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Very Serious Lists

Posted by pocochina on May 14, 2008

Things that are important to NARAL Pro-Choice America:

1.  Ensuring that women make prayerful decisions about abortions.
2.  Stark and pronounced disrespect for LGBTQ voters.
3.  Support for parental consent laws.  (Yes, really.)
4.  A puerile, vicious propensity to make period jokes.
5.  A public, bad-for-women man-crush on John Roberts.

Things that are not important to NARAL Pro-Choice America:

1.  Plan B OTC.
2.  Title X Funding.
3.  A public pledge to pass legislation which would protect abortion rights even if Roe were overturned.
4.  The Prevention First Act.
5.  The ability to speak to and about women like we are, you know, people.

Good job, assholes.  I can’t fucking wait until you call me begging for money.

ETA a comment I left with the Apostate’s succinct and apt post about the issue:  What just crushes me with the irony is the statement that “every day that passes, Sen. McCain gets a free ride on the issue of choice. That free ride ends today.” They’re the ones giving him the free ride. They are a pro-choice advocacy group, and giving McCain hell is their job. Instead of issuing a press release about McCain, they decided to beat up on Clinton. Why? Because beating up on Clinton gets you more attention than actually advocating for your issues. Shame.


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Posted by pocochina on March 31, 2008

I’ve been pretty happy to be an all-Clinton-all-the-time blogger (BECAUSE I LOVE HER and SO SHOULD YOU) but I am going to follow her strong fucking lead and talk about a super important issue.  Via Kate at Shakesville, this horrifying story about a 14 year old child who suffered a stillbirth/miscarriage on a plane on her way home from a school field trip.  (Trigger warning on the link and the rest of the post, this story’s important but incredibly disturbing.)

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Who Institutionalizes Sexism? Man with Two Daughters Edition

Posted by pocochina on March 19, 2008

This makes me want to fucking gag.  I don’t even know what else to say about it, except that I am terrified by a father to whom it needs to be explained that the confirmation of an anti-woman Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is not politically expedient.   This is a snapshot of a removed, elitist, and – dare I say it?  I dare!  I dare! – ivory fucking tower of law approach to those who, with lifetime appointments, are the last defenders of our Constitution.

Such a detached, cold, rationalized, and deeply wrong assessment of the situation reminds me of some of the professors around here that have been out of practice and in their (FUCKING FABULOUS, BTW) offices for a while.  We spend so much time thinking about how far this precedent extends and where the potential analogies will lead, and that’s important, but some of the truly great theorists forget that at some point, you can’t keep babbling about How The Logical Outcome Is Always The End of Civilization* because out there in the system, some poor schmuck is waiting for a decision.  Those who make the system must not take for granted that they are above the system.  (See:  Spitzer, Eliot; Nixon, Richard)  I love academia.  I love professors, I love learning, I love going to class, I even love the 1200 page tome of international jurisdiction that’s open underneath my elbows right now.  But so help me God, I hope I never forget that the law impacts people’s lives – that in a county such as ours, we still grant the law the power to end people’s lives.  While that which is politically expedient must sometimes be the priority over ritual suicide by principle, there is also a time and a place for principle to come first, and the composition of the High Court is unequivocally within that time and place.

*We have this conversation once a week.   All things considered, I’m Little Mary Fucking Sunshine.

Posted in abortion, academia, feminism, law school, obama, politics, pregnancy, SCOTUS | Leave a Comment »

Blog for Choice Day

Posted by pocochina on January 22, 2008

I vote pro-choice because it is my duty to vote in my own best interests and in the best interests of my country.

I vote pro-choice not only to stem the tide of the anti-woman, anti-sex, anti-choice movement, but also to show the world through policy and law what a vision of reproductive justice means.

Reproductive justice means saving Roe, but also making the right to an abortion a reality for every woman.  It means demanding an expansion of government health care to provide abortion, and a mandate for every health insurance plan to pay for abortion.

It means protecting patient privacy, so that the societal shame around abortion is never a factor in a woman’s decision, but it also means removing that stigma, in changing the Scarlet A to a private, soft pink “I chose.”

It means laws which require pharmacists to do their jobs, dispensing birth control and emergency contraception to women (and men) who ask for it.

