In the U.S. Senate Race, Vote Against Everybody | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

In the U.S. Senate Race, Vote Against Everybody

California is currently considering Proposition 85, a bill that would require any teenage girl living in an abusive household to confront her abusive parents before having an abortion--even if her father was the one who got her pregnant in the first place.

Oh, that's not a fair assessment of the bill at all, is it? Because there are judicial exceptions, right?

Yeah, sure, of course there are:

Most teenage girls in this scenario would, understandably, take one of the easy-to-obtain over the counter "incidental abortificients"--drugs that are intended for other purposes, but have the side effect of terminating pregnancies. Dangerously. And girls would be doing this, obviously, with no medical supervision.

Let's be honest here: There are many decent people who oppose all abortion because they believe that fetuses are human beings. I understand this. But the authors of Proposition 85 are not those people. The authors of Proposition 85 are soulless politicians bankrolled by professional ideologues who dedicate their lives to forcing public schools to teach that safe sex is not worth fooling with, and would much rather see 10 teenagers get illegal abortions than 100 teenagers (or adults) have sex outside of wedlock and "get away with it." There is such a thing as being anti-abortion, and there is such a thing as being fanatically anti-sex, even if the end result increases the number of abortions. It is a profound mistake to refer to the latter position--dominant in right-wing politics, but not in the right-wing voting population--as "pro-life."

I would say vote no on Proposition 85, but if you're reading this, you probably don't live in California. The best I can offer is to vote no in the U.S. Senate race--no to Trent Lott, no to Erik Fleming, and no to Harold M. Taylor--on November 7th. Write in a candidate. Because all three of these men--the only three candidates on the ballot--support punishing teenage girls for getting pregnant, and both Lott and Fleming, at the very least, support "abstinence education" that promotes pregnancy and STDs by discouraging safe sex. We are looking at three anti-choice candidates because the leaders of all three parties in this state--Republican, Democrat, and Libertarian--think we're too stupid to realize what these policies will do to the lives of young women. On November 7th, let's prove them wrong. Show up to vote in the U.S. Senate race--and vote no.

Previous Comments

ID
108008
Comment

[quote]California is currently considering Proposition 85, a bill that would require any teenage girl living in an abusive household to confront her abusive parents before having an abortion--even if her father was the one who got her pregnant in the first place.[/quote] If she had any. Not all teens are living in that situation. I understand it makes for sensational headlines and copy, but it's not the fact. As for the rest, it's been debated before.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-10-29T00:07:40-06:00
ID
108009
Comment

Ironghost writes: If she had any. Not all teens are living in that situation. No, some are and some aren't. The bill is harder to those who are than those who aren't, which is kind of the whole point of the second ad. As for the rest, it's been debated before. And I'll continue to debate it again until folks get why this legislation is a bad idea. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-10-29T00:30:53-06:00
ID
108010
Comment

No, some are and some aren't. The bill is harder to those who are than those who aren't, which is kind of the whole point of the second ad. Despite my misgivings on the whole abortion debate, this really isn't anything that hasn't been tried before. I think there are other states that do have the "parental notice" thing up, even with the judicial override in place.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-10-29T00:39:28-06:00
ID
108011
Comment

Ironghost writes: I think there are other states that do have the "parental notice" thing up, even with the judicial override in place. Yes, they certainly have--and with tragic consequences: In 1990, clinic counselors in Louisiana received calls from pregnant young women who had tried to self-abort by throwing themselves down flights of stairs or taking dangerous drugs. In several cases, teenagers had ingested quinine or black or blue cohash, an herb that causes life-threatening cramping and bleeding. Other young women took Humphries 11, a drug designed to soften the cervix before labor, believing that it would cause them to abort. Contrary to the rumors these teenagers had heard, however, Humphries 11 does not induce abortion -- it causes the cervix to soften. When the young women saw doctors to obtain medical abortions, their cervixes had become so soft that they tore severely during the procedure. A school nurse in rural Umatilla County, Oregon, reported a similar tragedy: A pregnant 16-year-old was fearful of disclosing her pregnancy to her guardians, her elderly grandparents. Although the nurse encouraged the young woman to confide in an adult family member, she told only her 14-year-old brother that she was pregnant. After trying to give herself an abortion with knitting needles, the young woman began bleeding profusely and almost died before she could reach the nearest hospital. She never returned to school. Not only have young women been severely injured because they were unable to notify their parents. Some have paid with the highest price of all� their lives. One mother found her 15-year-old daughter -- an honor student at a Catholic high school -- lying dead on their bathroom floor. An autopsy later revealed that the young woman died after stabbing herself in the vagina with a plastic tube while trying to self-abort. Seven years earlier, the mother had had an abortion, and since then had stressed repeatedly that abortion was murder. In desperation, her daughter turned to self-abortion rather than tell her mother about her pregnancy. I don't know how many stories there are like these--the ACLU, NOW, Planned Parenthood, and so forth are unlikely to know about the vast majority of them, cases usually left to the doctors and the occasional coroner. Peace, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-10-29T00:55:09-06:00
ID
108012
Comment

