Newsweek Tumblr Changes Cursor to Coat Hanger to Mock Women

Aug 21 2012 Published by under Featured News

Proving that they have no shame (as if this were in doubt after they published Niall Ferguson’s Obama article chock full of factual inaccuracies), today Newsweek changed the mouse/cursor on their Tumblr account to a coat hanger in order to mock Huffington Post’s use of a coat hanger in discussing the GOP’s party platform. Huff Po’s headline reads: “GOP PLATFORM: ANTI-ABORTION AMENDMENT, NO RAPE EXEMPTION”.

Hard to understand how Newsweek doesn’t get that the coat hanger image is not hyperbole. No exemption for rape, capiche? So under this Republican scenario, HOW DOES NEWSWEEK THINK WOMEN/YOUNG GIRLS WILL BE DEALING WITH BEING IMPREGNATED BY A RAPIST OR RELATIVE?

Newsweek wrote, “We’re retiring the mustache cursor for the day. Here’s our new one: a coat hanger.” (Warning, the coat hanger is still the cursor and it made me literally gag with pain just trying to navigate the page long enough to get a screengrab.)

Ha ha, right? Right? Do you get it? DEATH OF WOMEN IS FUNNY! Perhaps the old men at Newsweek will pardon us if our concern for our lives gets in the way of our appreciation of their startlingly archaic and misguided, misogynistic humor.

What does Newsweek NOT understand about criminalizing abortion? Unsafe abortions are a significant cause of death for women all over the globe. One in 8 pregnancy related deaths are due to unsafe abortions. According to the World Health Organization and the Guttmacher Institute, 68,000 women die annually from unsafe abortions, while between 2-7 million suffer from injuries related to a punctured uterus, sepsis, and more.

There are still women and girls who use the coat hanger method here in the “greatest country on earth” precisely because abortions are harder to get (abortion doctors stalked, shot, etc), require parental consent, and conservatives have successfully created an atmosphere of shame around a procedure that is a medical right and necessity.

All of the work to restrict abortion funding except in the case of rape and incest has led to funding not being approved in cases of rape and incest:

Abortion has been legal in the United States since 1973, yet some public policies impede abortion access for many women. The Hyde Amendment, which Congress first passed in 1976 and renews annually as part of the appropriations process, prohibits federal Medicaid funding for abortion except when a pregnancy resulted from rape or incest or endangers the woman’s life. * The “rape, incest and life endangerment” exceptions have been omitted, reinstated, redefined and debated throughout the history of the amendment; (1) each modification has simultaneously reflected and reinforced deep cultural ambiguities about the definitions of these circumstances. Much remains unclear (and hence contestable) about how health care providers and insurance companies should best identify, document or confirm these cases.

As of January 2010, some 32 states and the District of Columbia ban the use of state Medicaid funding for abortion except in cases of rape, incest and life endangerment. South Dakota covers abortion in the case of life endangerment only, in violation of federal law. The remaining 17 states provide Medicaid funding for all or most “medically necessary” abortions, primarily as a result of court orders. (2)

Some evidence suggests that providers do not receive Medicaid reimbursement for abortions that should qualify for funding
. (3-5) The number of states in which no abortions were publicly funded in the past year increased from 13 in 2001 (3) to 20 in 2006. (4) In that same year, 92,455 rapes were reported to police. ([dagger]) (6) As an estimated 5% of rapes result in pregnancy, (7) at least 4,623 rape-related pregnancies may have occurred in 2006. At least some of the women involved likely were eligible for Medicaid reimbursement, assuming that women who have been raped are about as likely to terminate their pregnancies as are women in general.

This is funny?

Speaking of shaming, how about this scenario, Newsweek?

Archibishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho of the coastal city of Recife announced that the Vatican was excommunicating the family of a local girl who had been raped and impregnated with twins by her stepfather, because they had chosen to have the girl undergo an abortion. The Church excommunicated the doctors who performed the procedure as well. “God’s laws,” said the archbishop, dictate that abortion is a sin and that transgressors are no longer welcome in the Roman Catholic Church.

The GOP taking America back to third world country status regarding the mortality of pregnant women is funny? The coat hangers and the deaths they represent are funny to Newsweek?

Is Newsweek aware of the women arrested in this country for having a miscarriage, thanks to the criminalization of pregnancy terminations in some states? The boys at Newsweek are mocking the coat hanger that used to be a symbol of the dangerous past for American women. Today the coat hanger image is sadly no longer just a symbol of American women’s past, but a warning of the future if the Republican Party has its way.

Newsweek is outraged over Huffington Post’s use of an image of a coat hanger. Gee, how do they think women and young girls feel having to use one?

We’re not laughing, Newsweek. And we’re not alone.

Check out the responses (edited to be safe for work):

The original HuffPo post — while disturbing — was not offensive.
This is offensive.
You need to stop. Your attempts at criticism and humor are both tone deaf on this issue.
Welcome to the internet Newsweek, and thanks for providing your own screenshot of your tactless and shitty behavior! Very kind of you.
Are. You. Fuc*ing. Kidding. Me.
Hey bro, if you can’t see the difference between your dumb-ass and disrespectful joke and between the HuffPo making a visual commentary on the GOP’s platform on reproductive rights, then I’m not sure we can help you.
This is really tacky and tasteless, absolutely terrible judgement, and a social media disaster that’s only really getting worse with each new horribly misjudged post in this series of news-blog b*tch wars.
Someone’s probably getting fired tomorrow.

Obviously Newsweek is caught in the Stone Age and thus, doesn’t bother to keep up on the legislative actions of the Republican Party, so perhaps this link will help them understand that yes, there are women in this country whose lives have been put at risk due to this legislation, and it’s not a joke and it’s not hyperbole. Or does Newsweek simply think our lives and liberty are worth NOTHING?

Roe V Wade was not the beginning of abortion; it was the beginning of the end of illegal and unsafe abortions that lead to the deaths and life long injuries of women.

Newsweek: Where they call factual inaccuracies a “conservative argument” and mock the deaths of hundreds of thousands of women. 68,000 women a year die from coat hanger abortions, and Newsweek thinks it’s funny.

h/t Jon Bershad at Mediaite

Additional Source: Maclean, Gaynor. “Dimension, Dynamics and Diversity; A 3D Approach to Appraising Global Maternal and Neonatal Health Initiatives”, pages 299-300 in Trends in Midwifery Research by Randell Balin (Nova Publishers, 2005).

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