Reproductive justice means an end to the Global Gag rule, this brutal policy which causes suffering to women around the world.  Wit my vote, I may tell the women not just of this country, but of the entire world, that I consider us human, and value our lives and safety.

It means legal and fiscal recognition of the fact that abstinence-only “education” is nothing more than a pile of federally-funded misogynist (and misandrist) lies, and replacing that with comprehensive sexual health education.

It means lifting the long and terrible silence on sterilization.  It means an unequivocal stance against forced or incentivized sterilization for poor women and women of color.  It means allowing women who choose sterilization because it is best for them to be able to do so, unshamed and unfettered.  There is no logical disconnect between these two positions.  The discussion around sterilization must – MUST- stem from women’s agency, and right to choose for themselves whether or not they will ever have children.  It is possible, and in fact crucial, to remember that this is our premise, that women be able to make these decisions for ourselves.  This doesn’t make us pro-sterilization or anti-sterilization.  It makes us pro-choice.

It means recognizing that when women are pregnant, with wanted or unwanted pregnancies, that they do not lose their personhood.  It means doing away with laws which seek to privilege fetal life over women’s lives, such as the “Unborn Victims of Violence Act” – as if murder of a woman is not reprehensible enough without the termination of a pregnancy, as well.  The fiction of fetal personhood does not protect fetal life, but it does threaten the agency of the very real woman carrying the fetus.  Women must unquestionably be able to exercise their rights, whether or not they are pregnant, and whether or not they intend to carry that pregnancy to term.

It means continuing to openly and vociferously support LGBTQ rights.  Gays and lesbians are not just allies in our fight for reproductive justice – though in the gay community there are valuable and valiant allies.  They are hurt by the anti-choice movement when they are denied the right to adopt children, denied in vitro fertilization, denied the right to marry.  These are pro-choice issues, too.

It means calling, once and for all, the overarching and murderous hypocrisy of the anti-choice movement.  A movement which opposes protecting women against cancer is not pro-life.  A movement which denies children of information about sexual health, placing them at greater risk for HIV/AIDS, is not pro-life.  A movement which denies women in danger the safest medical procedure possible is not pro life.

Voting pro-choice is a recognition of the fact that criminalization of abortion does not end abortions.  It ends safe abortions, it makes women and doctors into criminals.  Abortion bans put women’s lives in danger; abortion bans are not pro-life.  It makes the right to privacy, deeply enshrined in our Constitution, a qualified right available only to some people – which is no right at all.

I vote pro-choice because my life, along with the lives of women and men I love, depend on it.

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tough shit

Posted by pocochina on December 4, 2007


Clearly I am a sick woman.  All I do all day is read case law, and yet I am fascinated.

The case is about a young woman (it says 19 when she became pregnant, so either 19 or 20 now) wishes to give her child up for adoption without telling the father, who she says was a one-night-stand.  She did not tell her family, telling the court that they could not provide a home and she was on bad terms with all of them.  The child has been placed with a foster family.  The case was about whether she should be forced to disclose the child’s existence to the father, and the court ruled “no.”


I have no interest – none – in second-guessing women’s choices.  The usual interests of the state in keeping children out of foster care (I’m well aware that British law is different than American law on these points, but my best guess based on the case is that the general motivations are the same) are 1) not overburdening the state with unwanted children and 2) not taking the child away from a competent family.  1) is no concern because the child has been placed with a family, and 2) is moot because the mother gave the child up for adoption.

The question of paternal rights, no doubt thorny, cannot possibly be held to the same level of importance as maternal autonomy in this situation.  I realize that the genetic material of a child comes equally from both parents.

I.  Do.  Not.  Care.

The suggestion that a male orgasm is, and should be, the legal equivalent of the female burden of reproduction – nine months of pregnancy, labor, possible PPD, and all the physical, emotional, and economic costs of being a mother in a misogynist society – is at best willful ignorance and at worst blatant misogyny.  It both stems from and reinforces the idea that the clock starts on the Little Person on the very second that Daddy Has an Orgasm.

This isn’t to cast any aspersions on child support, which I not only believe is a positive good for society, but think should be further supported.  (The day child support becomes actual child support, you know, 50/50 costs and all, is the day I even think about maybe having any sympathy at all for the paternal rights argument.)  It is a tiny chip in the enormous social, financial, and physical inequality in the burdens of childbearing.  When your roommate owes you a thousand dollars for rent, and he gives you fifty cents, NO, he doesn’t get to eat your groceries, too.

