Millennial Views on Abortion and LGBT Equality

I often wonder why there is such a stark difference between advocating for LGBT equality and abortion. The two issues stem from a very similar problem. People want to make decisions in their lives whether it be to get married, have an abortion or any other major life decision, without worrying about how society may portray them. Or what barbaric legal ramifications await them. LGBT people and women seeking abortions especially do not want legislators in their state capitals passing bills that openly discriminate against them or require undue burdens for safe and legal medical procedures. 

So why don’t people rally around women who are seeking to attain an abortion like others did when same-sex couples were fighting for the right to marry?  

Abortion is a very taboo subject, one that often makes people uncomfortable. We all know, or know of someone that has had an abortion. Statistically, 1 out of 3 women will have an abortion in their lifetime. That means 1 out of 3 of your friends, family members or classmates has had or will have an abortion at some point in their life, or perhaps you will yourself. Having an abortion doesn’t make you a different person than you were the day before, just like coming out as LGBT doesn’t. We need to be compassionate toward and try to understand why women choose to have abortions. Nobody looks forward to having one, no one is scheduling it on their calendar with a smile and a sense of glee. An abortion is not something decided upon lightly. 

The abortion rights movement cannot simply fizzle out. There have been over 40 years of advocacy from people before us being passed down to our generation. We need to take a stance for our friends and family members who are treated unfairly. I am urging you, not to change your belief from “pro-life” to “pro-choice,” but to attempt to understand why a woman may choose to have an abortion. 

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” 
- Martin Luther King Jr. 

My Experience as an Intern at NARAL SD by Ashley Sorensen

 I have often found that there tends to be a common stigma around pro-choice organizations that can sometimes cloud people’s judgment. Similar to many others, I also had pre-conceived ideas of what NARAL stands for and does in SD.  What I learned after interning though, was that the stereotypical view of NARAL is far from correct.

NARAL is NOT in the slightest a radical feminist organization ran by angry women who dislike babies. NARAL is an organization supported by women, men, and non-gender identifying individuals. It’s an organization seeking to protect all individuals and families. NARAL fights for: mothers, pregnant women, and their children everyday, so they too have the opportunity for a healthy future. 

NARAL is an organization that provides the tools for women to have a voice about their rights and bodies. Its goal is not drown out other voices, but to empower women, so they no longer have to live in fear. 

10 Popular Companies that Support Reproductive Health Services:

We often hear about companies that are homophobic and anti-choice, but what about businesses that support reproductive health services? Well, there are actually quite a lot! Check out the link to a longer list, but enjoy a quick list of ten on our blog!

1.    Bath and Body Works

2.    Converse

3.    Macy’s

4.    PepsiCo

5.    Starbucks

6.    Nike

7.    Verizon

8.    Microsoft

9.    AT&T

10.    Tostitos


Sources:

http://dailysignal.com/2015/07/21/meet-the-41-companies-that-donate-directly-to-planned-parenthood/

 

Violations of Reproductive Rights through Environmental Degradation

Andrea Smith, an American academic, focused on violence against Native American women states, “Many feminist theorists have argued that there is a common connection between the patriarchy’s disregard for nature, women, and indigenous people.” The common connection between violations of reproductive rights and environmental degradation is extremely evident in SD. 

More than 7,000 holes have been drilled for uranium mining in the Black Hills and 272 abandoned mines still exist and are emitting radiation in SD. The United Church of Christ found that race was one of the most significant factors in the location of waste facilities. More than 50 reservations have been targeted as waste dumps and more than 50% are subject to uranium radiation.

The lack of concern for environmental protection in South Dakota subsequently impacts the reproductive rights of female citizens. Women of All Red Nations conclude that there is a strong relationship between high miscarriage rates and reproductive cancers as consequences of uranium mining. Thus, Native American women’s rate of miscarriage in South Dakota are six times higher than the national average. Paired with a very high infant mortality, cancer, and birth defect rates. It’s time for a change in South Dakota, enough is enough. 


Sources:

Smith, A. (2005). Conquest. Cambridge, MA: South End Press.

http://www.defendblackhills.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=16:uranium&Itemid=27&layout=default

http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1205422/

http://www.culturechange.org/cms/content/view/336/65/

2016 Legislative Session Recap

What Happened During Last Session? 

During the most recent SD Legislative Session four anti-choice bills passed and were signed into law by Governor Daugaard. You may be wondering, "What are they for?” and "What impact do they have on me?”  Two of the four bills that passed have severe consequences for women seeking abortions in our state; SB 72 and HB 1157.

SB 72: Licensed medical abortion providers will no longer be allowed to perform abortions after 22 weeks gestation. Currently such abortions are only performed in South Dakota in cases of health and wellness of the mother and fetal inviability. This bill affects those women and families in the most vulnerable of circumstances. This bill was highly contested in the Senate with many traditionally anti-choice Legislators voting against the bill. A study from The Guttmacher Institute found that only 1.2% of abortions happen after 21 weeks and the majority are performed for health reasons. 

HB 1157: House Bill 1157 mandates that physicians are now required to refer medical abortion patients to a statement on the Department of Health website stating that if they do not take the second medication in the two-pill process that there is a chance their abortion will not be completed. Medical studies have shown that this information is misleading and medically inaccurate, and could potentially put abortion providers at risk for legal liability.


Sources:

http://legis.sd.gov/Legislative_Session/Bills/Bill.aspx?Session=2016&Bill=sb72

http://legis.sd.gov/Legislative_Session/Bills/Bill.aspx?Session=2016&Bill=1157

https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/induced-abortion-united-states

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/files/5113/9611/5527/Abortion_After_first_trimester.pdf