Freedom Whore – Abortion, Shame, and The Right To Deny Me My Rights by Martha Plimpton

459728_870570-20140627ProtestersThere are innumerable contradictions and hypocrisies buried in Monday’s all-male, 5-4 Supreme Court decision on the Hobby Lobby, that gave corporations the right to decide what health-care options women are allowed to have. This is the second of two decisions that have come down in less than a week that effectively remind us that the Roberts’ Court does not actually consider women’s individual rights worthy of protection. The first decision, on buffer zones, told us that women seeking medical care can be shouted at, intimidated, harassed, and terrorized by “peaceful counselors,” a.k.a., anti- choice protestors, without the needed protection of a small area of sidewalk that at least kept women and clinic staff from being literally physically prevented from entering the doctor’s office. I suppose there are people who will say that this decision didn’t really affect women’s ability to get care, and that these clinics have other means of protection at their disposal. But they’d be ignoring the reason the buffer zones were created in the first place. They weren’t there because women are fragile and moody. They were created because women were being spat upon. Citizens were being terrified and threatened and harassed when trying to see a doctor about a private health concern. And people were being murdered.

But that’s the protestor’s right under the First Amendment, I guess. Women’s safety isn’t really a part of that equation. Women don’t rate. Especially not when they’re getting an abortion. An abortion! The worst thing in the known universe a woman can possibly do! Besides having sex in the first place, that is.

Then, of course, Monday’s decision that gave Hobby Lobby, a huge corporation employing thousands of women (presumably not all of them Evangelical Christians), the right to choose which medicines their employees—who pay for their coverage out of their paychecks—are allowed to avail themselves of. Wait, sorry, I need to be more specific here, because it’s not about which medications they’re allowed, it’s about which type of medication they’re allowed. In the words of Justice Alito, impartial champion of the rights of some, “This decision concerns only the contraceptive mandate and should not be understood to mean that all insurance mandates, that is for blood transfusions or vaccinations, necessarily fail if they conflict with an employer’s religious beliefs.”

So, from what I can tell, this basically means that you needn’t worry, and neither should Justice Ginsburg, Super Women’s Champion (except if you want a buffer zone between you and a spitting religious maniac), when she states in her dissent that this could jeopardize other people’s health insurance coverage; that it could open the door to pretty much any type of religious objection under the sun (kind of like how if you let people “peacefully counsel” the Justices from closer than 200 feet that might influence their sacrosanct decisions and the integrity of their “body”? No? Oh, okay). No, Alito wants us to know, and to feel secure in the knowledge, that this decision only affects women who want to have sex without getting pregnant or need to manage a reproductive health issue that contraceptives can help manage. So, only women of reproductive age are affected. Whew! [back of the hand forehead wipe of relief!] I was worried that maybe some other people might get upset because their rights might be in trouble, too! Thank goodness it’s just women who have sex and don’t want to get pregnant. Crisis averted, yo.

1395777727000-HobbyLobby-DENVER-COSome people have pointed out that there is already a workaround in the ACA that provides an out for women who do not share the religious beliefs of a not-for-profit religious organization, say a Catholic-run hospital or university. They may be correct in this, however that workaround for profit corporations is not, so far, outlined in the ACA itself, so we really don’t know how those women immediately affected by this decision are going to manage. We also have a Congress hostile to women’s rights and to the ACA, so getting that language in there seems a dubious proposal at this juncture. But is that really the point? I mean, according to this decision, for-profit corporations are now, in and of themselves, churches if they wanna be, basically. Is that it? Hmmm. I dunno. Wait! They’re people. Right? Wait, are they churches or people? We may never need to know the diff, thanks to the wisdom of the First Unapologetically Christian Court of America. I think that is the relevant question here, and that is what has people like me very, very worried for women. Even Hilary Clinton (a person I admire and respect, but who, apparently, at this particular moment, doesn’t feel that the RFRA and DOMA were part of the same cynical policy failure masquerading as compromise. I would like to get her to evolve her thinking on that, frankly) agrees with me. So no, it’s not hysteria, this response. We’re not going nuts and being reactionary, you know, like it’s that time of the millennium for us. We know what we are afraid of. It’s a concern based on experience.

Many people might end up taking issue with my point of view here or how I’m expressing it. That will happen. I can’t, nor am I intending to, speak for every single person affected by the majestic tentacles of misogyny and patriarchy that reach out in all directions and attempt to suffocate the life out of any sense of shared outrage or mutual support of each other’s struggle with either. Plus, I admit, my thinking is not particularly nuanced on a day like today. Like a lot of people, I’m mostly just pissed. After all, we all just got this news officially reminding us, once again, that women do not share the same rights as citizens of the United States that men, or corporations, or churches, enjoy. No matter how shitty the science, no matter how contradictory the logic, no matter how blatant the hypocrisy, it seems there are some people who will find literally any way, any Escher-like solution, go to any convoluted lengths, and spend any dizzying amount of money to deny my rights as a female citizen. It’s just the cost of doing business. Literally. Like anyone in that situation, I have some feelings about it. To those feelings, and on the point of language and its uses and failures, I should say before getting into it that there are well-established, nationwide pro-choice organizations that have found what they feel is the best and most effective, time- honored language for communicating about the need for “choice,” and it almost always excludes the actual word “abortion.” This is based on a lot of market research and the like which tells them that focusing on or highlighting abortion is not the best way to talk about what they do. Other terms are used instead—not inaccurately, but more comfortably. There’s a stigma, shall we say, that’s pretty effective in making even the most ardent supporters squeamish. Terms like “family planning” or “choice” are accurate and fair and right, but I’m not afraid of the word or the procedure or the practice of abortion, and I refuse to be intimidated out of asserting the reality of it, its frequency, its necessity, or its positivity as a hugely important medical advance for human kind. I believe fear of using the word contributes to fear of the procedure and shame about its use, and acquiescence to shame is at the heart of why I am writing this today. I am choosing to focus on and highlight abortion specifically here, and not just contraception or the broader subject of reproductive health in general, of which abortion is an integral part. If we want to change the conversation, as so many in this fight are desperate to do, well then, start saying “abortion” and say it constantly. Stress it, daily. Don’t let anyone make you afraid to say the word, anywhere.

464540937_7a73867599So many of us seem to have forgotten what life was like before Roe v. Wade, when women were dying in pools of their own blood. Or were being interrogated on hospital gurneys by police while they were bleeding out during a miscarriage. Or being raped by hack abortionists in unlicensed offices. Or needing hysterectomies because of botched illegal abortions. Or having to wait until too late in their terms because they couldn’t get an abortion in time, being forced to abort in filthy, unsafe, terrifying, life-threatening situations.

