Mama's Got a Plan:

Maternity Care, Health Insurance, and Reproductive Justice


Ejected!

In an extension of an already ludicrous policy, we bring you this flight of fancy:

 

Images and credits

  • The photo of Orrin Hatch at the podium, meant to represent him presiding over the Senate, comes from his Senate website.
  • The photo of Tammie Duckworth comes from her Senate website. Everything and everyone in the original photo aside from Sen. Duckworth has been edited out.
  • The background photo of the Brumidi Corridors is taken from the GovernmentBookTalk website.
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The HHS Office for Civil Rights

Personal beliefs and denial of care

Earlier this month, it emerged that tennis star Serena Williams came close to experiencing life-threatening blood clots after giving birth last fall, in part because medical staff delayed taking action after she requested treatment.

More recently, President Trump announced the establishment of a Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in the HHS Office for Civil Rights. Its purpose is to expand the ability of health care providers to exercise conscience clauses. ACOG, the chief U.S. professional organization for obstetricians and gynecologists, promptly issued a press release objecting to the move, stating, “Abortion, contraception and sterilization are a part of comprehensive reproductive health care and are essential to the health of patients. Professional medical organizations have clear guidance on the issue of refusal, noting that refusals of care must not compromise patient health.”

Well. All these announcements in such close proximity generated some questions in Ye Olde Cartoon Shoppe. Who is refusing care? To whom? What is their religious justification? Is it religion, or merely culture? What about having children, as opposed to not having them – are there any civil rights in play there?

Sometimes you look around, and no one is behaving the way you think they should. Except, of course, Ms. Williams, who acted intelligently and forcefully under challenging circumstances. And Baby Olympia, who does not need to do anything except be herself – which she so clearly does, perfectly and adorably. Congratulations on both counts, Serena Williams!  For all the other participants in these various dramas, there’s this:

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Images and permissions

  • The white-coated doctor is from Pixabay, shared under a Creative Commons license.
  • The plant is from pluspng.com. The site does not state any terms of use, but seems to make images freely available.
  • The photo of Serena Williams and Beautiful Baby Olympia is taken from an online video. Ms. Williams did not to our knowledge speak the exact words attributed to her in this cartoon, but we believe we have correctly represented her intentions.
  • The distinguished fellow with the stethoscope comes from Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam, where he appeared with more background and without the stethoscope. The work is in the Public Domain.


Graphic and Fact Sheet. Abortion Rights After Texas – AwakenMichigan

We continue to share cartoons created for other organizations. This second post on abortion jurisprudence – published following the Hellerstedt decisionwas created for AwakenMichigan: Reproductive and Sexual Justice Project

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EXPLANATIONS AND ATTRIBUTIONS

Frame 1 depicts, of course, Justices Ginsburg and Kennedy. For RBG’s portrait, we used an image from the marvelous coloring book created by Karen Cox/She Knows.

Frame 2 shows an abortion clinic administering a medication abortion in the surgical-grade premises that would have been necessary had the Texas law been upheld.

Frame 3 lists other common abortion restrictions – most of which are currently in force in Michigan. Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt does not invalidate any of these restrictions; further court challenges will be necessary to determine if they constitute undue burdens.

Frame 4 broadens the scope even more to show that securing abortion rights is only one small part of the full spectrum of reproductive rights – which itself is just one aspect of Reproductive Justice. The two panels read:

The right to have a child, the right to not have a child, the right to parent my own child. This is Reproductive Justice. 4000 Years for Choice.

You deserve to choose not to parent regardless of the circumstances of your pregnancy and how much money you make. Affordable abortion access is Reproductive Justice.

We thank Heather Ault of 4000 Years for Choice for permission to use her work.

The latter panel is from the Repeal Hyde Art Project. The image is licensed under a Creative Commons license. We changed this image by cutting off the far right edge and manipulating the contrast for increased legibility.

Source: Graphic. Abortion Rights After Texas (2016).


Ginger Vee: source of nourishment

It is hard to think of a historical period when women’s bodies were not scrutinized and judged. However, in the 1990s, a fear of fatness, rising publicity surrounding eating disorders, and the emergence of feminist psychology all combined to suggest that anorexia – and later bulimia, too – served to redirect women’s attention from social progress achieved during the 1970s and early 80s to an activity more … all-consuming: watching our weight. The key texts that encompassed these theories included Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women (1990) and Susan Faludi’s Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women  (1991).

This cartoon features another vampire – not the kinder, gentler vampire of Ginger Vee saves a jar, but one whose natural drives allowed him to exploit the 1990s zeitgeist. What this says about man-woman symbiosis is for you, Dear Reader, to determine.

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Ginger Vee saves a jar

Remember the vampire craze of the 1970s, 80s, and 90s? Movies about vampires abounded, including The Hunger (1993), which starred Susan Sarandon, Catherine Deneuve, and David Bowie (be still, our beating heart!) – and featured six actors billed only as “Cadaver.” Werner Herzog’s haunting Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979) featured Klaus Kinski and Bruno Ganz (one day a vampire hunter, the next an angel!). Frank Langella played Count Dracula in a 1979 film that followed his wildly successful performance of the same role on Broadway several years earlier.

So it was only natural in 1992 for your cartoonist to turn to the figure of the vampire to share thoughts about violence, social conditioning, and of course, menstruation. We’ve altered a reference to the “Sensitive New-Age Vampire,” but the rest is pretty much the same, 25 years later.

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Ginger Vee ponders the options

This post introduces a new series, Blast from the Past. In the early 1990s, long before Mama was Mama, and certainly before she’d discerned the full potential of digital media, there were stick figures – one of whom turned into Ginger Vee. There was also radical feminism, reproductive rights, and take-no-prisoners commentary on any number of other issues.

We bring you these cartoons mostly untouched. A few edits have polished and sharpened our youthful thoughts, but the passion in these cartoons reminds us to keep the faith, carry on cartooning, and to always expect a better world.

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Image Credits

  • The Macintosh Classic (1990) shown in the logo is from Wikipedia Commons. We removed the mouse. The photo is shared under a Creative Commons license.
  • Bill Clinton, exhaling our blast from the past, is selected from this 1994 photo in which Boris Yeltsin looks on with apparent delight at Clinton’s prowess. The photo is in the Public Domain.