Sunday, February 27, 2011

Is there a killer inside YOU? Let's find out!

Lately there's been lots of bad news coming around regarding abortion. There's the US House of Representatives voting to defund Planned Parenthood racist propaganda billboards, and a variety of bills being introduced in South Dakota, Iowa, and Georgia with frightening grey area surrounding the basic human rights of abortion providers and women in general. There is much to be said about all of this, but I will refrain because others have already said a lot much better than I could.

What I want to post about here is the campaign launched by Devery Doleman in reaction to a bill being proposed in Georgia. In short, Georgia Representative Bobby Franklin has sponsored a bill that would require all women who suffer a miscarriage to prove that the miscarriage included "no human involvement" (whatever that means). This is of course in addition to outlawing abortion, which Rep. Franklin chooses to re-frame as "pre-natal murder".

Devery has posted her letter to Rep Franklin at Tiger Beatdown, in which she writes:

Dear Representative Franklin: 
I need your help. I need your Uterine Investigatory Crime Unit and every bit of biological lady-part know-how your degree in Biblical studies and Business Administration from Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia, can bring to my case. I’m scared, Representative Franklin. Because I think – I think there is a killer inside me. The killer is MY UTERUS. Help me stop it before it kills again. 
...I’m trying to do everything right: I have the ClearBlue Easy Fertility Monitor. I stand on my head after sex. I even wore a red muu-muu while we did it with a picture of Faye Dunaway as Serena Joy taped to the headboard! And then there’s that period of suspense when I think I am with child: the metallic taste in the mouth, the dizziness, the rage out of nowhere, the yen for a salt lick. But turns out it was just hateful old PMS. The killer has struck again. 
...Your proposed law declares that “[prenatal murder] does not include a naturally occurring expulsion of a fetus known medically as a ‘spontaneous abortion’ and popularly as a ‘miscarriage’ so long as there is no human involvement whatsoever in the causation of such event.” I’m so confused, Bobby! Don’t you see? The event is happening inside me which would seem to indicate that this particular human, aka ME!, no matter what happens, no matter what I eat, breathe, say or do, is deeply, deeply involved! 
...I can’t take this uncertainty any more, so if it’s okay with you, I’d like to start sending you evidence right away. There’s still a bloodstain on our mattress pad, I have a bunch of old period underwear, and I’m happy to bag and send you my tampons next week if the killer strikes again. Usually I go through an OB Super once every 2 hours the first couple days so there will be ample material for your lab to analyze to determine what in the hell is going on here and to help bring the relevant parties to justice.Help me, OB-GYN Kenobi – I mean, Representative Franklin. You’re my only hope.
Her idea is taking off within the blogosphere. Jill Filipovic at Feministe has posted her own letter, which includes:
As I’m sure you know, more than 50% of fertilized eggs –Georgia citizens! — naturally don’t implant, and are flushed out of the body during menstruation. I am personally concerned that my own murdering woman-body may have flushed out some human beings, and I may have flushed them down the toilet without knowing that I was disposing of Georgia citizens in such an undignified way. This must be remedied. I would like to be sure that I am not killing any more Georgia citizens — and that if I am, they are able to receive a proper funeral and not a burial at sea, and that our state police can dedicate valuable time and resources to investigating their deaths. 
To that end, I attach a picture of my latest used tampon. I am preserving this tampon, as well as all of my other tampons, pads, feminine hygiene products and soiled panties from my current menstrual cycle, so that the Georgia State Police can come collect them as evidence. I would also be happy to drop the specimens off at your office, should you want to examine them yourself. 
Please let me know if I can make an appointment to give you these items. Or, since I appreciate that you are a very busy man, please let me know when the police will be by my home to collect them, as my next cycle is rapidly approaching and they are starting to smell.
The campaign therefore encourages women to send evidence of so-called potential pre-natal murders to Representative Franklin to be investigated. This evidence is best presented in the form of used tampons and pads, as many miscarriages present themselves in the form of a heavy period when the murderer, er, woman in question hasn't even yet realized she was pregnant.

If you would like to submit your evidence (just pictures! As Jill says, "we can’t actually send used tampons through the mail — sending bio-hazardous material to an elected official can get you in BAD TROUBLE, so don’t do it"), here is Representative Franklin's contact information:

Rep. Bobby Franklin
401 Coverdell Legislative Office Building
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Phone: 404.656.0152
Fax: 404.656.5562

I will say that my gut reaction to this idea was very positive, as it appeals to the punk-rock vulgarity of my youth (ha), and is a bold statement. Even so, I gave some careful thought to posting about it here. This is arguably pretty vile and disrespectful, but you know what? So is the bill.



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