So many of us are deluded enough to believe—or have been duped into believing—that advances in women’s rights are the result of a curious flight of fancy that some ill-informed, hysterical woman made us think was a good idea for a minute, and not the excruciating reality of life for women before them. “That buffer zone? That was silly!” “That right to terminate a pregnancy? That was just your imagination, you thinking you need that.” “That contraception mandate? Why, you foolish ninny! Who told you you could have that? A LIBERAL? Ha ha! Rights, schmights. Don’t you know your body is public property?” Ridiculous women and their “needs” fucking up everything for all the fun people.

It never gets easier, hearing this stuff, watching the hatred for women’s autonomy be so routinely codified into law. You’d think it would, what with 200 new pieces of legislation restricting abortion in the states in the last three years, more than in the 40 years prior, that I’d get used to the trend and feel prepared for the next assault on my rights. You’d think that with all this “personhood” talk about how a fetus is a person with rights that trump a woman’s, and all the states that keep doggedly pursuing this line of legal reasoning despite its fantastic illogic—not to mention enormous unpopularity with actual living, breathing, thinking, voting people—you’d think I’d be calmer when getting another blow like this. You’d think knowing that the leading cause of death for pregnant women in the U.S. is not complications from childbirth (although that figure is frighteningly high for a developed country), or even from legal or illegal (on the rise) abortion, but murder by their spouse or partner. Or knowing that a woman is beaten by a spouse or partner every nine seconds in this country would have inured me, steeled me a bit more to the pervasive idea that women are property, basically, and really shouldn’t expect to be allowed to make their own decisions about their bodies, relationships, families, sexual lives, etc. You’d think that knowing that abortion is safer than nearly every single other outpatient or inpatient surgical procedure, yet is the most highly regulated and legislated in all of medicine, in 2014, would be enough to make me throw my hands in the air and say, “Welp! Guess women are just going to be second-class citizens forever!” You’d think knowing that access to birth control and abortion services is critical to women’s ability to participate in the work force, maintain their health and economic stability, get an education and increase the standard of living in literally every society and country on Earth, yet watching it disappear in my own country, state by state, for all but the wealthiest would make me shake my head and shrug my shoulders in perfect, powerless incredulity. That would seem to be the sane response, at this stage.

But no, I haven’t gotten used to it. I’m not going to. I still refuse to get used to it. Because I still believe it’s possible to live in a country that respects my rights and my autonomy. I still get angry when I am reminded that I don’t. Like a lot of other people who thankfully aren’t willing to be shut up or shamed or locked out or fucked over, I guess I’m just a sucker—a whore, if you will—for equal rights.

Shame is a terrific silencer. It can get almost anyone to sit down and shut up just at the moment they need most to stand up and get loud. Shame was a very effective tool in oppressing LGBTQ Americans for many, many, many years. It was a tool for forcing silence upon a huge and varied segment of our population as a discriminatory, hate-based culture was codified into law through myriad restrictions on their rights and freedoms. We’re finally seeing that change now, slowly, but dramatically. And that is a good, essential, powerful thing. The rights of my brothers and sisters of every single persuasion, color, and orientation are my rights, too. That’s how the rights of humanity work. That’s also the basis of the American myth. Our country is supposed to be the beacon to the world for those rights. Well, a lot of people rightly find that myth laughable. We have a depressingly long way to go, and we fail constantly in too many areas and too many ways to begin to list here, and others have done a much better job of it. However, at least with regard to marriage equality and LGBTQ rights, it should be obvious to anyone that we are making some progress. When huge multi-national corporations can lend their support to the cause of marriage equality, that is not nothing. It deserves acknowledgement, and it’s due entirely to the diligence, commitment, hard work and courage of every single person who has ever fought for those rights. That we are getting somewhere there as a society is proof that it is possible to change the culture and open the eyes of the law to include all people. It is possible. I take a lot of strength and inspiration from those successes, large and seemingly small, when I begin to feel hopeless or lost in the fight for women’s right to freedom from physical coercion, either by the state or an individual, or, now, from a corporation. After all, marriage equality is just shorthand for “equality under the law.” And that means, of course, ALL laws. Marriage equality is rightly recognized as the strategic door to opening many, many other doors for LGBTQ rights. It’s an awesome thing to learn from. That’s not to say that there aren’t miles to go, but we’d be kidding ourselves not to acknowledge the extraordinary strides made by people who’ve worked so incredibly hard to re-frame the discussion and change people’s lives for the better.

Stonewall-Riots-June-28-1969-2It’s because of those successes that I am inspired and reminded of the power of refusing to be shamed when trying to make change. It is notable that these two SCOTUS decisions come down so close to the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. No longer willing to live in shadows and in fear of violence, inspired, organized, and angry, people came to their own defense and demanded that their humanity be recognized. It was one of the greatest moments in our country’s civil-rights history. The rejection of shame as a tool of oppression galvanized and motivated people who may have been afraid to come out before, and “coming out” became critical in forcing society to really look at and see LGBTQ people as human beings. When you reject shame and force people to look you in the eye as they’re denying your humanity, it’s a big deal. It simply is not as easy to do when you realize the person you’re denying is a person you love, or work with, or learn from, or even just know and always said “Hello” to on the street. Not only is there massive strength in being unafraid to be yourself openly, there is strength in knowing that once another person realizes they love someone who is being denied the right to live freely, they find it much, much harder to support laws that actively cause harm. And then they have to ask themselves, “What made those laws come about in the first place? It must have been ignorance. It must have been bigotry. It must have been fear. And maybe I’m a part of that ignorance. And maybe I need to change.”

