Femonster

Two twenty-something feminists fighting patriarchy one blogpost at a time

Posts tagged reproductive rights

7 notes &

http://jezebel.com/5894402/knit-a-uterus-to-donate-to-a-congressman-in-need

Remember when we decided that Rick Santorum needed a uterus of his very own so he’d leave ours alone? Well, now there’s a similar idea being proposed for the members of Congress across this great land who seem so insistent on getting all up in our lady parts since they’re jealous they don’t have any of their own. So how exactly are we going to make that happen, since we can’t, you know, give them actual uteruses? Enter Government Free VJJ, a project which aims to have have ladies knit or crochet lovely versions of uteruses (plus cervixes and vulvas) and mail them to their representatives.

If you’ve got some spare time and know how to knit or crochet, pick one of these patterns (or devise your own), fill out this form so they can keep track of who’s getting what, and then mail off the finished product to the statesman of your choice. It might not end the war on women, but at least it will give our beloved representatives something soft to cuddle when they have nightmares about slut-demons and whore-monsters taking over the world with our birth-control riddled godzila-sized vaginas.

Filed under knit crochet uterus uteri GOP republican reproductive rights

7 notes &

Peruvian authorities reopen investigation into forced sterilizations

Lima, Peru (CNN) — For the last 15 years, Victoria Vigo has been trying to find the truth about her infertility. After her third child was born dead, the 49-year-old leadership skills instructor who lives in Lima, the Peruvian capital, was never able to conceive again.

Three months after losing her child, a doctor confirmed her worst fears: her tubes had been tied without her knowledge or consent. “I felt mutilated. That’s the truth. My rights as a mother and woman were violated,” Vigo said.

Vigo is not the only woman in Peru who was sterilized in the nineties during the government of President Alberto Fujimori. Human rights organizations say there are more than 2,000 documented cases of women who had their tubes tied without their consent.

Nobody really knows how many women were forcibly sterilized throughout Peru, but Victor Cubas, the special prosecutor who reopened the investigation in October, says that the number is in the thousands.

"The Peruvian attorney general’s office has knowledge of about 2,000 women (in this situation), but cases of forced sterilization based on the number of people (who participated in the campaign) could undoubtedly be larger at the national level. There are many women who I’m sure haven’t reported this and therefore their cases are not yet documented," Cubas said.

All inquiries about the sterilizations were shelved in 2009 and it was not until late October when Cubas was tapped to reopen the investigation by the new government of President Ollanta Humala.

Rossy Salazar, a human rights attorney at Demus, a women’s rights organization in Peru, also says there could be many more cases. “What happened was that [the government] instituted a policy of quotas, in a way forcing and giving incentives to doctors, gynecologists and nurses to sterilize a minimum of three women every month,” Salazar says.

Both government officials and human rights organizations agree that about 300,000 women throughout Peru participated in a birth control campaign during the nineties. The campaign involved several methods including what Peruvian officials call “voluntary contraceptive surgery” or tying of the Fallopian Tubes.

But Salazar says that this particular method was used in women in rural Peru, especially those who spoke no Spanish, without their knowledge and sometimes by force.

In a documentary made by the Latin American and Caribbean Committee for the Defense of Women Rights several women testify that they were sterilized by force or coerced.

In her native Quechua tongue, an unidentified woman says she was taken by force to a clinic where she was sterilized in spite of her objections. Another woman says she and her husband were coerced to sign a consent form for sterilization.

Marino Costa Bauer was the Peruvian health minister between 1996 and 1998. He denied any wrongdoing when he testified before the Peruvian Congress in the late nineties. And he denied it again, in a recent interview at his Lima office.

But Costa Bauer admits the campaign could’ve been have been executed better. “Of course there were problems,” Costa Bauer said. “I’m not going to deny it. I have never denied that there were problems. But what did we do about it? First, we investigated all of the accusations that were filed; absolutely all of them without exception.”

Costa Bauer categorically denies that the government was targeting poor, indigenous women in rural communities. “There was never any order or instruction from my office favoring one method over another; much less did we ever provide incentives for that to happen,” the former health minister said.

So far Victoria Vigo is the only woman in Peru that has won a case of forced sterilization. After a seven-year trial, she was compensated $2,750, but her doctor didn’t serve time in prison.

She’s now trying to prove that her doctor was acting on government orders and that it was all part of a campaign to deceive women, especially the most vulnerable. “As a woman, I feel indignant and that’s why 15 years ago I said no woman should remain silent when her body has been violated,” Vigo said.

It has been more than a decade since those believed to be responsible for the forced sterilizations left office. For women like Victoria Vigo, the reopening of the probe is the first hope in years that justice may be within reach.

Filed under reproductive justice reproductive rights forced sterilization feminism women

386 notes &

When anesthesia was developed, it was for many decades routinely withheld from women giving birth, since women were ‘supposed’ to suffer. One of the few societies to take a contrary view was the Huichol tribe in Mexico. The Huichol believed that the pain of childbirth should be shared, so the mother would hold on to a string tied to her husband’s testicles. With each painful contraction, she would give the string a yank so the man could share the burden. Surely if such a mechanism were more widespread, injuries in childbirth would garner more attention.
-from Half The Sky (Chapter 7: Why Do Women Die in Childbirth?) by Nicolas D. Kristof & Sheryl Wudunn (via mixtapes)

(via thatqueerchick)

Filed under half the sky reproductive rights feminism childbirth anthropology lol though

5 notes &

Planned Parenthood Funding Blocked in House Vote

warning: do not read any of the comments on the article.

I know people don’t like abortion. But I do know that cutting funding for contraceptives will increase the need for abortion. Planned Parenthood and similar organizations do not just provide abortions and contraception. They also provide HIV tests, cancer screenings and reproductive health services. For many women, Planned Parenthood is where they get their primary healthcare. By cutting this funding, we are putting many women (and men) at risk for reproductive health issues. It doesn’t surprise me that the women in congress were adamantly against this measure. If my sources are correct there are 75 women in the House out of 432 members. This vote shows exactly why we need more female represenation in Congress.

As for right now, I don’t know what to do. I signed all of the letters and petitions that have been going around, but i really never expected this to actually pass.

Filed under planned parenthood reproductive rights house congress