ABORTION: THE SUCCESSFUL TABOO?
For the mass of our citizenry, the concept of parenting when and if the human female is ready and accepting of pregnancy is a reasonable condition, not arousing controversy. Why then, when it comes up in the personal lives of women, is the topic of pregnancy cancellation—.i.e., abortion—expected to be shrouded in apology, guilt, angst, and declarations of misery?
The emotional trappings mentioned above point to the historical entrenchment of the Taboo psychology of abortion pounded into the human female from very early on. In a desperate move to stigmatize choice—that is, to condemn the acknowledged, legitimized right of the human female to make her own decision about her readiness for parenting—the anti-abortion folks have used vandalism, arson of clinics, murder of abortion providers, stalking of clinic staff members, and hounding of clinic patients.
The institutional control of female fertility—which I call the Department of Human Female Husbandry—is a focal point, the apex of power, around which Religion rotates. That grandiose thought needs explanation… and the younger and poorer the female, the easier to exercise far-reaching control. It is reported that in Brazil, little girls as young as 9 years of age, pregnant even from sexual assault, are gestating fetuses to term. Even three decades ago, the nun director of San Francisco St. Elizabeth’s Home bragged about having “girls here 14 and 12 and even 10!”
Keep in mind that it isn’t male fertility that has these Religions so committed to the extreme violence and destruction noted above. Religion deems it essential, BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY, to focus the human female child on the role her body plays in promoting human population.
So today, the 42nd anniversary ofthe Roe v Wade decision, people against abortion are conducting massive demonstrations to end abortion as part of women’s normal health care. But throughout the country, women who prize their bodily agency, along with the men who trust them, are taking to the streets to defend our legal rights and end this taboo. Let’s speak out to free women from the stranglehold of religious interference with our bodies.
For information about a demonstration near you as well as everyday ideas on supporting women’s right to choose, check out the Stop Patriarchy stoppatriarchy.org and Trust Women Silver Ribbon campaigns oursilverribbon.com .
In a few weeks, our San Francisco community will be confronted with a massive parade of several thousand Catholics. Their purpose is to heed the call of a few churches to deny women and girls abortion care.
Around our country, this United States, religious-fomented violence has created a climate of fear. The murder of doctors who have courageously provided abortion care, the pillaging and arson of clinics providing reasonably available abortion procedures, and layers of prohibitive legislation designed to recriminalize this relatively safe health care provision are zealous efforts to keep this optional decision unacceptable in the social mindset. Still, across the land, men and women do want abortion to be safely available, accessible and without undue costs.
From the 1820s forward, men and women felt the bitter effects of abortion prohibition as applied by law, medicine and religion. Thousands of young women went to an early death in the struggle to be relieved of unbearable pregnancies. All too often, the deceased women left young families without wives and mothers. Yet curiously, the death certificate would lie about the cause of death.
Abortion became an underground occurrence, secretive, and unmentionable to the point that as recent as 1959, the mass media did not use the word “abortion.” Instead, it was referred to as “illegal operation” or “miscarriage.” This shady subterfuge befell women over the last two centuries in a disastrous way.
In Ireland there’s a septic tank grave
Well hidden in the nuns enclave!
Therein 800 babies and little children
Starved and diseased ’til religious fate felled ’em!
Forced into birth to punish their moms
For the crime of indulging in sexual charms!
So be warned there’s a dark side to clergy control
Of your breeding equipment, your heart and your soul!!
After a hiatus, patmaginnis.com is gearing up again, standing tall against the War on Women. Pat is doing well, busy with pro-choice demonstrations, cartoons, cat rescue and beekeeping, but will visit here on occasion to drop off a post, a limerick or a cartoon.
In these dark days of Republican rule, when women’s hard-won rights are being systematically destroyed before our eyes, women and our supporters must band together and foster a feminist movement so powerful that it can withstand this and any future assault.
WHAT: 4000 YEARS FOR CHOICE CLOSING NIGHT PARTY
WHEN: FRIDAY, JUNE 1, 7-10PM
WHERE: ALLEY CAT BOOKS
3036 24TH ST. (BETWEEN TREAT & BALMY)
SF 94110 – PHONE 415-824-1761
Come on down to Alley Cat Books in the Mission/SF Friday night—and meet Pat Maginnis in person @ the closing-night party for the exhibition of artist Heather Ault’s poster series 4000 YEARS FOR CHOICE.
Ault’s work presents abortion and contraception as positive, moral, and timeless acts, and Pat is featured on one of the posters (below). Find the whole series at http://4000yearsforchoice.com/
As the Republican War on Women escalates, this exhibition suggests a radically new narrative based upon the symbols, histories, and personal stories of reproductive freedom dating back thousands of years. Come join us!
On Saturday, January 21, 2012, Pat spoke at the West Coast Rally for Reproductive Justice on the horrific incident that made her devote her life to eradicating abortion laws in the United States, and offered inspiration for the future.
Pat spoke on the War on Women @ the International Women’s Day concert sponsored by BAACOR, Planned Parenthood and NOW Pics/video to come.
From the event website:
Patricia Maginnis, a long-loved activist and cartoonist, is one of the most esteemed feminist pioneers whose work helped the fight for safe, accessible abortions. She helped establish the Association to Repeal Abortion Law in California in 1966, and helped 12,000 women find abortions outside the country by 1969. Maginnis continues to make active contributions to spreading awareness of women’s rights, and will be speaking at Yoshi’s about the latest feminist issues concerning contraception and cosmetic safety.