A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘abortion

[BLOG] Some Monday links

leave a comment »

  • blogTO looks at Queen and Bay in the 1960s and examines the PATH in the 1970s.
  • Centauri Dreams suggests that beamed power might be detectable by SETI.
  • The Dragon’s Tales looks at ancient salmon fishing in Alaska and notes the state of the Ukrainian war.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog considers the extent to which crime can warp societies.
  • Far Outliers notes the heckling women protesters of Kyrgyzstan.
  • Language Log shares a bad translation of into English from Chinese.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes how Indonesian drilling triggered a mud volcano.
  • Marginal Revolution looks at cap and trade in China and wonders why deflation has returned to Japan.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog maps abortion in Europe.
  • Savage Minds shares a list that is also an ethnography.
  • Towleroad notes the appearance of PrEP on American television.
  • Window on Eurasia criticizes Putin’s diplomatic strategies, notes that there are three million Muslims in Moscow, looks at the controversy surrounding Syrian Circassian refugees, notes some Russian tourists are now saying they are Belarusian, and notes the challenges of Belarus.

[ISL] “Halifax woman opening her home to P.E.I. women needing abortions”

Good for this woman! From CBC:

A Prince Edward Island woman now living in Halifax is opening her home to women from her province needing abortions in the city because the procedure is not available there.

Chelsey Buchanan posted on social media offering a room, food, bus tickets and transportation to the clinic. She hasn’t had any requests for the room yet.

Buchanan said she was inspired to offer help after reading the Sovereign Uterus, a blog where women were sharing their frustrations with the system.

“I was reading over it and I saw that so many women had travelled home afterwards, like after getting the procedure done and it was against doctor’s orders,” she said. “So I kind of figured there are a lot people out there that don’t have the means to stay in Halifax overnight, and I mean I have space, so why not offer up what I have?”

P.E.I. is the only province in Canada where surgical abortions are not performed, but some doctors will provide a prescription for a medical abortion. The province pays for the service but not the cost of travel. A 2014 Health PEI report indicated the government could have saved $37,000 a year by providing the service on the island. The report said about 153 women had to seek the service in 2013.

The Sovereign Uterus blog, for whatever it’s worth, is here.

Written by Randy McDonald

June 1, 2015 at 10:21 pm

[LINK] “N.B. women seek abortions in U.S. after clinic closure: staff”

MacLean’s hosts Alison Auld’s Canadian Press article describing how, after the closure of New Brunswick’s only private abortion clinic, women in that province looking for an abortion are going far outside the province.

Pregnant women from New Brunswick are travelling to Maine and Montreal to obtain abortions after the province’s only private abortion clinic shut down last summer, angering pro-choice advocates who say the government is moving too slowly in removing barriers to the service.

Staff at abortion clinics in Augusta and Bangor in Maine said they have seen a spike in the number of telephone inquiries and visits from women from New Brunswick since the summer when the Morgentaler clinic in Fredericton closed, citing a lack of government funding.

Ruth Lockhart of the Mabel Wadsworth Women’s Health Centre in Bangor said the independent clinic used to see one or two women from the province over six months. There are now women from New Brunswick at every weekly clinic, sometimes with five or six at a time, she said.

“My concern is with the women who can’t do that — who can’t get time off from work, who can’t find childcare, who can’t afford the fees or don’t have a passport,” she said in an interview.

“To have to leave your country? I don’t know, that doesn’t seem right to me. None of that is fair to women.”

Written by Randy McDonald

November 4, 2014 at 11:49 pm

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • blogTO recommends things to do on the Danforth.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the importance of the discovery of water in the atmosphere of exoplanet HAT-P-11b.
  • Crooked Timber goes on at length about Kevin Williamson’s statement as noted by Joe. My. God. that women who have abortions should be executed.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes plans for futuristic architecture in Shenzhen.
  • Eastern Approaches observes the travails of a Roma soccer team in the Czech Republic.
  • Far Outliers notes two different movements of Romanian intellectuals responding to relative backwardness, pasoptism referring to the post-1848 effort at modernization and protocronism referring to efforts to claim all was invented first in Romania.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that in France, added years of education associated with avoiding conscription don’t produce different job results.
  • Spacing Toronto notes the failed visit of Upper Canadian reformer William Lyon Mackenzie to London in 1832.
  • Torontoist notes building regulations prevent Toronto from making use of green roofs.
  • Towleroad links to a study discussing the economic impact of anti-LGBT laws on Americans.
  • Why I Love Toronto talks about the importance of having a local barber.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that Russians will begin to draft first Chechens then Crimeans, notes increased state spending on Russia Today, observes the belief among some Russians that Ukraine is somehow not really a nation, and suggests that Belarus is cracking down on pro-Russians.

