Category Archives: Repro Rights

One-Hundred Percent, Unequivocally, Proudly Pro-Choice

don't take away my choice
I stand with Planned Parenthood

On Black Friday, I watched on Twitter as a shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs unfolded real-time, and while I had to leave to go to my taiji class, I knew several things immediately. I knew that the shooter was overwhelmingly likely a man, most likely a white man, that he had mental issues, that he was probably Christian, and that he was rabidly anti-abortion. I also guessed that he probably watched Fox ‘News’ on a daily basis. It’s not because I’m a brilliant profiler, but because this is who commits the majority of mass shootings in America, neatly cross-sectioned with those who are most ardently anti-abortion. In other words, it’s not fucking rocket science. I also predicted that the shooter would be called a loner and that media would not call it terrorism. I tweeted my thoughts on the subject, and then I had to go to taiji–which I sorely needed. The last thing I saw before I left was that the shooter was shouting something about ‘baby parts’ as he shot–which I’ll get into later.

After I returned home from taiji, I checked the news again, and I was right. The shooter was white, male, supposedly Christian, and rabidly anti-abortion. Later, the NYT wrote that acquaintances described him as “a gentle loner who occasionally unleashed violent acts toward neighbors and women he knew.” There was an outcry on social media at the inherent awfulness of that wording, and they quickly took out the word ‘gentle’ from the sentence. From that same Salon link, the NYT later changed the sentence to read that he was an “itinerant loner who left behind a trail of disputes and occasionally violent acts toward neighbors and women he knew”, but the bias to describe white shooters as loners (and in this absurd case, gentle loners who are prone to violence!) in the mainstream media (MSM) is so strong, I was able to call it before it even happened.

My disgust with the refusal to call it terrorism grew as I continued to read reports on the shooting. Let me back up a step. All through the first day, the media and public officials were cautioning people not to jump to conclusions as to the motive of the shooter. What the fuck? It’s clear what the motive was–the man shouted it as he was shooting. “Baby parts” for those fortunate enough not to be in the know, was a key phrase used in conjunction to heavily-edited videos that an anti-abortion group illicitly shot at Planned Parenthood. In it, they appear to be discussing the bartering of fetal tissue with a PP doctor, which somehow morphed into the selling of baby parts in the mind of rabid anti-abortionists. These videos have been debunked, but it matters not in the mind of anti-abortionists. They are not going to let facts change their minds, damn it.
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Channeling My Inner Cyndi Lauper and Putting the Religious Right on Notice

The subject of birth control should be far from controversial. To many women, the only thing controversial about it is that we’re still fighting this battle.

I’ve loved Cyndi Lauper since I first watched her video, Girls Just Want To Have Fun. This was back in the eighties, and she was the most outrageous person I’d seen up to that point. She had obviously dyed hair cut in a punk cut, loud makeup, funky clothing, and gaudy jewelry. In addition, she had Asian women in her video. I’d never seen that before! Cyndi was unapologetically different, and she seemed so comfortable in her own skin. Plus, she could fucking SING.

Watch the video and try not to smile and sing along. You can’t do it; you simply cannot. She brought some much-needed color to my life and even though I didn’t fully appreciate it at the time, she was the first woman to show me that being a freak wasn’t necessarily a negative thing.

She had another song that came out in 1993 but that I didn’t hear until much later called, Sally’s Pigeons. The tone of this song is much more somber, as is Cyndi herself. It’s the story of two best friends growing up and doing the things that girls that age do. Their girlhoods are normal until the best friend, Sally, gets pregnant.

She left one night with just a nod, was lost to some back alley job.

That’s just one line, tucked in the song, but the impact is powerful. I’ve used this song when posting about this topic before because it’s one of the few songs that actually mentions the reality of life before Roe v. Wade. I’m not saying this was a true-life story of Cyndi’s though it feels authentic; I’m just saying it hit me hard because I could imagine this scenario, except with me in the role of Sally.

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Religious Freedom For Thee, But Not For Me

Religious Freedom For Thee, But Not For Me

Ed. Note: My thoughts are still jumbled on this. It’s really hard to get past incoherent rage. So, I apologize that this is going to be disjointed. It’s the best I could do. 

My reaction in reading the Hobby Lobby decision on Monday: FUCK YOU, SCOTUS, AND THE HOBBY LOBBY HORSE YOU RODE IN ON.* I was pissed off, disgusted, seething, and a whole plethora of other emotions, and I still am. But what I am the most is tired.

I’m tired of being considered a second-class citizen in this country because of my gender. Yes, I can get pregnant and give life, but that doesn’t mean that I should be forced to do so. “The fetus is a person.” Well, no. It’s potential person at best, and given that 10 – 20% of pregnancies end up in miscarriages, it’s easy to refute that truism, even if you can’t convince the person saying it. If it were true that every pregnancy should be brought to term, there would be no miscarriages. There are valid reasons for terminating a pregnancy, even if it’s not because the fetus has a genetic defect. Now, I’m going to say something heretical. Even if I were to concede that a fetus is a life (which, again, I don’t), my rejoinder would be that I am, too. I’m a living, breathing person, and I fucking matter. I matter as much as those cells hypothetically swimming around inside my body; no, I matter MORE. I wrote about this realization after Dr. Tiller’s murder. You can read my thoughts about why I matter here. And, to get even more meta about it, why it matters that I realize I matter.

Going down that road, that’s another thing that makes me tired. These religious extremists are telling me that I don’t matter as much as this potential person does. My hopes, dreams, fears, ambitions, etc., are meaningless to these assholes once I become pregnant. Then, I am nothing more than a vessel for the potential life inside of me. They are saying that anything I want for my life is moot once a sperm happens to hook up with one of my eggs, and I am having none of it. What’s ironic is that they don’t give a shit once the baby is actually born, but another post for another day.

I am tired of the anti-choice successfully dominating the narrative so that pro-choice activists have to apologize for abortion or qualify it. Yes, it’s a terrible horrible awful thing and yes the goal is zero abortions and, and, and….We’ve allowed them to define ‘good’ abortions (or rather, acceptable abortions, i.e., in the case of rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother) versus ‘bad’ abortion (unacceptable abortions, every other abortion). It’s because of this that anti-choicers can argue about the evil Slutty McSluts who are having sex all over the place and then going through the drive-thru of McDonald’s to order up their abortions for the day.
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