R.I.P. Dr. Tiller, murdered by domestic terrorists.

Tiller was one of only a handful of physicians in America who perform late-term abortions. He survived an assassination attempt in 1993 and returned to his practice.

Majikthise : Abortion crusader Dr. George Tiller murdered in church


Happy (belated) Roe v. Wade day! For the second year in a row I attended NARAL Pro-Choice Washington’s delicious “Chocolate for Choice” event @ Safeco Field’s 1st base Terrace Club. It’s kind of a madhouse, in a good way. Local restaurant pastry chefs and chocolatiers make stuff, and depending on your donation level, you get a small or large box to stuff samples into. As you can see, um, I kind of got the large box… I mean, it *is* for a good cause!

Cupcake Royale had some cute stickers too:

Bumper sticker for sale:


Well, yeah…

Is this one of the most cognitive-dissonance-inducing headlines you’ve seen in a while?

Catholic charity helped teen get abortion

RICHMOND, Va. – Authorities are investigating whether a Catholic charity violated state and federal law by helping a 16-year-old illegal immigrant who was in the organization’s care get an abortion.

This organization, Commonwealth Catholic Charities, subcontracts for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which receives

federal funds to place unaccompanied illegal immigrant children in foster care until they’re reunited with relatives, sponsored, or returned to their homeland.

The issues are exactly what you’d expect:

Federal law bans the use of federal money to pay for abortions with exceptions for rape, incest or threats to the life of the mother. Virginia law requires parental consent for an abortion for a girl under 18.

What a nauseating reminder of who’s near (or at) the bottom of the proverbial pile in this country. I have a LOT of questions.

I can’t help wondering how a 16-year old immigrant winds up pregnant. Are we sure she wasn’t raped, in which case the federal law wouldn’t apply? Did she even leave Guatemala voluntarily? Guatemala is connected with human trafficking, including selling teen girls into U.S. brothels, i.e. into rape slavery.

According to the article, Commonwealth signed the abortion consent form for the Guatemalan teen and helped her to travel to and from her appointment. The article is thin on details but it doesn’t sound like there’s evidence (yet) that they helped pay for the abortion. Maybe whatever transportation costs were associated with helping her can be traced back to their budget?

As for the state law, I wonder how someone in her situation is supposed to obtain parental consent. Trafficked or not, we are talking about a teenager who would leave her family and country and emigrate to the U.S., a situation that does not seem conducive to obtaining parental consent for a very time-sensitive procedure. Furthermore, can an illegal immigrant expect to go before a judge and ask to have the consent waived? Why can’t an organization that was essentially this girl’s caretaker be allowed to sign the consent form for this?

Personally I’m glad this organization chose to help her get an abortion. An immigrant teenager all alone in this country might feel that carrying a pregnancy to term is not in her best interest. Especially if she is hoping to be placed in foster care, as per the organization’s mission. What a sad story.

(while I’m on vacation, I’m republishing some old book reviews from 18+ months ago at my now-defunct blog. Enjoy.)

This is a chronological collection of Pollitt’s columns from The Nation over the past ~5 years, dating back to shorthly before 9/11 and concluding in February of this year.

Her writing is sharp, wry, witty, incisive. Virginity or Death! is a oneof the most enjoyable books I’ve read this year for sure. Each essay is very interesting and self-contained, about 3 pages long (good for traveling!). Her columns cover a wide swath of political and social issues, and in general she’s got something to say that is very worthwhile. Some essays that stand out are about

  • Bill Bennett’s gambling
  • the idiocy of welfare policies that discourage poor single mothers from seeking an education in addition to working
  • why she refused to put out an American flag after 9/11
  • a smattering of columns about Howard Dean, Dennis Kucinich (who, I learned, has a surprisingly anti-woman voting record) and other 2004 election issues
  • the title essay, of course, about the Christian right’s insane opposition to the HPV vaccine
  • The Passion of the Christ
  • the New York Times’ irritating tendency to write “women don’t really want careers” articles and other feminist backlash topics

There are only a few so-so columns, usually ones where she’s out of her depth on the science (evolution vs. intelligent design, for example) but they’re few and far between.

Bottom line: Recommended

This is going to be long so I’ll put the bulk of it behind a jump, if “abortion/miscarriage as art” doesn’t float your boat.

I know some of you hang out in the same feminist sites I do, so you may have seen this article (Yale Daily News – For senior, abortion a medium for art, political discourse): 

Art major Aliza Shvarts ’08 wants to make a statement.

Beginning next Tuesday, Shvarts will be displaying her senior art project, a documentation of a nine-month process during which she artificially inseminated herself “as often as possible” while periodically taking abortifacient drugs to induce miscarriages. Her exhibition will feature video recordings of these forced miscarriages as well as preserved collections of the blood from the process.

And you may have further read that it turned out to be possibly a hoax, or rather, when Yale administrators asked her, she said she hadn’t really done those things (Statement by Yale University). So maybe it’s not true. Or maybe it is, it’s hard to tell:


Last Tuesday was the 35th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade and a friend invited me to the Washington state NARAL fundraising event “Chocolate for Choice” at Safeco field.

It was packed – we had to be a little aggressive in getting to some of the chocolate! We crammed our faces with samples and treats, some of which were really good.

I don’t know what their fund-raising goals for the evening were, but they auctioned off all the desserts and the silent auction seemed to be moderately successful. My friend and I bid on, and won, a private yoga class for 8 people. So that’s cool. Now we just need to clear the floor at her place or mine, and need to round up some friends to do yoga with us :-)

[speaking of choice, Canada’s 20-anniversary of their abortion rights decision, R. v. Morgentaler, is also this week. The videos linked at this blog made me cry]