No, doctors should NOT be denying birth control. #SorryNotSorry

Thankfully, we’re not alone in that.

Birth control

So when we received this letter and were asked to amplify it, we did. In a big way. Huffington Post tackled it, The Ottawa Citizen called the doctors in question for their thoughts and the woman who took the initial picture came forward to prove the letter was in fact, real. 

We were interviewed on “CBC Ontario Today” in what ended up being an hour long show about the issue. Thankfully, the anti-choicers exposed themselves for the out-to-lunch-and-living-on-Mars people they are.

How you can be opposed to birth control and abortion is truly mind boggling to us, but alas, that’s what’s going on here. Thankfully, we’ve got the majority of Canadians, the United Nations and modern science on our side.

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Canada fails to adhere to its own mandate of ‘protecting maternal health’

There is only one thing that comes to mind when considering what could be more ‘abhorrent’ than rape and child marriage:  the thought of a forced pregnancy.

How can the Conservative’s platform insist that Prime Minister Harper ‘refuses to reopen the abortion debate’ while the PMO arbitrarily excludes safe access to abortion in foreign policy?  How does this not reopen the debate?

THIS IS A POSITION ON ABORTION.

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‘March for Life’ counter-presence

The Radical Handmaids will be attending this year’s March for Life as part of the contingent of pro-choicers who bear witness to the lies, deception and flat out WTF-this-is-so-bizarre nature of the anti-choice movement.

Rather than chanting or engaging with the marchers, we will instead be remaining silent. Not in the ‘let’s-tape-our-mouths-shut’ way that anti-choicers do.

Instead, our choice to remain silent and not engaging with the marchers comes from the knowledge that most of the marchers are students who are bused into the march as a form of indoctrination.

They are told that pro-choicers are ‘loud’, ‘crazy’, ‘irrational’ and ‘obscene’.

Therefore, by remaining silent, stoic and simply holding up signs, we are hoping to encourage them to do their own research and question what they are being told by their schools, religious leaders and often times, family members.

We will meet on Parliament Hill at noon with the rest of the amazing pro-choice contingent. From there, we will move to a second location to ‘take position’ and silently hold up signs and banners.

If you would like to join us, get creative with your costume & signs. However, we ask that if you want to arrive in costume and stand with us, that you respect our desire to not engage and remain stoic, rather than joining in the cheers and chanting.

It can be very difficult to not engage. They make it so damn hard sometimes! However, we feel it’s important.

We fully respect the right of folks to get loud, chant and shout-down the hatred of the anti-choice movement. And if that’s what you want to do, we encourage you to join the great pro-choicers doing just that.

As pro-choicers, we are all in this together and we must use a diversity of tactics to get our message across.

May 9th, noon, Parliament Hill. Bring your signs, banners and of course, your best RadHands costume.

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M-408 will be not resurrected after all!

Yup. That’s right, folks. M-408 was denied an appeal by The Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

Warawa’s wish of his very own Easter resurrection have been dashed. 

If you’re into that kinda stuff, you can read the full Parliamentary transcript here.

Us on the other hand? We’ll be doing lots of THIS.

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Victory!

It seems that Parliamentarians have deemed M-408 (The ‘I-don’t-do-a-damn-thing-for-the-rights-of-girls-but-claim-to-care-about-femicide’ Motion) non-votable.

You can read Parliamentary journalist lady-in-the-know Kady O’Malley’s post about it if you want all the nitty gritty details.

Warawa has appealed (as we figured he would) but for now? Parliament isn’t voting on M-408 and for all intents and purposes, it’s a done deal!

Pro-choice victory dance!

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#SinceMorgentaler

We are grateful for reproductive rights but keenly aware of how precious they are.

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#SinceMorgentaler

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We remember.

We remember.

Photo sent to us by an anonymous supporter of reproductive justice

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25th Anniversary of the Morgentaler Decision / 25e anniversaire de l’arrêt Morgentaler

 

 

Send us your photos of gratitude and acknowledgement of 25 years of abortion access in Canada!

radicalhandmaids at gmail dot com

 

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CALL TO ACTION: 25th Anniversary of the Morgentaler Decision / 25e anniversaire de l’arrêt Morgentaler

Monday, January 28th marks the 25th anniversary of the Morgentaler Decision which effectively decriminalized abortion in Canada. Three cheers for pro-choice victories!

We are calling on our pro-choice allies to help us mark this important moment in reproductive justice (her)story. 

On January 28, 2013 join us on Twitter as we acknowledge the many ways in which the Morgentaler Decision has improved the lives of all Canadians. Using the hashtag #SinceMorgentaler, we will pay homage to the myriad of activists who dedicated their lives to the struggle for reproductive justice and acknowledge the many ways in which our lives have been improved #SinceMorgentaler

We’re also asking for people to submit photos of their gratitude for 25 years of decriminalized abortion in Canada. Submit your photo to our Facebook page or e-mail us and we’ll post them on your behalf. Be creative! You need not show your face and your anonymity is all yours, if you want. (And for all you party-poopers out there, we reserve the right to delete any photos and messages).

There is much work to be done to make abortion access a reality for all those who need it across this country.  Our struggle is not over.

Let’s take a moment to recognize what we’ve achieved so far and then direct our energies to the future.

For more information about the Morgentaler Decision: http://www.morgentaler25years.ca/

radicalhandmaids@gmail.com

@RadicalHandmaid

www.facebook.com/RadicalHandmaids

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Le lundi 28 janvier souligne le 25e anniversaire de l’arrêt Morgentaler qui dépénalise l’avortement au Canada. En voilà une victoire!

