In Memoriam

Jun. 1st, 2009 05:13 pm
morgan_dhu: (Default)

David Gunn, March 10, 1993, Pensakola Florida
George Patterson, August 21, 1993, Mobile, Alabama
John Britton, June 29, 1994, Pensacola, Florida
James Barrett, June 29, 1994, Pensacola, Florida
Shannon Lowney, December 30, 1994, Brookline, Massachusetts
Lee Ann Nichols, December 30, 1994, Brookline, Massachusetts
Robert Sanderson, January 29, 1998, Birmingham, Alabama
Barnett Slepian, October 23, 1998, Amherst, New York
Steven Rogers, July 16, 2001, Melbourne, Australia
George Tiller, May 31, 2009, Witchita, Kansas

These women and men were murdered by anti-abortion terrorists because they offered, supported and defended reproductive choice. In addition, there have been over a dozen attempted murders, hundreds of assaults and hundreds of arsons, bombings and major acts of vandalism, primarily in the U.S., but also in Canada and Australia. In the face of these acts of terror, the people who continue to provide abortion services, and those who protect them, their clients, and their offices and clinics are nothing short of heroes.

Lest the sacrifice of those who have died and the courage and dedication of those who continue to face the threat of violence in order to provide this necessary medical service be in vain…

Support reproductive choice.
The decision to have an abortion is a personal decision between client and doctor.
The state has no place in the uteri of the nation.

morgan_dhu: (Default)

... there's not a lot of good news among the various local ballot measures that I was able to easily find information on. I don't know if these are just the high-profile measures, or how many others there might have been.

In Arizona, a ban on same-sex marriage passed.

In Arkansas, a ban on adoption by same-sex couples passed.

In California, Proposition 8 passed, taking away the right of same-sex couples to marry, a right declared constitutional by the state supreme court.

In California, a law requiring a physician to inform the parents or guardian of a minor 48 hours before performing an abortion also passed.

In Colorado, a law defining human life as beginning at conception (thus effectively banning abortion) passed.

In Florida, a ban on same-sex marriage passed.

In Nebraska, affirmative action was declared unconstitutional.

In South Dakota, serious limits were enacted on the right to a medical abortion (it will now be legal only if the patient's life or health is at risk, or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, and then only in the first 20 weeks.

Edit: Looks like the news was better than it appeared when I wrote this last night: the anti-choice initiatives in California, Colorado and South Dakota failed when all the votes were in. Thanks to [personal profile] lawlesslawyer and [personal profile] lavendertook for clueing me in on the good news on the pro-choice fronts.

Alas, as [personal profile] lawlesslawyer points out below, it appears that a majority of voters in the U.S. still don't get it that queer people are people like other people who deserve rights because they are people.

The good news:

Michigan will legalise medical marijuana and allow stem cell research.

Washington will allow limited physician-assisted suicide.

morgan_dhu: (Default)

It's been announced that Dr. Henry Morgentaler is to receive the Order of Canada, our highest civilian honour, in recognition of his "commitment to increased health care options for women, his determined efforts to influence Canadian public policy and his leadership in humanist and civil liberties organizations."

Henry Morgentaler is one of my heroes. Without his courage and commitment and steadfastness and leadership, the struggle for a woman's right to control her own body would not be as far along as it is today in Canada. At the risk of his livelihood, his freedom, his health and his life, Dr. Morgentaler fought for women's right to choose, and he made it his life's calling to provide safe abortions to women who wanted them, even when to do so was illegal in Canada. And he's continued to speak out for the need for access to abortion for all women.

Congratulations to Dr. Morgentaler for the recognition he so richly deserves.

Naturally, the usual suspects are horrified. Our weasel right-wing government is desperately trying to distance itself from the award, reminding everyone that it had nothing to do with the decision, that the honour list is decided by an independent advisory council, chaired by the Chief Justice of Canada. As if anyone thought for a minute that our weasel overlords would do anything truly honourable, or recognise a real hero when they see one.

