Saturday, March 04, 2006

quick mini-roundup, pro-choice style

I definitely do not have time to blog about everything that needs blogging about, but a little baby pro-choice/anti-choice link dump:

1. Wal-Mart has agreed to sell EC at ALL of its pharmacies. Of course, it includes a bullshit "conscientious objection" clause, so that if assface pharmacists decide that they don't "believe" in dispensing EC, they can send the woman away. Which is bullshit, and especially a problem in most of the more rural parts of America, where that Wal Mart pharmacy might be the only one within a reasonable distance. But it's a start.
(The official concession on the WalMart website.)

2. South Dakota is now only one among many with proposed legislation that would criminalize and ban abortion.
State Sen. Jason Crowell proposed an abortion ban in Missouri this week.
State Rep. Steve Holland proposed an abortion ban in Mississippi this week as well.
(The South Dakota ban is still waiting to be signed by the governor...and I highly doubt he'll veto, so it's just a matter of time.)

3. In other anti-choice news, Tennessee is considering legislation that would require women to inform and receive consent from the person who owns the sperm that got her pregnant before she receives an abortion.
At least it's not an all-out ban. Yet.

4. There's legislation pending in my home state (New York) that seems almost sorta kinda like a good thing. The good is that it would allow pharmacies to dispense EC over-the-counter:
The amended legislation would allow pharmacists to dispense only a single dose at a time and only to women. Information about sexually transmitted diseases would also be made available and prescriptions could only be dispensed within the same county as the patient's residence. It does not set age limits.

However, the "same county" thing is shitty, because there are A TON of counties in NY state whose only pharmacy is Wal Mart, and even though Wal Mart did just concede and will carry EC, that's no guarantee that they'll actually dispense it OTC if women need it. And then they'd be shit out of luck, 'cause they can't leave the county (provided they had the resources to cross county lines to get the drug, that is, which is also a problematic assumption, but at least it'd be something).

5. The most frightening post amidst this recent rush of anti-choice legislation comes from Molly, in the form of a do-it-yourself abortion manual, based on techniques that Jane (an amazing Chicago-based group that provided [illegal] abortions in the pre-Roe days) used way back when. As unsafe as most illegal abortions were, Jane only lost one patient out of 13,000, which Molly points out is a lower rate than that of actually giving birth. While it's scary as hell that this information may soon be necessary in South Dakota (and Missouri, and Mississippi...), I'm really glad that the information is being made available. Because, legal or not, women will get abortions. Maybe if they have information like this, there'll be less unnecessary deaths because of this kind of anti-choice, and anti-woman, legislation.

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