Let’s Get Real: The Truth About Abortion & The Heartbeat Bills

We need to TALK. And some of you are going to get pretty angry, but please, hear me out. We’re here to chat about abortion legislation, because it affects us all, whether you like it or not. If you’re riding on the coattails of the pro-life movement, it’s likely for one of the following reasons:

A) you’re not entirely aware of exactly what abortion constitutes or why people would have one

B) you feel as though your religious beliefs validate the need for legal regulation of abortion

Disclaimer One: no, I have never had an abortion. I’m not sure if I ever would or not. And yes, I was raised Roman Catholic. That being said, let me tell you why restrictive abortion legislation is a death sentence looming over women’s equality.

First, let’s establish our working definition of abortion. For many years (and still in some cases), abortion was used to refer to any expulsion of a fetus or embryo from the uterus before it was considered viable; miscarriages were referred to “spontaneous abortions” regularly until the term was changed for various social and historical reasons we don’t have time to unpack (although I will link an article here if you’re interested, because it is a fascinating read). So, for our purposes, “abortion” from here on out refers to a medically induced abortion with the intention of electively ending pregnancy.

What you need to know: According to the CDC in 2015, 91.1% of abortions were performed at 13 weeks or less. 7.6% were performed at 14-20 weeks, and 1.3% were performed at 21 weeks or more gestation.

HOWEVER: Most women do not find out they’re pregnant until they are four to seven weeks pregnant, and that’s still considered to be early; some women don’t know until they’re nearing the end of their first trimester. Morning sickness doesn’t even usually begin until week 6.

Let’s say you have an irregular period to start with, and you don’t start experiencing any heavy symptoms until week 6, when you start throwing up and feeling “off”. You’ve been stressed at work and think you might have come down with a bug, so you wait a week to see if it passes, and when it doesn’t, you make a doctor’s appointment, where you will presumably find out you’re pregnant. Well, I hope you’re ready to be a mom, because you’re now 7.5-8 weeks pregnant, and if you try to get an abortion, you’ll be sent to prison or executed.

Yeah. That’s what I said.

Let’s first discuss Georgia’s Heartbeat Bill, HB-481, which was just signed into law, effective January 2020. This bill is one of the most restrictive to exist. In the state of Georgia, abortion is effectively banned after six weeks of pregnancy- aka, when doctors can usually detect a heartbeat for the first time via transvaginal ultrasound (if it’s a standard ultrasound, that number will likely be closer to 7-8 weeks, and in fact, some healthcare providers won’t look for a heartbeat until then. Also too late for an abortion.)

A reminder that six weeks of pregnancy is about the equivalent of a two week late period, which anyone with a uterus knows is not unusual. Reasons for a late period include stress, change in diet, change in exercise, change in hormones, undiagnosed medical condition, trauma, and the list goes on. So, as per the example above, if you don’t find out you’re pregnant until over halfway through your first trimester, as is common, and you decide you need an abortion, that is now illegal.

Women who seek out illegal abortions can be tried and convicted for second-degree murder, which is punishable by 10-30 years in prison or by death. How “pro-life” is that? 

Wait, there’s more. Women who miscarry can be interrogated while prosecutors try to determine if she induced her own miscarriage. If it’s decided that she did, we’re looking again at second-degree murder. In the middle of a miscarriage, a horribly traumatic, painful, agonizing experience, the police will show up and interrogate you to decide whether or not they think you should go to prison for it.

Think they should just leave Georgia? Guess again. “If a Georgia resident plans to travel elsewhere to obtain an abortion, she may be charged with conspiracy to commit murder…an individual who helps a woman plan her trip to get an out-of-state abortion, or transports her to the clinic, may also be charged with conspiracy.” (Cited here).So, we know what abortion is. Women may seek abortions for many reasons: financial, safety, circumstancial, health, etc. It is the general consensus of the pro-choice community that it is every woman’s own business if and why she seeks an abortion. If you’re pro-life, keep reading.

Let’s discuss Ohio’s Heartbeat Bill, which is HB-182. This bill specifically seeks to ban insurance companies from covering abortion services. The below quote is taken from the linked article above.

