Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Who Am I?

Let's play a little game. I'm going to pretend to be someone I'm not and you're going to try to guess who I am. Ready? Okay, let's go.


I disrespect women. I yell vulgar things at them to make them feel uncomfortable, and the only reason I do it is because they're living their lives the way they want to and I don't like that. Some people argue that I do this for women, but I'm really just against women. People will argue that my disgusting actions are justifiable because the woman was doing something or carrying herself in a manner that some people find unacceptable. My actions hurt women; They make them cry, feel uncomfortable, feel angry, etc. The sole reason for doing what I do is to intimidate women into living their lives in a way that suits my wants and needs. Who am I?

There are two answers. Ready to see if you got it right?

Answer 1:
A street harasser

Answer 2:
An abortion clinic protester

+100 if you got one, +200 if you got both :)

Safe, Legal, and Common

"Let's make abortion safe, legal, and rare!" many times have you heard that?

This is a problematic saying. It portrays abortion as a problem, as a bad thing that must be rare. It diverts the attention from the unwanted pregnancy, which is a problem, to abortion, which should serve as a solution to a problem. Is chemotherapy bad? No, but cancer is. Is Advil bad? No, but headaches are. Is abortion bad? Not unless the abortion is unwanted/forced/coerced (in which case it'd be awful, just like forced pregnancy). It's the unwanted pregnancy that is the problem.

We will have as many abortions as we need at any given time. Right now we have about 1.2 million abortions a year in the US, and hey, what do you know? That's how many we need.. That's the 'right' number for right now. When we construct a society that supports pregnant women/girls and teaches kids real sex ed, the number of abortions we'll need will probably go down. Or maybe, one day, the number of abortions we'll need will go up for whatever reason. The important thing to remember is that the high number of abortions we have is not a tragedy, it's simply necessary. You could describe unwanted pregnancies as a tragedy. You could describe lack of sex education a tragedy. However, abortion itself is not the bad thing. Abortion is a blessing.

Again, when I say that, I'm certainly not talking about forced/coerced/unwanted abortions. Just like forced pregnancies, forced abortions are tragedies. However, that does not make abortion as a whole a tragedy. Rape happens, but no one ever describes sex as a tragedy. Forced pregnancy happens, but no one ever describes pregnancy itself as a tragedy. The coercion/force makes a huge difference. It's the same difference between sex and rape and between borrowing and stealing.

I'll go ahead and say it; I freaking love abortion. Abortion is amazing. It's beautiful. I thank God that I have this right, even though I never suspect that I'll have to use it (but hey.. who suspects an unwanted pregnancy anyway). Choice is empowering. An unexpected pregnancy does not scare me so much because I know I have the power to choose. I think, if I got pregnant, I'd choose to parent, and I thank God that abortion is legal because otherwise I would not have that choice. Parenting would simply be forced upon me. Even as a woman who would probably go through an unexpected pregnancy, I LOVE ABORTION. Yes, abortion is common. No, that is not some kind of tragedy. Unless you'd describe or portray the rate of chemotherapy as a tragedy, please don't describe abortion as one. Let's focus on the actual problems, and the problem is not abortion.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

An Open Letter to Abortion

Dear Abortion:

I've never met you, and I've never had an abortion, but I love you. You're amazing. Even though I've never had any direct experiences with you, my life wouldn't be the same without you. You see, now I don't have to be terrified of becoming pregnant. It's not even that I'd necessarily choose you if I did become pregnant, it's just that I know if I do become pregnant, my freedom will still be there. I will have a choice. You see, to me, having a wanted pregnancy when abortion is illegal is sort of like having sex with a person who I knew would just rape me if I told him to stop. It'd be terrifying and violating. I wouldn't be able to enjoy the experience at all. You're so special.

Sometimes, people like to portray you as a horrible thing. I really do not like that sentiment. Unwanted pregnancy is a bad thing, lack of education is a bad thing, poverty is a bad thing. You are not a bad thing, abortion. You are amazing!

Sometimes people are forced/coerced into having you. That's awful, and if you were a person and capable of thought I'm sure you would want people to have you only when they want to have you. I'm sure you'd want to be there for women, not hurt them. Sadly, you have no choice, with you not being a sentient being and all that, so some women are forced into having you, anyway.

Some people want you to be dangerous for some reason. Not pro-choicers, though. We want you to be safe and legal, and we're fighting to keep you that way. After all, we know that you'll exist whether you're legal or illegal, because you're necessary in our society. We need you. It's that simple.

You're different than a lot of other surgeries. There are so many different emotions concerning you, some good, some bad. This is especially true when it comes to the women who have abortions. Some women treat their abortion very casually, and that's okay. Some women feel tremendous remorse after their abortion, and it's not a good thing that they're suffering, but their feelings are just as valid as any other woman's. Women who are in pain are allowed to be in pain because, hey, we're individuals with individual emotions. Some women feel thrilled about their abortions. That's okay, too! Not everyone loves you, abortion. That's fine. That doesn't make you any less amazing in my eyes.

With much love,

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Engaging: Is It Really Helpful?

I watched part of the "Open Hearts Open Minds" conference earlier. "Open Hearts Open Minds" is a conference featuring both pro-choicers and anti-choicers, and its goal is to find "common ground" and to "bridge the abortion divide" between the two movements. It got me thinking about different methods of activism, and whether or not engaging with antis is really even worth it.

They way I channel my passion for equal rights has changed drastically in the past few years. I used to spend my time arguing with people who believed that women shouldn't have the right to vote (yes, those people are still around). I eventually moved more towards fighting against gender roles, and after that I really focused on reproductive rights. Throughout all of these "phases", I'd engage with those on the other side. I used to spend a lot of energy doing that. I used to argue with antis pretty much non-stop. You see, I've found that arguing with antis, particularly anti-choice activists, is a lot like arguing with people who don't believe in a woman's right to vote. Their beliefs tend to be extreme and their minds tend to be absolutely dead set on staying the way they are. Their arguments tend to be very focused on sexist beliefs and insults. Whether I'm debating with the person who believes that women shouldn't have the right to vote or with the person who believes that women shouldn't have bodily autonomy, I've found that these discussions usually go absolutely nowhere.

There are exceptions, of course. There is always the possibility that you'll come across a fence sitter, or even an anti-choice activist who is willing to listen and whose heart may be changed. Now, of the anti-choice activists I've spoken with, I've found maybe two who were actually pleasant to speak to, so if I were ever to go back to the "engage with everyone" type of activism, I wouldn't get my hopes up on finding activist antis to engage with. However, I have the utmost respect for my fellow reproductive justice warriors who do have the time and energy to try to reach out to antis, even those who seem too far away to reach out to.

Attempting discussion with people who obviously do not want to discuss takes time and energy which is, to me, better spent trying to help women in more direct ways. I have found that channeling my energy more towards types of activism that don't involve engaging with antis directly gets more work done. However, this is not true for all pro-choice activists. Some of my activist friends choose to engage with seemingly hopeless antis. I say, all the more power to them. We need all types of activism in the pro-choice movement. Each activist has his or her strengths and weaknesses, and we should utilize these individual strengths to the best of our abilities. There are so many different types of activism, and I don't find it helpful to label some types "better" than other types. It's hard for someone like me to imagine, but hey, maybe engaging with antis really is useful, so why not use that to our advantage?

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Fallen Hero

Last Friday, abortion provider Dr. William Harrison of Arkansas died of Leukemia.

It always hurts when an abortion provider dies. I didn't know Dr. Harrison personally, but my heart breaks when I think of all of the people he left behind. He left behind not only friends and family, but so many women as well. Now it's just that much harder for women in that area to access abortion, now it's one more roadblock for women seeking abortion.

I burned a candle and prayed for Dr. Harrison the other day. I took my moment of silence, and it'd be great for other people to do the same. However, let a moment of silence be just that- a moment. After that moment of silence, be loud and be active, because I'm sure that's what would make our fallen heroes proud. No one will ever take Dr. Harrison's place as a unique member of society, but we can do something, and that's what I'm asking of you. Let's do something to bring reproductive justice to America. Let's make our fallen heroes and our heroes still standing proud.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Speaking Out: How to Make Life Easier for Rape Survivors

In case you haven't heard or read about it, some guy wrote an article calling the book Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson "soft pornography" and called for parents to 'protect' their children from immorality by getting involved and getting the book (among other books) banned.

