What’s Current: US Supreme Court nominee calls contraceptives ‘abortion-inducing drugs’

What’s Current is Feminist Current’s daily news roundup.

  • Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, referred to contraceptives as “abortion-inducing drugs” during his testimony in yesterday’s Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing. This claim is not at all accurate.
  • Physicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell is donating her £2.3m Breakthrough Prize to support physics education for students who face sexist and racist bias.
  • Women are leading the secular, democratic revolution and resistance to Islamic State fighters in Rojava, in Northern Syria.
  • Abusive men are increasingly using smart devices to control, stalk, spy on, and intimidate women. The Globe and Mail reports that this takes place via “voice-activated home hubs through to connected cars, heating systems, fridges, door locks, and CCTV.”
  • Alexandra Waterbury, a 19-year-old dancer with the New York City Ballet, is suing the dance company and a former dancer, Chase Finlay, for creating an atmosphere rife with sexist and sexual degradation.
Natasha Chart
Natasha Chart

Natasha Chart is an online organizer and feminist living in the United States. She does not recant her heresy.

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  • Thom Prentice

    Jeezuz the news keeps getting worser an d worser, despite some high points such as Syrian women fighters leading the democratic revolt against Islamic jihadists. The ballet thing is just mind boggling ugly. Like farm animals? Where does this come from?

  • Tobysgirl

    It has always been the intention of anti-abortion groups to go after contraception once they have criminalized abortion. There’s never been any mystery about this except for liberals who like to pretend that denying women’s basic rights is just a matter of opinion. Will women who currently eschew politics or liberal feminists wake up once Kavanaugh is sitting on the court? (I have little doubt he will be.) One can only hope.

  • SkyLark Phillips

    Kavanaugh was referring to the Priests for Life case in which the Priests for Life objected to the ACA mandated contraceptive coverage. The Priests for Life didn’t think that they should include contraception coverage for their employees. They are wrong. All health care plans should cover contraception. It’s a human right and a vital part of women’s health care.

    Where did Kavanaugh get the ludicrous idea that abortion and contraception are the same thing? According to the Priests for Life, “Abortion and Contraception are Fruits of the Same Tree”. They even wrote a long article about it. The Priests for Life make Catholics look bad, and frankly, rather ignorant. I’m not Catholic, but I’ve known some Catholics in my life.

    “Abortion and Contraception: Fruits of the Same Tree”
    Fr. Frank Pavone
    National Director, Priests for Life

    “The most bitter fruit of this flight from the full meaning of sex is abortion. Thousands of lives a day in our nation are deliberately killed in order to control who will be born and when. They are even destroyed in the very process of being born. If we ask why abortion happens, or how we arrived at the culture of death, we would do well to consider another question: What happens when you distort the meaning of sex?

    One of the many ways in which the meaning of sex is distorted is through contraception, which is an intrinsically evil act. The links between abortion and contraception are more and more widely recognized, and not only in Catholic circles.

    “Fruits of the same tree.” Contraception, in other words, is more like the sister to abortion rather than the parent. What gives rise to them both? The Pope continues, “Such practices are rooted in a hedonistic mentality unwilling to accept responsibility in matters of sexuality, and they imply a self-centered concept of freedom, which regards procreation as an obstacle to personal fulfillment” (n. 13). Dr. Bernard Nathanson, when asked whether contraception was “the beginning of the downfall of the issues of reproduction in this country,” said that “contraception was not the fount…that spawned all of these other horrendous technologies…it was the perversion of autonomy…If you elevate autonomy to a deification status…then people are going to make choices which are irrational…” (Presentation to 1999 Legatus National Conference).

    Yes, abortion and contraception are linked. They are linked with each other because they are linked with many other evils: the disconnection of freedom from truth, a relativistic view of morality, a positivistic view of law, a culture of hedonism, and many other problems.”

    http://www.priestsforlife.org/brochures/fruitsofsametree.htm

    I don’t mean to bash Catholics, but this is utter nonsense. What a bunch of hogwash! Women need contraception. It’s a part of our health care. There are Catholics who use birth control. Don’t tell me that they don’t.

  • Meghan Murphy

    The morning after pill isn’t an abortion pill, it’s basically just a stronger birth control pill.

  • Wren

    OMG I’ve heard that EXACT “apology” from sooooooooooo many men. They think we’re fucking idiots.

  • Hanakai

    The morning-after pill has different effects depending where in her hormonal cycle a woman is. If she has not yet ovulated, the morning-after pill prevents the ovulation. If she has ovulated, the high doses of progesterone in Plan B, aka the morning-after pill, prevent fertilization (which typically occurs in the Fallopian tube) or implantation in the uterus.

  • Meghan Murphy

    The pill is not good for women… There are lots of shitty side effects. I want women to have access to whatever forms of birth control they like, of course, but it’s really not good…

    What would be better would be if women actually understood their bodies and cycles, and (re) learned how to naturally self-induce abortions. It’s really not that easy to get pregnant. Women can only get pregnant like 6 days out of the month, so someone getting pregnant that many times, without wanting to be, seems a bit nuts…

  • Meghan Murphy

    Abortion is a form of birth control, yes, but no, that’s not exactly what I said… I want women to understand their cycles — i.e. when they are ovulating/fertile, and when they are not fertile. There are more effective ways of doing this than the rhythm method, because women’s cycles are not all exactly the same. That is to say, you need to do more than just look at a calendar, though of course this is very helpful in determining when you are likely to be fertile. Condoms work well also, as do vasectomies.

  • SkyLark Phillips

    Does this mean bash the nuns too and ordinary Catholics? It’s not the church per se. It’s how the church is organized. The priests who let the abuse of children go on for decades should all be in jail. Probably 90% of the priests should be booted out. We need a female Pope and nuns need to have more power.

    • Alienigena

      And nuns have also been abused by priests, bishops and other men in the Catholic Church.

      https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/metoo-vatican-nuns-denounce-priests-1.4765021

      News stories indicate that many nuns whom priests have coerced into sex have had multiple abortions. The hypocrisy of the Catholic Church is mind blowing. Commensurate with the hypocrisy of televangelists who condemn extramarital sex and have extramarital affairs, or of religious leaders who support child marriage (e.g. certain Mormon sects, religious individuals in Africa, India as well).

  • Morag999

    Plants that treat “tardy menstruation” is how they’re sometimes described in herbal reference books.

    • Tobysgirl

      Yes! I would recommend that all women at risk for pregnancy get a good herbal or two and read it carefully. There will often be directions on how to bring on “tardy menstruation.”