We are on the cusp of the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and I couldn´t be happier about it. Exactly six years ago I was in attendance at a Roe Anniversary Gala with three of my righteous high school friends and all of our mothers. No one in my party knew that I had had an abortion a few months before, not even my mom. In a gorgeous ballroom, listening as our governer gave a moving speech, and surrounded by pro-choice women that I loved, I still couldn´t bring myself to break silence and admit that I had terminated a pregnancy. The shame and stigma has GOT TO STOP. This January 24th do yourself and other women a favor: speak up! Tell a friend or family member, hell, tell your dog. Write it down if you aren´t ready to talk about it. But please, raise your voice just a little bit. Gaining the courage to tell people about my abortion, and eventually televise my story, took a lot of time. But you know what? Every time I said the words out loud I felt a little lighter, a little more sure of myself, a little prouder. I know that sounds cheesy as shit, but it´s the truth.
And now for something completely different.
My cat died today : / R.I.P. Pearl (1991-2011)
Friday, January 7, 2011
What can I say? At least the man is consistent....consistently a sexist, classist, racist, right-wing extremist. Okay, enough "ists". I was very pleasantly surprised that the two female correspondents on this show were more level headed and fair than O'Reilly himself. Gretchen Carlson referred to "No Easy Decision" as neutral, and Margaret Hoover had similar sentiments. They reacted the way I had hoped that conservatives would. Unfortunately I don't have time to give this clip the full review and analysis that it deserves because I have to clean myself up and go to work. Now if someone would kindly buy me a car so that I didn't have to walk 45 minutes to get to my job I could blog all day, but since I don't see that happening in the near future the following link (and YOUR juicy comments) will have to be enough for today.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Why is it that our collective unconscious has associated all abortion rights with the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade while no one remembers the case of Doe v. Bolton that occurred the very same year? I admit, I hadn't heard of this ground breaking Supreme Court ruling until I was about 19, and I did so because I was independently researching reproductive rights (naturally this is a topic of personal interest to me). Well I for one think it's high time we all gave credit to this case, so gather round faithful readers, and I'll tell you the story of how the brave “Mary Doe” defeated the evil Arthur Bolton!
Okay, okay, that's not really what happened. “Mary Doe” (aka Sandra Cano) was a poor mother who had already had run ins with social services and was attempting to raise her children on her own as the father was incarcerated at the time. When she became pregnant again and the state of Georgia prevented her from aborting because she was in the later stages of pregnancy, she filed a court case with a lawyer who she later claimed misled her. Georgia's laws at the time were very strict and mandated proof of residency (which would unfairly prevent homeless people or those without documentation from obtaining abortions), written approval from not one but three physicians, and approval by the hospital staff abortion committee. I wonder if every hospital even had the resources to have a dedicated committee to inquire about every request for abortions. Here is a link to the appeal itself:
The 7-2 Supreme Court decision that took place in 1973 over-ruled several Georgia laws that limited access to abortion in later stages of pregnancy. It defined health risks to the mother that would justify a third trimester abortion, namely those that could fatal if the fetus is not removed. The court also recognized “physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman's age” as potential factors that a physician could take into account when deciding if the woman is healthy enough to give birth.
So Cano claims that she never understood the circumstances surrounding her court case and has always been “pro-life”. In fact, she never even had an abortion, she backed out days before her procedure was scheduled. Ironically both Sandra Cano and Norma McCorvey (of Roe v. Wade fame) are now staunch anti-choice activists. Confused? You're not alone. According to Cano, she didn't know why she was suing Attorney General Arthur Bolton. I honestly don't understand how someone can go through all the rigamarole of a district court case followed by an appeal to the Supreme Court and not know what they are doing or why they are doing it. It just doesn't make sense, even after reading interviews with her I have to conclude that she is either lying because she later regretted her decision and wants to absolve herself of the guilt she is masochistically putting herself through, or she is just so ignorant that she is actually capable of suing someone, signing documents, talking to lawyers etc. without knowing why. I doubt it.
When a fetus is farther along in development and even potentially viable outside of the womb the whole idea of terminating the pregnancy is a harder pill to swallow, even for me. But while abortions that take place in the third trimester are extremely controversial I think that if the life of a grown person with friends, family, emotions, responsibilities, thoughts and memories is quite frankly more important than the potential life of a new person with no strings attached to this existence. Doe v. Bolton made late term abortions available to women when it is necessary. Even if Sandra Cano doesn't appreciate what she has done for women I do. Thanks!
I think this issue is fascinating because it's such a sticky subject. I know I am pro-choice and believe late term abortions should remain legal and available when necessary. At the same time, I think we all reach a point where the lines between what we're comfortable with and what we're not get a little blurry. It's impossible to define an exact month, week or day when aborting a fetus is no longer something I would endorse. Thoughts?
Saturday, January 1, 2011
What is with the phenomenon of fiercely anti-choice women making exceptions for themselves when they get unexpectedly pregnant? It's infuriating that they allow themselves access to the same procedure that they would have made illegal for other women. The following is a link to a series of very brief stories written by physicians about their experience with anti-choice patients. Some of these women appeared at the very same clinic that their procedure was done to harass the very doctors and staff that had cared for them. Unbelievable! If you are holding any hot beverages such as coffee or tea I recommend that you set them down before reading this because if your reaction is anything like mine you will be shaking with anger.