One in three women in the United States has had or will have an abortion in her lifetime. It is one of the most common realities of women’s lives. Abortion is more than a choice, and it shouldn’t be a luxury. It is a critical and essential aspect of women’s lives and health care. And it is normal. It is not a disease. It is not a pathology. It is not a crime. It is not shameful. It is a fact of female human life that will never, ever go away, not under any fantastical circumstances. There will always be, for all time, as there has always been, a need for abortion care. Without access to safe, legal abortion care, women will find other means of terminating a pregnancy, whether those means are safe or not. Women who do not want to be pregnant will not stay pregnant, whether you try to prevent them from terminating or not. And a woman seeking an abortion has every right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as anyone else.

c0fceb65bbaf395bb0328d3a551ec7b9Rich women, poor women, women of color, women of deep religious conviction, women who protest at abortion clinics, women who work at those clinics, married women, single women, women with children, women without children, women who want children, women who can’t have them without risking death, women in India, Africa, Europe, Asia, women who live on tiny islands in the middle of the ocean, Muslim women, Catholic women, Jewish women, women in positions of power, women trapped in abusive relationships, women who run corporations, women in government, women who work at home, women who commute, women with grandchildren, women who live in slums, women who live on Park Avenue, lesbian women, trans men, women who serve in your military, women who strip for a living, women who are married to pastors, women who do sex work. All have had abortions, all will have abortions, all deserve access to abortion. All deserve to live according to their own free will and purpose, and all are individuals with their own needs and lives. Perhaps your wife, your girlfriend, your sister, your Mom, your friend who marched beside you at the Pride parade last Sunday, your aunt, your daughter, your teacher, your doctor, your Senator, your Congressperson, your nurse, your lawyer, your best friend, your fellow parishioner, your favorite hooker, your boss, perhaps any of them once had or will have an abortion. One in three women. That’s a lot. Hell, even I’m one of them. Yep, a lot of actresses, some you like, some you think are terrible and should never work again, yes, 1 in 3 of us has had an abortion. I know! It’s amazing. Except it’s not.

I count myself among the millions of women throughout history and in this country and over the world who have had abortions. Me, I don’t feel one iota of shame in saying it and I’ve never been shy about it. My friends and family all know. My romantic partners have always known. I make absolutely no secret of it. I’m saying it here because I want A) to contribute to the dismantling of an oppressive, artificial and unfair shaming of women who seek abortion care, B) make clear just how normal, common, and healthy a decision it is for the women who make it, and C) to encourage women who are part of this one third to be unashamed and come out of the abortion closet. Enough is enough. We’re normal people. We don’t need this shit with the shame and the fear. We’re normal. We’re women. We have abortions sometimes. Get used to it. (We need to find a better chant than that in time for the march on Washington on September 13, 2014. It just doesn’t roll off the tongue … )

No woman needs to justify her abortion under any circumstances to anyone. It’s her life, her business, her health, and her prerogative. I am capable of being my own moral agent, and I know myself better than anybody else. For context alone I will say that in my case, as is true for many women, there was nothing tragic or depressing about the circumstances surrounding my decision, and there was no guilt or remorse afterward. (There is no “post-abortion syndrome.” That is a fake, made up thing that does not exist, like the caveman riding the dinosaur at the Creation Museum, or autism being caused by vaccinations.) My situation was pretty run of the mill. I didn’t want to have kids at the time or with the people I got pregnant with. Pretty simple. Pretty straightforward. Totally okay.

I wasn’t raped, but I didn’t have to be to know I had the right to terminate an unwanted and unplanned pregnancy. My health wasn’t compromised by pregnancy, but it didn’t have to be for me to know I have the right to decide when or if to have children. My pregnancies weren’t the result of incest or abuse of any kind, but they didn’t have to be for me to know I have the right to determine my own physical life and future. I wasn’t underage, but I didn’t have to be to know that having a kid at that time wasn’t right for me. And I wasn’t free of all emotion about it, but I didn’t have to be to know that my life has value, that I am a whole person, and that I come first when making decisions about what is best for me and what I am capable of.

1101-march-for-womens-lives_standard_540x360I share these common realities with millions and millions of women the world over. Including the reality that I have used various forms of contraception for most of my adult life, so shut it with the “abortion as birth control” schtick. (Yes, duh, it is one form of birth control, as in it prevents the carrying of a pregnancy to term, or, “birth.” It is not a contraceptive, which prevents conception. Please learn to use the terms correctly if you are going to hassle us about it. It’s not that hard, Experts In Women’s Health Who Aren’t Women Or Experts.) Of course, I was and am extremely fortunate because I came of age at a certain time, in a country and a city where abortion was readily available, if not covered by insurance (which I believe it should be in all cases). I had the means to do what was right in my circumstance, what I wanted and needed to do, free from coercion, violence, harassment, excommunication, family rejection, or risk of financial ruin. Many women are not in that situation, and I am all too aware of this truth. Most women in the developing world will risk death from a botched illegal abortion. In fact, it is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide. And women in U.S. states with shrinking services are already taking matters into their own hands.

Women in this country, the richest on Earth and with resources available to so many, are in serious, very serious, trouble. The majority of women of reproductive age in the United States live in a county without an abortion provider. The number of women losing access to this basic, essential, critical piece of the health care pie is growing. And of course, we are mostly talking about poor women, women in states that have some of the worst records on maternal health, insurance enrollment, and teen pregnancy in the country. This makes me angry. Really, really angry. It is the real and true shame of this nation, that a woman’s race, income, zip code or immigration status can mean the difference between a safe and legal medical procedure that she needs, or dire, painful medical and life consequences. (And don’t tell me that a woman who has sex should be prepared for the consequences. Shut up. Pregnancy is not punishment for sex. If you think it is, I feel sorry for your kids.)

We all know that women will take matters into our own hands when prevented from receiving the care we deserve. Women are human beings, and human beings are resourceful and smart and determined. Human beings have personal imperatives and rights. Human beings have desires, motives, practical realities and responsibilities, and they will do everything in their power to make their lives work and to provide for themselves and their families. Human beings are resilient, courageous, resourceful and intelligent. Human beings have dreams and hopes and they know how to do what they need to do to achieve them. One of those many things human beings will do is to abort an unwanted pregnancy. You know that expression coined by Gloria Steinem, “If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament”? The reason it’s so potent a statement is because it succinctly highlights that we accept men’s human right to self- determination on their own terms because we accept that men are human, but women are something else. Women are “women,” and we don’t accept that their decisions are an inherently normal part of being human.

It is time we stop pretending that abortion is some anomalous act that is outside the realm of the acceptable and normal. That it somehow damages the family structure or the meaning of motherhood. It does neither of those things. It reinforces them. Anything that strengthens the health and lives of women is good for families. This is a known fact, both spiritually and in terms of health policy. Abortion availability makes women more able to provide for their families, plan their educations, maintain stable homes, control their own futures, protect their own health, avoid poverty, and participate in community and social and political life. Abortion is not a shameful act of failure. On the contrary, abortion is, quite simply, a medical decision to move forward in the knowledge that we are the ones in control of our destinies and our health, and we have the power to make decisions based on our own betterment and security. There are a million reasons why women sometimes have and need abortions. There is only one reason to deny them: POWER. A woman who can’t control her own body is a woman without any power whatsoever. That is a fact. Whether compelled by the state or by an individual or, as is now the case, by a corporation, it is a violation of a woman’s human rights to force her to do with her body what she does not want to do.

roedayUntil our culture accepts that abortion is a normal aspect of women’s lives, an essential one, a natural one in fact, we will be struggling with the political fight over our right to be respected as citizens with equal rights under the law. In spite of the shame we inflict on women for this basic aspect of our lives, it is not going to stop happening. Some of us humans are born with uteruses, and not all of us want to have children, and many of us will get pregnant unwillingly or by accident, and we will have abortions. If you cannot face the reality of abortion then you are living in a state of ignorance, fear, and bigotry against the very people you love; people who mean the most to you in this world. You are choosing to deny those you love their right to live as freely and as happily as you do. So, the shame is now laid at your feet. It is yours to come to terms with. Not ours. Women have the moral high ground here, and it is up to those who would prevent us from living freely to justify their fear of our freedom. Not the other way around.

