A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘abortion

[BLOG] Some Monday links

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  • The Boston Globe‘s Big Picture reports on the scene from Palmyra after the expulsion of ISIS.
  • James Bow links to a documentary on the search for Planet Nine.
  • The Dragon’s Tales speculates that the ability to enter torpor might have saved mammals from the en of the Cretaceous extinction.
  • Honourary Canadian Philip Turner discovers the Chiac dialect of the Acadians of the Maritimes.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that Afrika Bambaataa has been accused of molesting young boys.
  • Language Hat reports on the renaming of the Czech Republic “Czechia.”
  • Marginal Revolution notes Singapore has a graciousness index.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw reflects on Australia’s upcoming elections.
  • pollotenchegg maps the 2012 elections in Ukraine.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer explains how American investment in the Philippines was made impossible, so as to avoid welding that country to the US.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog links to a paper examining contraception and abortion among the Czechs and Slovaks in recent decades.
  • Towleroad notes Ted Cruz’ disinterest in protecting gay people.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the scale of Russia’s demographic problems, report the debate on whether Russia will or will not annex South Ossetia, and suggest Russia is losing influence in Central Asia.
  • The Financial Times‘ The World predicts the end for Dilma Rousseff.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • Anthropology.net reports on a study suggesting that ritual human sacrifice paved the way for complex societies.
  • Beyond the Beyond’s Bruce Sterling shares an essay skeptical about the idea of a sharing economy.
  • D-Brief and The Dragon’s Tales reports on a study of some South American mummies suggesting that the vast majority of populations in the pre-Columbian Americas did not survive the conquest.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper examining conditions on 55 Cancri e.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog considers how access to abortion can be limited by simply making it difficult to access.
  • Marginal Revolution wonders how bad the effects of the upcoming shutdown of the D.C. Metro will be.
  • Noel Maurer continues to look at the prospects of a Venezuelan default, looking at oil exports.
  • Spacing Toronto explores the history of the Toronto Sculpture Garden.
  • Torontoist explains inclusionary zoning to its readers.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

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  • Anthropology.net notes the discovery of Australopithecus remains east of the Great Rift Valley.
  • blogTO suggests that Toronto restaurants east of the Don face trouble in attracting customers.
  • Patrick Cain maps gentrification over the past decade in Toronto and Vancouver.
  • Geocurrents polls its readers as to what themes they would like the blog to examine.
  • Joe. My. God. shares the new Pet Shop Boys tracks “Burn” and “Undertow”.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the problems of the right in the United States with being consistent in its rhetoric about abortion being murder.
  • Marginal Revolution links to an interesting article suggesting that Soviet movies had fewer Americans villains than one might expect, partly because Nazis filled that niche but also because Americans were not seen as inherently threatening.
  • Personal Reflections looks at the particular fiscal imbalances of Australian federalism.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer starts to examine the likely consequences of a Venezuelan defaullt.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes the ongoing litigation over the Star Trek fan production Axanar.
  • Towleroad notes the first attempts to set up arranged same-sex marriages for people of Indian background.
  • Transit Toronto notes a repair to a secondary entrance of Ossington station and the continued spread of Presto readers throughout the grid.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests Russia is the chief beneficiary of an Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict.

[LINK] “Zika Virus May Push South America to Loosen Abortion Bans”

Wireds Sarah Zhang describes how the spread of the Zika virus has influenced the abortion debate in South America.

With no vaccine, no cure, and without even a reliable diagnosis, doctors are at a loss for how to protect their patients from the Zika virus. In the past year, the mosquito-borne disease has spread throughout Latin America, sparking panic because of a possible link to microcephaly—babies born with abnormally small brains. Without more information, medical advice so far has boiled down to this: Don’t get pregnant. So say official guidelines from Brazil, Colombia, and Honduras. El Salvador has gone so far as to recommend women do not get pregnant until 2018.

But most of these Latin American countries are also Catholic, so access to birth control is often poor and abortion is flat-out banned. “This kind of recommendation that women should avoid pregnancy is not realistic,” says Beatriz Galli, a Brazil-based policy advisor for the reproductive health organization Ipas. “How can they put all the burden of this situation on the women?”

In Brazil, where Zika has hit the hardest, birth control is available—though poor and rural women can still get left out. One report estimates that unplanned pregnancies make up over half of all births in the country. And abortion is illegal, except in cases of rape and certain medical conditions. A raft of impending legislation in Brazil’s conservative-held congress may make it harder to get abortions even in those exempted cases.

Now throw Zika into that. Scientists still haven’t confirmed the link to microcephaly, but Brazilian researchers have confirmed the virus can jump through the placenta from mother to fetus. Circumstantially, the number of of microcephaly cases has gone up 20 fold since Zika first reached Brazil. In the face of fear and incomplete information, women will have to figure out how to protect themselves and their children.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 10, 2016 at 5:10 pm

[ISL] #heywade, @iamkarats, Anne of Green Gables, and Island abortion

The above image, of a red-haired woman looking suspiciously like Anne of Green Gables with her face covered, has been circulating throughout Prince Edward Island, in posters on the streets and in posts on social media. The culture wars are heating up on Prince Edward Island.

Abortion has been decriminalized in Canada for decades, but it is still not readily accessible throughout the country. Vice recently noted that abortion is difficult to access throughout the Maritimes, given the dispersed and substantially rural population as well as strict regulation by provincial governments.

