Women’s Reproductive Rights & America

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Welcome to the United States of America! We came so far in the last decade, only to regress back 70 years in half of a presidential term. Honestly, I’ve been sitting here staring at my screen for 15 minutes now. I just don’t even know where to start anymore. All of the other bullshit aside, which I WILL be writing about in other posts.. the current attack on Women’s Reproductive Rights is such a damned shitshow, where do I even start?

Several states have passed ultra restrictive laws pertaining to abortion. Alabama is the most recent one, the legislature has passed a ban on Abortion and it is currently waiting for a signature from their governor. When the bill looked like it was going to pass, the minority proposed a amendment to allow abortion in cases pertaining to rape and incest.

It was shot down. So if this bill is signed into law, women in Alabama cannot receive an abortion, even in cases of rape and incest, unless they and their doctors want to face 99 years/life in prison. Wow. I mean, wow. What do you even say to that?

Well, Twitter and Reddit have plenty to say. On the right you have¬†men¬†cheering and spouting nonsense about how women should “just keep their legs closed” despite the fact that it takes a dick to get us pregnant. You have people cheering on life sentences for women who get an abortion even though that sentence is harsher than most rapists, child molesters, and sexual predators receive.

Other people are bringing up cold hard facts. Like the fact that Alabama has the 2nd highest child mortality rate in the USA, only Mississippi is higher. Alabama’s child mortality rate is on par with¬†Bahrain, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica, Cyprus, and Ukraine. Or on a broader spectrum:

Alabama Ranking

Alabama is pretty much bottom of the barrel for our country. They have one of the highest infant mortality rates, the lowest education rating, and their healthcare is garbage. So instead of funneling tax payer money into any of these categories, you know, to keep existing children alive, educate them, and make sure they can get a job and rise above poverty.. Alabama legislature has decided to pass this bill, with the intention of fighting it all the way up to the Supreme Court.. at the expense of taxpayers.

No matter which way you look at it, it’s absolutely disgusting. We all know that abortions will happen whether their legal or not (and underground railroads will be set up¬†again¬†for women who wish to have an abortion), all this is is taking away a women’s autonomy. It’s designed to take away a women’s right to have a say over their own body and life. It’s taking away equality. It’s simply an attack on women.

One of the MOST common responses to the abortion debate is this: “There’s other options!! What about adoption!?” Well sit back, and let me tell you about my experience.

I became pregnant at 17. Primarily because I had never learned about contraceptives nor how the female reproductive system works. After dealing with Pregnancy Crisis Centers (Christian Scam Artists) and getting well versed on abortion from my medical provider (Planned Parenthood), I chose adoption. Back then I had those options, I was healthy enough to carry my child to term, and I didn’t want to go through what I thought would be the emotional turmoil of abortion.

I started looking up adoption organizations. I came across MANY scams, ie: trafficking, and then when it came down to meeting a lady from one of the legit ones, it became a race against time. It looked like my choice for adoption, would end up with placing my child into foster care as there isn’t as many people adopting as you think. The foster care system/social services is horrifically under funded and overwhelmed.. which you think these Christians funding these bills & laws would work on first.

I lucked out. My Stepma knew a couple who was trying to adopt as having a biologic child didn’t work out for them. After hearing about them, and then meeting them, I was ABSOLUTELY THRILLED. I knew they were the right people to raise my child, and wanted to begin the process.

The paperwork was astronomical, and add on the fact that I was 17 and had no transportation, I had to walk MILES, while pregnant to meet up with my advocate. She let me know that it was going to be daunting, and a lot of work, but I had absolutely no idea. The first thing we had to do was to get the father to sign off on his rights.

Let me tell you, seeing as how he was the ONLY person I was sleeping with at the time, I KNEW it was his. That or the 2nd coming of Christ. So we contacted him and he refused and demanded a paternity test. For those of you who don’t know. A paternity test is not only invasive before the baby is born, but expensive (and not covered by insurance a lot of the time). My advocate essentially told him, either sign or be prepared for a child support suit (he was military, so that’s it’s own can of worms on his side) as soon as the child was born. We were able to get it signed and proceed.

In the coming months I had to prove that I wasn’t being forced into it, that I was of sound mind, and that this was not something that I’d back out of later (even though you’re legally allowed to). It was absolute hell. Add that on to the normal monthly and weekly OB appointments.. again, with no vehicle, and it was damn near impossible.

