Friday Feminist Fuck You: Anti-Choicers Gone Wild!

Transcript after the jump.
Links to news stories we mention — and where to take action:

  • North Dakota fetal personhood legislation – Take Action
  • Montana fetal personhood legislation – Take Action
  • Missouri legislation to challenge the (as yet un-passed) Freedom of Choice Act and legislation to create the new crime of “coercing an abortion” – Take Action
  • Arkansas law to strengthen penalties imposed by the Federal Abortion Ban – already passed

UPDATE: Apparently they are going wilder than we thought. Two states that we missed: Tennessee and Minnesota. According to RH Reality Check, the Tennessee House is considering two bills that would give the state the ability to further restrict abortion.
In Minnesota, there are FOUR bills on the table. The anti-choicers are really going wild there, with a bill that would mandate abortion reporting, another that would require that abortions be performed within 20 miles of a hospital, another would further limit low-income women’s access to state funds for abortion and the last would ban a rare rarely used form of abortion called saline amniocentesis.

Miriam: Hi everyone. Welcome to the Friday Feminist Fuck You, double-trouble edition. Ann and I wanted to talk about a little spring phenomenon that we’re noticing… Springtime’s near, the weather’s getting warmer…
Ann: Birds are chirping…
Miriam: It’s Mardi Gras time. And we’re noticing something going on in state legislatures all over the country: The anti-choicers are going wild!
Ann: They’re going wild.
Miriam: They’re going wild about things like fertilized eggs, fetal personhood…
Ann: …federal laws that haven’t even been passed yet. They’re really taking it to the next level.
Miriam: They’re really freaking out about abortions in your neighborhood. So we want to talk about a few state legislatures and what they’re doing.
Ann: First up, looking at you, North Dakota and Montana. The legislatures in both states have decided to pass a law declaring that a fertilized egg is basically a human being. Like a full adult — man, woman — same rights, everything. Which jeopardizes a lot of other rights of full-grown human beings, such as the right to contraception, or the right to abortion. That’s pretty screwed up, and pretty extreme. Luckily, governors in those states have not signed the bills yet, so there’s still time to intervene.
Miriam: In Missouri, a lot is going on. They preemptively passed legislation about a bill that hasn’t even passed at the federal level yet, the Freedom of Choice Act, which would codify Roe vs. Wade and guarantee a woman’s right to choose, through legislative means. It hasn’t been passed by Congress, we don’t know if it’s going to get passed. But the Missouri House of Representatives is so freaked out that they needed to pass an ANTI-Freedom of Choice Act to send a message to Congress that they’re not down with pro-choiceness or abortion.
Ann: You might even say they went wild.
Miriam: They went wild. Also from Shark-Fu, who had a birthday this week (happy birthday, Shark-Fu!), the Missouri House is also debating a “hellish anti-choice abortion restriction bill” —
Ann: — those are Shark-Fu’s words, not the Missouri legislature’s —
Miriam: — that’s straight from Shark-Fu’s mouth. The bill would create the new crime of “coercing an abortion” and would do nothing to reduce the number of abortions in the state. Way to go, Missouri. Goin’ wild.
Ann: And finally, Arkansas. So you may recall that awhile back, our government passed a federal abortion ban, on certain types of abortion procedures. Well, Arkansas didn’t think that was extreme enough, or vague enough. And they decided to kick things up a notch, make it even vaguer and more extreme, and impose stricter penalties on doctors who perform this abortion procedure. The federal government says doctors might have to spend 2 years in prison. Arkansas is like, no, 6 years. I would say that’s pretty wild. So I don’t know if it’s the season or what. But in all these legislatures… if you live in one of these states, it’s a good time to write in and tell them to stop freaking out.
Miriam: Calm down…
Ann: We don’t want anyone going wild. We’ll include information in this post on where you can write in and tell them to stop going wild, anti-choice style.
Miriam: Fuck you, anti-choice legislatures!
Ann: And happy spring.

