These days it is dangerous to be a person with a uterus. According to an article in WaPo, one in three American women (20.9 million!) have lost access to nearly all elective abortions in their home states and soon many more will join the unfortunate fold. “Child-bearing age” officially counts women between the ages of 15 and 44, but what about girls as young as 10 who have been impregnated against their will? A nightmare when it happens, as it did in Indiana.
As I wrote awhile back, I had a no-fuss abortion in 1975, by grace of the Roe decision. I was a recent widow with two small children; my abortion made it feasible for me to raise them without adding more to my already overwhelmed condition. I have never regretted it.
Ten years later I had a miscarriage, which necessitated a D&C to stop the bleeding (a procedure many states now consider an “abortion”, even though the pregnancy is over...). Women in such situations can die of sepsis or other complications. How "pro-life" is that?
On Sunday I stopped by the Abortion Justice Field Day in Portland and was thrilled to reconnect with Christel Allen, a young Obama campaign staffer who stayed with me for a couple of months during his first run for president. Whatever your political party, running a local campaign office is a grueling job. Dawn to dark staffers work on recruiting and training volunteers to make phone calls and knock on doors (which 99% of the population hates doing), organizing fundraisers, sign distribution, etc. After all that, it’s crushing if their candidate loses. Fortunately Obama won.
Christel has parlayed her skills into a much more challenging job, as Executive Director of Pro-Choice Oregon, steering Oregon’s abortion rights movement at this perilous time. I asked her where we should be focusing our efforts and she said November—getting Tina Kotek elected governor. It’s now a three-way race that portends trouble, as Democratic votes could be diluted by “Independent” Betsy Johnson, paving the way for a GOP win. She’s rich (timber, real estate), well-funded by corporate interests, and an enthusiastic supporter of gun rights (A-rated by the NRA). So I see phone-banking and door-knocking in my future.
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Banning books and banning certain subjects from being discussed in our schools are marks of totalitarian regimes. States like Florida, Texas and Tennessee are doing their best to keep our students from learning about history or about people who are different from what some believe should be our cultural norms.
In Sarasota, Florida it’s gotten so bad that any school reading materials must be approved first by a special committee. No book fairs, no teacher-donated books, no story-time and not even the local Rotary Club’s usual annual gift of dictionaries until someone has scanned it for forbidden terms. I mean... really?