Thursday, March 24, 2011

I just can't keep my mouth shut

Oh hi there. Remember me? I know it has been awhile (understatement). I think for awhile there my job was pretty intense and didn't always leave a lot of emotional space for me to reflect on all the madness in the world and angst in myself. However, today is your lucky day! I am doing a job that has very little signifigance in the world which has given me PLENTY of time and space to read the news and get angry.

I am going to write about something kind of intense here (I know that probably doesn't surprise many of you. . . if there are any of 'you' left that read this little gem).

Recently South Dakota passed a law that requires a woman seeking an abortion to wait three days between the time that she seeks abortion services and the time that the actual procedure is performed. In addition to the waiting period she must also seek support services at a crisis pregnancy center. This on the heels of the US House of Representatives cutting funding for Planned Parenthood.

Just in case you weren't sure where this is going I am just gonna let the cat out of the bag. This decision deeply concerns me and makes me quite scared.

Here is a link to the article. It is fairly short and an important read. If you don't want to read my thoughts feel free to click away now, I won't even know.

I would like to start off by answering the question posed by Leslee Unruh, "What are they so afraid of? That women might change their minds?"

I believe the 'they' she is referring to is pro-choice people. As a pro-choice person I am happy to answer that question and can assure you that a changed mind is not what I am afraid of.

I believe that is a woman's choice to have an abortion or not have an abortion. Taking time to make that decision is not what I am afraid of, as long as it is not being forced. I highly doubt that anyone in the pro-choice camp would be upset if a woman decided to not get an abortion. We do not advocate for abortions, but for a woman's choice for what is best for her and family (current or future).

I sat with someone in a Planned Parenthood after they had a positive pregnancy test. The medical practicioner's words were "We are not all about abortions here. We are about people not having regrets, about making a decision that is right for them."

The problem with the three day wait period is not that we would discourage someone from gathering all of the facts (crisis pregnancy centers do not necessarily give women facts about abortions, just scare tactics) to make an informed decision. The problem with a three day wait period is that women come to the decision to get an abortion for a myriad of reasons. For some waiting three days with a pregnancy that you are know you are about to terminate can be torterous. The three day wait period is only waived in the case of the mother's health, not in the case of rape or incest.

In South Dakota there is only one clinic that will provide non-emergency abortions. If you are a woman who seeks abortion services in SD you may have to drive hours for the appointment and then have to make the same trip three days later. For many women this will result in lost wages at work. An abortion can cost up to $600 if your insurance does not cover it.

Let me address the issue of requiring women to seek support at a Crisis Pregnancy Center. Apparently Leslee Unruh says that counseling sessions at the clinic will be "carried out by medical professionals and would ensure that women were not being pressured by a boyfriend, husband, or parents." I am glad that Leslee adresses this because Reproductive abuse is a frightening and growing trend in domestic violence relationships.

Do you know another place that ensures that women are not being coerced to make this decision? Planned Parenthood.

In every gynecological apppointment I have had (at Planned Parenthood and private practices) I am asked if anyone at home is hurting me and if I am being forced to have sex in any way. I have heard from many people that when they have visited Planned Parenthood for abortion services that they have to go into the doctor's office by themselves. While they are there they are asked a series of questions to ensure that this a decisions the woman is making on her own.

The concern with making women visit crisis pregnancy centers is that most of them are faith based and have zero medical oversight. As the article says, their only qualification is that they are anti abortion. Maybe this will change with the new law. Even if it does change the information being given to these women is still incerdibly biased and expects that every woman should hold the same moral views about abortion.

Here is the fact. Abortion is legal. These anti abortion laws are seeking to criminalize something that our highest courts have said is legal.

Here is another fact. You can never know what decision you would make about an unplanned pregnancy until you walk in those shoes. Until Gov. Daugaard and the many male republican senatore behind this bill have the capability of becoming pregnant I suggest they stay out of the business of determining what a 'good decision' is for these women.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Here's a thing. . .

I am so so so sorry that I have not blogged in 4 months (!). Really there is no excuse.

I am hoping that there are still some of you out there who still check this little peek into my vida. Maybe by some chance I am still on your little RSS feed or blogger subscriber, or whatever these space age programs are.

I can assure you that there have been many, many, many times that I have wanted to share with you all here. The truth is that the past couple (x2) of months has been filled with some things that just give you heavy boots. I might share a bit of it here. If you don't want to read it because it is depressing there will be no judgment from me.

