By Staff of Women on Waves – This morning the Abortion Drone flew from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland at Narrow Waters Castle. After the drone landed safely two women took the pills. At the same time Women on Waves employed a RC speedboat to send over more pills for the women. Making abortion illegal will not keep women from accessing abortion pills, by ship, by mail, through the internet, drone or RC speedboat!
In October of last year, Irma Lopez Aurelio arrived at a state health clinic in Oaxaca, Mexico, in labor with her third child. The doctors at the clinic told her to come back, that her labor was not advanced enough and no doctor was available to help her. Irma, who is indigenous, spoke little Spanish and was unable to communicate how advanced her labor was to the monolingual doctors. After hours of waiting, Irma gave birth on the lawn outside of the clinic. In the past nine months, seven indigenous women in Mexico have been documented having their babies in the yard, waiting rooms, or front steps of state clinics. The vast majority have occurred in Oaxaca, the third poorest state, with the largest indigenous population in the country.
“Forty-one years after Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal, the attacks on reproductive rights are escalating–so much so that, according to a recent study, more legislation restricting abortion has been passed in the last three years than in the decade before that. According to a study by the Guttmacher Institute, over the course of 2013, 39 states enacted 141 provisions related to reproductive health and rights. Half of these provisions–70 in 22 states–restricted access to abortion services. Some 205 abortion restrictions went into effect between 2011 and 2013, compared to 189 between 2001 and 2010.”
This Wednesday marked the 41st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, which protected a women’s decision to have an abortion was marked by thousands of anti-abortion activists taking part in a march for life in Washington, D.C. Carrying signs saying “I AM the pro-life generation”, and “conceived from rape, I love my life” marches converged on the National Mall Wednesday and marched to the Supreme Court. While public opinion on abortion has not shifted much since the 1970s, the war on female reproductive rights, which was raging at a fever pitch in 2013, continues to escalate. A 2013 Gallup poll showed that “52 percent of Americans support access to legal abortions under certain circumstances, with 26 percent holding it should always be legal and 20 percent in favor of an outright ban.” Those numbers have shifted little in a generation. However, as Sunsara Taylor of Stop Patriarchy, points out Reproductive rights are in a state of emergency.
Abortion rights in this country right now are in an absolute state of emergency. There is an all-sided, many-fronted assault on women’s right to abortion and even birth control. There are the violence, terror, and threats against abortion providers. There is the avalanche of legal restrictions.The last two years have seen record restrictions on abortion access, and this year has already seen 278 new restrictions introduced around the country. Abortion has been marginalized and stigmatized within medicine, taken out of most primary care; it’s not taught in medical schools unless students fight for it. Ninety-seven percent of rural counties don’t have an abortion provider.
. . . talking about the tipping point that’s come in terms of the reaction to these laws, because that is what I see. We’ve certainly seen it in Texas, and we’ve certainly seen it in North Carolina, that this has just lit a fuse in the supporters of a woman’s right to choose and all the other issues that are connected with this, including prenatal care and Medicaid expansion, which our state also cut off, which means that half a million people in the state will not have access to insurance under the Affordable Care Act. So, I think that all of these issues are connected, and they are infuriating the majority of North Carolinians.