Monthly Archives: November 2012

This Thanksgiving, Margaret Sanger Gets My Gratitude

You may not be familiar with her name.  When she was nineteen she stood over the body of her dead mother, worn from eleven pregnancies, and vowed to make a change.  She kept her promise and we know her work as Planned Parenthood.

I am particularly grateful for Planned Parenthood this year.  I began visiting them over two years ago because I found myself a single, older woman (40’s), temporarily without insurance and needed reliable birth control.  It turns out that my age group is a growing demographic to Planned Parenthood, for the very reasons I myself wandered into their care.  In my experience, their care has been superb and I wanted to share my gratitude.

One of the first things I observed at my local office is the organization’s obvious commitment toward educating its clients.  In the lobby, in the clinical rooms, in the restrooms, posters and flyers inform me of my ability to get free s.t.d.  and AIDS testing along with plenty of condom captions informing me to make a choice for safe sex.  Other wall coverings include abuse posters and numbers for me to tear off should I need local, anonymous support.  In the patient rooms I have my choice of dozens of educational pamphlets concerning the same, as well as some informing me of my choice of birth control options. I would hope that such openness would allow women, especially younger ones, the comfort to start a conversation.

I found that as patients, we didn’t need to start the conversation, my nurse always does.  Every time I visit, I am asked if I’ve had a change of partners in the recent past, if so would I like to be tested?  I am always asked if I am in a healthy relationship, am I being abused in any way.  Do I think my boyfriend or partner might sabotage my birth control so as to trap me with an unplanned pregnancy?  Would I like a yard’s worth of condoms to take home for safe sex?  Do you wish to take a ‘morning after’ pill home with you for emergencies?  I can only say that I feel safe knowing that they are committed to allowing opportunities for discussion and education on such a personal, intimate level.  While I have not needed to engage my nurse concerning these issues, I am immensely thankful that my sisters have the ability to do so.

They also hold me hostage.  For a good reason.  At my yearly check-up I am only given three months worth of pills along with a breast exam and my mammogram marching orders.  No mammogram within three months, no more pills.  They make sure I am current on my pap smear as well.  I am thankful to Planned Parenthood for the concern and attention they show, I owe my health, in part to them.

Planned Parenthood is exactly what it says it is:  a place where women are empowered by education to make smart choices and have access to plenty of birth control so they can plan their pregnancies.  Were it not for them, my husband and I could very well be burdening the system with a medi-cal bill for maternity and infant care.  Thankfully, Planned Parenthood allows us the opportunity to get to a better financial place so that we can afford insurance.  This thanksgiving, I am eternally grateful to my local office for their tireless devotion, and to Margaret Sanger who followed through on her promise to make sure women’s health was given the attention it deserves and ensuring we have the ability to choose when to bring a new soul into this world.  Women have been practicing birth control since we began having babies, thanks to Planned Parenthood we are able to do so within a caring, holistic, and affordable environment.

Happy Thanksgiving, and Be Well,

Frankie

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sharing this, thanks to my dearest b.i.l.

jessica valenti shares her assessment of the great strides women have taken this past election, and she points us in a direction to continue the momentum…..

http://www.thenation.com/article/171279/feminists-win#


there’s this…..

check out my new tumblr page!

composed of new little snippets and a few repeats from my blog


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happy friday kids! here’s my latest youtube gig…..

“hey chuck norris, we’re already a socialist nation.”

 


congratulations first family!


Where is our Nation?

Last I checked we considered ourselves to be world leaders of democracy yet our behavior during this election cycle clearly demonstrates our capacity to trample upon the very philosophy that we boast.

We should be ashamed of ourselves, each and every one of us. We are no longer a nation that exemplifies the democratic spirit.

A quick look at the headlines, just days before our election, tells the story:  From AlterNet.org – “Major Retailer Urges Workers To Take ‘Civics Course’ With Anti-Obama Content.” Mother Jones – “Voter Suppression Explained.” ABC News –“ South Florida Voters Waiting Four Hours to Vote Early.” There are endless examples.  In fact, Fox news is having a cow over the fact that many independent organizations have asked for the O.S.C.E. (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, we are a member) to oversee our election in some areas.  Yet when one considers the massive efforts to swing the vote to one particular side, it’s understandable that many would feel their voting rights are being threatened and thus choose to have monitors in place so as to provide some security.

It’s a hit to our pride though, isn’t it?  Having OUR election monitored by outside groups is embarrassing for us.  We were always the one country who touted the benefits of our democratic process to the world, always claiming to be the beacon of fair and civil government.  Instead, we deign to lower ourselves to groveling for power like some third world country and by doing so we inflict the need to have our elections audited as well. W.T.F.

This is not the Nation we were taught to revere and respect.  This is not the Nation I want to hand down to my children and their children.  This is not a Nation to be proud of at the moment. We are better than this.

There is hope though.  We can change.  The most important step is to become involved and demand fair elections.  To do nothing, as we have done so far, is to allow our Nation’s slow death.

We must agitate our lawmakers to pass an amendment against Citizens United, ensuring that our elections cannot be purchased.  We can demand that our votes be tallied by physical means.  No computers.  Zero.  Zilch. None. –  too easy to tamper with and no physical proof of our vote, this should be a no brainer.  It may be more expensive to go the paper route, but we should be willing to incur the cost for the sake of a fair and correct ballot count.  We should make election day a national holiday to eliminate long poll lines and ensure that each citizen has the ability to vote, this also has the added benefit of giving our process the respect it deserves.

We need to hold our bosses and our pastors accountable, not just for breaking the law and swaying their people to vote in one single direction, but for instilling fear into their people if they don’t.  These actions are much more reminiscent of boss politics and tyrannical priests than they are of a fair and democratic process. They smell of desperation.  They stink of complete disregard of our founding principles.  They reek of selfishness.

To Mr.’s Koch, Koch, Adelson and ilk, you are to be held accountable as well. Where in your civics class did you learn that it was morally okay to buy an election?  When, exactly, did you make the conscious decision to abandon fair political processes for your own personal gain? Do you even care that you’ve brought the greatest Nation in the world to the brink of disarray thanks to your selfish agenda?

It is apparent that many of us do care about our Nation though or passions wouldn’t be running so high this election.  That is why we must rally together to ensure its success and prosperity by protecting our voting process.  We must make our voices heard to our legislators so that we can effect change.  We must turn our shame and hurt pride into righteous anger over losing our integrity. We must use that energy to gain it back.

We must make it our goal to dissolve the need for election monitors by becoming a Nation once again that exemplifies the democratic spirit.

Be Well,

Frankie