I suppose that'll have to do for an unbiased source.... ;) I'm not sure what path to take in this argument. That pamplet would also support the fact that sex is serious, and has serious side effects. It's not all fun and games. I don't see anyone buying that idea anytime soon.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-10-29T01:32:18-06:00
ID
108013
Comment

Y'know, I'm still waiting at 28 because I don't think sex is all fun and games. Most worthwhile things aren't. But if you take certain precautions, it's safer than joyriding in a Ferrari and a hell of a lot safer than base jumping. My personal philosophy about sex is that I'm completely uninterested in sex for sex's sake, I'm completely uninterested in exploiting anyone to get sex, I'm completely uninterested in objectifying anyone to get sex, and if that means I die a virgin, that means I die a virgin, and I'm so okay with that. I don't value or devalue people based on their sex lives. If you've had 400 sexual partners and you're 25, as long as you're not going around hurting people, that's great. If you've had zero sexual partners and you're 95, as long as you're happy, that's also great. Sex is a small part of the human experience, and none of us will ever be able to claim the full range of human experience. Hell, 80 billion people have already lived and died and will know absolutely nothing of this limitless future we're building now. And as Richard Dawkins is fond of saying, the overwhelmingly vast majority of people--genetically speaking--have never even been born. But I also believe that sex is a powerful and, at times, entirely appropriate way of expressing affection, and if I'm ever involved in a relationship where it does feel powerful, where it does feel appropriate, where it isn't just a pleasurable chemical reaction but part of something bigger, something beautiful, then I'm not going to feel the least bit guilty about that, and neither should anybody else. They also shouldn't be punished for it by these right-wing legislators who think that their ideology trumps other people's lives. I personally think that there's too much perfunctory sex going on--too many people having sex without really understanding the consequences. I especially think teenagers probably shouldn't be going around having sex. But I also think teenagers shouldn't be going around getting pregnant and getting STDs and carrying pregnancies to term when they do. We have a responsibility, and it isn't to keep other people's teenagers--never mind other adults--virginal. It's to make sure that we can meet people where they are with the information and services they need, regardless of what they decide to do with their bodies. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-10-29T01:48:51-06:00
ID
108014
Comment

"carrying pregnancies" --> "being forced to carry pregnancies." If there's one thing I hate more than women being forced to carry pregnancies to term, it's women being forced to have abortions. It should always be the woman's decision. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-10-29T01:51:15-06:00
ID
108015
Comment

Tom said... But I also believe that sex is a powerful and, at times, entirely appropriate way of expressing affection, and if I'm ever involved in a relationship where it does feel powerful, where it does feel appropriate, where it isn't just a pleasurable chemical reaction but part of something bigger, something beautiful, then I'm not going to feel the least bit guilty about that, and neither should anybody else. Amen, Tom. I wish I could say things as easily as you.

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2006-10-29T01:59:48-06:00
ID
108016
Comment

Tom: I agree that sex is very powerful. Although I'm still most certianly a virgin, I have been physical with a few people. In each case, I knew it was a bad idea, but somehow I still chose to do it. And in each case that choice made a tough situation much, much tougher. I've hurt so many people so badly in my life I have a hard time understanding how it all happened. But I've caused permanent damage to some people, and there is no undoing that. Granted, the sexual aspect was just one part of it. But it is a big part. Like it or not, our sexuality is our most intimate means of expression, and it leaves us very vulnerable. Those who do not think it's not a big deal are, sadly, those who have lost that connection. They've been hardened and jaded by betrayal and pain associated with their sexuality. On the other hand, I don't think repressed sexuality is a great idea. One of my impressions of Afghanistan was that the whole society is buillt on repressed sexuality. Women are tightly controlled. Men who are unmarried have sex with each other constantly, but DON'T call it homosexuality. Homosexuals are killed -- educated or liberated women are killed -- and wars are fought to maintain this control. And I think the energy that motivates all this passionalte agression in them is sexual energy -- repressed sexual energy. Too much sex is dissipative. To little sex can be destructive -- if that energy is not properly sublimated. I think it can be sublimated though -- I think that energy can be channeled into healthy things. I know that it's possible to live a healthy, sexless life -- but only if you choose it for yourself. If you feel it imposed on you by others, or by society, then you will just repress your sexuality, and it will come out in other destructive ways. So, even though I have very conservative views myself (I believe that sex is a marital act), I don't support any restriction of people's sexual choices in the law. If it is between consenting adults, then it should be legal. Anyway, enough about all that.

