This is how it really is, abortion: You do things you regret or don’t understand and then you make other choices because life keeps going forward. Or you do something out of love and then, through biology or accident, it goes inexplicably wrong, and you do what you can to cope. Or you do whatever you do, however you do it, for whatever reason, because that’s your experience.
It’s not Ms. Davis’s job to be groundbreaking, and I’m sorry that her personal reproductive history has to be declared and described (not to mention leveraged for votes). Do we approve of what she wanted? Did she suffer enough? These questions are not ours to ask.
We have to stop categorizing abortions as justified or unjustified. The best thing you can do if you support reproductive rights is to force people to realize that abortion is common, and the most common abortion is a five-to-15-minute procedure elected early in the first trimester by someone who doesn’t want to be pregnant or have a child. It’s our job to say it’s O.K. if that’s the end of the story. It’s O.K. if it’s boring or not traumatic or if you don’t even know what it was.
We believe in a woman’s autonomy and her right to choose whether to continue or end a pregnancy. Every woman should have the right to decide the future of her pregnancy according to her conscience, whatever her reasons or circumstances. A just society does not compel women to continue an undesired pregnancy.
We recognize that support for choice in itself is not enough. Access to abortion is an integral part of women’s reproductive health care, and we believe in the right to receive this. Women need access to resources and services, including the counsel of the professionals, friends and family they choose to involve. Legal, political, social and economic changes are necessary to allow the exercise of reproductive choice, and a commitment to such changes is part of a commitment to choice.
Passed by the North Dakota House and Senate in April 2013, Resolution 4009, as it was then known, was hailed by abortion opponents as groundbreaking by being the first legislatively passed “personhood amendment,” which would grant legal rights and protection at the moment an egg is fertilized. “After four years of hard work pro-life personhood legislation has passed both houses of the North Dakota legislature!” read Personhood North Dakota’s now-defunct main page. “This means that North Dakota is only a popular vote away from being the first state in American history to ban abortion!” And in February 2013, state Sen. Margaret Sitte, the sponsor of the resolution, told Laura Bassett of The Huffington Post, “We are intending that it be a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, since [Justice Antonin] Scalia said that the Supreme Court is waiting for states to raise a case.”
So would voting for Measure 1 be a vote for personhood? Could it ban all abortion and potentially some forms of hormonal contraception, make medical procedures like IVF impossible, and even interfere with individual end-of-life decisions? It depends who you ask.
Unlike “personhood amendments” introduced elsewhere in the country, North Dakota’s measure does not specifically mention conception. And despite the fanfare when the resolution passed, the word “personhood” has entirely disappeared from any current discussion by Measure 1 backers. According to ND Choose Life, a coalition formed by social conservative and religious freedom groups, anti-abortion advocacy groups, and the North Dakota Catholic Conference, the amendment simply protects current abortion restrictions from being challenged and potentially overturned, and might protect new legislation the state may introduce. They say it will not ban abortion and does nothing on its own to directly limit abortion any more than the Supreme Court allows at the federal level.
1. Virginity Exists
Therese Shechter’s 2013 documentary How To Lose Your Virginity asks a seemingly simple question: What is a virgin? The answer is actually pretty complicated.
The common idea of virginity is focused on a heteronormative, male-centric definition of intercourse — that is, penis-in-vagina penetration. But this definition ignores LGBTQIA+ couples, oral and anal sex, instances where it “didn’t go all the way in,” rape, and emotional intimacy.
The cultural obsession with virginity is more about keeping girls pure than anything else, and because the term begins to crumble upon close inspection, it doesn’t have to carry such weight.
There’s no clear universal concept of virginity, and people should be able to define meaningful markers of intimacy for themselves.
2. Hymens Are a Sign of Virginity
Given that the entire notion of virginity is dubious at best, it’s not all that surprising that there is actually no medical way to tell if someone is a virgin or not. This includes a broken hymen.
Hymens usually become worn down throughout adolescence and can be torn by everything from jumping on a trampoline, to horseback riding, to simply playing sports. Some women aren’t born with one at all.
Despite the fact that more than half of women don’t bleed the first time they have penetrative sex, blood on the sheets has remained a signifier of losing one’s virginity throughout history.
The persistence of this myth surrounding a basically irrelevant anatomical feature has even spawned a market for artificial hymens and reconstructive surgery to “restore” virginity. More disturbingly, girls around the world are often subject to degrading, invasive virginity “tests” to ensure their purity.
Birth control pills and traditional latex condoms have been among the most popular and effective methods of contraception for decades. But innovators think it’s time for an upgrade — not only to increase protection, but also to establish safe sex as a basic human right.
