Thursday, October 9, 2008

Out with the Jive

There are some things harshing my mellow. I was spurred into blogging about them by Shaggy Gamer who doesn't even live in CA but is wise beyond his years.

  • I've been bloating up recently and wow, I think I've gained about 10 pounds in 2 weeks. I kid you not. I feel rather repulsive. I do need to eat less now that I'm not on vacation, but aside from the last 5 days, I haven't been overeating, to my knowledge. I do find it hard when I'm trying not to eat when I'm not hungry, but I'm either "not hungry" or "starving" with no discernable transition in between. So I have to plan to eat before I'm hungry, which is weird. Jenny Crusie's blog is helping to deal with the negative feelings at least.

  • There are troubling ballot measures on the CA ballot. It would be really bad if they pass. Please vote NO on 8 and 4.
Here's why.

8 Eliminates right of same-sex couples to Marry. I kid you not. Currently any adult in CA (and MA!) can marry any other consenting adult and the San-Andreas activity has not picked up, the sky has not fallen, and no one else's marriage was wrecked because of it. It just doesn't affect anyone else any more than any marriage does. (Mostly, the effect is you can just give your 2 friends 1 gift from now on.)

Just because you might find the thought of gay sex icky is no reason to find it illegal. By that criterion, your parents would never have been allowed to have you! We all know that parent sex is about the ickiest thing imaginable. Get over it. Vote no. Let all adults pick the one adult person they want to be their family. Is that really so hard? No.

If you already didn't need convincing, donate here. Or possibly here.

4 Waiting period and parental notification before termination of minor's pregnancy. Vote NO for many reasons, but mostly to protect the lives of young girls.

I am willing to believe that people who are concerned about their children being able to have medical procedures without their knowing about it are behind this, but I have serious doubts. If you want your kid to talk to you about an unintended pregnancy: talk to them about sex; don't threaten to kick them out of the house, ever; bring up uncomfortable subjects without freaking out. If your kid is willing to talk to you, you don't need this law. If you feel you *need* this law, you have some work to do as a parent and this law won't make your kid come to you with their problems. But it could kill your kid or your neighbor.

Without overstating the case, this law is about terrorizing young girls. A friend who is a social worker shared recently that one of her first cases was a 10 year old girl who was raped by her step-father. Couple that with the revelation that a book club member never was able to convince her mother that her step-father was molesting her repeatedly, so she was molested for years. Years. These are the people you want "re-thinking" whether or not to bring another child into their household? Seriously? Which parent would sign the forms? The father of the child's child? Or the mother who won't believe you? These are the girls who will be damaged if this law is not voted down.

Imagine you're 12 years old. By hook or by crook you find yourself pregnant. And if you're 12 - it's definitely by crook. Maybe it's a parent, maybe it's a neighbor kid, maybe it's your brother. You're still struggling to accept the idea of pubic hair and monthly bleeding, which may not yet be regular. You don't yet know what a "normal" period is. How long does it take you to realize you're pregnant? Give it a month before you suspect something. Give yourself another month of denial that it couldn't possibly be the case or have the courage to ask the middle school nurse what to look for. Then another week or two to decide that you can't possibly bring a child into your world. You're at week 10. Abortions are safest for the woman (or GIRL in this case) before 12 weeks. You might not know this though because you've only had rudimentary sex ed up to this point, and likely the lesson only said to avoid sex.

Now you have 2 weeks to find resources - a clinic, possibly money, and certainly transportation to the clinic - and to have the abortion. Only you're told that you can't rid yourself of a nightmare unless you go home to your nightmare and bring more of your nightmare back with you. Or go to court. Most 12 year olds are adept at navigating the judicial system, no? Best case scenario is you get assigned a case worker who may or may not be able to meet with you immediately. By the time you get the judicial override and another ride back to the clinic, you're over 12 weeks pregnant and now only special clinics can handle your more complex procedure. You see how this is helping this 12 year old girl? Now she has a more invasive, less available, costlier procedure to do what could have been more safely done two weeks prior. What a great law.

In a supportive household, mom and dad would be holding your hand and guiding you through your options, even when all your options suck out loud, and this law never applies to you. Unfortunately, I can imagine all number of worst case scenarios for a 12 year old pregnant girl from an unsupportive and likely abusive household who can't get an abortion on demand.
  • She's kicked out of the house, pregnant and alone at 12.
  • She's kicked in the stomach until she miscarries.
  • She has an illegal abortion and loses her ability to have a child when she's older.
  • She has an illegal abortion, there are complications, and she bleeds out.
  • Her parents grill her endlessly on who the father is and don't believe the truth or protect her from further attack.
  • She's forced to drop out of school and the people who can best help her lose track of her whereabouts.
  • She's forced to have the child of her rapist before her body has grown to full adult height and her growth is forever stunted.
  • She hides her pregnancy as long as possible and has no prenatal care.
  • The baby is born in secret and the baby is born dead, born alive but left for dead, or killed outright so no one finds out. (Best case the secret delivery happens at the emergency room where everyone looking at her crotch is a stranger to the raped girl, and she's able to give the child into the care of the state. )
  • The new child grows up in a terrible household and is, perhaps, molested before her mom can escape with her.
And this is why I don't watch horror movies. I can imagine horror in everyday life and I don't need it, especially when my imaginings get confirmed. All of these things have happened to real girls, and worse. I'm not saying an abortion fixes a terrible living situation. But it prevents a miserable life from becoming tortuous. Twelve year olds should not be having kids. Heck, we barely tolerate 18 year olds having kids these days, when less than a generation ago it was normal. So think of the children- specifically those girl children who are not loved, and whose parents will never help them either raise a child or sign papers to help her prevent one.

And vote NO on measure 4!
The safety of young girls depends on it.
for the search engines:
vote no on prop 8
vote no on prop 4
vote no on prop 4 & 8
vote no on prop 8 & 4

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