Amanda Marcotte writes for and manages the blog Pandagon, blogs for Slate’s Double X, and has two books out: “It’s A Jungle Out There: The Feminist Survival Guide to Politically Inhospitable Environments” and “Get Opinionated: A Progressive’s Guide to Finding Your Voice (and Taking a Little Action)”. She’s written about politics, pop culture and feminism for outlets such as Slate, Salon, the LA Times, the Guardian, Bitch, and the American Prospect. A former resident of Texas, she now lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Marco Rubio came out and said that Planned Parenthood is trying to push unsuspecting women into abortion to profit off them. At this point, it's clear that we're dealing with a full-fledged conspiracy theory.
CNN's latest poll has the same problem as so many before it: It's not measuring attitudes about abortion so much as attitudes about female autonomy. By not being more exacting, the poll may do more to confuse than illuminate.
Two of the major anti-Planned Parenthood talking points, which anti-choicers have disseminated through mainstream media, are about advancing the idea that any sexual health services that aren't about making babies doesn't count as real health care.
Many Republicans have been attacking, undermining, or radically reinterpreting the 14th Amendment, which guarantees equality under the law. There's a lot of reasons for this, but the common theme is undermining women's right to control when and how they give birth.
It's the 21st century, but we're still having this fight: An NYPD police officer gets denied a promotion opportunity because she gave birth on the wrong day. But there's hope that if we keep fighting, it will get better.
Huckabee's recent comments about abortion invoked the image of forcing women to give birth at gunpoint. But while other conservatives won't actually bring up the idea of violent force, their goal—forced childbirth—is exactly the same.
Despite all the hand-waving about fetal tissue, the multi-week attack on Planned Parenthood is really just about stoking conservative resentment and trying to keep young and low-income women from accessing reproductive health care.
True Detective's second season has rolled out a character who thinks she's infertile because of abortions in her youth. Sadly, this is just part of a larger pattern of this supposedly mainstream show regurgitating ugly right-wing myths about women.
Hobby Lobby supporters claim that they aren't out to take away contraception, just to keep religious employers from paying for it. Now that the Obama administration has made that possible, however, they are still throwing fits.
The anti-choice argument for Texas' omnibus law—that its regulations make the procedure safer—is an empirically false claim. Yet media outlets like NPR shy away from providing this basic fact when reporting on the court battles over this law.
For years, medication abortion ranked far behind surgical abortion in popularity. But now that may be changing, as women increasingly see the pill—legal or not—as a way to get around draconian abortion restrictions.
A New York Times op-ed raises the question of how liberal an abortion law is if it requires women to justify their abortions. Most abortion restrictions in the United States and Europe are based on the idea that some women are more deserving than others.
A number of Republicans claimed to support over-the-counter birth control pills to counter claims of being anti-contraception in 2014. Now they may have accidentally increased liberal interest in the issue, which could lead to it becoming a reality.
Republicans have been pushing the idea that 20 weeks is plenty of time to get an abortion if you need one—with the implication that if you can’t get it together in those first few months, then you don’t really deserve to get the procedure.
The Affordable Care Act is proving to be a great tool to help women obtain contraception. But there are more obstacles to contraception to be addressed, from religion-based shaming to simple transportation issues.
The New York Times op-ed section gave space to Sofia Vergara's ex so he could demand she turn some frozen embryos over to him. There's a way to have this debate without allowing toxic people to attempt to control and shame their exes in public.
Republicans in Colorado are coming up with a plethora of reasons to object to funding an IUD program that has dramatically reduced teen pregnancy. But their real concern appears to be that the program is too good at preventing unintended pregnancy.
Even where conservatives have abandoned "abstinence-only" education, they are still pushing the "sex is evil and will kill you" line. It's time for pro-choicers to open up a broader conversation demanding sex-positive curricula.
Anti-choicers have mastered the art of minimizing the impact of abortion laws to trick the public into shrugging them off. By using this method, they are poised to restrict second-trimester abortion access in many states without a major fuss.
A lot of people's views on abortion could be described as “muddled." This is a fine way to view abortion when it comes to your own personal choices, but it creates problems when we're talking about policy.