[URBAN NOTE] “Ghost City: 85 Harbord St.”

The Grid‘s Jamie Bradburn writes about the tumultuous history of Henry Morgentaler’s pioneering abortion clinic at 85 Harbord Street.

When the Toronto Women’s Bookstore needed space to expand from its Kensington Market home in 1975, it settled upon the ground floor of a three-storey semi-detached former residence on Harbord Street. As one of the first feminist bookstores in Canada, the collective-run business quickly became a supplier to libraries, schools, and women’s centres who drew on stock the emphasized works by Canadian authors on topics ranging from health to non-sexist kid-lit. During its first few months on Harbord, store staff estimated that around 25 per cent of its clientele were men who were either curious about the concept or deeply committed to feminist issues.

During the spring of 1983, the bookstore learned it would have a new upstairs neighbour. Following a search delayed by threats of prosecution from the provincial government, Dr. Henry Morgentaler (who passed away last week), announced he would open his first Toronto abortion clinic on the upper two floors of 85 Harbord on June 15. The press was shown a freshly renovated space filled with plants and wicker furniture that Morgentaler hoped would create “a soothing atmosphere” for patients.

The clinic’s move-in wasn’t a peaceful one. Ontario Attorney-General Roy McMurtry expected police to charge in if any abortions were performed; at the time, the only legal option required the consent of abortion committees offered by some hospitals. Anti-abortion groups promised plenty of protests. When opening day arrived, a man wielding garden shears attacked Morgentaler. Repeatedly yelling “bad people, bad people,” Augusto Da Silva was intercepted by pro-choice supporters (led by clinic spokesperson Judy Rebick) before Morgentaler was seriously harmed. Da Silva then waved his shears in the air, told the crowd to move back, then ran from the scene. (He was soon arrested.)

The inevitable police raid came on July 5, 1983. After a pair of undercover Metro Toronto Police officers arranged an abortion, other officers swept in and removed equipment during a three-and-a-half hour blitz. Morgentaler, who was vacationing in California, surrendered to police upon his return to Toronto two days later. The raid set off years of legal battles that culminated in the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision to strike down federal abortion law in January 1988.

85 Harbord became a battleground in the divide over women’s choice and a target for extreme anti-abortionists. Around 3:15 a.m. on July 29, 1983, a man who failed to break into the clinic managed to get into the Toronto Women’s Bookstore. He set bags of paper afire under the stairwell, which ironically was near the pregnancy and childbirth section. A note left behind read “If your mother had taken your life away, you would not be living it up, Morgentaler.”

Written by Randy McDonald

June 10, 2013 at 7:39 pm

[BRIEF NOTE] On Henry Morgentaler and 85 Harbord Street

Henry Morgentaler, a Canadian doctor who gained international recognition (and ignominy) for his fight for safe and legal abortion in Canada, died today.

Morgentaler emerged in 1969 as one of Canada’s most controversial figures when he broke the law at the time, and opened the country’s first abortion clinic in Montreal.

Over the next two decades, he would be heralded as a hero by some, and called a murderer by others as he fought to change Canada’s abortion laws.

Morgentaler, who was born in Lodz, Poland, and came to Canada after the Second World War, emerged in 1967 as an advocate for the right of women to have abortion on demand — a polarizing issue in Canada. His abortion clinic in Montreal was followed by more clinics across the country.

“His work changed the legal landscape in Canada, and eventually led to the 1988 landmark Supreme Court of Canada decision that gave women the right to obtain abortion care,” said Vicki Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation.