Thanks to Gina Loukareas for fact-checking and hyperlinks, and to Kera Bolonik and Eric Gilliland.

93 Comments On “Freedom Whore – Abortion, Shame, and The Right To Deny Me My Rights by Martha Plimpton”

  1. Well put Martha!! Bravo for speaking so clearly and bravely. This going-back-in-time bullshit is terrifying, and it has to be hit head on!

  2. I remember seeing that image in ads when I was a teen, not long after Roe vs. Wade. It made a strong impression on me to keep abortion safe and legal.

  3. Brava!

  4. thanks Martha xxx

  5. Hell yes, Martha Plimpton. Love and solidarity from a sister in Australia.

  6. Every woman – every person – should thank Martha Plimpton for her courage in writing this article. It’s a certainty that nearly everyone, even if he or she isn’t aware of it, knows and cares about someone who has had an abortion – someone who could have died if forced to resort to an unsafe abortion.

  7. Martha, brilliantly written – and I agree with almost all of your points, but ….

    To say that the decision gives (Hobby Lobby) “the right to choose which medicines their employees … are allowed to avail themselves of,” is misleading.

    Refusing to pay for something, is NOT disallowing them the right to avail themselves of it. And before someone says that not paying is tantamount to disallowing, birth control pills are available for $9 a month at places like Target and Walmart without insurance. We’re not talking about something prohibitively expensive.

    I think anyone can “manage” $9 a month outside of the ACA.

    • Hobby Lobby doesn’t PAY for any of it. The employees pay premiums to the insurance company, and that’s who ultimately pays for it. What H.L. did was remove certain types of contraception from the insurance plan it offered. So, no, Ms. Plimpton was not being misleading at all. The fact that vasectomies are still allowed under the insurance plan offered by H.L., just proves that it is not about their religious objection to anything that could prevent life from forming, but their objection to women having the same choices as men.

      • Anonymous Coward

        You are quite right Whitney. A for-profit employer should have no say in what medications or procedures are covered under their health insurance plans. If they didn’t want to offer coverage for those options, they should have decided to pay the tax of $1000/person. The employers right to objection ends where the employees right begins.

        • And guess what Anonymous… I’m pretty sure the ACA architects were hoping companies would do just that. Their hope is everyone eventually is pushed onto the ACA.
          Neither the government Nor employers should be involved in our heath. It was the government who incentivize businesses to offer insurance which then made it more expensive and here we are.

          • FYI, by mandating free birth control in basic insurance coverage, costs to everyone (reduced welfare recipients, healthcare for pre-term babies, etc…) lowers by millions. People need to stop thinking in the short-term and anyone who is fiscally conservative should realize the benefits of this plan.

      • Actually Whitney, HL pays a good chunk of the cost of insurance, just like any employer. Also Whitney, a vasectomy is tantamount to the pill. What HL does not want to pay for is something that stops a fertilized egg from implanting. It’s not tough to understand unless you have an agenda.

        Pill- Stops eggs
        Vasectomy- Stops sperm
        Viagra- Promotes life unless you choose to also use a condom/pill etc

        • Wow what a complete oversimplification Christine. The pill doesn’t “stop” egg it regulates the cycle and/or postpones the cycle up to three months, and also has other benefits to some women who get debilitating cramps or excessive flow. Viagra does not “promote life”, unless you mean the life of a flaccid penis, a Vasectomy merely detours the sperm in the seminal vesicle so that during normal course the cells get reabsorbed, as they would if no intercourse/release happened over time. Condoms also have secondary benefits in preventing STDS . Plan B is not an abortifacient despite what your clergy and RTL groups will tell you. They are not chemists or scientists or doctors. Nor are the owners of Hobby Lobby, nor are they a church and claiming religious waivers was a compete atrocity of the SC to allow them to do so in their “narrow opinion”. That opinion has now spawned dozens of copycat lawsuits, mostly filed by the same religious-based law firm ( Because putting religion before the law is now as fashionable as it was when the Puritans were here.) against the ACA. It is farcical, but sadly it will most likely get dragged through the appellate courts and back to the Supreme court. It’s a minefield, indeed.

    • The $9.00 BC pills you are referring to are for generics. Generics are fine, but not always the best choice for some women. Brand names run about $35-40.00. There was a time in my life when $9.00 a month WAS prohibitively expensive and it is unfair to judge based on what you think is affordable or not. This also does not address the issue that some women cannot take hormonal BC and for whom an IUD is a better choice (I had one in place for 26 years w/o a problem). Do you think $500.00-1000.00 is prohibitively expensive? Because that is what it can cost to have one inserted. Women who work at HL pay premiums for their health ins. It is part of their compensation for working. Why should they have to pay twice for their BC? It’s blatantly discriminatory.

    • Iuds are used to treat irregular bleeding.the other options are sterilization methods. they cost around 1000 plus follow up dr appts. no woman who works at HL can afford that.

    • Wrong, wrong, wrong. Employee health benefits are EARNED by the employee, just like her paycheck. When you spend your paycheck on something, do you think your employer is buying it for you? And you can go to hell with your assumption that a certain type of birth control pill is appropriate for everybody. Last I checked you weren’t my fucking doctor.

      • Nice language.
        Health insurance is a *benefit* offered by an employer. Well, it was until the government decided to get involved.
        Vacation is also a benefit as are sick days. Both can be amended by your employer.
        You can choose to go with ACA if you like.

        • Benefits are earned. They are not free. Your work is required in order to get them. You can’t just dismiss health coverage as an office perk, like someone else’s birthday cake. Any official benefits a job offers is part of employee compensation and any decisions the employer can make in terms of how their compensation is used is tantamount to the employee not having control of their salary. It would be nice if everyone could choose their employers, but sometimes only those with detestable politics are hiring. Gay people work for Chick Fil A and women who already use the so-called prohibited birth control methods work for Hobby Lobby. No good will come of these restrictions unless you think a temporary political victory is a worthwhile pursuit.

