Friday, December 11, 2009

"it's great to send a letter-but it's more effective to send a hanger"

so of course the united states health reform had to come with the crazy anti-choice stupak-pitts amendment, those anti-abortion folks are always trying to stick their agenda in wherever they can.

the scary part about this amendment was that it seemed as though people were going to take it laying down. a kind of "well, to pass health care we have to pass this"-- the lesser of two evils thing.

but it looks like that isn't the case. on wednesday the city of berkeley mailed coat hangers to 20 members of congress.

the city. not just a group of activists, the actual city council debated and voted to protest the amendment.

the hanger is a symbol of what happens when abortion is made illegal: back-alley abortions and women trying to give themselves abortions by whatever means possible.

council member kriss worthington said that the hanger was sent with a letter that reads:

"The City of Berkeley is sending you this coat hanger as a symbol of the horrible pain and suffering endured by women as a result of years of anti-choice policies imposed by our government. ... We strongly support health care reform but it is unconscionable that this should come at the expense of a woman’s reproductive rights."


council member susan wengraf co sponsored the measure and said that initially she thought it was too extreme but came to realize that she didn't want her granddaughter to have to go through what her grandmothers had to.

people who are anti-abortion don't really get the reality of the situation. making abortion illegal doesn't stop abortion. it increases dangerous illegal abortions, often performed by unqualified practitioners or even women themselves.

even if it's illegal, women will seek out abortion. you will never stop it.

think of canada. the criminalization of abortion, contraception, and homosexuality wasn't reversed until the 60's. our mothers and grandmothers couldn't legally access these things. i'm sure many of us have heard horror stories from the women in our lives who understand why rights to abortion and contraception shouldn't be taken for granted.

so sending hangers might be a little extreme to some, but if it helps prevent the most extreme outcome possible-- major restrictions on a woman's right to choose--then it'll be worth it.

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