Join the Conversation

  • Zoja

    They’re also trying to pass a bill in Texas that would require women to listen to their baby’s heartbeat and see an ultrasound before going through with the abortion :/ It’s cruel.

  • Zoja
  • Opheelia

    Arizona is passing an atrocious piece of legislation. Since Napolitano left for Washington, both the legislature and the executive branch are strongly anti-choice.
    Not only does it define pregnancy:
    “Pregnant” or “pregnancy” means a female reproductive condition of having a developing unborn child in the body and that begins with conception.
    It would also:
    – require providers to follow a code of “informed consent” in which they tell the patients the likely anatomical and physiological characteristics of the fetus as well as alternatives to the procedure
    – require a 24-hour “reflection period” after the “informed consent” meeting
    – requires minors to provide NOTARIZED consent from their parents, or to be judged “mature” by the Superior Court
    – allows any employee of a facility performing abortions to refuse to facilitate an abortion procedure
    – permits any employee of a pharmacy, hospital, or health professional who states in writing an objection to abortion, abortion medication, or emergency contraception on moral or religious grounds to not be required to facilitate or participate in the provision of an abortion, abortion medication, or emergency contraception
    – stipulates that only doctors can perform surgical abortions, eliminating services for people who obtain them from nurse practitioners (Planned Parenthood almost exclusively uses nurse practitioners)

  • MLEmac28

    of course Arkansas is one of the states.
    Nevermind that we only have one abortion clinic in the entire state anyway….

  • Kim C.

    So would I be right in assuming that none of these bills include punishments for the women who seek abortions, just the doctors? I don’t get it: if you (general) think abortion is murder, why don’t you want the women to be punished for their actions if they abort?

  • GiaCor

    oh wow, I didn’t know we only had one clinic! So If I needed to have an abortion, I would have to go out of state? I jsut moved here and didn’t know about this (thank you feministing!).. I’ll have to look into it… not surprised though, this place is more ‘bible belt’ than asheville.

  • Victorianox

    “allows any employee of a facility performing abortions to refuse to facilitate an abortion procedure”
    Well, in theory that point at least is acceptable, so long as the facility can fire the employee on the spot for refusing to to do their job and all.
    Frighteningly I can see anti-abortion fanatics getting jobs at abortion facilities with the intent of refusing to do the work and then using a law like this in order to demand huge compensation when fired (i.e. a financial attack of sorts).

  • Courtney

    You two are the shit. Fuck yeah for Ann and Miriam for doing such a substantive, action-oriented fuck you.

  • bruce nahin

    Why is hearing your baby’s heartbeat before you terminate cruel- to me it is informed consent knowledge is not cruel

  • bruce nahin

    This legislation is informed consent and requires tolerance for those who do not agree with you( ie performing abortions)- why should someone be forced to violate his or her doctrines and beliefs?Were is the acceptance and tolerance for people wit different views. Why is there a problem wit informed consent(ie listening to the baby or being informed of vital facts) Were you believe in the right of choice or not doesnt facts matter. Do you not think tat women who ave an abortion dont ave feelings or regrets thereafter, regrets that might be tempered by information?

  • Tenko Kitsune

    It’s cheap emotional manipulation, that’s what it is.

  • smerdmann

    I agree. I think hearing the heartbeat should certainly be an option, but there’s no law saying you can’t possibly know what you’re in for unless you hear a heartbeat. It’s like making someone watch an ultrasound or dig through a pile a baby clothes just to be EXTRA sure that’s not what they want. “Are you suuuure you don’t want a baby? Now what if you look at this Anne Geddes coffee table book? Huh? What about now?” Sheesh.

  • smerdmann

    If you don’t want to perform legal abortions, don’t work in that field of medicine.

