Posts from our progressive community

Last Month - Hottest August On Record

The Disaffected Lib - 29 min 30 sec ago
NASA has run the numbers.  August, 2014 was the hottest August since records were kept of these things starting about 130-years back.

May, 2014 was also the hottest May on record.  March, 2014 was the third hottest since 1880.

The powerful El Nino everyone, especially Californians, were hoping for hasn't materialized which leaves the Golden State with no end in sight to its already severe drought.

Texas Brainwashing Youth

The Disaffected Lib - 47 min 30 sec ago
Well I guess North Korea doesn't have a monopoly on this any more.

The great state of Texas wants to implant lies in the minds of its youngsters.

Texas has proposed re-writing school text books to incorporate passages denying the existence of climate change and promoting the discredited views of an ultra-conservative think tank.

The proposed text books ...were already attracting criticism when it emerged that the science section had been altered to reflect the doctrine of the Heartland Institute, which has been funded by the Koch oil billionaires.

In the proposed 6th grade texts, students were introduced to global warming amid false claims that there was scientific disagreement about its causes.

"Scientists agree that Earth's climate is changing.  They do not agree on what is causing the change," the passage reads.

In my view, this sort of thing - misleading young and trusting minds - is just another form of child abuse.  There's a perniciousness to this, a genuine malevolence.  It reeks of bad faith and an abuse of the trust parents must place in the authorities who educate their children.

Perhaps we need to revisit our notions of crime and punishment.  Those who would place society at risk and would imperil future generations must be held accountable in some way.  In societies as indoctrinated as ours have become by popular culture and the corporate mass media, relying on the ballot box is no longer an effective way to deter this sort of conduct.  That's why they're doing it whether by distorting text books or signing multi-decadal agreements surrendering sovereignty to totalitarian states abroad.  They do it, not because it's right, but because they can get away with it and they act without the slightest concern about retribution at the ballot box.

More Indifference From Health Canada's Towards Canadians' Health

Politics and its Discontents - 1 hour 30 sec ago
Health Minister Rona Ambrose really has no reason to smile.

Last week, based on a Star Investigation, I outlined the shocking incompetence, indifference and completely unacceptable secrecy within Health Canada that allows for tainted, ineffective, and dangerous drugs to be sold regularly to Canadians. It was only because of the transparency of the American Federal Drug Administration that The Star was able to uncover this wholly unacceptable and outrageous state of affairs.

Unfortunately, the story doesn't end there.

Continuing its investigation, The Star has uncovered, thanks to the FDA database and freedom of information requests that were answered fully and expeditiously by that body, more shocking failures on the part of Health Canada. This one involves clinical trials. Fraud, incompetence and corruption do not seem overly strong terms to describe what they have uncovered:

In 2012, a top Toronto cancer researcher failed to report a respiratory tract infection, severe vomiting and other adverse events.

A clinical trial run by an Alberta doctor reported that patients responded more favourably to the treatment than they actually did.

A Toronto hospital’s chief of medical staff ran a clinical trial of autistic children on a powerful antipsychotic, and he did not report side-effects suffered by four of the children.
The problems uncovered with clinical trial oversight seem to stem from the same factors that allow for tainted and ineffective formulations on the market: inadequate inspections by Health Canada (only a handful of the 4000 clinical trials running at any one time) and the latter's insistence on keeping the problems it covers secret, citing 'proprietary concerns.'

One cannot overestimate the importance of clinical trials: They
are experiments using volunteer subjects to determine whether a drug is safe and effective, as well as what side-effects it may cause. Participants may experience side-effects, which the doctors leading the trials must report.
Unfortunately, such protocols are being circumvented by Canadian doctors. Take the case of Dr. Sunil Verma, who chairs the breast medical oncology unit at Sunnybrook’s Odette Cancer Centre. An FDA inspection uncovered the fact that he failed to report to the sponsoring drug company adverse reactions suffered by five patients, including a respiratory tract infection and severe vomiting that lasted two weeks.

