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Posts Tagged ‘Planned Parenthood’

Things are heating up here in Nashville. Literally. Temps are headed into the 90s this week, and Bob got the gas fire pit to work just in time for summer. Naturally I decided to make my famous not-too-spicy-turkey-veggie chili last night; always a good way to get rid of all the remaining vegetables lurking in the fridge, including some parsnips that were sprouting greenery.

On Sunday our little neighborhood had its annual “Sip and Stroll” garden guzzle! Basically it’s a good excuse to drink with your friends and neighbors whilst walking around outside. A truck leads the way to 5 gardens with wine and beer on tap! Last year we had a blast, so I packed up my insulated summer wine goblet and headed east. The magnolias are in bloom, redbuds are leafing out and flowers were everywhere – lucky for us, when the rain finally exploded, we could take cover inside an open garage.

My 92 year old neighbor Berdelle’s son was in town for another outdoor lesson in T’ai Chi on Saturday. I loved practicing under the trees in her secret garden with 7 other women, listening to the haunting sound of a train whistle among the bird songs. It transports you to another time and place. I remembered all my attempts at gardening; my border of rosa rugosa in Rumson, my feeble plot to plant fig trees in Charlottesville just so the deer could enjoy them.

This morning is T’ai Chi at the Y and I’ll ask Berdelle if she’d like to attend a rally right after our class downtown to support Planned Parenthood. Maybe we will laugh about the “great” state of Alabama because in the darkest time we must find humor. AL has added insult to injury today – not only did it pass the most restrictive anti-choice bill in decades, its public television station has refused to air a cartoon episode of an anthropomorphic aardvark named Arthur! Why?

Because Arthur marries his same-sex partner. Oh the humanity!

The Bride’s friend Tamara from Duke wrote an excellent article about her abortion, or involuntary miscarriage, years ago that still rings true. I double dare any anti-choice person to read it! https://www.huffpost.com/entry/heartbeat-involuntary-miscarriage-and-voluntary-abortion-in-ohio_b_2050888

Ultimately, these TRAP laws and heartbeat bills are incremental infringements on our constitutional rights as Americans. They are lead by far-Right zealots who would like us to follow their own brand of religion, which tells them that marriage is between a man and a woman and that life begins in the womb, with no exceptions.

Not even when a fetus has no brain tissue and would never survive after birth, not even if a child is raped… They really need to stop legislating a woman’s uterus! Our First Amendment guarantees our freedom from religious tyranny, of any kind. That’s why our ancestors immigrated to this country.

So I’ll put on my big girl boots and march again this morning for #StoptheBans after T’ai Chi, I’ll donate to Planned Parenthood, and maybe I’ll break out my insulated wine goblet too. I’ll carry a sign and chant a chant. I’ll stop to smell the gardenias and keep fighting as if my grand daughter’s life depends on it. She’s got the bees knees!

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“Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations,”  Dr Mae Jemison, American physician and astronaut.     

Go to the Google Doodle today, you’ll be glad you did. https://www.google.com  Today is International Woman’s Day. Let’s see how far we’ve come, shall we? We know that menstruation can still end a girl’s education in some parts of the world, while in the 1960s it meant we could get out of gym class.

But did you know that so-called “honor killings” are still taking place around the globe?

Pressure group Human Rights Watch says the most common reasons are that the victim:

  • refused to enter into an arranged marriage
  • was the victim of a sexual assault or rape
  • had sexual relations outside marriage, even if only alleged

 

Five women are believed to have been killed by their families for clapping and singing at a wedding (where men were dancing) in Pakistan. Wearing the wrong clothes or acting in a “disrespectful” manner can also lead a father to kill his daughter. An Italian-Pakistani woman was lured back to her province and strangled when she refused to marry a Pakistani stranger just one year ago, her name was Sana Cheema, she was only 26 years old.

Activists believe there are approximately 1,000 dishonorable killings of women in Pakistan every year.

I wonder how many women have died from illegal abortions around the world?

“If other countries are a guide, abortion restrictions won’t reduce the number of abortions that take place: According to the Guttmacher Institute, abortion rates in countries where abortion is legal are similar to those in countries where it’s illegal. In parts of the world where abortion is illegal, botched abortions still cause about 8 to 11 percentof all maternal deaths, or about 30,000 each year.” https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2018/10/how-many-women-die-illegal-abortions/572638/

You might ask how can that be, the same number of women die whether the law prohibits abortion or not? Whether a doctor in El Salvador or Brazil reports an incomplete self-induced abortion to the government, or whether a woman dies of septic shock in the comfort of her Florida living room after a legal abortion?

