American Anti-Abortion Spreading around the World

Some days it feels that America is the world capital of anti-abortion, like when you find yourself reading the comments on Internet news articles; it can seem a bit depraved that there are so many people out there that support the limiting of a woman’s rights. Then there are the many politicians who actively seek to make anti-abortion a key part of their campaigns. In their minds, that’s how they get votes. Most of the time, their rhetoric is very vitriolic and full of hatred. The atmosphere, to put it mildly, is very suffocating.

This is a war on women, plain and simple, run by misinformed people with clear agendas. It’s bad enough to have them this side of the ocean. It’s another thing entirely to have them overseas and promoting their message. Unfortunately America seems to be exporting these kinds of people to places all over the world. We have to ask ourselves: is this how we want to be viewed around the world? As women haters and warmongers? Of course not, but it seems there isn’t much we can do about it. Did you know that Australia is poised to deport an American anti-abortion activist?

According to, “An American anti-abortion activist is expected to be deported from Australia, after the nation’s highest court ruled Friday that he posed a threat to public order amid concerns he could incite violence against women.”

Clearly, that is definitely not the kind of thing we want to promote around the world, but it’s best if we let Australian politician Terri Butler handle it. Regarding the incident, she said, “Here in Australia, we are a very open democracy. We have a lot of discussion, frank discussion, vehement discussion, about issues on which we disagree. And abortion is one of those things. But we don’t welcome extremists into our country.”

Is that what America has become? No longer lighting the torch of freedom for the entire world to see, but rather, putting our extremists on a bigoted Mayflower and sending them out to sea? We’re better than this.

Women’s Issues Are Key in This Election

The next president of the United States won’t win without the support of women on their side, especially considering that more than half of the electorate is female. Naturally, this means that issues important to women will be front and center throughout the election cycle. While most women care about the same issues that are important to everyone, there are many issues specifically related to women that are an increasingly important focus for candidates.

Having access to affordable healthcare is important for everyone, and millions of women throughout the country rely on services like Planned Parenthood. While many candidates focus on the fact that Planned Parenthood provides abortions, it’s actually very little of what they do. The organization is instrumental when it comes to helping women get contraception, healthcare, and so much more. Any candidates who try to rally against Planned Parenthood will have a tough time winning over most women.

The economy is also something that women are incredibly concerned about. Polling indicates this is true for women in all age groups, and relevant to both single women and people with families. Whether we’re looking at young women right out of college or older women trying to support a family, a stable economy and an expanding job market are a primary concern.

Finally, preventing domestic abuse and sexual assault are two things that most women and many men are concerned with. These are two issues that affect millions of women every year, yet countless incidents go unreported and many that do lead nowhere. Women want to be able to feel just as safe as men in their homes or on the street, and criminals who attack women must be held accountable.

There are many issues that women are concerned with, and these are just a few of the most important. It will be important to watch which candidates represent these issues as we move closer to the election.

#ShoutYourAbortion Is Sweeping the Nation

Why does it seem like we’re always forced into some time machine like cattle and taken to a long ago time when women didn’t have rights or that their wellbeing wasn’t on a list of political concerns? Due to the recent decision on the part of the government to defund Planned Parenthood, there is a gigantic backlash going on in the realm of social media. As is usually the case nowadays, the best way to protest is to get your voice out via electrical wires, which is exactly what #ShoutYourAbortion is trying to accomplish, as discussed in this Christian Today article.

Florence Taylor writes, “Tens of thousands of women have taken to Twitter to share the experience of abortion in response to the US House of Representatives vote to remove federal funding for Planned Parenthood.”

“The hashtag #shoutyourabortion, started on Twitter on Friday and is now trending across US, Australia and Europe. Campaigners Lindy West, Amelia Bonow and Kimberly Morrison started the hashtag which has been used by more than 60,000 women to explain their decision to get an abortion.”

This is a brave move on the part of these women. Sharing such personal stories, especially regarding abortion, is a demonstration of courage and resolve that is sorely needed in today’s society. It is never easy going through an abortion let alone talking about it afterwards. These women, ranging in ages, are inspiring women AND men from coast to coast, educating the public on why abortion matters. We hope the government retracts on its decision to defund Planned Parenthood.

Carly Fiorina and Planned Parenthood Lies

Oh boy…even though we’re more than one year away from the 2016 Presidential Election, we are bombarded with political talk and emotional trickery. Every time we turn on the television or pick up the paper, there is something about the 2016 Presidential Election. It’s almost too much to take, especially with how crazy and ludicrous things have been. Whether it’s Donald Trump yelling about things or other candidates making up medical information straight out of thin air, it feels like we’re living in bizarroland and that was no more apparent than last nights’ Republican Debate, where a who’s who of “zany” candidates were on display. Of course the topic of abortion came up, courtesy of Carly Fiorina and her discussion of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which was covered by The Wall Street Journal.

