Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Are you kidding?

Oh dear god.

This will sure help other women come forward and report sexual assault.

Rape -- violated

rape kit -- violated with intrusive exam

visit with cops for interview -- re-live violation

Cops arrest rape victim -- Another violation

Person at jail refuses to give rape victim E.C. to prevent pregnancy -- Re victimized yet again


Monday, January 29, 2007

I don't understand

I don't pretend to be a scientist. Hell, I got a C- in college meteorology and that was that the extent of anything I could call science.

However I know that stem cells could promise some amazing results and possibly even cures for people suffering from serious diseases.

Reading a story like this just makes me want to go visit every pro-life, anti-stem cell person and ask... WHY!?!? Why would you doom this human life to death and extinguish any hope for cure? Why would you take away the possibility for that family to keep their mother? How would you feel if this was the mother of your children or your father? Would you want them to have the chance then? Ask Nancy Reagan about that.

While I think it's noble that these people talk about all human life having value, I just don't really buy it. How can you say that, really?

Mr. Bush promises to veto anything to do with stem cell research because "human life has value." Yet he wants to send so many of our living, breathing American citizens to fight and die. If human life has enough value that we protect it, even at a one-cell stage, you'd think we'd avoid war at any cost. No matter what, we'd have to go a pacifist route to keep the sanctity of human life.

I guess Bush could spout something about "sacrifice for the greater good." Yes, we have to send our finest to fight for the security of all Americans. Okay fine.

Well then let me talk a little bit about sacrifice.

How about the sacrifice to save people from suffering, disease and death? If some cells need to be sacrificed for the common good of all Americans and really-- people everywhere, I think we should do it right?

I'm only using the Bushman's logic here....

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Overwhelming injustice

There are six year old girls who are left in cages when they aren't being gang raped. There are children this young dying as a result of these tortures, dying of HIV and trauma.

Why are we not outraged?

Where are the pro-life people now? Doesn't this human life mean anything?

Women Know

**Not my wisdom here. I took this off a poster in the abortion clinic where I work...


We women know when it is or is not the right time to bring a child into this world.

We use our heads and our hearts to see clearly the pros and cons of our three choices: parenting, placing for adoption or having an abortion.

We know better than anyone else what we can and can not handle emotionally, physically, financially, and mentally.

We have wisdom enough to know our own limits and strength enough to admit them.

We know when the choice of abortion can prevent the harsh consequences of bringing a child into this world when we are not ready or able to do our child justice.

We act out of compassion when we wait to have a child until the time when we can give it the kind of life every child deserves.

We act out of love when we consider what we would be taking away from the child or children we already have if we brought another into our family now.

We take care of our mental health by making decisions that limit the strain we place upon ourselves and those we love.

We take care of our physical health by considering our medical history and the risks that come with pregnancy, labor and delivery.

We take care of our spiritual well-being each in our own way, trusting our faith to provide:

Infinite Love
Complete Understanding
Boundless Compassion

We think clearly when we call our abortion decision one of "self care" rather than calling ourselves selfish.

We must care for ourselves before we care for another human being.

We see clearly beyond a well-wisher’s words
"I'll help you out if you have the baby..."

We know that the responsibility for raising the child will fall squarely on our shoulders.

We have foresight enough to know that "having a baby" doesn’t stop with infancy. It means raising a child who will need our financial support, time, and attention for as long as it takes that child to become an independent adult.

Women throughout all time and throughout the world have made the decision to have an abortion, whether or not abortion was safe and legal.

Women have risked their own lives to avoid bearing a child they could not adequately care for.

Women in the past drank teas made from plants know to cause abortion. In desperation, some inserted long thin objects into their cervix, and others douched with poisonous liquids to cause an abortion. Some methods cost women their lives. Childbirth, miscarriage and abortion are all part of women's lives.

Women of childbearing age from every generation, occupation, income level race and religion have had abortions, including great grandmothers, grandmothers, mothers, great aunts and aunts, sisters, daughters, best friends, teachers, ministers, doctors, and daycare workers.

And when others use TV commercials, billboards, bumper stickers, speeches and sermons to make us feel guilty about having an abortion…

WE WOMEN KNOW THE TRUTH: that given certain circumstances abortion is the most morally responsible and loving choice we can make.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I can only imagine

It's something right out of a Law & Order SVU episode.

Mummified baby found in storage unit

Wrapped in newspapers from the 1950's. The child's body, a baby boy, was so well preserved it still had hair. Normally this might give me shivers but mostly it just breaks my heart.

While there is no way of knowing what happened to this poor child, I can imagine… and since my imagination tends to run wild I immediately began to ask myself -- what could lead to such a tragedy?

True this child could be a stillborn or victim of a different crime but a different story is entirely plausible.

I can imagine a woman in the 1950s desperately afraid at the thought of being pregnant. Maybe she was too poor, too stressed out with a house already full of kids. Perhaps it wasn’t her husband’s child or perhaps she didn’t have a husband. In the 1950’s this sort of social violation would have been devastating for a woman’s reputation.

It’s those circumstances that make women feel like they have no other options. Worse, it’s not uncommon for this type of tragedy to happen even today. Young girls who are too embarrassed and afraid end up giving birth in bathrooms and throwing their infants away.

