Tag Archives: abortion

Do not lose heart. We were made for these times.


I’ll be honest. I expected it to be something of a “victory lap”. A symbolic display of fireworks in celebration of a war that was long past its climactic battles.

I serve on the board of my local Planned Parenthood affiliate and I was thrilled at the prospect of forming a group of donors who would contribute AND PUBLICLY declare their support for reproductive rights. It was the public declaration that had me so excited.

I thought the real enemy was stigma, antiquated ideas that few people even subscribed to any more– a “last gasp” of the Christian Patriarchy. I thought the list would be a triumphant opportunity to be fully “out” in our support, that we’d be delivering a final rebuke to small minds and rigid dogma. It seemed like a great opportunity to network, to start marshaling energy toward a broader social justice agenda….

And then the election happened.

Like many of the people I know, the outcome and its aftermath has been a cocktail of horror, disbelief, and intense anxiety. I realize my relative privilege will shield me from the worst of it but I have spent a lot of time despairing these days.

Yesterday the list was published. A full page of names. Mine alongside more than one hundred seventy other accomplished, committed, endlessly impressive women. And now it seems so much more like a revolutionary act, a digging in of my heels. I feel as if things have shifted a little.  My life is organizing itself around a new reality and my role in it is very clear.

I am part of something big.

This fight is for my lifetime.

We are so much stronger than anyone has imagined.

Thank you, Michele!



Dear Michele Bachmann,

I heard the news Wednesday that you had, “after a great deal of thought and deliberation” and “not in any way related to inquiries into (your) Presidential Campaign”, decided not to seek further congressional office.  Now, those who know me might describe me as sort of liberal, so they’re likely to be surprised to hear me say that I felt a little sense of loss at your news.  I may not agree with a lot of the things you say, Michele (that’s putting it mildly) but, truth be told, I’m so glad you say them and I’m really going to miss you. You see, you serve an important purpose in the political ecosystem and I’ve developed a healthy appreciation for you.  In fact, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you.

Thank you, Michele.  I mean it.  Thank you for saying things like:

“We are giving money to corrupt organizations like Planned Parenthood that are committing crimes and enabling young minor girls and covering up issues I don’t even want to talk about it because it is so disgusting.”

And this:

“This year, more than any other year, we need to completely defund Planned Parenthood and begin a process to end the tax-exempt status of this now-profit seeking, political seeking organization…When you have the executive director of Planned Parenthood in Illinois saying they want to become the LensCrafters of big abortion…If they are competing with for-profit businesses and putting them out of business, then Planned Parenthood has no business holding a non-profit status that benefits that organization”

And this:

“I think it is incumbent upon us as the members of Congress to let people know–not for the purpose of scaring them–but to let people know the stark fiscal realities that we’re facing right now as a nation.  And can’t we at minimum start with defunding things like Planned Parenthood and paying for other’s people abortions that are highly controversial and are violating our principles of the Declaration of Independence, our inalienable right to life? That we can at least agree on, that we should defund that.”

Because, Michele, when you make statements like these, people who are complacent, people who are busy, people who “aren’t political” and people who are comfortable and confident that things will always remain just as they are – find that they can’t be neutral.  Statements like those ignore, not just the facts, but all the important realities of our day: healthcare, reproductive rights, and the personal autonomy of our youth (after all, if fetuses have rights, why not minor girls!?)  When you say these things Michele, people stop, and they think.  And…well thinking, Michele.  When people start to do that, your world-view is in a lot of trouble.

Thank you, Michele.  Because, when you confuse actor John Wayne with serial killer John Wayne Gacy, or suggest that there is zero scientific evidence that carbon dioxide is a threat to the planet, we forget about the junk we need to buy on Amazon.  We stop worrying about what Kim and Kanye will name the baby.  We let go of planning our vacations, and doing laundry, and watching videos of cats on the Internet.  When you suggest that there are “hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel Prizes” who believe in Intelligent Design, or that our nation’s founders “worked tirelessly to end slavery”, all those things fall away and we think.  And the more we think, the more ridiculous the things you say become.  And then we realize that we have a responsibility to protect the rights and freedoms we have.  We recognize that they are only assured if we defend them.  Defend them from people… like you.  And we mobilize…and we win.

According to an analysis by the Sunlight Foundation, Planned Parenthood’s PAC spent $12 million in the last general election – during a year when the organization saw unprecedented attacks on its mission and activities, and multiple attempts to cut off its funding (which, by the way, doesn’t go to abortions but to things like cancer screenings, and contraception which prevents abortions). That campaign saw an incredible 98% return on investment – successfully electing 12 pro-women’s health candidates and defeating 14 anti-women’s health candidates.  By way of contrast, Karl Rove’s American Crossroads PAC had a 1.29% success rate – and the NRA’s PAC yielded .83% of their desired results.  Not too shabby huh?  Why was Planned Parenthood so successful?  Well, I think you had a little something to do with that!

So I take this opportunity to thank you, Michele.  For making us think, for mobilizing us, for giving us a glimpse of the world you want for us – just enough of a glimpse for us to know we choose another path.  I’m a Board member of my local Planned Parenthood affiliate, Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood.  I’ve seen first hand what safe, legal, honest and necessary reproductive healthcare looks like.  I joined this board because of people like you Michele, and in your honor I’m going to make a donation to Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood today.  Because when I hear you speak…when you suggest that wives must be submissive to their husbands, or that we could eradicate unemployment if we could only abolish the minimum wage, or that Planned Parenthood “intentionally breaks state and federal laws”, I remember what I stand for and why I have a responsibility to defend it, always.  Thank you Michele, for making us think even though you may not do it too often yourself.  But therein lies your genius.  I hope you won’t stray too far from the limelight once you leave office.  There are multiple media outlets that would be more than happy to provide a platform for your point of view.  Thank you, Michele, and please stay in touch.  We are so very, very grateful.

Readers, please join me in donating to Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood – or the local affiliate where you live in honor of Michele Bachmann, here’s the link: http://bit.ly/15ji4Y0.

They have a WHAT?!?!

The Catholic Church at the United Nations: Church or State

Readers of my blog, and those who know me personally are aware that I am wary of any religious participation in the public square  – I keep a wary watch for it “like a hemophiliac with one eye on the knife drawer”.  When I casually came across the fact that the Vatican actually holds a seat in the United Nations, the only religious viewpoint to do so, I was shocked and appalled.  According to this report from Catholics for Choice (an excellent organization I recommend you check out), UN records indicated the Vatican uses  that role frequently to speak out against reproductive rights, access to contraception, and human rights for the LGBT community.  I can’t believe I didn’t know this before!  I am really not Ok with this.  Are you?