Parenthood Planned

Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) In Opposition to the Pence Amendment

copyright © 2011 Betsy L. Angert.  Empathy And Education; BeThink or

While I have no desire to share my physical age, for I think each Soul, should they chose to be, is timeless, for the purposes of this treatise on Planned Parenthood, I will.  The reason, I think this topic is more than a meaningful one.  In truth, Planned Parenthood has long been extremely significant in my life.   No. I was never pregnant.  I planned or at least Planned Parenthood taught me to. I share the one and only tale that caused me to question my judgment and myself.  On one occasion I had unprotected sex.  The results?  Well, you decide.  I offer my story.

Since birth I was gently guided through lessons on human sexuality and reproduction.  Long before I was born, my Mom filled every bathroom in our home with adult and written for children books on the subject.  In casual conversations, Mommy would chat about the subjects and ask of what she trusted my sisters and I read while on the toilet or in the tub.  We all spent a lot of time in the restroom.  None of the silliness, sex jokes, leery looks, or nervous laughter, occurred in our home.  I always believed we were too well informed to think such nonsense just or jest

By the time I was five, my Mom trusted I understand the biology. She never bothered to probe further.  Mommy was correct. There was no longer a need.  I learned my lessons well.  

During my youth, in 1962 Allen Ginsberg published Eros magazine.  Only four copies of this artsy hardbound book were made available.  The journals were glorious.  Full glossy color photographs and, even as a child, I actually, loved the essays.  

At the age of twelve, the subject discussed turned to contraception.  My Mom and Dad found a fine booklet on reproduction to share with me.  The National Organization for Women published the informative pamphlet.  I remember it well. The copy was printed on newsprint.  Photographs, diagrams and articles, all appeared in black and white.  Mommy and Daddy said, when I was ready, let them know.  They, as I, hoped to ensure that if or when I chose to have a child, it would be my choice.

The time came, not to have a baby, but to explore physical intimacy.  I was sixteen at the time, the year 1970!  Confidently, I believed I was the only virgin left on the planet.  At least I knew a close friend of mine; a “good Catholic girl” had experienced her rite of passage.  Thus, when Jimmy offered, I considered the proposition.  

Intelligent and aware as I was, I said I would have to be on the pill first. Prevention was my priority.  After all, to say I am a practical person would be an understatement.  For all of my life, I looked before I leapt.

To this day, I know not why I was too embarrassed to broach the subject with my parents.  However, I did not.  One afternoon, in my family’s Wisconsin kitchen, my girlfriend Donna and I decided to seek information from the underground Switchboard.  [Fascinating to me in retrospect, all those years ago I was sure that Donna lost her virginity when we were in eighth grade.  She was not the friend who I knew with certainty had done the deed with a boyfriend.  Years later, when Donna first thought to dive deeply; she came to me for advice.  However, I digress.]

The community Switchboard referred me to Planned Parenthood.  I telephone to make my appointment and t was assured that when I arrived, I would need to confirm I had my parents’ approval.   Yikes.  I have never lied in my life, which in my family, to withhold information is to lie.  Therefore, I knew I would have to tell my parents of my plans.

I was not scheduled to see a doctor, nurse, or attend a three-hour introductory seminar for another month.  This gave me time to build my courage.  I did.  As I might have imagined, the conversation was painless.  My parents are truly phenomenal.  The chat was not quick or dirty.  That is not the way for my Mom, Dad, or me.  Depth, details, possibilities, all one needs to ponder is our manner.

Shockingly, as days turned to weeks, a typically beyond patient me, a person who can and usually does put off immediate gratification for years, gave into the urge.  It was only days before my appointment.  I still wonder.  Did I really think that Planned Parenthood would find any sperm and cleanse my body?  I shake my head as I scribe this thought.  I remained forever baffled.  To add to my angst, I waited to reveal my anathema [truth] to my parents.

Haunted by guilt I never did such, acted carelessly or withheld information ever again.  All that side, I wish to share, that from the time I was sixteen, until I was fifty three, I was a patient of the extremely conservative clinics known as Planned Parenthood.  I used their services in Wisconsin, California, and Florida. At that time I left, I had given up my lifelong status as one of those well-hidden professional persons without health insurance, I acquired coverage and Planned Parenthood did not have an arrangement with my provider. For me, that was, and remains, a great sadness, for I had already learned through others experience that the quality of care and attention I had always received at Planned Parenthood was exceptional.

Indeed, Planned Parenthood did not solely address my reproductive needs. From blood pressure to breast cancer screenings, from pelvic examinations to heart health, there was not an issue related to my overall wellbeing that the staff at Planned Parenthood did not serve. I believe these Practitioners were the greatest “general” caregivers, I could have ever had.

As I shared, only once, before Planned Parenthood did I have unprotected sex.  I never had a problem on the pill. I was monitored closely for decades, more so than since.  An abortion was never a consideration. I never needed nay wanted one.  The agency required that I study, beyond what I learned at home, the workings of body.  Physicians and other Practitioners were exceedingly cautious.  All taught me much.  

Yes, it is true. Thirty-seven years with Planned Parenthood and never once did a Doctor, Nurse, or Staffer suggest an abortion. Why would they? With their guidance and protection none was needed.

“Right of Conscience” Protections; Be Patient


copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert.

She said, “If one is to pass, it will have to be my sister.”  Jennifer would not allow a baby to die.  Although the newborn had yet to take a single breath, and was still safely tucked away in her mother’s belly, Jenn decided the infant must live.  Had she been an employee of one of more than 584,000 health-care organizations her word would have been considered a “right of conscience.” Jenn would not be held responsible if she refused to treat the soon-to-be Mom who was also her sibling.

