Stupak Amendment and Abortion

This is an incredible article on South Dakota’s approval of the ban on abortion. Full article found here, on RhealityCheck.org

I always considered myself pro-choice, but was never involved in the movement until South Dakota’s State Legislature passed an abortion ban and Governor Mike Rounds signed it into law.

Pro-Choice Activists joined forces and The South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families was formed.  According to the SDCHF website in less than 10 weeks, the organization successfully collected more than twice the number of petition signatures required to refer that abortion ban to a vote of the people using an all-volunteer force. With the help of our volunteers and supporters throughout the state, the abortion ban was defeated by a wide margin- – 11 points!

As a resident of South Dakota I followed news reports on the ban and the grassroots efforts to defeat the ban. I was hoping the ban would be defeated, but hadn’t given it much thought because as a married mother of two beautiful children, I knew we would welcome a third child and would never need an abortion, so the law wouldn’t affect me.

In 2006 I became pregnant and was thrilled.  After landing in the hospital with a severe kidney infection at 19-weeks gestation, I received my first ultrasound, leaving us shocked and thrilled to see we were expecting identical twin boys.

The joy didn’t last when our babies were diagnosed with Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome.  Webmd.com explains that Twin-twin transfusion syndrome as “the most serious complication of identical twins. It starts in the womb when one twin gets too much blood and the other not enough. The outcome for both twins is grim.”

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love and marriage

I think I’ll do a few of these entries on the relationship between women and <<insert social thing here>>. We start with marriage.

In recent conversations with several women on this topic, which came from a few recent events and also just plain ol’ coincidence and so on, I’ve seen how far the pendulum swings and also where it freezes still for some women when it comes to marriage. Today, I found myself giving someone the following bit of advice, after the woman I spoke with told me about her last marriage and how much loss she experienced, and also, in a way, warning me of the same path. She said she used to believe in the formula of love and marriage and all that and it all turned to shit. To which I said…

Happiness is our own responsibility. You can’t ever let a past experience suck that away from you. This has been a lesson I’ve been taught repeatedly over the last year and a half, and the experience of learning, de-learning, and re-learning it, has made me believe in love again. I didn’t believe I was capable or deserving of it, and sadly many women don’t, for all sorts of reasons, but there’s most often the feeling of not fitting into to some kind of wife-worthy template that gets n the way for a lot of women too. In the relationship I’m currently in now, I have found that, FOR ME, my belief lies in the psychospiritual connection I have with him. From what I’ve observed when people talk about failed relationships and marriages, there’s this undertone of woe that their partner is no longer who they were when they were first united, which is an absurd thing to wish for anyway. We all evolve, and change, and an annoying yet gratifying thing about being human is that you’re always changing. You have a base sense of self but it is never actually permanent. You never stop growing, learning or changing. Ever. The same is true in a relationship.

Our culture tends to candy coat the FUCK out of domesticated pairings of all kinds, especially with monogamous human relationships. But there’s murder in the expectation. Grow together. Learn together. Don’t kill yourself with the way things “should be”, for there is no such thing. Your experience, your happiness and your truth lies in how you define it. I saw in that woman’s eyes at that moment the box I carried around in my chest for a long time, full of guilt, about mistakes that I had made. And I set it down some time ago, which let me open up to find and believe in love again. It is real and it can happen and it’s just… waiting for you to realize that.

One thing that’s always struck me about marriage, here in this country especially, is the fixation on the modern bride, THE BRIDE’s DAY, THE BRIDE THE BRIDE THE BRIDE, and yet the ceremony is still completely fucked up and the groom is also ignored. Intelligent, independent women doing the white-dress get up, being “given away”, her family footing the bill .. and the boys just show up dressed in black, and that’s that. It’s such a gross misrepresentation of what’s actually going on, of two people being united, not one forcing themself onto the other. It would be nice if men did/would be allowed the room to assert themselves more as feeling beings. So many of our rituals completely discount that, and leads to so many unnecessary imbalances in our society.

It’s in the little things. Look around.

Tomorrow: I open up Halloween Weekend with a real horror show — missing girls and gang-raped teens. Misrepresentation, poor focus, and a slack-jawed education of our children.