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So many great blogs to choose from…hmm…

  • Feministe has an interesting blog on Christian Bale and the accusations against him

  • Unapologetically Female asks: does advertising show us men want breasts, or not?

  • And posts this awesome video:

  • Brownfemipower looks at the plans for a new Disney film

  • Courtney Martin assesses the idea of marriage

  • Today’s Big Thing has a video of some women kicking the girls-are-bad-at-sports stereotype where it hurts

  • And feministing has made my life complete by introducing me to this wonderful, wonderful woman:

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    I wrote a while ago about SPUC visiting my sister’s school. Well apparently they did (she thinks she missed the assembly – phew!)

    Anyway, I recently received an email from a woman from Education For Choice, who had read my blog and who provided me with some info about the charity she works for. So I’ve written to the school to let them know that SPUC isn’t the only organisation that they can get in to talk to their students – here’s what I said:

    To whom it may concern,
    Recently, I was informed that SPUC came to Priory to give a talk to year 10s about abortion. SPUC is a biased, disgracefully untruthful organisation which denies women basic human rights, yet it was deemed suitable to talk to your students. I was horrified to hear of their coming, especially as no alternative was provided, no pro-choice organisation invited to speak to the students as well. At this age, these young women and men are extremely impressionable, so being told lies by an anti-choice organisation may well affect their beliefs for the rest of their lives.
    While I accept the importance of freedom of speech, providing such people with a platform and a chance to influence young minds is reprehensible. Yet if you insist upon doing so, at least allow these young people the chance to make up their own minds by providing a balanced account. There is an abortion education charity in the UK called Education For Choice, who “work with professionals as well as young people and parents themselves to ensure that young people only receive accurate, evidence-based information about abortion and are able to consider all of the pregnancy choices in a way that respects choice“. I believe that they are willing to do talks at schools, and are certainly able to provide information and assistance in teaching students in a way that respects women’s rights. If you must invite organisations like SPUC to speak to your students, please invite other organisations who are able to provide an alternative way of thinking.
    Here’s the link to their website:, their number: 020 7249 3535, and their address: Education For Choice, The Print House, 18 Ashwin Street, London, E8 3DL. Also attached is their education pack.
    I hope that this information is enough for you to be able to provide your students with a more balanced account of abortion, and that you think twice before you next invite a society which willingly tells lies to young people in order to get them to share their beliefs.
    Here’s hoping that gets the message across!

    I just died a little inside. Not in the Shakespearian way, as the HLA will be pleased to know – oh to see their faces if their site had given me an orgasm…

    Moving on to the point, I’d like to introduce you to the Human Life Alliance. Not only does it advocate abstinence until marriage (with the great ‘duct tape experiment’ on page 16 – check it out if you’ve got a strong stomach, it always makes me a little sick to read such idiotic claims) but it also makes the usual anti-choice lies about abortion and claims to answer the ‘rhetoric’ of pro-choicers -RE rape:

    It is a despicable injustice when a woman is violated and raped. If a crime of this nature occurs and a child is conceived, HLA believes strongly in bringing the criminal to justice, however, we stand firmly in defense of the woman and the innocent new individual now existing – for neither have committed a crime.


    What then is abortion? Does it fall in the category of choices that we ought to condemn or condone? First, it is killing. Abortion renders something that was demonstrably alive, demonstrably dead. Second, what is killed is human. The fetus that grows in a mother’s womb is not a duck. The female reproductive system is designed for the precise purpose of carrying this living being. Therefore, abortion is the killing of a human being. People cannot hide behind the argument of saying they are personally opposed to abortion but wouldn’t want to restrict someone else’s “right.” Try that argument in the following situations: “I’m personally opposed to slavery…”; “I’m personally opposed to gassing Jews…”. Furthermore, it should be quite obvious that even though people will continue to do wrong things, the solution is not to redefine right and wrong or to enable people to more easily carry out wrong things. The government does not legalize theft just because lots of people do it (and get injured doing it) and will continue to do it despite what the law says.

    Young women getting abortions:

    The women who have the most abortions are between ages 20-24. This is why HLA concentrates so much energy on reaching college students with the truth about the harmful effects of abortion and the humanity of the unborn child. HLA hopes to reach these students with the truth before they choose to suffer the pain of an abortion and the physical and psychological risks that follow.

    There is a reason that I’m showing you this. A good friend of mine just sent me the link to their latest form of propaganda – a magazine for young women and men all about how great abstinence is, how terrible abortion is, how boys just don’t listen to girls, how girls are all crazy-emotional and marriage-obsessed, and all the other handy tips and facts that your newly-brainwashed ‘youths’ need to know. Hell, they even define love in one easy sentence!

    I think the idea of such magazines on campus or in youth groups or schools is despicable. Spreading anti-choice lies is not acceptable. Yet here they are, a newly formed society, already spreading the word.

    They have a response, of course.

    9. How dare you put this on my campus and upset all these girls like this. This is too controversial to have on a college campus. Don’t you people have any respect for women!

    HLA has great respect for women. It is because of our great respect for all human life that we are determined to educate people on the issue of abortion. Abortion harms women. Talking about abortion can be very upsetting for people, but it would be even more devastating to them if they had an abortion.

    Of course. They don’t know how it will affect them, they don’t understand. Even if they wanted an abortion, that’s just because they’re ignorant. Poor youngsters who want to make their own decisions, we must help them realise that they are wrong in desiring autonomy. Psssh, women.

    …were the words which my mother once chanted when she joined the protest against this horrible society.

