Archive for the ‘Bodily autonomy’ Category

My vote for person of the year

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

 

Today the world learned that Pope Francis is Time magazine’s Person of the Year.

 

time-person-of-the-year-cover-pope-francis

 

It’s a little surprising, isn’t it?  I mean, why choose this guy when the field included candidates like Edward Snowden, Bashar al-Assad, and MILEY FREAKIN’ CYRUS?

In Time managing editor Nancy Gibbs’ words: “a focus on compassion….rejects the pomp and privilege… embracing complexity…”

Like the complexity behind a woman’s desire to delay motherhood by using contraception?  Like the complexity that informs her decision to terminate a pregnancy?

I can’t think of anything MORE complex in a woman’s life than her reproductive health and its consequences for her future. So far the new pope has shown little interest in changing the status quo when it comes to Catholic policy regarding women’s reproductive freedom.

I’m not a Catholic–I was baptized in 1971, but it didn’t take.  Still, I have an vested interest in the happenings in the Catholic Church due to its undue influence on American social policy.  Remember the sway that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops had on the Affordable Care Act waaaay back in 2009 and 2010?  I know you do.

Apparently the church is conducting a survey among the faithful to discern just what the heck they think of all this gay marriage, divorce and whatnot that’s been happening in the culture since Vatican II.  So far there’s no indication that the results will push Catholic hospitals to start offering emergency care for women whose unviable pregnancies are at risk of killing them.  This recent article at RH Reality Check has a great breakdown of the stranglehold Catholic directives have on the providing of health care throughout the United States, and what the ACLU and plaintiff Tamesha Means are doing about it.  I am VERY grateful that Tamesha Means is alive to tell her story, unlike Samhita Halappanavar.

Maybe Tamesha Means should be Time’s Person of the Year, instead.

tamesha5n-1-web

photo credit: ACLU

I get that Francis looks like he might be a kinder, gentler Pope, but for women, there is no social justice without reproductive justice.

Period.

 

Parenting as Plan A

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

 

 

Yesterday the FDA approved plans to sell emergency contraception over the counter to anyone over the age of 15.  This is a good thing, but it is not in compliance with a federal ruling that ordered Plan B be available to ANYONE who walks into a CVS and buys it.  To quote the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: “The medical evidence demonstrates that EC is safe and effective in preventing pregnancy for all reproductive-age females.”  ALL females.  ALL.

When I was a teen, before I had my state-issued driver’s license, I relied on these thin plastic cards to get discounts at the Southdale movie theater:

 

 

Don’t I look awesome? Matt calls it my Julia Cafritz period, but my ferocity was all an act.  Inside I was a trembling, anxious, fearful mess.  My contraception was my mother’s insistence that should I require it, she would be only too happy to help me procure some.  This embarrassed me into celibacy until I left for college (though my scowl may have been a contributing factor).

Yesterday’s announcement is a small step forward for girls like the one in the plastic card pictured above.  We cannot forget, however, that the arbitrary identification requirement is a serious barrier for people who don’t look like her.  With this policy in place, 13-year-olds and undocumented women can purchase Tylenol and Robitussin, both extremely toxic in large doses, but they cannot buy Plan B.  Why?

 

 

Conservatives who protest the availability of condoms in high school health clinics are suddenly horrified that Plan B doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infections.  The drum of “parents’ rights” is beaten long and loud.   Safe, FDA-approved medications are “dangerous.”  Human sexuality is scary and wrong.  There is no right to premarital, non-procreative sex.  Since no one fears eternal damnation these days, fear of pregnancy needs to keep kids out of each others’ pants.

This has not been one of my happiest parenting weeks.  I received some very disappointing news about my son’s grades, which led Matt and me to have THAT TALK with him.  While he curled into a surly ball in the corner of the couch, a very familiar scowl on his face, I could almost hear the thought “this sucks” rattling around his teenage brain.  While my mouth was blabbering all the Very Important Lessons that my son needed to learn about his school responsibilities, inside my head I was thinking the same goddamn thing: “this sucks!”

So much about parenting sucks.  It sucks to be the bad guy all the time, it sucks to clean up all the messes, both emotional and literal, it sucks to send the person you love the most in the world to the place you hated the most in the world (middle school).  It also sucks that there is tremendous social pressure to say WHY NO, PARENTING DOES NOT SUCK AT ANY TIME EVER, IN FACT IT IS THE BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO ME.

Which it is, of course, but it’s not a gig for the faint of heart or the unprepared.  It really needs to be your Plan A.

