Category Archives: Abortion

Domestic Gag Rule

Trump is at it again. Another “empty promise” from his campaign is being fulfilled, which should terrify all of us. His newest order is essentially stripping healthcare providers of all of their funding that assists in cancer prevention, contraception and STI/STD prevention/treatment. Providers like Planned Parenthood (the most well known) and many others that receive their federal funding under Title X will no longer receive any federal aide if they continue to assist women in any way that are seeking information on abortion. Trump is now truly trying to force an end to abortion as a whole. Even if the provider does not perform the abortion, the simple act of giving a patient any information on the subject at all will repeal the provider’s funding.


My question for the reader is this, at what point will it be enough? Are we as a country honestly going to function under this regime? Does this make you feel as though America is becoming great again?

Trump’s New Domestic Gag Order

Trump’s New Domestic Gag Order Escalates War On Women

The article discusses Trump’s plan to bring an end to planned parenthood, and eventually making abortions illegal. I don’t think anyone has a right to tell any women what she should do with her body. Her body, her choice. I understand some people may be against abortions, but women have their reasons for having abortions. No one has the right to tell someone what to do with their bodies, especially not men when it comes to abortions. what are your thoughts on this? Is it fair to make abortion illegal? Should men have any time of say when it comes to abortion?

Southern Africa’s Contraceptive Control

Abigail Detwiller

Puberty is a crucial step as girls prepare for the decisions and responsibilities of sexuality and reproduction.

Faridah Nalubega, a 26 year-old woman intended to have just two or three children, the most she felt she could afford by selling fried fish in Kampala, Uganda, according to PAI, a U.S.-based family-planning advocacy group. But she ended up with six children—in large part, she told PAI, because her husband forbade her to use contraceptive pills and her local family-planning clinic offered no suitable alternative. In this area of Uganda, men often become violent with their partners who show an interest in using contraception.

Two barriers that limit the access to and use of contraceptives is southern Africa are the myths and misconceptions of young people, and the attitudes of adults in these communities. If these can change then the use of contraceptives will increase and the number of unwanted pregnancies will decrease. The first step would be to expand the learning and accessibility of information on the many different methods of contraceptives. The young people need to understand that the myths and misconceptions that they are taught by their peers and adults are incorrect and hold no scientific grounds. If they could meet others who use contraception and ask questions it could be a very good experience for the youth, and for the adults who have the misconceptions. It is one thing to be able to reach the youth, but if you do not change the view ofthe adults have then all the work you did can be easily reversed because of the place they hold in their society over the younger generations. After being able to teach and give more factual based information on contraception they would need to focus more of their time focused on the older generation. If the older generation views contraceptives as bad and refuse to provide the youth with them then all the work teaching the youths would be of no use. The youth would not be able to get the contraceptives so their knowledge would be no help because without contraception’s no matter what they try it will be unsuccessful. Young people are seen by societies around the world as needing to be guided by the older generations to make sure they are not making immature decisions. Though sometimes the problem stems from the older generations decisions that are being forced upon the youth.

In South Africa the traditional view against contraceptive use is held by the men, so if a man does not want his wife on contraceptives then she cannot unless she hides it. Engelman writes that “unfortunately, helping women plan their families stealthily—by using contraceptive injections, for example—is a leading strategy because many male partners believe childbearing decisions are theirs alone to make. Men also tend to want one to three more children than women do, not surprising given who gets pregnant, gives birth and handles most of the child care.” Traditional values are taught to the next generation through multiple ways, but some traditional values are oppressive towards others and should not be implemented. If these traditions are stopped it does not mean that it is lost the tradition will be a part of the people’s history, and generations will be taught why they changed, and how it has helped the people grow. Just because people no longer apply that tradition does not mean they have lost who they are it just means there might have been a healthier way for them to celebrate.