His explanation: “This was purely a clerical issue. This was clearly an oversight on the part of the nurse” .

Interestingly, Dr. Verma is on the drug company's advisory board, which pays him about $1500 each time he gives an “educational presentation” on breast cancer.

Overlapping, or what some might describe as incestuous, relationships between doctors and drug companies do not seem uncommon:

At the University of Calgary, Dr. Remo Panaccione’s has received money for consulting and lecturing from at least 26 different pharmaceutical companies.

Dr. Panaccione conducts research into inflammatory bowel disease. A clinical trial he led in 2007 into a drug designed to treat Crohn's disease was found deficient by an FDA inspection. He failed to report the hospitalization of three patients being treated to the university's ethics board. Like the aforementioned Dr. Verma, Panaccione blamed his staff for the “oversight.”

Then there is the case of Dr. Alexander Paterson, a renowned Alberta researcher, who has the dubious distinction
of being cited for violations in three FDA inspection reports — in 1988, 2002 and 2004 — more than any other Canadian doctor, according to a Star analysis of available FDA data.
During the first inspection, the FDA inspector uncovered a series of problems with the trial, including one the FDA said was “extremely” concerning: Patient information submitted by the pharmaceutical company to the FDA (to get the drug tamoxifen approved to treat cancer) did not match medical records found in Paterson’s possession.

In several cases, the copies given to the regulator suggested the treatment worked better than the doctor’s own progress notes indicated.

The inspection also found “possibly ineligible patients being enrolled in the study . . . and patients being incorrectly dosed.”

In one case, the inspector’s report says, the record submitted by the drug company said the patient’s response to the treatment involved “no change.” This was in direct conflict with the doctor’s record, which “lists the patient’s response as ‘worse.’ ”
Like the two previously mentioned doctors, Paterson had an explanation, blaming the findings on overzealous and out-of-their-depth FDA inspectors.

Errors, I am sure, happen all the time. After all, we are all human. But for me, the most important aspect of this story again is the fact that were it not for the openness and accessibility of FDA data, Canadians would be completely in the dark about these mistakes and coverups, all of which seem invariably to work to the benefit of the drug companies for which the researchers are doing their work. Health Canada seems completely unconcerned.

There is much more in the Star investigation, including a sole study by Hamilton doctors whose tainted data and failure to report serious side effects led to the approval of a drug thinner implicated in stroke, heart attacks and major hemorrhages. I hope you will read the entire report on the Star's website.

I will close with just one more excerpt from the Star investigation that speaks volumes about its indiifference to the health of Canadians:
Over the past 12 years, Health Canada found at least 33 clinical trials had critical problems and were “non-compliant.” In July, the Star asked for details of these and other inspections, and last week Health Canada refused, saying that providing records “would require an exhaustive manual paper file review.”

The regulator also said the release of these clinical trial inspection reports could only come after consultation with third parties, typically the doctors and drug companies.
In a country that prides itself on its medical system, this cannot be deemed acceptable by anyone.

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Rally: Equal Access Now

Dammit Janet - 1 hour 38 min ago
It's never over. But judging by the increasing desperation of the Fetus Freaks, we may be winning (a little).

This Saturday, prochoice activists and allies are rallying in support of the current struggle for reproductive justice (pdf) in PEI and New Brunswick.
Reproductive Justice Rallies Across the Country: Sep 20

National Day of Action in Solidarity with New Brunswick and PEI: Equal Access Now!

Reproductive justice activists across the country will be rallying this Saturday September 20 to stand in solidarity with the citizens of New Brunswick and PEI, who lack access to abortion. The former Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton was forced to close in July for financial reasons, because the provincial government had refused to fund it for 20 years in violation of federal law and Supreme Court precedent. The province continues to refuse to improve access, even though many women are now being forced to travel out of province.