If all sex can’t be planned, at least parenthood ought to be.  A person’s ability to decide her future, whether it’s Plan A, B or C, ought not to depend whether she has an ID card in her pocket.  

Scowl.

 

 

 

Wonder women rising

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

 

Whatever your feelings about the obnoxious commercialization of Valentine’s Day, put them aside and consider the goals of today’s OTHER big campaign, One Billion Rising.

 

…and whatever your feelings about the largely symbolic nature of the One Billion Rising movement (and I share them, believe me), consider that Katie Couric, hardly a radfem, just Tweeted: “1in3 women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her life.”  Anything that gets that TRUTH spoken more often in public is, to my mind, a step in the right direction.

Do you remember the first time you heard that statistic?  I do.  I couldn’t believe it–and really didn’t believe it until a friend told me what happened to her.  Then another friend told me her story.  Then another and another and another.  As a member of the randomly lucky two out of three, I was changed forever.

I am changed every time I hear the truth.  Are you?

I hope to attend tonight’s Minneapolis event, a rally, meal, and dance dedicated to the memory of Jyoti Singh Pandey, but it’s possible that I’ll be worn out after  my usual Thursday duties: volunteering for a local organization that provides services to women and children experiencing domestic violence.

As a dedicated binary rejector, I tell you this not to imply that one (direct service) is better than another (dancing at Powderhorn Park).  Each complements the other.  In fact, survivors of violence and those who work in the field are the ones who need to dance most of all!

My hope is that those who come to dance  are equally moved to put their hearts, hands and wallets to work towards domestic violence education and prevention, as well as ensuring that resources are readily available to survivors who need them.  Many of today’s dancers know where to buy a Wonder Woman outfit but remain unaware of their power to be advocates for REAL wonder women in their own neighborhoods.

 

 

To DANCE in your community: http://www.onebillionrising.org/page/event/search_simple

To SERVE in your community: http://www.ncadv.org/

To LOBBY for reuathorization of the Violence Against Women Act: http://4vawa.org/

 

Answering an anti-choicer’s question

Monday, January 28th, 2013

 

Last week, a reader named “Elizabeth” posted this comment on my Roe-anniversary-themed blog Answering the abortion rights question: 

Hello! Just found your blog. I am curious how you would explain to your son an abortion performed on an embryo or fetus that is not a two-cell or four week old zygote, but perhaps a 20 week or 28 week old who is certainly a baby by that point who can experience pain, and could potentially survive outside the womb. Who’s body is it at that point? What would be a good explanation? Thanks :)

In my experience, the only folks who ask questions like this are anti-choicers trying to bait Roe fans into admitting that on occasion, reproductive rights activists sneak into nurseries to D & C babies in their cribs.

 

 

Yikes!

Elizabeth, I could try to explain an abortion performed on, in your words,  “a 20 week or 28 week old who is certainly a baby by that point,” but I think I’ll let Tiffany Campbell do it instead:

Stories like these are why there remains a need for abortion access later in pregnancy.  It’s simply a myth that there are 28-weeks-along pregnant ladies who wake up one morning, wish they had their figures back, and drive to Planned Parenthood to get rid of that pesky thing that’s making life so darned difficult.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, 88% of abortions occur in the first trimester; additionally, “fifty-eight percent of abortion patients say they would have liked to have had their abortion earlier. Nearly 60% of women who experienced a delay in obtaining an abortion cite the time it took to make arrangements and raise money.”  Women who want to terminate their pregnancies do so as swiftly as possible.  Ironically, the obstacles anti-choicers have put in place probably increase the likelihood that a later-term abortion will occur.  As I noted in another old post, a 2008 Guttmacher study concluded that 87 percent of counties in the United States do not, DO NOT, have an abortion provider.  Five years later, that percentage is probably higher.

So whose body is it?  I feel it’s still the woman’s.  I believe in women–in their common sense, in their intelligence, in their ability to weigh many sides of a very difficult decision.

Tiffany Campbell had no choice when it came to her sons’ devastating medical condition.  She could, however, choose what steps to take next, to decide what would be best for her and for the rest of her family.  Who are we to tell her otherwise?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answering the abortion rights question

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

While we’re reminiscing today, the fortieth anniversary of Roe v. Wade, let’s take a moment to remember what I looked like on Good Friday, 2005, just one of the many days I have honored my commitment to speak out for reproductive rights:

 

 

Back then, my son was a five-year-old preschooler, obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine and the Hardy Boys.  Today my son is almost thirteen, a fan of Katniss Everdeen and dubstep music that makes my head hurt.  He has always been a very curious kid, and now that he is older he is very interested in what I call The Big Questions: life, death, and the tools we use to make sense of what lies in between.