  • AnUnfunnyFeminist

    Part of me thinks this is a joke, but I’m going to answer you anyway. Women who choose abortion (or pregnancy, for that matter) have already thought about it long and hard. Women have many different reasons for continuing or ending a pregnancy. These so-called informed consent laws insult women’s intelligence by assuming that women can’t use their brains unless they’re legally obligated to do so. These laws don’t even provide informed consent, since most of these laws require doctors to dispense misinformation. The whole point of informed consent is to give facts. Furthermore, nobody would ever propose legislation forcing doctors to give certain facts regarding pregnancy and childbirth to pregnant women who choose to give birth. Where’s the law that tells women that they’re more than 10 times more likely to die due to pregnancy than due to abortion? Where’s the law that tells women that pregnancy increases their chances of being beaten or murdered by an intimate partner? Where’s the law that tells women that post-partum depression and psychosis affects thousands, possibly millions, of women? Those laws don’t exist because legislators who pass these anti-choice “informed consent” laws believe that it’s women’s duty and mission in life to be pregnant, and the women who don’t like it are dirty sluts and don’t deserve human rights.

  • Audrey

    In Canada too the past while it seems there has been more action on this front with bill c-484 a while back, the Conservative party convention putting forth statemnts about the unborn being persons, and now in a Quebec a Catholic organization called Quebec vie (vie means life) who are protesting in front of abortion clinics across Canada for the next 40 days (easter).

  • bruce nahin

    Wow you almost make having an abortion a far better choice for women than ever having a child-Women who have a pregnancy always should meet with their OB/GYN and yes get information about the course of their pregnancy, vitamins, ultra sounds and the like – why should a surgical procedure like a termination be exempt from similar information giving?

  • bruce nahin

    The unborn are just that unborn children with heartbeats and fingers-

  • Bekka

    I think it has a lot to do with Lent. ( )
    Those people are demonstrating in my home town.
    I think it really has a lot to do with it.

  • Aileen Wuornos

    I’m glad I live in Australia. I’m pretty sure a fair few politicians here have used the words “…don’t want the abortion issue to get as big here as it is in the US” [sic]
    That said, I’m going to find out what states my family and I own property in so I can make a contribution of SOME sort there too.

  • Audrey

    This is a aside topic, butr why the name Aileen Wuronos, a serial killer ?

  • AnUnfunnyFeminist

    Similar to what? There aren’t any laws that force doctors to give misinformation about the procedure they’re about to do. That’s reserved for abortion because legislators seem to think abortion IS different from any other procedure. At least they want to make women feel like they’re doing something different or wrong, even though a third of women will have an abortion in their lifetime. Patients can sue for malpractice if they are dissatisfied with or injured from the services they’ve received from a health care professional, because people already have the right to quality healthcare. A healthcare professional can’t just say something false or mess up a procedure and expect their patients to take that sitting down. Anti-choice legislators are turning that agreement between professionals and patients upside down by allowing healthcare professionals to behave unethically by lying and denying treatment to women seeking reproductive health services. You’re claiming that these laws are just trying to make administering reproductive healthcare services the same as any other kind of healthcare, but these laws are placing reproductive healthcare in a different league and labeling it as abhorrent. These legislators are claiming that doctors who perform abortions aren’t already giving their patients informed consent about what to expect. Instead, they want to create their own “informed consent” that’s full of ideological opinions and lies as opposed to medical science. Basically, your point is based on something that doesn’t exist. You don’t have to be afraid anymore.
    You’re also wrong in saying that I think abortion is better for women than having children. That’s something only an anti-choicer would infer, because they have no idea what the hell they’re talking about. I don’t think abortion is better than pregnancy or vice versa for all women, because there’s nothing that’s best for ALL women.

  • MissKittyFantastico

    I went to some of those petitions and they all end “as your constituent” or “as a resident of [whatever state]“. Does that mean there’s no point in me filling them out if I don’t live in those states?

