Akin and more…

The new semester is just around the corner, but there has been a lot going on at the end of summer to do with reproduction in the media. I am sure everyone has heard about Republican Senate nominee Todd Akin’s comments on “legitimate rape” by now. Here are some interesting responses (the last is hilarious!):

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eve-ensler/todd-akin-rape_b_1812930.html

http://www.salon.com/2012/08/20/rape_exceptions_arent_legitimate/

http://jezebel.com/5936160/the-official-guide-to-legitimate-rape

http://jessicavalenti.tumblr.com/post/29902721525/the-seven-stages-of-feminist-grief-todd-akin-edition

Also, as we wait for M312 to go through parliament again this fall, the Canadian Medical Association has come out in support of women’s rights and has asked its members to contact their MPs and ask them to vote no on the motion.

Finally, because of the organizing of women in Kelowna, the city has decided not to fly it’s “pro-life” flag over city hall. Click here to read about it. The city is still planning on having a “Protect Human Life” week at the end of September, however, so why not use Dianne Vargo’s excellent letter (posted below) as an inspiration to write your own letter in protest of Kelowna’s decision to “celebrate” this week.

Dear Mayor and Council:

I feel confident that I speak on behalf of the many organizations and individuals that have been contacted in the last days when I say that we are pleased that according to the Kelowna Capital News, our “cluster bomb of negative publicity” has resulted in Council unanimously approving a motion to henceforth fly only the municipal, provincial and Canadian flags from Kelowna City Hall (http://www.kelownacapnews.com/news/166834946.html; if recipients of this email are unable to view the online news article, please see the Word attachment).

As pernicious, however, as the idea of flying a “PRO-LIFE” flag from City Hall is the idea that the Proclamation of Protect Human Life Week will state in part: “It is the intention of this proclamation to promote respect and protection to all human life, especially the infirm, the aged, the handicapped, and the unborn.”

We, the promoters of the cluster bomb of negative publicity, demand that all public support for this pro-life event be withdrawn.

From flag to Proclamation, this plan to promote a pro-life stance is deeply offensive.  City Hall is the seat of municipal power and politics.  It is a public space, an institution.  It needs to reflect wider public policy and the law of the land rather than the narrow agenda of pro-life groups in general and the Kelowna Right to Life Society in particular.

At this point in history, it is particularly galling that a pro-life stance is being promoted by government at any level.  Funding for women’s programming has been cut across the country – the Kelowna Women’s Centre had to shut down at the end of April for that reason – and MP Stephen Woodworth’s private member’s motion to re-examine the definition of human being reached discussion in the House of Commons and will be voted on in the fall session.  It is equally upsetting that MP Mark Warawa has now come out in support of Woodworth’s Motion 312.  I predict that this backdoor re-opening of the abortion debate will not go down well with the women of Canada.

We organizations and individuals will keep up our cluster bomb of negative publicity until we are apprised that you have withdrawn all public support for the pro-life eventProtect Human Life Week.

Dianne Varga

Kelowna, BC

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