Not long ago he asked me how I felt about abortion. “I think whether or not to have an abortion is a woman’s business and no one else’s,” I replied.

“But don’t you think it’s killing a baby?”

Bam! THE REALLY BIG QUESTION!

Of course this discussion had to happen in the car, so I wasn’t able to whip out the smartphone to add visuals to our conversation.  It took much longer while driving to explain that THIS:

 

 

…or even THIS:

 

 

…is not the same thing as THIS:

 

 

…which is what his sister looked like six months OUTSIDE of my body.

“Some people think that a two-celled zygote is a human life,” I told Elliott.  “Some people think that a four-week zygote is, too.  I saw you on a sonogram only nine weeks after conception, and I saw your little heart fluttering.”

“You did?”  He was impressed.  I was too, back in the summer of 1999, and I wrote about the experience in my book The Radical Housewife.  I shared the excerpt here on Blog For Choice Day 2011:

Lacking the framework of faith, I seek not perfection, but balance. When I looked my blob, I understood him as the culmination of countless events and choices, the sum total of my years on the earth. My years, and no one else’s. I also saw a creature that drew sustenance from me and me alone. He lived on my blood, my nutrients, my oxygen, my energy: all of it mine. If I died, so did he. His tail could not wiggle outside the safety of my womb.

I gave him life. I also gave him meaning.

When does life begin? I suspect it is a process requiring a complex engagement between both the being and its world, much like a story requires a reader. Otherwise, the words remain only a series of unintelligible scratches on a page. If we accept that a story has different meaning for a different reader, we may understand that no person will approach either their soul, or a zygote’s, identically.

The above language is a little fancy for the average 13-year-old, even one as brilliant and handsome as my son, so I tried to craft my feelings about abortion, and life, so that he could understand.

“A woman must have the right to decide what happens to her body.  How I feel about pregnancy, or how you feel, or how the lady next door feels, or the President feels or the Pope feels, can never be more important than the feelings of the woman going through it.  No one can decide but her.”

The backseat was quiet for a moment–a rare thing.  Then he said:

“I get it.”

 

 

 

Abortion rights and the failure of “choice,” revisited

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

To honor the long-awaited decision of Planned Parenthood to drop the word “pro-choice” in favor of more, er, neutral language (I don’t hear them tooting the “reproductive justice” horn, unfortch), I am sharing these thoughts on the subject, excerpted from my book The Radical Housewife and first posted on this blog in 2011.   Choose to enjoy it!

The late, great Shirley Chisholm wrote the following in her autobiography Unbought & Unbossed, addressing men on her staff who tried to convince her to avoid speaking out in support of abortion rights:

“Women are dying every day, did you know that? They’re being butchered and maimed. No matter what men think, abortion is a fact of life. Women will have them; they always have and always will. Are they going to have good ones or bad ones? Will the good ones be reserved for the rich, while poor women have to go to quacks? Why don’t we talk about real problems instead of phony ones?”*

Rep. Chisholm wrote these words in 1970, three years before Roe v. Wade, when dying from a botched abortion was a very real threat to women across the country, particularly poor women of color. Two generations later, not a lot has changed. Accessing an abortion is easy for well-heeled urban women, the vast majority of whom (as it was in 1970) are white.

In Shirley Chisholm’s day, the term “pro-choice” was used to remind people of the personal matter of the procedure. The “choice” to have the abortion should be the woman’s, centering the debate on the right to individual autonomy, a concept that Republicans claim to embrace. Senator John Kerry declared in a 2004 Presidential debate that having an abortion “is a woman’s choice. It’s between a woman, God, and her doctor.”

Oh, if it were only that easy, John! God and doctors are often in very short supply when they are needed the most. If you get accidentally knocked up in Wyoming or Mississippi, you better pray as hard as you can, because your states have no provider at all.

In fact, a 2008 report funded by the Guttmacher Institute announced that 87 percent of counties in the United States do not have an abortion provider.That’s a big enough number to put in all caps: EIGHTY-SEVEN PERCENT! That makes getting an abortion seem less like a “choice” and more like a forced road trip.