Author
GLB
Date
2006-10-29T11:49:36-06:00
ID
108017
Comment

Tom, I wanted to point you out to a thread where all the comments are great, in addition to the original post. Someone asked what "the men" around the world were thinking. I thought of you...women reading that page would probably like to hear your voice. Thanks for being there for us in the blogosphere.

Author
kitkat
Date
2006-10-30T17:35:02-06:00
ID
108018
Comment

Whoops! Forgot the link! http://womensspace.wordpress.com/2006/10/28/up-to-14-high-school-boys-rape-torture-developmentally-disabled-girl-then-make-and-sell-dvd-of-the-rapes

Author
kitkat
Date
2006-10-30T17:36:32-06:00
ID
108019
Comment

TH, you have elegantly expressed what my younger brother believes, and the very reason he has chosen a sexually abstinent lifestyle in spite of the pain it is causing him. He's a fairly attractive guy, and meets so many young sistas his age (early 20s) who already have had multiple partners, unplanned pregnancies and abortions, and in many cases are jaded from the pain of abusive or explotive relationships. He is pro-choice but against abortion, if that makes sense. He is also a virgin who has fooled around with a few girls, but is trying to wait until marriage (or at least a fiancee) to have sex. Sometimes he has a hard time expressing why he feels that way beyond Christian belief, because of the societal pressure (even from fellow Christians) that is placed on him to have sex before he is ready and violate his belief system. I'm going to send him to this thread; maybe he will feel inspired to share in the discussion.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2006-10-30T18:04:34-06:00
ID
108020
Comment

kitkat, thanks for this. I just finished doing some research for a volunteer project last night during which I found credible statistics indicating that 30% of women admitted to emergency rooms showed signs of physical abuse, that 44% of women live in abusive marriages, that a woman is beaten every nine seconds. I have credible reason to believe that about 1 in 3 men dominate and/or rape and/or beat up the women in their lives, and it stands to reason that if 1 in 3 do it, another 1 in 3 know about it and do nothing. I have credible reason to believe that the country has countless men who buy DVDs with titles like Gang-Bang Sluts 17, and countless teenage girls who starve or cut themselves because these men have told them what pretty is supposed to be and they ain't it. The Clarion-Ledger has an all-male editorial board, Jackson has never had a woman as mayor, Mississippi has never had a woman as governor, the United States has never had a woman as president, the United Nations has never had a woman as secretary-general, and meanwhile there's sex segregation in schools because if girls start scoring well on standardized tests that means there's a "boy crisis," there are pharmacists saying no on emergency contraception to the woman the morning after saying yes on Viagra to the man the afternoon before, there is a thriving he-man "put a boot in their ass" pro-war movement, there is a booming and thriving "men's rights movement" to kick women back down, and a booming and thriving "men's spirituality movement" so that liberals can feel good about watching porn again. What are the men thinking? I have no idea, but I appreciate the link. I posted two cents. My post might be deleted, depending on what's meant by "Women's Space"; in feminist circles, that phrase usually means the folks involved would rather men not participate, and I respect that. Gender separatism used to bug me, but to be honest I have seen so much repulsive behavior from "feminist" men since then that I'm beginning to understand why some people want it. Peace, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-10-30T18:34:30-06:00
ID
108021
Comment

ejeff, thanks for this. That sounds wonderful--I hope he participates! Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-10-30T18:37:55-06:00
ID
108022
Comment

Tom said: " booming and thriving "men's spirituality movement" so that liberals can feel good about watching porn again." This made me laugh, Tom. Thanks.

Author
GLB
Date
2006-10-30T20:21:34-06:00

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