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connecting the abortion dots

April 27, 2007

WIMN’s Voices and Pandagon both have posts about an explosive device found yesterday at a women’s clinic in Austin, TX. If the actual story wasn’t infuriating enough, both posts are ranting about the paltry news coverage that this story received. (a 97-word AP story is about all there was). Keely Savoie at WIMN only knew about the story because a friend in Austin, “where it was covered with all the fanfare of a traffic accident,” passed on the news to her.

Zuzu at Feministe questions the selectivity in American definitions of “terrorism.”

For some reason, terrorism doesn’t count if it’s directed against women and their health care providers. It’s just not news, and the fact that it goes unremarked in the national media — and hell, even in the local media, as in the case of the Austin bomb — contributes to the idea that women are not important and that violence directed at women is not only to be expected, but to be dismissed.

It should be no shock to anyone that terrorism is defined racially and nationalistically – not according to the characteristics of the crime, but who is being threatened and who is doing the threatening. In this case, the lowest of the low – not just women but women seeking abortions – are being threatened. Their lives are clearly of no import.

I just can’t believe the number of newspieces and blog posts I’ve seen lately highlighting how little women’s lives actually matter. I can’t believe the hypocrisy of anti-choicers who go batshit about the lives of zygotes and fetuses and not the women carrying them (who are clearly just incubators). I love the guy who says that ultimately he has more unconditional love for his unborn child than his wife because he shares genetic material with the fetus. Or how about Mississippi, the safest place in America to be an unborn child but one of the worst if you are a low-income woman (and probably a woman of color) trying to access prenatal care? How long will it take until we start connecting the dots and realize that this so-called “culture of life” is a total sham?

I just started reading journalist Eyal Press’ fantastic book Absolute Convictions, a combination history of the anti-choice movement, social history of the city of Buffalo, and biography of his father, an ob-gyn and a colleague of Dr. Barnett Slepian, who was murdered in Buffalo in 1998. Press seamlessly links the closing factories, the declining faith in the labor movement, economic decline, a resurgence of fundamentalist Christianity, and rising racial tensions with the emergence of the anti-choice movement. In the end, women and the medical professionals who care for them pay the price for this lethal combination. Perhaps we need to do more than raise an eyebrow when explosives are sent to a clinic in Austin and start seeing this problem in more systemic terms.

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One comment

  1. […] connects the abortion dots, lamenting “how little women’s lives actually matter” to anti-abortion activists. […]



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