Category Archives: Abortion Care

Where are the Young Reproductive Rights Activists?

Maine Women's Day 2013Have you read the recent TIME magazine article by Kate Pickert about abortion rights in the United States?

Among other things, the article points out that anti-abortion forces have been successful in limiting access to abortion services all over the country.  This is not a surprise; Guttmacher recently released a disturbing report about the alarming number of abortion restrictions enacted into law in 2012. Although abortion is still legal, it has become increasingly less accessible to many, many women.

The issue of accessibility is complex and something I will address in future blog posts but today I want to talk about one focus of the TIME article that is personally bugging me. Continue reading

Be Noisy!

This week’s blog post is guest-written by a family planning supporter who shares this message she sent to everyone on her personal email list. It’s an important call to action that I hope you will share with your friends and family — most especially the young women in your life.



Hello All,

The hardest part of this coming election, for me, is the probability that we will, if more social conservatives are elected, lose much of our right to reproductive choice in this country.

I’m not sure that enough of us are thinking about this: access to contraception, birth control, family planning, sex education, reproductive health, abortion rights… and what it was like before Roe vs Wade in 1973, when it was hard for the young, the unmarried, the poor, the rural, even married people … to get contraceptive help, much less have an abortion if needed. Abortions were dangerous and hidden, whether you were not married, or already had enough children, or had a life that didn’t work with children, where a child would not be supported, or had decided not to have children at all.

Whatever your reason, you were trapped, in a situation that would affect the rest of your life and a society that would not help you.

I am afraid that many young women don’t realize how serious this threat is, that the far right has been chipping away at family planning with hostile legislation in many states, and succeeding in making it harder get contraceptives, and more and more difficult to have a safe early abortion.

Many men think it is none of their business, or not as important as the other heavy issues we are dealing with. But access to contraception, and safe abortion if that fails, is crucial to quality of life for women, the children they have, the men that care about them, their families and communities.

It matters to the whole country, in health and savings, in education and ability to earn a living, in people being better able to take care of themselves.

Please be noisy about this issue before the election, and pass this message on to whoever you can. Don’t let us lose our family planning clinics and access to reproductive choice.

Thank you,
Beedy

And the Word of the Week is…

Vagina!

Well, it’s been nearly impossible to ignore the happenings in Michigan over the past week.  But just in case you missed it, here’s a recap.

Last week, the leadership of the Michigan House of Representatives rushed through a bill described as the most restrictive abortion bill in the country. The bill would restrict access to abortions and heavily regulate clinics that provide them, likely causing most of them to close.

Michigan Representative Lisa Brown spoke against the bill. She argued that her Jewish faith allowed for therapeutic abortions when the mother’s life is in danger without regard to length of pregnancy. “I have not asked you to adopt and adhere to my religious beliefs. Why are you asking me to adopt yours?” she said.

In concluding her speech Lisa Brown noted, “Finally, Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no.'”

And that’s when things got really interesting! Continue reading

I Will Always Stand Up For Women

Note: This is the last week we will give away a 4000 Years for Choice poster. Comment on any post to be entered in the final drawing. Congratulations to the winners and thanks to everyone who shared a comment. We hope our readers will continue to share their reactions to our blog posts.

On Sunday, April 1st, the 40 Days of protests will come to a close.

To coincide with this year’s protests, the FPA held its 4th Annual Pledge-a-Picketer Campaign. We invited people to make a pledge to FPA based on the number of picketers at our gates each day.

Earlier this week, curious as to why people choose to support the campaign, we asked them to complete this sentence — “I gave to FPA’s Pledge-a-Picketer Campaign this year because…”

Here are some of the wonderful responses we received.

Continue reading

You Are a Good Woman — What the Protestors Don’t Know

Note: We continue to give away a 4000 Years for Choice poster each week. Comment on any post to be entered in the weekly drawings.

The 40 Days protestors think they know why women come to our abortion care facility.

They have an image of who these women are and why they seek abortion care services. Absolutely sure of their version of the “truth” — they pass judgment on FPA patients.

Here’s the real truth — most women have several reasons for their decision to end a pregnancy. Continue reading

Celebrate Abortion Providers Appreciation Day

Note: We continue to give away a 4000 Years for Choice poster each week. Comment on this post to be entered in the weekly drawings.

This Saturday — March 10th — is Abortion Provider Appreciation Day.

Why March 10th?

Because on that date in 1993, David Gunn, MD was shot and killed by an anti-abortion protestor as he walked from his car to a clinic in Pensacola, Florida. Gunn’s murder occurred at a time when violent crimes committed against reproductive health care providers and abortion clinics had been steadily rising for fifteen years. Murder, kidnapping, assault, threatening, arson, bombing – the litany sounds like a terrorist toolkit.

As a result of Dr. Gunn’s murder, the U.S. Senate decided that the conduct of anti-choice extremists was interfering with the constitutional right of women to receive reproductive health care services, especially abortion. In 1994, the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act became law.

The new law prohibited behaviors that made it difficult or dangerous to get in and/or out of an abortion care facility.  Although the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act dramatically reduced the number of violent assaults against abortion providers and facilities, the violence continues. On New Year’s Day of this year, a family planning clinic in Pensacola, Florida was firebombed and burned to the ground.

The violence and threats of violence in the U.S. have taken a toll on abortion access.

Continue reading

Open Arms? The Truth About Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Note: During the 40 Days of protests at our Augusta health center, we are giving away a 4000 Years for Choice poster each week. Everyone who posts a comment on our blog during these six weeks will be entered into the weekly poster drawings.

As the 40 Days protests continue, I’ve been comparing this year’s picketers to those we had last year. So far, they seem to have toned down the rhetoric on their signage. (Of course, we’re only one week into the 40 days and things could change.)

The strategies may change but the players — and their aims — are the same. They stand at our gates, hoping to bully our clients into changing their minds about a very personal decision. Last year I wrote about the 40 Days signage spreading lies about abortion care.

This week, I’m writing about one particular sign that advertises Open Arms, a crisis pregnancy center (CPC) located in Augusta. It sounds nice, doesn’t it? Open Arms. Continue reading

Anti-Choice Protestors at the FPA — A Passerby Responds

Note: During the 40 Days of protests at our Augusta health center, our blog posts will focus on abortion care services. We are also giving away a 4000 Years for Choice poster each week. Everyone who posts a comment on our blog during these six weeks will be entered into the weekly poster drawings.

When I think about the impact of the protesters at our gates, I usually focus on patients and staff.  It never occurred to me that other community members might be affected… until I received the following comments in an email message. Continue reading

Here We Go Again! Another 40 Days of Protests Begins…

4000 Years for Choice PosterTime goes by so quickly!

It’s been a whole year since we launched the FPA blog On the Front Lines to coincide with the annual 40 Days protest being held outside our front gate.

In the past year, readership of the blog has grown and that’s really nice.  But I had hoped for more of a conversation with and between our readers — yet our comment section is still pretty quiet. To help jump-start the conversations — and celebrate our blog anniversary — we’re giving away prizes to readers who comment during the coming weeks. Continue reading