  8. Thank you so much for all your efforts, Martha!!

  9. I am 71 years old and fought this fight once. In 1959 I lost a very close girl friend at 16 years of age when she in desperation over being pregnant and unmarried took a double barrel shotgun and put it against her pregnant belly and pulled the trigger. I vowed I would do what ever was necessary to change the way women were used and thrown away by men and the state. I still cry about her to this day.

    Whatever it takes ladies, we can do it again. Abortion must be kept a safe and available choice for all women.

    • Cynthia Wallac! e

      Oh my god! I am so amazed by your story. I had an abortion in December 1973. The thing I was unaware of was just how lucky I was as Roe V. Wade had been made law just eleven months earlier. I think I am going to Washington in Sept, 2014.

    • Kathryn… I hate to say this but your girlfriend had mental issues. I mean, who the hell does that?
      Did she think no one would notice the hole in her stomach?
      It’s sad she got pregnant. Perhaps she should not have been having sex at 16.

      The loss of your friend does not justify the death of aborted babies. If it is going to be legal then pay for it yourself since it is a Choice.

      • I hate to say it Christine but you are a sociopathic harridan with a dire lack of empathy. “Perhaps she should not have been having sex at 16″. Do all the people you know wear promise rings and go to creepy balls with their daddys? It’s called real life. People are curious, and teenagers will do the exact opposite of what you tell them. Just look at the teen pregnancy rates of the “abstinence only” states. The woman was so distraught at her situation and having no way out she was left with suicide. It is also the same or similar behavior of poor women who give birth in bathroom stalls because they don’t have access to free or low cost prenatal care or counseling like what Planned Parenthood provides. And yet Conservatives keep trying to whittle away those programs and by the same token expect women to toe the line with respect to their family planning. Birth Control obviates abortions. Education obviates abortions. If men could get pregnant there would be a PP where every Starbucks is. Tell me Christine, where is the compassion for the child once it exits the womb? Pro Life is a misnomer, because those sign wavers should be helping to get those poor kids already born the help they need. Instead they shame cajole coerce etc. and offer no real choices other than the ones that further their restrictive agenda. Are they lining up to adopt these kids that are born into poverty and want? Nom, don’t think so.

  10. Thank you Martha Plimpton.

  11. Thank you for writing this. You say it well sister!!!

  12. Required reading. Brilliantly stated. And all true.

  13. Martha, you are so badass and brave!!! Thank
    You for writing this!!!!!

  14. Thank you for this. So complete, so eloquent, so passionate, so compelling, so illuminating and so entirely true.

  15. Thank you Martha for sharing your thoughts. I couldn’t have said it better.
    As a young woman I was raped in College and got pregnant from that horrid night.
    I had to drive 4 hours to a clinic to have an abortion. While in that clinic I had to sit through “counseling” where I was asked over and over again if this is what I really wanted to do. My response was always the same. “I don’t want to have a physical reminder of what happened to me every day and then have a child that I hate.” The very idea of carrying something I didn’t ask for, never wanted, wasn’t ready for, fill in the blank, for there were many reasons why I felt the way I did, was a prison sentence to me. After the abortion I then had to sit in a room with fellow women who had had the procedure and do “group” counseling. Each had their reason: rape (me), incest (15 yr. old girl whose father had impregnated her), a college student whose condom had burst, a mom with 5 kids and lived on the edge of poverty, and someone who just thought, “I’m not ready”. We didn’t sit in judgement of each other, which is what the clinic wanted us to do, I think. Rather, we shared our experiences, and cried for those of us who had suffered great criminal acts, and cried because the mom of 5 really wanted this baby, but knew KNEW it would be the downfall of her entire family, and held the college student’s hand and told her that these things just happen, and supported the woman who just felt unready to be a mom. We became a community in that moment. Did we get together for a reunion? No. We went back to our lives. The only person I know of, Me, went on to have 2 beautiful productive children. My life didn’t end, but had I had to continue with my pregnancy? I wouldn’t be here today to share my experience, I’d be in a grave in my family’s plot with a broken hearted mom and a dad in prison for killing the man who raped me. So am I mad? You bet I am! Thank you Martha for, hopefully, helping to trigger a Tsunami of women on D.C. to protect what the Supreme Court is trying to erode from beneath Roe V. Wade. Women’s rights to do what we think and feel is best for our bodies. Thank you.
    I have always admired you as and actress, now I….I can’t find the right word for it….<3

  16. Thank you Martha for writing this. I agree with you 100% and I too am in the 1/3. So there.

  17. Actually, you should be ashamed of having an abortion especially if you were not raped. If you don’t want children, either get your tubes tied or don’t have sex. Period. You can also use birth control, but if it fails, you don’t get to use that as an excuse to kill either. Abortion is not normal nor is it ok as a birth control method which is exactly what the majority of women use it for.

    • Janice, your ignorance is staggering. I had an abortion when I was 17(42 years ago, pre-Roe vs.Wade) Not only am I not ashamed, I have never regretted my decision. EVER. Which is exactly how the majority of women feel. Stop judging and shaming other women.

      • No, ignorance is thinking it’s ok to kill because a pregnancy/child is inconvenient.

        • NoviceWorldTraveler

          Janice,
          Ignorance (and arrogance) is believing that everyone must believe as you do that life begins at conception, since that is what your Bible says.
          A pregnancy is not a child; a fetus is not a baby. And getting pregnant when one does not WANT to be pregnant is an inconvenience of enormous proportions. I am a single, 40 year old, sexually active woman who has no desire to ever have children. For me, pleasure is the ONLY reason to have sex. And there is no shame in that.

        • No, ignorance is thinking it’s okay to kill people because you’ve labeled them bad people. It’s also the general hypocrisy that most people like you believe-the horror people like you find in removing tissue from a body against the joy against the joy you find in the death penalty.

      • I feel sorry for you Pam. No regret? How can that be? Sad.
        Good for you Janice. Glad to know another woman who doesn’t follow the BS.
        I have two friends who had abortions. One greatly regrets it. Greatly.
        The other said she doesn’t regret it but she does think about the child that could have been often. That is Normal.

        • Wow.

          Studies prove that the NUMBER ONE feeling of the majority of women after having an abortion is RELIEF. “Knowing someone” isn’t proof of anything.

    • Abortion is actually normal. Throughout the history of humankind it has been used in all cultures and for all sorts of reasons. It’s only recently that it’s been assigned a negative moral value. Even if you do feel that it is a horrendous act of murder, by trying to make it less accessible you will only drive women to seek illegal abortions – the number of abortions won’t decrease. Just more women will die. If you think that is the moral way to go, well, that’s on you.