  • Okra

    Come now, bruce.
    Do you *really* want to stick with the argument that legislatively forcing women to look at ultra-sounds of the fetuses they plan to abort is merely a form of “informed consent”?
    Do you really?
    Very well.
    Responsible abortion providers must and DO offer a wide range of information to pregnant women: the physical risks of pregnancy AND abortion; the down and dirty ins-and-outs of pregnancy AND abortion; resources for adoption; the post-abortion AND post-childbirth potential toll on body, mind, and spirit, etc. (And sorry to break this down for you, but pregnancy and childbirth ARE fraught experiences; just because millions of women have made the choice to undergo them does not mean they were not putting their bodies, mental and physical health on the line every time. And we haven’t even gotten into the equally fraught years AFTER birth).
    All of this information is delivered more than adequately via doctor-patient conversation and print literature. No mandatory ultrasounds or fetal heartbeat jam sessions needed to convey this vital info.
    If all of this is STILL not enough to constitute “informed consent” to you, then you either find equally inadequate the usual information given by doctors to patients contemplating ANY medical procedure, or, you have an anti-choice agenda.
    Pregnant women must never be coerced, shamed, or swayed via manipulation towards OR away from abortion.
    A clinic that failed to provide a woman with the information detailed above and that shuffled her into an abortion, saying, ” an abortion is really what’s best in your situation,” is unacceptably ANTI-choice.
    Likewise, a law that allows or requires clinics to go beyond the comprehensive “information” detailed above and force women to view an ultrasound or hear the heartbeat or what have you is unacceptably ANTI-choice (albeit from the opposite perspective).
    Women’s decision to have or not have an abortion must be a genuine “choice,” not a perceived obligation or burden based on either abortion-pushing providers OR emotionally coercive multi-media extravanganzas featuring videos and sounds of the fetus.
    That is what pro-choice means to me.

  • Okra

    Personally speaking, I have no problem with calling the unborn “children,” “humans,” or “persons” and still supporting the right to abortion.
    This is because I recognize that the law does not require any born human to host the body of another born human. I do not have the obligation to continue sustaining a a 5-year old or 20-year old or 60-year old person making use of my internal organs and body. The law does not require people to give of their own bodies to support another human; it recognizes each human being’s right to bodily integrity.
    Now, what was that you were saying about the unborn being children proper?

  • Nerdisms

    We should totally have people look at baby pictures and videos of people as children before they go through the death penalty. And we should totally review someone’s sexual history in front of a jury if they’ve been raped. It’s just informed consent!
    The women KNOW there’s a heartbeat. The women know that it’s developing. To have them LISTEN to it, many of them young women who have grown up with religious conviction, is just emotional manipulation and hindering any choice they’d have if they wanted to make this decision based on logic and reason and what they wanted, not on how guilty or not guilty they felt.

  • Jen

    No, unfortunately, state legislators generally don’t care what people outside their states or districts think. You could send a letter to a state representative in Missouri, but that letter would be 98% sure to be tossed to the side.
    The actions that Miriam & Ann so awesomely included are specifically intended for residents of these states, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do!
    Since you don’t live in, say, Missouri, MO legislators don’t really want to hear from you. But you can still call attention to what our crazy legislators are doing out here. Post it to your facebook or to your blog or to wherever. The thing that really helps to drive these state legislatures is that there are usually few road blocks for them, and they try to do things without attracting national attention.
    Give them that unwanted attention, and while these things may still pass in our majority anti-choice legislatures, maybe it won’t be quite so easy for them.

  • Lilith Luffles

    I’m just curious… why do pro-lifers think that fetuses should have full blown ADULT rights? They aren’t adults. The second they come out of the womb, they are babies. Babies whose rights depend on what age they are as they grow into children, then teens, young adults, and so on.
    So why do people want fetuses to have ADULT rights when they are clearly not adults?

  • Unequivocal

    Re: One third of women will have an abortion in their lifetimes – I had never heard this stat before and am not having any luck verifying on Google (largely because abortion stat search results are filled with “data” from sites with an obvious ideological bent in one direction or another). Can you provide your source please?

