Sunday, November 4, 2012

My Path from Pro Choice to Pro Life....

There's a lot of political talk about choice...not that the president can make this decision or even overturn it himself, but the argument is being made that certain presidentual candidates have changed their minds over time so I thought I'd explore my change.
I was a kid in a primarily Catholic town in Indiana. I wasn't Catholic but I learned a lot from osmosis...mainly that since I wasn't Catholic I should not agree with their stance on things. Not exactly the best approach I suppose. I was also born in the 60's and parented by a Pro Choice mom who made it very clear that there was no opinion that could be right if it wasn't choice. I never really questioned this by the way. When, in my early 20's an acquantance "got pregnant" and I walked her up to the clinic, where protestors were picketing. I didn't even ask her if she thought she was doing the right thing. I assumed she knew what she was doing...and wouldn't I have done it under the right circumstances? I don't know...I actually don't think I could have. However as the years have gone on, and I have become more conscious of my views on the world I've changed my mind. Still I think it's improtant to lay out the arguments as I know them.  (yes, I did my research on the net to remind me but I guarantee that I've heard at least 80% of these growing up). 
Pro Choice Arguments:
  • It’s just a blob of tissue, not a baby.
  • We don’t know when life begins.
  • Even though biological life begins at conception, we don’t know when personhood begins.
  • The preborn child doesn’t have enough size, ability to feel pain, viability, self-awareness, etc. to be granted rights of personhood.
  • It’s my body, and I have the right to do with it what I want.
  • Even if the preborn has an inherent right to life, this right is superceded by the mother’s right to autonomy.
  • If a woman is pregnant by rape, compassion demands that she be allowed to abort.
  • Issues of personal morality are best left to individual discretion. The government should not interfere.
  • There is a Constitutional right to abortion.
  • If a baby is horribly deformed, it would be better to spare him from a life of suffering
  • It’s better to abort a child than for him to live as an unwanted child.
  • Forcing people to have children leads to more child abuse.
  • If we end abortion, we’ll go back to thousands of women dying from back-alley abortions.
  • There isn’t enough farmland, fossil fuels, drinking water, etc., to care for everybody. Abortion is one way to control the human population
  • Issues of personal morality are best left to individual discretion. The government should not interfere.
Pro Life Arguments:
  • The preborn child has a heartbeat by the end of the third week. When surgical abortions are performed in the mid to late first trimester, the baby has arms, legs, feet, hands, etc.
  • Textbooks and even pro-choice advocates concede that human life begins when the egg and sperm unite.
  • The point at which rights of personhood should be granted is not something we “know” or “don’t know.” Its something we decide. We grant rights to people we value and deny them to people we don’t.
  • Such qualities develop over time. A newborn is smaller, less developed, less aware, and more dependent than a young adult, but that doesn’t make him less of a person.
  • When you are pregnant, there is another body ... the baby’s body. Nobody should have the right to tear a baby’s body into pieces.
  • Nobody has an unconstrained right to autonomy. We require parents to use their bodies to care for their children. This responsibility lasts for 18 years.
  • As horrible as abortion is, the baby is still innocent of any crime. Nobody should be killed for the crime of another person. Abortion does not undo or mitigate the rape, and there is evidence that abortion further compounds the harm that has already been done to her.
  • The primary purpose of government is to protect fundamental rights. That’s why we have laws against rape, murder, and child neglect
  • Abortion is not referenced at all in the U.S. Constitution. Roe vs Wade was not a judicial decision as much as legislation imposed from the Bench
  • Nobody has the right to kill another person because he perceives that the other person might have a low quality of life.
  • We would never kill a born child simply because his parents decided they don’t want him anymore.
  • USC reported that 91% of abused children are very much wanted before birth.
  • In 1960, Planned Parenthood reported that 84% to 87% of all illegal abortions were performed by licensed physicians. In 1972, the year before Roe vs Wade, 39 women died from illegal abortions. Each of those deaths was a tragedy, but every abortion is a tragedy, because it kills a living human being
  • We never kill born children because we perceive them to be too numerous for the planet.
 After reviewing this list, I know for a fact that I am pro life more than pro choice these days.  I know that many of my old friends would consider this a horrible change but if I'm being honest, I have changed in a million ways since my early 20's.  I believe whole heartedly in adoption...more closed than open, but I can live with open adoptions as long as the child knows who his/her "real" mommy and daddy are.  (Those are the people that are doing the job!)   I don't think I am alone in my change, but I do think it's hard to admit sometimes to those people who think they know you.  Still, I'm happy I have changed my mind and that maybe I can talk to people now if they are faced with this decision in a clearer wya than I could have 30 years ago.  Life is a blessing!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Goodbye Aunt Charlie....