      If you want to reduce the number of abortions, promote free birth control for all. That would actually be effective.

    • Every time you state that women should just learn to keep their legs shut because they are too stupid and too whore-y, where in the bloody hell are the men in this standard? Are you glaring at them with unencumbered contempt for wanting to have pleasurable sex? You’re either trolling on this thread or just comically missing all of the arguments she just made. Unintended pregnancies and abortion happen as a part of life regardless of different decisions you might make. Its public health. Contraception decreases unintended pregnancies. Sex is normal, its routine, its human. That is the entire point of her article.

    • Even the Catholic church used to believe life began at the quickening (feeling movement, so that’s 4-plus months along). It is a very, very recent and purely political movement that insists life begins at fertilization. I don’t see crowds at funeral homes and cemeteries insisting on full out funerals and burials for 6 week miscarriages, so clearly you all *know* an embryo is not an infant. Hypocrites.

    • It always baffles me when people who view abortion as murder are willing to make exceptions depending on the circumstance. But only if THEY say it’s okay – we can’t make that choice for ourselves. So is it murder or isn’t it? Don’t be a hypocrite.

  18. The word abortion just about kills me. I discovered at 20 weeks that the child within me had a profound genetic disorder–not Down Syndrome–and my husband and I chose to end the pregnancy. I never, ever referred to it as an abortion. We “ended the pregnancy,” which seemed to capture the essence of what happened much better for us than “abortion.” In my mind, “abortion” suggested an unwanted pregnancy, and there has never been a child more wanted than that baby girl we never got to know except in the brief moment after she entered the world, 20 weeks of age, not alive, with my big forehead and perfect little hands and feet. It wasn’t an abortion to me–at all. It was the heartbreaking loss of someone we had loved and wanted so very, very much. I get what you’re saying about destigmatizing the word “abortion.” But you’ll never, ever hear me refer to my own experience that way.

    • I’m so sorry to hear that Ann but you did have an abortion.
      I’m not sure why you chose that, but you did.
      My husband and I decided we would go forward with any pregnancy.
      I am very sad for your situation. I hope you are against abortion after going through that.

      • Oh shut up, Christine. Have some compassion for this woman. What the hell is wrong with you? We get it, you hate women. You think embryos have more rights than we do. Goody for you. I feel sorry for you and your utter contempt for women.

      • because forcing people to raise children they aren’t prepared to raise, or want to have – yeah, that’s so fucking good for children.

        Anti-choice = Pro-fetus, anti-woman and anti-child. Hypocrites.

  19. You my dear are a loud and freeing voice. Keep up the great work. I’m following you, many of us are following you. Thank you!!!

  20. Thank you – NEVER get used to it…women will prevail…eventually.

  21. The year I was born (1966), one of my father’s students died of a botched abortion. When I was born, my mother was terribly unhappy to have a girl, she told me decades later. When I asked her why, she said, “I didn’t want a child whose life-script would be written by somebody else.”

  22. great post. this really hits home for me.

    as a christian, my whole life i was told that abortion is wrong. i believed this most of my life, simply because other christians told me so.

    interestingly enough, one day i needed to take plan B. i felt so much guilt over it because i thought that this was literally the worst thing i could do. i desperately sought out for information, especially as to WHY it was a sin. turns out there is no where in the bible that actually says that abortion is a sin. in fact, there’s even scripture that explains that the only sin is if a man KILLS his wife in the process of aborting the baby with “bitter water”. that means that the woman is important. i’m leaving you a link specifically listing the scripture about this. turns out, according to the bible, life begins with BREATH, not conception. the bible lists this several places. here’s the link – http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/03/19/1285933/-Bible-Life-Begins-at-Breath-Not-Conception

    i’m not sharing this because i think this is how people should think. i realize that not everyone is a christian, nor is everyone religious. but if any christians read this and are ready to fight against this blog post because of the imaginary guilt they feel from their peers, check out the link above. the reality is that christians claim to follow the bible, then prove yourself and follow the bible. don’t use it to conveniently control other christians.

  23. Thank you for writing the piece that needed to be written in every way. 2014 and it is still not understand that women are autonomous beings that deserve self-determination. How is this possible. How is every single person not on board with this?

  24. Thank you for this.

  25. The woman in the photo captioned “woman dead on hotel room floor” is named Geraldine Santoro. She was 28. I feel like it’s important that people know who she is. She’s a symbol, but she was also a person.

    • Thank you for telling that poor woman’s name, Geraldine. She deserves to be named so that she doesnt die as a thing, but as a person.

  26. Thank you Martha! You articulate what everyone needs to hear. It’s been frustrating to watch the gay rights movement sprint past the women’s movement and the civil rights movement. So whom do I want to join this struggle? White men. Get out here and stand with the rest of us.

  27. righttherewithyou

    I was 25 when I found myself in a situation where my only reasonable choice was to terminate an unexpected pregnancy. I was so ashamed. I was off BC but using condoms, and I don’t know what went wrong, but I felt so stupid and alone. Then I started talking to my girlfriends about it and it turned out that most of them had also had abortions but had just never spoken up about it because it was a matter of shame for them. They had all felt alone and stupid and assumed that no one else they knew had dealt with the same decision. Now I talk about it pretty freely. This right absolutely must be protected, and I don’t want anyone ever to feel alone or shameful about that choice.

  28. Has anyone thought of putting together a million woman peaceful march on supreme courts decision to own women’s wombs for religious purposes? Its time to stand up and stop the assault against women!

  29. She is not ‘brave’ for giving this popular opinion. If the opposite opinion was given in the same manner the amount of hateful comments would be triple the amount of comments here. I am an atheist, or antitheist, to be exact and do think abortion is wrong. I wonder how many replies to this comment it will take before I get called ignorant or ‘I bet he’s male’. Ready, set, go…

    • I disagree with you. I think she is brave to admit, under her real name, that she is among those who have had an abortion. She wouldn’t be nearly as brave if she hadn’t admitted that fact in print for the whole world to see.

      Sadly, I am not as brave as she is. I am also in the 1/3, and so is one of my sisters, and so are a lot of people I know. I don’t feel like I CAN shout it from the rooftops, though, because it might affect my career, and have a host of other repercussions. Not only that, but it’s a medical issue, and it’s none of anybody’s goddamn business but mine. The sad part is that by taking away these rights from us women, one piece at a time, it’s becoming more and more imperative for us to stand up and reveal our private medical information, if only to show the people who are stealing our autonomy know that their stereotypical “slut” is not the only type of person who gets abortions.

