a bird and a bottle

All the Same Women
March 12, 2007, 12:29 pm
Filed under: activism, feminism/s & gender, news & views, reproductive justice, sexuality

A central theme of National Advocates for Pregnant Women’s January 2007 National Summit to Ensure the Health and Humanity of Pregnant and Birthing Women was that the women who seek abortions and the women struggling to give birth in a comfortable and empowering environment are the same women, just at different times in their lives. Case in point: 61 percent of women who have abortions are already mothers.

NAPW’s founder and executive director, the fabulous Lynn Paltrow, keeps the conversation going with a column up today at TomPaine.

In “Towards a Real Culture of Life,” Paltrow writes:

Both pro-choice advocates and birthing rights advocates are challenged by decreasing access to services: the former struggles with the fact that 87 percent of all U.S. counties have no abortion providers; the latter struggles against policies at over 300 hospitals around the country that deny women who have previously had c-sections the right to even try delivering vaginally.

And both have been negatively affected by growing claims of “fetal rights.” While these are advanced as part of the campaign to outlaw abortion, they have begun to effect the lives of women who personally identify as “pro-life.” Christian fundamentalists have been told that they must have unnecessary c-sections to protect the rights of the fetus; pregnant women opposed to abortions have been arrested as child abusers in the name of fetal rights for things they did or did not do during pregnancy.

We saw at the summit that pro-choice advocates and birthing rights advocates can work together, whether they are identifying civil and human rights violations or formulating an agenda that genuinely values pregnant women, maternal health and motherhood.

The time has come to move away from divisive (and inaccurate) “pro-life” and “pro-choice” categorizations and stand together. We need broad based support for laws and policies that genuinely promote a culture of life—one that includes and values the women who give that life.

Read the rest here.

Like the idea of supporting pregnant women whether they decide to carry the pregnancy to term or not? Check out my PRO PREGNANT WOMAN buttons available at Cafe Press.


1 Comment so far
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Motherhood seems to be viewed as a fairy tale. Yet motherhood encompasses so many personal, emotional and physical hardships. Pregnant women are coddled but their voices of struggle and their journey to motherhood, however difficult it may be, never seems to be voiced in a raw tone. Salon.com just wrote about recent pushes by Missouri to ban abortion btw. I appreciate you posting important and relevant woman’s issues.

Comment by Lindsay

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