Six In The Morning: 12:02 PM Is Not The Morning Edition

1 STUFF LIKE THIS IS WHY WE WORRY ABOUT THE CONSERVATIVES The Texas legislature passed a law that’s a naked attempt to guilt-trip-bully women out of their decision to have an abortion. It is prairie dog’s belief that Canada’s Conservatives want to push similar measures here, and will push a social conservative agenda as hard as they can without inciting (democratic) revolt. Prairie dog on the other hand is rabid on this point–a woman’s body is her own property and she can decide to do with it what she likes. Prairie dog does wish more women were equally rabid about this.

2 SCHOOLING THE PROVINCE There was a big rally of angry teachers at the Leg yesterday! Big!

3 BRITISH LIKE BAD DEMOCRACY A voting reform system is headed for a big referendum failure. Boo, Britain–you’re letting us down, too. Hey, here’s a video that explains how it would’ve worked:

(h/t to Ntara Curry)

4 THE BAR MANAGER IS CLEARED A new NDP MP whose nomination papers were the subject of controversy this week has been certified legitimate by Elections Canada.

5 SAD THRASHERS You probably know this, but another NHL franchise is in trouble. As long as they change the name to “Jets” when the franchise moves to Winnipeg, it’s all good.

6 WE’RE MORE CORRUPT! Canada drops to 19th on an anti-corruption list. Here’s the news story and here’s the report’s key findings.

FOLIAGE REPORT! I’ve been busy/out of the office/asleep. No time to take pics the last few days. How’s it looking? Hmm…

Author: Stephen Whitworth

Prairie Dog editor Stephen Whitworth will never, ever pass up a chance to make a Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo pun.

12 thoughts on “Six In The Morning: 12:02 PM Is Not The Morning Edition”

  1. i think that law passed in texas is great. yeah, i’m all for “my body is my property, this is my decision”, but what’s wrong with INFORMED decision making? i’ve heard so many stories of women getting abortions and then regretting it after. i know that’s not true for everyone, but i think it’s responsible of the doctors to make sure girls know all the options and, ultimately, exactly what the decision they’re making entails. it’s a lot more complex than just getting something removed.
    what’s wrong with that?

  2. Suzy – I’m not sure how i feel about that one. It’s not requiring them to be informed of the potential risks (and I agree they are there – I have more than one friend who had an abortion as a teen and then difficulty (or inability) to conceive as an adult when they wanted to have a baby, which was likely the result of having one or more abortions). That being said, this seems like it would just make some women feel terrible if they decide to proceed. As a mum to 3, I know how emotional seeing the heartbeat and your baby for the first time can be. Maybe I would have felt differently if I was considering terminating at the time? I do have one rather disturbing question though – how exactly do they plan to determine if the baby is the result of “incest or rape”? Will they take the woman’s word for it? Or does there have to be proof or charges laid or something? Kind of scary to me as in most cases it’s just her word and if she has to prove it will she be forced to be even more traumatized by this law?

  3. Suzy has a decent point, but I assume the dissuasion by Texas doctors would be more along the “hard-sell” line with in-your-face guilt trips, fire and brimstone, etc, rather than a simple “here are your choices” chat with equal representation from both sides.

    Conservatives are cunning, no question. They are outsmarting most of us. They go to good schools for this. It’s the way the Cons here in Canada made you think you were electing the mature, responsible, sensible, cool, calm, cooperative, honest party when really you were voting in the most divisive, ideological band of misfits (Baird, Kenney, Van Loan, Harper) parliament has ever known. I knew this would happen when the Great Depression/WWII generation started to disappear.

  4. Re: #3: thanks for the link to an interesting opinion piece about a closely watched referendum.
    There’s been a lot said on this blog and elsewhere about proportional representation and, more recently, electoral boundary change, as agents of improved democratic practice, truer representation, and better voter engagement. Some of the advocacy seems almost to reflect a near-magical belief that changes will automatically assure electoral success for parties who have struggled with minority status. Some of the advocacy, sadly, reflects deep classism, which you wouldn’t expect to find in a left-of-centre publication, but there it is.
    Both the GP and the NDP aim to change the FPTP system, and yet despite that system, we have our first GP MP and our first NDP Official Opposition. However did they manage? The Greens, having learned fast and well from past elections, took a gradualist strategy and concentrated on their leader, running her in 1 riding rather than having her campaign all over the country; they poured their resources into that 1 riding and worked like hell. The NDP’s campaign featured their best asset, their leader, and the “Let’s Work Together” theme, which was bound to resonate with the election-weary country; they successfully portrayed themselves as a viable choice, distancing themselves from the LPC and BQ. And they worked like hell.
    The point is that you may tweak the system, but in the end it’s sound strategy and bloody hard work that wins the day.

  5. Anonymous: my understanding is that abortions have minimal impact on subsequent attempts to conceive. Here’s the Mayo clinic on this (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/abortion/AN00633).

