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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

New Abortion Laws Sweeping the Country

On Thursday, August 2nd, Arizona's new law regarding abortion goes into effect. According to this law, no abortion shall be performed past 20 weeks (20 weeks from the last missed period...an extreme that most states passing 20 week bills don't seek to pass). This includes abortions due to fetal abnormality. Therefore, if a woman goes in for her anatomy scan at 20 weeks, 1 day and finds that her precious baby has a defect that is causing him or her to suffer, or one that will not allow them to thrive outside of the womb, or worse...will kill them, she will be forced to carry the pregnancy to term, crossing her fingers that her child passes on their own or that he or she does not suffer for long after they are born. Even Georgia's new 20 week bill that goes into effect in January isn't this extreme (Don't get all giddy...it's 10 different kinds of effed up, as well. There is no exception for rape and incest past 20 weeks). Georgia's law will outlaw abortions past 20 weeks gestation, with an exception for pregnancies that our wonderful Governor (cough), Nathan Deal, calls "medically futile" (Side note: The definition of futile: incapable of producing any useful results. Pointless......just in case you were wondering).

It is so sad to me that women and their families are suffering because pro-life politicians have such an agenda to push. I wish that people could understand that this issue really does need to be considered on a case by case basis. For example, while I support abortion...I personally do not believe in using abortion as a form of birth control, over and over again. I think that it should be used as an absolute last resort. But because these politicians believe that they have an agenda to push, they see this issue in absolutes. There is no gray area. Because their supporters don't support abortion, they are putting restricting laws on the issue for EVERYONE. They're treating every issue exactly the same. It's unacceptable. And as women, we need to be standing up and raising hell.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The London Olympics

I don't typically follow the Olympics, but a few days ago, something was mentioned on the news that really struck me. This is the first Olympics in history where every competing country has women competing! Really?! It's 2012. We've fought for voting rights, abortion rights, equality in the workplace, and here we are...just now getting women from every country competing in the Olympics? Yes, I realize that different countries do things different, but still...I was in SHOCK when I heard this!

I hope that when my daughter is my age, these shocking equalities are a thing of the past. I hope that she is able to hold a career and make as much as her male counterparts. I hope that if she has a problem with a pregnancy, she has the right to do as she sees fit. I hope that she exercises her right to vote and make her voice heard. We *have* to keep working, and protecting the progress we've made, if for no other reason...for our daughters.

Friday, July 20, 2012

It's always interesting to me that people with opposing viewpoints assume that I will fight them to the death because of my own. I think it surprises a lot of people to come across a pro-(insert abortion stance here)-er who is open minded enough to understand the other side, and sympathize with it. Instead of two open minded individuals coming to a conversation, it's one willing to discuss both sides and one who is walking into it with their guards up and locked in place. It's a waste of time for both parties, which is annoying (to say the least).

The next time you're faced with someone whose opinion differs from your's, don't go into the conversation ready to defend. Go into it with your mind and ears open, and you just mind learn something about the other side.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

How pro-choice (or pro-life) are you?

Many people hear the terms "pro-choice" or "pro-life" and their minds automatically drift to the subject of abortion. But when you think about it, the terms go so far beyond abortion. Of course, abortion is part of what it means to be pro-life or pro-choice, but what about assisted suicide? Or the death penalty? Can you be for one and not the other?

I've given all three of these issues a lot of thought and for a long time, I feel I've been pro-choice across the board. Yes, I (obviously) believe that women should have the right to safe and legal abortions. Yes, I believe that the death penalty can be an appropriate form of punishment. And finally, yes, I believe that terminally ill adults should have the right to die with dignity in the form of assisted suicide. So, I would say that I feel very confident in saying that I am honestly "pro-choice".

And when you consider these two terms, there's one other thing to consider (this was brought to my attention earlier this week). What if you stand somewhere in the middle? What if, yes, you can understand and think abortion should be legal, but you also wish it didn't have to be a reality. Would you be considered pro-solution? Interesting, right? I think most pro-choicers have a little bit of pro-solution in them. I'd even venture to say that many pro-choicers ARE pro-solution types. I, for example, fully support a woman's right to choose, but of course, I would love for abortion to never have to be an option. I'd love for their to be support systems in place for girls and women, for them to make other decisions that may be easier. I'd love for science to advance far enough to where any ailment could be cured in the womb. But until those solutions come into place, I support abortion.

So where do you stand? Not just on abortion, but on all of these choice and life decisions.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Prenatal Diagnosis

Lately I've been getting lots of feedback regarding prenatal testing and the abortions that follow some of the results.

First of all, I should say that I think prenatal testing is very important. Not just so a mother can terminate if she wants to, but also so if something is detected, a family has time to educate themselves and prepare for the new child that is coming into their lives. In my mind, it makes perfect sense. And of course, if for some reason or another a family or mother is unable to have a child with a disability, or the child is suffering or has a fatal defect, I believe the mother has the right to terminate. But, of course, that's just me.

An argument among many pro-lifers is that prenatal testing should not be done because it increases the percentage of abortions. But should it really be outlawed? Doesn't a family have the right to know, whether it's because they plan to terminate, or just need the opportunity to educate themselves on what they're dealing with. Another issue that pro-lifers have with prenatal testing is that they think it not only leads to more abortions, but late term abortions. This is not necessarily the case. Many problems can be detected as early as 10 weeks or so via ultrasound (though it is true, many issues don't present themselves until later in pregnancy).

So, where do you stand with this issue?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tolerance

Tolerance is clearly something that we don't see enough of in this world. It is even more scarce when you're fighting for a cause, or worse, when two opposing sides are fighting for opposite sides of the same cause. Tolerance is not easily found in the abortion debate. Trust me, I know.

What's funny is that when I was on the pro-life side of things, I had no tolerance for the other side. I was downright angry that someone could see abortion as an acceptable fact of life. And now, here I am, years later on the other side of the fence, trying desperately to spread this message in an open, accepting way. It's challenging, to say the least.

In the last week, I've been called a troll, a devil worshiper, ignorant, naive, and a whole slew of other things that I can't remember off the top of my head. What did I say to bring that on? Nothing. I posted the link to A Thought of Her Own on a public facebook page. Almost immediately, the condescending comments started. It's almost like these people are...well, angry. Just like I used to be. They're angry about my beliefs. And because they're angry, their minds are closed and locked up tight. Personally, when I was on the pro-life side, there were a few reasons I felt that way. For one, I was raised to believe that it was wrong. Secondly, I had never heard of a girl or woman getting an abortion for any other reason than because she just didn't want to be responsible. I was judgmental. And frankly, I think that people are afraid of what they do not understand--I'm pretty sure that was the case with me.

So, as easy as it is to become infuriated with people who don't share our beliefs, and even more angry when they are hateful because we do not share their's, let's remember that tolerance is key. There is no need to partake in the name calling, the insults, and the degrading. We should just state our stance and move along. People will come around in their own time, if they're meant to. In the meantime, I'll just keep writing ;)