Saturday, July 15, 2006

John Stossel of ABC News Now an Ardent Abortion Rights Supporter!

John Stossel's campaign for reproductive rights! (Crooks and Liars VIDEO)

I'm not sure what to say about this interview with John Stossell regarding the the law against selling ones' organs on the open market.

John Stossell is amazed, no - he seems genuinely angered - over the 1984 bill spearheaded by Al Gore that banned the sale of human organs from either dead or living donors because " is the ultimate conceit to say 'you don't own your body. I, Al Gore,...own your body. I decide what's moral for you to do with your body.' "

Now, I truly have not given much thought (luckily, I have not had to) regarding whether or not organ selling should be legal or not. My belief is that legalized organ selling is likely a dangerous, slippery slope. Mr. Stossel's article this week in Jewish World Review certainly makes it clear that there are far too many people out there waiting for organs and far too many people who die waiting - that is abominable and organ donation is not solving the problem.

I'm angered, however, because in this society we can have a brainless "news" reporter arguing for (according to him) "poor people's free will" to sell their own organs based on the fact that government has no right to tell you what you can or cannot do with your own body but nothing about what this framework means for women's and girl's reproductive rights.

John Stossel opens his 7/6/2006 Jewish World Review article protesting the criminalization of organ selling with this line:

"Who owns your body? You? Or Al Gore?"

Excuse me Mr. Stossell? You're honestly arguing for one's right to decide whether one can sell a second kidney or a spleen based on a reproductive justice framework?! I hope you are actively and openly pro-choice - I really do.

Women are now in the midst of an all-out battle for our reproductive rights. We are fighting tooth and nail for our right to decide without government interference when we may have children, how many children we will have, access to the means to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections and access to appropriate and accurate sexual health information. We must rally in South Dakota to ensure that if we are raped there we will not be forced by that state's legislature to bear a rapist's child. We must take to the streets in South Dakota to urge the citizens there to protect women's and girl's health and lives if they are pregnant and want an abortion to save their health or lives. We must write letters daily and attend public hearings in Washington state to tell pharmacists that we will not accept barriers to filling a prescription for safe and legal emergency contraception.

And John Stossel is angry that his right to decide what he does or does not want to do with his own body could be impeded by our legislators?! Where is his outrage at our crumbling reproductive rights? Where is his outrage with legislators in states where teenagers are being forced to tell a parent who has committed incest against them that they are pregnant with that parent's child in order to get an abortion? Where is his outrage when young, pregnant low income women cannot scrape up enough money to pay for an abortion they desperately want in order to ensure that the children they already have are taken care of in they best way they can. Where is his outrage with pharmacists who decide what is "moral" for women when they deny us our right to birth control?

This interview with John Stossel is truly eye-opening. His anger at daring to be told what he can or cannot do with his own body is telling. He seems to not recognize the impact of what he's saying - as if this idea of government intrusion into our rights over our own bodies is ridiculous.

Yes, Mr. Stossel, it is hard to imagine, isn't it? And, now, the next time you are in El Salvador and you are forced to bear a child against your will and become pregnant again and seek an illegal abortion only to be tried and convicted in a court of law for having that dangerous, illegal abortion - only then do you have the right to be outraged.

In the meantime, please email him (as I will do) and tell him what this unimaginable scenario (you know, having our legislators decide what is morally acceptable for one to do with one's body) is like. Then tell him that you'll be looking for him to do a significant story on 20/20 about the absolute atrocity of the United States (and for that matter - the world's) government telling women what they can or cannot do with their own bodies.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Did You Know Search Engines can be ProLife?!

Alternet published this one!

Those lovely looking men on your left? Why that's Joe and Jack - "the good Catholic boys" - who started "" powered by Google! That's them handing over a check to the Executive Director of a "women's health center." Well, you know, it's a health center in the sense that they talk to women and they, you know, talk vaguely about health.

50% of the user generated profits of the world's first "prolife search engine" go to lovely pro-life organizations like Priests for Life and One More Soul (which teaches us that "... the use of contraception harms everyone involved...the use of contraception leads to abortion"). There are dozens of approved pro-life charities to which Joe and Jack cannot wait to donate. Some people even decide to directly donate money to these charities via "in memory of the unborn children of abortion" or "in memory of Terri Schiavo." Yes, Terri Schiavo.

I decided to test out the search engine. Of course, what was the first word I put into the engine? How can you NOT put the word "abortion" into a prolife search engine? That little box was just screaming for the word abortion. So, I typed it in - slowly. I thought maybe fire and brimstone would burst forth from my screen. Maybe an alarm would sound? Maybe my computer would get tagged as some sort of computer-intruder?! No. It's just a regular search engine. Regular pro-choice and pro-life sites came up. I found the abortion clinic I work for easily.

What's funny to me is that they actually make a point of saying that their search engine is "safe" for kids to use because they've filtered out the porn (seemingly it's okay if your kids find accurate information on abortion though): At we use a special program filter called SafeSearch. With SafeSearch, sites and web pages containing adult themed and explicit sexual content are excluded from web search results.

So, apparently it's okay if the teenage children of these prelifers need to find an abortion clinic for themselves or their girlfriends using Because we get a lot of clients at our clinic who self-identify as prolife, who say their parents are prolife and would "kill them" if they found out where they were, but they just really, really need to get this one abortion.

I have to say, why don't we come up with ideas like this? There are 13 states that now allow their citizens to purchase "Choose Life" license plates with the proceeds going towards prolife organizations. There are 0 states with similar license plate deals for prochoice organizations. I really don't think these strange social entrepeneurial experiments should be a priority for reproductive justice advocates. But they are smart and creative ways to ensure that these organizations are getting the broad support they need to remain healthy and to continue to meet their missions.

Feminist Peace Network