    • Regardless of your views, criminalizing behaviors you disagree with does not make them disappear. It didn’t work for prostitution, drugs, or alcohol. Abortions are going to happen regardless of whether you criminalize them or not, and they will happen in large numbers, and result in the deaths of the woman as well as the child.

      For Pre-Roe Vs. Wade abortion stats, maybe you should read this:

      http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/tgr/06/1/gr060108.html

      • Precisely. Which is why we fight so hard for access to birth control. We have one of the highest rates of unintended pregnancies in the industrialized world. We have rates of abortion far higher than many countries with even looser access to abortion. That’s unacceptable. Making abortion illegal doesn’t make it go away. It just sends it underground.

        Empower women to give them control over their own lives and bodies, and you make abortion unnecessary. That’s why this fight over Hobby Lobby is so incredibly misguided.

    • The opposite gives this opinion *daily* and the hateful comments geared towards women who have an abortion, for whatever reason they like, are far more horrifying than one being accurately defined as ignorant or male.

    • If the opposite opinion was given, of course the comments would be different. Someone against women’s rights is not going to get a lot of support, at least from women. Though there are some women who don’t want rights, which is baffling. They don’t have to take advantage of the rights, but shouldn’t deny them to the rest of us. Oh, and if you think abortion is wrong, then don’t have one. And if you’re male, make sure not to get anyone pregnant.

  30. Thank you so much for this. I have two absolutely beautiful, loved children, precisely because I had the right and the ability to choose abortion earlier in my life. It frightens and infuriates me that so many want to take that choice away from future generations of women. Unintended pregnancy happens, and abortion happens, this is simply a fact of life, and we need to stop feeling ashamed of it.

  31. Martha, thank you so, so much for writing this. Reading your article made me so angry, in a good way, in a step-up-and-take-action and let them know we’re not going to take this shit anymore kind of way. Well done.

    • You kind of DO have to take it now… Since the Highest court in the land has said you will. No way to change that now. Why do a small percentage of women believe that their rights are being taken away? Health care is not a RIGHT. And birth control isn’t either. I would argue that Food and Water is more of a right. Before you require someone else to pay for and supply your medicine, shouldn’t they be required to furnish your food and water? After all, lack of Food or water will kill you sooner than lack of sex…
      At least we live in the Greatest Country in the world. You have the freedom to go meet some guy and do him if you want. You just pay some money yourself to ensure you don’t conceive. In many country’s now, you can get stoned to death for leaving your home not fully covered and escorted by a male family member.

      • Respectfully, “a small percentage of women” would be more like 5%, 1%, .05% … not 33%. 33% is a pretty significant portion of women, to be frank. That’s 50 MILLION women who have sought abortions in their lives.

        But, let’s say it really was more like .05%. That’d be 7.5 million women. And let’s say that abortion was illegal; meaning back alley abortions, clothes hangers, … that’s 7.5 million women who are at risk of horrific complications, evisceration, and death. That small percentage is not a small percentage when we really look at it.

        I truly respect where anti-abortion folks are coming from. Really, I get it. You want to protect potential life. That is by far a treasure among treasures, potential life. But I must beg to ask — what about the lives of those we have with us? The lives of my sisters, of your daughters?

        Personally, I have a horrifyingly painful illness that is one of the most painful medical conditions known to mankind. I have a 48% chance of not passing it on to my kids. I pray to God that I won’t. But after enduring the years of agonizing, suicidal, unrelenting crucifixion of daily pain, innumerable ER visits screaming in agony like a patient on Dr. House …. if I had the possibility to KNOW if my darling potential life had it or not? Yes, I would get an abortion. There is no question in my mind that it is right to spare a child from this horror I’ve lived through. If that makes me some sort of Kevorkian lady that I would spare a little potential life of years of hopelessness and suicidality and despair and pain so bad you feel like your kidneys are being ripped out of your testicles, then so be it. I would not wish what I’ve gone through on my worst enemy, let alone a life I would be bringing into this world and cherishing. I want my kids to have the best shot I can give them … for a normal, happy life. God is part of my life, knows my prayers and burdens, and understands the intention of compassion of where I’m coming from.

        Even if I were the only woman in the world who wanted an abortion, … because of the cataclysmic hell I have suffered through, 1 woman, the smallest of small minorities, it would still be enough to fight for safe access to abortion care.

        Respectfully submitted. I wish you all the best.

      • So I should just be happy I’m not getting stoned for living my life? Pretty low standard there.

  32. Pingback: I digress . . . | Chronicle of a New Teacher

  33. Incredible piece. Thank you SO MUCH for saying out loud what’s been in my mind for so long!

  34. Thank you for writing this. I’m an adopted child, the product of a woman far too young and not yet ready to become a mother. She gave me up for adoption as a choice, on her own free will. I’ve thought long and hard about this, and I met her, and she told me her story and we both cried. She was young. She was desperate. She had a chance to give me up and she did.

    Not every woman has that choice. I cannot for the life of me having the government force that young woman, my mother, through something so awful, or if she did terminate her pregnancy, to do so in anything less than a sterile, clean clinic by a skilled doctor.

    I’ve met women who’ve terminated their pregnancies. Not a single one of them wanted to. By the time they actually gotten to that point, they’d exhausted every other option.

    It’s why I’ve joined you in this fight. The fight to make abortion illegal is misguided. The fight that Hobby Lobby has engaged in, even more so. I’ve committed my life to giving every woman not on a choice, but a power to control their destiny. When every woman no longer has to be so scared as my mother was.

    Simply put, if you make abortion unnecessary, you never have to make it illegal.

    Would I have died for that? People have died for far less. Using government to control women is the worst solution. Using government to give women the freedom to control their destinies, I cannot image a great use of our common good.

  35. Great article Martha, I hope people, especially Women are going to get out to vote, and get rid of these Politicians who keep trying to take away women’s, and other Human beings rights, as for this Supreme Court of Fascist politicians in robes, well 5 of them are,we need to try and impeach them, it can be done, but it wont happen if the right wing politicians (Republicans)control the House, and Senate.