It is tempting to laugh at Texas Rep. Stuart Spitzer, whose argument for abstinence-only education for everyone was that waiting until marriage worked for him. But the cold fact of the matter is that anecdote is often more persuasive than data.
Legislators in Arizona are proposing a bill that would require doctors to tell abortion patients that the procedure can be "reversed"—the latest in a series of anti-choice efforts to put official government support behind the harassment of women.
Arkansas state Rep. Justin Harris, who handed his adopted daughters over to a man who raped one of them, still thinks he's entitled to pass legislation that could force teen girls to bear their rapist's child.
Can the abortion rate be reduced by improving social services? New data from the Brookings Institution suggests that answer is no, which makes sense: Women have abortions for more complex reasons than simply being too poor to parent.
Supporters of the "men's rights" movement claim to want to defend the interests of men in a supposedly female-dominated society. But if you give them a chance to share their views in a mainstream setting, their underlying misogyny becomes immediately apparent.
Social conservatives have been getting more obvious about bullying women into accepting their self-sacrificing, self-effacing model of womanhood. They're having to get louder because fewer women are listening.
Remember how a bunch of Republicans were enthusiastic about over-the-counter birth control before the election? Well, big surprise, all that enthusiasm has disappeared. There's a lesson in this when dealing with politicians making promises about health-care access.
Despite some facile language about "choice" from anti-vaxxers and individual beliefs held among some of them, the reality is that the anti-vaccination movement has way more in common with those trying to restrict abortion access.
To read news coverage of the anti-insurance bill that Republicans passed instead of a 20-week ban on abortion, you'd think the new bill is no big deal. In reality, though, it's just as bad in most ways.
In contrast to last year's SOTU response, Joni Ernst barely nodded at the issue of abortion. But that doesn't mean congressional Republicans are letting it go. Instead, they are ready to vote on five bills meant to restrict reproductive rights.
Twice this week, conservatives have tried to draw false equivalences between slut-shaming and discouraging behavior that causes actual harm. Here's why slut-shaming is wrong, but asking for corporate transparency or public transit etiquette is not.
Nicki Minaj told a nuanced story about her high school abortion, but most of the headlines suggested that she is, or should be, ashamed of the experience. Sadly, this is what happens all too often when women try to tell complex abortion stories in the public sphere.
2014 will go down as the year anti-choicers' goal of ending legal abortion came within their grasp. It's also the year they opened up a new front in the "war on women" by starting preliminary legal attacks on contraception access.
Abortion is overwhelmingly safe, but somehow conservatives' lies about its danger have become "fact" in laws and courts. In this, anti-choicers are borrowing a page from creationists and climate change denialists.
Alabama anti-choicers are at it again, and this time they're implying that abortion clinics are somehow a danger to children in the way sexual predators are. But the only way that could work is by magic.
Andrew Sullivan got completely unbent at the idea that Twitter might crack down on harassment. But the real censorship is coming from anti-feminists who use abusive campaigns in an effort to silence feminists.
Why did "personhood" fail in Colorado and North Dakota, but a ballot initiative allowing radical anti-choice legislation in Tennessee succeed? Because people are moved to vote anti-choice not by "life," but by disapproval of others' sexual experiences.
Some conservatives want to defend street harassers as a way to get in digs at feminists. But they might be running up against more traditional right-wingers who think harassment is evidence of the dangerous world women must be protected from.
Anti-choice protesters are irate that San Antonio officials won't let them disgust people with bloody footage on a Jumbotron outside the Alamo. It's time to ask why anti-choicers keep trying these gross-out techniques when they have no reason to think they'll ever change people's minds.
Despite the distinct lack of talk about abortions at the University of New Mexico's Sex Week, Students for Life tried to shut it down. The group would be better named "Students Against Sex," since that's what this conflict was really about.
Republicans grouse and whine about the "war on women" narrative, but they are too afraid of the religious right to take common sense measures like abandoning the attacks on contraception access. How long will it take for them to figure out that they've gone too far?
Suing to keep grown daughters from accessing contraception, or to keep employees from having coverage for contraception from somewhere besides the health-care plan you offer? Conservatives are getting aggressive in arguing they have a right to directly interfere with your ability to get contraception, and they may win.