Prince Edward Island is unique even in the Maritimes Canada as the only province where abortion is not available. Even though Charlottetown’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital has the facilities needed, even though there are doctors willing to provide the service, the provincial government has refused to allow the procedure. Even non-surgical abortions are difficult to come by, with local hospitals not being allowed to provide followup care. This forces Island women who want abortions to leave the province for the mainland.

The consequence of this is to make abortion inaccessible. I blogged last year about how one Island-born woman living in Halifax has opened her home to Island women, and apparently the provincial government has set up a toll-free number to let Island women arrange an abortion in the New Brunswick city of Moncton, but these are stopgap measures. Unless an Island woman has the time needed to make a trip to the mainland, and has the financial resources to afford it, abortion is inaccessible.

This is where the current campaign comes in. Linked to the Twitter account @iamkarats, the image of provincial pop-culture icon Anne Shirley has been harnessed.

An anti-abortion group on P.E.I. is responding to posters that have gone up in Charlottetown and on social media calling on the province to make abortion available on the Island.

The posters show an image of a red-headed, pig-tailed woman or girl wearing a bandana, and use the hashtags #AccessNow, #SupportIslandWomen, and #HeyWade — as a direct appeal to premier Wade MacLauchlan.

[. . .]

Ann Wheatley, co-chair of Abortion Access Now PEI, said she doesn’t know who’s behind the posters and they aren’t affiliated with her group.

Wheatley does like the posters, saying they’re a clever and creative way to bring attention to the issue.

“I think the posters are quite brilliant,” she said. “They catch your eye … and it sends a very straightforward message that is we need our political leaders to pay attention to Island women and do the right thing.”

On Jan. 5, Abortion Access Now PEI served the provincial government notice that they would be filing a lawsuit suing for abortion access on the Island. Under the Crown Proceedings Act, any group filing a lawsuit against the province is required to provide notice of 90 days.

CBC reached out to the person or group behind the iamkarats social media accounts on Wednesday. They declined to reveal their identities but did release a written statement Thursday afternoon via an email address under the name Shirley Karats. Shirley is Anne’s last name, and she was infamously called “carrots” by Gilbert Blythe in the L.M. Montgomery book.

I think this brilliant. Prince Edward Island’s pop culture is quite often excessively traditional and conservative, even intentionally retrograde, looking to a rural and traditional past that it prized beyond any reasonable measure. It’s exactly this sort of thing that alienated me from the Island. What I find positive–what I find positively endearing, in fact–is the mobilization of this central figure of the Island for non-traditional goals. Why mightn’t Anne Shirley, raised in our era, have wanted accessible abortion on the Island? She herself was a decidedly non-traditional girl, growing up after some tumult into a non-traditional family and then going on to university, eventually becoming a creative professional in her own right. Why would Anne necessarily be conservative? That’s such an unimaginative treatment of a character who was defined by her ability to imagine new things.

I have no idea how the current campaign will end. Perhaps abortion will become available on the Island, or perhaps the matter will get ignored. My props go, regardless, to @iamkarats. This kind of imaginative engagement with the Island’s past will do much good.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 3, 2016 at 11:57 pm

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • blogTO notes a big retail shift in the Junction and looks at new expensive condos on Dupont Street.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to one paper suggesting the light curve of KIC 8462852 can be plausibly explained by a large comet family, notes another simulating what Saturn would look like as an exoplanet, and found a third suggesting that the Fomalhaut system’s configuration is likely temporary.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a report on silicon chips for supercomputers.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that Ireland has passed legislation protecting all teachers, including those employed by Catholic schools, from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.
  • Language Log notes an odd Chinese typo for the name of Obama.
  • Marginal Revolution starts a discussion on the fragility of complex civilizations.
  • Torontoist features an essay by a lesbian Ontarian who talks about how the current sex ed curriculum would have helped her.
  • From Tumblr, vagarh notes medieval texts and laws on abortion.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at the impact of the Russia-Turkey crisis on the Orthodox Church, suggests Russian project their own shortcomings on the west, and looks at patriotism among Ukrainian Muslims.

[LINK] “Anti-abortion groups target IUD use”

Al Jazeera America notes that anti-abortion groups will not be satisfied with limiting abortion, but that they rather want to go after birth control generally. I, for one, see no reason to try to compromise with the uncompromising.

A rapid increase in the number of U.S. women turning to intrauterine devices to prevent pregnancy has prompted escalating attacks on the birth control method from groups that oppose abortion.

The next battle will be at the U.S. Supreme Court, which has agreed to consider a new religious challenge to contraceptives coverage under President Obama’s healthcare law. Although the case deals broadly with whether religiously affiliated groups should be exempt from providing birth control coverage to their employees, some parties in the case have focused specifically on IUDs.

IUDs work primarily by preventing sperm from reaching an egg. But they have come under fire from anti-abortion groups because, in rare instances, they can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. Those who believe that life begins at conception consider blocking implantation to be terminating a pregnancy rather than preventing pregnancy.

“IUDs are a life-ending device,” said Mailee Smith, staff counsel for the Americans United for Life, which filed an amicus brief in support of the challenge before the high court. “The focus of these cases is that requiring any life-ending drug is in violation of the Religious Freedom Act.”

IUD use among U.S. women using contraceptives grew to 10.3 percent in 2012 from 2 percent in 2002, according to the Guttmacher Institute, making them the fastest growing birth-control method. Their popularity has grown as women recognized that newer versions of the device don’t carry the same safety risks as a 1970s-era IUD known as the Dalkon Shield.

Written by Randy McDonald

December 2, 2015 at 3:45 pm

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