Or a financial ordeal. The Hyde Amendment, passed in 1977 and reauthorized every year since, bans the use of federal funds to pay for abortions. Rep. Chisholm worried that poor women would have to go to quacks; she didn’t realize that when they won the right to access abortions from a trained doctor, they’d have to surrender their rent checks. The Hyde Amendment, predictably, reinforces the idea that wealthy women have the “choice,” but poor women don’t. And lest we forget, the poorest women are the ones who lack access to contraceptive information and services anyway, dammit!

When I demonstrated with over one million other people on the U.S. Capitol Mall in 2004, I wrote the word “choice” on my sign, but the event was officially called the March for Women’s Lives.**

The name, though, made some mainstream feminists cranky. Shouldn’t it be called the March for Choice? Not so fast, declared a coalition of poverty activists and health care groups for women of color. The word “choice” obscures the “real problems” that Rep. Chisholm talked about: racism, poverty, and other forms of pervasive inequality.

I no longer identify as pro-choice. How can I, when Sarah Palin congratulates herself for the “choice” to carry her Down’s Syndrome child to term? Bringing a special needs baby into a tightly-knit, financially stable family that has access to health care and other forms of support is no big whoop, except for the baby in question—Trig Palin is one hell of a lucky kid. So is Tripp Johnston, the child carried to term by Trig’s seventeen-year-old sister. All four of them appeared on a celebrity tabloid in the early days of 2010, declaring “we’re glad we chose life!”

That’s that sneaky, slippery power of language again! Can you imagine a headline that read “we’re so glad we didn’t have abortions!” I can’t either.

Remember chapter one?*** I don’t deserve a medal for surviving life with the colicky, special needs baby I had in the year 2000. Accidents of fortune gave me everything I needed, and my child reaped the benefits.

I don’t care if Sarah and Bristol Palin keep on breeding–that’s their beeswax, not mine. But under Gov. Palin’s leadership, Alaska’s rates of domestic violence and sexual assault were twice the national average.**** When Palin ran for office in 2006, she announced (in so many words) that if her then 14-year-old daughter were raped, she wouldn’t allow the girl to have an abortion—a very likely scenario, considering Palin’s vocal support for parental notification laws. In yet another nimble linguistic twist, Palin averred that the issue was one of “parents’ rights.” Welcome to Palinverse, where a pre-born fetus had greater bodily autonomy than a post-born teen.

Feminists of any/every Wave, listen up: “choice” is over. It’s done. NO MORE.

 

*Oh my gaaaawd, I love Shirley Chisholm so much!!!!!!

**It was awesome.  I can’t wait until Erin Matson’s Feminist Jetpack Factory™ organizes another one. 

***You WILL remember it when you buy your copy from Medusa’s Muse Press this fall!  Woot!

****This statistic was disturbing when I wrote it, but it’s even worse now that Bristol claims her virginity was “stolen” while she was drunk (for a discussion on why Bristol may have resisted calling her experience rape, read this piece at the Daily Beast–as if we needed another reminder of the power of words).

In praise of gender warriors

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

“You’re born naked and the rest is drag.

 

My daughter recently asked me if my favorite television star (that would be Mama Ru, of course, the genius who uttered the quote above) was a man who dressed like a woman.  I said, “no, honey.  RuPaul is a man who dresses like a drag queen.  There’s a big difference.”

“What is the difference?” she wondered.

“Well,” I said, “I’m a woman, and you don’t see me wearing six inch platforms, candy-colored couture gowns, and wigs the size of small dogs, do you?”  She shook her head.  Her mom is so obviously NOT a drag queen!  As I’ve mentioned before, my idea of dressing up is slipping on a pair of new Chuck Taylors.

In fact, I present pretty butch for someone who’s a straight married housewife.  I don’t want to sleep with Rachel Maddow, but I would love it if she’d take me shopping.

 

 

I love that belt.

All this begs the question: do clothes make the wo/man?  You know they don’t, and for that we must be grateful to the gender warriors who have made it okay to play dress-up, including folks like Amelia Bloomer and others in American feminism’s first wave.

That’s what civil rights are about, after all: FREEDOM.  To live life honestly, with dignity and autonomy, with all the rights and responsibilities of full citizenship.  In 21st century America, you might meet women who say they’re not feminists, but you’re not going to find any who think they shouldn’t have the right to vote…or wear pants.

 

We may be in the fourth or fifth wave of feminism nowadays, but  millions still struggle every day against the rigidity of gender conformity.  My friend Andrea wrote a very moving account of the crap that she, as a nonconforming trans person, goes through just to use a public toilet.  We posted it on the Minnesota NOW blog on Transgender Day of Remembrance, because Andrea has justification for her bathroom anxiety–in 2011, a trans woman in Maryland was nearly beaten to death for attempting to enter the McDonald’s restroom door marked with the stick figure in a skirt.  You remember the case because the manager of the restaurant filmed the whole damned thing on his phone.