In Prince Edward Island, Health PEI blocked the application of three doctors willing to provide abortions at the Charlottetown hospital, saying "it was not in line with current government policies." But the PEI government does not have a policy on abortion, or any other excuse. The proposal was cost-neutral, and lack of a provider has been the only barrier to providing services on-Island.

Across Canada, especially in northern, rural, conservative, and low-income areas, there is often a lack of access to basic sexual and reproductive health services (SRH) and information. The most vulnerable usually pay the highest price, including youth, LGBTQ people, Aboriginals, refugees, racialized communities, people with disabilities or health issues, and those of low income. To achieve equality and justice, women and marginalized communities in NB, PEI, and across Canada are demanding recognition of their rights, and Equal Access Now to services.
More information and local contacts at the link.

Facebook pages:

New Brunswick (several cities)

Please share widely and attend if you can.

Clean Is Cheap, Cheaper Than Dirty.

The Disaffected Lib - 1 hour 47 min ago
Of all the Big Lies embedded in our collective consciousness by the fossil fuelers and their minions in government is the scary tale that going green, decarbonizing our economies and our societies, would be devastatingly expensive.  They keep drumming into our heads that shifting off fossil fuels would destroy our economies and plunge us into poverty and darkness.

That's bullshit.

A report to be released today contends that going green would essentially cost almost nothing.

A global commission will announce its finding on Tuesday that an ambitious series of measures to limit emissions would cost $4 trillion or so over the next 15 years, an increase of roughly 5 percent over the amount that would likely be spent anyway on new power plants, transit systems and other infrastructure.When the secondary benefits of greener policies — like lower fuel costs, fewer premature deaths from air pollution and reduced medical bills — are taken into account, the changes might wind up saving money, according to the findings of the group, the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate.
The commission found that some $90 trillion is likely to be spent over the coming 15 years on new infrastructure around the world. The big challenge for governments is to adopt rules and send stronger market signals that redirect much of that investment toward low-emission options, the report found.
“This is a massive amount of investment firepower that could be geared toward building better cities, and better infrastructure for energy and agriculture,” said Jeremy Oppenheim, who led the research for the report.
While the commission found that the requisite steps may make economic sense, that does not mean they will be politically easy, the report says. For instance, the group will recommend that countries eliminate subsidies for fossil fuels, which cost about $600 billion a year but are vigorously defended by vested interests.
This isn't about making our lives better or whether we can maintain maximum affluence and ease.  It's about what sort of life we're going to bequeath to our children and theirs.  There are already a lot of climate change impacts in the pipe that we can't do much about.  That's not to say that we, today and in the coming years, can't make those impacts far worse than they need be.  If we don't have the courage to change our behaviour, the bill for our cowardice will be foisted off on those to come.

Voluntary blindness

Dawg's Blawg - 1 hour 52 min ago
I don’t personally socialmedia because it is for puny mortals and unfit for the dignity of the Valar, but I sometimes trawl Dawg’s feed for reactions to things that might appear here, and on the matter of FIPA I... Mandos

Post-Democratic Trend Lines in Etobicoke

JOE FANTAUZZI Thoughts about power - 2 hours 10 min ago
Since news broke of the decision by Toronto mayor candidate Rob Ford to step away from the mayor’s race and be replaced by his brother Doug the term “feudal” has been thrown around a lot. The argument quite often associated with  the use of this term generally appears to be that the Ford family is treating Etobicoke […]

He Could Care Less

Northern Reflections - 2 hours 54 min ago


If yesterday served as any indication, Stephen Harper isn't going anywhere. I confess I've had my doubts he'd make it to the next election. But, as Chantal Hebert writes, it's getting harder and harder for him to exit gracefully:

As of now the odds of an orderly pre-election transition to a different Conservative leader will lengthen dramatically with every passing week.
In theory Harper could still decide to call it quits before the next campaign. Some of his predecessors left much later in the pre-writ period.
In his day Brian Mulroney did not grace successor Kim Campbell with more than a few months to make her mark before she had to face voters. Mulroney’s mandate was in its fifth year when he resigned.
Pierre Trudeau also allowed the fourth anniversary of his return to power to pass — albeit by only a few days — before he took his now famous walk in the snow in 1984.
Yesterday, in his speech to the converted, Harper focused on his record -- insisting that the country is better off because he's been prime minister:

Harper’s single-minded focus on the government’s record — including a lengthy but essentially par-for-the-course segment on foreign affairs — suggests that there has been a belated shift in the thinking of Conservative strategists.
Having spent months on attack mode only to enter a pre-election year behind the Liberal party, it seems they have come to the conclusion that they need to reintroduce Harper to voters more than they need to continue to try to pre-emptively destroy Trudeau’s public persona.
Obviously, he hasn't been reading sources of contrarian opinion or the polls:

In a recent Abacus poll Harper scored more poorly than his main rivals in virtually every leadership category, with his poorest marks earned for attitude.
As he told the last Conservative convention in Calgary -- the one that shut out the media -- he could "care less" what his opponents think. When the election comes, it will be interesting to see how much  his "care less" policy is worth.

Stephen Harper and the Start of the Next Election Campaign

Montreal Simon - 6 hours 4 min ago

Well there he was yesterday, kicking off the new session of Parliament, not in the House of Commons, but at the Ottawa Convention Centre.

Strutting across a stage in front of a giant Canadian flag, and the Con seals in his caucus. 

Looking like a used car salesman, or an American televangelist.

Promising tax cuts for the faithful at an election-style rally. 
Read more »

David Cameron and Scotland's Butterfly Rebellion

Montreal Simon - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 23:04

Well there he was today, David Cameron, the leader of Britain's savage Con regime.

The Prime Minister who has inflicted the most pain on the British people since the bestial Margaret Thatcher.

Trying to bully the Scottish people into voting NO by threatening them with a "painful divorce." 
Read more »

Paul Fromm's Exercise in Futility

Anti-Racist Canada - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 21:50
We were actually planning on taking much of the month off. The lead writer has a hankering to learn the harpsichord and freed up much of her schedule to do so. Others were planning on other projects, but then Paulie decided to do this:

Paul Fromm, 65, threw his name in the race yesterday. He was fired from his job teaching English at Applewood Heights Secondary School in 1997 after he ignored warnings from administrators not to continue associating with known racists and white supremacists. The B'Nai Brith and other organizations had complained about his conduct at a series of right-wing political rallies.

That's right. Paulie is running for mayor on essentially the same platform as he did in 2010. Immigration causes traffic problems:

Paulie's boast to have finished in the middle of the pack during his previous mayoral run, while technically accurate, is yet another one of his finely polished turds. In fact his total vote count was under 1000 and he received only 0.65% of the vote:

Other than his abysmal showing he was practically a top tier candidate....

But the real reason for his run, we humbly suggest, can be found at the bottom of his announcement where he asks for donations. He makes a similar request here:

Read more »

Respectability vs RESPECT: Part One

Dammit Janet - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 18:46
R•E•S•P•E•C•T  is of course:

Respectability is a different kettle of fish, however.  The very foundation of patriarchy is cemented with the premise that only some women are respectable - that is, worthy and deserving of respect - and others are NOT.

My co-blogger fern hill recently addressed the *stigma* of abortion. And we have many more blogposts at DJ! that challenge the notion that respectable women should grieve, do penance, and wear ashes on their head when a pregnancy - their OWN, in fact - is terminated. By choice.  Or when it's forcibly rejected by the body, an occurrence that happens regularly.

By way of an example, Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis' disclosure of how and why she had two abortions, illustrates the division between what is considered a 'respectable' abortion and what is not. 

"For a woman to reveal she has had an abortion because she wanted one, because she couldn't emotionally sacrifice for another child, because she was remiss in her use of contraception, and, further, to declare she has only felt happiness towards her decision is truly groundbreaking. Davis' abortion narrative has helped diminish the social stigma surrounding abortion. But until the “bad” abortion stories are just as acceptable, pro-choice advocates have a long way to go."

