not to get all political on you all, loves, but something has been weighting on my mind these past couple weeks, and I wanted to call it out. it seems to me there have been a couple disconcerting going-ons lately, aimed specifically at certain groups of people [sidenote: i know, i know, a political-ish post. think of it like your blog equivalent of broccoli. it's good for you. and, because i like sweets much better, it's rare.] some of these rumblings have just been talk, some have already been put into law. have any of you all noticed? like, ahem:
- take away all funding for planned parenthood. planned parenthood has never used federal funds for abortion. (Just to be clear, agree with it or not on moral grounds, abortion is a protected act - a right of women - supported by the supreme court. it is the law of the land. you don't have to like it. you can find it morally reprehensible. but. but! even if it is against your moral code, other Americans have a undeniable right to it). planned parenthood serves many women in our community for birth control, medical check-ups, body image, men's sexual health, pregnancy and pre-natal care, STDs, and much, much more. To take this away from our community and instead have people have to rely on private, traditional doctors puts many of the younger and poorer segments at a disadvantage. Health care isn't cheap. Planned Parenthood specializes in prevention and comprehensive care and sex education. To take this away is to hurt our communities and reduce the options avaliable to our citizens for their health needs. I remember a conversation a group of girls and I had my freshman year of college, and the question came up: where would you go if you were raped? The first answer I could come up with was Planned Parenthood. I would go there. They would help me figure out what to do next. If that doesn't highlight the importance of that organization, I don't know what will.
- the so called "pregnancy centers" that do not give information on birth control, do not offer full information, withhold pregnancy test results while reading Bible verses to women, and manipulate women to forgo abortions. i am not against these centers existing. but you must call a spade a spade. these clinics are NOT the same thing as a comprehensive pregnancy center. They are an extension of a religious organization and only offer options that fit their religious standard. Women should know that once they enter those doors. The Washington State legislative just killed a bill that would have regulated these clinics.
- in new hampshire this week, there was serious talk about limiting college voter rights, making students only able to vote where their parents' had established residency. the sponsor of the bill, Representative Gregory Sorg, was especially cutting when he said students should not be able to vote because they posses "a dearth of experience and a plethora of the easy self-confidence that only ignorance and inexperience can produce." Even though voting is both a fundamental privilege and obligation of democratic citizenship, State House Speaker William O'Brien recently claimed that college students vote, "too liberal," "with their emotions," and that they lack sufficient "life experience" to vote in the state. Really. The legislation was recently killed, but this was a discussion that i think people should hear about.
- then there is the collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin. Whether you agree with it or not - it seems inappropriate that is was done in a budget session, no? an issue this controversial seems to be best handled with a vote or, at a minimum, separate legislation. this is one of those ironic moments in american history where we get our panties in a twist about the salaries of $45,000/ year teachers and don't worry about the bonuses of bailed-out financial execs. huh.
so there's my political catch up of the day. don't mean to get all serious on you - i'll post something light-hearted tomorrow... maybe about my awful encounter with a gluten, yeast, dairy - free scone. but for today, broccoli. so go sign a petition, if you want, and participate in your democracy.