Well, it’s because some so-called “legal” countries, like the US, are still trying to restrict a woman’s access to reproductive services – and when I say “woman” I mean a poor woman. Because we all know that wealthy women will always find a way to acquire a safe, medical or surgical abortion.

Our local Planned parenthood has stopped providing abortions, and so Nashville women are forced to travel to Memphis. Women here donate money to help make those travel arrangements happen.

Yesterday, the TN House voted to join Georgia in passing a “Heartbeat Bill” Bill 77. Two Democrats joined Republicans voting for this bill by a large majority, 65 -21. I am embarrassed and amazed to say a Democratic woman was left standing on the floor, with her hand raised, to introduce an amendment for the exception of rape and incest. She was IGNORED by the Republican ChairMAN.

Since a fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as 6 weeks, before a woman even realizes she may be pregnant, this restriction is perilous and punishing. In the future, will Southern women eventually have to develop an underground railroad, a network to help others travel North to the Democratic states that do NOT restrict access?

Today we celebrate our sisters, our mothers, grandmothers and daughters. My sister, who had to hide her daughter in order to work as a stewardess in the airline industry. My Grandmother, who wasn’t allowed to vote. My Mother who lost her home when my Father died. My Mother-in-Law, who received her doctorate at age 65 after a divorce. My Daughter-in-Love, who organizes and volunteers for Bernie. My Daughter, who helps women in pain every day she puts on her white coat.

And the Love Bug, who is currently learning how to tell time. Let’s not let our granddaughters down and fall back on our human rights. Our girls deserve a limitless future.

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Buon Giorno! It seems that most of our little courtyard of Nashville neighbors are traveling to Italy this season. Rocky’s parents, a cute young couple, just returned from hiking around the Amalfi Coast, and Kudra’s mama is currently in Cinque Terre! FYI Rocky is about three pounds of Yorkie-mix and Kudra is a sweet grey tabby cat. Lucky for me, I’m the kitty sitter.

I love coming over to my neighbor’s house in the morning. The sun streams onto the screened porch and cute Kudra climbs up on my lap for a pet, or maybe a love bite depending on her mood. You can’t hear the street noise, only birds and squirrels, so it’s almost like a meditation; no Bob asking me where I’m going (to the bathroom honey), no TV background Michael Avenatti noise or pundits wondering how Supreme Court Justice “I Like Beer” Brett Kavanaugh managed to be sworn onto the highest court in the land.

I’m done listening to prevaricators, and all the useless prognosticating…this weekend just plumb wore me out.

The weekend started out Thursday on a high note however, I accompanied Bob and the Bride to a Planned Parenthood shindig with our delightful 91 year old neighbor, Burdelle. The keynote speaker was Irin Carmon, the co-author of the 2015 book, “The Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.” I couldn’t wait to hear how this legit, liberal icon on the SCOTUS got her start.  https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/26/books/review-notorious-rbg-the-life-and-times-of-ruth-bader-ginsburg.html

Ms Carmon, once a writer and editor for Jezebel, is an “…MSNBC journalist known for her smarts and feminist bona fides.” She was quite charming in person, strode right up to me and introduced herself. I immediately wanted to know more about her, this Harvard alum, this confident, competent young woman who wore bright red lipstick. Before I knew it, I was in a tight circle of women looking at her wedding pictures – Ruth was her officiant!

“She came all the way to Brooklyn,” Carmon said. Her talk about Justice Ginsburg did not disappoint.

Did you know there’s a children’s book about RBG? The Love Bug has a copy –  “I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark.” So just to be fair, I had to stop by Parnassus and pick up a signed copy of the Property Brothers new children’s book, “Builder Brothers: Big Plans” for the L’il Pumpkin. Not that girls don’t build things too…insert strong arm emojis now. Wasn’t sure if I should include a picture of the Bug in her pussycat headband planting an oak tree, or this one?

We #StandWithPlannedParenthood

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Es Vetzach Oispressen

Every morning for the next eight days of Hannukah I’m going to bring you one of the many instructive, sometimes funny and always calming Yiddish sayings my MIL Ada has peppered her language with over the years. A short vignette each day to share with your morning coffee. Enjoy!