It was just one anti-choice fanatic who eagerly blamed the suicide of Robin Williams on abortion, but it's indicative of the larger and incredibly sleazy tactic of linking abortion and depression, despite the lack of evidence of a connection.
Many have long argued that the "price" women must pay for a strong social safety net is a government that interferes with your reproductive choices. France is proving them wrong, dropping part of its paternalistic abortion laws.
Taking the temperature of the anti-choice movement post-Hobby Lobby, one thing becomes clear: Its members are getting braver all the time about admitting out loud that they're just anti-sex and out to get your birth control.
Last week activists interrupted a New Orleans Unitarian Universalist service to hector the congregants, demonstrating how the anti-choice movement is seeking to attack the long-standing American tradition of religious tolerance.
Republicans are offering a bill that they claim protects a woman's access to contraception. But it's a poison pill that would reframe contraception not as a medical service, but as a luxury good that should only be available to those who can afford the cost of it.
The Hobby Lobby case is not some odd outlier regarding "religious freedom." It's just one of the many ways the anti-choice movement is trying to chip away at women's access to contraception and instill the idea in the public's mind that contraception is controversial.
A parent's freakout over the possibility that her teenage daughter might talk to a doctor without a parent present is an important reminder that adolescent rights to medical privacy are ill-defined and need to be clarified, to protect teenage health.
Anti-choice activists and other social conservatives routinely argue that men are dogs whom women need to bring under control, usually by withholding sex in hopes of extracting a wedding ring. But this strategy is completely unnecessary, and there's no evidence it works.
A Utah high school made headlines recently by photoshopping some girls' yearbook photos to cover more skin. This story gives insight into the various ways "modesty" is used to police girls, make them insecure, and pit them against each other.
Rick Santorum recently made remarks suggesting that he'd prefer having everyone's contraception covered by the government instead of by insurance plans. That might seem like a good idea on its surface, but in reality it would reduce access to contraception.
As a recent Mother Jones article about gun control shows, men with hang-ups about their own masculinity and women's power are destroying rational political discourse on many issues, most obviously when it comes to reproductive rights.
What's most fascinating about the reactions to Emily Letts' video of her abortion is the role fantasy plays in criticisms from the right, and what that generally says about the state of debate over abortion in this country—specifically, the fantasy that there’s a “baby” or even a “fetus” involved in an abortion like Letts'.
The Green family of Oklahoma, who own and operate Hobby Lobby, says they're suing the Department of Health and Human Services over the birth control benefit in the Affordable Care Act because of religious freedom. But their other political activities show that their real agenda is forcing their religious beliefs on you, any way they can.
Louisiana is threatening to pass a bill that would require doctors to lie to women and tell them abortion causes mental health damage. This is bad news not just for abortion doctors, but for the mental health industry as well.
Straight white men benefit from sexual freedom and reproductive rights. So why do the majority of them continue to support politicians who want to take those things away? Because they know someone else will always have to pay the price.
We don't wait to teach driver's ed until after young people start driving, so why on earth do most sex education classes occur after a significant chunk of teens are already sexually active? It's time to let go of the sentimental attachment to the idea of "innocence" in adolescents.
Rhetoric trying to redefine contraception not as health care but as a sexual kink is becoming a mainstream conservative preoccupation, especially in light of the Affordable Care Act listing contraception as a preventive care service. What can be done to fight back, before the right start seriously chipping away at access?
The OpEd Project has released a dismaying report showing that female op-ed writers still mostly write about "pink" topics such as women-specific health care. But those stories are critically important, and if women "break out" and write about other things, who's left to cover them?
A writer at the Daily Caller is mad that women who can't access abortion locally might get the "vacation" of sitting on a bus to get outpatient surgery. Bill O'Reilly is mad that Beyoncé enjoys married sex. It seems like anything you do these days is making the right mad, if you're female.
A lot of #LiesToldByFemales are women claiming to adhere more closely to traditional gender roles than they actually do, to present themselves as more chaste and more submissive than they actually are.
Iowa legislators want to pass a law allowing women to sue abortion providers if they regret their abortions. Why not let women sue the people who actually caused the regret—the people who shamed and guilted them about the abortion—instead?
A new evidence-based report from the United Nations Population Fund recommends that “unnecessary restrictions on abortion should be removed and governments should provide access to safe abortion services.” The debate over abortion is now less about values and now a struggle between denialism and the facts.
