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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Phone-Bank for Choice (Colorado)


As all of you know, we have a little over a month before our country decides who will spend the next 4 years leading our country. Most of you also know that this year's decision is crucial for women's rights.

Right now, Colorado is one seat away from having the pro-choice majority in both the Colorado state house and senate. In order to secure this seat, the Colorado chapter of NARAL is gathering volunteers to help with a phone-bank. They need volunteers from now until the election in their office (address and specific dates listed below). They need volunteers from 5:30pm until 8:30pm, and if volunteers show up before 7:00pm, they will be able to work the phones. Volunteers will be discussing the importance of voting and the importance of voting for pro-choice candidates during the outreach.

Snacks will be provided during phone-bank hours, and often, a late night happy hour is held after the phone-bank at the Capital Hill bar. This is a great way for volunteers and workers to get to know each other better, as well as build friendships within the cause, so to speak.

If you're in the Denver area, and are interested in volunteering your time (or obtaining more information), please contact Jean Behr at jbehr@prochoicecolorado.org or by phone at816.694.4004. If you're not in the area (or just can't volunteer your time), you can always make financial contributions at their website here. Every little bit of time and effort makes a difference. And it is more important than ever for us to come together on this issue!

NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado
1905 Sherman St.
Suite 800
Denver, CO 80203

Phone-banking dates: September 26th, October 2nd, October 11th, and October 17th.
Remember, all times are from 5:30pm until 8:30pm, MDT.


Please remember just how important it is for us, as women, to vote in this election. The women before us fought far too hard for us to give up these rights without a fight. And as the mother of a daughter, a world without the option of choice, is not one that I want her to have to face. While we often take these rights for granted (especially young women, who have always had the comfort of these rights), it is now more important than ever to understand the gravity of women's rights.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Plan B in NYC Schools

Unless you're living under a rock, you've heard the news today. New York City schools are now offering Plan B One-Step (in other words, the morning after pill) to students in an effort to prevent unintended, unplanned, or unwanted pregnancies. People are going ape-shit crazy over this! I think it's fantastic!

It's all part of a program called the CATCH program (Connecting Adolescents To Comprehensive Health). This is all on top of students having access to birth control injections (think, depo) and condoms. The program does allow for parents to opt their daughters out of the program, but so far, the school system is only reporting that 1-2% of parents are doing so.

Think about it. A 16 year old girl has sex with her boyfriend. The condom breaks. What are the chances she's going to go to her parents and tell them that she needs Plan B? What are the chances that she (or her young boyfriend) are going to have the money on their own to buy it? Slim to none. Now she can go to her school nurse and receive a pill up to 72 hours after having either unprotected sex (I hope we're teaching our daughters better than that) or after her birth control fails.

Of course, pro-lifers are jumping all over this one. It promotes teen sex (teens are going to have sex regardless, if they choose to do so). Plan B is technically an abortion (False. It takes the body about 72 hours for the body to go through the process of conceiving). It's not the school's place to do such a thing (Uh, with as absent as parents are these days, the kids need help from SOMEONE. They spend most of their time at school...why not there?).

If I was a parent in NYC and I got one of these notes sent home, I'd discuss it with my daughter. And if I had the slightest inkling from that conversation that she may not feel comfortable coming to me with something like a failed birth control issue, I absolutely would NOT opt her out of a program.

I really feel that this is a smart move for the school system, and I hope we start to see it in more schools across the country.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The art of baby making...

So, now that Phoenix is merely weeks away from being a year old, I find myself having twinges of baby fever...probably just for the reason that I know it's a done deal. The hubbs got the big clip when Phoenix was a few months old. I find it impossibly sad that I'll never get to do the newborn stuff again, have that specific bonding experience with Dayton, or go through all the fun baby stages.

But then I read about women who have a hard time with the process of making a baby. A woman who can get pregnant, but can't carry. A women who can get pregnant and carry, but only to have a baby with a severe birth defect. The possibilities are TERRIFYING, and then I can't help but feel so lucky for the three beautiful, HEALTHY children that I was blessed with. We had our scares with each pregnancy, but all three turned out beautifully. The only thing I would change about my pregnancies is how much I allowed myself to enjoy them (I knew Phoenix would be our last, so I let all the to-do's go and enjoyed my last pregnancy).

So my question is, for those of you who are still building your families, does it scare you? Does the reward make up for the scary possibilities? If you were faced with one of those possibilities, would you continue to try?

Let's hear it!

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Women's Issue

As far as I can tell, this is pretty divided down the middle. But it is certainly a women's issue. How do you handle cheating?

Do you leave? Do you consider staying? Does it depend on the circumstances?

I'll be honest. I stayed through an emotional affair (which I should have left because of), and I came back after cheating. There was definitely a difference after physical cheating, and definite changes have been made. But some women are conditioned to leave after cheating, NO MATTER WHAT. And likewise, some women are conditioned to keep it to themselves and keep on living their happy lives.

Where do you stand?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

For Those of Us with Daughters...

