Skip to main content

How Sarah Palin will push reproductive justice to the next level

I've been mulling over Sarah Palin's decision to jump on a flight back to Alaska despite leaking amniotic fluid...Was it a sign of a a crazed woman? A dumb move endangering her baby? Denial of impending labor? Whatever it really was, it clearly was A CHOICE.

I've also been around the feminist movement to witness part of the evolution of reproductive health to reproductive rights to reproductive justice. That last leg is still in a process in motion thou.

There is a lot of criticism out in the world that feminists are too focused on Roe and abortion. I think that it is very true and not. It's not true because for every Roe-focused feminist I know, there's at least 2 feminists focused on something else. It's true because Roe and abortion are what grabs headlines. It's amazing that in this Presidential campaign pay equity may actually be *the* feminist issue.

But instead of us feminists looking out at the candidates, let's use the candidates to look back at ourselves.

Lynn Paltrow and Judith Lewis provide us with excellent commentaries on Palin's choices, which boil down to a woman:
  • discovers that she her very much wanted child tests positive for Down Syndrome;
  • chooses to carry pregnancy to term;
  • on day or day before of giving birth, she is leaking amniotic fluid calls her doctor,
  • they discuss, the doctor TRUSTS the woman with making a decision,
  • the woman goes on with her day and takes 10 hours to get into the hands of her TRUSTED physician;
  • discovers that her 17yo unmarried daughter is pregnant and gives unfettered support in daughter's decision to have a baby.*
Of course, all of this is made with the knowledge that Sarah & Bristol have easy access to medical professionals due to their status as insured.

Almost every feminist out there has made the connection between Palin's actions and her policy stances. BUT have they all made the connection between Palin's actions and reproductive justice? What we should be doing as feminists is making sure that every woman can make those same decisions without fear of being put in jail.

We need to remember that each decision that goes into having a baby is just as precious to our movement as each decision that goes into NOT having a baby. Birth control, EC, home births, and epidurals are all under the term reproductive justice.

I honestly think that we are still working on many feminists to realize that fighting for my right to birth with a midwife is just as important as their right to terminate their pregnancy. That my mother's right to a VBAC after two c-sections is just as important as 25-yo man's decision to have a vasectomy.

Goddess willing, Obama wins and this is Palin's only legacy on feminism. Teaching us all to look beyond Roe and embracing all that reproductive justice means.

* Yes, I am making the assumption that it was Bristol's choice and not Sarah's demand for political face. Somehow I think Sarah probably raised her daughter with the same values and at 17 most likely still believes in them. That's what moms do.

Technorati tags: Sarah Palin, feminism


Florinda said…
Awesome post - I just Stumbled it. I love the way you presented so many aspects of this issue; I agree we do tend to fixate on the Roe/abortion portion, but "pro-choice" really does - and should - encompass a LOT of choices, not just that particular one.

Popular posts from this blog

Is there love after abortion?

Over two years ago , way before I started writing for Girl w/Pen, Alison Piepmeier wowed me with an essay about getting an abortion and how her decision made with her husband was a love story : ...the story I most want to tell—and one I have never heard—is of abortion as an intimate part of a couple’s life together.  Our abortion was a love story. I’d worried that Walter and I were rejecting a gift from the universe.  What I discovered, though, was that when we stripped away the distractions of everyday life so that we could make this difficult decision together, it bound us together as surely as if our choice had been different—and as it turns out, that was the gift. Every once in awhile their story returns to me. I often don't know why it stumbles into my brain and says, "Hey! Ponder me!" but it does. This morning it returned to me yelling, "Why?!" I was half-listening to WBEZ's 848 and some story about a man running away from his life. Original, I kn

Book Review: Wolfpack by Abby Wambach

Less than a year ago, Abby Wambach took the stage at Barnard's commencement and gave a speech that shook many, including myself, to the core . Her speech went viral and I made the above image in order to share the highlights of her speech. Earlier this month Abby released the speech in book form. Wolfpack : How to Come Together, Unleash Our Power, and Change the Game is short (less than 100 pages) but is much more than just her speech . You get a peek into how the speech came together and why she said everything. And because the book is short and is an expanded speech, it moves quickly. I feel that it moves with the same ferocity that Abby use to move down a soccer field. And you might find yourself cheering as she takes you through the story. Abby has always been one of my favorite players. The way she ran amok on the pitch was exactly the way I felt I played sports. Never caring how you looked and giving it your all. Leaving it all on the field. When she retired from socc

Chicago Women Who Owned 2015

When I asked social media which Chicago women kicked ass in 2015, I got a list far too long to do justice. I also realized how many of my lady friends kick ass every day, but it's a constant kicking of the ass, not a lot of headline kicking. Ya know what I mean? So I tried to make this list a mix of Chicagoans who had some headline kicks and some who kick ass every day and deserve a shout out. Let's get started, shall we? Photos from social media or public domain pages Luvvie Ajayi Luvvie did my job and summed up her amazing year herself! I love it when women do that. Yes, let's take a moment to reflect on our accomplishments and dance at our own parties. Luvvie makes us laugh, even when we want to cry. She pushes us to be active, even down to our shoes. You'll never laugh so hard when learning so much than when you are in a meeting with her. From hanging with celebs to her epic travel schedule, Luvvie definitely owned 2015. Charlene Carruthers Carruther