Susan Patton may be the only person in the history of the world to get a book deal by being a crank who writes nutty letters to the editor. Her viral letter telling young women to get married in college is now being turned into a book, but that doesn't make her "advice" any less nutty.
Anti-choicers want to take credit for the lower abortion rate, claiming that their efforts at stigmatizing it have caused women to choose to have babies instead. Unfortunately for them, the evidence suggests otherwise.
In the same week, Rand Paul praised his sister for having six kids but denounced a hypothetical woman on assistance who has only five. The contrast lays bare the hypocrisy and prejudice of the anti-choice movement, and shows how conservatives use children as weapons against women.
The Family Research Council recently presented a paper positing that the problem with abortion is that women are just having too much sex. It's part of a trend: Increasingly, anti-choicers are dropping the pretense that they're motivated by "life" and admitting that their efforts are about controlling women's sexuality.
Conservatives have been turning up the volume on the irrational, unevidenced claim that poverty is caused by not being married. In reality, poverty is caused by not having enough money. This should be obvious, but it clearly needs to be said more often.
A new study measuring the impact of ultrasound on abortion decisions unsurprisingly shows ultrasounds don't change women's minds. It also disproves the myth that abortion providers and pro-choicers are trying to hide the reality of abortion from women.
The latest court challenges to the birth control benefit show how much the fight against the contraception mandate is really about the Christian right trying to establish an employer’s “right” to control your private sex life.
Anti-choicers are exploiting Christmas and making nonsensical attacks on women getting abortions with "empty manger" displays. Not only do these displays make no sense at all, they reveal the hard-heartedness of the supposed Christians behind them.
Anti-choice attacks on women's access to insurance coverage for contraception and abortion are, in part, about building a legal case for controlling the private finances of women. The arguments being used could in the future apply even to your bank account.
The recent news about emergency contraception's efficacy in women who weigh over 176 pounds shows how badly the media can screw up stories about weight and health. Here are some tips for writing about this issue in a way that is less shaming and more accurate.
Do you have a friend who wants to be on the pill but is afraid because of unscientific scare-mongering in the media? Here's a guide, cribbed from vaccination advocates, on how to talk to people about the pill without turning them off or making them feel threatened.
Texas is shutting down abortion clinics, driving privileged women to travel far for abortion, and forcing lower-income women to endure forced pregnancy. This is where the entire country is headed, if the anti-choice movement prevails in the courts.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a new set of recommendations encouraging schools, parents, and communities to focus on destigmatizing condoms and making them more available to teenagers. What was once a radical idea is quickly becoming normalized.
Anti-choicers are trying to accuse liberals of hypocrisy because the health insurance exchanges let people know "unborn children" are included in coverage. But the only hypocrites here are people who claim to support life but are trying to demonize attempts to get pregnant women health coverage.
How did the Republicans get themselves into this shutdown mess? Part of the problem is they are remarkably out of touch, and you can look no further than Republican discourse on contraception to see how bad it's gotten in the right-wing bubble.
States are banning private citizens from using their own money to buy insurance from private insurers if a plan covers abortion. It's part of a larger strategy by anti-Obamacare forces to insert abortion into the debate as often as possible with the goal of stigmatizing health-care reform and killing the Affordable Care Act.
With the Affordable Care Act, the United States has a good chance of drastically lowering its unintended pregnancy rates. Unfortunately, political posturing from Republicans is stalling the implementation of a key part of the law necessary to achieve that result.
The ugly reality is that this entire battle over the contraception mandate is about something bigger. It’s about private businesses and corporations creating a legal loophole that allows them to opt out of an array of worker protections and other regulations, all by citing “religious freedom” as a reason.
It's not an illusion: Conservatives have started to exhibit hostility toward the concept of health itself, implying that being healthy is scary and somehow anti-freedom. This shouldn't be a surprise, however, as anti-choicers have been saying similar things for decades now.
Why do anti-choicers rely so heavily on bad, offensive analogies that compare reproductive rights to slavery, the Holocaust, and drug addiction? In no small part, it's because without these inaccurate and offensive analogies, their actual arguments are exposed as weak and petty.
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