  36. Pingback: Hobby Snobby Anti-Sex Law | Choosy Women

  37. Pingback: The Elephant in the Closet | Self-Love: It's Just Another Lifestyle Change

  38. Ma’am. Your angry militant response has no basis. To answer your question, YES, the 1st amendment DOES trump your ill conceived fear mongering of danger to the patients. Did anyone ever explain to you that “spitting” on someone IS assault and is punishable by jail? Just like simple assault and as you claim Murder is also punishable. It takes a concious decision by the public to do these, and if they do, they will be delt with.
    Your WORST mischaracterization is that of the Hobby Lobby decision. It was not about a Huge corporation dictating which medicine you can use for your health. It was about the right of religious freedom and how it is illegal to force a company to pay for things that are against their beliefs. No one said you cand continue to have premarital sex and take birth control. All they said is that if you want to live that lifestyle, you must pay for the medical and pills yourself. Maybe downgrade that cable bill and drop the HBO and Showtime, so you can pay for it yourself. Because the highest court in the land has now verified that everyone who “thought” they should get everything FREE, was WRONG.
    I hope you find peace for yourself and don’t choke on this stress you are self inducing. Relax, you still live in the best country in the World. At least you aren’t being stoned to death for leaving your home without being escorted by a male family member.

    • Just because spitting on someone can be considered by assault, it does not mean it is enforceable without video surveillance and a permanent police presence, neither of which are reasonable options to prevent women from being spit on. Just look up how terrible the conviction rate is for cases of rape. Imagine someone being scheduled for an abortion and they get spit on. What do they do? Do they cancel their appointment, take a picture of the shit stain who did it, go to the police station, try to keep the loogie on their face long enough for them to collect the DNA evidence? You seriously think this is alright? You think the cops are going to put up wanted posters and APBs on spitters?

      Do you also think corporations have the right to prevent their employees from donating money to political candidates/action groups they disagree with? It’s the same thing.

    • right, because corporations are people. and they have more rights than women. Got it.

    • Wow. You’re one of the people who sees it as “just women’s rights.” Nothing to get upset about, right? As long as you’ve got yours. BTW, we DO pay insurance premiums. It’s not “free.”

      If you want to live that lifestyle? You mean the lifestyle of a human? Most people have sex. People want to put all the responsibility on the woman, and then deny her the means of control. If all men decided to accept responsibility and wear condoms, this would sure be a lot easier. We may be the ones who take birth control, but we’re not the only ones using it.

      How sincere can Hobby Lobby’s convictions be, when they invest in the SAME companies in their lawsuit – the ones that manufacture the objectionable birth control?! Does profit nullify hypocrisy?

  39. I think religiously counseling potential gun buyers is absolutely brilliant. Can’t wait to get in their face–oops, I mean close enough to them to share my heartfelt feelings about guns.

  40. Great read. Linked it to Facebook and the picture link was the dead woman and while I know this is reality I also can not link and post with that image as I have children and young people on my page.

  41. Brilliant article. Thank you, Martha.

  42. This is a very complicated issue. I know there are many women who are trapped in relationships and are raped. I live in Cleveland, Ohio where 3 women were kidnapped for 10 years under horrific conditions. But respectfully I say to you that I disagree. When a women is in a consensual relationship and decides to have an abortion because she just doesn’t want to have a baby with that person, I feel that is irresponsible, and not the same thing as someone who is trapped in a situation. Maybe it’s because I have worked in an Emergency Room and have seen women use abortion as a form of birth control. I am sure that experience has shaped my opinion. Birth control is not not hard to get, and it’s not that expensive. When I hear women casually say that when they got pregnant, it just wasn’t the right time, and they decided to have an abortion, honestly, it makes me feel nauseated. It just seems so heartless and cold to me. I know my opinions probably anger you, but it is how I feel. I would protest at an abortion clinic, but I would not spit on someone or injure anyone, that is ridiculous behavior. I am sorry for anyone that ever had to go through something like that.

  43. Wow. Great piece. Ever think of running for office? You get my vote!

  44. Love the essay, but it’s not 1 in 3 women having had abortions–it’s 3 in 10, as stated on the website you linked to. That statistic also seems high, compared to the CDC’s records, but it’s definitely not 1 in 3.

  45. Thank you, Martha. I recently “came out” about the abortion I had in college in the late 1980s. I’m grateful for the women and men who helped make Roe v. Wade the law of the land. I want to make sure that right isn’t eroded for generations of women to come. I get that some people aren’t happy about it being the law; they needn’t avail themselves of one.

  46. I think women who have had an abortion know on some deep level that what they’ve done is participate in a murder. I think they’re trying hard to convince themselves that it’s “normal” to slaughter a baby because they cannot face the truth of what they’ve done. If they acknowledge that they’ve ended the life of an unborn child they’ll have to acknowledge what a monster they truly allowed themselves to become. I’m not religious but I know right from wrong and I know it’s wrong to rip an infant to pieces because it’s an inconvenience. I’m certain on some level you all know it’s wrong, too. Denial doesn’t change the fact that you participated in a murder. You can’t change what you’ve already done but learn and move forward and don’t do it again.

  47. This kind of thinking has never and never will enable us women to become the strong, intelligent and compassionate women that we have always been. Abortion hasn’t made us strong, fearless and independent thinkers and doers that we believe. Women are the last hope for compassion, caring and generosity left in this world. We need to use our birthright more productively and compassionately. Let’s become real women.

  48. Can we all agree at least on this wonderful quote :
    “My own belief is that abortion should not be a divisive legal issue and we should stop trying to overturn Roe v. Wade. Rather, abortion should be reduced by focusing instead on building up the institution of marriage. The Guttmacher Institute’s datathat 85 percent of all abortions take place outside of marriage would have us address the subject not as a social wedge issue but by cultivating a culture that respects women, commits to marriage, and emphasizes the intimate nature of sex over its recreational dimension. ”
    This was written by Rabbi Schmuley Boteach

  49. Bravo Martha! I’ve been a fan a long time and it’s great to know that a few women out there besides me are angry and talking back. It’s Not a man’s choice to choose what to do with a Woman’s body! I don’t think men should have a say on women’s issues. what do they know? Have men had cramps and pain every month? Have they been to a doctor and had him explain that his woman can Never have her own children do to what another Sick man did to his wife? Has a 15 yr old boy sat up crying in bed all night after finding out the girl he thought he loved was a cheat, a liar and oh yes, you’re pregnant? Did he suffer in agony trying to tell an already distant parent that he has to make the decision of his life? And he only has 2 weeks before he crosses the “it’s too late” window? Has he gone in to a small clinic, been treated like a cow going to slaughter, been put under anesthetic then been awakened by a shake, given a cup of apple juice and a garbage bag, so you don’t “make a mess in the car on the way home?” Until he has, there is NO choice he should ever be allowed to make about My body. Thank you again Martha!

  50. The reason I want to go on the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride is because this is not an anecdote to be read as an individual narrative but a reality that helps encapsulate that forced motherhood is female enslavement and that abortion must be on demand and without apology.

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