North Dakota’s War on Uteri*

First, here’s the series Rachel Maddow did on the abortion clinics in states with only one such clinic:

Threats and traps push Mississippi to the brink of 40-year rights rollback
Last bastions of an unprotected right under attack
Women bear burden of extremist effort to undermine Roe v. Wade
GOP war on women continues to rage in the states
UPDATE: here’s another clip for that series, this time with Melissa Harris-Perry: Anti-abortion crusade misses target, hurts vulnerable women

Second, this is what’s going on in North Dakota in terms of proposed legislation:
North Dakota Lawmakers Have Plenty of Anti-Abortion Bills to Choose From, plenty meaning all these different bills: SCR4009, a fetal personhood bill which would require a 2014 vote to amend the constitustion and which was just approved by the ND Senate; SB2302, which would have banned chemical abortions and all abortions except those to save a woman’s life, which luckily seems to have failed in the senate 18 to 29; SB2303 another personhood bill, which passed the senate 25 to 22 and is now in another Committee Hearing; and SB2305, a TRAP law designed to close down the last clinic in ND, which has also passed the senate 30 to 17. Oh, and then there’s the newly proposedHB1305, which would prohibit “abortions for sex selection or genetic abnormalities” (which really just amounts to “please jump through more hoops”)
UPDATE: another one: HB1456, a “heartbeat” bill, passed by the house 63 to 28

And in addition to the anti-abortion bills, we have an anti-poor-people bill, HB1385, proposing a Fee to Get Welfare, by making welfare applicants pay for the mandatory drug test themselves (Because we all know people applying for welfare have lot’s of spare cash, amiright?); the deeply uninformative SB2175 titled “The liabilities of husband and wife” which seems to want to make separated-but-still-married folks responsible for each other’s debts; which sounds kinda dangerous.

And then there’s NDSU president Bresciani, caving in to assholes in the legislature and freezing funding two professors at NDSU have received to promote proper sex ed in this state: Sex Ed Program Provokes Fight Over Planned Parenthood in North Dakota

In conclusion, this state fucking sucks.

P.S.: completely unrelated to the topic at hand, ND is apparently also one of those states throwing a fit over federal gun laws: HB1183, a bill “relating to forbidding state governmental entities from providing aid and assistance to the federal government or any other governmental entity for the investigation, enforcement, and prosecution of federal firearms laws not in force as of January”.

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*title changed, because I just realized I was doing what I criticize other people for. So: anti-abortion legislation concerns many women, but not all, since some don’t have uteri and can’t get pregnant; and on the other hand, it also concerns some non-women because they have uteri, i.e. trans men and some genderqueer folks.

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“40 days for life” is one of those vile anti-abortion events where they spend 40 days harassing healthcare workers and patients at women’s health clinics twice a year (or once a year, when you happen have a winter the poor dainty warriors for god can’t handle). Well, the internet blackout I’m suffering from caused me to miss the fact that they’ve started again earlier this week, and will be continuing until November 6th. I’ve already messaged the clinic here to ask if they still need help, and will be trying to figure out if there’s counter-protests staged at any point.

I very much want to encourage everyone to do the same, so here’s the list of cities they’re scheduled to show up and be the nasty little anti-women creeps that they are, sorted by state:

Alabama
Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile, Tuscaloosa

Alaska
Anchorage

Arizona
Chandler, Flagstaff, Glendale, Goodyear, Phoenix, Tucson,

Arkansas
Fayetteville, Little Rock

California
Bakersfield, Carmel, Chico, Downey, Fairfield, Fresno, Gilroy, Glendale, Hayward, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Montclair, Napa, Pasadena, Riverside, Rosemead, Sacramento, San Diego/El Cajon, San Diego/Miramar, San Diego/San Marcos, San Fernando Valley, San Jose, Santa Cruz, Santa Maria, Santa Rosa,
Stockton, Vacaville, Vallejo, Watsonville, Whittier, Yucca Valley

Colorado
Boulder, Colorado Springs, Denver, Fort Collins

Connecticut
Hartford, Norwich

Delaware
Dover, Wilmington

District of Columbia
Washington

Florida
Clearwater, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Naples, Pensacola, Sarasota, St. Lucie County, St. Petersburg, Tampa, West Palm Beach,

Georgia
Atlanta, Columbus, Lawrenceville, Marietta, Savannah, Toccoa,

Hawaii
Honolulu

Idaho
Boise

Illinois
Aurora, Champaign, Chicago, Downers Grove, Granite City, Ottawa, Peoria

Indiana
Bloomington, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Lafayette, Lake County, South Bend, Warsaw

Iowa
Ames, Ankeny, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Fairfield, Sioux City, Storm Lake, Urbandale

Kansas
Overland Park, Wichita

Kentucky
Lexington, Louisville

Louisiana
Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Shreveport/Bossier City,

Maryland
Annapolis, Baltimore, College Park, Frederick, Germantown, Silver Spring

Massachusetts
Attleboro, Haverhill, Lynn, Springfield, Worcester

Michigan
Ann Arbor, Bloomfield Hills, Brighton, Dearborn, Eastpointe, Flint, Grand Rapids, Saginaw, Southfield, Sterling Heights, Traverse City,

Minnesota
Alexandria, Duluth, Mankato, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Rochester, St. Cloud, Walker