Now, I've never read this book (I haven't gathered up the courage, I'm honestly afraid it'd be triggering for me) but from the summaries I've read, Speak is about a high school girl named Melinda who is raped and becomes depressed (as many rape victims do after their rapes). As the title suggests, this book is about SPEAKING OUT about rape. It's about giving rape survivors a voice. To think that anyone could consider this book sexually exciting is SICK and disturbing.

Something that I love about this book (even though I've never read it) is that it sounds like it really captures how hard it is for rape survivors to speak out. We live in a society that shames rape survivors who speak out. Many rape survivors have no support system whatsoever. Sometimes, a rape victim is lucky enough to have someone in hir* life who is supporting and helpful. However, far too often, this isn't the case. Many people have no idea how to treat rape survivors so they end up treating us like monsters instead of real people who have suffered through one of the worst crimes imaginable.

It's been years since I've been raped and speaking out is one of the hardest things for me to do. I am one of those rape survivors that has no support system due to "friends" who suddenly became jerks as soon as I told them about the rape. Another reason that it's hard as hell for me to speak out is because I'm involved in the activist community, and this of course can get me some enemies. These enemies will take EVERY SHOT IMAGINABLE at me. They've taken shots at me for being raped. They've taken shots at me for speaking up about and against rape. They took shots at me when Gabby died. They take shots at me when I tweet about family or personal problems. Quite frankly, I'm exhausted. I hardly ever let anything an anti says get to me, but when I'm constantly beaten down for speaking out, what can you expect to happen? Speaking to my friends about the rape is no better, no less hurtful.

I am so tired. I've found that things are not as bad when I just shut up instead of speaking out. The problem with this is that healing doesn't come with silence. I have never in my life heard of a person who has been able to heal from any kind of traumatic experience by being silent. At best, silence will keep a person right where he or she is. She won't get better, and with luck she might not get worse.

..but why the hell should a rape survivor have to choose between getting worse and the possibility of staying right where she or he is? Why isn't getting better an option for so many people?

You can help give rape survivors another option. You can be the deciding factor as to whether or not a rape survivor suffers for the rest of hir life or whether she or he finds healing, hope, and the ability to move forward. Speaking out can, and should, be a healing experience. But it won't be unless you let it.

When speaking with a rape survivor about hir rape:


1) Tell hir that s/he should be "over it". Rape can take many years for a person to recover from. Telling a rape survivor that hir mourning is taking too long isn't going to stop hir from mourning, it's just going to make hir hide hir mourning from you.

2) Tell a rape survivor that s/he is "playing the rape card". This should speak for itself. This is another way or telling a person that he or she is wrong for being in pain, and it does not make the pain go away, it just makes the problem worse.

3) Promote any kind of rape apologism, including, but not limited to:
a. "You were asking for it!"
b. Promoting submission to rapists as a type of "rape prevention" ie "Women should never take walks alone"
c. Blaming the victim in any way, shape, or form by telling hir that she or he could/should have done something to prevent the ordeal, that she shouldn't have been wearing that skirt, that she shouldn't have been making out with that guy if she didn't want to have sex with him, etc.

4) Treat the victim like a freak.

5) Try to convince a rape survivor to do what you want her to do if she gets pregnant.

6) Say "men can't be raped!"

7) Say "women can't rape!"

8) Doubt the victim, tell hir that she or he is lying about being raped.

9) Use the rape against him or her because you consider that person an "enemy".

10) Ask "why didn't you report him to the police?" or say "I wonder how many more people he has raped because you didn't report him to the police."


1) Offer unconditional love and support.

2) Be the shoulder that she or he can cry on.

3) Support hir with whatever choice s/he makes with a possible pregnancy.

4) Assure hir that s/he did nothing to cause the rape, that the rape is 100% the rapist's fault no matter what kind of clothes the victim was wearing, if s/he was drinking, if s/he was alone, etc.

5) Treat hir like you treated hir before the rape. Offer to take hir out to dinner, shopping, to the movies, etc.

6) Assure hir that there is no such thing as taking "too long" to "get over" the rape.

7) And seriously, if you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all. If you're going to be a jerk or if you're looking for a debate about rape, it's your turn to be silent because rape survivors are kept silent far too much. Let us SPEAK.

*gender neutral pronoun

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Recently, it occurred to me how hard it would be to make a choice if I were to become pregnant, mainly because I have so many people in my life who are against me making a choice at all. It occurred to me that most of the support that I have (outside of activism world, of course) is incomplete support; most of my supporters will only support me if I do what they want me to do. That works out just fine for me if I happen to want the same things that they want, but if I don't, chaos ensues.

Pressure seems like a normal aspect of a woman's life. "Don't have sex before marriage! Have sex with me, or else you're a bitch! Don't get pregnant (whether she wants to or not)! Don't have an abortion! Don't go through the pregnancy! Don't drink/smoke while pregnant! Don't have a homebirth! Don't breastfeed in public! Don't raise your child that way!" In other words, we constantly have people barking orders at us, telling us to "Submit! Submit! Submit!" This goes far beyond sex, pregnancy, and parenting. No matter what we do, we can be sure that we'll have someone there in the background telling us to do it their way. This holds especially true for women who are not as privileged as others, such as poor women, trans women, women of color. The less privileged you are, the more people you get who will try to exert their power over you. The less privileged you are, the more people you get who will try to get you to submit their wishes and their commands.

What these people are forgetting is that they do not live our lives. They do not have to live with our choices, and if they do, they live it in a very minuscule way compared to how we have to live with our own choices. So, if I get pregnant, how am I going to be able to live with my choice (whether I choose to go through the pregnancy or end it) when the people around me, who are supposed to support me and love me unconditionally, make me feel as if I have no choice at all? What if I do end up going through my pregnancy, and I live the rest of my life wondering if I even made the right choice, or if I just did what I did due to pressure from my parents/other loved ones? How can I live with my choice when I felt that I had no choice at all? What then?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sex Ed: More Important Than Algebra!

First and foremost, I'd like to make something clear. I love my parents. I love them to death. I really do. I am extremely grateful for all they've done for me and I'm grateful for (and extremely surprised at) the fact that they've been able to put up with me for as long as they have.

However, they're no where near perfect. No one is, of course, but there has always been something lacking in my relationship with my parents: communication and education. Whenever I speak to my parents about any difficult subject, whether that subject is human rights, abortion, TBLG rights, and in particular, my own body, there is always a lot of awkwardness throughout the whole conversation, and my parents are always quick to change the subject. This made some aspects of my life very difficult.

I started my period somewhere in between the ages of 8-10. I should have known what was going on with my body. I shouldn't have been reduced to tears, thinking that I was bleeding to death. I shouldn't have been terrified to go to my parents for help. I shouldn't have had to figure out what was going on on my own. But that was not the case, I did have to find out on my own, and I was terrified. Now, I understand that I got my period at a young age and that I got it before most people probably get their periods, but why shouldn't an 8 year old know about her period? Why should she have to find out the hard way?

This lack of education never stopped. Again, I love my mom and dad to death, but I just can not understand why they would choose to let me "learn" about my body all by myself, with only the internet to turn to. With the internet, I "learned" a lot about sex. I learned that you can get pregnant if you swallow sperm. I learned that all men have penises and all women have vaginas (genital essentialism). I learned that, for a penis to be acceptable, it has to be very large. I also learned that enjoyable sex is impossible if the penis (assuming a penis is involved) is not very large. I learned that, if my partner masturbates, I don't really need to use protection because I can't get pregnant. I learned that if you jump up and down after having unprotected sex you greatly reduce your chances of becoming pregnant. I learned that sex is an obsession for men and a chore for women, and that if I have sex and am not enjoying it then that's okay and normal because women aren't supposed to enjoy sex anyway. I learned that "vagina" and "penis" are dirty words. I learned that diseases "leak through" condoms so you might as well have unprotected sex anyway. I could go on, but I think you get the point. I learned a lot of scary crap, and a lot of it was reinforced by abstinence only "education". If I had never come across reliable pro-choice, pro-reproductive freedom websites, I would probably still believe all of this.

The scariest part about all of this is the fact that I know that what I went through is not rare at all. I've met so many other people, young people and adults alike, who have come to me with questions, and I am absolutely appalled by some of the misconceptions that these people have. I've heard other people speaking to each other about sex and the misconceptions that they have are not at all unlike the misconceptions that I had before finding proper sources to learn from. It's not their fault, though. They have been failed by other people and by the government, they're just using the only resources that they have to learn.

A common misconception about sex education is that, if you don't teach a child about their bodies, then no one will. WRONG. Children and teenagers are not only very curious, they also have a lot of influence about sex from other sources, sources that you likely don't want children to learn from. When you choose not to teach a child about hir* own body, you are not choosing to protect hir "innocence", you're choosing to let hir learn from gossip, myths, magazines, and porn. Mom and dad, is that how you wanted me to learn? Really?