From must-read: _Wendy Davis and the 'Good Abortion' Myth_ found here.

Respectability is at issue with regard to abortion because when women have sex, consensually or not, that can produce a pregnancy - unwanted or planned.

Sex as procreative versus sex as a recreative activity.  Also, sex as gender bigotry.

Yesterday some hack writer, compensating for whatever pathetic sense of inadequacy seized him, dismissed Naomi Klein and her recent publication in calculated, malevolent, gendered, barnyard animal terms.  

Not even bothering to address or refute her arguments, he deems her stupid. 

There you have it. But wait, here is more to consider.

As observed: "...the word cow is a put down to women but the term bull is considered a compliment for men." 

Note also in the exchange cited above, the comparison used when vilifying mayoral candidate Olivia Chow.  Her competitor John Tory said that she had "more positions than Masters and Johnson".  

"Respectability" is a toxic judgement passed on women and the last remaining double standard for judging women's choices and behaviours as indecent.  Feminists of African, Indigenous and Asian ancestry have identified the use of "respectability" politics as a weapon specifically used to target women of colour (WoC) for social opprobrium.

An incident which unfolded in Los Angeles last week gained publicity when Danièle Watts, who was intimidated and humiliated when police profiled her as prostitute, spoke up.  

Her experience is not unusual. As evident from the insult slung at Ms Chow by her opponent, these assumptions of impropriety about racialized women are claimed by men who reduce them to female beings unworthy of respect, with little or no resources other than the unbridled hyper-sexuality that is projected upon their bodies.

Next: Part Two will examine how respectability politics reinforce whorephobia as a partisan neo-conservative tactic to divide women and destroy solidarity among feminists. Read the blogpost from @kwetoday that I've linked to, above.

Stephen Harper's Insane and Treasonous FIPA Deal

Montreal Simon - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 17:26

I've already written what I think about Stephen Harper's sellout trade deal with China.

I've called it the worst deal this country has ever signed. An act of treachery if ever there was one.

But even that isn't enough. For what can you say about a document that even the conservative columnist Diane Francis has called the worse deal since the one Neville Chamberlain made with Hitler. 
Read more »

More Harper Acquiescence To The Corporate Agenda

Politics and its Discontents - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 12:58

As much as it is said that the Harper regime is planning to buy votes for the 2015 election by giving income-splitting to families, the reality is that Canadians are increasingly being called upon to aid and abet its agenda of 'starving the beast' while at the same time subsidizing corporate profits.

As reported in The Globe and Mail, our Finance Department has quietly shelved plans to crack down on so-called “treaty shopping” by multinationals. The surprise move suspends a long campaign by Ottawa to stop what it says is rampant “abuse” of international tax treaties by companies seeking to duck Canadian taxes.

Treaty-shopping was most recently in the news when Burger King engineered a merger with Tim Hortons so it could pay a much lower corporate tax rate that Canada offers. Despite the fact that the late Finance Minister Jim Flaherty wanted to curb the practice, 'Uncle' Joe Oliver is embracing it:

Facing intense lobbying from resources companies and their tax advisers, Mr. Oliver apparently bought the argument that curbing treaty shopping would put a chill on foreign investment in places such as the Alberta oil sands, leaving Canada at a competitive disadvantage.

In other words, the argument goes, the rapacious appetite for massive corporate profits, along with the refusal to accept any responsibility to the country that makes those profits possible, is the business imperative that must be yielded to:

In a prebudget submission to the House of Commons Finance committee, Deloitte & Touche LLP had this to say:

“To attract foreign capital, Canadian projects generally must support higher potential yields than comparative investments located in the home country of a capital source,” Deloitte tax policy leader Albert Baker said in the submission. “This is a particular issue for the energy and resource sector.”