And of course the Catholic church has said that it's truly shocking that such immorality should be honoured. As if the Catholic Church actually knew anything about what is and is not immoral, as opposed to what they think their version of a deity gets all worked up about - such as responsible people choosing to use condoms to avoid exposing themselves or their sexual partners to sexually transmitted diseases, which is apparently the height of immoral behaviour.

But enough about clone minds who are more concerned about foetuses than the actual women who, thanks in great part to Dr. Morgentaler and all of the other Canadians who worked for the right to safe and legal abortion, have the absolute right to choose whether they will bear a child or not.

Thank you, Dr. Morgentaler, for your courage and your humanity. May you wear your Order of Canada with pride.

morgan_dhu: (Default)

Canadian residents: Please take a moment to sign this online petition sponsored by the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada to oppose "The Unborn Victims of Crime Act" (Bill C-484). The following information is taken from ARCC material.

The History of the Bill:

A private member's bill called The "Unborn Victims of Crime Act" (C-484) has been introduced by Conservative MP Ken Epp (Edmonton Sherwood Park). It had its first hour of debate in Parliament on December 13, and is projected to come up for its second hour of debate on February 29, with a vote on March 5. The text of the bill is here. The bill would amend the Criminal Code to allow separate homicide charges to be laid in the death of a fetus when a pregnant woman is attacked.

The bill poses a real danger to abortion rights, to the rights of all pregnant women, and to women's equality rights in general.

Please sign the following petition to call upon Parliament to oppose this bill. To review Talking Points against the bill preapred by the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, visit:

Text of the Petition:


WE, THE UNDERSIGNED RESIDENTS OF CANADA, draw the attention of the House to the following:

THAT the proposed “Unborn Victims of Crime Act” conflicts with the Criminal Code, because it grants a type of legal personhood to fetuses, fetuses being non-persons under the law.

THAT giving any legal recognition to fetuses would necessarily compromise women’s established rights.

THAT pregnant women being assaulted or killed is largely a domestic violence issue and “fetal homicide” laws elsewhere have done nothing to reduce domestic violence against pregnant women or their fetuses.

THAT the proposed “Unborn Victims of Crime Act” is a dangerous step towards re-criminalizing abortion and it could also criminalize pregnant women for behaviours perceived to harm their fetuses.

THAT the proposed bill’s exemptions for pregnant women may not work since, in the U.S., arrests of pregnant women have occurred even under state fetal homicide laws that make exemptions for the pregnant woman.

THAT the best way to protect fetuses is to provide pregnant women the supports and resources they need for a good pregnancy outcome, including protection from domestic violence.

THEREFORE your petitioners call upon Members of Parliament to oppose “The Unborn Victims of Crime Act” (Bill C-484).


To sign this important petition go to -

morgan_dhu: (Default)

I support reproductive choice.

I support those who choose to bear a child, without reservation, no matter what their social or economic situation may be, no matter what medical issues may exist for the one who carries or the one who is being born.

I support those who choose not to bear a child, without reservation.

In order to make these choices freely possible for all, I support a full system of social and financial supports for those who choose to bear a child, and for children that have been born, so that no pregnant person need go without food, shelter or medical case, and that no child need live without food, shelter, medical care and education. I support universal daycare so that no caregivers of children need choose between work and knowing that their children are safe and cared for at all times. I support complete and intelligent sex education for all young people so they can make decisions for themselves in full knowledge of the meanings and potential consequences of their actions and in full knowledge of how to protect themselves from risk. I support universal access to contraception, abortion and sterilization products, services and technologies, and increased research into new methods that will continue to make these safer and more accessible. I support full access and increased research into medical services that provide persons who wish to bear a child but cannot do so easily or without intervention with the assistance they need to have their chance to bear a child. And I support strict legal guidelines that make it certain that no person will ever be forced, coerced or pressured into any of these reproductive choices.

I support these things because it is the right of every human being to control their own body, and because it is also the right of every human being to be respected and given access to the necessities of life, and the responsibility of society - which is all of us - to ensure that those rights are in fact respected for all.