When introducing new ideas and concepts some people can create myths and misconceptions about the information and make it so that the general population is against something without learning all the facts. Most youth are uneducated in the correct procedures, heavily influenced and trusting of their peer members, and so believe false information easily because of misplaced trust. In a study, Ochaco et al. found that “Many fears were based on myths and misconceptions. Young women learn about both true side effects and myths from their social networks” Most myths and misconceptions that were taught to the young girls is that if the use any contraception they will not be able to have children later. By creating these myths and misconceptions many girls are then later pressured to get rid of pregnancies that come from not being able to use contraception’s. To combat the myths and misconception education for both males and females is important. By continuing to go to school both genders will be able to learn the importance of contraception and how big of a role they all play. Though, at the moment, since South Africa is a patriarchal society, females are not seen as important enough to continue their education most of the time passed elementary level.

It is important to teach the younger generations because without access to contraceptives, unwanted pregnancies increase.. Hoopes et al. report that “Approximately one-quarter of women aged 15–19 years in South Africa report having been pregnant. Although teen fertility has mirrored a decline in fertility among all women in South Africa, South African teens experience a birth rate of 54 per 1,000 women aged 15–19 years, twice that of teens in the United States.”

Though Africa has been more progressive in their abortion laws such as, “…nurses and midwives are trained and permitted to perform abortions, paving the road for accessible abortions at conveniently located facilities” (“Common Reproductive Health Concerns in Anglophone Africa.”), many girls have resort to extreme measures to get rid of unwanted pregnancies aborted because of the limited number of professionals.

If men and women are not taught the true information pertaining to contraceptives they will continue to have problems. Traditional values can still be part of who the people are but will just not be implemented. Women deserve the same education opportunities as men. By having these options available the knowledge about birth control will be more widely available and not seen as something bad, instead a positive.

Abigail Detwiller has an associate’s in Science and attends East Carolina University pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology. After graduation she plans to enroll into a Dental Hygienist program to obtain her license and work in the dental field helping others.

It’s A Girl – Gendercide in India and China

The film, It’s A Girl (available now on Netflix watch instantly), casts a light on the way girls in India and China are discriminated against because of their sex. According to the film’s website, the UN estimates as many as 200 million girls are missing because of female infanticide. The film also explores dowry and domestic violence, sex trafficking, issues of reproductive health and control, female suicide, and forced abortions. The film presents some interesting statistics about men and women, including the estimate that there are 37 million more men than women in China today.

Before posting, I wanted to look up some of the statistics. I found an interesting and thought provoking article that looks at the funding and perspective of the film (you can read the Slate article here). The writer found that the film was actually funded and produced by pro-life ministries, yet is being shown and recommended by many pro-choice groups. The article also accuses the film of looking at the people of China and India as being savages, the girls as being victims, and Americans as the saviors.

This critical perspective is a useful lens for viewing the film. The director interviewed social worker, activists, and mothers to get a picture of the cultural issues that allow such discrimination against women to continue. The stories are powerful and the issues compelling. The film ends by stressing the importance of the changes that must be made both within the minds of the individuals and the culture as a whole in order to end the violence. Still, the film fails to give a tangible solution for how this should happen.

Have you seen the film? What do you think? Pro-choice or pro-life? Does it matter? Is it another product of the “white-savior complex?” What could be done to change cultural ideas that devalue girls, causing violence and discrimination?

– Lindsay Cortright

Roe At Risk: Fighting for Reproductive Justice Review

When I began to think of topics that would interest our entire class, I immediately thought of this video. Compiled by the Alliance 4 Justice, this video address the issue of Reproductive Justice. Many think of FGM or other extremes when you hear anything referring to injustices against women and control over their reproduction on a global perspective. But this is the tip of the iceberg and seems to paint a scene outside of the United States. But today, right here in our backyard, women are being stripped of the rights, their mothers and grandmothers fought for in the 20’s and 60’s. Whether you are pro-choice or pro-life, this video should impact your understanding of  the rights you are entitled to as a human being. Take a look at the video and feel free to comment. Thanks in advance. Pay close attention to the elected officials and decide for yourself. Do they attempt to refute the reproductive rights of women?     Ellen Branch

Kansas bill heats debate over rights of Mothers to be

What happens if the ultrasound technician see something wrong and decides NOT to tell you: 

As someone who has felt that nervous glide of the ultrasound many times–wondering if all was OK, I understand the ramifications of this bill.