85 Harbord

In August 2008, on the occasion of Morgentaler’s successful (if controversial) nomination for membership in the Order of Canada, I posted a picture taken on Toronto’s Harbord Street, near the University of Toronto campus, of 85 Harbord Street, the address that once hosted his clinic.

Now, in The Globe and Mail‘s words.

The story of this old Annex Victorian semi, among the storefronts on the south of Harbord, really begins on June 15, 1983, when Henry Morgentaler opened an abortion clinic. It was subjected to protests and pickets, and victories and defeats – for both sides of the debate. The drama might have ended in 1988, when the Supreme Court ruled that freestanding clinics were legal, but the rallies continued, reaching 3,000 strong. Harbord Street Cafe, at No. 87, closed shop, its windows papered over. A sign for The Way Inn took its place. The Toronto Women’s Bookstore moved down the street. Then on Victoria Day weekend in 1992, an explosion by arsonists blew the wall out at No. 85. No one was ever charged. A small apartment is there now, next to Ms. Emma Designs at No. 87. Earlier this week, Dr. Morgentaler was named to the Order of Canada.

(85 Harbord Street is small. Look to the left edge of the photo. I thought it was hiding from me at the time I took the photo.)

[LINK] “Charles Murray’s Gay-Marriage Surprise”

Charles Murray, the American conservative author most famous for co-authoring a book (The Bell Curve) which argued for the genetic intellectual inferiority of African-Americans, has come out in support of same-sex marriage. Jane Mayer’s article at The New Yorker describes how, at CPAC, Murray made a surprising case.

As he got warmed up, Murray explained that, while driving for more than an hour that morning to the conference, he had begun talking out loud to himself, which is how he usually practices his speeches. Upon realizing that he had more than an hour’s worth of fresh thoughts, he decided to simply drop the planned ones. The question on his mind was “How can conservatives make their case after the election?,” and the answer he wanted to share was drawn from his experience with his own four children. They range in age, he said, from twenty-three to forty-three. While they share many of his views on limiting the size of government, and supporting free enterprise, he said, “Not one of them thought of voting for a Republican President” in the last election. Their disenchantment with the Republican Party was not specifically because of Mitt Romney, he added, but because, “They consider the Party to be run by anti-abortion, anti-gay, religious nuts.”

“With gay marriage,” he went on, “I think the train has left the station.”

Certainly the locomotive power of the issue seemed hard to miss on a day when the top political news was Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman’s announcement that he, too, supports gay marriage. (Richard Socarides has more on that.) While Portman’s position shifted because of his family situation—he explained publicly for the first time that his son had come out as gay—Murray said his own views had been influenced heavily by friends. “I was dead-set against gay marriage when it was first broached,” Murray said; as a fan of Edmund Burke, he regarded marriage as an ancient and indispensable cultural institution that “we shouldn’t mess with.” He used to agree with his friend Irving Kristol, the late father of neo-conservatism, that gay people wouldn’t like marriage. “ ‘Let them have it,’ ” he recounted Kristol as saying, with a chuckle. “ ‘They wont like it.’ ” Murray said that he himself used to think that “All they want is the wedding, and the party, and the honeymoon—but not this long thing we call marriage.”

But since then, Murray said, “we have acquired a number of gay and lesbian friends,” and to what he jokingly called his “dismay” as a “confident” social scientist, he learned he’d been wrong. He’d been especially influenced by the pro-gay-marriage arguments made by Jonathan Rausch, an openly gay writer for the National Journal and the Atlantic. Further, Murray said, he had discovered that the gay couples he knew with children were not just responsible parents; they were “excruciatingly responsible parents.”

By this time, the CPAC audience’s rustlings had an anxious edge. Murray’s remarks seemed to surprise many in the conference room at the National Harbor Convention Center, south of Washington, even if, when it comes to gay marriage, they shouldn’t have: he’s talked about the change in his personal views before, as David Weigel and Andrew Sullivan have noted. What was striking was how critical he argued it is for the G.O.P. to make a similar shift as a party.

He also condones abortion in certain circumstances. But, huh.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 19, 2013 at 11:08 pm


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 470 other followers