I will never understand why sex education is not considered acceptable in our society. What do you think is more relevant to a person's life: sex, relationships, the body and how it works, gender identity, rape prevention (and I mean real rape prevention, not "ladies, always walk with a buddy!" type of "prevention"), or algebra? Honestly. Algebra is important, sure, but how often do we do it outside of anything school/college related? We all live with and use our bodies every single second of every single day of our lives. Despite this fact, our society values math education more than sex education. Why?

*gender neutral pronoun

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


As a musician, music is a huge part of my life. I don't enjoy not only playing music, but listening to music.

After I was raped, music helped me cope. A lot. I just adored (and still do adore) zoning out and listening to a song to distract me from "real life".

Today, I want to share an amazing song by Christina Aguilera called "Beautiful". I relate to this song so much, it nearly makes me cry every time I listen to it. It wasn't intended to be about rape, I'm sure, but regardless, it's still such a healing song for me. There are some days that I get up and I feel like I can't breathe because I'm being suffocated by the rape culture. This song makes me feel a bit better :) enjoy!

The lyrics:

Don't look at me

Every day is so wonderful
And suddenly it's hard to breathe
Now and then I get insecure
From all the pain, feel so ashamed

I am beautiful no matter what they say
Words can't bring me down
I am beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can't bring me down, oh no
So don't you bring me down today

To all your friends you're delirious
So consumed in all your doom
Tryin' hard to fill the emptiness, the piece is gone
Left the puzzle undone, ain't that the way it is?

'Cause you are beautiful no matter what they say
Words can't bring you down, oh no
You are beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can't bring you down, oh no
So don't you bring me down today

No matter what we do
No matter what we do
(No matter what we say)
No matter what we say
(We're the song that's outta tune)
(Full of beautiful mistakes)

(And everywhere we go)
And everywhere we go
(The sun will always shine)
The sun will always, always shine!
(But tomorrow we might awake on the other side)

'Cause we are beautiful no matter what they say
Yes, words won't bring us down, oh no
We are beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can't bring us down, oh no
So don't you bring me down today

Don't you bring me down today
Don't you bring me down today

Sunday, July 4, 2010

As If! Another Post About Rape

Imagine this:

You're walking back home with a friend from a night out. It's pretty late, and it's pitch black outside. Your friend sees a woman walking on the other side of the street, and he comments on this by saying "She's asking to get killed."

Yeah. Right.

No one ever says that. No one ever claims that people ever "ask" to be murdered. If a person did say that, people would recognize that statement as unacceptable. People would speak out.

So why on Earth is it acceptable, in our society, to claim that a woman "asks for" rape?

Recently, I saw this ad via The Curvature.

Yes, yes, yes!
Exactly! Rape apologism is apart of our culture. People don't realize how stupid and hateful the things that they say are. People don't notice how inane the statement that "she's asking for it" is.

Every time I hear someone stating that a woman is "asking for it", my heart skips a beat or two. Why is rape treated as an acceptable crime? Most people will say that rape is bad. However, those same people will also make exceptions for that belief. She's wearing a short skirt? She's asking for it. Walking alone? Partially her fault. Saying that rape is bad and that you're against it doesn't mean crap when you go on to promote rape in more discreet ways. I've lost (or rather, let go) a few "friends" because of comments like these. They usually throw a fit and tell me that I'm overreacting. Tell me, how can I trust a person who openly states that women deserve or "ask for" rape? How can I put my trust in a person who is presenting him or herself as a potential rapist by promoting rape in very significant, ways? Why should I put my own health and well being in grave danger just because you're too self important to educate yourself?

Well, I won't deal with it anymore. People have to learn to clean up their act and accept the fact that the rape culture can be, and probably is, a part of them, too. We live in a rape culture. We all grew up in a rape culture. How is it that people think that they're special and have suddenly escaped the rape culture, without any effort on their part?

I wish the US had anti-rape ads like these.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Just for Laughs

Real mature, huh? Think she's going to call me a big fat meanie head for posting this? Oh, and I'm not even going to go into how she's playing on the myth that anti-choicers can be feminists.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I haven't posted anything since the 11th, and now it's the last day of June. Oops! Sorry guys and gals. I'll try and have something up soon.

To make myself feel less horrible about abandoning my blog, I'm going to link to my last Abortion Gang post. This one is a letter to anti-choicers. I hope you enjoy it! :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Who Cares About Pregant Women?

Whenever reproductive justice is debated among anti-choicers and pro-choicers, the question of who really cares about pregnant women comes up very often. I don't know why I have to go over this. Even anti-choicers know that the anti-choice movement does not care about pregnant women. Some of them care about fetuses, I'm sure, but I'd bet that most of them don't care about anyone but themselves. But, just for the hell of it, I'm going to entertain this question. Who really cares about pregnant women?

When Angie Jackson tweeted about her abortion, how did anti-choicers react? Who were the ones who called her a whore, a slut, a murderer, a skank, a baby killer, a self-centered bitch, a ho, and a hooker? Who were the ones who sent her (and are still sending her) death threats? Uh, not pro-choicers.

When a rape survivor tells her story of her rape and when she says that the only reason she's alive today is because she didn't get pregnant, because she surely would have committed suicide had she been forced through a rape pregnancy, how do anti-choicers react? Who are the ones who completely ignore everything that she has said and tell her that everything would have been fine and dandy if she were violated for another nine months? Who are the ones who recognize the fact that she'd be dead today if she had gotten pregnant and go on to show their apathy for life? Yet again, not pro-choicers.

When the subject of birthing rights comes up, how do anti-choicers react? Who are the ones who claim that women don't need birthing rights, they already have the right to give birth, ignoring the fact that many women are forced or pressured into having unnecessary c-sections and are not given adequate information about their birthing choices? Not pro-choicers.

When a woman shares her abortion story and states that she does not regret her abortion, how do anti-choicers react? Who are the ones who tell her that her experience and emotions are invalid? Who are the ones who, having had known this woman for a time period of five to ten minutes, tell her that they know that she'll regret her abortion (because they apparently know her so much more than she knows herself)? Hmm, yet again, not pro-choicers.

When the subject of bodily autonomy comes up, how do anti-choicers react? Who are the ones who say that, when a woman becomes pregnant, it's no longer her body? Who are the ones who openly state that pregnant women don't have their own bodies, and that their bodies are property of fetuses (or the government)? Not pro-choicers.

Anti-choicers, get real. Stop kidding yourself. This isn't about pregnant women for you, because if you truly cared about them, you'd be pro-choice, and you know that.

Surely, an anti-choicer will come along and tell us of a pregnant woman who wanted to go through her pregnancy, who an anti-choicer kindly helped by offering her a place to stay, buying her clothes, etc. It's great when a person helps a pregnant person who wants to go through her pregnancy, I applaud that. But, to me, if you treat every woman who has or wants to have an abortion like crap (see examples above), it doesn't matter how many pregnant woman you provide a place to stay for or how many pregnant women you buy maternity/baby clothes for. You can't treat some pregnant woman well and then pretend that you care about all of them.

One out of three women has an abortion in her lifetime. You either treat all pregnant women with respect or you lose credibility, and guess what antis? You've lost all of your credibility when it comes to loving pregnant women.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My Abortion Dream

Recently, I've been having a lot of dreams. Some are normal, some are weird, some are depressing, some are interesting and meaningful, some are very happy. A few of my dreams have really stuck out to me. One dream I've had recently has been about abortion.

In my abortion dream, I was a probably about 14 or 15 years old. I was pregnant, terrified, and my parents were planning on forcing me through the pregnancy, leaving me with no options whatsoever. I was absolutely desperate to get an abortion, but I had no way to access one. However, I found a way to get out of the house and find a clinic. It was a very small, cramped, cozy, clinic with a warm, welcoming staff. I entered the clinic, in tears, begging for help. I had no money. I was required to tell my parents before I got an abortion (parental notification laws), but I knew I couldn't. I didn't even make an appointment. But I needed help, and the abortion clinic workers could see that. One of the nurses told me that I could have my abortion, and my parents would never have to know. She took me to a waiting room, where there were a lot of other girls and women waiting to terminate their pregnancies. They were happy, making jokes, and they immediately welcomed me into their group. They calmed me down and dried my tears, and when it was my turn to have an abortion, they accompanied me to the surgical room (yeah.. all of them. It was a dream, okay? :-p)

Then, I met the doctor. He was elderly with whitish gray hair, and he had the sweetest smile in the world. He was the most loving person I had ever met. He had a certain aura to him that reminded me of a kind, loving grandfather. He introduced himself and asked me if I felt okay and wanted to do this. I said yes. He then performed the abortion on me. It was completely pain-free, physically and emotionally. Immediately after it was done, I was reminded that I had no money to pay him. I started freaking out again, and he calmed me down by saying "Don't worry. I have it covered". My dream ended shortly after that.