As Andrea put it, “all this, for a bathroom.”

Gender performance is in the news again today, as Carnival Cruises has just announced that having drag performers IN DRAG on a DRAG-THEMED CRUISE would be a security risk.  Because when a guy puts on a dress, al Qaeda wins!

 

Gender rigidity hurts everyone, on a continuum of hideous violence on one end to incredible annoyance on the other.  The sickening queens from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” are WERKING to make the world a little safer, and a little saner, for us all.

I hope their fans get their money back.

 

UPDATED: Carnival came to their senses and reversed the drag ban.  Jesus is a biscuit!

 

 

 

 

 

Calling it “rape,” or: the pearl-clutchers of convenience

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

You want a trigger warning?  You got one.

Surf away if you don’t want to read the word “rape,” think about the act rape, or get a taste of my wrath directed at pearl-clutchers of convenience who gleefully report about rape all day long in the name of news, but are shocked, SHOCKED that rape might be mentioned in a comic strip.

No, not reruns of Peanuts, silly.  Doonesbury!

 

 

Good old Garry Trudeau is wading into the forced ultrasound wars with a series this week featuring the trials of a woman seeking an abortion in a conservative wonderland (or the early stages of the Republic of Gilead).  Trudeau told the Washington Post that to ignore the issue would be “comedy malpractice.”  Bless his feminist heart!

Above is today’s strip, cut from the print editions of the two dailies in my area, the Minneapolis StarTribune and the St Paul Pioneer Press.  I haven’t subscribed to either for many years, due in part to cost-cutting measures that sacrificed journalism in favor of really big type and the kind of salacious reporting that belongs in the pages of In Touch Weekly, not a newspaper (remember when the PiPress’s reporting on SlutWalk Minneapolis appeared in the shape of a woman’s sexy legs?  I sure do).  Thursday’s strip promises to feature a doctor annoucing “by the power invested in me by the GOP base, I thee rape.”

Ouch.

But when the papers themselves can’t control the narrative (rape=kinda sexy), the issue is suddenly controversial, too hot for print.  When Garry Trudeau likens a transvaginal ultrasound to rape, it’s “inappropriate.”  As David Brauer of MinnPost (an online news source staffed by canned Strib & PiPress employees) so astutely observes, children reading their parents’ papers are already being exposed to stories that detail rapes of kids their own age.  

But that’s news, the editorial boards would argue.  People have a right to know.  Following that logic, then, it can’t be controversial that readers have a right to know that transvaginal ultrasounds look like this:

 

 

 

…and that these ultrasound laws coming up for debate would require that women seeking abortions would be forced to endure this vaginal probing without their consent.

Sure sounds like rape to me.

A Pap smear is not rape, despite the suggestion of Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America.  Just like Janice, I schedule Pap smears with licensed, trained professionals whom I trust.  Janice and I consent to the procedure, following the guidelines recommended by our doctors.  It’s not against the law to skip ‘em, though.  We have a choice in the matter.  When we get Paps, we say yes.*

But back to the pearl-clutchers of convenience populating the editorial boards of Twin Cities newspapers, suddenly so nervous about children.  THE CHILDREN!  MY GOD, THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

Give me a break.

The word “rape” should make people uncomfortable.  How are we going to stop it without talking about it?  How are we going to debate the politics of mandated vaginal ultrasounds without considering that, yes, the procedure looks and sounds an awful lot like rape?

A credible newspaper cannot reasonably claim that news articles on the rape of children (reported in much larger type than appears on the comics page) are somehow less damaging than a comic strip satire.  Pearls cannot be clutched only when it suits….The Suits.

The whole thing almost makes me want to start a subscription so I can cancel it in a huff.  Almost, but not quite!  Happily, these papers are dwindling into insignificance all on their own, due in large part to dumb decisions like this one.

You can keep up with Doonesbury online here: http://www.doonesbury.com/

 

* can you believe I’m still explaining this yes-means-yes, no-means-no shit?  I can’t, either. 

Diary of a mad birth control mom

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

One year ago, Skirt! magazine published an essay of mine entitled “Love in the Time of Contraception.”  In the piece, I laid bare (pun intended) many sordid details from my love life to make the point that there is no sexual blunder more embarrassing than ignorance….and that includes having to ask your boyfriend to retrieve a Today sponge gone rogue in your lady parts.

