Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pro-choice: It's not just about abortion

I believe strongly in pro-choice for both men and women when it comes to reproduction.
But an issue I haven't seen much about is the waiting periods imposed for men and women when it comes to tubal ligation and vasectomies.
It seems when it comes to controlling this side of reproduction there is an extreme imbalance.
Most states require women to wait for at least thirty days after they have been cleared as being medically sound for the surgery. This is to give them time to decide if they really want to go through with this. A few states also require a waiting period for men wanting a vasectomy. Usually it is at least 24 hours. Thirty days versus 24 hours seems a little imbalanced.
My daughter has three very active children. She is 32 and doesn't want any more children. She has been counselled that she "might get remarried and change her mind". Highly unlikely, I assure you. She won't even date a man who wants children of his own. Expecting her to go through the health tests, two weeks before she
signs the consent forms, then to wait an addiional 3o days to give her a chance to "think about it is redundant.. She has thought long and hard about her decision, weighing the pros and cons, researching all the possible side effecs and consequences. Her mind was made up long before she broached the
subject to her doctor.
Why then is she not afforded the same priveledge as a man when it comes to her reproductive choices?
Twenty four hours is reasonable. Any surgery, even as minor as a vasectomy has risks. If a woman, having weighed the risks, and made the decision, must wait an additional thirty days and obtain her partner's permisssion if she is married,
why are men required neither a substantial waiting period nor spousal permission for the procedure?
Pro-choice is about deciding when to stop having children. It isn't just an abortion issue. A woman who chooses to end her reproduction capability is not "killing babies". She is permanantly preventing the need for an abortion.
This waiting period needs to be put to rest.
A woman's right to choose should, at the very least be equal to a man's choice.
After all it is women who carry the burdon of pregnancy, childbirth and all that goes with them. We are not irresponcible or irrational and our decisions should be our own and not at the mercy of the state in which we live.
I do not believe men should have to wait longer than the 24 hours some states require. They should be in charge of their choice not to reproduce. I do believe women's choices should be equally respected. We are no less intelligent or informed than our male counter-parts. This needs to change. Pro-choice is for everyone, and it is not always about abortion.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Salvation from Judgement

Yes, the title means exactly what it says. First, let me say I am not Christian There are years of learning that brought me out of the Christian world I grew up in. I had questions about all things mystical from earliest memory. I used to sit for hours thinking. "Get your had out of the clouds," my mom would say. My report cards were alright, but the teachers always added little notes such as, "Candy would be a straight A student if she spent less time day dreaming."
To say there is no creationary power is a little further than I can go. There is a mystery within us all. I hesitate to call it god or goddess. It is simply a conciousness of spirit. It's what makes us laugh, cry, ponder and wonder.
I thought deeply about judgement. And that led me to thinking about guilt. The Judeo/Christian bible tells us in many placement that we shouldn't judge. Judgement belongs to God. That pretty much makes sin nobody else;s business. Yet the pulpit lays constant guilt on its parisioners.
Preachers scream at their congregations, rant and rave all to the muttered {or shouted} "Praise God" or "Amen". They pass around a tray to collect money. I don't have to look far to know how their Jesus felt about that.
I once heard a preacher say, "Don't worry if your children need things. God will provide." He said this as the offering plate was passed around. As the plate passed before me, I could not resist. I dropped a bag of peanuts in the offering plate along with a note that read, "I work for peanuts. Here is my children"s snack." Needless to say, I wasn't welcomed back. Did I feel guilty for not giving my children's grocery money to that paster? Hell no! I would have felt far worse seeing my childrens' hungry eyes.
I believe that judgement is between each of us and our concience. If we know it's wrong, we have made the judgement. Judgement is no far future thing that awaits us and salvation isn't either.
We face ourselves every day. We see ourselves, make our judgements and move forward. Guilt is a lesson killer and probably the worst kind of sin we commit against ourselves. Guilt keeps us living backward instead of forward. We can be sorry for past mistakes but holding onto guilt is unnecessary. The truth is, every mistake we make is one step closer to getting it right. And every lesson we learn through life adds to us. We become who we are because of and in spite of the things we do. And therein lies our salvation from judgement.