Normally, my dreams have no profound effect on me. However, this dream left me with a very fresh, happy feeling. I felt satisfied and complete.

I aspire to be like the doctor in my dream. I know that not all of it is realistic. I know that my patients probably won't be laughing and making jokes with each other the entire time. I know that not all of my patients will leave my clinic feeling fresh and satisfied, and that's okay. I know that I'll have to deal with tragic cases, such as the rape survivor who got pregnant, the woman with a wanted, but life threatening pregnancy, or the girl who is just trying to escape her abusive relationship. I know that, for some women, having an abortion is an easy choice. For others, not so much. I also know that, despite all of this, I will never give up on my patients. I will love them unconditionally and do my best to make their abortion experience as positive as possible. I will try to do that much, and no less.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Remembering Dr. Tiller

One year ago today, it was a calm, bright, Sunday morning. I had nothing planned for that day. It was a lazy, relaxing, uneventful day for me. I was expecting it to stay that way.

Then, I heard the news that shattered my heart into a million pieces. A doctor dead by the hands of not just one assassin, but one deadly movement. They call themselves "pro-life", and if you don't do what they tell you to do, they will kill you. Today, they will weep their crocodile tears and hide behind their label, "pro-life". Then they will go on to promote killing by promoting the outrageous idea that doctors are "mass murderers" and "baby killers", when in fact the people who are responsible for murder are these "pro-lifers" themselves.

One year ago today, we lost a true American hero. We lost a man who saved dreams and lives, a man who eased and prevented suffering, a man who, for many women, was the shining star in the worst week of their lives, a man whose legacy will live on in my heart for the rest of my life.

One year ago today, America lost a friend. He was a friend to other doctors, to his patients, to his colleagues, and to women everywhere. We lost him because he was a friend. We lost him because he helped people. We lost him because the anti-choice movement hates to see a pregnant woman get help. They hate to see her get that help, so they destroy her only source for help.

I always hear talk of the hope that other doctors will "replace" Dr. Tiller. This will never happen. Maybe someone can take his place as a physician, but when we lost Dr. Tiller, someone lost a husband, a father, a grandfather, a best friend. No one can take Dr. Tiller's unique place in this world. No one.

Today, I'm asking myself this: How many more doctors will have to die? How many more doctors will be assassinated before America (and the rest of the world) recognizes the anti-choice movement for what it is- a large terrorist group? How many more people will have to lose their spouses, their fathers or mothers, their uncles and aunts, before we can bring this terrorism to a halt? How many more clinics will be bombed? How many more doctors will have to live their lives in fear of terrorism, just because they choose to help women?

Dr. Tiller was a man who, in the words of Dr. Warren Hern, represented a thought. He represented dignity, he represented the opportunity for women to become full citizens and participants in our society, he represented social change. Dr. Tiller represented the value of human life. He represented freedom, and that is why he's dead today.

Dr. Tiller is physically dead, but please don't let his memory die along with his physical being. I am going to let Dr. Tiller live on in my heart and in my actions, and I'm asking you to do the same.

God bless you Dr. Tiller.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

For those who hate the comment moderation system..

..well, I'm not here to please you. If I leave the comment moderation system up, people will complain. If I take it down, people will complain. Please understand that I did not create this blog to try to please everyone.

My problem is now that people are trying to use unrelated posts to complain about the comment moderation system. Well, here is your place to complain. Don't use my other posts, because I don't like for them to be derailed. Tell me how much you hate not having spam on my blog here, I don't mind.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hatred Fuels Their Souls

Anti-choicers seem to love hating people. It almost seems like a game to them. Pick any group of completely innocent people, and find a reason to hate them. Trans people? They hate them. Pregnant people? They hate them. Rape survivors? Well, they apparently hate them, too!

The subject of rape tends to come up a lot with me, particularly when I'm speaking about abortion. Rape and forced pregnancy are so closely tied together, it's difficult to avoid the connection. Both are extreme violations of bodily autonomy, and I will fight against both for as long as I live.

However, I've noticed a bit of a trend. Whenever I mention rape, speak about my own rape, or call an anti out on his or her rape apologism (without even mentioning abortion), they go berserk. This is when they start calling me names, this is when they tell me to "shut up", this is when they tell me that I'm playing the "victim card". This is when they imply that I'm stupid. This is when they call me a rapist and/or a rape apologist. This is when they call me a whore, delusional, paranoid, psychotic, pathetic, a "little bitty girl", a nut, and a Nazi.

Oh, and by the way, I made none of that up. Those are some of the things that anti-choicers have said to me recently. Aren't they so peaceful?

All of this has got me thinking; What is it about rape that gets these people so riled up? Why do they get so angry when I advocate against rape? Well, I have a few ideas.

My first thought is that they will obviously be pro-rape. You either believe in bodily autonomy or you don't. Anti-choicers obviously don't believe in bodily autonomy when it comes to pregnancy, so why in the world would they believe in it when it comes to sex? They have no reason to. If they're okay with traumatizing women with a pregnancy, they'll also be okay with traumatizing women with rape.

My next thought is that this hatred comes from the fact that many rape survivors go against their agenda. Rape survivors easily debunk the "all women who have abortions are dirty little sluts" sentiment. They see me tell my story, and they get angry. My story is of a 14 year old who got raped who would have surely killed herself if she got pregnant and was forced through her pregnancy. This angers them. They only care to hear about the young teenagers who are raped and are overwhelmingly happy about carrying a rape pregnancy. That's great for those girls, but what about all of the others? What about the ones who are/were in my situation? Anti-choicers go as far as they can to silence those who can not be exploited to advance an anti-choice agenda. Every time I speak about my rape experience, an anti-choicer straight up tells me to "shut up". It's very obvious that they're trying to silence those who are bad for the anti-choice agenda. They like to pretend that people like me don't exist. They might as well cover up their ears and scream "LALALALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!".

The more I interact with anti-choicers, the more I am convinced that 100% of them support rape in one way or another, and I am not exaggerating. Even the ones I trust the most do this to me. They will tell women that it's their job to not get themselves raped, they will blame women for their own rapes, they will tell rape survivors that they must carry a rape pregnancy to term, they will stand by rape apologists if that rape apologist is anti-choice. I haven't met one who doesn't do anything any of those things. Not one soul.

And sadly, it doesn't surprise me. Not one bit.

Oh, and anti-choicers, don't even bother leaving rape apologist comments here. I'm telling you now, they will be deleted.

Monday, May 17, 2010

New AbortionGang Post

In case you haven't seen, I have a new post up on the Abortion Gang that's actually aimed at anti-choicers to answer. It's about the new "pro-life majority", or so it's called. So far, there's a nice discussion going on. If you don't already read the Abortion Gang, you should check it out. There are a lot of other young reproductive justice advocates blogging there. Yes, antis, you are allowed to comment. You just have to be respectful :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

20 Reasons Why a Person Might Have an Abortion

There are a lot of reasons why a person might have an abortion. Here are a few:

1. She doesn't want to become a parent now.

2. She doesn't want to become a parent ever.

3. She's still in high school/college and wants to complete her education.

4. She had an incomplete miscarriage.

5. She has an ectopic pregnancy or other health problem.

6. She has children that she is already struggling to take care of.

7. She doesn't want to be a single parent.

8. She can't afford a/another child.

9. There is a fetal anomaly present.

10. She is looking after a family member with health issues and can't take care of both a child and a family member.

11. She is in an abusive relationship.

12. The pregnancy was a result of rape.

13. The child(ren) that she already has has special needs and she has to take care of him/her.

14. She is a drug addict/alcoholic and doesn't want the fetus to be born with health problems or raise a child while still being addicted.

15. She doesn't want to have a child at her age.

16. She doesn't want to be pregnant with a specific person's fetus.

17. Because having a child is and always will be life changing.

18. Giving a child away for adoption would be too painful.

19. She feels violated by the pregnancy.

20. She just doesn't want to be pregnant.

..and all of these reasons are good reasons. I don't expect any anti-choicers to understand this. I don't expect anti-choicers to treat any pregnant person decently, or even humanely. However, I do expect that pro-choicers will respect all women, regardless of their choice and their reason for that choice. We must always remember that it's not our (or anyone's) place to judge these women.