It's been a long time since I sat back and wrote this blog.  It seems my concentration has gone elsewhere.  Still it's therapeutic to sit here and figure things out from time to time. 

I got a call this morning that my Aunt Charlie passed away.  I saw them a few years back on their last trip out to Vegas and she was just as "feisty" as ever.  Mom and Aunt Charlie had a complicated relationship (as it is with all my family it seems).  I know that there was love there but if you were to watch it in action I can't actually say that anyone would know it.  They bickered and argued, debated and complained...but that was their version of love. 

Right now, all I can remember about Aunt Charlie is bits and pieces of stories from mom about them growing up.  I remember her with her kids and the worry she had for them.  I remember the meals she threw together for the family gatherings after my grandma passed away in an attempt to hold the family together.  I remember the knitting machine she was so proud of - I still have the blanket she made for me.  Most of all I think about the arguing though and I wish that wasn't what kept sticking in my head.  Overall I think she must have been a good person but I'll never really know because of the push and pull of our family dynamic. 

We do our family reunions at funerals and I'm not even able/willing to make the trip this time to do that.  I don't know these people anymore - I probably never really knew them more than casually anyway.  A good person would make the effort right, they are after all "family".  Maybe I'm just getting old, but I guess I'm just going through the motions sometimes when I call and check in.  I don't want to get dragged into the story of what is going to happen next because I remember when my grandma & grandpa passed away and it wasn't pretty watching the pulling apart of a family as they took this book and that table away.  If things can be more broken, I can wait to see the fractures for another decade or so....

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Seeing Where it's All Going....

This is a picture of Sarah last month...just 2 months before her 14th birthday.  I used to hear my folks tell me how fast the time goes and truthfully, when I was her age it didn't seem fast at all!  Now, I get it.  I still remember rocking her to sleep at night, reading her to sleep when she got a bit bigger, and wiping away quick tears when she fell. 

I've started to think about what is going to happen when she's done with high school and makes some life choices.  I hope we are always close.  I hope we have forged the type of relationship that she can look back on with some happiness.  I love my mom but we aren't exactly what anyone would say is "close".  Maybe I don't really know how to explain close but when she's grown I'd like for Sarah to call me from time to time just to talk about her life.  I have promised myself that I won't be intrusive but I hope she will feel like including us in her happiness and sadness. 

There are so many dreams you have when you are expecting a baby.  As time goes on, you see the person they are becoming and start to dream about what they might do with their lives.  Right now, I'm thinking about my once little girl that is starting to show who she will be as a woman...and I really like her

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I'm still digesting.....

I don't share often the difficulty that comes with being me sometimes.....don't get me wrong I have a GREAT life.  I love my husband with all my heart.  He is an amazing man.  A man I don't know how I was lucky enough to find.  I have a daughter who has a beautiful spirit, a kind girl who thinks well and speaks her mind. 

Monday I had an eye appointment at a retina specialist.  Did I mention I'm unemployed and hubby is self employed....I do not have medical insurance right wasn't in the priority list when I was trying to pay the "regular" bills.  So, when my regular eye dr saw some "wrinkles" on my retina, and didn't think there was anything that could be done, she wanted to have a specialist check it out.  She arranged a "cash price" and I went.  The news was not what I wanted to hear - not what anyone in their right mind would want to hear I suppose.  I need an expensive eye surgery to remove something called a macular pucker.  Ordinarily they would let it go for awhile, but it's already advanced enough he hesitates to let it go much longer.  I explained I had no insurance so he said that I could come back in, in 6 mo. and he could better evaluate how quickly it was moving.  I did make sure that this was not a hereditary condition...happy I don't have to worry about Sarah for awhile.