Stephanie Armour writes, “Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina won applause in Wednesday’s debate for her vivid description of a live fetus she said was shown in an uncover video about Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

But the image she described isn’t in the video. Instead, the video taken by an antiabortion group depicted a former employee of a tissue procurement company stating what she says she saw at a Planned Parenthood clinic.

There was never any video that depicted, as Ms. Fiorina stated, a live fetus on a table.”

That is, of course, a lie; there was never a live fetus in any video. Unfortunately, Fiorina’s comments garnered much applause, not to mention these comments were one of the most-tweeted moments of the debate, which is to be expected as Fiorina’s descriptions were quite vivid and have inspired antiabortion groups nationwide. But like we said, it was a lie. Eric Ferraro, a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood, had this to say: “Carly Fiorina’s claims about Planned Parenthood are completely untrue, which is consistent with a pattern of deception and dishonestly throughout her careers in politics and business.”

Well said Mr. Ferraro! As we continue to go deeper down the rabbit hole leading to the 2016 Presidential Election, we should not be surprised to see more controversy and lies regarding abortion.

Are Republicans Retooling Their Image Because of Abortion?

It feels that the summer was all about abortion, with Planned Parenthood videos reigniting the debate between the left and the right. Some of the hate spewed by certain groups regarding the videos has been downright offensive. This vitriolic hatred has treated women who have had abortions as second-class citizens and, in some cases, has attempted to erase their experiences and feelings altogether. Kate McDonough of wonders if the GOP’s plan to erode abortion rights is to pretend women don’t exist, asking, “Is it possible to talk about without talking about the people who have abortions?”

In short, the GOP understands that its war on abortion seems more like a war on women and is doing everything it can to shake that image. It doesn’t help that noted Republicans like Todd Akin keep saying absurd and just plain stupid statements. Akin at one point “claimed that the female body has magic, sperm-destroying properties.” That is clearly a ludicrous statement, but that’s the kind of circus that the GOP has created for itself. How can women take a party like that seriously? The answer is simple: they can’t. Some do, but they shouldn’t.

This low opinion of the party that many women have has finally gotten under the skin of Republicans and they are in the process of retooling their image with the help of anti-abortion think tanks. McDonough writes, “Kellyanne Conway, a strategist who has worked with the Republican National Committee to develop messaging around abortion, has advised candidates (particularly men) to focus on ultrasounds, fetuses, and graphic details of the procedures when framing their opposition to abortion rights. “The out-of-sight, out-of-mind mantra that propelled the pro-choice movement for decades is forever gone,” Conway told the Times.”

Only time will tell whether this Republican rebranding will work or not, but it is clear that women and their bodies will play an important role in the upcoming presidential election.

The Planned Parenthood Storm Hasn’t Passed

The situation with Planned Parenthood and those secret recorded videos almost feels like something out of a Cold War spy movie. There is intrigue, espionage, and a burning sense that no one is to be trusted. The powers that be, on both sides of the political fence, seem to be riling up all camps and many are thinking with their heart and not their head. This of course is a big problem; ideally, emotion should not play a role in political decisions, especially pertaining to women’s bodies. We haven’t seen the last of these videos, as many believe that abortion rights will once again be crucial in the upcoming presidential race primarily due to the videos, as discussed in The Orange County Register. Just how crucial still remains to be seen.

Jodie Tillman writes, “The videos, which show Planned Parenthood executives discussing abortion procedures and the selling of fetal tissue, has energized activists such as Blachowski and led to a common vow among GOP presidential hopefuls to strip the organization of federal funding. But the heart of the controversy isn’t about only Planned Parenthood; it’s about abortion. And while the videos are setting off waves among activists and presidential candidates, their long-term impact remains unclear.”

At South Avenue Women’s Services, we feel the opposite is true. The long-term impact is clear to us. We feel that the Planned Parenthood videos will rear its ugly head in the upcoming presidential race and be a cornerstone of far right campaigns. We hope we’re wrong, but have a bad feeling in the pit of our stomach. There’ll be a lot of talk about the role of Planned Parenthood, state abortion rights, and women’s bodies. The storm hasn’t passed.

Kansas Abortion Restrictions

Despite advancements being made in society from top to bottom, from gay marriage to the Supreme Court stepping in to keep abortion clinics in Texas open, there are still states holding out when it comes to the right of women to have control over their own bodies. Kansas may not be one of them.


