend Heejung Paik of Gwangju Womenlink (광주여성민우회). Simply a very brief overview of Korean’s draconian abortion laws in the global context rather than a discussion of the cases themselves though, I’ve just translated those parts relevant to Korea below:

LaPrincipessa's picture

2010 Midterm Elections - Repro Rights Severely Threatened if Pro-Choice Don't GOTV

I shouldn't be blogging tonight, being that I have a midterm in the morning and a test on Wednesday and project due Thursday and a paper due .... Okay, I'll save you the gory details.  Point is, I saw this picture and couldn't help but think, "gee, we certainly don't want the right to choose to go away".

But you know what? The right to have an abortion is being efficiently chipped away, one local law at a time; one legislative session at a time.

The laws that have passed in the previous two years alone have set back abortion rights-a legal medical procedure, by the way- to levels that American women have never seen. Although it is still technically a constitutional right of women to obtain this legal medical service within the privacy of their physician's office; the anti-choice activism, money, support, and laws surrounding that legal medical procedure have made it more difficult than ever to actually obtain said legal medical procedure.

Waiting periodsfetal pain laws;  religious harassment on account of the "unborn";  slut shaming; political posturing; laws, both federal and state/local banning medicaid from funding this legal medical procedure; mandatory ultrasounds; states rescinding funds; rising costs; and lack of access as more and more clinics are shutting down, particularly in rural areas. 

If not one of these links make you mad, makes you think your right to make reproductive decisions for yourself or ability  to obtain a legal medical procedure  is jeopardized, then perhaps you should remove your head from the sand.

During these midterm elections, it is easy to say that we'll just get involved next time, maybe when there is a President to elect. But many of the popular and media-darling candidates on this year's tickets across the country are radically against abortion, women's rights, and a woman's right to chose. Find out which candidate this is in your district or state and DO NOT VOTE for her/him.

In order to keep what little reproductive rights women have today, we  must vote and vote for the candidate that supports our right to chose.

LaPrincipessa | Email | Twitter

(Posted at Women Undefined)

arvan's picture

In Russia, Illegal Abortion Widespread

(Posted at NEWW-Polska)

Every year 1.2 million Russian women deliberately terminate pregnancy and 30,000 of them become sterile, many from the estimated 180,000 illegal abortions.

Russian law permits abortions up to the 12th week of pregnancy. If the future mother is suffering from tuberculosis or mental illness she is permitted to terminate a pregnancy later than 12 weeks.

There is also a variety of social factors, which permit women to commit an abortion up to the 22nd week of pregnancy, including rape, imprisonment and poverty, and death or severe disability of the husband.

Nonetheless, Illegal abortion is widespread in Russia - unofficial estimates say 10-15% of the total, or up to 180,000 terminations.

arvan's picture

To the Oklahoma Lawmakers: A poem about the impact of morality

A very powerful poem, read by Lauren Zuniga and directed to the oppressive, hypocritical and destructive anti-abortion laws recently passed in Oklahoma.

(h/t Her Authority)

LaPrincipessa's picture

Mandated Health Procedure Enacted in Oklahoma

"Socialized medicine", "death panels", "government mandated health care" . During the year long debate over health insurance reform, that worked to provide coverage for millions of Americans and stem rising insurance rates and global billing charges from medical providers, many political observers heard virtually all opponents (mostly conservatives and Republicans) of the legislation repeat ad nauseum those talking points.

You would think the veracity with which opponents fought a "government mandate" would mean they actually fucking mean it. Turns out, they don't.

Last week the Oklahoma legislature passed a series of bills that would mandate doctor's providing a legal medical procedure to precede said medical procedure with a vaginal ultrasound , you know so the women would have "all the information they need to make an informed decision" . Another bill also protects doctors from revealing all there is to know about the fetus, because the physician could have bad news like the fetus has severe deformations. Both were vetoed by the state's Democratic governor. Sadly, the legislature overrode that veto by a hefty margin to make these bills law.

If mandating an invasive ultrasound prior to a legal medical procedure isn't government mandated health care , then what is? It sure is fuck isn't me getting a cheaper premium on my Kaiser health care insurance. It sure is fuck isn't getting my son health care and free lunch at school.

Oklahoma's Republican dominated legislature ( and some Democratic members) has proven quick obviously that they don't care about women or women's rights. In my opinion, this bill is a mandate to rape women seeking a legal medical procedure. I am sick and livid.

LaPrincipessa | Twitter | Email

(Posted at Women Undefined)

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