I'm's all I can do right now and I'm going to stay positive something will come up. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Great Vacation!

We had a great vacation in Lake Arrowhead. I had let myself forget how fun it can be to get away and spend some time together.  We are so lucky to have Tracy's family there.  Sarah had a chance to see her Aunt and her boyfriend and son for the week.  They were really awesome and I'm so glad we were able to catch up.  It's been a few years since we really talked to Tracy's does time get away?  This is the first time at the lake it was a bit chilly - mid/high 60's but wonderful for us Las Vegans who were facing over 100° temps at home! 

What an AWESOME 4th of July!  It was such a beautiful day and with the 4th falling mid week we didn't have the traffic we usually have on the lake to watch the fireworks mid lake.  It was a bit choppy and windy so Sarah and Mike's son didn't have the wakeboarding/kneeboarding experience they might have on smoother water, but I think all in all they had a wonderful time.  Grandpa had a fun time towing them around and teaching them how.  Tracy has such neat parents. 

Time to be home and face the music....or at least get some laundry done! 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Where Do We Go From Here?

I've never had issue with a neighbor until this year.  I think that I have been pretty nice to everyone around me even if they aren't "my people".  That being said, I had an issue with one last night that is weighing on my mind.  Our dog had been attacked when we took him for a walk and after a costly surgery I felt I needed to address it with this person, whom to this point I had not met.  When I tried to walk up to the house, the same dog came running at the gate, and since I had seen what it did to my dog, I didn't feel comfortable in walking any closer to address it in person.  Here is the letter I dropped off in their mailbox yesterday:

On April 21, 2012 we had an incident I need to make you aware of in hopes that you will do something to help.  We were walking our dog, on leash past your home when your dog came out from your gate and attacked our boxer Flash.  Since he was on leash he could not protect himself and was viciously bitten on the ear.  We were able to chase your dog back into your gate.  It appears that your dog can move freely from your yard to the street, unrestrained. 
When we returned home we could see the ear was tender but by morning we had to take him to an emergency vet as we could not touch his head without pain.  The veterinarian advised that this hematoma could possibly repair itself with the use of an antibiotics and steroids prescribed for the next 10 days.  After 17 days the hematoma appeared to be getting much larger and we were forced to take him back to see what the next plan of action would be, only to be told that we would have to do surgery on the ear costing approximately $900.  We decided to take him to our regular veterinarian and they were able to bring the cost down significantly.  Please see the enclosed bill.  While he was in, we took advantage of the anesthesia and had him neutered as well so obviously we are not expecting any help for that amount of the surgery.  However, we would appreciate your assistance with the part as you are by law culpable for our dogs’ injuries. 

Please be aware, it talking with various other neighbors in the area that like to walk, that your dog has chased others and it is only a matter of time before animal control will be called.  Now that the dog has attacked our dog I would certainly call them next time if I see your dog out due to your negligence.  We are not contentious people so we are trying to be reasonable.  I’m asking that you find some way to keep the dog contained so that we can feel safe in walking in our neighborhood in the future. 

I was frankly, asuming that they would not offer to pay anything against the surgery, but would make sure from that time on that their gate at least was closed and the dog would not be able to roam at will....WRONG!