A Bush Administration rule would protect physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other employees who decline to participate in care they think ethically, morally or religiously objectionable, from any repercussions.

Medication, information, or any other assistance need not be given to someone a medical staffer considers immoral.  If the Bush Bill is allowed to stand, those who take the Hippocratic Oath and those who work with Doctors need not do a deed they believe violates personal beliefs.  On December 18, 2008, the White House decreed it would protect all Health Care Workers.  This provision is thought to be a gift from G-d for those who are as Jennifer was, pious believers.

As a devoutly religious soul, when confronted with the choice of who might live or who would die, Jennifer decided the relative she knew and loved for all her life could go.  Jenn announced, “Babs had been a beautiful child, terrific as a teen.  As an adult, Barbara was the best.  Her existence on Earth had been short.”  “Yet,” Jennifer cried with tears in her eyes, “Now, it is time for the baby to realize the joy of an Earthly existence.”  Jennifer had faith.  ‘G-d knows’ were the words she oft uttered.  It is not ours to question why.  “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.  Blessed me the name of the Lord,” was the sentiment secure in the heart of one who saw herself as mere mortal.

However, hurt by the thought that their beloved Barbara might pass, and Jenn would embrace such an event, relatives attempted to reason with the woman who would refuse her own sister’s life.  Jennifer, certain of her “Right to Conscience,” made it clear she knew.  The baby-to-be must have the same chance to evolve that Barbara had.  She or he, since at that moment the sex of the fetus was unknown, must survive and thrive just as G-d planned.”  Jennifer reminded her relatives, “Barbara was in her twenties,” at the time of this crisis.  Jenn was near thirty, old enough to have experienced life, and established enough to be considered for her wisdom.  The religious woman recognized, she too had rights. Now, under the new Bush Administration imposed rule. Jennifer, or hospital staffs of today, will have more power to exercise their conscience then they had in the past.

Leavitt [Mike Leavitt, Secretary of the Department Health and Human Services, which issued the novel rule] initially said the regulation was intended primarily to protect workers who object to abortion. The final rule, however, affects a far broader array of services, protecting workers who do not wish to dispense birth control pills, Plan B emergency contraceptives and other forms of contraception they consider equivalent to abortion, or to inform patients where they might obtain such care. The rule could also protect workers who object to certain types of end-of-life care or to withdrawing care, or even perhaps providing care to unmarried people or gay men and lesbians.

While primarily aimed at doctors and nurses, it offers protection to anyone with a “reasonable” connection to objectionable care — including ultrasound technicians, nurses aides, secretaries and even janitors who might have to clean equipment used in procedures they deem objectionable.

However, in that moment, , the family was aghast.  They could not come to terms with what Jenn believed best.  Thankfully, Jennifer did not have the authority to choose what would be done, as medical workers might if the “Right to Conscience” is made law.  Family, and the patient herself, had the power to select what for them seemed the best treatment.

Apprehensive, as she contemplated assessments that seemed purely emotional, Jennifer, worked to put her personal feelings aside.  She trusted human sensibilities could not be her priority.    G-d would show her the way.

Her faith in the Almighty, and Jenn’s belief that a new life cannot be aborted, were her only considerations.  She had no animosity towards Barbara, not then, or ever.  Indeed, she loved her sister’s sensational soul.  Even in the moment she declared, it is better that Barbara’s life be sacrificed, Jenn thought of her young sibling as a close friend.  Yet, no matter how she felt about the person who was so real to her, Jennifer was sure G-d would want the newborn to survive.  “He” had given Babs a good life.  Now it was time for her to go home, to be with her savior once more.

It hurt Jenn’s heart to think of her sister’s departure.  When Babs was but a tot, Jennifer, the older sister, served as a second Mom to the sweet little bambina.  She was as fond of Barbara throughout their younger years, just as she was on that day. However, her affection for the woman who now held an infant in her womb could not negate what Jennifer thought G-d had decreed. A new life must not be killed.  

During that turbulent time, Jennifer might have said as Deirdre A. McQuade of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops declared when news of the “Right of Conscience” proposal was released. “Individuals and institutions committed to healing should not be required to take the very human life that they are dedicated to protecting.”

This moral, ethical, Christian woman trusted as many do today; people enter this world and then, when they have completed their mission, the Lord invites them to return home to the heavens.  We all must depart when it is our time, Jennifer intellectualized, or justified what she thought to be true.  Had this conversation taken place in late December 2008 any hospital employee, even a hospital custodian could refuse Barbara care.  All those years ago, Jenn was certain she would have let her sister die.  

David Stevens of the Christian Medical Association would concur.  As the “Right of Conscience” becomes reality, a leader of the faithful reminds opponents, “We will do all in our power to ensure that health-care professionals have the same civil rights enjoyed by all Americans. These regulations are needed, do not change the law, but simply stop religious discrimination.”

Jenn did not think she needed to be a victim of circumstance.  She too would wish to invoke her “Right of Conscience.”   She did not share her family’s sense of fairness.  Favoritism for the born seemed principled to one so dutiful.  Jenn thought it essential to honor the divine, and not discriminate against her for the values she held dear.

An allowance for a mother did not make sense to Jenn when she was but a young lovely.  Nor does the unexpected exodus of a baby seem reasonable to the more mature Jennifer.  Nonetheless, the daughter of Eve, who today maintains her faith in Jesus wonders whether a medical professional should have the power to chose what is right for another human being.  At this time in her life, Jennifer fears what would have been had the “protection” for someone such as her been in place.  Today, she inquires; what of the patient.

