Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Watch out for the Uterus Police in Georgia!

Sometimes, blog material just falls right into my lap. This one jumped off my screen and punched me in the face. I was innocently browsing a message board I frequent, and saw a posting titled "What is going on in Georgia?" I don't live in Georgia, but since it shares a border with my state I was curious and opened the post. Then the links given.

And I was sickened by what I read.

State Representative Bobby Franklin has introduced a bill into the legislation that declares Georgia exempt from Roe v Wade and makes termination of pregnancy under ANY circumstances illegal. No exceptions. Ectopic pregnancies? Too bad. Mr Franklin would rather have the mother die. A 13 year old girl gets raped and a pregnancy occurs? Deal with it.

Also, this bill would require EVERY miscarriage to be reported and investigated to prove that it happened naturally. If a doctor cannot determine why a miscarriage occured (and so many have no clear reasons) the mother can be prosecuted for causing the miscarriage.

This is wrong on so many levels!

This is from the National Library of Medicine:
It is estimated that up to half of all fertilized eggs die and are lost (aborted) spontaneously, usually before the woman knows she is pregnant. Among those women who know they are pregnant, the miscarriage rate is about 15-20%. Most miscarriages occur during the first 7 weeks of pregnancy. The rate of miscarriage drops after the baby's heart beat is detected.
The risk for miscarriage is higher in women:
  • Older than 35
  • Who have had previous miscarriages
So according to Mr Franklin, Every. Single. One. of these miscarriages should be investigated. Grieving parents should be treated like criminals because for some reason, the baby they so desperately wanted did not grow to full term. And just how will these be investigated? Sometimes, the doctors just don't know why a miscarriage occured. Will the Uterus Police (as they are being called) do their own blood tests to make sure the mother didn't take something to cause miscarriage? Use high-tech CSI methods to ensure she didn't stick something into her uterus? Maybe Mr Franklin would prefer monitoring in the homes of every woman of childbearing age to be sure they aren't causing their fetus to die.

Since I don't live in Georgia, I can't write to my state representatives about this insane bill. But if you do, you can make your thoughts known loud and clear! There isn't a great chance of this passing as it stands, but you never know. Women can't risk what little privacy we have left!

Here is the full text of the bill. I highly recommend everyone reads it. http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/20112012/108128.pdf

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Still Standing... for what?

E, my almost 13 year old daughter (man that makes me feel old...) has been watching a lot of ABC Family lately. She is obsessed with Gilmore Girls - she'll even randomly start talking about some of the characters while we're out shopping or whatever, thoroughly confusing her father. I call it "visiting Gilmoreworld" when she does that.

Another show she's been watching is Still Standing. I know the original airings ended five years ago, but apparently it has a new life. I'd never seen the show until Tuesday, when she was sick and had to come home from school. After lots of medication and sleep, she was feeling better and we watched the show together.
I wasn't paying close attention, then something caught my attention. The couple has a teenage son, who in this episode was about to begin his senior year of high school. He had taken a trip to Europe and fell in love with an Italian girl. It turned out that she was a con artist, preying on hormonal teen boys to take their money, but that wasn't the part that concerned me. The boy admitted to his father that he had lost his virginity to the girl, and his parents were thrilled. They started treating him differently. The father began including the son in more activities and spending more time with him. They both kept saying he was "a man now" and how proud they were of him. In an arguement about why the girl couldn't come visit, the father said that his senior year he should be free to sleep with as many girls as he wanted, that it was his right as a senior and he would have underclassmen girls throwing themselves at him because he was "a senior."

I did NOT hear any discussion of consequences - no mention of STDs, pregnancy, emotional consequences. No talk about responsibility, possibility of protection failing, love and commitment, or anything you'd expect parents to talk about with their son. This was a girl that he would likely never see again. The son is portrayed as intelligent, yet his parents seem ashamed of his ability and want him to be popular instead.

On the other hand, I wonder how the episode would have been written if it was a DAUGHTER who had been in the same situation? Imagine this: an intelligent teenage girl with good grades who is a star student but not in the popular crowd goes on a trip to Europe and "falls in love" with and sleeps with a boy while there. She is also beginning her senior year. What would the parents have said then? I can almost guarantee it would be something about ruining her future, not giving in to peer pressure, going to college, using protection, and something along the whole "cows and milk" vein. I am sure she wouldn't be encouraged to sleep around school because she is a senior.

That's not the only problem I have with the show, but the rest is pretty common for sitcoms. Dad is immature, Mom is the enforcer, the kids are rude... all unrealistic stereotypes. I am not thrilled with my daughter watching this show now. How in the world did it even stay on the air four years?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Who am I?

I don't know if it's the dreary weather or what, but something today has triggered my introspective button. I occasionally visit this place, but not often. I'm not sure yet if that is a good thing or a bad thing. Overall, I am happy. Maybe more introspection would change that. Maybe it would help me to be TRULY happy. Time will tell.

You know that question that is often asked, "What would you do if money was not an issue?" Or how about this one - "What would you do if you knew you would not fail?" Everyone has their own answers to these questions. I see people around me actually DOING and not simply ANSWERING. I want to be one of those people!

If I did not have to work to help support our family, I would not right now. I honestly do like my job, that isn't the issue at all. In fact, it makes it easy to go in every day, easier to leave my children in the care of others for the day. I am thankful for my job and that I do enjoy it.

However, "real" life gets in the way of "aspired" life. Or INSPIRED life. I want time to write. Time to paint. Time to make jewelry and hair clips. Time to simply CREATE. I want time to cook good food for my family. I want to make salads and desserts and main courses and lots and lots of vegetables.

What would I do if I knew for sure I would not fail? I'd write. I'd write every day. I'd write stories about people I'd want to spend time with. Strong, capable people, kind and loyal and funny. I'd write about the sunshine and the grass and the trees. I'd write about a baby's laughter and love of dance. I'd  write about a fledgling teenager's dreams. I'd write with the windows open and a breeze blowing and the radio playing in the background. I'd write something to entertain the world, and something to change the world.

But most importantly, I would begin.