Category Archives: abortion

May 2, 2011, 11:01 am

Who Is On The Bus And Who Is Under It: Notes From Congress’s Global War On Women

Deny men health care in a political deal and see what happens!

Because it is April, and everything in university life has to be done in April even as the teaching commitments get jacked up to DEFCON 1, I am perpetually behind in my reading. So I didn’t get to Katha Pollitt’s excellent piece, “Women:  The Bus Rolls On” (The Nation, April 14 2011) until this morning.  In it, Pollitt points out that:

It’s getting awfully crowded underneath that bus. You know, the metaphorical one women keep getting thrown under, along with their rights, their health and their money. Women lost much of their insurance coverage for abortion during the fight over the healthcare reform bill last fall, but at least they got some good things out of it: coverage for millions of uninsured women, preventive care including breast and cervical cancer screenings, and a bar on refusing coverage for such pre-existing…

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September 17, 2010, 11:58 am

How To Prevent Abortions: Stop Pretending Teenagers Don’t Have Sex

Yesterday I was part of a Constitution Day celebration at the University of Connecticut – Storrs, in which three of us from the academic, activist and policy world were asked to focus on the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment ninety years ago. In one way or another, we all took the opportunity to connect women’s votes to a discussion of what it means for women to be full citizens, with equal rights to men across lines of class, race and region. One of the speakers, a founder of Shoreline Women’s Liberation, made the argument that debates over hot button social issues like abortion have become so polarized that, as feminists, we are left with few options about how to resolve them through rational debate. Inevitably, then, they become the stuff of power politics and embed themselves as wedge issues, allowing legislatures in places where conservatives dominate — Oklahoma, for example -…

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June 9, 2009, 1:05 pm

The Work That Euphemism Does: A Few Thoughts on the Recent History of Abortion

As I composed yesterday’s immoderate post on abortion, one of the things on my mind was that the various factions that loosely make up what we call conservatism’s “right wing” have won at least one battle in the culture war. Over the last twenty five years, anti-abortion lobbyists have succeeded in altering how we speak about abortion; in turn pro-abortion lobbyists have altered their political speech. Both strategies have had negative consequences for women’s right to terminate a pregnancy and have shaped the history of abortion through language. For example, I favor, unequivocally, the right of all women to choose whether or not they wish to bring a fetus to term. And yet the ideological space, and the language to speak in that space, has become severely limited since Roe v. Wade voided state restrictions on abortion in 1973.

In cruising websites yesterday to write my post, I…

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June 8, 2009, 2:03 pm

If President Obama Supports the Culture of Death, Then I Do Too


Those of you who do not get the New York Times may have missed the feature story describing the confusion and uncertainty abortion protesters in Wichita, KS have been afflicted with since the murder of Dr. George Tiller shut down all the women’s health clinics in the city.

“I don’t know what the future holds,” said Troy Newman, the president of Operation Rescue, one of the most well-known anti-abortion organizations. Seven years ago, Mr. Newman moved his organization’s national headquarters, its leaders and his family from Southern California to Wichita to focus a national spotlight on Dr. Tiller, whom he described as “the flagship” of the country’s abortion business.

“I think it’s too early to say what comes next,” he said.

Although Operation Rescue worked for years to close down Dr. Tiller’s clinic, his death was never the outcome Mr. Newman wished for, he said. Of …

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