The state is a battleground when it comes to women’s rights. Recently, Kansas has plans for a first-in-the nation ban on a procedure that anti-abortion activists call “dismemberment abortion.”


There is one judge, Shawnee County District Judge Larry Hendricks, who blocked the law and believes the state’s constitution protects a woman’s right to have an abortion and is separate from the U.S. Constitution. What this means is, if his ruling is upheld, the Kansas Supreme Court could grant more protections on abortion than the U.S. Supreme Court does. That is certainly groundbreaking.


Every day it seems there are new groups hoping to add more restrictions to a woman’s body. The situation is still poised to get more combative, but there does seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.


Abortion Law in Texas

With all the positivity going on in America, with the Supreme Court’s decision regarding gay marriage, it’s still a bit of shock to see some states still lost in the stone age when it comes to abortion rights. It’s a frustrating situation to say the least, to see the whole of the country making great leaps forward in terms of equality but still taking that one or two steps back when it comes to women and their bodies. No better do we see this than in Texas where the Supreme Court had to step in to keep 19 abortion clinics open.


The AP reported that “the justices voted 5-4 to grant an emergency appeal from the clinics after a federal appeals court upheld new clinic regulations and refused to keep them on hold while the clinics appealed to the Supreme Court.”  This is huge, and could possibly be the biggest abortion case at the Supreme Court in nearly 25 years.


This is all in response to a state law passed in 2013 that put many abortion clinics on life support. The law requires all clinics providing abortion services to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers. That certainly makes it difficult for these clinics to stay open, not to mention that the doctors providing the services have to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Not surprisingly, over half of Texas’s abortion clinics closed down, stranding many women and health professionals on harsh island. Texas wants to take these restrictions one-step further.


What are state lawmakers thinking? Enforcing the state law would close all but a couple of the 19 abortion clinics in Texas. Thankfully, the Supreme Court stepped in. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.


Drones for Reproductive Rights

When you think about news on reproductive rights it usually centers on state laws and legislature. Testimonials of both tragedy and success are widely spread around the press to gain awareness on the issue. The link between drones and safely ending an early pregnancy is not a connection commonly made-until now.


A coalition of outside-the-box thinkers called Women on Waves, a non-profit organization located in Europe, are now using drones to transport abortion-inducing medication to those who otherwise would not have access. The upcoming flight is planned to carry these packages from Germany to Poland, where some of the strictest abortion laws are enforced.


After Ireland and Malta, Poland has the most enforced and restrictive abortion laws in Europe. Rebecca Gomperts, Women on Waves founder, hopes to cause a media frenzy by way of this groundbreaking flight. “We’re very interested in the new developments around drones. In a sense it’s a campaign to call attention to the reality for women in Poland. But there’s a future for it as a delivery model. We might do it in Ireland.”


Through this technological advancement, Gomperts hopes to make a more symbolic statement than physical one. While the drone can only transport a limited amount of medication for a few women she hopes that through her and her group’s efforts, to spark dialogue in politicians and advocacy groups across the world.


At South Women’s Services, we are proud of what Women on Waves are trying to accomplish. We also believe that every woman should have the resources and support available to make the choice that’s right for you.




Missouri Abortion Law

In many of the more progressive regions of the United States, it’s easy to think that women’s rights battles are typically fought overseas, in areas where there is massive inequality between men and women. However, there are plenty of instances of reproductive rights and other women’s issues coming under the crosshairs in political debates right here at home.


Basic reproductive rights for women are still being fought for here in America, as this letter to the editor published by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reminds us. Restrictions to reproductive rights for Missouri women are just the latest in a long line of socially restrictive pieces of legislation that the writers, two male retired history teachers, argue is harming the state’s competitiveness. “As we look to future economic growth, why would talented and highly educated young people consider Missouri if they had other options,” they state.


As is often the case, women are only one minority group either being targeted by or left out of the political debate in recent years. Before passing laws to restrict reproductive rights, the Missouri state legislature just barely dropped an attempt to institute voter identification laws that would have skewed the voting process against non-white voters. Marriage equality and worker’s rights are other areas of great social impact where this state is much more restrictive than most.


Even in areas where women enjoy a greater amount of reproductive rights, the social stigma that surrounds your need to find effective care in times of crisis can be traumatic. Here at South Avenue Womens Services, we believe that no woman should have to feel persecuted or targeted for seeking professional clinical services. We have a highly trained staff skilled in the use of the latest technology. We can take you conscientiously through the process and help you be sure that pregnancy termination is the correct choice for your health. Call us if you’d like to schedule a consultation at our facility in Rochester, NY.