Letters

Herbs not the only abortion option

Hi slingshot-ers,

Thanks for the new organizer, i’m glad for the update in the back pages! no more west coast astrology charts (finally!!) & plus the inclusion of the periodical table rocks!

i am a anarcha-single-mom. i am excited to see stuff on relationships & more sex positive info.

i am concerned about some of the reproductive health care information. i come from a fiercly-pro choice backgrand & as a young mama myself & am now in medical skool…so i have done TONS of research about contraception & options if you’re pregnant.

first, i hope that next year you’ll include more on contraception (and more alternatives to penis vagina sex)

mostly, tho, i am concerned about the over-reliance on herbs as effective forms of birth control/abortifcants. i’ve noticed in the ecoanarcho-scene that there is a vibe that looks down on hormonal birth control, or even the IUD etc, as “not natural”. basically i think that a lot of folks in our scenes judge herbs as being the ultimate form of health care. i’ve seen SO many women get prego using “natural family planning” and SO many women’s herbal abortions fail. the most optimistic data i’ve read is that 50 % of herbal remedies work in preventing pregnancy. but, elsewhere i’ve read that herbal remedies (vit C, carrot seed, cohosh etc) are no better than placebos. basically, women are gunna get seriously shafted if they rely soley on this herb information (which, hey, hopefully no one is doing…but…)

its really important for me to make sure that women who are maybe unexpectedly pregnant make sure that they have a health care provider & a support system. Plan B is readily accessible in most major cities & college campuses, but if women wait a few days to see if their carrot seeds kick in, they aren’t going to have the time to take Plan B. (Also, plan B works upto FIVE DAYS…not 3…and in some cities is available thru a pharmacist, not just thru a doctor’s visit & is covered by most Medical Assistance.) anyhow, if women don’t want to deal with a pregnancy crisis we should not advocate carrot seeds as a radical remedy.

women need to know what to do when/if herbs don’t work & they want to terminate their pregnancy. there have been cases of women thinking that herbals, like cohosh, are working, because they’re cramping, when actually they have an ectopic pregnancy. this has resulted in at least one woman dying.

word. please include more information about women’s health! please remember that herbs, in general, don’t prevent pregnancy with high accuracy. if they did i can guarantee that no one would be unexpectedly pregnant. women need information about medical and surgical abortions too! we need more accurate info on how to mimic Plan B with birth control pills

(http://www.plannedparenthood.org/library/BIRTHCONTROL/EmergContra.htm)

can you add a page about consent & contraception? abortion? parenting?

thanxxx

rebecca

Thanks, “Junkie”

i just wanted to write to let you know that i really enjoyed reading the article, “Junkie: We the People” in issue 83, Autumn 2004. i have had a history with drug use and while fortunately i never got into using anything harder than marijuana, i still ended up spending a summer in rehab at the end of my freshman year in high school. after that i got into the whole underground scene and decided to claim edge and until i went to college this last fall i kept that edge. but yeah, i just really liked what you said about seeing people not as junkies or as the stigmas society has created, because having been edge even after experiencing some of the struggles of drug use myself, i started to lose sight of that, and it wasn’t until recently that i realized what a closed-minded person i had become. and i still see a lot of alienation from the straight-edge kids toward those who are not. i don’t know, this turned out to be really scattered and somewhat incoherent, but i just wanted to let you know that i thought it was cool that you would write an article on this subject especially within a community that is (ironically) many times very closed minded to the free-thinking that you have displayed.

- colin

Support Radical Education! Send your zines!

Hello,

I’d like to request a subscription to Slingshot for Special English Program (SEP), a post-high school program in Umpium Mai Refugee Camp, Thailand, for Burmese refugees. The school has 100 adult students and is trying to build up the periodical library so students can learn about progressive politics.

Material with progressive/anarchist politics are especially useful because many of the students will do activist work in the community after graduation. We have a very limited budget so we were wondering if you and other indy publishers could donate subscriptions? Back issues would also be great.

The postal address is:

SEP School PO Box 114 Mae Sot, 63110 THAILAND

Please contact me if you need any more information and happy New Year.

In solidarity,

Dave