As most of you know, I have a daughter. I feel an enormous responsibility to instill certain things in her, in a way I suspect my husband feels towards our boys. I worry often that she is seeing certain things reflected in me that she may start to do herself, thinking that it's the "norm". For example, I've had body image issues for as long as I can remember (and that goes back to about age 4). I've always had to fight to maintain a certain weight, and to make peace with certain things about my appearance (though my biggest issue is obsessing over my weight). A few months ago, I was in the bathroom getting ready when I saw her step on the scale, wait for a number to come up, and then get excited, "30! Yesssss!". The scale did say 30.something lbs. But I don't think she knew what the number meant. But she has seen me step on the scale so many times, and either breathe a sigh of relief or step off, completely disappointed with myself. This is not a trend that I want her to start.

One of the things I worry about most, is that she won't take the opportunity to further her education with college and establish a career and life for herself before settling down to get married and have children. Don't get me wrong. Marrying my husband and having our children has been the highlight of my life. But it's also been hard. Hard in ways that I never want her to experience. Hard in ways that could have been prevented by me finding myself before I settled down. I want an easier path for her. And to be honest, I lose sleep sometimes worrying about how I'll explain to her why she should wait to settle down when I jumped right in.

Another thing, and this is a big one. We live in a world of "mean girls" and I don't want that for her. I want her to be a nice girl. Not in a 1950's prudish kind of way (though I won't complain if she's that kind of nice girl, too!). But in a simple "I'm a nice person" kind of way. I do not want her to be the girl that is so jealous of other girls that she can't maintain a friendship with any females. I do not want her to be a bully. I do not want other girls to be wary of her, whether or not they can trust her around their boyfriends, whether or not they can trust her to keep a secret, or whether or not they can safely approach her. I want her to be smart and steer clear of drama, because it will certainly find her on it's own. As women, we have to start raising nicer girls. If not, they're going to end up killing each other (*facepalm*).

As mentioned before, it is so important for her to know that she is more than just a body or a pretty face. She has to understand what it means to be beautiful on the inside, and how much more important that kind of beauty is. Her self worth has to depend on more than her looks. Mine never has and I don't want that for her.

When she decides that she's ready to become "active", she should know how to protect herself, and it's my job that she does. It's equally important that she feel comfortable to talk to me about it if she needs to (though I can't promise that I won't have a nervous breakdown once she leaves the room). It's really important to me that she understands the gravity of this decision (because not many young people grasp this), and the impact of the possible consequences.

It's important that ZoeJane knows that she deserves the best when she decides to settle down. She needs to understand that she doesn't have to settle for anything. It's important for her to know that she's worth the wait for the right person. She needs to know that she doesn't need to be with someone to be happy, but that with the right person, her happiness can be increased. Showing her that she deserves respect is key. And teaching her that she also has to give respect where it's due is also important. Mutual respect is the secret to success in any relationship, especially when it comes time to settle down and share your life with someone.

And finally, something that I'm working on now: She has to believe that she can do anything that she wants. Once she has children (if she chooses to do so), she is not tied down to children and a home. She can choose to stay with them or to be a working mother. She needs to understand that changing her last name doesn't have to mean losing herself. And if she chooses to follow the same path I have, she needs to know that it's never too late to better herself.

So...for those of you with daughters, what is important for your daughter to know?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Have you ever given much thought to why the topic of abortion seems to be completely off limits? Doesn't it seem a little odd that, as a category of women's healthcare, even women are uncomfortable talking to other women about it? Why is it that women who are raped, are too ashamed to discuss having an abortion? Why are women who find that their loved babies have a horrible abnormality and choose to spare their child from suffering too scared to share their stories?

There isn't an intelligent woman on the face of the earth, prochoice or not, who doesn't realize that abortion is  the ending of a life, or at least the potential for life. People don't like that. No one likes it. It's a sad reality. But sometimes, it is a necessary one.

We all know that no birth control is 100% effective. We all know that men will not always take no for an answer. Most of us know (unfortunately) that baby making is not a perfect science. And finally, we all know that circumstances can change. Jobs can be lost, relationships can fall apart. Nothing is guaranteed. Abortion is an option. It is not a pleasant option. It is not an option to be taken lightly. But it is there for us if that's a decision that we need to make.

Personally, I'm not sure that I could ever go through with having an abortion. If I did, it would probably be because I learned that my baby was suffering in the womb only to be born for a short life of pain. And even then, it would devastate me. I certainly would not make that decision lightly (and if any woman tells you that she would, she's full of shit). I may not ever need to make the decision to terminate a pregnancy, but I will fight for the right to. I will fight so that my daughter has the right to (even though I pray she will never be in the position to have to exercise the right to choose).

As women, we have to start talking about this! It doesn't matter if you've had one, if you've been in the position to consider it...whatever. We just have to start the discussion. It is so important for women who have had one to know that they're not alone, and that they're not monsters for it. Women who have been raped and have made the best decision that they could out of it, they need to be supported. Women who choose to spare their children from suffering...they need to be reminded that they are good mothers.

We need to start leaning on and supporting each other. If we can't understand each other, who else will?