    SPUC, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, compares abortion with eugenics. It believes that to have an abortion is “the deliberate killing of an unborn child”. It also claims that contraceptives like the pill are murderous, and that abortion is responsible for doctors who are now committing infanticide.

    Here, from the society itself:

    The injustice of abortion

    Abortion denies the most basic of human rights–the right to life–which is justly due to each member of the human family.

    Abortion is not only itself a grave injustice but it also perpetuates other social injustices. Abortion does not solve social problems, such as unstable relationships, poor housing and financial insecurity, which lead women to seek to end their pregnancies. It actually undermines the will of society–at the levels of family, peer group and government–to find humane solutions which do not involve killing a baby.


    Abortion’s victims

    Abortion is typically carried out by the dismemberment, poisoning and/or premature expulsion of the unborn child. It is usually an invasive procedure for the mother which, even in the best hospital conditions, presents risks to her physical and psychological health. Fathers and other family members may also suffer after an abortion, the ethics of healthcare professionals who take part in abortions are compromised, and society as a whole is harmed by the toleration of violence against the unborn child.


    Early abortifacients

    Abortion can be caused in the first two weeks of life by birth-control methods which prevent the implantation of the embryo in the mother’s womb. Although many advocates of such techniques refer to this action as contraceptive, it actually involves the death of an embryo in the womb and is therefore abortifacient. Abortion can be caused by:

    • birth control implants
    • birth control vaccines
    • intra-uterine devices (coils)
    • the morning-after pill
    • other forms of contraceptive pill.


    Population control

    The population control movement is the world’s largest and most powerful promoter of abortion. Many countries have legalised abortion because of concern at alleged over-population. Population-growth is said to be the cause of poverty, famine and environmental degradation, and governments have used this to justify controlling the sizes of families. Such measures infringe human rights, including unborn children’s right to life.


    Infanticide and euthanasia

    Legalised abortion has led to increasing contempt for newborn babies who are disabled. Some doctors in Britain have admitted killing disabled babies by methods including sedating and starving them to death; this is still against the law. In some countries, including Britain, courts have approved the starvation of brain-damaged adult patients. The same attitude to human life is apparent in eugenic abortion, infanticide and the pressure to decriminalise euthanasia.

    Now, you may have guessed that I have a problem with SPUC. My problem is this: being anti-choice, or ‘pro-life’, denies a woman’s right to autonomy. It denies her power and control over her own body, and turns the process of abortion into murder.

    When abortion was illegal, women had to find doctors willing to perform an abortion illegally – some women even resorted to coat hangers to perform the abortion. Today, abortion is legal and available in the UK. There is still social stigma about it, and there are still mental (and yes, I mean mental. Look at the SPUC director’s blog for goodness sakes) societies like this around. But at least the days of the coat hanger are gone, for now.

    So what has inspired me to write this, you may ask. Well, I discovered recently that the very SPUC that my mother was protesting against when she was my age is coming to my sister’s school. To give an assembly. Recently, my sister has been learning about abortion in her religious studies class (I know, good start right? No bias there…) and came home saying that she wasn’t sure she agreed with abortion. We had a big family debate and both of us put forward similar points. In fact, she had only meant that she wouldn’t want an abortion but that if another woman wanted one, that should be allowed. A woman should be able to choose.

    Because her school, which I used to attend, teaches about abortion is such a weighted way (unintentionally, I think. The teacher I had was very religious but tried to be balanced. He failed miserably), she left thinking that she was against abortion without understanding the meaning behind such a belief.

    And now, SPUC have been invited to come to the school and talk to a group of teenagers, my sister included. They won’t try the balanced approach, and these young people, who are the most in need of a clear understanding of contraception, abortion, and relationships generally, will simply be preached at by a Christian right-wing society.

    I am totally furious about this. I think I’d be ok about it if there were a pro-choice group coming in to talk too, but that’s not the way the school works. While they may attempt to be balanced in their teaching, they are certainly not when choosing which speakers to host in the chapel. Still, I’m going to try and find out if they’d have me and a friend give a pro-choice chapel, to try to level the field a little.

    I’d be interested to hear your thoughts, and any ideas for how to approach 15 yr olds about abortion (in case we are actually allowed to speak). Also, any idea what my sister should do? She and her friends disagree with SPUC but will be forced to sit through 1/2 an hour of it (there was an opt-out letter, but she forgot about it…), and they say they’ll be excluded if they shout FUCK SPUC in the middle of assembly. Which is fair enough.

    And on that note – adieu.

    I’m feeling really quite sick right now, because THIS is apparently funny. Thanks to menstrualpoetry for blogging about it.

    …of Praise-God Barebones. And his poor poor son, Nicholas Unless-Jesus-Christ-Had-Died-For-Thee-Thou-Hadst-Been-Damned Barbon.


    But still – crazy. Totally crazy. How could he get away with changing his name to that? How can he get away with wanting murder charges for doctors who perform abortions? And the women who have them? How?

    I should probably give you the link now, right? So you know what on sweet-mother-earth I’m talking about? 🙂

    Anyway, I must away to my philosophy coursework. We have the coursework exam tomorrow, and I’m still not happy with mine so I’m putting finishing touches to it now. It’s a FOUR HOUR exam, with a break in the middle, and we have to basically write it all out again. All 4,000 words. Hooray. Still, we get 1,000 words notes, so it could be worse I guess. It just strikes me as a total waste of time. And it’s 40% of our grade this year! 10% per hour!!


    And on that note – adieu.

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