Apparently, I blog about reproductive rights too much.

I announced a while back that I would delete anti-choice comments or those dismissive of the idea that women’s reproductive rights are important and/or denying that those rights under constant attack by right wing politicians and “pro-life” bullies in the face of overwhelming evidence that that is exactly what is happening. I got one such comment yesterday and did delete it, as promised, and of course whining ensued by the commenter but fuck him because, as I said, I don’t have time to teach Pro-Choice 101 to people who clearly aren’t interested in understanding it.

I’m going to print part of his comment, though, because it is illustrative of a curious disparity in the response to my posting, which is admittedly (and proudly) focused on reproductive rights much of the time:

I have a hunch this issue took over your life a long time ago and it has now become, if not your life, then a major part of it. That’s sad. Especially when it leaves you so angry and bitter…

There are many, many bloggers out there who blog about everything under the sun. Many of them blog about certain things almost exclusively, such as their dogs. Or cooking. Or sports. Or flower arranging, etc. There are a lot of bloggers, such as those of us here at BfA, who focus on politics.

Politics is defined as “the activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, especially the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power.” That covers a broad range of activities and rare is the political writer who adept at covering all of them, or even half a dozen or so. So it’s common for political bloggers to emphasize one or two topics over the rest and devote a lot of writing to those topics. For example, David Safier used to be a BfA blogger and he wrote primarily about education because that’s his area of expertise. Similarly, our own Bob Lord writes a lot about taxation and income inequality, because that’s his wheelhouse. Steve Muratore devoted many posts to the redistricting fight, and continues to do so as new developments arise.

I don’t recall seeing any of the aforementioned bloggers being scolded the way I was. None called “angry and bitter” simply for having a deep interest in a certain subject and writing often, and sometimes passionately, about it. But I get that shit all the time. Why? And it’s not even that writing about reproductive rights at all necessarily elicits this particular brand of derision. I am fairly confident that “Steve”, who was the source of the above quoted comment, hasn’t visited these people to inform them that abortion has taken over their lives and that they should really calm down about it.

Why do you suppose that basically everyone, including anti-choice activists, gets to focus obsessively on their pet topic if they want to but it’s somehow out of line for a pro-choice blogger to do the same? Even when said pro-choice bloggers are constantly given ample reasons to write about attacks on women’s reproductive rights?

My theory is that that the anti-choice bloggers operate in a larger culture of stigma around female sexuality – hell, slut shaming is our national religion – so people like “Steve” are willing to buy that anti-abortion zealots are driven by a true concern for saving babies. On the other hand, a pro-choice blogger like myself is seen as defending women being able to have sex without “consequences” (which is true!) and that might be something that that “Steve” considers illegitimate and unsavory. So it would make sense I would come across as irrationally angry to him. But that’s his problem because I’m going to continue to advocate for women’s autonomy and dignity as long as I draw breath.

kthxbai.

17 Responses to Apparently, I blog about reproductive rights too much.

  1. Ms. Classen, I don’t think you talk about abortion or women’s rights too much because women’s rights are human rights, about which not enough can ever be said.

    Regarding abortion I would note that there are certain issues not commonly touched upon in abortion debates. For example, most, if not all, of the anti-choice group in this country base their objections on Christian grounds. In so doing, they overlook their belief that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son so that humankind could be saved. One must therefore ask how this act by God differs from that of a mother who chooses to abort a fetus to “save” or benefit others, for example to save herself or to benefit her other children or even to save a malformed fetus from a life of desolation.

    Another issue that the anti-choice folks overlook is that of ectopic pregnancy relative to the definition of personhood. In ectopic pregnancy the embryo implants itself outside the uterine cavity, most commonly in a fallopian tube; and it is a medical emergency in about 50% of the cases. If it does not resolve itself, surgical or pharmacologic treatment is required for its removal. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ectopic_pregnancy#Epidemiology). In any case the ectopic embryo will never develop into a fetus. However, If personhood is defined as starting at the moment of conception, then its removal would be an abortion, no? Ectopic pregnancy is not rare. In one study, over 260,000 women were discharged with a diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy between 1970 and 1978 (Cf.http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00014677.htm)

    The anti-choice folks also fail to take note of the rate of miscarriage, about 31% of all pregnancies (http://www.nytimes.com/1988/07/27/us/study-finds-31-rate-of-miscarriage.html). This would make God or nature the greatest abortionist of all, no?

