Pro-choice

More Jadelle furore

Posted in Jadelle Implant, New Zealand, Pro-choice on September 27th, 2010 by steph – 20 Comments

So, on Stuff.co.nz this morning there was an article titled ‘Implant to protect against teen pregnancies’, about the Jadelle implant (which I have written about previously). I understand that Family Planning hopes it will tackle teen pregancy rates, and I agree that this is one of the benefits of it. But it is also important for us to remember that this implant, which lasts for 5 years, is also a nice option to have available for women in long-term relationships; and one such woman is quoted in the article, saying that being someone in a long-term relationship who doesn’t want kids makes it a good choice for her. I suppose maybe I am just being pedantic about the article’s title, which to me somehow seems like it’s a bit close to “teen pregnancy epidemic!11!” territory.

Tha article also has some opinions from people opposed to the implants (for teenagers, specifically)

But there are growing concerns the implant will lull teenagers into a false sense of security, leading to further increases in STIs, particularly chlamydia.

STIs have already reached epidemic proportions, said Andrea Hunt, the area manager for Yrchoice, a life skills programme which targets year nine and ten students from Taranaki schools and encourages them to make healthy sexual choices.

“Like similar methods of contraception, it may prevent pregnancy – but it won’t prevent STIs,” she warned.

“There is a possibility that young people may think pregnancy is the worse thing that can happen to them, and not be aware of other dangers.”

To be honest, I don’t really think this is a good argument, because exactly the same thing is said about the pill all the time by people who are anti-contraceptive pill, and if you took away all contraception that didn’t protect against STI’s then you are essentially robbing women of their choice. I do think that adding another alternative is a good thing, because this may be the perfecct option for someone out there, and women having reproductive freedom makes me happy. And yes, I do acknowledge that Jadelle (obviously) wont protect against STI’s,  but I also think it seems unlikely that it will make a lot of teen girls go out and have unprotected (against STI’s) sex who wouldn’t have already done so. Yes, some people do think pregnancy is the worst thing that can come from having sex, but it seems unlikely that Jadelle will add to this. Women who ignore STI risks like that can do so while on the pill, or any number of other contraceptive methods too, and from there is becomes a slippery slope towards saying only condoms are ok for contraception. (Note: obviously, I am an advocate for condoms, and testing, and taking care of your reproductive health, and disclosure, and communication with partners. But I am also an advocate for choice, and trusting women).

This, I feel, sums up my attitude towards the situation:

But nurse practitioner Lou Roebuck, of youth health clinic Waves, said the risk of getting STIs while using the implant was no different from that of IUDs or injections. Waves provides sexual health services for people as young as 10.

“We see most young people being responsible about their sexual health these days.This is a really good, low cost option which is perfect for young people or people who have finished having their family.”

Woo hoo, options!

Anyway, what I really wanted to mention was this quote near the end of the article:

Student Alice Turnbull, 20, said she would be horrified if she fell pregnant but doesn’t want anything inserted under her skin.”I don’t want to be crazy and get into conspiracy theories. But this could be one way of starting to track people. You’re just trusting the people who administer it.”

I’m with her on the not wanting something inserted under my skin part, but then she lost me a little bit…I don’t know if Jadelle implants have GPS devices in them, or if people would be able to run a barcode scanner over you and know your information. It’s only 2010 after all; not quite at the hovercraft transportation dystopian future yet. (Although, speaking of contraceptive implants/tracking, you should totally check out The Carhullan Army).

Patriarchy-free Zone

Posted in Art Week, patriarchy-free zone, Pro-choice on August 17th, 2010 by steph – 5 Comments

This week, in my neck of the woods, it’s Art Week. As part of it, there are lots of lovely installations up around campus, and as I was walking through the link I spied one of them: the Patriarchy Free Zone Imagination Station participatory installation (under artist on the website it says We Are Optimistic, so I’m not sure who to give these major props to!). Part of it is a huge blackboard type backdrop, with ‘What could your world look like without patriarchy?’ written across the top. And, because it is a participatory piece of work, people are free to write something (in response to the question) on it. When I had a look, there were lots of awesome comments; comments about a world without rape, a world where people aren’t expected to conform to gender norms about what they wear or how they act. One about how female children who are energetic and rough and tumble would just be called that and not called tomboys. One about how being smiled at by male strangers wouldn’t provoke defensive and suspiscious feelings. And one about how men too wouldn’t feel constricted by societal expectations to ‘be men’ (jocks, the breadwinner, the stud, etc). So much awesome in one place, and it made me very happy to know that there are people out there who are thinking about these things, and who are unhappy with these things, and realise the power that certain things can have. So this really made me happy.

I though I should write something, seeing as I clearly have an opinion on this topic. I wrote ‘It would be my body and my choice’. Which I intended to be about reproductive rights and choice, but really as I think about it, it applies to lots of other things; things that some of the other comments also touched on, like not feeling pressure to dress or act a certain way. So that was my addition, and I’m looking forward to seeing any new comments that pop up.

Julie on pro-choice abortion law

Posted in Abortion, New Zealand, Pro-choice on August 14th, 2010 by steph – 2 Comments

I’m sure by now most of you have read the brilliant post/presentation by Julie on why abortion needs to be legal (or a re-post, such as this one over at Ideologically Impure, spreading the awesomeness to everyone with eyes). Julie’s presentation is amazing, and is a beautifully structured argument for why abortion needs to be legal, and why abortion law needs to be pro-choice. The world isn’t perfect, and we do not have full control over our own fertility. And, as QoT states, people will have sex. They will. And because we don’t have full control over out fertility, pregnancies will happen. And some will be unwanted. And people will have abortions to end them.

As Julie says,

We don’t yet live in a world where we have full control of our fertility.

Unwanted pregnancies will happen.

So we’re faced with how we deal with those unwanted pregnancies – as individuals and as a society.

I believe that abortion is necessary. I believe that holding a pro-choice position, allowing the woman concerned to choose whether or not to continue her pregnancy, is the ethical, indeed the moral, approach.

Who else can make that decision?

Who else has a better understanding of her circumstances?

Who else has to live with the consequences?

And who else should control her body?

Exactly. Who else should get to make the decision for an individual woman? Nobody. Women should be able to make that decision for themselves.

Julie also explains why the current law is not pro-choice, and is pretty anti-women.

Overall, I can’t praise this presentation enough!