Wednesday, May 29, 2013

RIP Dr. Henry Morgentaler

I just heard that Dr. Morgentaler passed away. I have a lot of feelings. I'll probably be writing something appropriately sentimental for Abortion Gang, but just wanted to let you all know in case you hadn't heard.

And to say thanks, as always. Thank you Henry.

**Update: here is my post at AG - and cross-posted at Shameless

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Another Roadblock for Abortion in New Brunswick

Bad news in New Brunswick: remember way back in 2008, when an anonymous doctor filed a complaint with the NB Human Rights Commission about how the abortion policy in New Brunswick discriminated against her female patients? Apparently the HRC handed that case off (somewhat bizarrely) to the Labour and Employment Board - a development I wasn't even aware of - and they decided that while the doctor couldn't bring a complaint on behalf of her patients, there was merit in having an inquiry into the accessibility of abortion in the province.

So of course the provincial government saw the wheels of justice turning a little too quickly and last week the Court of Queen's Bench ruled there wasn't enough evidence to conduct such an inquiry, and hey, back off Labour and Employment Board, why can't you be a little more useless like the HRC? And believe me, an inquiry is just about the height of usefulness in New Brunswick politics.

This is a frustrating decision for a number of reasons. First, it is unclear to me why the HRC would think this had more to do with labour and employment than with human rights, as it is clearly about the right of the patients to access abortion, with the doctor simply acting on their behalf when filing the complaint. They should have heard the case and not foisted it off on the LEB - is the HRC afraid of controversy? Isn't that their whole thing - human rights?

Secondly, I am curious as to why the LEB felt the doctor couldn't bring this complaint; surely when it went in front of Labour and Employment it was about the doctor's ability to refer patients being threatened? Anyway, while an inquiry is the bare minimum of solutions, at least it would have pushed the issue further into the public eye.

Which brings us to the most frustrating aspect: that there is no moving forward on this issue in New Brunswick without at least some cooperation from the provincial government, as they have every possible legal route to justice at their disposal. Could it be that the only way forward is the election of a progressive government in New Brunswick? Could this ever even happen?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

These Two Guys

Two of our favourite anti-choice MPs - Stephen Woodworth and Mark Warawa - are back in the "news" this week to remind us all that grown men whining about abortion is the way to get things done in this country.

First, Mr. Woodworth is very sad that ARCC has not answered his ridiculous correspondence about supporting his motion to declare the 'equal worth and dignity' of all human beings (ie figure out some legal way to value a tiny peanut more than the agency of a grown woman - sorry, some way to further do so). Because Joyce Arthur was not interested in pursuing further dialogue with him until he came to the discussion in good faith - acknowledging that this is, in fact, about abortion would be a good start - Woodworth feels very sad and the CBC feels this is newsworthy. Sure. Vicious cunts are we who will not even answer his letters - must be because we hate human rights. Damn you Woodworth and your formidable intellect, you have penetrated our clever disguise and seen us for the rights-hating, baby-eating, non-letter-replying bitches that we are.

And over here trying to out-whine Woodworth is our friend Mark Warawa, who plans to speak about "gendercide" in the House of Commons tomorrow. The very frustrating thing about this issue, particularly evident in this article, is that Warawa seems to understand the underlying issue in sex-selective abortion; that girls are valued less than boys. Yet still he is fixated on abortion, as if destroying the tool could wipe out the desire. When you oppose sex selection, but seek to remove the option of abortion without changing the conditions that make it desirable, you are basically implicitly endorsing female infanticide. When people are aborting based on sex there is a problem here, but the problem isn't abortion.

Were I a less cynical person, I could be excited that an MP has recognized that we have a problem in our society, that girls are seen as less valuable than boys. I would reach out to him to offer my support, and even suggest ways that he might use his platform and influence to effect change. But I'm not that person. The fact that the blame for sex selection is being put squarely on the shoulders of the women seeking the abortions - and specifically on South Asian women - tells me all I need to know about the Mr. Warawa's intent.

Right now it seems they are both shouting into the wind, thankfully.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Return of the IUD

Well I never thought I would do it after my first nightmare experience with IUD insertion, but I got a new one. Honestly I really liked the IUD while it was in, and if it hadn't fallen out I would be perfectly happy, even after the horror of the insertion. But it did fall out, so I had to make the difficult decision of whether or not to get another one put in and potentially go through the most painful experience of my life again.

I brought my partner for moral support, took my Advil, and made sure that the doctor doing the insertion was completely aware of what had happened last time and why. I even asked her for an Ativan (she couldn't find one, but did locate a Lorazepam, which made me a bit loopy). She seemed very confident and relaxed, and she listened to everything I said, answered all my questions, and even recommended a different IUD than the one I had last time, which may have helped the insertion to go more smoothly. She was perfectly lovely.

I got up on the table, clasped my partner's hand, and tried to simultaneously relax and brace myself for the worst. First the speculum, no big deal. Then the horrible measuring wand - bad cramps, but I breathed through them. Then the pinch-y cervix holding thing, which they always tell you will be the worst but I don't find it more painful than the measuring wand. I closed my eyes, and - "Ok, it's in," said the doctor.

I don't think I said anything for a couple seconds. I seriously thought she was messing with me. I asked her if she was joking. This is the worst episode of Punk'd I can think of, I thought. (Remember Punk'd???). But she wasn't joking. She took out the speculum and told me to take my time sitting up. The whole thing took about ten minutes. Last time it took almost an hour and a half.

I'm not sure what made the difference - the different IUD, a better doctor, knowing beforehand the particular challenges of my bits, or perhaps my cervix was just in a better mood this time. But holy shit, what a relief!

I had an ultrasound a week later and everything was fine, the IUD is in the correct position. In a few more weeks I will go back to the Bay Centre and get a check up. Guys, I am so, so happy about how well it went this time! HIGHLY RECOMMEND, WOULD IUD AGAIN!