Popular topics for political discussions all revolve the question of choice. People are happier when given more options in their decision making but laws still have to be set in order to prevent people from harming each other. The price, however, of living in a nation that allows the beliefs of different cultures and religions to exist is that we often have clashes over what we believe is best and lawful for our citizens. Recently, my home state of Texas signed into law a bill that prevents a woman from having an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Whenever I was asked the question whether I approve of that law my only response was “I don’t know.” Unfortunately, my response when it comes to whether abortion should be legal or not is still being formed. Read more
A few years ago I was asked to give a short talk on the subject of Roe v. Wade. As I have always been interested in the Supreme Court and the individuals who have served on it, I readily agreed. Knowing how controversial that particular decision was, I decided to try a little experiment. Opening the talk, I asked how many supported the decision. Roughly half the hands went up. Then I asked how many opposed it. Again, roughly half raised their hands. Then I asked the most important question. How many have actually read the decision? Sadly, out of perhaps 20 people two raised their hands. I asked them when that shocking revelation revealed itself "How can you support or oppose something without even having taken the time to read it to know what it actually says?" Read more
As a baby boomer, I grew up in an era where the only women who had access to safe abortions were the wealthy. They could fly somewhere and have it done and be back home before anyone knew they were gone. Women who did not have wealth were forced to use less safe methods to abort the fetus.
PBS has aired the show, Call the Midwife, for two seasons now. Watching that show, I have become a strong supporter of abortion rights. Please understand that I am not an advocate for abortions per se. Abortions are only one option that must remain available for all women.
If you want to see what life was like for women and their families before contraception and abortion was available to women, then you should watch this program. It is horrifying to watch. Yes, I know that abortions are horrifying too. But, so is cancer and stroke and kidney failure. Read more
We're scared of the rise of religious radicals in Egypt but our own states are passing sweeping new laws to control women's bodies, health and choices.
We question the accountability of Egypt's military, yet accept drones, indefinite detention, domestic spying, a contractor-centric military-intelligence complex and a new FBI head who signed off on water-boarding.
We declare that Egyptian democracy is stalling while we're in knots on immigration reform, can't pass relief for student loans and have stopped addressing the sequester altogether.
Egypt has problems. We have problems. Violent protests devour their country. Filibusters, email petitions & cable news sedate ours.
We need to do more here to resist authoritarianism, respond to the right-wing & reinvigorate our democracy. They need an alternative to fierce, frightening fighting.
In both America and Egypt, reforms & results will come from democratic defiance -- between violence and silence.
In the meantime,there's nothing violent or silent about a vocal visit to share a peaceful pint at your local progressive social club. Read more
We supporters of Barack Obama just won a major election and we are all feeling confident. We should, Obama definitely won a mandate when it comes to raising taxes on the rich, along with passing a comprehensive immigration policy. Then we managed to hold our majority in the Senate and we added two seats, with two Independents caucusing with the Democrats.
However, let us not get too comfortable because 2014 is just around the corner, as far as elections go. Some Republicans from the far right are not going to give up. Some even believe that this last election had to be fixed in some way, and that we Democrats were the ones who suppressed voters, not they.
Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate who lost the election to Barack Obama by a clear margin, discounts his loss in the election, to the president giving gifts to certain minorities. Read more
With "horses and bayonets" Mitt started a weak week, spending half the final debate getting trounced and half agreeing with the man doing the trouncing.
Then Murdouck made Mitt's week much worse, saying pregnancy from rape is what God's intended forcing Romney to decide if he defended the man he told Indiana to send to the Senate.
But $5 million brought the week to its worst -- offered by Mitt's own supporter, Donald Trump, who trumped Romney by mugging the media in a bigoted, foolish crusade to steal the spotlight.
Compared to what fellow GOPers have said, being mocked by the Prez was this week's high point
Find - or start - a chapter near you.
The latest far right slander against women’s rights came Tuesday when Indiana senatorial candidate Richard Mourdock said pregnancies resulting from rape should not be aborted because they are God’s will. Gov. Romney is a Mourdock supporter, and even made a campaign ad for him. Though the vast majority of Americans support abortion rights for rape victims, our government could be overtaken by extremist who don’t.
The presidential ticket and down-ballot candidates from the Republican Party have said they want to strip women of even the barest of reproductive rights. Women, are we going to stand for this? Women-loving men, are you?
Again and again, social conservatism has swung to new and dangerous extremes in the rhetoric of the 2012 campaign season. Repeatedly, Gov. Romney and Rep. Paul have had to back step from candidates they support, and from their own women’s rights records, in an attempt to calm voters down about their misogyny. Voters must not buy in to the latest flip flops: we already know who Romney and his cohorts are, and how they feel about women. Read more
The supporters of Barack Obama and most members of the Democratic Party want our president to lay Mitt Romney out — not literally speaking of course. Most of us I am sure agree that his last performance was a little lackadaisical, even us die-hard Obama fans thought so, which I am.
I would simply like to see this debate be more about character, so viewers can understand what really is behind that smile and that look of concern on Romney’s face. It is a shame that so many voters seem not to understand who Mitt Romney really is, but this debate will give President Obama a chance to do just that.
As far as the president’s character, we all have witnessed that over the last four years and we all can make our own assessment about that at the polls. Mitt Romney on the other hand, people are just now really getting to know him and they have only seen what was well prepared beforehand. Now it is time to reveal the real Mitt Romney. Read more
A few weeks ago I watched a show about women who have babies while incarcerated. This particular episode centered on a pilot program where inmates, based on their crimes and behavior have a chance to keep their babies with them in their cells and followed two women through their journey. It was one of the most gut-wrenching things I have ever seen to the point where I had to avert my eyes to keep from crumbling. As expected there was one happy ending and one devastating. Read more
Walking into the new Planned Parenthood facility in Vancouver, WA one is greeted by friendly people and an immaculate environment. Like any kind of medical clinic, there’s a sterile, professional feel to the space. This is a serious place with a serious mission: to provide quality reproductive care to the community it serves.
Field Organizer Laura is proud of the new facility, which was specially renovated for Planned Parenthood’s needs.
“Having a fresh new space brings dignity to women’s health care,” Laura said of the new clinic.
On the night I visited, volunteers gathered to kick off a time of action for the 2012 campaign season. Twice weekly phone banks were scheduled, and sign up sheets were available. Short video clips were shown and words of encouragement provided for supporters of PP. The event was designed to ask folks to donate a precious commodity: time. Read more
Many years ago when I was but eleven years of age, I became a preacher. As a Pentecostal, I had a very strict belief system, which also affected my sermons. I believed many things were sin, even if the Bible never mentioned them, such as smoking for example; smoking was a sin to me, or at least that was what I was taught.
Like so many Christians nowadays, I really didn’t know the Bible that well. I could quote a few scriptures but those were scriptures that supported my particular belief system, even if they were taken out of context. Read more