I trust women to make reproductive choices, and that means trusting women here, too.

There are plenty of reasons women may not wish to disclose a child’s existence to the biological father.  Maybe he’s abusive, maybe she’s afraid he’ll become so.  Or maybe, just maybe, she just wants to be left the hell alone, as looks like is true in this case.  You know what?  If a woman survives an unwanted pregnancy, finds a family she is comfortable leaving the child with, and moves on with her life, fucking power to her. This has nothing to do with the cild, either, as the biofather’s name is on record, and if and when the child decides to find her biological parents, she will be able to do so.

Because it’s a short step from “it’s his genetic material so he should know about the BAAYBEE” to “it’s his genetic material so he gets veto power over the abortion.”  And from there?  “It’s his genetic material going to waste, so he gets to choose if there’s birth control.”  I mean,  if sperm have rights when one does become a baby, what’s to say they don’t have rights before then, too?  I mean, if you’re only working from the sex act which causes the pregnancy.  As soon as you mandate relations between a mother and father, you’re stepping into Gender Police, and because our society is so biased against women, and in particular mothers, this is a Bad Thing.

Maybe some day, we’ll live in a perfect world, one where pregancy will never be dangerous, partners will always be supportive, and mothers get paid exactly the same as everyone else for the same work.  (Plus, unicorns will dance in the purple sunset.) Then we’ll be able to consider paternal rights in a just, equitable way.

But until then, I think this ruling is not only good in this case, but a step in the right direction.

Because I trust women.

So tough shit.

Via:  http://www.amptoons.com/blog/archives/2007/12/03/british-court-rules-that-one-night-stand-fathers-have-no-rights/#comments, who is totally against this ruling.

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in which our heroine drops the self-silencing

Posted by pocochina on November 14, 2007

I mentioned in an earlier post that talking about pregnancy in class makes me uncomfortable, and then I waffled and abdicated and apologized on the why.  Then I realized that I was silencing my own opinion on a pseudonymous livejournal that almost nobody reads, so it was stupid on a lot of levels.

I am uncomfortable talking about pregnancy and abortion in class because it is a fundamentally unequal disruption of the imperfect but generally stable power dynamics in a law school classroom.  (There.  That wasn’t so hard.)

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Wendy Shalit

Posted by pocochina on August 21, 2007

and the case of “why is anyone reading this idiot anyway?”

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Posted in abortion, body image, feminism, i love books, idiots, sexuality | Leave a Comment »

pro-life, indeed

Posted by pocochina on August 13, 2007

Shove it up your ass, Justice Kennedy.  And Justices Alito, and Scalia, and Thomas, and Roberts, and everyone who voted for that fucking Partial-Birth Abortion Ban, even though we didn’t expect better from most of you.


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Republican women

Posted by pocochina on June 5, 2007

Women on the right, or who lean to the right, absolutely fascinate me.  Naturally, I don’t really understand anyone who’s not a liberal, because, well, we’re not all crazy hateful misanthropes aching and crying for mythical lost privilege.

On one weird weird level, I sort of applaud these women, sort of sometimes even see them as a victory.  They feel that secure in their rights.  They are totally sure that they’re not going to be paid less than their man (and really, outside of Mary Cheney, have you ever heard of a lesbian Republican?), they are damned well not going to have an unplanned pregnancy, and forcing them to carry an initially wanted pregnancy isn’t an intrusion on their bodily soverignty, nosireebob!

Whoa, there, Pollyanna.

And honestly, the pre-Reagan Republican party wasn’t a terrible place for women – I think the right to choose was actually on the party platform at some point (or they were neutral – it hasn’t been forbidden since the dawn of time or some shit).  But today’s Republican party is overtly hostile to women.

It’s such a vicious dedication to the idea of self-interest, that it overrides actual self-interest; being so determined not to care about other women just because they are other women that it turns into self-…loathing?  disrespect?  denial as deep as the sea?  I don’t know.

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back to ireland

Posted by pocochina on May 10, 2007

miss d is free to travel for her abortion.

sucks, that reproductive rights can’t be recognized on their own merits.

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