THE ABORTION COVER – Banned on Facebook.

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Reproductive rights- the rights of women to control their bodies- has been a critical issue for decades. Facebook,(in some neo-Trump reaction?) banned a serious post and banished me from Facebook usage for three days on the grounds of  violating “community standards.” Perhaps some squinty-eyed censor with a magnifying glass saw the outline of some female nipples and used this pretext to ban serious discussion. Facebook has long combated the #freethenipple campaign. Female nipples are considered obscene. According to Facebook, male nipples are not. I suspect that “community standards” means caving into a complaint of an anti-abortion zealot. Facebook is guilty of censorship of serious human issues.
We all know Facebook uses computer algorithms that decide the distribution of postings to shape the overall image of Facebook. Post a photo of a poodle playing with a duck– wide distribution. Post a photo of bombed-out buildings in Aleppo and discussion of the Syrian crisis– not such a wide distribution. You can experiment with it yourself.
On Facebook, in the search function, I typed in “right to choose” and the first suggested search was:”Men’s Right to Choose.” Fourth down on the list was “Women’s Right to Choose” and when I clicked on it, it took me to a group called “Women’s Right to Choose Life,” a Christian anti-abortion group. Facebook’s algorithm seems to be heavy on one side of the debate.
I sent the following reply in protest to the Facebook censors but never got a response.
Appeal to Facebook
This is a serious issue about reproductive rights . The image was from the cover of a New York newspaper 50 years ago which was displayed on the new stands back then. …Hardly prurient.
Is Facebook avoiding issues of substance. This censorship will fly around blogs on the internet because women are highly concerned about control of their bodies.

Below is the original article posted with the RAT Abortion cover.

In 1969 abortion was not only illegal, it was criminal. The state totally controlled a woman’s body and reproduction. Even people who simply advocated contraception and legal abortions in clinics were sometimes arrested on trumped up charges. ( See the Bill Baird article)

I remember driving a woman, whose boyfriend disappeared soon as she became pregnant from Austin to Monterrey, Mexico to an abortionist. The small wooden house couldn’t be confused with a sanitary clinic. The abortionist was a helpful, hurried, matter of fact woman who ushered my friend into one of the bedrooms and did her work without anesthetic. The procedure was, as a medical book explains, a DILATION AND CURETTAGE (D&C): Most common abortion procedure. Also used for completing or checking miscarriage, it consists of scraping the walls of the uterus with a knife-edged, spoon-shaped instrument.

The young woman’s vagina was stuffed with absorbent cotton to catch the bleeding and 15 minutes later we were back in the car and headed back for Texas. The danger of course was infection. But in the underground illegal world the abortionist could not write prescriptions for antibiotics. That was our problem. We were supposed to get out of there and not attract attention to the women’s house.

At the border, the usually disinterested border guards perked up because we were hippies. They decided to search for drugs, both in the auto and our bodies. My friends vagina was packed with cotton which raised suspicion of hidden drugs, but as the cotton was pulled out in a bloody mess, the police tried not to vomit. After we invented a few medical lies, they sent us on our way. If we had told the truth that the bleeding was the result of an abortion, we would have been taken to jail.

So when Mary Hamilton produced a story advocating abortion rights, we decided it deserved the cover. The art staff came up with this horrific image. An image that was sometimes reality.
We all knew of women who tried to scrape themselves with a coat hanger.


The question we’re posing to you, the reader:

What are your thoughts on including this image as a full-page chapter heading for the book?