  • voluptuouspanic

    There is absolutely no medical basis for this fertilized egg nonsense! It drives me insane. It’s so obviously just a political manipulation. If a fertilized egg is a “person”, why does it still need to implant into the uterine wall to develop? Ugh.
    Regarding abortion and informed consent, really? Medical procedures already require informed consent. The risks and benefits, that kind of thing. As another poster said, it’s insulting to women’s intelligence, as if they haven’t already been thinking about this decision since the moment that pregnancy test turned positive. It’s so paternalistic.

  • morning-radio

    I’m sorry, NOTARIZED?
    Because every terrified underage girl wants to involve both her parents and some stranger in her personal decision to terminate her pregnancy.
    This is pure slut-shaming. There’s no reason at all for a public notary to be involved. If they don’t trust these girls to get their parents’ signatures, they should require a parent to accompany his or her daughter, not a notary stamp.
    Fuck you, Arkansas legislature!

  • morning-radio

    Edit: Fuck you, [b]Arizona[/b] legislature.
    Well, and Arkansas too.

  • morning-radio

    Edit: Fuck you, [b]Arizona[/b] legislature.
    Well, and Arkansas too.

  • AnUnfunnyFeminist

    It’s from the Guttmacher Institute, which is part of Planned Parenthood. They have arguably the most comprehensive data on pregnancy and abortion in the United States and the world. I don’t know if you consider Planned Parenthood to have an ideological bent, since they’re on the side of women, which is the only fair side to be on.

  • thetestosteronewars

    Minnesota doesn’t really belong on this list. Both houses are firmly DFL (Democratic-Farm-Labor), this is a bunch of deadenders putting on a show for their base. As the link says, they won’t even come up for a vote.

  • Unequivocal

    No need for unpleasant insinuations, I just wanted a better understanding of the stats, particularly since my recollection of the last summary of the Guttmacher stats was a 28% rate (checking their site, they now note “approximately one third”). I am adamantly pro-choice, but even if I wasn’t, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to question where uncited statistics originate.

  • Tracy

    Does anyone out there think that we’ll ever have the need for an underground abortion movement again? Like Jane? I would risk arrest to help women obtain safe abortions if it ever got that far. Fucking bastards…

  • PatriarchySlayer

    Audrey, thanks for the info about Canada. I’m in Alberta, but have lived in NB, where the Morgentaler issue was talked about almost every week. Despite his progressive work, people are still trying to undermine it. Now, the feminists are doing a great job exposing and keeping up to date on what is happening in the US. But I don’t see nearly as much information about what is happening in Canada.
    Of course, the cut to Status of Women was quite visible, and what you mentioned and articles about Morgentaler. Is there any sites or links that specifically dig into Canadian issues?

  • bruce nahin

    The question is, if it is a human being then the termination is what? Why should the unborn suffer do to actions of the parent?
    By the way folks, pro life persons can be feminists too- my feminist credentials go back to the early 1970’s UCLA

  • bruce nahin

    Is logic and reason all there is to it, doesnt emotion, feeling play a part?

  • adag87

    The termination is called abortion, the clinical name for the past century.
    the point is this: because a fetus lives inside the mother’s body, the mother has a right to decide what happens. you take that right away and you’re headed for a slippery slope…
    Personally I think having an abortion is one of the hardest decisions a woman can make. I ultimately wouldn’t be HAPPY about having an abortion, but my unhappiness isn’t the issue: it’s refusing to bring a life into this world if I know that the circumstances for doing so aren’t right.

  • bruce nahin

    No one suggests they have adult rights…but they do have certain inalienable rights, rights that are given to all human beings and rights we, in our society give to children

  • bruce nahin

    clinical name yes, very PC, but the taking of a human life is more than a clinical term isnt it

  • AnUnfunnyFeminist

    Well, I did say that I didn’t know if you felt that way.

  • Unequivocal

    Fair enough. Tone is always hard to read online.

