Thursday, January 20, 2005

Warning: the following contains no crochet content

Today the Shrub was once again made the President of these here United States. This doesn't make me happy. There are too many rights and civil liberties that have already been trampled, not to mention the ones that are on the chopping block in the next 4 years.

I did participate in a protest today. Without even leaving the state. Not one damn dime. No money was spent by me today and will not be until tomorrow. No lunch, no starbucks, no snacks from the vending machine even. No yarn, no CDs, no books. I'm not even going to pay bills tonight. Who knows if this protest will even make a blip on the national radar, but I had to do something and I couldn't be in DC to turn my back on the motorcade or bang on a 5-gallon drum.

This Saturday, January 22nd, is the 32nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade. I was 2 when this ruling was handed down, which means for as long as I can recall, abortion has been legal in the US. And yet, it has also been under attack since I can remember as well. The next 4 years are going to bring the strongest attacks yet.

I am pro-choice in the strongest sense of the phrase, I believe that every woman should have the abilty and resources to do what she feels is best for herself and her family. Everyone has a different idea of what that best action may be and that's great. But no one should have the right to decide what is best for another human being who is capable of making that decision on their own.

I've worked at Planned Parenthood, doing options counseling for women who were finding out if they were pregnant. I've seen women with 5 kids and no job decide to continue a pregnancy. I've seen women decide to end a pregnancy for reasons that some would consider selfish. I've seen 14 year olds in hysterics because she can't afford an abortion and if her family finds out she's pregnant she'll be put out on the streets.

I've worked as a genetic counselor, helping women decide to test for abnormalities or not. Helping them decide to continue a pregnancy or not. Holding their hands when they've have a miscarriage or a stillbirth. Holding their hands when they decide to end a pregnancy of a fetus that has multiple malformations. Counseling these women to possibly lie to casual acquaintances about the termination: let them believe it was a miscarriage, then you won't be attacked by self-righteous jerks who think you made a bad decision, when you know it was the only decision you could have made. I've seen babies born with exposed intestines and exposed brains and skin that would disintegrate if touched. And I've seen families who would have never thought to do anything differently, even with those end results.

Every situation is different. Every woman is different. Taking away an option will not make everything the same. It will just drive the practice underground and more women's lives will be lost.

This past April, I went to the March for Women's Lives in DC. Over a million other people did as well, not to mention the millions others who supported the march even if they couldn't be there physically. The march got hardly any press coverage so if you hadn't heard of it, you're not alone. I got a t-shirt there that reads "My body is not public property". My body, my choice. Your body, your choice. Why is that so hard to understand?

6 comments:

Creative Genius? said...

First of all: AMEN SISTER!!!

Second of all: Very Very well written!!!

Third of all: Where can I get that T-shirt??

Anonymous said...

Bravo, Pam, Bravo. Though I hate to admit it, I WAS around when abortion was illegal in this country. In my college communication class I gave a speech on pro-choice before it was even called that. Being illegal didn't stop women from having abortions...those who could afford it would fly to Puerto Rico for safe abortions. Those who were poor died or were scarred for life...can't let others dictate how we control our lives, our bodies. RIGHT ON, PAM!! J,The Devine One

Jen said...

You, my friend, say it all. Roe is just one example of the huge leap backwards we are taking as a nation. I don't understand. I curbed my need for fiber yesterday and didn't spend any money either. It's tragic really, when our new briliant Secretary of State, says that the tsunamis were a 'wonderful' opportunity. Oh and Roe changed her mind, yup that's right. She found god, under a rock I suppose, and he told her that privacy is bad and women have no control of their fate. Oh yeah and now, Spongebob has followed Tinky into the world of homosexuality, along with Dora the Explorer and Kermit the Frog.
Er Argh, I say and Mike's new phrase is flow more tears. Sorry, should've put this on my own blog rather than writing this novel of a comment on yours.

Stephanie said...

brava, Pam!
Extremely well written and eloquent. I wore all black yesterday in mourning for the state of our contry (as well as not purchasing anything)

Anonymous said...

That was wonderful - far more powerful than anything I could have written because of the direct experience you can bring to it.

In college I went out with a guy whose parents were devout Catholics - but they were pro-choice. Why? Because they'd seen too many of the consequences of anything else.

Unfortunately I did buy lunch, because I forgot about the protest and didn't remember in time to brnig fod. But I did cook dinner instead of going out!

Anonymous said...

That was wonderful - far more powerful than anything I could have written because of the direct experience you can bring to it.

In college I went out with a guy whose parents were devout Catholics - but they were pro-choice. Why? Because they'd seen too many of the consequences of anything else.

Unfortunately I did buy lunch, because I forgot about the protest and didn't remember in time to brnig fod. But I did cook dinner instead of going out!

Sorry for the duplicate comment - but I forgot to sign and I don't want to be anonymous on this.
Paula
http://riseagain.net/dichroic