Nous demandons à nos alliées et alliés de la liberté de contraception (pro-choix) de se joindre à nous afin de marquer ce moment important dans l’histoire des droits génésiques.

Le lundi 28 janvier, joignez-vous à nous sur Twitter en reconnaissance des maintes façons dont l’arrêt Morgentaler a amélioré la vie de toutes les Canadiennes et tous les Canadiens. En utilisant le mot-clic (hashtag) #SinceMorgentaler, nous rendrons hommage aux innombrables activistes qui ont dédié leurs vies à la lutte des droits génésiques.

Nous demandons aussi aux gens de soumettre leurs photos de reconnaissance pour les 25 années d’avortements légaux au Canada. Vous pouvez soumettre votre photo sur notre page Facebook ou bien nous l’envoyer par courriel pour que nous puissions l’afficher de votre part. Soyez créatifs! Vous n’avez pas besoin de montrer votre visage et votre anonymat est garanti. (NB: Pour tous ceux qui veulent gâcher cet événement, nous réservons le droit de supprimer n’importe quelle photo et message)

Il reste encore beaucoup de travail pour réaliser l’accès à l’avortement pour toutes celles qui en ont besoin à travers ce pays. Le combat continue!

Prenons un instant pour reconnaître nos victoires et ensuite concentrer notre énergie vers le futur.

Pour de plus amples renseignements à propos de l’arrêt Morgentaler: http://www.morgentaler25years.ca/fr/

 

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M-408: The Torch is Passed from Woodworth to Warawa

Our dear friend MP Stephen Woodworth, held a talk at the University of Ottawa recently. He seems to think that: a) History is on the side of human rights (which leads us to believe we have read very different history books) b) Dignity and equality for all human beings is of primordial importance. Now his second point, we can agree with but call usDebbie Downer if you must because dignity and equality is not automatically applied to a person once they are born.

If this were so, girls and boys would not be sold into sexual slavery, Indigenous girls and women in Canada would not be 5 to 7 times more likely than other women to die of violence, people suffering from mental health & addiction issues would not be living on the streets and yes there would not be such a strong preference for male children vs female children in many cultures and countries (whether overtly or covertly)

M-312 was defeated but now the anti-choice windbags have found a new prophet and cause to champion ostensibly under the guise of protecting women and girls.

The torch of freedom fighting is passed on to MP Mark Warawa! M-408 pertains to be about protecting girls but is actually about protecting female fetuses. Similarly to Woodworth’s motion, the who, what, where, why and when of how we go about doing this is unclear. The methodology and implementation are unknown. At least, the picture for this motion is cuter and there is no fake fetus complete with an artificial tear streaming down its face for our supposed sins. Hell, he even tries to be egalitarian too! You see a Caucasian toddler, an Asian toddler and a Black toddler…Complete with cute pink lettering.

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Either you thought that was cute or you retched a bit, we do not judge. So let’s get down to the crux of it.

The main claim is that female fetuses are being aborted simply for the fact they are not male and that his happening enough in Canada that we need to spend Parliamentary time talking about it. Although a few preliminary studies have shown an unproportional ratio of female vs male births in some communities (See here. ) the data is limited. The bias here is leaning towards South Asian women. In India, South Korea and China, this is a proven phenomena; that the cultural pressures to have a son are intense and the rewards of having a male child are many.

In those countries, various levels of government and organizations are working together to dig up the roots of son preference. Laws are being changed so that women can inherit property, girls are being educated much more than before, access to clean water for drinking and cooking is being ramped up so girls are not walking many kilometres every day to fetch water, prenatal care is more available, valuable work skills are being taught to girls that traditionally would only be taught to boys and much more.

Here’s the kicker though, in NO CASES is access to safe and legal abortion being banned. It seems that unlike some of our politicians and citizens sitting on their high horses of privilege, it is understood that banning abortion will only be detrimental to the health of the woman. If the woman cannot access an abortion and gives birth to a girl, we can rightfully assume she will not be loved, protected and cherished. At best, she will be tolerated. She will not be equal in rights and dignity to boys just because she is alive.

If this is truly happening in disproportionate numbers, we need to dismantle misogyny at its root causes, rather than demanding change at the Morgentaler clinic.

Abortion is not the issue here: it is misogyny.

Femicide exists, yes. And it can certainly be deemed a horrific form of misogyny. But what we are most definitely not okay with is other people deciding what is best for women. We are not okay with doctors being told to screen patients based on racist, classist and ableist stereotypes. We are not okay with politicians actively promoting misogyny and then claiming to care about the welfare of girls.

Let us not forget that MP Warawa voted against Bill C-398, a Bill that if passed, would have made generic drugs available to countries in the global south who can’t afford them.

MP Warawa is fine with girls dying because they can’t afford lifesaving medication but claims to care about the status of girls around the world.

If you support MP Warawa and his motion, give your fucking head a shake.

We are pro-choice. The very basis of being pro-choice is that regardless of our own personal views, religious dogma or upbringing, we must abstain from infringing on another woman’s right to bodily autonomy.

Once we start drawing these arbitrary lines in the sand, where does it stop? How does one prove to someone else that their reasons are valid? Why should every woman be scrutinized and torn apart when she knows what is truly best for her and her body? Yes, we want to protect girls, but more importantly, we will keep fighting to live in world where girls do not need a knight in shinning armour.

We can fight for access to abortion and fight to end misogyny at the same time. They are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they are both imperative.

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