I received a call last night at around 9:45 from the woman and the first thing she yells at me is that I dropped a letter in her box and she would NOT be paying us anything.  She wanted to know why I would wait so long to tell her.  I explained that I had gone up to the gate, but her dog had rushed up to it and I had already seen the dog attack mine, so I wasn't willing to take the chance that it would bite me!  She told me she is going to call her lawyer and have him handle it.  I told her I can get one of those too but I was hoping we could just work this out.  She explained that I can't prove that it was her dog and she doesn't have a dog of that discription.  I explained that I have seen the dog going in and out of her property for the last few years and obviously the dog feels like it's hers since it's living there and obviously is being fed.  She told me she only owns one dog, a lab, and that the other one is a stray.  I explained that the "stray" she has been feeding for 5 years is hers whether she chooses to admit it or not and all I really want is for them to tell me that they will keep the dog contained on their property so that I can feel safe to walk past her property....lots of yelling going on her on her side.  I think I was being resonable but truthfully my blood was boiling and I'm sure I must have said a few stupid things.  I know I told her I am not a contentious person and truly don't want this to go further.  She went from apologetic to sounding a bit crazy and telling me she is going to just have all 5 of her dogs killed to make me happy (hmmm, went from I only own a lab to I have 5 dogs?).  She also told me that since no one else had ever complained I was obviously making it all up.  In fact, how could I even say it was her dog.  I could be making that up too!  Had I not talked to several other neighbors about this while trying to figure out what to do I wouldn't have known, so I suppose it's highly possible that she had never heard about their issues so ours might seem suspect.  Just about the time she started to sound resonable again, she started going on about how other neighbors were breaking rules and she was going to take it upon herself to go around and call the police and them. (I happen to know some of the neighbors that she is talking about and there is NOTHING she can call the police on them for...they are amazing folks!)  I explained that this was really not my business what other people were doing...taking to the extreme in this case isn't going to fix the fact that I want her gate closed so I could walk around my neighborhood when the temperatures were nice...I like to take a walk occasionally...she told me I'd be stupid to walk past her house!  Ok then, guess I should wonder at this point what she meant by that :(  I ended up having to hang up on her because it was starting to get loud on her end again.  Sadly, a truck/car came down our little 2 house cul-de-sac and I actually feared she was going to come by and do something crazy.  Tracy must have felt that way too because he got up several times during the night to look out and make sure everything was ok. 

The up side is that Flashy is feeling better and I believe he won't have any lasting effects after the 10 days of drugs and collar are over. 

Grrrr....wish I didn't have to worry about this lady taking out on us in some crazy way!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Top 10 Birthday Wishes!

Certain birthdays have special significance to some people.  I tell you honestly I am not a birthday person...just don't care but I do know there is a whole line of greeting cards devoted to certain years of your life 16, 21, 30, 40, etc. This week, I might receive those insulting cards in black...or better yet, talking about the "Big 5-0".  My dad has been trying to torture me with the significance for a while but it's just not meaning a lot to me. I'm thinking I'm still of reasonably sound mind and body, so I have "little old right hand" up today to vow on my Top ten wishes for my 50th birthday.

10. I'm going to try to eat right and exercise more so I can hang around with my wonderful husband, kid, grandkids, friends, and family.
9.   I'm not going to ever buy into our government, Wall Street's, or even the neighbor's definition of "success." I love this Jennifer James quote about success:  "It is not a destination that you ever reach. Success is the quality of your journey.'
8. I refuse to disregard the younger generation. My generation hasn't done an awful lot to "save the world" so I've got to think someone is coming up who just might be able to get something  done!  
7. I swear I won't play my version of the "oldies" all the time.  I would like to be that cool old lady that still knows who the more relevant artists are out there even if I don't necessarily like them...or maybe I will!  Who really knows :)
6.  I'm not going to obsess about my cholesterol level! Yes, yes I know it's important...I know half of you will take the medication willingly, but I'm just not going to worry about it right now...sorry
5. I will make up my own political mind yep, I refuse to say that any political party speaks for me.  I speak for me.  I will hold on to my strength of conviction but I promise I'll listen to all points of may even change my mind on a few things!
4. I'm going to use technology and become comfortable with new things as they come along. I'm not wanting to become that little old lady that is afraid of her new TV or computer because it has all those new gadgets :)  I will try to keep learning always!
3. I will not forget where I came from. I want to remain that mid-western girl that believes in people and believes that good can happen even in a bad place.  I want to remember my parents lessons to fight for what I believe in and who I believe in even when it's not convenient!
2. I want to love and be loved. It's sad to meet people that don't have someone there with them at the end of their life.  I would love to be that little old lady holding hands with her little old man in her final hours surrounded by those who have meant the most in life. 
1. Most of all, I want to hear "Well done, good and faithful servant." I pray I do well by all my family, friends, people I've met along the way and that I can be the person I have been called to be.
So, if I get lost along the way I hope you will keep me accountable! Thanks to all who cared this week to wish me a good birthday.  It is a blessing