As she aged, Jennifer experienced what she could not have imagined all those years earlier.  Barbara, who lived, gave birth to one, then another bouncing beautiful baby.  As an Aunt, Jenn learned to love these children as if they were her own.  Upon reflection, she felt sorrow when she thought of what she might have missed had her sister passed.  Time with her treasured sibling Babs had truly been a treasure.

Jennifer also realized she was the Aunt to a lesbian woman.  No, the niece was not Barbara’s daughter.  Jenn’s sister Kathy had two children.  Susan, born before Babs was ever pregnant, developed into an intelligent, insightful, inspirational female whose gender preference was also female.

Years ago the religious person she is would have perhaps rejected and other relative.  However, she could not.  It was never a thought in her mind.  Jennifer helped raise the younger lady, now classified as gay.  Oh, how she was.  Susan was and is a bundle of joy.  Yet, a hospital worker may think her gender preference alone is despicable.  Jenn wondered of the care her loved one might not receive in a time of need.  She knew that a “Right of Conscience” provision might protect a physician, a nurse, a pharmacist or a janitor, but what would become of Susan if she were to be hospitalized or even enter a clinic for emergency care,

Then there was Susan’ significant other to consider.  The two became Mom’s, twice.  Susan carried each child to term.  Their children, conceived through artificial insemination, were the apples of Jenn’s eye.   What might have been were a medical worker to invoke her or his “right of Conscience” when Susan was a patient.  Great Aunt Jennifer shudders to think.  Instead, she takes pleasure in the time she spends with the littlest ones.  She frequently volunteers to baby-sit for children who, had a health care worker snubbed Susan, might not exist.  

Jenn has come to realize she feels no obligation to be there for her family, gay or straight.  She no longer ponders protections from what the Almighty did not prevent.  Her conscience is not troubled by the circumstances.  Jennifer had grown to see G-d, and all life in a different light.  Perchance Jenn thinks, she had become more enlightened.  However, no one could have told her then, when Babs first baby was born, that one day her beliefs might change.

Often, over the years Jenn had to grapple with her truth.  She remained forever faithful to the Lord and his teachings.  Tradition, for her was paramount.  She did not think herself omnipotent; yet, earlier in her life she was certain of what was right.  Her scruples dictated her decisions, and Jenn, of then, was decisive.

Today, as she is confronted with novel truths, she wonders of what might have been the error of her ways.  More than one physician has advised Jenn to seek relief for feminine problems.  Although, she is considered a middle age woman, Jennifer has only engaged in intimate sexual contact with one man, and even then, for only one year of her life.  Near celibate, it has been a score since Jennifer might have thought to use a contraceptive to avoid pregnancy.  Today, however, she is urged to ingest the birth control pill.  Were it not for the pain she experiences without the medication, Jenn would simply say “No!”

After much personal conflict, trials, and tribulations, Jennifer decided she would succumb. Yet, as she attempts to fill her prescription she is confronted with what was once her truth.  Might this believer in G-d repeat, “We reap what we sow.”  Jenn who teaches in a Catholic institution cannot obtain medicine that might prevent fertilization of an egg.  That she has no eggs to fertilize is for her Insurer and employer a moot point.  The Bush Administration thinks the regulations that restrict Jenn are just.

The rule comes at a time of increasingly frequent reports of conflicts between health-care workers and patients. Pharmacists have turned away women seeking birth control and morning-after emergency contraception pills. Fertility doctors have refused to help unmarried women and lesbians conceive by artificial insemination. Catholic hospitals refuse to provide the morning-after pill and to perform abortions and sterilizations.

Experts predict the issue could escalate sharply if a broad array of therapies becomes available using embryonic stem cells, which are controversial because they are obtained by destroying very early embryos. Obama is poised to lift the Bush administration’s restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

“Doctors and other health-care providers should not be forced to choose between good professional standing and violating their conscience,” said Mike Leavitt, Secretary of the Department Health and Human Services.

As Jennifer reflects, she knows not whether to laugh or cry.  She has rights; she has a conscience.  Yet, she has discovered one may not preclude the other.  She wonders how many will realize as she has before it is too late.  How many might die at the hands of professionals who think themselves principled.

References for Rights and Conscience . . .

Pro-Life; Pro-Choice

Rape Victim

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert.

Her father, a male friend, a classmate, an acquaintance who she only exchanges casual niceties with when she sees him, the friend of a trusted friend who took her out on a first date, assaulted her.  She was shocked.  Never did she imagine someone who was familiar to her, a respectable gent, might do as he did.  She did not know that someone known to the victim commits almost two-thirds of rapes.  This lovely lass had not truly had a need to grapple with cruel realities.  She could not have considered the cruelest realities that would now change her life forever.  Nor have many politicians found themselves in a place as unimaginable as this.  Yet, Presidents, Vice Presidents, Senators, Representatives, and Judges appointed by one Administration or another have a decisive power to determine her future.

As the elected officials debate her circumstances and the consequences, she lives them.  The recent “pro-life” revelations offered by the potential Vice President, Sarah Palin reminds this survivor of her personal, private history, and the hell that haunts her.  Her misery may have been met when she sensed a stranger in her presence.  However, more likely she suffered at the hands of one she knows well.  

73% of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger.?

38% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance.?

28% are an intimate.?

7% are a relative.

