Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com
In case you haven't seen it yet, Irin Carmon has a couple of nifty graphs on abortion stats up at MSNBC. The first is a visual representation of how the country has changed, state by state, on hostility to reproductive rights since 2000. The second is a profile of the women, about 1/3 of us in America, who get abortions. It dispels several myths that a lot people seem to hold about that. The largest number of women who abort pregnancies are in their 20s, not their teens. The majority of abortions go to women who are already mothers, contrary to the anti-choice stereotype of women who abort being selfish strumpets who reject motherhood and hate children. Also, most women who get abortions practice a religion.
Speaking of stereotyping the women who choose abortion, I often point out that one of the main goals of the anti-choice movement is to stigmatize and punish female sexuality and, sure enough, along comes this report from The Christian Post to prove me right. Apparently, the Family Research Council has an important study out purporting to show what big old sluts women who abort are. And if you've wondered what the magic number of lifetime sex partners it takes to confer sluthood upon a lady, the answer is "three".
Fagan and Talkington also found that 40 to 50 percent of women who reported having 10 or more sexual partners have had an abortion versus 6 percent of women who reported having only one sexual partner. Nearly 90 percent of abortions were procured by women who reported having three or more sexual partners.
When asked by CP what sort of influence he believed this report will have on the abortion debate, Fagan responded that it might lead to recognizing a link between abortion and permissive sexual practices.
Anti-choicers, I really do appreciate when you come right out and admit what you're up to. And by not even mentioning men, and certainly not handwringing over how many sex partners they have, you are making it ever so much more abundantly clear.
In related news today, Wendy Davis, the Texas candidate for Governor who famously and heroically filibustered a heinous anti-choice bill in the state legislature has come under attack by the right for the flimsiest of pretexts. Amanda Marcotte has the scoop in Slate:
The big, uh, lie is that she dates her first divorce to the time she actually left her husband at age 19 instead of 21, when the paperwork was final. Slater also accuses her of overselling what a struggle it was to lift herself out of poverty and go to Harvard Law because her second husband, Jeff Davis, offered her child care and financial assistance. "The basic elements of the narrative are true," Slater wrote in his piece, "but the full story of Davis’ life is more complicated, as often happens when public figures aim to define themselves." Frankly, most politicians spin their life story more egregiously between getting out of bed and having their first cup of coffee.
While Slater's story fails at demonstrating that Davis is dishonest, it does do a smashing job of portraying Davis as the embodiment of a particularly misogynist stereotype, the scheming gold-digger who manipulates a hapless man with her sexuality. (Slater is not the first to lean on sexist tropes to define Davis: Her good looks have been a sore spot for conservatives since her filibuster made her famous, which is why some have lovingly nicknamed her "Abortion Barbie.") Slater emphasizes that Davis' second husband was older and wealthier and that she was the aggressor in pursuing the relationship. Slater all but counts every dollar Davis' second husband spent on her education. Even though Wendy Davis had her own law practice by the time she divorced Jeff Davis in 2003, Slater portrays her as squeezing her husband dry before running out the door:
Marcotte also notes the supreme irony of conservatives busily touting marriage as the surest path out of poverty for women these days while castigating a particular woman for, well, getting married to a guy who helped to support her financially. We ladies really can't win with them, can we?
It begins: The first anti-choice bill making it's way through the AZ lege this year would allow surprise inspections of abortion clinics, under the pretense of making the procedure "safer". Arizona anti-choicers got zero bills passed last session so you better believe they are gunning for them this year.