I have never had any personal ethical struggles with abortion, as many have, at least in part because my belief system is not a Judeo-Christian one. I don't believe, and never have believed, that conception had anything to do with a providential deity or with granting or denying a spirit's one and only chance to be born into flesh. I believe in the immortality of spirit, both before and after birth and death. I believe that the decision of whether to bear a child is a conversation between the one who bears and the one who would be born, and that it is always possible for the one who bears to say "Not now - come again later if you so deeply want to live a life as my child, or go with my goodwill to choose another parent in another place and time," or "No, I choose not to bear a child in this life. May you find the environment you seek elsewhere."

I have had an abortion. I have never born living children, though I have had several pregnancies that ended in miscarriage. I have no regrets, and I would not change my decision were I to be in that time and place again, knowing all that I know now. I have assisted another woman to conceive outside of heterosexual intercourse and joyfully call both her and the child she bore part of my chosen family. I have fostered a young girl without anyone to parent her, and helped her to find her own path in the world. I have had the great gift of being able to make my own reproductive choices in this life, and I am at peace with them.

I long for the day when every person can say the same.

morgan_dhu: (Default)

Taken from [ profile] hothead, [ profile] fancymcsnazsnaz, and [ profile] madamjolie, and modified to fit my own circumstances.

I'm pro-choice, and I would have an abortion. I have had an abortion in the past, and I do not regret my choice.

The meme:

If you agree with this statement, post it in your journal:

I'm pro-choice, and I would have an abortion.

*If pregnancy is not in the theoretical cards for you but you want to participate, feel free to substitute the statement "I am pro-choice" or "I'm pro choice and I would assist someone with having an abortion, no questions asked." Or whatever you're comfortable with. The implications are slightly different, but solidarity is just as important. The important thing is not having the BUT that everyone loves throw in there.

The background:

There are too many damned idiots in the world going around saying "I'm pro-choice, but..."

But what? But I'm so morally superior I'd never do such a nasty thing myself? But I'll never be in that position because I'm too smart, too privileged, too whatever I think will exempt me from the possibility of being pregnant and not wanting a child? But I think it's the less worse of two evils and I really feel uncomfortable about it? But I really don't want to admit that pro-choice means that some people will have abortions, no matter how perfect a world it is.

And if you are that person who accepts without judgment another's choice to have an abortion but would not have one yourself, guess what - you're just plain pro-choice. You choose not to abort. But it's a choice, and you acknowledge other people's rights to choose differently. So you don't need to say "I'm pro-choice, but..." Unless what you're really after is distancing yourself from those people who choose abortion, and if you are, then perhaps you need to ask yourself why you need to distance yourself.

So, no "Buts" allowed on this one. You either believe in reproductive and sexual choice or you don't.

morgan_dhu: (Default)

From [profile] rocketdreams via [community profile] feminist:

The University of Western Ontario has decided to give Dr. Henry Morgentaler an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on June 16. Unfortunately, the university has been getting a large amount of anti-choice mail protesting this decision and slandering Dr. Morgentaler. In contrast, there has been next to no pro-choice mail in support, so far. Dr. Morgentaler is a hero to Canadian women for securing the right to choose abortion in 1988, in the Supreme Court Morgentaler decision that threw out Canada's abortion law.

info on sending emails of support )

For those who aren't familiar with Dr. Morgentaler, he is probably the single person most responsible for the legalisation of abortion in Canada. Back when abortion was still illegal, he chose to perform abortions for women who needed tham, rather than send them to back-street butchers. he opened up freestanding clinics, first in Quebec, and then in other provinces, in defiance of the law, and through his court battles succeeded in proving that Canadians did not believe that providing a necessary medical service to women and respecting their rights to reproductive freedom should be against the law. He was charged numerous times, but never convicted by a jury - although the government of Quebec did appeal one early aquittal verdict which resulted in his being sentenced by a judge and spending time in prison, during which he suffered serious health problems. But that didn't stop him.

He's one of my heroes. Read more here.

Please pass this on to any Canadians you may know.

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