Her situation might have been as most; it could have occurred less than a mile from her home.  She may have been among the 4 in 10 who are maliciously molested in their own abode.  The young girl, older woman, middle-aged miss was attacked from behind, or perhaps, from a frontal position.  She was fondled and finally, penetrated.  Her most private parts were not merely entered.  Her sense of self was ripped from her soul.  Clinically, Jane, Joanne, Jana, or Jennifer was raped just as women, men too are violated throughout America.

In 2006, there were 272,350 victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault.  (These figures do not include victims 12 years old or younger.)

Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted.

While the numbers of women subject to such an assault may be great, in truth, Deborah, Diane, Dina, and Dawn never thought they might be among these.  Each never expected to be a statistic.  Nor could they have predicted that they might become a vessel for another person’s personal angst.  Not one of these women wondered what might motivate someone to sexually assault them.  They were certain, they, themselves would never place themselves in a position to be brutally debased or heartlessly dishonored.

Yet, while in fear for their lives, ashamed, even mortified these frightened females unwillingly surrendered to a touch that terrified them.  Each was held tightly, not in a sensual manner, but as a means to control of their movements.  Engaged in an entanglement that was far from erotic, Sweet Sadie, Susan, Stephanie, or Sarah wondered and worried.  What might he do.  Did he have a weapon?  Until that moment, these ladies might not have fully appreciated the lethal power of language.  Yet, as the words of the perpetrator pierced their minds, hearts, and souls as a dagger might, they grew to understand.  In the United States, near eighteen (18) million have been victims of attempted or completed rape.  

1 out of every 6 American women have been the victims of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime (14.8% completed rape; 2.8% attempted rape).

17.7 million American women have been victims of attempted or completed rape.

9 of every 10 rape victims were female in 2003.

While about 80% of all victims are white, minorities are somewhat more likely to be attacked.

Some of these lovely ladies, in their careers, may crack a ceiling.  They may be outwardly successful.  Still inwardly, invisible to the human eye, these daughters of Eve are emotionally shattered.  A fortunate few will work past the profound effect to the extent they are able.  Yet, they will never forget the horror they felt, the horrific crime they endured.  No Miss, Missus, or Ms will forget what changed their lives and outlook.

While they may “choose life” for the fetus, choose to give birth to the child who is the result of such a vicious, violent, aggression, it will always be a challenge to look at that little lovable being and not be reminded of when or how that beautiful baby came into being.  Humans may heal physically from an invasion into their body and being; however, the internal wounds leave serious scars.

A child, as they grow inevitably will, on occasion, error.  A mother conceived in love will hopefully understand.  She will likely be gentle with the toddler.  A prideful mother may appreciate the development.  Yet, that same potentially melodious Mom may not be quite as generous if she scorns the man who planted the seed.  The way in which a woman coddles, or cares, for an infant is influenced by her perception of the other biological parent.  Try as a Mommy might to forget the circumstances of conception, the memory remains.  A young one who ever acts in a manner that is defiant or difficult is frequently compared to the man who planted the seed .

Granted, a girl, a matron, or a soon-to-be Mom of any age, a woman who finds herself pregnant might consider adoption, as Vice Presidential aspirant Sarah Palin would advise.  However, as a new mother ponders the future, she  has faith she will never forget that she had a child and abandoned the precious being.  Sure, she may say to herself she gave her son or daughter a wonderful home, two parents, a chance at a better life.  Yet, in her heart of hearts she knows the child will wonder why his or her birth mother might desert a child so dear.  

How could she be certain that the parents who raise her baby will be the best.  The expectant Mom cannot imagine how she will live with the memory that she rejected her own . . . the baby who will also be a product of rape.  A woman torn from within may understand that the fabric of her life was torn and tattered when first the man placed his seed in her womb.

While this woman with child might trust as Sarah Palin does, birth begins at conception, she may also come to terms with the fact that a definitive death occurred within her.  As an Earthly life as she knew it ended on the day of her rape.  A female when forced to face the demon that destroyed her spirit considers the alternatives, cannot help but think of the quality of life, hers, and her baby’s.

She will wonder will the newborn be safe; will she.  Might she, as the mother, or her child, be sane in a world full of feeling provoked by a scurrilous crime.  Is a child, not conceived in love, or a Mom mortified by a memory, better off if they settle for simple survival.  A female who finds herself confronted with what is surely a traumatic decision, must weigh what no one can evaluate for her.  She must determine the significance of the events and attempt to evaluate how she and the being who may mature will thrive..  

Rape for a woman so fully developed can be as cruel as abortion is for one who is barely born.  Perchance, no one can decide what is paramount, preeminent, or the perfect choice.  If we, as a society, as people,  are to truly honor life, might humans respect an individuals right to choose how, when, or if his or her body is breached.  Could we also provide sterile and sanitary spaces for those who may ponder what is imperceptible, inconceivable to us.  Let us reflect upon life, the quality, and all that is not necessarily quantifiable.  Perchance, we might empathize with the women and the being in the womb, the two entities whose fragile feelings were ignored at the time of rape.

Sources . . . Survivors of Sexual Assault . . .

Sarah Palin; Formidable Force

Palin, Biden on Roe versus Wade

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert.

Some have become decidedly lax as they reflect on the Presidential election.  A few presumed to be excited by the polls.  Barack Obama has pulled ahead, ever so slightly.  Progressives play with the numbers and feel a sense of exuberance.  Frequently, Democrats and Independents who lean “Left” fail to recall; complacency will not increase the vote count.  Sarah Palin has come far in her career.  Often, in the past, she has shown herself to be a competent challenger.  Sarah Palin is a formidable force.