    My point is that the anti-choice crowd overlook the implications of their own religious beliefs and facts of nature.

  2. Have you seen this? It’s an interview with the “counselors” outside a Boston Planned Parenthood Clinic.

    Anti-Abortion Protesters in Massachusetts Want Women to Stop Having Sex, Please
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/11/17/cosmo_talks_to_abortion_clinic_sidewalk_counselors_gets_an_earful_about.html

  3. Thank you. I am wondering when it will get through to men that this is the one arena in which women retain dominion, and always will? And it drives (some) men ape-shit. It is not about concern for the fetus, it is about control of women, no more, no less.
    As with gay marriage, I scratch my head as to why some people are so obsessed with others’ sex lives. As Thom Hartmann has suggested, these people should seek therapy.
    The only thing worse than self-righteous conservative men are the female sycophants who join them.

  4. This 70 year old is sick of having to fight this battle of “Our Bodies Ourselves” again. Old enough to remember how it was “before” Roe Vs Wade and I’m with you, Donna.

  5. I want you to know that I won’t be bothering you any more on this subject. When I read this blog and realized you see no difference between abortion and discussions on tax law, redistricting, education and income inequality, then you were unreachable. This troll won’t bother you again.

  6. Scream it loud and proud!! THIS is what they want for us…

    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/11/13/3591855/el-salvador-abortion-suicide/

    El Salvador’s Total Abortion Ban Is Driving Pregnant Teens To Commit Suicide

    Keep abortion SAFE and LEGAL!!

  7. Until abortion rights and reproductive health care is a constitutional guarantee which everyone takes for granted, I will not stop talking about this either. If reproductive rights were celebrated in the same manner as second amendment rights, we would not be having these conversations.

  8. I feel that men like myself have no place in this debate. It is our responsibility to unconditionally love and support the women in our lives, not judge or control them, or any other women for that matter. There is nothing angry about your blogs, however some of your critics can be quite ignorant and annoying. Please keep repeating the message until everyone gets it. Thank You.

  9. I recall my Aunt (who was 91 at the time) commenting how the GOP is trying to drag women back into the 19th century. . . “I thought we had already fought all these battles.” You keep doing what you’re doing Donna, and do more of it, and louder. And thanks for doing it.

  10. Keep doing just exactly what you do. Agree with you 120%. I really don’t have much tolerance for anyone that thinks that I shouldn’t get to decide about issues regarding my body and my health.

    • What do you think about prostitution and suicide? I’m not picking a fight here, I am curious because those are “body control” issues, as well.

      • Steve, you’re sort of being ridiculous here, in two respects. First, you’re interpreting Cheri overly literally. Second, although abortion, prostitution and suicide all involve body control, there are other issues they don’t have in common, which causes the analysis to differ completely. Inevitably, we’re dealing with line drawing here, and the consderations are different in each case. I interpret Cheri as saying is that except in extraordinary circumstances, a woman should make choices regarding her body and her health. I share that view, but I still might draw the line where a woman became pregnant by choice as a surrogate, there were zero complications in the preganancy, but she nonetheless decided three days before the due date she wanted to terminate the pregnancy. We regulate suicide because the goal is to regulate not the ones who commit suicide, because they’re obviously beyond the reach of the law, but those who assist them. So, I would draw the line between, say, an elderly person with terminal cancer, and a 21 year old who is physically sound but depressed. Regarding prostitution, there’s a huge concern about exploitation that is not present for abortion or suicide, so it’s silly to try to categorize it the same way.

        • Nicely said..however, I think that in ALL circumstances that a woman should have complete control over her body. Legal, safe and rare. I could go on and on and on about this, because, like Donna, I don’t have time for this debate about me while I’m standing here. Men own what part of this? I have no fucks to give to those that we make me a slave to their controlling ways.

  11. Amen! Sing it, sister! Well said, and thanks for posting. x