“Save The Storks” and other guerrilla anti-choice tactics

(If you see this bus driving around–please run and call a friend. It’s full of people that want to force their scary beliefs on to you)

On the spot ultrasounds seem to be taking the anti-choice country by storm. First, in Texas, where there is a rogue van called “Save the Storks” that is driving around and randomly offering those that are pregnant ultrasounds. And second this woman in Idaho–who’s commitment to shaming pregnant ladies possibly seeking abortion led her to an “ultrasound-in” at the state capitol.

As Amanda and I discuss on our podcast this week–in suggesting that babies come from “Storks,” we are forced to see exactly how archaic and, frankly, childish the anti-choice Texas evangelists framework is for women and other people with uteri. If you want to perpetuate the belief that babies come from storks–then maybe don’t force pregnant people to have sonograms in the first place–they’ll immediately figure out that the baby is inside them (since obvi they don’t know already). Unless they are suggesting that a lady is a stork and her only job is to deliver a baby–even worse!

Not only is this terrible logic, it is popular logic amongst forced child-birth advocates. Radical right-wing activist Brandi Swindell “occupied” a room at the state capitol where she began to perform sonograms in front of an audience of 150 women. The state police had to come in and shut it down. Do these people have nothing better to do?

The bill that Swindell is advocating for is Senate Bill 1387 and “is so extreme it provides no exceptions for medical emergencies, rape or incest.” They believe women should be punished for having vaginas!

Naturally, there is no logic to the forced ultra-sound tactic–the only purpose of this tactic is to shame pregnant women into having a baby by somehow convincing her that if she looks closely enough, that blob on the screen is going to say “momma.” It’s not just a repulsive tactic, but like Terri Proud–how not smart do they think women are? Do they think when you find out you are pregnant you might mistake it for some bloating–maybe take some antacid instead?

No, women and other people with uteri are fully aware when they find out they are pregnant that will lead to childbirth. Abortion is already an incredibly difficult and emotional decision. Making it even more emotionally taxing is not just mean, but based on the fundamental belief that those that have the capacity to bear children are required to and should be forced to carry all pregnancies to term.

Finally, I am unclear how any of these on the spot sonograms–traveling and otherwise–are medically safe or legal. Oh, what, you a doctor now?  And if they are legal, then I am registering my religion as “pro-abortion” and suggest we start driving around and giving people access to our “belief systems” as well.

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screenshot of ship from Vessel

Watch the new doc on one doctor’s quest to offer safe abortion where it’s illegal

The new documentary Vessel tells the story of Women on Waves, founded by Dutch doctor Rebecca Gomperts who sailed the world in an “abortion ship,” offering off-shore medical abortions in the international waters surrounding countries where abortion is outlawed. Her project eventually morphed into Women on Web, which does great, life-saving work by sending abortion pills by mail to people lacking legal access. The film has opened in NYC, and is now available for streaming on iTunes.

Also, be sure to check out this interview with director/producer Diana Whitten on the Community site. As she notes, the story, unfortunately, holds particular relevance in the US today. “Due to recent legislative attacks on reproductive healthcare, the situation for U.S. women in many ...

The new documentary Vessel tells the story of Women on Waves, founded by Dutch doctor Rebecca Gomperts who sailed the world in an “abortion ship,” offering off-shore medical abortions in the international waters surrounding countries where abortion is ...