Yet, as the nation awaits the next debate, a battle of wits and wisdom with Vice Presidential candidates, Joseph Biden and Sara Palin on the stage, Democrats say there is nothing to fear, but fear itself.  Some discount the dynamic demeanor of the Alaskan Governor.  Progressives ponder, there is no need to worry.  Governor Palin has lost much of her momentum.  Yet, it might be wise to consider those who would vote for the wondrous woman are not as vociferous in the public forum.  Nor are these persons as evident in election polls.  Palin, and McCain devotees have the dominion of a cast ballot.

These voters are not as some presume them to be.  Advocates of the Alaskan Governor are not necessarily women.  Yet, supporters of Barack Obama feared they would be.  Some Democrats believed with a woman on the ticket, John McCain would surely soar ahead in the polls.  Hence, a mass mail was sent out.  Liberal persons thought the message would move women.  The thought was perchance, these facts might influence female voters.

1.) John McCain opposes equal pay legislation saying it wouldn’t do “anything to help the rights of women.”

2.) John McCain opposes requiring health care plans to cover prescription birth control

3.) John McCain opposes comprehensive, medically accurate sex education.

4.) John McCain opposes common sense funding to prevent unintended and teen pregnancies.

5.) John McCain opposes funding for public education about emergency contraception.

6.) John McCain opposes restoring family planning services for low-income women.

7.) John McCain opposes Roe v. Wade and says it should be overturned.  His running mate Sarah Palin opposes abortion in nearly all cases, even in the case of rape or incest.

8.) John McCain wants to nominate Supreme Court justices who are “clones” of conservative Justices Alito and Roberts.

9.) When asked if contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV, John McCain said he was stumped.

10.) In his 25 years in Washington, DC, John McCain has voted against women’s reproductive rights and privacy 125 times.

However, in truth for many of the fairer sex this list proved to be meaningless.  Sarah Palin, the person, definitely had more power to persuade.  The statistics and specifics did not dissuade the daughters of Eve.  Countless were certain that the Democrats would say anything to deceive the electorate.  After all, fact checks continually demonstrate that what a one candidate says in reference to a rival cannot be trusted.  Truth is tentative, tweaked, and twisted.  Veracity can be tailor-made and frequently is.  Each Party engages in self-serving misrepresentations.  

More importantly, numerous women inclusive of Sarah Palin are opposed to abortion.  Some Conservative lasses who consider themselves pro-choice love the lady Palin.

Perhaps equal pay for equal work is less of a concern for Moms and misses who labor at home, or for those who think the structure as is, is fine.  Individuals who have faith in G-d and abstinence do not wish for the distribution of contraception.  These same persons would argue, sex should be taught at home, not in public schools.  Countless, among those with ovaries,  think women must plan for a family.  It is a potential mother’s place to create a brood or protect herself from the possibility.  Whether low-income earners are provided with instruction, as it relates to reproduction, or not, is of little interest to the supposed softer-sex.  Several thousand, millions who think themselves the better half are strong and strident in their support of life.  These woman also endorse Sarah Palin.

Why do they like her so much?

The answers vary.  Her conservative bona fides are important to Charity Chase, a young libertarian: “What she stands for and her record,” Chase said at Republican headquarters.  McCain has long had problems with conservatives, who see one of their own in Palin.

Other interviews reveal an admiration of Palin’s remarkable unpretentiousness – working mother with a pregnant teenage daughter, high-end blue-collar hobbies such as moose hunting and snowmobiling. They can relate to her life easily.

“When you’re a mother, you have better instincts and can solve problems,” said Kayla Carter, who at 16 is working on her first campaign. She was calling voters from a Henderson office.

But Republicans also love that Palin’s no average working mom – she’s like an average working mom with extra-special life force that has fueled a rocket rise, taking on the allegedly corrupt Alaska Republican establishment and beating it in 2006.

“She’s like the average person who does everything,” said Ana Wood, a volunteer at the Henderson office.

The Palin fever is reminiscent of the aura of excitement that’s surrounded Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama since his famous keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

National Review, the venerable conservative magazine, has Palin on its cover this week, with a slightly tongue-in-cheek headline: “The One!”

Might the Obama supporters study further than the polls that affirm what they wish to believe.  Granted, those who have a telephone and are asked of the Palin effect might express disdain.  However, the question is do those polled truly represent all of America.  On October 1, 2008, a proud Ohio voter said no.  The fifty-one percent who resent Sarah Palin do not speak for him.

On this initial day of the Presidential election in Ohio, where the law permits same-Day registration and voting, constituents were able to cast a Presidential ballot on the first Wednesday in October.  Today, Freddie DeLaMonte voted for John McCain.  In an interview with a National Public Radio reporter, the man happily voiced his reason.  “To be truthful is, I like his running mate.  Seems to me, she understands it better than these guys who have been around for a long time and they’re big shots you know.”

No, Freddie is not among the upper crust.  He is not the typical refined Republican.  His history might not lead researchers to believe that he would embrace the grand Old Party.  Mister DeLaMonte is a homeless man, perhaps a transient.  As he says, some without a permanent shelter are.

The jubilant may wish to recall that in late September and early October 2004, the election looked to be as this current challenge appears.  Persons on the Left were increasingly confident.  They had chosen a good candidate.  He was intelligent, informed, and inspired the youth vote.  John Kerry was a war hero.  George W. Bush less likely to win.  

Democrats thought, they need only look at the lack of support for the Iraq war.  Whilst there was not a woman on either ticket, Moms, did not wish to lose a son in battle.  Wives longed for husbands to be safe and secure at home.  Daughters surely would not vote for a more battles.  Many were convinced President Bush could not possibly survive another election.  After the first debate, Progressives felt more positive.

