Sunday, January 22, 2012

Abortion Trail Boss Sara Paretsky - All Hat; All Prattle

The Chicago Tribune offers no less a voice on Obama's Choice Mandate than crime writer Sara Paretsky. Mrs. Paretsky is the author of the V.I. Warshawski novels. V. I. Warshawsky is female shamus, gum shoe, private dick, snoop, transom climber whose name combines V. I. Lenin, a eugenics pioneer of the last century, and the iconic Warshawsky's Auto Junk Yard on Archer Avenue. V.I. Warshawsky is a feminist tough gal from the 10th Ward ( Hegewisch and South Chicago)who is mentored by a doctor ( perinatologist - guess what she do?) who runs a woman's health clinic often beset by anti-abortion activists ( Bitter Medicine 1987 and others). V.I. Warshawsky is a lawyer and former member of the Cook County States Attorney's Office who gets on the case of patriarchal cops, corporate 1%-ers, and hateful Catholics.

Parestky's books sell. I read one (Blood Shot 1988)which deals with bad, powerfully patriarchal, environmentally hateful, corrupt anti-recycling politicians meant to mirror Ed Vrdolyak - less than close. It ain't Raymond Chandler.

Today, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued a statement finalizing the rule that requires insurance plans to provide coverage for contraception without charging a co-pay, co-insurance or a deductibles.

It wasn’t always a sure deal. Back in August, HHS adopted the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation to include family-planning services as one of the preventive health care items for women that must be covered by newly issued health plans, but it was only an interim rule, subject to comments.

In November, there was a lot of worry about whether the decision that contraception should be a covered preventive service under the Affordable Care Act would survive. President Obama met with Roman Catholic bishops, and one of them came away saying, “I left there feeling a bit more at peace about this issue than when I entered.”
Our Bodies, January 20, 2012

Today, one would think that Tribune editor Bruce Dold had snagged Leo Tolstoy to chirp up Obama's Choice (abortion) Mandate, given the editorial trumpeting.
From The jump, Sara Paretsky goes to the heart of the issue - herself

Sunday marks the 30th anniversary of my first novel. It was synchronicity, perhaps, that V I Warshawski was born on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Like Roe, though in smaller ways, V I has helped change women's lives. Justice William Brennan, writing for the U.S. Supreme Court, believed (as I believe) that women are full citizens and moral agents, able to make decisions without a father, a church or legislator telling us what to do.

In V I's early years, I got some ugly letters, including one that said V I should be beaten for talking back to men. But for most readers, V I came as a breath of fresh air. She was a woman who granted other women permission to solve their own problems and live their own lives as well or ill as they could.

Justice Brennan's words, which challenged the ancient notion that women are not as human as men, have not fared as well. In myth, song and Congress, we are often described as animals. During the 1996 debates over welfare reform, Republicans characterized women as "alligators," "cats" and "wolves."

Aligators, cats and wolves? Can't say as I recall that particular Americanization of Similes.

Well, Sara should sell some of her books, if not the Choice Mandate that requires contraception and abortion ( abortifacients) get into the hands of all fertile women-folks.

Seems odd that Choice is forced.

Then, again, Our Bodies, Our Fertility seems no less important a document than Our Bodies, Or Selves 1971 by the gals at the Boston Woman's Health Collective.

Our Bodies, Our Selves

Our Bodies, Ourselves is the resource that women of all ages turn to for information about their bodies, sexuality, and reproductive health. Completely revised and updated, these pages provide women with the information and tools they need to make key health decisions—accurate, evidence-based information, input from leading experts, and personal stories from women who share their experiences. This new edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves includes the latest vital information on:
• CHANGES IN THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM—especially how health care reform affects women and how to get the care you need.

• SAFER SEX—how to engage in pleasurable, satisfying sexual experiences while protecting your health and the health of your partner.

• ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH RISKS—including minimizing exposure to everyday pollutants that endanger reproductive health.

• BODY IMAGE—resisting negative media stereotypes and embracing healthier approaches to looking and feeling good.

• LOCAL AND GLOBAL ACTIVISM—using social media and organizing tactics to build community and advocate for policies that improve women’s lives. • As well as crucial information about gender identity, sexual orientation, birth control, abortion, pregnancy and birth, perimenopause, and sexuality and sexual health as we age.

Together with its companion website,, Our Bodies, Ourselves is a one-stop resource for women of all generations.

1 comment:

Dennis Byrne... said...

A while back, I once picked up one of her mysteries, not knowing much about her except that she had local origins. I put it down after about 50 pages. Nothing but lectures for leftist causes. No plot, no character development, no interesting settings; just page after page of scolding, blah and blah.