Have a happy Sunday!


-If you have any more things that you think I should add to this list, post a comment telling me what I should add. :)

-It's almost been a year since Dr. Tiller's assassination. Please remember to acknowledge that day (May 31st) and raise awareness about anti-choice terrorism. If you're on Twitter, you can start raising awareness by using the #TrustWomen and #RememberingDrTiller hashtags. God bless you, Dr. Tiller.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Trusting Women for Mother's Day

Who has abortions? What kind of people have abortions?

The answer: they're white people, black people, brown people. They're cis and they're trans. They're gay, straight, and bisexual. They're alcoholics, drug addicts, smokers, and straight-edge. They're depressed, pessimistic, optimistic, and the most happy-go-lucky people in the world. They're feminists, non-feminists, and anti-feminists. They're meat eaters, vegetarians, and vegans. They're Christians, Satanists, Muslims, Pagans, atheists, and Buddhists. They're liberal and pro-choice and they're conservative and anti-choice (yes, anti-choice women have abortions, too). They're rape victims, married, sex workers, and promiscuous. Some of them have no children. 60% of them do.

That's right, my friends, read correctly. 60%. Totally debunks the "if only you knew how it feels when the 'baby' kicks, you wouldn't have this abortion!" argument from anti-choicers. 60% of women do know how it feels to go through a pregnancy, to see the ultrasounds, to feel the fetus kick, to give birth. Women aren't stupid. We know what is inside of us when we're pregnant. We really do.

This Mother's Day, I will be celebrating the beauty of motherhood by trusting women to make their own life decisions. You can not celebrate the beauty of motherhood by forcing it upon women. You can not celebrate the beauty of motherhood by disregarding the emotions of anyone who has or wants to have an abortion, especially considering the fact that 60% of those people are mothers. Pregnancy and motherhood is so, so beautiful when it is chosen. That is not the case when it's forced. When it's forced, pregnancy becomes an act of violence, much like rape. Forcing violence upon anyone is not celebrating motherhood.

This Mother's Day, I'll be celebrating my own mother and her right to choose. I am so glad that she was not forced through her two pregnancies. I trust my mother with her own body, life, and family, just as I trust other women. I trust them enough to fight for their liberty. I trust them enough to not assume that they're liars when they say that they're raped, or when they say that they do/do not regret their abortion. I trust them enough to not assume that they're too stupid to know what to choose when they're pregnant. I trust them enough to tell them the truth about their pregnancies and bodies. I trust them enough to avoid screaming at them as they're trying to see a doctor. Can you say the same, anti-choicers?

Happy Mother's Day, everyone. Give your mom a big hug today!


-Don't forget to celebrate our birthmothers, too. Yesterday was BirthMother's day! I missed it, but it's never too late to celebrate. Every day should be a day of celebration for our mother's and birthmother's.

-Speaking of trusting women, the producers of the Trust Women Movie have $3,000 dollars in 15 days to be able to make their documentary about Dr. Hern and Dr. Carhart. Can you help? They can't do it without you!

-Also, click here to vote for Dr. Tiller as a women's health hero. He gave his life for liberty. He was such a brave man, I can not believe that it's been nearly a year since his assassination. RIP Dr. Tiller. You are dearly missed.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

To the Oklahoma Lawmakers

I'm sure you all know about the two disgusting measures that were enacted in Oklahoma recently. One forces a woman to have an ultrasound before she has an abortion. The other protects doctors who lie to women about the health of their fetuses. Horrifying, right? Well, today I found this awesome video via Finding My Feminism. Seriously, watch this. This is AMAZING!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Virtual Bowl-A-Thon: Part 2

A while back, I published a blog post about the Virtual Bowl-A-Thon and my participation in it.

Well, thanks to six amazing people, I reached my goal! Not only that, but I collected $155 dollars, instead of my original goal of $100. I'd like to take a moment to thank the six people who donated to my part of the fundraiser, and to the many other people who donated to the whole thing! The original goal for the Virtual Bowl-A-Thon was $125,000, and we have raised over $150,000! Take a moment to think about that. Take a moment to think about how many women that will help. Isn't it spectacular?

I really hope some of the people who donated are reading this, especially the six people who donated to my cause. I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you so much. You're really making a difference.

P.S. It's not too late to donate! The Abortion Gang still hasn't reached it's final goal. Can you help?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Do You Trust Women?

Do you trust women? I do, and so do Lana Wilson and Martha Shane- two wonderful, pro-choice, documentary filmmakers.

These two amazing ladies are in the process of making a documentary called "Trust Women: The Story of Two American Abortion Doctors". Who are those two doctors? They're Dr. LeRoy Carhart of Nebraska and Dr. Warren Hern of Colorado. These two doctors were friends of the late Dr. George Tiller and are very outspoken pro-choice activists- despite the fact that their work and their activism puts their lives in danger. Not only that, but Dr. Hern and Dr. Carhart are two of the very limited amount of doctors in America who provide late term abortions. This makes them the perfect targets for anti-choice terrorism and harassment, yet they still go on. These people are heroes.

This documentary will profile the lives of these two courageous abortion providers. It's purpose is to "celebrate the amazing work these doctors have continued to do in the face of constant harassment and threats from anti-choice extremists" and "to change the way people see abortion doctors". Lana Wilson and Martha Shane have already begun meeting with and interviewing Dr. Carhart and Dr. Hern.

I believe that productions like this are great steps towards creating a pro-choice, pro-woman climate. Not only that, but this documentary has the potential to change the way many people see abortion providers. Too often, abortion providers are portrayed as the evil, greedy, baby murderers. Our providers have to be recognized as the heroes that they are. For all that they sacrifice for women's liberty, isn't that the least that they deserve? However, to go through with this project, they're going to need your help.

It's simple, really. Making any kind of documentary costs money. So, because of this, I'm going to ask you to donate to this cause. This documentary won't come into existence without your help, and, seriously, wouldn't you like to see this film? I know I would. Pro-choice friends, let's make this film a reality! By the way, if you donate at least $10, your donation will be rewarded with some awesome gifts. The rewards get better and better the more you donate.

And, just in case you need some convincing, here is a beautiful quote from our wonderful Dr. Hern. You can find some literature by him here.

“Why do I perform abortions? Because it matters. It matters for the health of the women I help, it matters for the health of their families, it matters for the health of our society and, now, it matters for freedom.”
—Warren M. Hern, MD, MPH, PhD
Boulder, CO

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Spoken by a True Rape Apologist/Anti-Choicer

And here we have it, folks. Yet another anti-choice rape apologist who is attempting to rip open people's wounds. Guess what? I'm not going to let it work.

Not to say that I'm surprised. You shouldn't be either. It's just your average, every day, act of anti-choice misogyny.

Yes, I'm going to call you out when you imply that a pregnant 11 year old girl wasn't really raped. You know what you did. Yes, those quotation marks make a big difference. You know what that FOX article was trying to say, and you're going to shamelessly support it. I will call you out on your BS.

In case my readers are confused, this whole argument was a result of justsnapd8 tweeting this article.

Forget all of the crap in the actual article. I'm still at awe with the title. A 'rape' victim? Yeah, that poor girl was a 'rape' victim. She was 'assaulted'. 'Violated'.

I KNOW I can't be the only one that sees a problem with those sarcastic quotation marks.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Women's Bodies Are... Pieces of Land?

Why am I not surprised?

The anti-choice, anti-woman organization CatholicVote.Org has found their own little way to celebrate Earth Day-objectifying women by equating their bodies to pieces of land. They said that they are celebrating Earth Day by "celebrating nature’s greatest gift – human life". They don't mention the word abortion in the ad, but I find that it's always safe to assume that when an anti-choice organization speaks of "celebrating human life" they really mean "destroying women's lives". This is not new, nor is it surprising. I mean, doesn't this look familiar to you?

I also find it interesting to note how, in these types of ads, the woman's existence is not even acknowledged. She is reduced to a pregnant belly. She is portrayed as nothing more than an incubator. She is portrayed as a "thing", not a real person with her own emotions and story in life.

So very pro-woman, eh?

P.S. Please help me support women. I'm trying to raise $100 dollars in ten days for abortion funds. I'm on day 2, so to be on track I need 5 more dollars. Can you chip in that much?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Virtual Bowl-A-Thon

I am blessed. I am blessed to live in a country where women's liberty is respected by law (at least, to a point). I am blessed to live in an area where me and my friends can access an abortion if need be. Not only am I blessed to be able to make a choice with any pregnancies that I may have, but I am blessed to have the money to exercise my right to choose, or to help someone else exercise her right to choose.