On the issue of the economy, the poll showed all voters favoring Kerry 51 percent to Bush’s 44 percent, almost exactly the opposite of what the September 24-26 poll indicated — Bush with 51 percent and Kerry with 45 percent.

Holland said that was good news for Kerry going into the second and third debates, in which domestic issues will be highlighted.

It seemed the war and the economy ensured a guaranteed win. Yet, the extremely unpopular President was elected and inaugurated again.  On January 20, 2005, George w. Bush crossed the threshold of the White House one more time.  Indeed, women voters may have helped place President Bush back into the Oval Office.

Traditionally, conventional wisdom has led many to believe women are concerned with issues that favor Democrats.  Healthcare, education, and Social Security are surely concerns for the gentler sex . However, no matter the gender, the war on terror, and the fear factor can shift what appears to be a solid calculation.  Many women (and men) want McCain and Sarah Palin simply because they feel these two will keep the country safe.  The McCain/Palin ticket also appeals to men.  Charles W. Fairbanks speaks for many.  Mister Fairbanks, who anxiously awaits the first and only Vice Presidential debate writes of his admiration for a robust women such as Sarah Palin.

It never fails.  The more the driveby media struggles against Sarah Palin, the tighter her hold on the American imagination becomes.  Palin Derangement Syndrome has reached a fever pitch, and it doesn’t seem to phase the governor.

While it is true, the Palin effect may have diminished amongst those who are more visible and vocal, Americans cannot ignore the fact that not all of the electorate is dissuaded.  Not all have heard the Alaskan Governor’s supposed gaffes.  Those who have may believe as Sarah Palin so aptly stated in her latest radio interview.

In a series of recent interviews, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has expressed her disdain for the way she has been treated by the press, stoking resentment toward the media among conservatives but also raising questions about how this strategy will help reach independent voters who remain decidedly non committal about Palin.

Her latest jab at the press came last evening in an interview with conservative talk radio show host Hugh Hewitt.  . . .

“I have a degree in journalism also, so it surprises me that so much has changed since I received my education in journalistic ethics all those years ago,” Palin said in response to a question from Hewitt about alleged gotcha questions being asked of her by ABC’s Charlie Gibson and CBS’s Katie Couric.

She added:

“I’m going to take those shots and those pop quizzes and just say that’s okay, those are good testing grounds. And they can continue on in that mode. That’s good. That makes somebody work even harder. It makes somebody be even clearer and more articulate in their positions. So really, I don’t fight it. I invite it.”

Indeed, she does.  Governor Palin is a practiced politician.  She is cheerful, personable, and a powerfully convincing person.  She has captivated America ever since she came onto the Vice Presidential scene.  No one will easily forget or dismiss the demure Sarah Palin.  The debates may remind Progressives of this.

On the eve of the televised Palin performance, many Democrats would wish to believe Governor Palin or those who admire her are “dumb.”  (Please excuse the use of a word I find extremely offensive!) What may be “dumber” is the thought that those who see “the facts” as they pertain to McCain’s record on women’s issues will feel a need to vote for Barack Obama.

Peruse if you choose.  However, please trust the specifics may or may not change a Conservative mind.  “Facts” are fluid.  Sarah Palin’s stance is as persuasive as are these particulars.  Points of view are as Alaskan Governor, formidable.

The Worst of John McCain

McCain has voted consistently against women’s health, and he supports overturning the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Roe v. Wade.  These positions will make it difficult for him to win over moderate pro-choice voters in the general election.  The Arizona State Senator said, “As someone who has consistently and strongly been pro-life, I fully believe that Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that should be overturned.  Roe v. Wade is the most egregious example of judges who impose their own views by legislating from the bench rather than strictly rule what the Constitution says.”

The Trail Blog. Washington Post. May 7, 2008

McCain opposed spending $100 million to prevent unintended and teen pregnancies.  ?In 2005, McCain voted NO to allocate $100 million to expand access to preventive health care services that reduce the numbers of unintended and teen pregnancies and reduce the number of abortions.

Roll Call Vote.  March 17, 2005

Statement of Purpose:

To expand access to preventive health care services that reduce unintended pregnancy (including teen pregnancy), reduce the number of abortions, and improve access to women’s health care.

McCain opposed legislation requiring that abstinence-only programs be medically accurate and scientifically based.?  McCain voted NO on legislation that would help reduce the number of teen pregnancies by providing funding for programs to teach comprehensive, medically accurate sexuality education and other programs to prevent unintended teen pregnancies.

Lautenberg, Menendez Offer Comprehensive Approach To Reduce Teen Pregnancy and Abortions

Contact: Alex Formuzis (202) 224-7340?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Washington, D.C. – Acting to reduce the number of teenage pregnancies and abortions in the United States, Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today offered an amendment on the Senate floor to fund programs to encourage abstinence as well as sex education. Currently the federal government doesn’t support any sex education programs that include information about contraception or other forms of birth control.

The legislation was offered as an amendment during consideration of the Child Custody Protection Act (S.403).

McCain opposed Title X, the nation’s family planning program.?  In 1990, McCain voted NO on legislation to extend the Title X federal family planning program, which provides low-income and uninsured women and families with health care services ranging from breast and cervical cancer screening to birth control.

McCain opposed requiring insurance coverage of prescription birth control.?   In 2003, McCain voted NO on legislation to improve the availability of contraceptives for women and to require insurance coverage of prescription birth control.

