Scarlet Letters: Getting the History of Abortion and Contraception Right 


Abortion was not just legal—it was a safe, condoned, and practiced procedure in colonial America and common enough to appear in the legal and medical records of the period. Official abortion laws did not appear on the books in the United States until 1821, and abortion before quickening did not become illegal until the 1860s. If a woman living in New England in the 17th or 18th centuries wanted an abortion, no legal, social, or religious force would have stopped her.

Scarlet Letters: Getting the History of Abortion and Contraception Right

Abortion was not just legal—it was a safe, condoned, and practiced procedure in colonial America and common enough to appear in the legal and medical records of the period. Official abortion laws did not appear on the books in the United States until 1821, and abortion before quickening did not become illegal until the 1860s. If a woman living in New England in the 17th or 18th centuries wanted an abortion, no legal, social, or religious force would have stopped her.

Support Safe, Legal, Affordable Abortion Care for Women Everywhere

My Pro-Choice Politician: Nina Turner (D-Cleveland, OH)

This is the fifth in an on-going series where you all nominate state- or local-level elected officials who are standing up for reproductive rights in their communities and states, and we all, as a community, thank them for what they do.

We need to keep reminding these hard-working, often unacknowledged state-level politicians that we see the work they are doing and we are incredibly grateful for it.

(list of previous installments at end of post)

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Today’s Pro-choice Politician is Nina Turner, an Ohio state senator (D-Cleveland).

Ms. Turner was nominated by both Gig Hartline and Heidi Swindell.

Ms. Turner became nationally famous in March when she introduced her “viagra bill.” Mimicking the paternalistic rhetoric of much anti-choice/anti-contraception legislation and the politicians who support it, Senator Turner said the bill was necessary to “protect men’s health.” From Robin Marty:

As I’m sure anyone who has experienced priapism can no doubt tell you, erectile drugs side affects are no laughing matter.  Well, unless you’re in an “American Pie” sequel.

That’s why Ohio state Senator Nina Turner is introducing a very important bill to help regulate Viagra usage.

Via the Middletown Journal:

Before getting a prescription for Viagra or other erectile dysfunction drugs, men would have to see a sex therapist, receive a cardiac stress test and get a notarized affidavit signed by a sexual partner affirming impotency, if state Sen. Nina Turner has her way.

At least she didn’t mandate a rectal exam.

Today, if you head over to Senator Turner’s website, this is the first image you will see:

Help us say, “THANK YOU!” to Senator Turner for being a staunch pro-choice ally and for fighting tirelessly for reproductive rights.

Thank you, Senator Turner!

If you’d like to nominate someone for our new “My Pro-Choice Politician” series, you can do so on our Facebook page or via Twitter (we’re @rhrealitycheck and use hashtag #prochoicepol).

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This idea was inspired by our post a while back for Kentucky State Rep Darryl Owens.

First installment: Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago)

Second installment: Kathy Stein (D- Fayette, Kentucky)

Third installment: Edith Ajello (D - Providence, Rhode Island)

Fourth installment: Mark Dayton (Governor of Minnesota)

My Pro-Choice Politician: Mark Dayton (Governor of Minnesota)

This is the fourth in an on-going series where you all nominate state- or local-level elected officials who are standing up for reproductive rights in their communities and states, and we all, as a community, thank them for what they do.

We need to keep reminding these hard-working, often unacknowledged state-level politicians that we see the work they are doing and we are incredibly grateful for it.

(list of previous installments at end of post)

______________________________________

Today’s Pro-choice Politician is Mark Dayton, Governor of Minnesota.

Mr. Dayton was nominated by Robin Marty.

Today, Robin Marty reported for RH Reality Check:

Last week, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton vetoed a bill meant to increase the costs of running clinics that perform abortions, a move anti-choice politicians hoped would cause clinics to struggle and potentially close their doors. 

Now, Dayton has veto-ed another bill, this time to stop a ban on “tele-med” abortions by restricting RU-486 to only be used within a doctor’s presence.

Citing the safety of the drug, as well as the additional expenses that mostly rural women would incur if the Rochester tele-med program were banned, Dayton stated in his veto letter:

While patient safety should always be our top priority and can be addressed through state-level policy making, a veto is warranted on legislation driven by a specific political ideology rather than a broad-based concern for protecting all patients.

As Marty points out at the end of the article:

With both the House and the Senate in solid anti-choice hands since the 2010 sweep election that flipped both bodies, Governor Dayton has single-handedly stopped the state from passing restriction after restriction on a woman’s right to choose. Without Dayton’s vetoes, Minnesota would likely have gone down the same path as Wisconsin, Arizona, and so many other states that have spent the last two years declaring a war on reproductive rights.

Governor Dayton is a true political ally and advocate for the pro-choice, reproductive rights movement.

Please help us say “THANK YOU!” to Governor Dayton. Let’s show all those other governors (looking at you Brewer, Perry, Daniels, Brownback, Corbett, etc.) that we are paying attention and we know who is on our side.

Thank you, Governor Dayton!

If you’d like to nominate someone for our new “My Pro-Choice Politician” series, you can do so on our Facebook page or via Twitter (we’re @rhrealitycheck and use hashtag #prochoicepol).

___________________________________________

This idea was inspired by our post a while back for Kentucky State Rep Darryl Owens.

First installment: Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago)

Second installment: Kathy Stein (D- Fayette, Kentucky)

Third installment: Edith Ajello (D - Providence, Rhode Island)

On the 176th Anniversary of Texas’ Independence, we mourn 25 straight days of mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds in the lone star state.

Texas has had mandatory ultrasounds before an abortion since October. The transvaginal portion of the law was ruled constitutional (after first being declared unconstitutional) and went into effect 25 days ago. To date, Texas is only state to force transvaginal ultrasounds.

Texas joins Arizona, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana, and Kansas as states with current mandatory ultrasound laws.

Oklahoma and North Carolina have both passed laws similar to Texas’ but neither one is being enforced because the laws are held up in court pending rulings.