I temped a job for a bit that just showed some really sad parts of humanity. I will spare you all of the details, but I was a victim advocate and I spent a lot of time in court listening to people make excuses for really awful choices that harmed other people. I felt sad and frustrated that we are in a state of things where violence is normalized and excused.

It is also a bit hopeless to know that these men (usually men) are going to go in to a system that does not have any productive ways to rehabilitate them so they will be released and then hurt someone else (or the same person again).

A really beautiful part of that experience was watching women really find their voice and strength again. I had a woman say to me at a sentencing this morning that she was feeling really bad about this whole thing and blaming herself and then she realized 'wait, I didn't hit me, he did'. Love it.

I had the advocate who I was filling in for tell me that she spoke to a Victim who I had worked with. The Victim told the advocate that she really appreciated talking with me and then she paused in the conversation and said "I love her".

That makes it all worth it.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

oh heyyyy . . .

i'm going to Cal-i-for-ni-a tomorrow biotches.

I will be soaking up the sun and NOT working. It will be glorious.

I will be doing lots, but mostly getting sunburned hoping it will turn in to a tan.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Get the move on

Last night I was watching TV and this commercial came on for something (obviously ineffective because I do not remember the product) . It was talking about how when we travel or move to a new place we are more inclined to be adventurous, try new foods, go new places, talk to different people etc.

I was having that exact thought at dinner earlier on in the evening. I was at a restaurant/bar that I had never been to before. I thought to myself 'I have lived in this city for 5 years and I have never been here'. I just realized that we kind of get into a life routine. Even though Seattle is a big city, I am young, I don't have a whole lot of responsibilities, I still just get in a rut.

I always feel like I don't 'get out' enough. But the truth is, I really don't want to. I would rather drink a glass of wine (or three) at home with my roommates and watch a movie. I think I need a bit of a kick start. I am craving an adventure, but for some reason life keeps getting in the way.

I am constantly battling the feeling that I am too young to be so boring and then feeling like I am almost 25 (!) and there is a lot I wanted to accomplish at this point in my life and I better get on it.

Sidenote: One of those things would be having a family. I think that this adventure or getting out would make that a bit more possible. Let's just say that my current pool of men does not exactly include anyone that ideal (cops) .

Sometimes I think that I should take a year and travel, get fresh perspective.

How would I pay for that? That takes a year out of any sort of career track. Would I just miss my Seattle life the whole time?

Alas, I arrive at the rut again and settle in.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Let's call it what it is

First read this news story
Father's deadly rage ignited by breakup

This is our response in 200 words to the editor of the Seattle Times

Seattle Times reported the homicide of five children by their father in Graham without naming the abusive behavior patterns this family experienced as domestic violence. While the report outlines classic signs of abuse, such as the abuse of pets, children’s fear, murderous jealousy, and tracking one’s partner through GPS, it calls James Harrison’s behavior expressions of “rage.”

Until we start recognizing and naming domestic violence, we as a community will continue to sensationalize these horrific domestic violence homicides every time they make headlines. Sensationalizing these stories does not help us hold abusers accountable for their behavior – not just for murderous behavior, but for the systematic abuse and control that usually precedes a homicide.

The 2008 WSCADV Fatality Review states that since January 1997, “430 people were killed by domestic violence abusers in Washington State,” and, alarmingly, between 1/3 and ½ of women murdered in WA state “are killed by their current or former intimate partners” (7). We challenge media to report these incidents for what they are: cases of domestic violence. Naming domestic violence allows readers to identify patterns of abuse in their own lives and to recognize the real, fatal, danger it poses to our community.

Friday, April 3, 2009

An Explanation

So I knew when I made my new habits that this would probably not be one that I was going to keep. I just don't want to write about shallow shit. It is boring and then I am afraid I will loose all of you, my loyal readers. I will, however blog a couple times a week with something of semi depth.

Day 3: successful in the sleep and work out

Day 4: successful in the sleep

Day 5: Today. I really don't want to work out because basically my uterus is making me want to put a fork in my eye. My roommate told me that I should walk and I would feel better. bitch.

I am working a LOT this weekend so I will probs have some good things to share about that.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I almost failed.

It was late and I just got home and didn't want to exercise, but I did. I got my pretty little behind in gear and grabbed a roommate and went on a walk . . . and then I wanted french fries.

Tonight I had dinner with the family I babysit for. I literally watched a baby move inside of the mom's stomach.

Some days I wish that having a baby was closer in the future.

Day 2: Successful