“The bill would ban nontherapeutic abortions that include ‘drugs or devices used to prevent the implantation of a fertilized ovum.’

And Becker says the bill also speaks to coverage of ectopic or tubal pregnancies where the fertilized egg attaches outside of the womb.

‘Part of that treatment would be removing that embryo from the fallopian tube and reinserting it in the uterus so that is defined as not an abortion under this bill,’ Becker explains.

‘That doesn’t exist in the realm of treatment for ectopic pregnancy. You can’t just re-implant. It’s not a medical thing,’ says Jaime Miracle, deputy director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio.”

One more time: You cannot “re-implant” an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants itself outside of the uterus and begins to grow. Obviously, this is not sustainable, and will eventually result in a number of things, mainly hemorrhaging, a ruptured fallopian tube (presuming that is where it’s attached, as it commonly does), and death. Yes, this will kill you. And medically, you cannot “implant” an ectopic pregnancy. That procedure does not exist.

This bill in Ohio will also target birth control. It plays on the commonly used [re: scientifically inaccurate] idea that birth control is an abortifacient, or a drug that causes abortion. Conception and abortifacients are not the same thing, as anyone with a basic understanding of reproductive health will tell you. But when the bill says “anything that stops a fertilized egg from implanting”…and the idea of birth control is to prevent pregnancy…which is when a fertilized egg is implanted in the uterus…you see where this is going.

One last very, very important point. Abortion and pregnancy decisions are between a woman and her doctor. The law has no place in it. Friends and family have no place in it. People on the street or passing by have no place in it. It is an incredibly personal, emotional decision, and it is nobody’s business besides that woman and the healthcare professional she trusts.

You do not have to want an abortion, or like abortions, or agree with abortions to be pro-choice. You just have to agree that your body is your own business, and pregnancy is too dangerous and full of consequence to force on an unwilling human being. Women still die from pregnancy complications today. Georgia has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the country, and that will only get worse with this law.

If you identify with the pro-life movement, but you think a woman’s full, established life is worth less than her unborn fetus, you are not pro-life. 

If you identify with the pro-life movement, but you support a law punishing women who get abortions or have miscarriages with decades in prison or the death penalty, you are not pro-life.

If you have read all of the facts, if you still think this law is a good idea, you are not pro-life. You are anti-women. 

If you ARE pro-life because you care about life and the value and sanctity of it, then speak out against these laws! Support universal healthcare, and birth control, and education, and welfare. Take in foster children and adopt. Support things that actually contribute to quality of life.

If you’re a Christian, you’ll know that Jesus would tell you to stop judging everyone else. He’d tell you not to throw stones unless you’re free from sin. Understand that in America, we have something called separation of church and state, which means that your religious beliefs cannot dictate the laws that govern another person and their freedoms. Your religious beliefs can dictate how you vote for things that increase quality of life for people who are living, and that help to effectively minimize unwanted pregnancies, and I sincerely hope you ask yourself “What Would Jesus Do,” and support those values I stated in the paragraph above.

Now. I know this was long. I know this was heavy. I know this was necessary. This is a direct attack on women’s bodily autonomy. We are headed for a dark place, one only seen from behind white bonnets in the oppressive world of a Margaret Atwood novel. Act. Speak. Get angry. Stop caring about being too loud, being too outspoken, making people too uncomfortable. We do not arrive at change without work, and nothing ever got accomplished from being too afraid to speak.

“Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes.” -Maggie Kuhn

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” -Desmond Tutu

featured image: here

DISCLAIMER: All opinions posted here are solely my own, all research done solely to the effect to speaking out on my personal blog. This post and my opinions are not affiliated with or on behalf of any groups, organizations, or companies. This is an opinion-based piece, although it does seek to inform. It should not be mistaken as a journlistic source, although I have done my best to back up my opinions with hard facts. 

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Big Moves in May!

No, I mean literally. I moved!

Last week, I packed up all my stuff, took a bunch of finals, cried and hugged my roommate a lot, and hopped in a U-Haul truck with all my earthly possessions (re: my fiance hopped in the scary big truck and I followed in my car). Where did we go, might you ask?

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I’m sure everyone is shocked and surprised. All jokes aside, Bobby and I got an apartment! It’s very small, but cute, and we get to live there and eat ice cream for dinner if we want, because we’re adults (but we usually don’t do that).