However, I am also privileged. I recognize this fact. Some women are in abusive relationships. Some women live in cars. Some women live paycheck by paycheck, with absolutely no extra money to spare in case of an emergency because they already have 3 kids to take care of with no other person around to help them raise those children. I have it a lot easier than those women, and I am going to fight for their right to choose, too.

The right to choose, however, goes much further than allowing the legality of abortion. The right to choose means having access to abortion. Having access to abortion means having enough providers, having providers close by, having the means to visit a provider, and having the money for the procedure. What would the right to choose mean without all of those things? Absolutely nothing. Many women honestly can not afford to have an abortion. What of them? What of their right to choose? As pro-choicers, we are obligated to support the right to choose for all women, not just those who are privileged enough to afford it.

This is where the abortion funds come in.

I'm participating in the "virtual bowl-a-thon" started by the National Network of Abortion Funds. The bowl-a-thon is a fund raising event to help women who could not otherwise afford an abortion get one. I'm fund raising with the Abortion Gang. There are women in need out there, and they need your help. Can you donate anything at all to help them? $20? $10? $5? Any amount will help. Thank you!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Silent for a Cause

Last Friday was the Day of Silence, dedicated to the end of the (sometimes deadly) bullying and harassment of homosexual people, bisexual people, and transgender people, particularly on campus.

To be honest, I'm not normally fond of the idea of staying silent to promote a cause. I'd rather wear or do something that brings attention to the cause and voice my opinion loud and proud. However, this year, I decided to give the day of silence a chance. I went to my classes with a piece of duct tape on my arm that read "D.O.S-NOH8". I carried cards around with me explaining my silence and I brought a lot of extra duct tape and cards for other people to participate.

The responses I got were almost all positive. Some people gave me hugs, words of encouragement, thumbs ups, and friendly smiles. Some people found the day of silence amusing ("I could NEVER be silent for a whole day! I'm too much of a motor mouth!) Others didn't even notice that I was silent, because I'm normally a very quiet person. My day was going well.

Or at least, it was going very well until it was time for quartet rehearsal. It's not that they harassed or berated me. They didn't. They were actually fairly accepting of my silence (although they did tease me a little bit, but that's to be expected coming from them). It's the discussion that the day of silence led up to. My own day of silence led up to the three of them, all anti-choicers, discussing their silent day. It led up to them pulling out every anti-choice lie and piece of propaganda they could think of.

"Abortion kills women!"

"The vast majority of women regret their abortions!"

"Abortion causes infertility!"

"Most women who have abortions are screwed up and suicidal afterwards!"

"No one actually thinks abortion is right."

and one I've never heard before:

"The only people who have had more than one abortions are prostitutes. Everyone else who has one never has more than one because they know it's wrong." (W...T...Fruit)

And there I was, trying to maintain my silence, thinking about how they had to discuss this at the worst possible time. Normally, I'd speak up. If it were any other day, I would have called out their lies and we would have gotten into a huge argument about abortion (with it being 3 to 1), and then quartet rehearsal would have been totally ruined. However, I felt obligated to maintain my silence on that day, out of respect for my homosexual, bisexual, and transgender friends. I attempted to ignore them by occupying myself by applying rosin to my bow and by tuning my instrument. I felt like I was about to explode.

I was so conflicted.

I thought back to the things I read on, and I remembered that it said that you can choose your own level of silence. That was when I decided that I was going to break my silence, in order to call out the lies.

BUT it was too late. They had already moved on to another subject, and it would have been awkward for me to call them out at that time. I let it go, and I totally regret it.

When I went home, I did a little bit of research on their "silent day". I had some experience with it, because I always used to counter protest it when I was in high school, but what I really wanted to know was when it started. Why is there a day of silence to end LGBT harassment, and another day of silence to end women's rights? I had a hunch that someone stole someone else's idea. After searching their the anti-choice silent day website, I found this:

Now, something that started its first year as just a few thousand students from 300 campuses has grown into a world-wide outpouring of love and action. The Pro-life Day of Silent Solidarity is in it's 6th year, and last year we had students from more that 4,800 campuses in 25 countries stand together in solidarity.

(emphasis mine)

Just to be sure, I checked out and found this:

The National Day of Silence brings attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. Each year the event has grown, and now hundreds of thousands of students participate to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBT behavior. Founded in 1996, the Day of Silence has become the largest single student-led action towards creating safer schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

(emphasis mine)

Now, to be fair, no one can say for sure that the anti-choicer who started Silent Day stole the idea. It's just a thought.

Anyway, I've been thinking about these two days of silence for the past few days. I feel like anti-choicers really enjoy steal- ahem, I mean, using progressive tactics in order to advance their own causes. They take away reproductive liberty and call it reproductive justice, they take away women's basic human rights and call it feminism, and they take a tactic that was originally meant to bring awareness to the bullying and harassment that those in the LGBT community face and turn it into a day that is meant to silence and shame women. Am I the only one that thinks that these people should come up with their own ideas? Isn't it kind of funny to see how they're trying to make their movements look like ours in order to make themselves look better? What do you gals and guys think?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Culture of Life

"Give The Gift Of Life"

"It's About Life"

"Save a Life!"

If you're at all involved in the abortion "debate", slogans that are similar to these should sound very familiar to you. The side of the abortion debate that masquerades as "pro-life" uses similar slogans all the time. They claim that they're saving lives, that they're on the side of life, and that they are the ones who are promoting a "culture of life".

However, the slogans that I just listed are not from anti-choice groups. They're from Florida Blood Services, the organization that helped me donate blood last Friday.

Now, although the anti-choice movement and blood donation centers have similar slogans (and, to those who are very misguided, similar ideals), these two groups could not be further apart. Only one of these groups is truly on the side of life, only one of these groups is truly saving lives, and only one of these groups is actually promoting a culture of life. Which group is that, you ask? Do I really have to say it?

Now, many anti-choicers seem to be confused about how to promote a culture of life. It seems that, for some of them, promoting a culture of life includes:

1) Taking away people's liberty.

2) Harassing doctors and their patients

3) Lying to others.

4) Enforcing laws that kill women.

5) Killing doctors.

Now, I don't know about you, but I don't think any of those things are promoting a culture of life. Here's what I think promotes a real culture of life:

How to promote a culture of life:

1) Donate blood

2) Become a vegetarian or vegan.

3) Do not promote restrictions on health care

4) Do not promote laws that do nothing but kill.

5) Volunteer to help those who are less fortunate or less privileged than you are.

6) Donate to a charity.

7) Adopt an animal in need.

8) Volunteer to help animals in need.

9) Protect liberty (and yes, that does include reproductive liberty).

10) Show your appreciation for people who save lives. Thank them.

At least, that's how I like to promote a culture of life. What do you do to really promote a culture of life?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Abortion Gang: Where My Heart Is

For those of you who don't know, the Abortion Gang is a group of young women (and maybe men? I don't know all of them yet ;)) who blog about reproductive justice. We're here to show the world that young women do care about reproductive rights, and that we're not just sitting here idly while our rights are taken away.

If you have time, check out my new post for the Abortion Gang. It's about how my heart is in reproductive rights, and why I'm so dedicated to repro rights. There are a lot of great posts and great bloggers on the Abortion Gang, so you should check out the other posts, too!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

From the National Sexual Violence Resource Center:

What is SAAM?

The month of April has been designated Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). The goal of SAAM is to raise public awareness about sexual violence (focusing on sexual assault and rape) and to educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence.

Here on the SAAM site, you will find information and materials for both the upcoming SAAM campaign as well as past campaigns. While the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) creates these campaign materials for SAAM, we encourage state and local organizations and groups focused on sexual violence awareness and prevention to tailor these campaign materials to their local communities.

By working together and pooling our resources during the month of April, we can highlight sexual violence as a major public health issue and reinforce the need for prevention efforts.

Some very scary facts from RAINN:

there were 248,300 sexual assaults in 2007

1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime

9 of every 10 rape victims were female in 2003

About 3% of American men — or 1 in 33 — have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime

15% of sexual assault and rape victims are under age 12

7% of girls in grades 5-8 and 12% of girls in grades 9-12 said they had been sexually abused. (I, personally, am surprised that it's this low. I have a feeling that many of these young victims did not recognize their assaults as assaults.)

93% of juvenile sexual assault victims know their attacker.

Victims of sexual assault are:

3 times more likely to suffer from depression.

