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Friday, October 15, 2010

Moving towards a radical abortion rights movement (2006)

A group I work with recently screened Jane: An Abortion Service and had a discussion on how we could make the pro-choice movement more positive and bradical, less apologetic. Below are some of the things we discussed.

Ways to make the pro choice movement less stigmatized and more positive:
Take an offensive stance on being pro choice. We've been working defensive for far too long, reacting instead of creating, being ashamed of what is a simple medical surgery. Abortion is a human right.
Be informed of "age of emancipation" laws.
The anti-choice movement is also, by and large, anti-birth control- they're controlling women's sexuality, not protecting feti.
Be a part of clinic defense and escorting
Fight for comprehensive sex education.
Talk about your abortion experiences! Talk about others, if they're OK with that. Most personal abortion stories are full of joy and relief- the negative opinion is usually in the setting (demonstrators), not the act itself.
Glorify historic victories, people's histories.
Counter their language- we're after quality reproductive health care, but don't discredit abortion.
Say the word abortion! Don't hide behind some apologetic rhetoric. We've been too nice. Look where that's gotten us.
Use the nonpolitical approach. We need to work from the bottom up- affecting people, not politicians first.
Take care of each other on the pro-choice front! People using each other leads to people becoming anti-choice (see Roe, for example- she was basically used by her lawyers).
Admit that Roe V. Wade was not a great law. It was a compromise.
Counter anti-choicers (they use pressure, we should too).
Hold demos offensively, supporting doctors, clinics, etc.
Educate yourself about anti-choicers, get informed of their politics.
We must feminist-ize the healthcare industry!
We must get into key communication spots- TV, Radio, etc.
Stop using the phrase "just" or "only women". We're half of the fucking population!
Get more health care providers, get more abortion classes into OB/Gyn school programs.
Organize scholarships to pay for medical students to work for reproductive rights in under-served communities.
We're talking about health! Not morals- nobody wins in a moral debate, everyone has different morals.
Hold panels were women describe their abortions, especially alternative ones- herbal, menstrual extraction, etc.
Smuggle RU-486 into the country.

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