  • Opheelia

    First, you’re assuming that every woman who undergoes an abortion has negative feelings afterwards. This is simply not true. And read unfunny’s posts below. Then read them again.
    Acceptance and tolerance of other people’s views stops when their right to express them infringes on my right to obtain honest, judgement-free medical care.
    Contrary to popular belief, the LEGAL issue isn’t about whether or not anyone believes that women have the right to terminate a pregnancy. (Personally, I do. I’m not an incubator. And with the state of affairs regarding the economy, just try to make an argument for having a child when you can’t afford one. Particularly in AZ right now.) This is about facts. And the fact remains that whether or not abortion is legal, it’s going to happen. It’s going to happen at the SAME RATES. And that means you have two choices:
    Keep them legal and safe.
    Make them illegal, and therefore unsafe.
    Now, here is a question: who values life more?
    Those who will sacrifice thousands of women to unsafe abortion practices like ODing on medication, throwing themselves down flights of stairs, drinking bottles of hard alcohol and then getting into a hot bath, or shoving their hands into electrical sockets? Not to mention the puncture practices that not only make my vagina hurt to think about, but leave women hemorrhaging and at significant risk for fatal infection? Those women at risk are your friends, your co-workers, your sisters, your cousins.
    Or are the truly pro-life people those who want women to have legal, safe choices that respect their intelligence and don’t leave them dead?

  • Nicole

    No, it doesn’t. There is SO much emotional pressure on women already to not choose abortion. There are church billboards, movies like Juno, bus advertisements, Christian and anti-choice rhetoric absolutely EVERYWHERE. Women who have abortions have often described immense regret that could be alleviated if society just lightened up about the whole damn thing already.
    This heartbeat concept IS cheap emotional manipulation, because what is the point if not to ensure the woman recognizes that she’s going against all maternal instinct, the evil infanticidal bitch? It’s not “informed consent,” informed consent would be telling the woman that many studies have shown the more a society accepts abortion as acceptable, the less pain and regret the woman feels afterward. All this would do is ensure that women who DO get abortions feel shitty about themselves afterward.
    Kudos to Nerdisms–if they want to pass this crap, in Texas of all places, they really should pass an equal and equivalent law to judges who order the death penalty shouldn’t they?

  • Nicole

    Fantastic, knowledge-centered association. All Canadian feminists should know about this, what with the upcoming debate because of the stupid “secret” Conservative caucus that we all know about by now.

  • Opheelia

    This means they don’t have to refer people, though, or even tell them that abortion is an option. And it’s my understanding that if they’re exercising a right protected explicitly by statute, they could really only be fired from a facility where reproductive health services are their primary job responsibility. (And really, the legal argument could be stretched to say that it would have to be a facility where ABORTION services are the primary job responsibility, and to my knowledge no such facility exists.) This would apply to emergency contraception as well; if one pharmacist refuses to provide Plan B and a woman asks where she can get it, she doesn’t actually have a right to ask for that information.
    And I’ve had the same thought about sabotage and subterfuge. The HHS regs Bush pushed (which Obama will hopefully overturn) actually made it illegal to find out how a potential employee felt about providing abortion services even if they were applying to places that provide them. Terrifying.

  • Opheelia

    This provision was apparently necessary because of a case in which a girl’s boyfriend signed the consent form. There is a stipulation that these forms are not to be part of the public record, but it’s also just adding another step into an extremely time-sensitive process and adding a third party, like you said. However, I really enjoy your parental accompaniment option.
    It actually gets worse. If a teenage girl wants to bypass the parental consent, she has to be deemed “mature” by the Superior Court. The new revisions now tell judges that they can consider the extent to which she considered all of her options. (Did you think about it? Did you think about it long and hard? I think you should think some more.) And the evidentiary burden to prove that maturity has been raised to “clear and convincing.”
    I really should have just started a separate post about the situation here. Sorry for hijacking the thread.

  • 42ndWaveFeminist

    Hi. Took me a while to be able to post, but I’m here now!
    Any of Feministing’s Montana readers can go to my blog to read a bit more about this, if they’re interested. I also have details on how to find and contact your representatives.
    Thanks for bringing attention to this!