The flip side is that not squeezing corporations means individual Canadians must bear a disproportionate share of the country’s tax load. Unlike companies, ... hard-working Canadians can’t use complex offshore tax structures.

The message therefore seems to be that all other Canadian taxpayers – you and I – should subsidize the inflated profits of offshore oil sands investors.

So much for the rhetoric and propaganda the Harper regime fosters about its concern for 'working families.'

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There's This Story Making the Rounds...

The Disaffected Lib - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 11:20

It's an item from Reuters that has been picked up by a number of newspapers, including The Globe & Mail.  It concerns a study that found one species of algae has managed to adapt fairly quickly to warming and more acidic oceans.

What's interesting is that the authors of the study went to great lengths to point out the limits of their discovery and to stress that this wasn't some sort of "all clear" on either the warming or acidification of our oceans.  Having noted that, the reporter went on to simply ignore the cautions and proclaim some sort of miracle.

An essential point that's completely overlooked is that, yes algae or phytoplankton do absorb CO2.  Sure they suck it right up like a sponge.  Great, they're carbon-based life forms.  What the writer ignores is what happens to that absorbed CO2.  It's fixed in these organisms and, being organisms, they eventually die and when they die these tiny little organisms sink to the bottom where they decay and release their fixed carbon into the waters of the ocean depths.  They don't make the acidification vanish.  They're simply a conveyor that carries it to the ocean floor.

We know that algae blooms also suck up enormous amounts of dissolved oxygen.  In large concentrations algae can turn water anoxic giving rise to "dead zones".  None of this makes its way into this "feel good" news report either.

However the giveaway that this is a journalistic con job is apparent in the final two paragraphs.  The writer mentions some "U.N. panel of scientists" that is 95% sure that climate change is man made.  That's followed by this closer:

Opinion polls, however, indicate that many voters believe that natural variations are to blame.  The mismatch between scientific and public opinion complicates a plan by almost 200 governments to work out a deal to limit global warming at a summit in late 2015 in Paris. 

There's a journalistic device that pits a powerful scientific consensus based on extensive and ongoing research into every natural science discipline by accomplished and highly-educated experts in those fields against "many voters" whose only qualification appears to be an ability to cast a ballot and then declares a "mismatch".  No, sorry, it's not a mismatch when you pit one powerful consensus based on knowledge, experience and research against a contrary opinion based on nothing.

We Still Don't Know the Depths of Harper's Perfidy

The Disaffected Lib - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 10:37
But we've got 32-years to find out.  That's the toxic lifespan of the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement whereby Harper sold Canada down the river to Beijing in exchange for a bag of silver coins.

According to The Tyee, Harper knuckled under to China's demands for one reason - to keep Chinese money flowing to the Oil Patch.

Gus Van Harten is an associate professor at the Osgoode Hall Law School and an expert in investment treaties.
Van Harten said FIPA is practically a one-way deal in favour of China, and Ottawa needs to acknowledge the non-reciprocal aspects of the deal and explain why they would ratify it two years after it was first signed.
"It seems to me the federal government has conceded to China under pressure to give them this treaty," said Van Harten. "My guess is this is the price China has demanded to open its purse strings for investing in the resource sector in Canada."
In a press release today, Ottawa insisted the deal will protect such Canadian investors in China and help build trade relations.
The release claims the deal will give "Canadian investors in China the same types of protections that foreign investors have long had in Canada."
But Van Harten doesn't buy that line.
"One aspect of the treaty is it has an exclusion of all existing discriminatory measures in Canada or China," he said. "China, it's safe to say, has far more existing discriminatory measures than Canada does."
Local government rules or different tax rates will now be locked in under the agreement, giving Chinese officials a tool to punish any Canadian investors it wishes to, he said.
We probably won't have to wait too long before we feel the lash of FIPA.

A Postive Abortion Story

Dammit Janet - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 10:27
[Guest post by Jaden Fitzherbert, cross-posted at NB Media Co-op.]

Here is my story.