Health organizations and forward-thinking companies are making breakthroughs in the field of contraception, working to develop new products such as hormone-releasing microchips, radically redesigned condoms and even low-cost male birth control injections that could last up to 15 years.
“We need new contraceptive options that will fill gaps in the method mix, and increase choices for women,” says Dr. Laneta Dorflinger, distinguished scientist and director of contraceptive technology innovation at FHI 360 (formerly Family Health International). “A sizable percentage of women who have an unmet need for contraception do not use a method due to side effects — real or perceived. New innovations … could have a substantial impact. New innovations … could have a substantial impact.”
When I was 21 I had a 3 year old child and found out I was pregnant. I always practiced safe sex so it was very shocking to me. I had to consider my options. I knew I could not financially, emotionally, or mentally support another child, so I knew there was no way I could keep the baby. I made a phone call to the local Planned Parenthood and discussed my situation with them. I was expecting them to automatically schedule an appointment for an abortion. To my surprise, they talked to me about my options. Yes, they covered abortion, but they also went over options if I decided to keep the baby such as assistance programs and support groups. They also mentioned adoption and gave me a few numbers if I wanted to consider that option.
I thought long and hard about it and I decided I was going to get an abortion. Since it was early in my pregnancy, I could opt to do the abortion pill which is less invasive. The cost was $765. At the time, I was on government Medicaid and it did not cover any of the cost so I had to come up with the cash. I went to the father of the child to ask for half and had a door slammed in my face; literally. The door hit my nose when it closed and gave me a bloody nose. I wasn’t really shocked, but I was now in quandary. What was I going to do? I couldn’t come up with that kind of money on my own; I had a child to care for and bills to pay. I was just starting school so the job I had at the time only paid minimum wage.
More: Abort Theocracy
What can you say that hasn’t been said before? The GOP is totally detached from reality and the world. Pandemic? Where? Oh screw that. Let them die, or how we really care, Volume #897,211 Oh, screw the US Veterans too. And you. And me. And, and, and….
The strain of the virus in these current cases is not new, Schuchat says, and is the same as earlier EV-68 cases in the United States and in other countries. It’s unclear why it’s making people sicker and how it’s spreading, but respiratory viruses spread very easily. Cold season typically peaks in September when children return to school, and the enterovirus cases may be following a similar pattern.
Parents shouldn’t worry about runny noses and sniffles, Schuchat says, but act quickly if their child has difficulty breathing. “This can be a scary thing to hear about for parents,” Schuchat says. “If your child is having difficulty breathing you want to get medical attention.”
And parents of children with asthma should make extra-sure that the children are taking medications and the asthma is well controlled, she adds.
A breakthrough by a talented University of Huddersfield student has shown for the first time that people with psychopathic tendencies who have high IQs can mask their symptoms by manipulating tests designed to reveal their personalities. It raises the possibility that large numbers of ruthless risk-takers are able to conceal their level of psychopathy as they rise to key managerial posts.
Carolyn Bate (pictured), aged 22, was still an undergraduate when she carried out her groundbreaking research into the links between psychopathy and intelligence, using a range of special tests and analysing the data. She wrote up her findings for the final-year project in her BSc Psychology degree. Not only was she awarded an exceptionally high mark of 85 per cent, her work has also been accepted for publication by the peer-reviewed Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology - an unusual distinction for an undergraduate.
Carolyn, who has now graduated with First Class Honours, said that her project was triggered when she read about research which showed that while one per cent of the population were categorised as psychopaths, the figure rose to three per cent in the case of business managers.
Many of the regulations on abortion now cropping up in states across the country are being passed off as attempts to protect women’s health. But what they are really intended to do is to continue the long-running war on women’s reproductive rights that unfortunately did not end with Roe vs. Wade 40 years ago. In fact, these new laws could actually harm women’s health by delaying their access to a legal, safe procedure.
Some states have passed laws requiring that abortion providers have hospital admitting privileges, and some federal courts, to their credit, have blocked those unnecessary measures. Last week, for instance, a federal judge in Louisiana blocked one that would have gone into effect Monday.
An even more common tactic of antiabortion legislators these days is to require that clinics meet the structural standards of ambulatory surgical centers. Such laws have been passed or enacted in 23 states, most since 2011. Last Friday, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel blocked a portion of one in Texas — a costly and unnecessary measure that would have shut down more than half the state’s abortion clinics, leaving at most eight in place. Yeakel said the law would leave so many women 100 or even 200 miles from the closest clinic that the practical effect would be “a complete ban on abortion.”