Saturday, May 31, 2008

Is Colorado Crazy?

Colorado's anti-choice/pro-life petitioners have gathered more than enough signatures to ask for an amendment that states defines a fertilized egg as a person be placed on the November ballot. There are many many implications of this potential new definition of person. . . yet another way to make women into just reproductive vessels, subordinate to the fertilized egg within.
Note that other states have similar statutes, shall we say, gestating?

See the analysis at Colorado's Naral website
the National Women's Law Center's blog

Oh, would the pro-lifers pay as much attention to the real children who are born and support adequate health care, child care, education, and living wages!

BTW, even in Roe V Wade (410 US 113, 1973) when Justice Blackmun discussed when a person was formed and then in a following section when one becomes a citizen, a fertilized egg was not "in play" so to speak. First the historical, legal, and theological discussion in Section IV, 3:
. . .
The common law. It is undisputed that at common law, abortion performed before "quickening" -- the first recognizable movement of the fetus in utero, appearing usually from the 16th to the 18th week of pregnancy 20 -- was not an indictable offense. 21 The absence of a common-law crime for pre-quickening abortion appears to have developed from a confluence of earlier philosophical, theological, and civil and canon law concepts of when life begins. These disciplines variously approached the question in terms of the point at which the embryo or fetus became "formed" or recognizably human, or in terms of when a "person" came into being, that is, infused with a "soul" or "animated." A loose consensus evolved in early English law that these events occurred at some point between conception and live birth. 22 This was "mediate animation." Although Christian theology and the canon law came to fix the point of animation at 40 days for a male and 80 days for a female, a view that persisted until the 19th century, there was otherwise little agreement about the precise time of formation or animation. There was agreement, however, that prior to this point the fetus was to be regarded as part of the mother, and its destruction, therefore, was not homicide. Due to continued uncertainty about the precise time when animation occurred, to the lack of any empirical basis for the 40-80-day view, and perhaps to Aquinas' definition of movement as one of the two first principles of life, Bracton focused upon quickening as the critical point. The significance of quickening was echoed by later common-law scholars and found its way into the received common law in this country.
. . .
{But he goes further and states in section IX that}

. . .A. The appellee and certain amici argue that the fetus is a "person" within the language and meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. In support of this, they outline at length and in detail the well-known facts of fetal development. If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant's case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the Amendment. The appellant conceded as much on reargument. 51 On the other hand, the appellee conceded on reargument 52 that no case could be cited that holds that a fetus is a person within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The Constitution does not define "person" in so many words. Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment contains three references to "person." The first, in defining "citizens," speaks of "persons born or naturalized in the United States." The word also appears both in the Due Process Clause and in the Equal Protection Clause. "Person" is used in other places in the Constitution: in the listing of qualifications for Representatives and Senators, Art. I, § 2, cl. 2, and § 3, cl. 3; in the Apportionment Clause, Art. I, § 2, cl. 3; 53 in the Migration and Importation provision, Art. I, § 9, cl. 1; in the Emolument Clause, Art. I, § 9, cl. 8; in the Electors provisions, Art. II, § 1, cl. 2, and the superseded cl. 3; in the provision outlining qualifications for the office of President, Art. II, § 1, cl. 5; in the Extradition provisions, Art. IV, § 2, cl. 2, and the superseded Fugitive Slave Clause 3; and in the Fifth, Twelfth, and Twenty-second Amendments, as well as in §§ 2 and 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. But in nearly all these instances, the use of the word is such that it has application only postnatally. None indicates, with any assurance, that it has any possible pre-natal application.
. . .

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Feminism & Mothering

Amy Richards (co-author of Manifesta) has written a new book Opting In: having a Child Without Losing Yourself which takes on Belkin's reporting on the 'Opt-Out revolution"-- (upper middleclass) young women who are opting out of the workforce to take of baby.
Richard's book takes on the big and small decisions of being a feminist, & being a feminist mom.

Here is an interview with her

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Who can afford the American Dream???

In today's NYTimes Real Estate section (p.3) the apartment down the hall from my old one is for sale---for $745,000 (not counting the monthly charrges of $726)---for a STUDIO apartment, albeit a larger than normal one, but still....WHO can afford that????
Which brings me to the question:
The American dream: Dead or Alive or Modified? See UTNE Reader's series:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Freedom of Choice

Julie McQuain, President of UCDW wrote in an e-mail the other day that " We have some members who feel UCDW should do more to educate young women about their right to control their own decisions about reproduction, and how that right COULD BE LOST with one new appointment to the Supreme Court.
Already this right is somewhat abstract for the many women who live too far from a clinic or provider to access it in time. "

Each State provides differently for women's right to choose, and their access to abortions. See the map at Some states, such as South Dakota and Florida, are trying to ban access to abortion, other states have biased counseling--Missouri, Florida, for instance.

While New York receives high marks 40--FORTY--Counties do not have abortion providers.

Meanwhile, Pro-life groups--such as the American Life League -- are now coming out of the closet against birth control. They are running campaigns that (mis)state that the birth control pill causes abortions. ALA is planning a June 7th Protest the Pill Day!,,

This upcoming election is very important when it comes to women's rights!

Millie from HealthcareSTAT forwarded this:

Dr. Wicklund's (an abortion provider from MA) book is now available, both new and used, at reduced prices. If you are interested in ordering her book and to also support WAMC Public Radio, log on to, then scroll down on the right to the green area; under Search Amazon, type This Common Secret. Note: Eight percent of the price of any books ordered this way is donated to WAMC by Amazon.

Telling the Stories Behind the Abortions NYT 11.6.07 has an article about Dr. Wicklund

Monday, May 12, 2008


There is a Feminism backlash---more like an anti-women tsunami, if you ask me. Read Katha Pollitt's piece in The Nation, which she wrote after finding out that Phyllis Schafly was receiving an honory degree from Washington University in St. Louis.