Current Example


"S. Dakota tries to tell women abortion leads to suicide important in resisting partriarcy and womens ability #femd2011"
Just the other day I saw, with the help of a class reading, that the inclusion of of physically and mentally disabled women in the discussion of feminism particularly with regard to reproductive health. So in light of my newest addition of my defintion of feminism I sought out a current example that verifies the importance of discussing disabled women within this context.
I stumbled upon an article written September 30, 2011 entitled "Abortion Suicide Link Fails a Court Test" that show cases a small victory for feminists. This discusses how in South Dakota there was a court hearing in which Planned Parenthood brought the case to the courts attention. The South Dakota governor, Mike Rounds who representing a pro-life perspective wanted to "encourage women to avoid abortions and carry through with all pregnancies". The eventual decision of the court however was to not make the following statment manditory by doctors when providing information women seeking aborions:
"section requiring doctors to describe 'all known medical risks' of abortion -- including an increased risk 'of suicide ideation and suicide'-- must be removed".
This does not mean that doctors are prohibited from including such a statement, it merely means that it is up to a doctor whether to include such info or not. Similarly there is a re-hearing petetion in which a human development and family planning professor would be present to provide "expert testimony".
This is particularly important to the my new defintion of feminism. This is because we have seen that disabled women are being coerced into having abortions, as they are thought to be unfit mothers. Now the South Dakota governor wants these same medical professionals that are telling disabled women not to have babies to tell healthy women that having an abortion could lead to psychiological impairment like "suicidal ideation". To me this sounds like another instance of society sending women messages to be sexy but don't have sex or reassuring us that women are seperate but equal to men.Thank goodness the court did not attest to requiring doctors to tell such things to women seeking an abortion as there has yet to have been that aboriton causes psychological disorders or one to commit suicide. However, the case was repetitioned and so where this goes back to court is up in the air. If it were to be required that doctors to tell women that their abortion may lead them to commit suicide it would be not suprising as false information by doctors and other medical professionals has commonly been used against women so that they conform to the beliefs and wishes of the, most times, white men that are supposed to be aiding women in making decisions that the women desires. If there is a known, credible medical risk associated with the procedure that women wishes then surely they are liable. Although with regard to abortion, this is not true as it is one of the safest procedures one can undergo.
In sum this example parallels to my defintion of feminism since there needs to be "equality amongst women, men and LGBT across race, culture and ability; in resistaince to patriarchy". Through these efforts in South Dakota we can see that we must still fight in resistance to patriarchy on behalf of people across race, culture and ability. Reproductive rights must be the choice of the women not that of a doctor.


I completely agree with you. It is disgusting that doctors could use such conflicting tones in different cases. The idea that really upsets me is creating this cause and effect scenario, that is abortions lead to increase suicidal notions. As a psychology major, I assume that such a relationship was only caused through a correlational design, which we know does not imply causation. To mislead and misrepresent such an idea is disgusting, especially coming from a community we so often respect. This is nothing more than a gross misuse of ones power.

Great example and discussion. You do a great job of summarizing the article and why it's important for your definition of feminism. This is a good model for how to do this assignment!

I'm from South Dakota and the abortion debate within that state drives me crazy. I have phone banked for South Dakota Healthy Families ( so many times that it's not even fun anymore. I should write a blog about Dr. Unruh and his wife Leslie Unruh, who is the founder of the National Abstinence Clearinghouse (

I think you did an awesome job with this blog post. Since I have lived in South Dakota for 19 years I took this article personally as it relates to my family. It's wild the types of things pro-lifers try and pull there. So many failed initiatives and measures.. it's aggravating.

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