It’s the saddest scenario I can imagine. What makes me so angry is that even now we leave women few options. Pro-lifers work tirelessly to restrict access to birth control, emergency contraception and abortion. Worse, when teenage girls decide they’re going to try and make a go of it as young single mothers we shame them and practically treat them like criminals

Maybe we’ll never know what happened to that poor infant but if the scenario I imagined is true, we have two victims: the baby and a young woman who lived with the weight of that terrible decision.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Celebrating Roe

I have been so inspired today by all the people blogging for choice. So many interesting and thoughtful viewpoints, some I had not even considered like this great post from Bitch Ph D. pointing out that pregnancy is not really a "choice" or this article from Feministe which features a great photo comparison.

It's so hard for me to understand why people cling to the idea that women should have no say over what happens to their body. That there isn't basic privacy as part of our right to be Americans. Especially when we know the consequences.

Without options, women will become desperate and they will be victimized.

Blog for Choice Day

Today is National Blog for Choice day to mark the 34th anniversary of the landmark 1973 decision Roe v. Wade. Today remember these women.

Notice in reading that link that some of the women who have died from botched abortions died in the post-Roe years. There is no reason this should happen. Why do we have to keep fighting for basic human rights? The right to control our bodies and the spacing of our children?

Because the anti-choice side won't be satisified until women are left with no options. I know this because my own state is hearing house bills just this morning regarding making performing abortion a felony and also making it illegal to prescribe or give out emergency contraception and possibly even birth control! (Gee- I can only imagine how helfpul that will be in decreasing the number of unplanned pregnancies-- give women no birth control)

A statement from NOW President Kim Gandy:

"We have endured more than three decades of challenges and roadblocks from a well-funded opposition, and our rights are more tenuous than ever -- but we are determined to fight, and we will not go back to the days when women had 12, 15, 18 children, often dying in childbirth, their bodies spent. Or they died in back alleys or dirty motel rooms, or were left injured and infertile after botched illegal abortions. Most of our grandmothers had no self-determination when it came to pregnancy and childbearing, and we are determined that our daughters will never suffer that fate,"

Don't forget--

In the next few months, the U.S. Supreme Court will be deciding two cases regarding the deceptively-named Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. Nine justices will determine the constitutionality of the first federal law ever to ban a medical procedure -- a law virtually identical to the Nebraska ban that was struck down by the Court in 2000 because it didn't have an exception to protect the woman's health.

All eyes will be on the high court's two newest justices -- will they be devoted to precedent as they profess to be, or will they deviate from mainstream opinion and follow their own opposition to abortion? Also under close watch is Justice Anthony Kennedy, who voted to uphold the Nebraska ban seven years ago, and whose swing vote may determine whether the federal ban, already struck down by three federal courts of appeal, will become law.

"In this time of many challenges to our liberty, preserving women's reproductive freedom calls for constant vigilance and concerted action," said Gandy. "Abortion opponents are attempting to eliminate access to abortion in many states -- by passing TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) laws to put clinics out of business, passing waiting periods and notice requirements that cut access for rural women, poor women and young women, and by enacting outright abortion bans that would jail doctors and revoke their medical licenses."

As we move forward in our battle of choice we have to fight the Hyde Amendment (enacted 30 years ago) which said Medicaid would not pay for a poor woman's abortion. This was the cause of death for Rosie Jimenez.

First Freedom First said it best:
"You can be personally opposed to abortion yet respect the right of women to make their own life decisions free from government intrusion.

Creating laws that are grounded in religious belief conflicts with the separation of church and state, and compromises our religious liberty."

Fight for rights and fight for the lives of your mothers, daughters, sisters and friends.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Sign this petition

Help out Planned Parenthood

This petition urges support for the Prevention First Act.

Remember the facts:

Birth Control-

Title X, the nation's first and only family planning program, provides reproductive health care services to five million low-income women each year -- helping to avoid one million unintended pregnancies annually.

- Unfortunately, Title X is grossly underfunded and cannot serve all 17 million low-income women who need access to publicly-funded reproductive health care services. Unintended pregnancies and abortions among low-income women are on the rise.- Title X must be fully funded and access should be expanded through Medicaid.

Sex Ed- One billion dollars has been wasted on abstinence-only education, which denies young people real information about how to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including AIDS.

- Seventy-five percent of parents believe comprehensive, medically accurate sex education should be taught in schools.- Congress should protect teens' health by passing REAL, the Responsible Education About Life act.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I now pronouce you.... untraditional

Turns out the "keep marriage traditional" police are attacking the hetero couples now too.

Take couple Mike Buday and Diana Bijon (picture at right). When they met, Diana told Mike that it was important to her to keep her family name. She had no brothers to keep her family name going and Mike was estranged from his father and not attached to the Buday name.

When the two were married, they planned on taking Diana's name. Until they reached the red tape factor.

For Mike to take Diana's name, he must file a petition, pay more than $300, place a public notice for weeks in a local newspaper and then appear before a judge.

The Bijon's decided to skip all that and go to the ACLU and file a discrimination lawsuit against the state of California. They claim the difficulty faced by a husband seeking to change his name violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

Interestingly enough only six states: Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York and North Dakota (hooray!) have equal name-change processes for men and women when they marry. In the 44 other states, men cannot choose a different last name while filing a marriage license.

It's nice to see this unfair bias being challenged-- especially when a woman and MAN are challenging it together.

The Census Bureau does not keep figures on how many U.S. men are taking their brides' names. But clearly it happening more and more. Milwaukee County, Wis., Clerk Mark Ryan estimated that one in every 100 grooms there now takes the name of his wife.