Es Vetzach Oispressen Is one I’ve been hearing alot lately. It means “It will all iron out.” ie I tell her my worries, she does her best to listen and give me some advice, and then she’ll tell me it will all be ironed out like I used to iron my brother’s shirts. A little steam and voila!

Today I have an appointment with a retina specialist. It seems one retina is “wrinkled,” which explains the loss of vision in that eye. My “epi retinal membrane” may need surgery. But I’d prefer to think it will iron itself out without the help of a scalpel, or a laser, if you know what I mean.

The good news – no cataracts – for “someone my age” the first eye doctor told me. Yippee! This was me, wearing pink, going to a Planned Parenthood rally this past weekend. Wondering why I still have to march on the street across from people carrying lurid baby killer signs for my fundamental human rights. Will this press out too?   IMG_3586

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It’s been a whirlwind week. On Thursday, we cooked up a storm of scrumptious sides for Thanksgiving in Richmond. On Friday, the Great Grandparents boarded their Amtrak chariot and arrived home safely; for the first time ever, because of a Bar Mitzvah, Ada stayed with us more than three days! This had always been the rule when visiting us in MA, she would stay no more than three days, and I’m happy she broke it.

Later we managed to stop at friend’s farm so the Grandbabies could see her miniature horses. Then off we drove to Culpeper for a double duty day of two sets of Grandparents. The Groom’s parents and his brother and sister live in Northern VA, so a meeting for brunch midway between Cville and our nation’s Capital was on the docket. It was wonderful to spend time with Grandma Shavaun and Grandpa Mike, and fantastic to see the love for these miniature miracles spread around town.

Against my better judgement, I even slipped into a small toy store while walking around town. Christmas spirit was evident in Master Card swipes and helpful elves.

But when we got home, ahead of the Bride’s family, I heard the news about another shooting in Colorado. About Planned Parenthood. It was the same newscasters, the same nouns, the same verbs, the same phrases were used to describe an unbearable and all too common event in our culture.

“A LIVE SHOOTING!”

Come one, come all and gather round your TV to watch the event unfold – like a modern day scene from a Civil War battle with people picnicking on a hillside overlooking the battle. And I just couldn’t. I can no longer listen to the slaughter or onslaught of talking heads trying to find rhyme and reason. I’ve said it before, it’s the guns. Period. And I fear our homegrown/nutjob/terrorists much more than a refugee with a different religion.

Today is a free day. There will be no more news on any device. We will visit with old friends and play with Grandbabies. No more cooking. We will dine at a kid-friendly place tonight. And later, when it’s time for bed, I will try and explain to my Love Bug that monsters are just pretend. That the noises she hears are just our house creaking and pipes carrying water. Or maybe there’s a fox in the woods? I will fib when I tell her that the gunshots we hear from hunters in the valley are just cars backfiring.

I could not bear to tell her the truth. We have accepted active shooter drills in our schools, what is next?    IMG_3548.jpg

 

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Although we may not be caught up with all the news that’s fit to print while four generations cavort in the Florida sunshine, we did manage to see the latest Downton. Some of us watched the Masterpiece special on TV, and some caught PBS online the next day. And just to be safe, Grandma Ada had her son at home in the ice and snow taping last Sunday’s program. Naturally we were all speculating on the birth control device Lady Mary sent poor Anna Bates,her Lady’s maid, out to fetch from the pharmacy. Remember we are now into the 1920s, and Flapper fashion and suffrage is de rigeur!

Still, the same week a period drama wrestles with pre-marital sex, in fact seems to condone Lady Mary’s bohemian idea that 1) women should take charge of their bodies and not leave this messy business to the man, and B) she get to know this guy Tony “in every way” before marriage without having to deal with an unwanted “epilogue,” Pope Francis chimes in with this: “Some think, excuse me if I use the word, that in order to be good Catholics, we have to be like rabbits – but no,” he said, adding the Church promoted “responsible parenthood”. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/19/us-pope-airplane-idUSKBN0KS1WY20150119

