Criminalizing Miscarriages

As a follow-up to Blogging for Choice Day, check out this idiocy.

Virginia is trying to require that “When a fetal death occurs without medical attendance upon the mother at or after the delivery or abortion, the mother or someone acting on her behalf shall, within 24 hours, report the fetal death, location of the remains, and identity of the mother to the local or state police or sheriff’s department of the city or county where the fetal death occurred. No one shall remove, destroy, or otherwise dispose of any remains without the express authorization of law-enforcement officials or the medical examiner. Any person violating the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.”

Yeah, that’s just what a miscarrying woman needs to do. File a report and probably subject herself to an investigation! Sick, sick, sick.

Via Uppercase Woman.

ETA: Directly quoted update/clarification from Cecily:

“Secondly, Suzanne had some questions about the bill. She noted that it was already a law in Virginia to report any miscarriage, as it is in several other states. However, those laws all apply to miscarriages past 20 weeks, and this new law being proposed in Virginia is for miscarriages AT ANY GESTATION, even five or six or ten weeks. Which means you’ve already had all your hopes and dreams fall into the toilet, and now you have to pull out the “evidence,” call the cops, and have them come file a report about it because most early miscarriages happen at home and are not much more dramatic than a typical monthly period. THIS IS ALL KINDS OF FUCKED UP. Don’t let it happen. Find out who your rep is in Virginia here and contact them and tell them to not let this happen.”

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Blog for Choice

Today, the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade is also Blog for Choice Day.

The question posed is simple: what are your reasons for being pro-choice?

My reasons are both simple and complex. I thankfully have never been faced with that choice myself. But when I was in high school, a very good friend of mine had one, twice. To this day, the only things I’ve ever shoplifted are pregnancy tests for terrified friends. Eventually, I realized that was ridiculous and actually worked up the nerve to just buy them. I don’t know who I thought was watching or what kind of moronic logic led me to think I’d get in less trouble for stealing than buying.

I was as supportive as I could muster. At the time I still felt rather Catholic. More lapsed than recovering, as I think of it now. I offered to be there and do anything except help pay for it. Looking back, that’s a really stupid line to draw.

It took me years to realize it, but the second time, it was a doozy. She’d been sleeping with the guy who’d just dumped me, but of course I didn’t know that yet. I knew about the pregnancy but she was attributing it to some other poor guy. However, she was happy enough about her new man to spill the truth to another girl. That girl thought I should know so she told me. She’s still one of my very best friends today. An incident ensued that involved the phrase “ARE YOU SMOKING CRACK, BITCH?” That still cracks me up. There was a weak girl-fight and I so did not win. She sat on me.

I can look back and laugh now, but at the time it of course hurt like hell to lose my best friend and the guy I thought I’d never get over all in one fell swoop. After I made the connection, I was horrified that she’d blame the pregnancy on another guy to try to conceal that she was sleeping with my ex. But I was not horrified at her choice to end the pregnancy. I hated her at the time, but I always respected her choice.

Over the years I stopped hating her and for a long time, I really missed her. I tried a few times to communicate that all was totally forgiven, but she is not at all interested in reviving our friendship. So be it. As far as I know she’s happy and healthy, not to mention married to that guy. Must have been worth it to her, and I’m honestly grateful because the thought of that guy now makes me throw up in my mouth a little.

They had their first child, a daughter, not too long ago. The only reason I know that is because of myspace. Part of me wishes I could congratulate her directly, but knowing how happy she must be is enough. I’m so happy that her first child is a wanted child.

As an adult, I’ve come to realize firsthand and secondhand that a positive pregnancy test does not always equal bringing home a baby. Some abortions are spontaneous. Sometimes shit happens that’s a lot worse than that, even. If a woman is told that her unborn child has medical complications that are ‘incompatible with life,’ she should not have to cross a picket line of protesters and be called a murderer in order to obtain a medical termination. She should have the option of having the procedure in a hospital. She should not be forced to carry to term a child that cannot survive. She should never have to sacrifice her future fertility or her own life for that of a child not yet born. Her choice is her choice, regardless of circumstances. Thanks to our new President, our rights will stay intact for now. But we must remain vigilant, because the religious right has an agenda that would force women with unwanted pregnancies to either carry to term or search for unsafe and potentially lethal alternatives. Abortion should be rare, but it must remain safe and legal for one simple reason: pregnancy is not compulsory.

Helluva Tuesday

Today was a damn fine day.

First, of course, the Inauguration. I finally heard the new President’s speech on my drive home, and I managed to not wreck my car while dabbing my eyes with a tissue. I am so proud of this country. So proud. Don’t even know what else I can say about it yet. Beaming.

Second, not three seconds after I texted Mike to bring home something fermented so we could toast our new Commander-in-Chief, there is a knock at the front door. The UPS man brought our first delivery from the wine club we joined. Yes, yes, completely frivolous expense, but we’ve exhausted what decent selections the grocery store carries and frankly we’re too lazy – no! energy efficient! – to go to the wine shops and blindly try new ones. The wines the club offers aren’t expensive wines, by any means, so I thought it would be a good way to try some things that might not even be in stores around here. So far, so very good. This Jones Bridge 2006 Cab Sauv reminded me of the California raisins of my childhood on first sip. Yum.

Third, and hell yes I saved the best for last, when I opened the door for the UPS guy, he asked if my mom or dad were home to sign for an over-21 delivery! Somehow that’s even better than getting carded, which still happens to me occasionally, but not nearly as often as I’d like to be so flattered.

A damn fine day.

Well, color me green

The internet can be ugly. I don’t know how I forgot that. I made what I thought was an innocent comment on a post by a well-known South-African blogger, Tertia. Her post was about a much-anticipated milestone: her preschool aged boy/girl twins are giving up their pacifiers (called dummies in SA). Tertia came up with a great ruse to get the kids excited about it. She told the kids that after their birthday they would give the dummies to the baby fishies (adorable).
So today she posted a photo of the kids throwing the pacifiers into the ocean. I had the audacity to ask why actually into the ocean, which Tertia graciously answered:

“And as for the environmental carnage I caused by polluting our seas – I know, I did feel really bad about it. Which is why we only took two dummies with us and not the whole lot. We had the baby fish story going for so long, I couldn’t get out of it. I thought about the aquarium, but I figured it wouldn’t quite have the same effect to see the dummies bobbing along in the tank. If it will make you feel better, they were biodegradable dummies (not really, but lets pretend they were so that no one has to feel the angst).”

A much more satisfactory response than she owed me, of course, but the other commenters are another story. When I saw the picture my mind did immediately go the huge floating islands of garbage in the Pacific, mostly plastic, but I get it, even not being a parent. I posted another comment to try and clarify that I get that environmentalism needs to be tempered by practicality, but I think I’ve been branded a green hippie troll by the other commenters over there.

Growl.

I was just happy that the thought crossed her mind, and she did actually consider alternatives; it’s not like I’m some crazy protester. There was even an “environmental auditor” that posted: ‘”Who the fark cares!” LOL They’re harmless.’ Now that’s scary. I’ll go back under my bridge and hug a tree now.