Amendment Number:

S.Amdt. 258 to S. 3

Statement of Purpose:

To improve the availability of contraceptives for women.

McCain opposes comprehensive sex education.?  In an interview aboard the “Straight Talk Express,” McCain struggled to answer questions about comprehensive sex education and HIV prevention.  He also stated that he supported “the president’s policy” on sex education.

McCain unsure where he stands on government funding for contraception.  ?”Whether I support government funding for them or not, I don’t know,” McCain said about contraceptives.

Statement of Purpose:

To prohibit the expenditure of certain appropriated funds for the distribution or provision of, or the provision of a prescription for, postcoital emergency contraception.

McCain opposed repealing the “global gag rule.  “?In 2005, McCain voted NO on legislation to overturn the “global gag rule,” which bars foreign nongovernmental organizations from receiving U.S. family planning assistance if the organization (using its own, non-U.S. funds) provides abortion services or information or advocates for pro-choice laws and policies in its own country.

Amendment Number:

S.Amdt. 278 to S. 600

Statement of Purpose:

To prohibit the application of certain restrictive eligibility requirements to foreign nongovernmental organizations with respect to the provision of assistance under part I of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.

McCain supports overturning Roe v. Wade. ?In February 2007, the AP quoted McCain stating, ‘I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned.”

McCain says Roe v. Wade was a “bad decision.”  ?In May 2007, during an appearance on Meet the Press, Sen. McCain reiterated his support for overturning Roe v. Wade, saying, “I have stated time after time after time that Roe v. Wade was a bad decision, that I support a woman – the, the rights of the unborn.” He went on to say, “My position has been consistently in my voting record, pro-life, and I continue to maintain that position and voting record.”

McCain would have signed 2006 South Dakota abortion ban ?In February 2006, the Hotline reported, “According to a spokesperson, McCain ‘would have signed the legislation, but would also take the appropriate steps under state law — in whatever state — to ensure that the exceptions of rape, incest or life of the mother were included.'” As the New York Times’ Paul Krugman points out, “That attempt at qualification makes no sense: the South Dakota law has produced national shockwaves precisely because it prohibits abortions even for victims of rape or incest.”

McCain touts “pro-life” credentials at conference of FRC Action, the political arm of the Family Research Council. ?At a speech at the FRC Action Voter Values Summit in October 2007, Sen. McCain said, “I have been pro-life my entire public career.  I believe I am the only major candidate in either party who can make that claim.”

Sources for Sarah Palin Effect . . .

Hate Abortion. Love Planned Parenthood!

Our Bodies, Our Choice

© copyright 2007 Betsy L. Angert.

I never thought I might share a conviction with the former Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani.  All week we have heard the news, “Conservatives Step Up Attacks On Giuliani’s Abortion Stance.”  When asked to discuss the question of abortion, during the Republican debate, the “Right” says Giuliani flinched.  He shrugged his shoulders.  His words were “I hate abortion”; yet, his body said he was fine with the “gross” practice.

Later in the week when it was revealed Mayor Giuliani donated to Planned Parenthood on numerous occasions, there was ample outrage.  The “Right” loudly proclaimed, ‘How could a Conservative, a Republican, and a Presidential candidate no less, be so bold as to contribute to an organization that is well-known as abortion clinic.’

The consensus was, or is, a person cannot be pro-life and pro-choice.  Yet, I believe many are, me among them.

I am not writing in support of candidate Rudy Giuliani. I do not endorse him or his campaign. The reasons are many.

I consider myself a bleeding heart Liberal. I am a Progressive.  More often than not, Democrats are too moderate for me. I purposely did not use the term “conservative,” for I think a person can be defined as an open-minded radical and still choose to conserve.  Environmentally, too may Liberals do not wish to eliminate what makes their lives easy. Socially and economically, I think Democrats are frequently shortsighted.  They, as their counterparts, often prefer simple solutions. I rather live for the Seventh Generation.  Nevertheless; forgive me, I digress.

I have been a patient of Planned Parenthood since I was sixteen. I entered the clinic with my parents’ knowledge and permission.  Yes, I am a person that believes wholeheartedly in complete communication and comprehensive understanding.  I did discuss my choice with my Mom and Dad.  In fact, the dialogue began when I was first able to speak.

Before my birth, I know not when; although I trust that my older siblings experienced similar, volumes of written material were placed in every bathroom. My Mom made certain we had ample access to biology books.  Some of the resources were meant for adults; others helped young children learn.  Tomes addressed reproduction.  A few of the volumes were humorous. ; These too taught lessons; however, the approach was amusing.

Often, too frequently for a young child that had little interest in “sex,” my Mom would discuss what I read. She asked questions, wanting to affirm my knowledge was accurate.  When I reached the age of five, my Mom was confident, I understood.  Reproductive organs and the act of procreation were not mysteries to me.

The issue was integrated into my life early on.  As a family, we did not dwell on the topic, nor was it avoided.

I was fascinated when children at school and in my neighborhood broached the discussion with winks, nods, and laughter. They smirked, sneered, and said the silliest things. There was so much misinformation. They thought their childish jokes funny; I found them folly.

I often wondered whether these children understood conception.  Could they conceive of how they came to be?

I strongly suspect many of these young persons were not wanted. It seemed evident if only they bothered to assess the quality of their lives.  Perhaps, some were scheduled to be aborted.  I was.

Although, when I was an embryo the procedure was illegal, if a couple, or an individual could raise the cash there was always someone willing to do the deed.  If finding funds was impossible, there were other ways to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.