Fast forward to my son’s birth. It was horrific. I was 17, and had no idea what was going on. My OB induced, for a reason I still don’t understand (it wasn’t because of my health), so labor was STRONG, painful and horrifically long. Those labors usually don’t matter once you hold your child in your arms, but that was the most painful part. I had to hold a child, a child that I wasn’t going to take home with me, knowing that there’s a great chance I’d never see him again.

I had to walk out of that hospital, in pain, bleeding, without my child later that day. The emotional turmoil that I went through after that spurred months long deep depression and destructive behavior. Add that to all of the months I was unable to work (I was already out of school), and basically being thrown out of my friends group, it was a recipe for disaster.

For YEARS, at work, at college, in my every day life, when people found out I gave up a child for adoption the reactions were vastly negative. Rumors were spread among my friends regarding my sexuality, and I was loudly berated at my work: “You gave him away?!? You’re such a bad mother, only a shit mother would give up their child”.

I quit that job shortly after.

My point is, adoption isn’t this easy answer either. It’s signing up for a lifetime of grief and often times depression. It’s not the “obvious answer” in the abortion debate, and it should never be. Both options deserve to be weighed equally.

One that doesn’t deserve equal weight is “Just keep your legs closed!” or “Stop being a slut!”. As I mentioned above, this is absolute trash for numerous reasons. When it comes to “just keep your legs closed”.. so the argument is to remain abstinent.. 100% of the time until we’re ready to procreate? Short of sterilization (which I’ll get to in another post), birth control isn’t 100% effective. So, we’re just not supposed to have sex with our boyfriends, or husbands unless we’re procreating? We’re just supposed to keep our legs closed? Well guess what y’all.. I’m pretty sure the men would change their tune if we refused to have sex unless we’re trying for a child. I’m not even going to give the slut comments any use.. because in order for us sluts to get pregnant when we don’t want to be pregnant.. guess what we need? That’s right.. DICK. Back to logical thinking.. it takes two to get pregnant. The blame is NOT solely on the woman.

I just don’t get it. I don’t. I don’t understand how these Christo-Fascists can even live with themselves when voting in favor or supporting these bills and laws. No one is mandating abortions for women. No one. All we want is the CHOICE to make our own medical decisions.

It’s only a matter of time to see how far this goes. These states are violating federal law, so they must fight up the chain. However, when they make it to Kava-dick, is he going to hold to what he originally said? That he wouldn’t challenge existing law ie: Roe V Wade? I doubt it. We’re coming very close to the need for direct and drastic action (for many reasons INCLUDING reproductive rights), and the question is? Will you stand for what you believe in? Or live on your knees?

 

 

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What Family Means and Blood Brings Troubles

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I’m aware that I’ve touched on this subject before, if not numerous times, but I need to get these words out of my head and into the world.¬†

Family to me isn’t as traditional as most. ¬†Of course I have my immediate family; my Dad, Sister, Step Sister and Brother and step Mom, not to mention my daughter. ¬†However, short of a couple cousins (whom I adore), a handful of friends replaces my extended family. ¬†That’s just the way it is, there is no regret, dislike or anything else, it just worked out like that. ¬†As kids my sister and I were never real close with my Dad’s side of the family, and once my Mom passed away her side of the family kind of drifted off (as did us kids).

During all of this, I met several great people who looked after me. ¬†A couple of my friend’s moms are 2nd, 3rd and 4th moms to me, as well as random friends who have known me for years. ¬†These people slowly became what I considered family. ¬†There was no blood involved, just friendships that developed over time, and because of that, we spent time together when we wanted to see each other instead of at obligatory family functions.

That is what family is to me.

Some of you know ¬†I have a “half-sister”. ¬†My mother had a baby when she was in her late teen years, and instead of becoming a¬†teen-aged¬†mother she gave her daughter up for adoption. ¬†My “half-sister” is 16 years older than me and apparently lives down south (I thought North, but whatever.) ¬†I’ve only met her once in person, and I was too young to remember.

When she was in her twenties (late teens?) , she found us (through an aunt of mine I believe) and began to contact my parents. ¬†I honestly don’t know my mother’s true opinion of it, but my first memory of her isn’t pleasant. ¬†Lets just go ahead and say that the year before and after my mother passed, my half sister didn’t exactly make it easy on us. ¬†(Think Dad unplugging the phone at 2am when we’re getting drunk-dialed-screamed at from another state, while cancer-ridden-mother tries to sleep.) After she blew off my mom’s funeral she¬†disappeared again for about 7 years.