6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

13 times more likely to abuse alcohol.

26 times more likely to abuse drugs.

4 times more likely to contemplate suicide.

Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted.

60% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police.

only about 6% of rapists ever serve a day in jail.

73% of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger.

38% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance.

28% are an intimate.
7% are a relative.

One positive fact:
Sexual assault has fallen by more than 60% in recent years. (THANK GOD!)

Let's bring a halt to sexual assault and rape, and let's do it the right way.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Pro-Choice Church

We all know (or at least, I hope we all know) that there are pro-choice Christians. There are Pro-Choice Catholics, there is the Disciples for Choice, there is SYRF, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, and others. Today, I'll be writing specifically about the Lutheran Church and its statement regarding abortion.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has this statement on its website. Now, I'm warning you now that there's a lot of anti-choice language in their statement. However, that does not mean that the church takes an official anti-abortion stance. I find their position to be very progressive and liberal for a church.

Section III starts off with a bunch of anti-choice rhetoric (hey, I warned you).

"We mourn the loss of life that God has created.[A] The strong Christian presumption is to preserve and protect life. Abortion ought to be an option only of last resort. Therefore, as a church we seek to reduce the need to turn to abortion as the answer to unintended pregnancies."

This part plays into the "abortion is a bad word" sentiment or the "I support the right to abortion, but I do not like abortion at all" kind of sentiment that many pro-choicers express. It's not ideal, and it's a problem. However, look at what comes next:

"We also deplore the circumstances that lead a woman to consider abortion as the best option available to her. We are moved particularly by the anguish of women who face unwanted pregnancies alone. The panic and isolation of such pregnancies, even in the best of circumstances, can be traumatic. Poverty, lack of supportive relationships, immaturity, oppressive social realities, sexism, and racism can intensify her sense of powerlessness. The prospect of having and caring for a child can seem overwhelming."

This is a sentiment that anti-choicers hardly ever express. As pro-choicers, we should respect pregnant women, and try to understand the situations that they're in. Not all of them are in desperate situations, but many of them are. Those women need our help and understanding, not our judgment.

It goes on to speak about sexual responsibility, sex outside of marriage, contraception, etc. I won't get into that right now. In section IV, it states:

"Because of the Christian presumption to preserve and protect life, this church, in most circumstances, encourages women with unintended pregnancies to continue the pregnancy." and "This church encourages and seeks to support adoption as a positive option to abortion."

More anti-choice sentiments here. As pro-choicers, we should encourage the woman to do what's best for her. Adoption isn't always a more positive option than abortion, and abortion should not be portrayed as a negative option at all. However, it's important to note that encouraging a woman to go through a pregnancy is not the same as forcing her to do so. It's pressuring her, which is morally wrong, but this says nothing on their stance about legal abortion.

Okay, here's where it gets juicy!

"This church recognizes that there can be sound reasons for ending a pregnancy through induced abortion. The following provides guidance for those considering such a decision. We recognize that conscientious decisions need to be made in relation to difficult circumstances that vary greatly. What is determined to be a morally responsible decision in one situation may not be in another.

In reflecting ethically on what should be done in the case of an unintended pregnancy, consideration should be given to the status and condition of the life in the womb. We also need to consider the conditions under which the pregnancy occurred and the implications of the pregnancy for the woman's life.

An abortion is morally responsible in those cases in which continuation of a pregnancy presents a clear threat to the physical life of the woman.

A woman should not be morally obligated to carry the resulting pregnancy to term if the pregnancy occurs when both parties do not participate willingly in sexual intercourse.[E] This is especially true in cases of rape and incest. This can also be the case in some situations in which women are so dominated and oppressed that they have no choice regarding sexual intercourse and little access to contraceptives. Some conceptions occur under dehumanizing conditions that are contrary to God's purposes.

There are circumstances of extreme fetal abnormality, which will result in severe suffering and very early death of an infant. In such cases, after competent medical consultations, the parent(s) may responsibly choose to terminate the pregnancy. Whether they choose to continue or to end such pregnancies, this church supports the parent(s) with compassion, recognizing the struggle involved in the decision.

Although abortion raises significant moral issues at any stage of fetal development, the closer the life in the womb comes to full term the more serious such issues become.[F] When a child can survive outside a womb, it becomes possible for other people, and not only the mother, to nourish and care for the child. This church opposes ending intrauterine life when a fetus is developed enough to live outside a uterus with the aid of reasonable and necessary technology. If a pregnancy needs to be interrupted after this point, every reasonable and necessary effort should be made to support this life, unless there are lethal fetal abnormalities indicating that the prospective newborn will die very soon."
(emphasis mine)

So, the church disapproves of abortion in cases where the fetus is considered "viable". The church approves of abortion in cases of rape/incest, when the life of the woman is endangered, and in cases of fetal abnormalities. Keep in mind that, if a reason for abortion isn't listed in their list of abortions that they do approve, that does not necessarily mean that they take an official stance against it.

Later on, they recap on their stance.

" this church opposes:

* the total lack of regulation of abortion;
* legislation that would outlaw abortion in all circumstances;
* laws that prevent access to information about all options available to women faced with unintended pregnancies;
* laws that deny access to safe and affordable services for morally justifiable abortions;
* mandatory or coerced abortion or sterilization;
* laws that prevent couples from practicing contraception;
* laws that are primarily intended to harass those contemplating or deciding for an abortion.

The position of this church is that, in cases where the life of the mother is threatened, where pregnancy results from rape or incest, or where the embryo or fetus has lethal abnormalities incompatible with life, abortion prior to viability should not be prohibited by law or by lack of public funding of abortions for low income women. On the other hand, this church supports legislation that prohibits abortions that are performed after the fetus is determined to be viable, except when the mother's life is threatened or when lethal abnormalities indicate the prospective newborn will die very soon.

Beyond these situations, this church neither supports nor opposes laws prohibiting abortion."

Anti-choicers: Before you claim that the Lutheran Church is against elective abortion, please read that last line over a few times. Let me make this clear. The church lists situations where abortion is definitely justified (rape, incest, life of woman, fetal abnormalities), and it lists one situation where they consider it immoral (post-"viability" abortions). The last sentence confirms that the church is not necessarily against elective abortions. It states that it is neither for or against laws that prohibit those abortions. In other words, the Lutheran church does not take an official stance on those procedures.

I find the Lutheran Church's stance on abortion quite liberal and progressive for a church. I'm glad that it's the church that my boyfriend is apart of. :)

Anti-Choice Love

So, lately I've been rereading a lot of the anti-choice comments I've been getting on my blog.

"you are totally Cuckoo."

"If you have any love for any women other than the one in the mirror, I have yet to see it. It's painfully obvious you hate that one, too. Enjoy your bitterness and anger. At the end of your life, it's all you'll have left."

"Women like you make the rest of us look like fools. If that's feminism, please keep it to yourself. And if you were truly a rape victim" (emphasis mine)

"You'll make a great abortionist. Unfeeling to the last, except when it comes to number one."
*side note- Why, thank you for telling me that I'll make a great doctor.

"you are deranged and dangerous."

"you are just as predatory as those you claim to despise."

"I really believe the only way you could ever live with yourself is to tell yourself that you are helping us."

"You are pathetic and I'm not wasting another minute on you. Hater."
"You don't speak for all women, and you sure as hell don't speak for this one, predator."

"But I'd bet everything I own that no one lost a life when your (wisdom) teeth were pulled. Too bad the wisdom was taken along with the teeth."

"Proud ProLife Feminist Mother puking in mouth with the thought of Not Guilty coming in contact with anyone's daughter."

Always remember: If an anti-choicer is pissed off at you, starts calling you names, and starts assuming things about your life, you've probably been doing something right.

Friday, April 2, 2010

"I Don't Support Roeder BUT..."

I've sure you're all familiar with the anti-choicers who say things like "I don't support Roeder, but Tiller was a murderer!" or "I don't support Roeder, but I sure do understand where he was coming from!" They're everywhere. These kind of comments infest blogs like Jill Stanek's blog and Operation Rescue. It's very telling of the "pro-life" movement. Very telling indeed.

To me, the "I don't support Roeder BUT.." people are just as bad as the people who openly support what he did. They're like rape apologists, in a way. It's not much different than saying "I don't support rape, BUT she really shouldn't have been wearing that skirt" or "I don't support rape, BUT it was partially her fault for flirting with him beforehand". Rape apologists are pro-rape, and the antis who make excuses for Dr. Tiller's assassination are pro-murder. Let's look at some examples. Let's look at this comment, posted on Jill Stanek's by Joe on April 2, 2010 4:44 PM. Joe starts out by saying this:

"I do not support what Scott Roeder did."