The doctors in the room all speculated Lady Mary was using a diaphragm and whipped out their devices to google this idea! Indeed, cervical caps were used in the 20s and 30s but were very scarce in this country. And just in case you haven’t heard of our modern-day saint Margaret Sanger, she thought ; “…the best method of birth control was a doctor fitted device, either the cervical cap or a diaphragm. Sanger opened North America’s first birth control clinic in New York City in 1916. Sanger and her sister, Ethel Higgins Byrne, did the work themselves, assisted by a receptionist. Sanger claimed to have fitted 488 women with diaphragms in the 10 days before the police shut the down the clinic. Sanger claimed she could not find a doctor willing to work at the clinic.” http://www.case.edu/affil/skuyhistcontraception/online-2012/Cervical-Caps-Diaphragms.html

Enter the Dutch physician, Dr Rebecca Gomperts. She is truly an inspirational woman who travels the globe to educate, enlighten and skirt the regulations and restrictions on a woman’s right to choose her method of birth control. She started Women on Waves where she would induce medical abortions with the morning after pill, mifepristone and/or misoprostol in international waters. In countries where politics restrict access to reproductive health care she is viewed as a villain, for most women she is their savior. In 2006 she started Women on Web https://www.womenonweb.org in order to enlarge her vision and reach more poor and marginalized women.

Using Mifepristone and Misoprostol is no more complicated than using other medications. You will get clear instructions about how to use the drugs, what to expect, and when to go to a doctor. If you have questions about any step of the process, you can contact a helpline. A medical abortion does not need to take place in a hospital or first aid clinic.

http://www.salon.com/2015/01/06/the_political_landscape_is_not_ready_meet_the_woman_leading_a_d_i_y_abortion_revolution/

Of course today, in this country, we can purchase Plan B over the counter. Whether we call it responsible or planned parenthood, it’s good to know the Pope gets it, even if he has to backtrack to keep the Cardinals happy. And as for Lady Mary, she is more a vixen than a rabbit, don’t you agree?

Rebecca Gomperts, one foxy lady

Rebecca Gomperts, one foxy lady

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This was another phrase the Flapper used regularly. As a young child, I wasn’t quite sure what she meant. She was living “hand to mouth” for many years; widowed, crippled by a drunk driver, small children at home. She was radically frugal, as many Depression era people could be, mending clothes and never throwing out food, always finding creative ways to serve leftovers, if we had any. Too proud to take help from the Salvation Army, I thought she meant we take care of our own – save money for my brothers so they could go to college. If there was some left, maybe I’d be able to go, the last of 6. When you grow up poor, having new shoes on your feet and good food on the table was enough. After all, we had each other. Charity was something you tried to avoid, there was little or nothing left to give at the end of the year.

I tend to think of it differently now. Today is “Giving Tuesday” http://givingtuesday.org: “We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. This year help create #GivingTuesday™, the giving season’s opening day.”

Bob and I tend to give to those causes we are passionate about, like the Salvation Army. Not only do they have a history with my family, they seem to be the first to show up after a natural disaster. I am also deeply committed to women’s reproductive health and saving Roe vs Wade. It is not counter-intuitive to think that abortion rates would fall in this country with increased access to contraception. So Planned Parenthood is on my list: http://news.yahoo.com/us-abortions-fall-5-pct-biggest-drop-decade-171356037.html And I’m not thinking twice about it. Donating to our colleges will also be on the list.

But if we take my Mother’s advice further, charitable giving also includes delivering bags of food to the local Food Bank. Buying the clothes and toys listed on a giving tree for a disadvantaged child in our community. Volunteering at the Charlottesville Free Clinic. And when our children were young, we would help to serve Christmas dinner at a local church through our synagogue. I can’t stress how important modeling this kind of service is for your children. Time or money, if you can donate to a cause that resonates with you, all the better. Here is a quick read to help you navigate websites for different charities, It’s important to do the research.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2012/11/26/6-mistakes-to-avoid-when-giving-to-charity/

Hurricane Sandy relief efforts will be foremost in my thoughts this year. The Parlor Mob’s music was set to this surfer’s American Red Cross appeal: http://www.surfermag.com/videos/jersey-love/ “There’s nothin’ like Jersey when it’s good.” But if you really want to help our area, there is always Woody’s in Sea Bright, or what is left standing in Sea Bright. “Like” this Facebook page to see what our old neighbors need: https://www.facebook.com/SeaBrightRising?fref=ts

And as my editor reminded me, our little stocking stuffer book, “Tangerine Tango” (just click on the book in the margin) is donating its profits to fight Huntington’s Disease http://www.hdsa.org If you’re not familiar with her blog, I can highly recommend Lisa’s slice of NJ life! http://cyclingrandma.wordpress.com. Happy Giving everyone.

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