Believe as you might, my Mom thinks she changed her mind; however, I am certain the decision was mine. Nonetheless, my own birth history has less influence on my reasoning, my belief in the need for legal and safe abortions than other factors might.

We all have choices and we invoke our right to choose in every moment.  Whether my Mom was influenced by my fetal feelings or not need not matter when we consider the topic.

When I was twelve my parents said to me, ‘When you think you are ready to engage in physical intimacies, please tell us so that we might make arrangements.’ Contraception was an option they thought vital.  I agreed.  As an adolescent, I did not wish to give birth to a baby.

A few years later, Mommy and Daddy handed me a periodical.  The type was printed on newsprint.  I believe the National Organization for Women produced this publication.  I believe, somewhere in my house I still have this magazine.  I spent hours reading it.  It was interesting. In many ways, it spoke of the mechanics as did the books in the bathrooms. However, it also provided references and resources for a pubescent mind.

Throughout my life, my Mom and Dad spoke of the differences between sex and love, lust, longing, and an affection born out of knowledge, sharing, and caring.  They helped me to understand that “sex” is “sex.”  Bodies bending, bumping, and grinding together is not necessarily a loving act.  It can just as easily be gratifying a physical need, as much as it might be satisfying an emotional deficit.  

In the case of “rape,” violence and control are the motive.  A baby produced through such an encounter may suffer emotional repercussions.  He or she may not. Only we can choose for ourselves what is.  Mothers, fathers, and babies may never agree when considering what was, what will be, or why our birth and life is as it is.

At the time of my reading, I knew that for me, pregnancy was not my preferred path.  At the age of sixteen, I imagined I was the only virgin left on the face of the planet.  A close friend was experimenting.  While she told herself she was in love, I wondered.  I am not a romantic.

Years earlier I thought another acquaintance had engaged in intimate entanglements.  Her home life was not as it might have been, it was perhaps, not as she believed was best.  There were so many secrets.  She never knew who her biological father was.  This bothered her.  Granted, the man that acted as her Dad was great and Mom was wonderful in many ways.  Still, something was missing.  She was often looking for love.

Given these two girls, who I thought had experienced as I never had, I concluded I was ready.  However, months before I embarked, while walking through the kitchen, the telephone rang.  I picked up the receiver and said “Angert residence,” or did I just say hello.  I think had I known that this call would alter my life forever, I would recall my exact words in that moment more precisely.

The voice was unfamiliar.  The caller was a man; he asked to speak with my Mom.  I cried out “Mommy . . .”  She was in the basement intensely involved in doing laundry.  She requested I take a message.  The baritone breathed deeply and then stated with a sigh, “Anna is fine.  We found out later the doctor is a butcher.  However, everything is going to be all right.”  I thanked the stranger for the message and went to talk with my Mom.

Anna is a loved one, someone I knew since birth.  I had not seen her or spoken with her in years.  What happened?  Did Mommy comprehend what seemed so cryptic to me.

Berenice Barbara understood what was meant.  Mommy shared that Anna had an abortion; she discovered she was pregnant.  Anna was scared.  What was she to do?  The young and lovely woman reached out, asking my Mom for assistance, guidance.  Anna needed a shoulder to cry on.  Sweet and scholarly Anna was in college, she had plans.  She never thought . . . I believe she had taken precautions.  I am uncertain; however, I know many that did and still the unexpected occurred.

Whatever the reasons, Anna felt it best to abort.  I understand.  Women have and will likely continue to release themselves from what may be a medical, psychological, or emotional  emergency.  Females, and males, will save one soul and without wanting to, sacrifice another.  We can never fully comprehend what people believe is their only choice.  We, as a society, can only establish a safe and sane means for whatever a person feels they must do.

I am well aware that my Mom instilled a desire in me to never hurt another.  She also helped me to understand that I need to be happy.  These two truisms must work in concert or chaos will ensue.

I personally, do not believe I would be able to ever have an abortion.  Killing any being hurts my heart.  Even accidental deaths cause me great pain.  When I witness an animal in the road, bloody, and belly up I cry.

I cannot bear to think of initiating pain on any organism.  I love life forms.  That is why I have supported Planned Parenthood for as long as I can remember.  

I was aware of the good this organization does before I first entered one of the numerous centers.  Since becoming a  patient, I lived in three states and many cities.  I regularly received services at four offices over the years.  Now, in a new home, a fifth location meets my needs.

This organization is extremely conservative and careful.  After decades of regular appointments, I know. On only a few occasions, I have entered a personal physician’s office for gynecological needs.  Each time I was astounded.  Medical professionals outside of Planned Parenthood do not interview a patient, or at least they did not consult with me, in depth.  Doctors do not require the details I must deliver each time I enter the doors of a Planned Parenthood center.

Planned Parenthood does as their name states, they assist people in parenting decisions.  Initially, I sat through a four-hour seminar.  Questions and answers came at the end.  The clinicians insisted that each individual understood their bodies, their choices, the reason for conception, the hazards, and the best methods for ensuring problems would not arise.

Medical examinations are mandatory.  Consultations are continuous.  In my own life, it was Planned Parenthood that “forced” me to go to a doctor for further diagnosis.  My blood pressure is low.  My heart on occasion murmurs.  Were it not for this wonderful community I would not necessarily know the simple statistics, cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose count, and other facts about my body.  Examinations required by Planned Parenthood are often not suggested by the private physicians’ friends of mine see.

It is with thanks to Planned Parenthood and the Roe versus Wade Supreme Court decision, that I trust no woman will be told after ending a pregnancy,  “The doctor is a butcher.”  Do not worry everything is going to be all right.

Citations and Situations  . . .