"New Law Requires Women to Name Baby, Paint Nursery Before Getting Abortion." If you've been paying attention to the erosion of reproductive rights over the last several years, it's the kind of headline that makes you think, "Man I hope that's from The Onion" for a split second before it sinks in that of course it is. For now. Riffing on state laws that require clinics to perform ultrasounds on pregnant women before an abortion, The Onion News Network offers a brilliant satire of anti-choice arguments in favor of assuming women who want to terminate a pregnancy are ignorant or delusional. They're just giving women "all the information they need to be sure they're making the right decision," of course -- certainly not making unreasonable demands or using inflammatory language to manipulate emotions or anything. "If a woman clears out a room in her house and assembles a crib and buys three toys for the child, and a few other simple steps, and then decides that she wants to purge that baby from her womb, then she can!" It's a painfully funny video, but the emphasis shifts from "funny" to "painful" if you think about it for too long.
Kate Harding is the author of Asking For It: The Alarming Rise of Rape
Culture--and What We Can Do About It, available from Da Capo Press in August 2015. Previously, she collaborated with Anna Holmes, Amanda Hess, and a cast of thousands on The Book of Jezebel, and with Marianne Kirby on Lessons from the Fat-o-Sphere. You might also remember her as the founding editor of Shapely Prose (2007-2010).
Kate's essays have appeared in the anthologies Madonna & Me, Yes Means Yes, Feed Me, and Airmail: Women of Letters. She holds an M.F.A. in fiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts and a B.A. in English from University of Toronto, and is currently at work on a Ph.D. in creative writing from Bath Spa University