The anti-birth control/anti-abortion band wagon

Seems like ever since the FDA announced that two more women have died after taking RU-486, one of the drugs used during a medical abortion, the abortion debate has reached a new pitch as pro-lifers have eagerly added this news to their arsenal and pro-choicers have feverishly girded themselves for pitched battle. Naturally, this has been reflected in the blog community, and several very well researched, well-written and articulate posts have emerged. As an avid reader, I don’t even know where to start. Here’s the cream of the crop. (Extra points if you stay up past your bedtime reading blogs on nights before exams):

Rachel at Women’s Health News has a very thorough and astute break-down of the issue, complete with linked resources and recent research on the subject, reminding us that at this point, further research is needed on both approved and off-label uses of mifepristone (RU-486) and misoprostol before any firm conclusions can be drawn. She also points out that the maternal mortality associated with RU-486 still appears to be much lower than the maternal mortality associated with live birth, and that no one has bothered to look at the mortality rates associated with other prescription drugs.

Via Feministing: Speaking of other prescription drugs, Media Girl was very quick to point out that the current death toll caused by Viagra is 5,640…and no one seems much concerned about this.

The link between abortion, women’s rights and women’s sexuality has become increasingly clear as fundamentalist groups begin to take aim at their next target, birth control (I guess because banning abortion seems to already be in the bag?) Salon has written a very bone-chillingly scary feature on this subject, highlighting Mary Worthington’s blog, No Room for Contraception, which promotes the idea that contraception causes health problems, destroys a woman’s fertility and can even lead to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases by encouraging sex. (Check out her post on how the use of contraception opened the door for homosexuality by allowing sex to be seperated from procreation.)

Which has led to Dan Savage’s painfully funny (funny because it’s Dan Savage, painful because it’s so true) plea for a Straight Right’s Movement (also via Feministing):

    Straight Rights Update Earlier this month: Republicans in South Dakota successfully banned abortion in that state. Last week the GOP-controlled state house of representatives in Missouri voted to ban state-funded family-planning clinics from dispensing birth control. “If you hand out contraception to single women,” one Republican state rep told The Kansas City Star, “we’re saying promiscuity is OK.” On the federal level, Republicans are blocking the over-the-counter sale of emergency contraception and keeping a 100 percent effective HPV vaccine—a vaccine that will save the lives of thousands of women every year—from being made available.

    The GOP’s message to straight Americans: If you have sex, we want it to fuck up your lives as much as possible. No birth control, no emergency contraception, no abortion services, no life-saving vaccines. If you get pregnant, tough shit. You’re having those babies, ladies, and you’re making those child-support payments, gentlemen. If you get HPV and it leads to cervical cancer, well, that’s too bad. Have a nice funeral, slut.

    What’s it going to take to get a straight rights movement off the ground? The GOP in Kansas wants to criminalize hetero heavy petting, for God’s sake! Wake up and smell the freaking holy war, breeders! The religious right hates heterosexuality just as much as it hates homosexuality. Fight back!

And finally, the coup de gras: Bitch PhD has assembled an impressive mini-carnival on articles pertaining to the recent deaths, anti birth control trends, and the humbling, human cost of unwanted pregnancies that is so rarely taken into account whenever this cold, legal debate comes up.

While you’re there, be sure to check out her Heroine of the Week, Cecilia Fire Thunder, President of the Oglala Sioux in South Dakota, who has personally vowed to start up a Planned Parenthood facility on the Pine Ridge Reservation, where the laws of the State of South Dakota don’t apply.

Seriously, forget your homework. Spend the rest of the night reading. It does a soul good.

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