I stand corrected it appears there will be blogging bursts and public events occurring around this. In fact Antonia Zerbisias kicked it off on her blog last weekend
However one of points which I raised in my post and my comments in response to my commentators remained unanswered. So I will ask it again. Why is it that 20 years later Morgentaler has a great private medical business going, and women still do not have access to publicly funded abortions.
Toronto, Friday, January 25, 7:30pm. Fundraising Reception for National Abortion Federation Canada ’s Patient Assistance Fund. Many women lack the resources to pay for costs associated with abortion care, such as transportation, childcare, and medications. Also, some women cannot access medical coverage and require financial support. Donations to this fund will allow NAF Canada to provide financial assistance when it is urgently needed.And once this money is raised will it be used to lobby for womens right to free publicly provided abortions? No of course not it will be used to top up Morgentaler's private clinic fees. The Left and the Womens movement need to move beyond supporting Morgentaler and demand fully funded abortions to be provided by public hospitals.
On the other hand the libertarian right need to advocate for choice, after all thats the credo of the right, by defending a woman's right to choose against their social conservative allies and defend Dr. Morgentaler since his clinics provide an example of a privatized alternative to the public system that has worked quite effectively for twenty years.
That is the real debate that would move this beyond the moral pretenses of the religious right which have shaped the debate since the Supreme Court decision twenty years ago.
Twenty years ago the movement for Womens Reproductive rights got side tracked into a single issue campaign around abortion and then that became reduced to the defense of Dr. Morgentaler. An honest assessment of that needs to be done twenty years later by the Feminist movement, the Left and the Libertarians.
A possible reconciliation between these two apparently contradictory positions would be the creation of co-operative Womens Health Clinic. Medical practitioners would be on salary, workers in the centre would be on the co-op board, a combination of Doctors and Nurse Practitioners, as well as specialists Gyn-Ob would work in the clinics as well as Mid Wives. The centre would provide contraceptive and family planning information, natural child birth options as well as a full delivery centre and abortion services. As well a health spa could be part of the services provided, using the European methods of non-osteopathic therapies, as well as having certified acupuncturists, massage therapists and naturopath's available. In other words a holistic approach to womens health and especially reproductive health.Those services could be covered by benefit plans when not covered by Medicare. Extra costs that are not covered by medicare, benefit plans, or third party insurance, could then be covered by annual membership fee.
Finally let us look at the root of the problem of abortion. The failure of contraception and family planning.
Here is an interesting post I came across that points out a significant challenge to popular misconceptions about teen pregnancy.
I just read an interesting article about a study by Frank Furstenberg that shows that teen motherhood does not perpetuate poverty.
According to the 30-year-study, postponing motherhood does not have a significant impact on a person’s chances of escaping poverty. For all intents and purposes, impoverished girls who bear children tend to do just as well economically and educationally as the ones who do not.
In other words, poor teens tend to get pregnant more often, but teenagers who get pregnant have the same odds of educational and financial success as the ones who do not.
Mainly, the economic conditions in which a person grows up determine their odds of ending up poor. Whether or not the person gets pregnant as a teenager has little affect.
Although the findings go against the common perception, I guess it makes sense. A poor girl will likely end up in poverty later in life regardless of whether or not she gets pregnant as a teenager. A wealthy girl’s parents can still ensure her success with their money even when the girl gets pregnant as a teenager.
I still see teen pregnancy as a significant mistake, but we have such a classist society that making mistakes has little statistical effect on who ends up poor and who does not. While we need to help people not make mistakes, we have to find a way to eliminate the classism of our society to ever end poverty.
Jamie Lee Spears is a perfect example of the challenge of teen pregnancy, and of unplanned unwanted pregnancies. But unlike working class and poor teen age girls, she is rich. Of course that does not mean she will make a good or responsible mother, just look at her sister.
However her pop star status makes it seem like its a lesser sin to have pre-marital sex if you are willing to stay pregnant and keep your child. This leads to a social acceptance of teen pregnancy, rather than teen sex per se, that is teen sex with protection to avoid pregnancy. That would never do. She of course has become a poster girl for the right wing anti-abortion hypocrites.
The Anti-Abortion movement opposes all forms of family planning and contraception, they oppose public health and sex eduction as well a relationship education based on humanistic principles. They demand sex education be moral education based on their particular religious view in opposition to ethical humanist sexuality/relationship education.
They push abstinence as an alternative to contraception, in perpetual denial that teens are sexually active. They deny the pleasure principle which challenges their ideology of sex for reproduction only. They hate the sexual revolution that occurred in the sixties with advent of the development of the birth control bill, which allowed for sex for pleasure rather than reproduction. In fact they continually blame the sexual revolution and the pleasure principle it embraced as the cause of all social evils.In doing so the followers of the patriarchal Abrahamic religions deny the fact that in their holy book the pleasure principle was first espoused.
And here again is where the Left and the Libertarian wings of feminism can align; the need for making informed responsible choices. The right loves choice and of course responsibility, versus rights. Yet when it comes to human sexuality and relationships they deny the very information needed and access to contraception, that would allow for an informed responsible decisions by anyone intending on having sex. Hence their continued attacks on planned parenthood.
Thus they create the conditions for the continued emotional plague where we see teens taking the lives of other teens because of their emotional immaturity in dealing with jealousy, or we see young women giving birth in denial and abandoning their babies. Such is the moral consequence of the anti-abortion advocates of abstinence, which is simply denial of reality. Teens and adults have sex, for pleasure, not for procreation.
Only the liberation of the natural capacity for love in human beings
can master their sadistic destructiveness.
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