Rereading the essay, I find myself cringing once more at the stubborn persistence of America’s Puritanical values.  I wish my European forebears had thought to resettle in the British colony settled by criminals, not uptight prudes.  Fleeing famine and/or conscription leaves one with limited choices, I realize, but I have to believe that my great-great-greats would have preferred their descendants to spend Good Friday frolicking on sandy beach instead of heading out to show solidarity for a legal, but beleaguered and threatened, facility that performs legal procedures and dispenses legal medications.

This picture was taken on Good Friday seven years ago, not long before I gave birth to my daughter.  Yep, I’ve been involved in pro-choice activism for a long time, and I’m committed to it.  I’m a realist, and I know that the anti-choicers won’t go away.  I didn’t assume that one day I wouldn’t have to show up–I assumed that one day I’d be out in St. Paul with a pair of teenagers, demonstrating our support for safe, legal abortion, on demand and without apology.

But here we are in 2012, and I cannot believe I just might have to fight for their right to contraception!

Remember contraception?  The stuff that makes controversial procedures like abortions unnecessary? (Duhhh.)

Isn’t it our right as Americans to be embarrassed by slimy sponges?  To go soft at the crinkling sound of the condom wrapper?  To take a pill that makes you a hysterical, bloated mess, so on edge that no one wants to have sex with you anyway (or is that just me?)….?!

But it’s come to that.  And now, millions of moms who wouldn’t have dragged their kids to Planned Parenthood in the past are being jolted into action.

Of course, none other than reknowned slut (four wives) and prostitute (uses his big fucking mouth for money) Rush Limbaugh doesn’t believe that there are such things as Birth Control Moms.  Sayeth he:

Isn’t that kind of contradictory? A birth control mom? How do you become a mom if you’re into birth control?

Well, duh.  You use condoms so you don’t become a 19-year-old parent with a boyfriend who is a manipulative asshole.  Or you use sponges AND condoms so you don’t become a 22-year-old parent with a boyfriend who is much nicer than the old one, but who still has a few mental health issues to clear up.  Et cetera.

Get the idea?  The clinic is called PLANNED Parenthood for a reason.  Parenting is a job too important to leave either to chance or to anyone too young to run for Congress.*

(Rush also said some not-very-nice things about a contraceptive fan named Sandra Fluke, but you know that already.)

Are YOU a pissed-off Birth Control Mom?  Are you looking to do more than spread Santorum jokes and bemoan our country’s flight back to the Bad Old Days?  Good Friday is April 6, right around the corner–there’s probably a family planning clinic in your neighborhood that could use your voice for reproductive freedom.  If you’re in the Twin Cities, please say hi to me at the event in St. Paul.  I’ll be accompanied by my two PLANNED children, and I’ll be saying this:

 

If your clinic isn’t planning a solidarity action, why not send them a bouquet of flowers (with your donation check, natch) to thank them for the fine work they’re doing?  Find a location at www.plannedparenthood.org.

 

*Dear younger readers: please don’t bother writing with the admonition that you are doing a better job than say, Bristol Palin, Snooki, or my own parental units, who spawned me at the tender age of 21.  I think we all can agree that it would be preferable for children to be raised by grownups who’ve been slutty, had their hearts broken a few times, visited New York City, etc. and have the acquired wisdom that such experience implies.

 

 

Why I disagree with the president about Plan B

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

President Obama, December  8, 2011:

As the father of two daughters, I think it is important for us to make sure that we apply some common sense to various rules when it comes to over-the-counter medicine. As I understand it, the reason Kathleen [Sebelius] made this decision was she could not be confident that a 10-year old or an 11-year old going to a drug store should be able alongside bubble gum or batteries be able to buy a medication that potentially if not used properly could end up having an adverse effect. And I think most parents would probably feel the same way….

The Radical Housewife, October 5, 2010:

Contemplating our children as sexual beings feels creepy; we don’t want to do it.

Would I want know if my daughter wanted an abortion? Of course. Every parenting decision I make is guided by my desire to build trust and respect in our family. I would want to know about her abortion; I would want to know about her pregnancy; I would want to know that she was sexually active. Do I have the right to all of this information? No. I work to earn her trust, but I can’t force her to give it to me.

No law can force a trusting relationship that doesn’t exist. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics supports this view, stating that “legislation mandating parental involvement does not achieve the intended benefit of promoting family communication, but it does increase the risk of harm to the adolescent by delaying access to appropriate medical care.”

Jezebel.com, December 6, 2011: