Friday, December 18, 2009

More from the Raging Feminist

I think the true measure of when one is, in fact, a Raging Feminist is the moment one receives a link via IM with the comment: "This will really get you fired up."

I had such a moment this morning. In few other moments of my life have I been prouder. And I wanted to share it with you.

CW sent me this link to a news story on CNN about a pending Oklahoma law that would require doctors to complete a 10-page questionaire about every woman they preform an abortion for that includes information about her age, marital status, race, and years of education. The story said one question the woman are required to answer is why she is seeking an abortion. The question reads:

"Having a baby:
  • Would dramatically change the life of the mother;
  • Would interfere with the education of the mother;
  • Would interfere with the job/employment/career of the mother."
That's none of your damn business. If this procedure is legal in the US (which it is), then why does anyone need to know why?

Did I mention this data would be publicly available online? Yes, names and other identiyfing information will not be, but many are concerned about nosy neighbors in small towns figuring out who's who on their own.

State Sen. Todd Lam, who helped draft the legislation, is quoted explaining this is "a common-sense measure with bipartisan support" that is designed to collect data to be used in helping prevent future unwanted pregnancies.

"We're not trying to embarrass anybody, hurt anybody or make anybody's identities known. That's not the purpose of the legislation," he said.

In a way, I understand that. Maybe this information will show Oklahoma exactly how many unwanted pregnancies are the result of young women not having access to or knowledge about methods of contraception and inspire the legislation to appropriate money supporting sex education.

Or maybe that's too much to hope for in a "pro-life state" as Lamb continued: "Oklahoma is a conservative state. We are a pro-life state, and I believe it's important public policy to stand on the side of sanctity of life."

But let me tell you what REALLY got me fired up. I mean, almost enough to make a new, very sarcastic Facebook status about this guy, Troy Newman, the head of the Kansas-based anti-abortion group Operation Rescue. Listen to this doozy:
"Naturally, the abortion industry wants to block this, because they know the more information the mom has, the less likely she is to abort her baby," Newman says.
Right, because it's completely irrational for women to make the decision to abort their baby. Abortion is an unnatural and misguided reaction; there are much better alternatives.

WOW. And that isn't even all there is to be upset out. Seriously, go check this guy out.

When I was in high school, I was in Mr. Kevin O'Reilly's AP US History course (no, I wasn't a cool kid, how did you know?). That is one of the courses I learned the most in, not because I remember when the Salem Witch Trials were or the history of organized labor in the 19th century, but because he pushed us to always question our sources. Who is saying that? What is their motive? What is their track record? How does their informatin compare with other sources?

(I also have to give credit to Mr. Vincent Bucci, my freshmen-year World History teacher at good old HWRHS, who laid the foundation for this skill, known as critical thinking. Refreshing right? I wish there was more of it out there, but I digress.)

Or in this instance, these alternatives are better by who's standards and beliefs? What if I have different standards or beliefs? By "information" do you mean scare tactics, propoganda, and other sneaky strategies?

Exciting, no?

Side note: Feminism is NOT all about abortion. Because I've done a 180 flip on my stance on abortion in the last few years, it is an issue that particularly riles me up. Stand by for Raging Feminist commentary on other women's issues.

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