Monday, January 21, 2008

Happy Blog For Choice Day

A government that serves women’s interest must acknowledge that it is a women’s right to decide for herself if and when to bear children. Without this right our sexuality, morality and citizenship are automatically constrained.

Americans can’t count on the Supremes to protect our reproductive rights. If there was any question after the appointment of Roberts and Alito, Gonzales vs. Chart et al. made that abundantly clear. The court okayed the federal abortion ban on the grounds that: we need to protect women from decisions they might regret, and besides, abortion is yucky.* To me, the decision was a wake up call: the continued legality of reproductive health care from abortion to birth control depends on our ability to elect pro-choice candidates.

Here’s the catch: we can’t just vote pro-choice and live happily ever after. Reproductive rights are a necessary but not sufficient condition for reproductive justice. 35 years after Roe v. Wade legal abortion is still a practical impossibility if you live hours from the nearest abortion provider in a state with mandatory waiting periods. Simillarly, to a woman who lacks money for food, daycare and healthcare parenting can become a non-option. We must work for a world in which all women can access comprehensive reproductive health care as well as the resources necessary to parent. In this atmosphere of reproductive justice reproductive rights can achieve their full significance.

*This was the wisdom of Kennedy---- our new swing vote!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Not Quite Sex Ed. Quite Funny

Midwest Teen Sex Show: if you haven’t seen it, check it out. You’ll laugh in an enjoyable way, not those nervous giggles you remember from health class. Host Nikol Hassler’s dead pan delivery, and turn of phrase make the show funny in its own right.

The show is entertainment, not real sex-ed, and they’re semi-up front about that. Even so, I can see your average teen, especially your average teen who has been fed abstinence only sex-ed, confused by statements like “never wash your vagina” and the false implication that everyone is having sex. But teens are bombarded plenty of confusing messages around sex in these united states. It is refreshing to see something sex positive, potentially informative, and created to encourage “frank discussion about . . . teen sexuality” not shame.