It’s been a super big adjustment already, even though it’s only been a week. Of course, that might have to do with the fact that our apartment has a gas leak and we don’t have a stove but it’s good, it’s good, we’re fine. (The gas is shut off, so we aren’t going to die or anything, we just literally can’t cook anything. Because they gave us two hot plates to use, and then our kitchen outlets stopped working, too. So.) But hey, that’s New York I guess???

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Anyway, so we’re adjusting. I only took a subway the wrong way once. I am still looking for a job though, so if anyone needs any help in media or PR or graphic design or literally anything along those lines,  HIT YA GIRL UP!

I think I’m going to write up some kind of apartment hunting guide or something along those lines, because, contrary to what it seems, Bobby and I did actually do an EXCELLENT job of apartment hunting (I swear, everything else about our apartment except our inherent bad luck is excellent.)

Anyway, I’m  off to run to class now (because yes, I’m still commuting to finish my degree. Three hours on a subway/train/bus is NOTHIN’.) Just wanted to post a little because it’s been so long. I’m trying to settle into a good posting routine, it’s just been nuts with the move and classes and prepping for graduation this summer.

Talk to ya soon!

March Favorites

When trying to compile a list of my favorite things from this past month, I tried creating some semblance of order, some pattern, or even some categories, but was forced to conclude that I’ve been obsessed with way too many different things this month, and we’re just going to have to roll with it.

The first thing I’ve been crazy about is Starbucks’ iced matcha latte with coconut milk. It’s my own personal belief that if springtime had a taste, it would be this beverage. I mean, just look at it:

It even looks like spring! I know there’s sugar in it, but it’s not my favorite because it’s 100% good for you, okay? I’m hoping I still get some of the matcha benefits from it, but if not, it’s still tasty enough to enjoy.

My second favorite is the NYX Duo Chromatic Lip Gloss in the shade Booming. I put just a smidge on top of any given lipstick and it transforms it into a fun, metallic, brand new look. I get so many compliments wearing it!

Also in the realm of beauty products is the Not Your Mother’s Dry Shampoo. I buy the purple one that builds volume and it REALLY DOES. It revives my day two (or three) hair the perfect amount, soaking up the oil while giving it just the right amount of “va-voom” to make it fresh again.

The next thing is the Tone It Up Studio Tone It Up app! I’ve loved the TIU brand for ages; Karena and Katrina are amazing, and this app is a lifesaver. I’ll do a full review another time, but if you are insanely busy like I am and need an alternative to making it to the gym every day, this app will save your life!

Also on the same page is this workout outfit from Fabletics. It’s not new; I’ve had it for a couple months. I’m just currently obsessed with it! I always get so many comments about it, and it’s so comfortable! It keeps everything in place firmly while still giving me tons of mobility in my workouts.

Those are my March favorites, but I’m already thinking about April! If you want to purchase the gloss or the dry shampoo, I linked them in the post, so go ahead and give them a try! They’re amazing and you definitely won’t regret it!

Take 2…and…ACTION!

Hello, it’s me, Kate, and I am alive.

I tried getting back into blogging before, but it was not a good time. I’ve gone through some bizarre life changes in the last several months (which maybe I’ll go into deeper eventually), which include (but are not limited to) an unexpected new job, the increasing intensity of an accelerated graduate program, internship hunting, apartment hunting, planning a wedding, and still trying to maintain some semblance of a social life.

It’s been ROUGH. Lately though, I’ve been feeling really stuck and frustrated creatively, and like I didn’t have enough time to do the things that I really enjoyed doing or really wanted to do. With that feeling, I decided to give my blog the revamp I’ve been craving and tentatively get back into it.

I’m not going to set myself a schedule, or a required number of posts for now. That’s what got me  so overwhelmed last time, and this is supposed to be FUN! So for now, it’ll just be me, checking in when I can. (Things should calm down in the next month or so – hopefully anyway.)

For now, stay tuned for some fresh and FUNKY new content. I have some cool things planned (can anyone say WEDDING POSTS) that will hopefully help me get back in the groove, and we’ll be gliding along shortly. I’ll start deleting some of the older ones (or maybe entirely clean them out, who even knows) shortly.

