Reproductive Justice & Fact-Checking in the 21st Century

It has been one weird year for reproductive justice in this country. DAMN. 

I really didn’t plan to blog about this. Honest. But I’ve been ranting about it on Twitter for so long and two anti-choice sites/groups called me out by name  so here I am.

Let’s finally get the story straight, mmkay? 

Earlier this year, a new friend of mine sent me a message to say that her friend had gone to a clinic to get her birth control renewed and was given a standard letter outlining how the doctor does not prescribe birth control, so take your skanky ass elsewhere. (I'm paraphrasing.)

She asked me if this was legal. Sadly, I informed her that it was. We live in a province where doctors can refuse any medical procedure they feel goes against their "religious" beliefs. 

I asked her if we had the womyn's permission to blow the story up. She said yes, as long as we did it without naming her. 

I ranted about it on Twitter and my Radical Handmaids pals agreed that we needed to use our platform to get people talking about this.

And talk, they did!

Now before I go any further, I want to be real in saying that not every pro-choicer out there agreed with us. In fact, more than one person accused me of lacking an intersectional analysis and of not understanding reproductive justice. I balked at them then and I balk at them now. 

Because this is the biggest myth about this whole affair. We live in a country where most people do not have access to a doctor. Let's not kid ourselves. We don't live in a country where people can just waltz down to their doctor's office whenever they feel ill or need something and have it followed through. 

So, the idea that you can just "take your business elsewhere" doesn't hold any weight.

Personally, I hold the belief that even if we lived in such a utopia, doctors still shouldn't have the right to deny us medical care. But that's a hypothetical situation and unlike anti-choicers, I live in the real world.

And in this real world that I live in, I had to go on a live radio "debate" hosted by CBC Ontario to "defend" the right of people to access birth control in Ontario. Even writing that out seems surreal; imagine how I felt on air. 

The debate kept reverberating for a while and then I didn't hear much. 

But it seems that the noise was heard by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario who have opened up their current Human Rights Policy to feedback from the public. 

You have until August 5th to have your voice heard and obviously, I encourage you to fill out the consultation report! Find it here

Anti-choicers are doing the same, though and flooding the sidebar poll with votes in favour of the existing policy. But it's clear that we've got them running scared. As I said, anti-choice media outlets and organizations have full on admitted that they are concerned that the policy will be reversed and have called out The Radical Handmaids and myself personally for having put this on the public's radar.

One even wrote that we had a "remarkable" amount of "influence".

I really hope this is one of those moments that our children look at and judge us for. "Ma, are you serious? You debated the merits of birth control in 2014?!" 

Don't get it twisted: That's what this is about.

You can choose to believe the "pro-lifers" who are trying to tell Canadians that if we change the policy, someone will put a gun to the head of a doctor and force them to give you an IUD. 

 But is that honestly the best source of information about reproductive issues or basic biology? 

These are the same folks who believe that teaching abstinence-only education is an excellent choice for our children in public schools. 

These are the same folks who get their news from a wingnut who thinks that because we say "Keeping abortion legal means keeping it safe" = "Let's legalize rape to keep it safe". (Once again, I wish I was kidding but seriously, this is how they think.

The same people who claim to be "All about the children" and who genuinely believe that their freedom of expression is being denied, think it's totally fine to send graphic flyers to the homes of unsuspecting Canadians; including children. 

These are Canadian examples of issues from this year. 

Add that to the fact that every day people are having to raise money to re-open the Morgentaler Clinic in New Brunswick because that government has been breaking the law for decades and it's reaaaaaaaaaally hard for me to find pity for these people.

Anti-choicers play the "Boo! We're the oppressed majority who are victims of biased media and meanie baby killers". They rely on scare tactics, blatant lies, misinformation and the "Jesus Card" to get people to sympathize with them.  

When telling someone who chooses to practice medicine that they should leave their bias at home and treat every patient the same = oppression, then you can't even rationalize with these people. 

Besides, choosing the side with these wingnuts means taking advice on medical manners from people who think that a zygote has a soul and that emergency contraception kills a human being. 

And lastly, if you're going to call me out / challenge me / be offended by the work I do, at least get the story straight.

The amount of anti-choicers who are sooooooooooo offended by The Radical Handmaids because we dress up like "mock nuns" is LOLz. We are dressed as Handmaids from Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. 

If you're not going to pick up a biology textbook, at least pick up some CanLit.