That's fine and dandy, but you can totally see the murder apologism coming, can't you? He goes on to say:

"However, the person he killed was not an innocent human being. The person whom he killed had killed 60,000 human beings. 60,000!"

AHA! THERE IT IS! Didn't take you long, buddy.

"Scott Roeder understandably believed that something had to be done to stop this evil." and "He didn't kill for his own benefit, he did it to save the lives of the unborn. He may in fact have saved unborn live" (emphasis mine)

And here he goes on to portray Roeder as the hero. You, my friend, are one reason why abortion providers live in constant fear of being murdered. By law, you may be innocent, but in your heart, you should know that you have blood on your hands.

"It is a mistake for our movement to demonize people like Scott Roeder. Criticize what he did, but understand why he did it. Since he killed someone who had killed a large number of people and would continue to do so, I felt that this should have been taken into consideration and he should have been given a lesser sentence."

Translation: I don't support what Roeder did, but I support what Roeder did.

Good job, Joe. This is why I use the term anti-choice, not "pro-life". By the way, no one on Stanek's blog objected to what you said. No one. Let's take a look at the comment section at Operation oppress-you to prove that you aren't the only one. This one was posted by Anne Robertson on May 31st, 2009 12:34 pm.

"While I would never encourage or condone such action I cannot pretend to feel sadness at his passing. He has taken the last infant life that he will."

I bet this came from a person who has claimed in the past that she feels sadness for every human life lost. Again, no one objected to this comment. No one. Think that one is sick? Check out this next one, posted by Sarah on June 2nd, 2009 10:03 am.

"I had just been praying every night for two weeks when it came to abortion to save their souls or slay them dead! and now Tiller is dead!"

At least she's not hiding the fact that she's pro-murder. She continues to say "God ALLOWED it to happen" .. And God allowed the Holocaust to happen. Humans have free will. Just because God allowed Roeder to murder an innocent man doesn't mean that that's what God wanted. Hell, God allows abortion to happen. Do you think God wants abortion rights? (I do, but that's besides the point.)

Now, Sarah goes on to say that she DOES feel sad that he was killed. Um.. what? Why were you praying for his death, then? Once again, not one soul in the comment section called Sarah out on her pro-murder stance. No one.

Scott Roeder is going to be in prison for the rest of his life, but as you can see, there are still terrorists and terrorist supporters. There is no doubt that there will be much, much more violence to come because of people like Jill Stanek, Troy Newman, Cheryl Sullenger, and their followers. No doubt at all.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hijacking Feminism: The Feminists Who Hate Women

You all know who they are. They call themselves "pro-life feminists". They're the ones that claim that "women deserve better" than having equal rights. They're the Susan B. Anthony List. They're the Feminists for Life.

They're liars, frauds, and misogynists.

There is absolutely nothing feminist about forcing women through pregnancies. There's nothing feminist about intentionally traumatizing them. There's nothing feminist about supporting causes and laws that kill women. Nothing feminist at all. Those people are just as feminist as they are pro-life (meaning, not at all).

I'm not the kind of person that will try to take away someone's "feminist card", but I do draw the line at certain points. If someone believes that rape is okay, then that person isn't a feminist. If someone believes that women shouldn't have the right to vote, then that person isn't a feminist. If someone believes that women don't deserve to have bodily autonomy, then that person isn't a feminist. I strongly believe that the only reason these people call themselves "feminists" is not because they care about women, it's because they want to make it look like they care about women, just like antis who kill doctors try to make it look like they care about life. Either that, or they care about women, but only in some cases. It's sort of like how my parents love me, but if it came between choosing between me and a fetus, they'd let their politics get in the way of family.

Personally, I see a pattern. Antis try to take away women's basic human rights, and they call it feminism. They force women through pregnancies and call it reproductive justice. They kill doctors* and call it "pro-life".

You know what the worst part about this is, though? Some, maybe even many, real feminists are okay with anti-choicers calling themselves feminists. Seriously? Would you be okay with someone who believes that women shouldn't get the right to vote calling themselves a feminist? No? Then why call an anti a feminist? I would venture to say that the right to choice (abortion, pregnancy, VBAC, etc) is even more of a basic human right than the right to vote. The right to your own body should be considered a God given right. It's an essential part of our liberty. It should go without saying that someone who believes in taking away a huge part of our liberty isn't a feminist.

It's time to take off that veil, antis. We know who you are, and we aren't about to let you hijack feminism.

*Speaking of killing doctors, in case you haven't heard, Scott Roeder (the terrorist that killed Dr. Tiller) has gotten the hard 50. You're in there for life, terrorist!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

An End to the 40 Days for Lies

This is a bit delayed, but the 40 Days for Lies ended on Sunday, March 28th. Last time I wrote about the 40 Days for Lies, quite a few anti-abortionists claimed that "it's not about harassment! All we do is pray!" or "40 days for life (sic) is a peaceful protest".

While it may be true that some of the protesters for the 40 days for lies are "just praying", and while it may be trust that some of them may have good intentions, that doesn't make the whole campaign any better. Their good intentions do not make the environment any less hostile, for the patients or for the doctors. Their good intentions do not mean that they aren't bringing a dangerous amount of attention to doctors. The good intentions of some protesters do not minimize the fact that this campaign is a hurtful one, whose main purpose is to harass women.

If the 40 days for lies campaign were just about praying for women who would have abortions, they would stay at home and pray. However, they choose to "pray" at the clinics. The reason? They want to make a presence. They know that making a presence will scare patients. They know that making a presence at abortion clinics will threaten doctors. It's not about life. It's not about helping people.

Some words about the 40 days for lies, from Dr. Warren Hern.

"We cannot use the front entrance of my office, and we can't use the front driveway exit of my office with the demonstrators present," Dr. Hern said. "My friend and colleague Dr. George Tiller was shot by a "peaceful" anti-abortion demonstrator in August, 1993 as he drove out of his office driveway in Wichita, Kansas in an assassination attempt." Shelley Shannon, the woman who shot Dr. Tiller, wrote to Dr. Hern from Kansas state prison telling him, "You're next."

Dr. Tiller was assassinated in church last May 31, 2009 by Scott Roeder, who has been convicted of first degree murder.

"The anti-abortion protesters in front of my office terrorize me, my staff, and my patients. 35 years of anti-abortion violence and assassinations have taught us that there is no such thing as a 'peaceful' anti-abortion demonstration. Every single act of violence, every single clinic bombing, every single assassination and murder by anti-abortion fanatics has been preceded by 'peaceful' demonstrations and 'prayer vigils,' Hern said. "This is target identification for anti-abortion assassins. The mere presence of the demonstrators is, as far as we are concerned, a 'threat of force' because of the history of anti-abortion violence," said Hern.

"The '40 Days For Life' demonstrators and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church is giving Boulder an unwarranted international reputation for anti-abortion fanaticism," Hern said. "The priest is orchestrating this medieval madness."

"The Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church was involved in the disgraceful theft of fetal ashes from my patients from different religious traditions for burial in the church cemetery on January 22, 2005, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade," Hern said. "This was outrageous political and sectarian exploitation of personal tragedy and willful violation of the privacy and personal grief of my patients," said Hern.

Dr. Hern is right. There is no such thing as a "peaceful" anti-choice protest. Killing doctors and taking away liberty will never be peaceful.

Also, please remember that, even though the 40 days for the harassment of women is officially over, a lot of clinics still need your help. It's not to late to volunteer to escort!

Be Like A Bird

Okay, straying away from the bodily autonomy/reproductive justice focus a little bit..

For those of you who don't know, Gabby (the parrot in my picture) died recently. This post is dedicated to her.

Some days, I beat myself up for being too ugly, or too short, or oddly proportioned, or for having an ugly face, or for having big feet, or for having frizzy hair, or for having a lot of scars. I'm sure a lot of you do the same.

But what's the point? What's the point in beating yourself up for the body that God gave you?

On days that I beat myself up for my assets that are less than perfect, I try to remember Gabby. I had a perch in my bathroom where I let her sit on while I was taking my morning shower. Her favorite thing about waking up was the fact that she got to sit in front of the bathroom mirror and stare at the most beautiful bird in the world for half an hour. She never beat herself up for not being skinny enough, or for having a bad feather day, or for having a little bald spot. She was beautiful, and she knew it! My other birds are like this, too. Don't they have amazing attitudes? Whenever I have a bad self esteem day, I'm going to strive to be like a bird.