If anyone is actually reading this after my absurdly long hiatus, I love you, and I think you should have a pint of Halotop tonight. Because you DESERVE IT.

 

Day 28: Self Care Sunday: Walks in Nature

Ahhh we’re so nearing the end! I’m trying to make it with a strong finish, and there’s definitely a lot I’ve learned about doing Blogtober, but ANYWAY. Today’s Self Care Sunday I actually got the idea for earlier this week. I had woken up and was supposed to go to the gym for a really intense workout, but what I wanted more than anything was a nice, slow, meditative walk in nature. So after arguing with myself for 45 minutes, I decided that going to the gym wouldn’t actually be that productive because A) I would hate myself the entire time, and B) I would be so miserable being there that the workout would probably suck. So in the interest of #SelfCare, I put on my sneakers and set out on a walk down to the riverside.

Something about being out in nature just resets me, and I think this is a pretty universal feeling. The air is clear, the weather is soothing, and something about all the trees really just helps you get in touch with yourself. At least that’s how I feel. So I downloaded a podcast from Kalyn Nicholson, put on a jacket and my sneakers, and went for a walk. I spent a lot of the walk practiciing mindfulness; trying to be cognizant of the way the leaves looked, of how the air felt, of the scent in the air. I found a flower randomly going out of the pavement, and then had a rush of gratitude; if I hadn’t been watching where  I was going, I would’ve missed it entirely.

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Literally just growing right out of the sidewalk!   

I live right near the Naugatuck River, and there’s this beautiful little river walk I love to run on, and that was where I decided to go take my walk. So I walked down there, saw the sun, smelled the river, and honestly just felt so at peace with the world. It sounds so “hippie-dippy”, but some time in nature is sometimes really just what you need. As much as we all think of meditating as sitting criss-cross on the floor, sometimes it’s just as helpful to walk through nature and be mindful of your surroundings. That was what I focused on Sunday, and as much as I was obsessed with getting home and getting a bunch of tasks finished, I tried to push all that away in favor of just being mindful and enjoying what I was doing in that moment.

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Casual morning. I am so grateful to live near something so beautiful.

In the end, I ended up walking 3 miles, which although took me about an hour at a much slower pace than I would’ve normally run, was super cathartic and wonderful. I returned home at peace, feeling at one with the world, and ready to take on the day. Sometimes, we need to just forgive ourselves, take it easy, and do what’s best for our minds versus what we believe is the ultimate end-all-be-all. I’m still learning how to accept that, but it’s something I’m really trying hard to believe in.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this Self Care Sunday, and here’s to making a strong finish with the rest of Blogtober!

Blogtober Day 19: The Little Things

Happy Blogtober Day 19! We’re definitely getting up there; I can’t believe October is almost OVER! I’m a little sad, but I also love the holidays, so I’m not reaaaally super mad.

Anyway, this is going to be kind of a short little baby post, but I really was just FEELING it, you know? I’ve been really appreciating fall lately and I really just wanted to sit and make a list of all the little things I’ve seen lately that have just made me really grateful for being alive.

When I started thinking about that, I started thinking about how cliche it sounds, but how important it is. Whenever I get too stressed, Bobby tells me to just BREATHE. Stay in the moment, recognize where you are and what you’re doing, and be mindful. It’s great advice, and we should all take it more often. When I take the time to appreciate the little things around me, it makes me an all around more mindful, happy person.

We have such a tendency to get caught up in whatever is going on- work stressors, relationshps, filling our already cluttered schedules with emails and phone calls and coffee dates where we anxiously check the clock the whole time to makes sure we’re not late for our next appointment…we never actually get to ENJOY anything.

So, this week I’ve been making a special effort to really notice and appreciate all of the teeny little things the universe has to offer. Sort of like the world is saying, “Hey, look. It’ll be okay.” Here’s a few examples of things I’ve stopped to notice and appreciate over the past week:

  • a perfectly shaded,  bright red, yellow, and green leaf just laying in the grocery store parking lot. Literally looked like someone had pulled it off the shelf at Michael’s. It was PERFECT.
  • the shade of blue the sky turns right around 9 am when I leave the gym
  • the Glade “Cozy Autumn Cuddle” candle. I buy one (two) every single year and burn through them.
  •  that really nice in-between weather where the air is crisp and chilly, but the sun is shining down, so the entire outdoor climate is just in perfect equilibrium
  • the moment when you first wake up in the morning before you open your eyes where there’s just total peace as you float between asleep and awake
  • a really good, long, belly laugh with your best friends. The kind where you laugh until you can’t breathe and you’re crying and your stomach hurts.
  • the colors of the trees driving down the Merritt Parkway (Connecticut is BEAUTIFUL in the fall. New England does not play.)

I guarantee there will be more, but these are just a few things that make me really happy when I see them and just kind of give me a really good feeling about being alive.

Share with me some of the fun little things that bring you joy in your life! I’d love to hear them!

Blogtober Day 17: Fall Date Ideas!

It’s me, I’m back, and I know what day it is now! AND all my finals are done, so hello I am a real person once more.

And today, we’re going to talk about one of my FAVORITE things…FALL ACTIVITIES! More specifically, fun fall date ideas. Some of these I’ve done already, some I haven’t, and some come from the fall bucket list, but all of them sound like a grand time to me.

1. PUMPKIN PICKING/JACK O’LANTERN CARVING

Okay, this one was Bobby’s (my fiance) idea, I’ll give it to him, and I’m so excited to do it this weekend. Go on out to a pumpkin patch and find a perfect pumpkin together. Take a lot of really cute cliche fall pictures with that pumpkin. (Fun fact: we took our first ever engagement photos with my mom’s cellphone in a pumpkin patch!) Then take the pumpkin home, cover your kitchen table in newspaper, and CARVE IT UP! I’m not nearly as good at pumpkin carving as I wish I was, but I’m good at the fun part where you scoop the guts out of the pumpkin! ALSO, save the seeds and bake them! They’re SO tasty and good for you!

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Even if you’re not taking cheesy engagement pics, GO GET A PUMPKIN!! 

2. PILLOW FORT GAME NIGHT/SPOOKY MOVIE MARATHON

Grab a bunch of pillows and blankets, a few chairs, and set up a pillow fort in the living room. Put on your favorite spooky movies, light some fall candles, and even bring in a board game or two. Try to put your phones away for most of this, and just enjoy feeling together! This one reminds me of being a kid, especially when you leave the cellphone and social media out of it. Just unplug for a little while!

3.  GO TO A HAUNTED-SOMETHING!

Be it a haunted house, a haunted corn maze or hayride, or even one of the spooky haunted amusement park events, get on out there! Even if you’re the kind of person who will fall right on their butt when someone jumps out at you (re: me, this Sunday), it’s still so much fun to get scared! Plus, you can push your significant other in front of you when the zombies get too close! (Not that I would ever…..)

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Didn’t take any pictures of anything haunted while I was here because I was too busy running away from a clown (true story), so here’s an ad I found on Google LOL! 

4. TRY A NEW FALL RECIPE OR A CRAFT PROJECT (OR BOTH)

Pinterest is your friend here, y’all. I love finding fun recipes! You could bake some cookies, throw a new chili in the crockpot, or just find a new way to roast some vegetables. You can enjoy cooking it together, and then eating it together, too. Bonus points if it’s good for you (or just tastes delicious). While it’s cooking, hop BACK on Pinterest and find a fun craft project! I have one I’m dying to try. Make a whole day of it, and go to the craft store for supplies together, hit the grocery store for ingredients, and then you two can snuggle up with some Mod Podge and acrylic paint while your whole house starts to smell like whatever divine thing you have in the oven…you see my vision here?

5. GO FOR A FALL HIKE

It’s simple, free, and gets you moving! Hikes are BEAUTIFUL in the fall, with all the leaves on the ground and the trees. Plus, you don’t have to worry about getting too hot in the crisp, cool air! Go to one of your favorite spots, or pick a new one! And don’t forget to take more cliche photos.

 

Those are just some of my fall date ideas (and you bet I will be doing all, if not most of them). I hope you try some out and enjoy! Let me know if you do, and let me know some of your favorite fall date ideas! I might have to give them a try!