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13-year-old attempts abortion on self using pencil

If it were up to Republicans and their anti-choice agenda horrific stories like this would become commonplace:

A 30-year-old Polk Township man has been arrested for his role after a 13-year-old girl performed a self-induced abortion using a pencil. Michael James Lisk has been charged with rape and concealing the death of a child.

State police were alerted to the case on Sunday after staff at Lehigh Valley Hospital treated the girl, who said she conducted the “home abortion” on herself using a lead pencil last Wednesday.

She subsequently became violently ill and began having contractions before ultimately delivering a baby at her residence.

The girl had no legal access to abortion in Pennsylvania, where her parents must consent. This is the direct consequence of anti-choice zealots: taking away what dignity, respect, and alternatives left were left to a 13 year old who is being controlled, manipulated, and raped by someone more than twice her age. Way to go “pro-lifers”, what an awesome accomplishment: empowering rapists like Michael Lisk over 13 year old girls, leading her to desperately jab herself with a pencil. And as Feministe wrote at the time:

her community and her culture — the people who are supposed to tell her that she’s important, that she’s loved, that she deserves pleasure, that she deserves autonomy — failed her. We fail girls all the time. We put girls in impossible, heart-wrenching positions. We give girls little autonomy and few options, and then we’re surprised when they act like animals caught in traps.

Predators like Michael James Lisk, her “boyfriend,” are entirely responsible for the crimes they commit. But this girl needed a safety net, and she did not have one.

Unsurprisingly, this story was spun as a “victory” by some “pro-lifers”:

Of course, in typical “pro-lfe” fashion, LifeNews spins a 13 year-old in the hospital as a victory for the movement, because having access to a safe abortion would mean that sure, the teenager might have been more unscathed, but the alleged rapist might not have been caught as quickly.

Bryan Kemper, the head of Stand True, a pro-life group reaching out to youth and young adults, informed of the incident and commented on it.

He said it would not have ever made the news had the girl used an abortion drug and aborted the baby at home instead of engaging in a self-induced abortion.

“I am sure this story probably has most people wanting to vomit and cry at the same time as their hearts break for this little girl. I would also guess however that many of those same people would not even bat an eye if her method of killing her child had been a RU 486 prescription from the local Planned Parenthood,” Kemper said.

“I would goes as far as saying many would praise her for making such a brave choice,” he added. “The method of killing the child should not matter.”

About abortion advocates and their reaction to the story, Kemper said: “I can also hear the spin now, ‘this is why we need safe and legal abortion,'” — even though abortions are already legal and are supposed to prevent such self-induced abortions.

Kemper says he’s glad Lisk was arrested and hopes he is brought to justice for his alleged crimes.

“If the girl had gone to Planned Parenthood he would probably still be raping her as I doubt they would have turned him in,” Kemper explained.

Needless to say, Kemper is wrong. As a parental consent state, Pennsylvania does not have legal access to abortion for a young teen. But as always, anti-choice advocates don’t let facts, or a young women’s health, get in the way of their argument.

Now these zealots want to eliminate funding for Title X, the federal family planning program for low-income women that provides birth control, which if eliminated is predicted to actually increase the numbers of abortions by 400,000 a year. Republicans are even trying to stop private insurance providers from covering abortion. Their zealous desire to control a woman’s uterus, forcing more and more women to self-abort because they either can’t afford or have access to a safe abortion, leading to more “victories” like 13-year-olds jabbing themselves with a pencil. They’ll never let a few facts get in the way of their self-righteous, hypocritical, indignation of women:

A comprehensive global study of abortion has concluded that abortion rates are similar in countries where it is legal and those where it is not, suggesting that outlawing the procedure does little to deter women seeking it.

Moreover, the researchers found that abortion was safe in countries where it was legal, but dangerous in countries where it was outlawed and performed clandestinely. Globally, abortion accounts for 13 percent of women’s deaths during pregnancy and childbirth, and there are 31 abortions for every 100 live births, the study said.

The study indicated that about 20 million abortions that would be considered unsafe are performed each year and that 67,000 women die as a result of complications from those abortions, most in countries where abortion is illegal.

The study also found that in Uganda, where abortion is illegal and sex education programs focus on abstinence, the estimated abortion rate was 54 abortions per 1,000 women in 2003. The rate in the U.S. was 21 per 1,000 women in 2003, and in Western Europe, where abortion is legal and contraception is widely available, the abortion rate was 12 per 1,000 women, according to the study. The abortion rate is twice that in the United States as Western Europe and it’s completely obvious why: anti-choice zealots in America have restricted family planning, contraception, and sex education. If it were up to Republicans, more and more American women would be added to the global tally of unsafe abortions. But as Robin Marty noted, “anti-choice advocates don’t let facts, or a young women’s health, get in the way of their argument”.

Make sure to contact your congressperson, and let them know the facts about restricing abortion access!

(Originally posted at Daily Kos)

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