Indiana Cuts Funds to Planned Parenthood

Indiana Gov. Daniels said that he is going to sign a bill that would cut funds to Planned Parenthood, PP will attempt to file an injuction to appeal.  What this bill will do is cut $2 million of its Medicad funding.  Indiana says that MEdicad funding cannot be used for abortion at any place, but PP says that the Medicad funding is used for other things such as birth control and breast cancer screenings.  Speculations state that Daniels wants to run for president and this is his way of attracting social conservatives.  The this story is still developing but here is the link to this article:

Who Needs Girls?

–Jessica Wagoner

Females are worth less then males so what do we want to do? Take them out! Although this idea is over embellished, there are many people throughout the world that believe this idea and carry out the practice of female infanticide. Female infanticide occurs all over the world today. Female infanticide is the “deliberate and initial act of killing a female child within one year of its birth either by directly using poisonous organic and inorganic chemicals or indirectly by deliberate neglect to feed the infant by either one of the parents or other family members or neighbors or by the midwife.”[1] To get a better understanding of the severity of this practice we can look at both India and China. In the year 1990, “40-50 million girls have gone ‘missing’ in India”[2]  and “around 50 million girls were reported to have “gone missing” in china in 1997.”[3]

            So why does this occur? One explanation is males are favored more than females, and that there is very low value associated with the birth of a girl. This means that boys are seen as more useful in a society than girls. One example of this can be seen in India, where boys are seen as more useful because they can participate in politics and religious ceremonies whereas girls can not. Poverty, pressure on mothers from the family, educational level, standard of living, ratio of health facilities to population, couple’s tendency to cohabit with an elderly parent, and strict family planning rules can all affect a family’s decision to practice female infanticide.

            There are many organizations and efforts being put into place to stop female infanticide. The National Plan of action (exclusively for female children), was created in 1992, to help ensure the survival of female children and recognized the rights of the girl child to equal opportunity. The National Plan of Action for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) decade of the girl child looks to ensure the equality of status for the girl child as well as lay specific goals for her survival without discrimination. Other efforts working toward eliminating female infanticide are more localized efforts such as recording the accurately births and deaths of babies in the community, which would get the attention of state officials, committees at village level to keep track of any demographic changes that may be occurring, and welfare programs directed at female infants. These are only a handful of the many organizations and efforts put into place to protect female children. Knowledge and involvement can make all the difference in a cause such as this. It is important for the world to know there is still hope out there for the female children of the world.

[1]  Tandon, Sneh Lata, Renu Sharma.


*word count 417

Pakistan: Death of Unwanted Babies on the Rise

This article is about the Karachi-based Edhi Foundation, which provides burials for dead and abandoned babies.  The rise of infant death is on the rise because women who get pregnant out or wedlock abandoned their child, or have to kill it for religious purposes.  The babies are mostly girls or sick.  The foundation has even tried to provide places for mothers to drop off their unwanted babies alive so that the Foundation can find a home for them.  The interesting thing about Pakistan is that abortion is technically legal but the stigma that goes along with the act is too much for most people and most doctors will not perform them.  Here is the link to the article:

Kelly Thompson

Pense Amendment (Abortion Bill)

We have all obviously heard about the threat of Planned Parenthood losing its government funding.  But just in case some might not know the many issues that are involved this article can help fill in the blanks.  Jonathan Alter gives a great commentary about how this bill is not actually going to do what it says, save taxpayers $360 million dollars.  And how this bill would prevent Planned Parenthood from more than just giving advise on abortions.  The government funds around one-third of Planned Parenthood’s budget and cutting it that much would stop it from providing birth control, condoms, pap smear, among others.  Read this article to fund out more facts and how this bill will only hurt women in the future.

Kelly Thompson

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