She surfaced again when I was 18 ( thanks to the same aunt Рalso the same aunt who blabbed to my Dad that I was pregnant with Noodle РSeeing a pattern here?) and called me.  This time it was to talk about how the fact that she was adopted, that my mother chose to let two wonderful people raise her was the reason she had a drug problem.  She then berated me for choosing to give my own son up for adoption, and then asked to live with me.

After that conversation, fast forward another 4 years or so and she resurfaces. ¬†This time she’s pregnant and needs advice on adoption. ¬†Oy.

Now apparently she’s straightened her life out. ¬†Facebook allowed her to find me and my younger sister, and after almost a year, things finally went south.

[ My sister and I, especially I, have never¬†pursued¬†a relationship with her. ¬† Yes, she is blood related, but we also have never met her (where we can remember) and only know her by the warpath she left behind. ¬†Being friends with her on¬†Facebook¬†made me uncomfortable, it’s hard to talk to someone who expects a full relationship out of you when you’ve never met, much less have nothing but blood in common. ¬†I didn’t mind a few jabs here and there and a “like” on a photo, but beyond that I shied away from it.]

Today she messaged me… again. ¬†This time she asked if she should continue to attempt a relationship with my sister and I. ¬†I was honest. ¬†I told her that I didn’t see a point, that we could most definitely keep in touch via social networking but beyond that I couldn’t see a relationship developing and that I wasn’t really interested in working on one. ¬†I told her my views on family and encouraged her to appreciate her loving parents and her own daughter and friends.

The response I got back set me off. ¬†She resorted back to what she always did. ¬†Her Bio family means so much to her, and when Mom died, it hurt her real bad. ¬†– Excuse me while I try not to get mad again –

Yeah. ¬†You know what? ¬†’97 may have been a long time ago, but it’s still pretty damn fresh to me. ¬†I have¬†absolutely no sympathy. ¬†There is a huge difference between losing a bio-mom whom you met once (and then ditched the funeral for – as well as both grandparents funerals) while you’re in your twenties… and losing the Mom who you saw every-single-fucking-day when you’re in 5th and 3rd grade. ¬†Big-fucking-difference. ¬†It would be different if she hadn’t spent years in a drug-induced stupor, harassing me and more importantly harassing my mom when she was¬†dying. ¬†It would be different if she didn’t wait until she was in her 40s to try and nurture a relationship. ¬†But it’s not. ¬†That’s the way it is, and that’s the way it’s going to be.

I promptly told her what I wrote above ^^, as well as the fact that she shouldn’t go around digging up 16 year old graves to make herself happy. ¬†I wished her well and again encouraged her to appreciate her own family and friends and that I didn’t want to dig up aforementioned grave again. ¬†Then I promptly un-friended her and blocked her.

Maybe I should have had a little compassion, maybe I should have handled it better. ¬†Truthfully? ¬†I don’t care. ¬†I lost all compassion for the situation years ago when I was berated for the same choice she later made. ¬†I lost that compassion when she blamed putting drugs up her nose on my mother (which FYI : No one forced you to do drugs!). ¬†I don’t care.

I’m glad it’s finally done, I hope that’s the¬†last tie I have to cut. ¬†It took me 26 years to divorce myself from her, and I wish it happened earlier. ¬†She needs to move on, she needs to love her own family and nurture the relationships she’s taking for granted. ¬†She needs to realize that we don’t know her, and we don’t want to get to know her. ¬†We’ve been trying to heal the best we can, fix our own issues and problems, and speaking for myself, I cannot take on hers too, again. ¬†I’ve been spending the last couple of years eliminating negativity from my life, and that was one of the relationships I put off getting rid of.

I forgive her for the person she used to be. ¬†But forgiveness isn’t for her, it’s for me, it’s letting myself move on, and get on with my life. ¬†I don’t want to be reminded of what she put my family through and what horrible emotion she invoked. ¬†I forgive her for what she did and has done, but that doesn’t mean I want to be best friends. ¬†I want to be done.

 

 

Family is not blood.  Family is love and caring.  Family is made of the people that stand by you day in and day out.  Family is made of people who love each other, not for their own gain, but just because.