I had a miscarriage before I made my abortion appointment. I realized that I was pregnant in my third year of university, when I got back from Christmas break. I had denied it for about a month and when I arrived back in Fredericton and still felt ill and hadn’t gotten my period I decided that I should take a pregnancy test.

I bussed to Wal-Mart, bought the test and ashamedly took the bus back to my UNB residence. How could I possibly be pregnant? I was well educated on safe sex practices, I was using birth control and my partner at the time was using condoms. I waited in my room, alone and terrified about seeing a positive pregnancy test, the few minutes that I waited seemed like an eternity. With shaky hands I checked the result. There it was, mocking almost, a positive pregnancy test. I was devastated. I wasn’t ready to become a mother, heck, I wasn’t even sure if I ever wanted to have kids. I knew in my heart that my current partner was not the person that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, I knew that I did not want to raise a child with him.

There is this strange feeling, one that I’ve heard other women who have experienced unwanted pregnancies describe, a feeling that your body no longer belongs to you, that you are no longer in control of what is happening to you. I decided at that moment that I would call the Morgentaler Clinic in the morning and make an appointment for an abortion. I didn’t have the money to pay for it, but I also knew that it would take too long to get a referral from my doctor (assuming that he would give me the referral), and go through the public system, so I decided that I would somehow come up with the money to pay for the procedure.

I went to bed that night, crying, not because I was sad or felt guilty about my decision, but because I knew what an uphill battle it was going to be. I woke up in the middle of the night with intense cramps, I had no idea what was going on, but I spent the rest of the night in the fetal position on the bathroom floor. Finally I passed what I assume was the fetus. I distinctly remember feeling so incredibly relieved, I was no longer pregnant, and I did not have to try to come up with the money for my abortion. It was like a great weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

At first I didn’t tell anyone about what had happened, not my then partner, not my parents and not my friends. I was afraid that people would judge me for feeling so happy and relieved that I had had a miscarriage. After a few months I started opening up about my experience and people shamed me -judged me. People told me that I should grieve the loss of my pregnancy, even though the pregnancy was unwanted to begin with. I stopped telling people, and went on with my life as if it had never happened. This was four years ago, and I’ve decided to no longer be silent.

Two years ago I started volunteering at the Fredericton Morgentaler Clinic, and I was amazed by what I found there. I was welcomed, with open arms, into a community of people who were loving, compassionate and they taught me that I should not feel ashamed about my feelings towards my miscarriage and unwanted pregnancy, but most importantly, they taught me that, contrary to what I had been told by other people. I wasn’t broken.

I’ve never felt regret or grieved over my miscarriage, it was the best thing that could have happened to me at that point in my life, and for that I am eternally thankful and grateful. There are many women, who like me, are happy, healthy, who have no regrets and who do not grieve their abortions or their miscarriages, but a lot of the time our voices get lost in the shame that is projected on to us from the anti-choice movement that tells us if we don’t feel grief or regret we are not “real women” or we are terrible people.

To all the women out there who feel as though they are unable to speak out about their experience, you are loved and you have nothing to be ashamed of. You are not broken.

* * * * * *

Here at DJ! we've written often about the shameful and illegal abortion access situation in New Brunswick.

We've also written about the effects of stigmatization of abortion.

Abortion is a normal part of women's lives. It is an ordinary, safe medical procedure. There should be NO barriers and NO stigma to it.

There is a general provincial election in New Brunswick on September 22. Will politicians listen to the good sense of the people? Or will they continue to treat New Brunswickers like irresponsible children?

Stay tuned.

By the way, DAMMIT JANET! welcomes abortion stories. They are common and we will print yours, with or without your name.

And we're off...

Cathie from Canada - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 10:25

We'll be gone on vacation for a couple of weeks -- now that we have retired, its the first time in 25 years that we have been able to travel in September!

Toronto Mayoral Race 2014

FFIBS - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 09:57

Toronto-Mayoral-race 2014

Filed under: 2011 Election


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