Mississippi
Hattiesburg, Jackson

Missouri
Columbia, Lebanon, St. Louis

Montana
Billings, Helena, Kalispell, Missoula

Nebraska
Bellvue, Lincoln, Omaha

Nevada
Las Vegas

New Hampshire
Concord, Greenland, New Jersey, Cherry Hill, Hackensack, Manville, Plainfield, Shrewsbury, Toms River, Trenton, Woodbridge

New Mexico
Albuquerque

New York
Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Cobleskill, Goshen, Ithaca, Long Island, New York City, Niagara Falls, Plattsburgh, Poughkeepsie, Rochester, Schenectady, Spring Valley, Syracuse

North Carolina
Asheville, Charlotte, Fayetteville, Raleigh, Winston-Salem

North Dakota
Fargo

Ohio
Akron, Bedford, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Cuyahoga Falls, Dayton, Lima, Painesville, Sharonville, Toledo

Oklahoma
Norman, Oklahoma City, Tulsa

Oregon
Beaverton, Bend, Eugene, Forest Grove, Portland, Salem

Pennsylvania
Allentown, Bryn Mawr, Chester County, Collegeville, Hanover, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Reading, Warminster

Puerto Rico
Bayamón

Rhode Island
Cranston, Providence

South Carolina
Charleston, Columbia, Greenville

South Dakota
Sioux Falls

Tennessee
Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville, Tri-Cities

Texas
Abilene, Amarillo, Austin, Beaumont, Bryan-College Station, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Grimes and Waller Counties, Harlingen, Houston, Killeen, Lufkin, McAllen, Montgomery County, San Angelo, San Antonio, Taft

Utah
Salt Lake City

Vermont
Burlington

Virginia
Alexandria, Charlottesville, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, Newport News, Richmond, Roanoke, Virginia Beach

Washington
Everett, Olympia, Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver

West Virginia
Vienna

Wisconsin
Appleton, Green Bay, La Crosse, Madison, Milwaukee, Racine, Wausau

And their non-US targets:

Canada
Alberta
Calgary, Edmonton

British Columbia
Vancouver, Victoria

Manitoba
Winnipeg

New Brunswick
Fredericton, Moncton

Nova Scotia
Halifax

Ontario
Guelph, London, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Sudbury

Québec
Montréal, Quebec

England
Birmingham, London

Australia
New South Wales
Sydney/Westmead

Queensland
Brisbane

South Australia
Adelaide

Tasmania
Hobart

Victoria
Melbourne

Argentina
Rosario, San Luis

Germany
Saarbruecken

Spain
Barcelona, Badajoz, Cantabria, La Granja de San Ildefonso, Lugo, Madrid, Medina Sedonia, El Puerto de Santa Maria, Segovia, Sevilla, Toledo, Valencia

boiz r stoopid…

at least as far as birth control goes, apparently. I just read this*, and I’m not sure if I should laugh or cry.

What I’d really love to know is whether this is a uniquely American phenomenon, what with the scarce to nonexistent sex-ed in schools, and zero popular and widespread alternatives, other than rumors spread among teenagers themselves. I have the vague impression that my High-School buddies were significantly better informed than that, but really only because we got the information from the same source, passed around in class under the tables and read religiously during school breaks. And the information in there was actually pretty accurate and often rather explicit, to a level that wouldn’t even be legal in the U.S., nevermind “morally” acceptable. I’ve no idea if this is still the case, since the magazine spawned a bunch of clones, and the original is probably not as widely read as it used to be (plus, I’ve no flaming clue about the current content). But anyway, I’ve never gotten into the weird situations described in that article, but since I never actually, explicitly asked any guys about what they know about birth control, I don’t actually know if they were/are that clueless, too.

The closest Americans seem to have to a resource for teens on sex is Scareleteen, but that’s not as easily findable, shareable, and hidable from potentially too conservative parents as a magazine would be. And resources for adults are… porn and self-help books? the article seems to suggest many men know as adults about as little as they did as teens, so whatever adult resources there are, men don’t seem interested in them, or don’t know they exist.

So anyway, this made me think of a couple different but related arguments about sex and knowledge I’ve had over the years. A lot of the “porn skews how young people think sex is supposed to be like” and “models on the runway and in playboy skew what both men and women think women are supposed to look like” arguments seem dependent on the fact that porn/playboy/model-photos are the only sources of information for how women’s bodies actually look like “in the wild”, and for what sex is, how it’s done, and how to find out what’s fun. So, would a good antidote to the nasty peer and social pressure perpetrated on people by these media sources be more access to information and openness about nudity and sex? No one over 15 thinks romantic comedies are really how people get into relationships, because real relationships are everywhere and they are visible. I’m sure most kids have at least heard from various family members about how they met their significant other, even when they themselves haven’t yet gotten into a relationship.

Especially annoying and intriguing is the problem of young women misjudging how “bad” they themselves look, because of how the women on TV and in magazines look like**. I mean, that a guy may not see that many nude women “in the wild” is believable, but how is that possible with women themselves? Don’t they ever go swimming, or to the gym? or do American women not shower after swimming/going to the gym? I certainly know that the annual trip with my mom to the nude sauna improves my self-image immensely, since being surrounded by unselfconsciously naked women of all shapes, sizes and ages makes me less freaked out about myself. Certainly such exposure can only be good? Is such exposure possible in the States, and other conservative(ish) countries?

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*extra special stupid quote from article: “I feel like girls should tell people.”
dude, girls ARE people! :-/

**I’ve not the faintest clue to what degree the same problem happens with guys. I get the vague impression from snipplets of conversations that at least in the gay community it is, but other than that, I’m clueless. However, the solution would be pretty much the same, right?