Anniversary of Roe V. Wade

If you end up behind me on the twisting roads of my small New England town you'll probably see the heads of several children (mostly) happily bopping around the backseat of my Volkswagen van, some of them mine, some of them friends. You'll see me trying, in vain, to keep order. You'll also probably notice the  Keep Abortion Legal sticker on the back of my van. More than one person has commented on the incongruity of the two images: the van nearly constantly full of children and the pro-choice bumpersticker. I don't see it. ...more

Choice, Conscience, and Christmas

For the past several years, I've reflected during the Christmas season on what The Annunciation says about women, self-determination, and pregnancy. I've read the story many times - basically an angel comes to Mary to tell her that God chose her to give birth to His son, then the angel gives her some time to think about it, and Mary agrees to do it. There's nothing in there about anyone being forced to give birth to a child that she did not plan for. What's beautiful about the story is that Mary voluntarily says yes, risking serious social ostracizing and other problems. ...more

The Democrats’ Dilemma: Their Own Trojan Horse Kicks Free

House Democrats broke into a paroxysm of self-congratulation for passing a health reform bill. By embracing the Stupak-Pitts amendment, however, they entered the women’s hall of shame. They had promised no more limitations based on preexisting conditions. But House leadership allowed a codicil: Except if you are a woman.   ...more

Preventing Reproductive Health Services at All Costs

Every year, Planned Parenthood offers services to more than five million men, women, and adolescents. In that year, they offer nearly one million Pap tests and more than 850,000 breast exams, provide provides more than 3.3 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections, and estimate that their services prevent as many as 621,000 unintended pregnancies. Many locations offer prenatal and postpartum care. In addition, they offer safe, affordable abortions. ...more

I use to think P.P. helped out poor women and minorities and recently I began to look at ...more

Abortion, Contraception: Women's Lives Are At Stake. Shouldn't We Rally Around Saving Them? (Yes, You Too, Church! YOU HEARD ME)

It might sound counter-intuitive to say that abortion rights are a maternal health issue - after all, abortion does, in a (contestable) manner of speaking, prevent motherhood....more

How TV Portrays Abortion

I know that the Golden Age of TV is supposedly long over, but what makes me really sad is how the boob tube literally continues to treat women and desire to control our fertility with rose colored glasses. The inability of network television to portray anything but women who "make the right choice" when faced with an unplanned, unwanted pregnancy is depressing. ...more

Suzanne, I think you're right that it all boils down to advertizing and thus money.  Do ...more

Should Abortion Be Included in a National Health Insurance Plan?

As a good liberal, I am on the e-mail lists of many advocacy groups, the result of which is that I receive about 14,000 "action alerts" every day, 99.9% of which I delete without even opening. However, last week, two emails caught my attention: Planned Parenthood and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice both asked me to contact Congress and the Obama administration to protest the potential exclusion of abortion services from any national health care plan that is enacted. ...more

On Notre Dame and Life

I watched coverage of the Notre Dame debacle on Sunday and was struck by two things: 1) the erosion of both religious integrity and personal conviction. 2) the illogical framing of the abortion debate. ...more

I've thought about this a lot, and more

Speaking Out about Abortion in Ireland

In early 2005, after Bush was "re-elected" (it's hard to get "re-elected" if one was not elected in the first place), I sought to channel my distress into positive action. Through the miracle of the internet, I came across author Katha Pollitt's articles in The Nation about a nonprofit organization that helped low income women access abortion services. Through NNAF, I found the Haven Coalition, a network of volunteers who open their homes to women forced to travel to New York City to exercise their legal right to an abortion. (This is not as strange as it sounds: the Alan Guttmacher Institute reports that, "Eighty-seven percent of all U.S. counties lacked an abortion provider in 2005; 35% of women live in those counties.") Immediately, I requested an interview, and through that, my friendship with Haven's coordinator, Mara, was born. ...more


Two years ago, my boyfriend's cousin came to me for help. She was 18, unemployed, not in school, and essentially homeless. She had been sometimes sleeping on her grandparents' couch, when she wasn't spending the night with a boy. Not surprisingly, she came to me to tell me she was pregnant. Her family is Catholic, so I thought perhaps she came to me, an outsider, knowing that I would be there for her if a visit to the Planned Parenthood clinic was imminent. ...more