    Suzy: The negative emotional effects of abortions are wildly overstated by the anti-abortion crowd. (You want emotional problems, have a kid–post-partum depression is real and very bad.) And I’m not clear on what “information” a sonogram gives a patient. Here’s my concern: the sonogram is not an option, THE PREGNANT WOMAN IS FORCED BY LAW TO HAVE A SONOGRAM. It’s unbelievably cruel, pushy, presumptuous and inappropriate to force a pregnant woman considering an abortion to watch a sonogram of her fetus. Give the patients facts and lay out the option, sure. Force them to watch TV pictures of a fetus? Ha ha, no.

    I have no idea why American women put up with this crap. I have no idea why Canadian women aren’t more militant about their rights. It’s depressing.

  6. And I’m not clear on what “information” a sonogram gives a patient.

    Yeah, this. The patient knows they’re pregnant, and I’m sure they know what that means; I doubt they’d be seeking an abortion otherwise (this comic notwithstanding).

    Stephen, I have some ideas about your last thoughts. Your words implied to me that you suspect it’s irrationality or laziness or something that’s diminished the pro-choice movement–apologies if this is incorrect–but I think it’s a combination of more factors than that. I mean, complacency has a part (just like one could say it has a part in explaining why people on the prairies “put up with” regressive governments), but I think an important part of it is that anti-choice groups are much more well-funded and connected, and have been better able to gain control of the discourse about the issue. There are great, women-run pro-choice organizations–there was a demonstration in Vic Park last year about the defunding of Planned Parenthood International, and I think there was a march in Saskatoon last week. We need to do more, but let’s acknowledge that there is some good work being done, too.

  7. Well put, JB.
    There are a lot of people and organizations (and organizations run by people!) doing very difficult and important work with very little funding and even less acknowledgement.

  8. anon: i guess i kind of jumped the gun and assumed that all that {requiring them to be informed of the potential risks} was included in the law. i think it should be…

    and stephen: i read the mentioned article, but i have read other places, and heard personal testimonies, that conflict with that. i know your stance on abortion {that it’s not a baby, it’s cells, etc}, but even if that IS the case, the psychological and physical effects of abortion on a woman are enough to make me believe that women need to be better educated and informed about the effects abortion could have on their body and mind. that’s all i’m saying.

  9. Stephen,

    I’m not sure about that. I have two friends who cannot concieve due to abortion. One because she had three and one because it was botched. These are not the norm, but it does happen, and I know for sure that the woman who had three said she would not have had the second/third if she had known that this was a possibility.

    As for emotional effects. I’m sure there are some people who do not have negative emotional effects from having an abortion. But again, I know some women who have. I do think though that forcing someone to have a sonogram and listen to the heartbeat might increase the number of women who do have emotional difficulties afterwards. It may change a few women’s minds, but it is just as likely that they will still proceed with it and we would see more emotional difficulties after the fact.

    And again, I reiterate, what is this with the rape and incest and how is this determined? It just seems ridiculous to me and potentially doing more damage than has already been done to these women. With the kind of attitude that seems prevalent in that area, it seems like they are not going to jsut take people’s word for it.

  10. Arrrgh, can’t comment more as I’m off to a meeting (a real meeting, not just the bar); might be back tonight to look over your responses and add any yammering that might be needed.

    Thanks for the comments though–they’re appreciated!

  11. Re: #4 It goes without saying that NDP victory in urban-only Saskatchewan ridings would require 1. Great candidates 2. Relentless hard work. Only in Quebec can the NDP sweep without even showing up. Sadly, very few of them will ever see re-election, and more than likely have helped pave the way for a Liberal rebound in the province. As for “classism” I’m not sure that’s the right term. Only in urban-only ridings would you find all classes being represented equally; in Conservative-led mixed urban-rural, you often see the much smaller rural population represented. Tom Likiwski’s only stated accomplishment was securing funds to renovate the dock at Regina Beach. Sadly, it washed away a few days ago before the Cons ever invested a dollar. I wonder what he or Scheer ever do for North Central?

    As for alienating the rural voters who live in these presently-watered down ridings: I. DON’T. CARE. Only perennial losers negotiate and compromise and bend to/in favour of Conservative Party interests. This is one sucker who isn’t going to be guilted out of his beliefs. Urban-only now.

  12. @Anonymous – and I know people for whom routine surgery has gone amok, it doesn’t mean that we should create ridiculous barriers that are designed to make people feel too frightened or guilty to go through with a procedure that might save their lives. And yes, for some women I believe that abortion does save their life.

    I’m sure there are occasionally complications with abortion and this might sometimes result in fertility problems. I’m also sure that some women feel depression after having an abortion. I don’t think anyone is saying these things don’t ever happen, what we’re saying is that statistically, they don’t happen nearly as often as the anti-choice movement likes to pretend they do.
    It may be hard for people to accept, but most women report feeling relief after an abortion. And for those that don’t and suffer from depression, luckily we have wonderful organizations like Planned Parenthood to provide them with affordable, often free counseling to help see them through. That is, as long as we don’t shut them down …

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