succumbing to peer pressure

Friday, April 21, 2006

Things on random bits of paper about which I've been meaning to blog:

Should the current anti-choice trend continue, further limiting access to abortion providers, especially in the south, it is a very real possibility that Maryland and New Mexico would become the closest states to Georgia with ready access to an abortion provider. At their weekly executive meeting at the Feminist Women's Health Center staffers discuss worst case scenarios like this and attempt to plan for the future.

87% of US counties do not have an abortion provider.

in 2003 only 12% of OB/Gyn programs required training for first trimester abortions.

abortion is a safer surgical procedure than an appendectomy (generally regarded as the safest surgical procedure), yet doctors who perform abortion pay among the highest rates of malpractice insurance.

abortion actually has a lower fatality rate than giving birth. not that that should in any way be a reason to have one, but crap about abortion being a dangerous procedure, and rhetoric claiming that poor underage girls have no idea about the risks they're taking are complete and total bullshit.

in 1927 the US Supreme Court upheld the sterilization of Carrie Bell, claiming she was feeble minded and promiscuous, due to an illegitimate child (it later turned out that her pregnancy was caused by the nephew of her adopted family raping her). way to go eugenics!

The United States sterilized 64,000 individuals against their will between 1900 and the 1970s. In fact, we thought of compulsory sterilization programs first, started them way before the Nazis, and continued throughout WWII.

Although google can't seem to locate any useful references, during a public health law seminar a few weeks ago a speaker said that the "Fit to Fight" campaign during World War I, aimed at reducing the incidence of venereal disease in soldiers, resulted in women being detained in federally funded centers, against their will.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Was reminiscing tonight about The Infamous Fourth of July Weekend. I don't think anyone who reads this was there that night, but it was like something out of a movie - my friend Judy's parents were out of town for the long weekend, she got along well enough with her older brother that his friends and her friends could all play nice together (perhaps a little too nice, as one of our friends and her older brother started dating that weekend...) and we just partied for three nights in a row. I remember it was the first time I had been drunk more than one consecutive night, I chain smoked, drank a lot, ate a was great. Each morning (afternoon) those of us in the 'core' friend group would get up, help clean, prepare for that evening's festivities.

Came home tonight and stood out on the deck (the newly refinished deck) and smelled the rain and the spring leaves and thought about that last night of freshman year, one of my first perfect nights...and played the would-I-live-it-all-over-again game. I used to play this game a lot, thinking that answering the question in the negative was a good sign, an indication that I was where I needed to be in my life. The first time (no kidding) I thought about this was my last day in sixth grade. I stood in the downstairs of my elementary school, thought about 'graduating' to junior high school, and wondered, if given the opportunity, would I start over again? Definitely no. After reading Our Town in high school I performed this little thought exercise even more (hey, I didn't know any better! I was well into college before I figured out that I could dislike members of the canon of literature). Anyway. By then I had switched and thought that an affirmative answer was a better indicator of a 'good' life. Throughout most of college my answer was yes. Sure, there were times that sucked, but even the not-so-good times had led to where I was now, which was inevitably where I was meant to be, so no regrets, right? Then last summer...well, last summer happened and I went back to my no answer. Not only did I not want to live through that again but I didn't think I could...But now, at least tonight, having come out on the other side of it (albeit a side that still requires quite a bit of work) I'm back to yes. Life is good, even when it's bad, and I'd go back to any of those moments, just to have them again. The Infamous Fourth of July Weekend, freshman year, whatever. Now is pretty damn good too, but I'd take the opportunity to have the other goods and bads to get back here again. What do you know? I'm back to the old Pollyanna me. Isn't that nice?

Monday, April 17, 2006

Books Completed:
A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby - Not as good as some of his other stuff, but not bad either.
The Kid, Dan Savage - Savage continues to pleasantly surprise me with his eloquence and research. I'm tempted to write my first-ever fan letter, but we know it'll never really happen. Brad promises to send me his latest, about gay marriage (Dan is against it, his boyfriend is for it).

Books Started:
Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations...One School at a Time, Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin - just past the introduction, but already smitten.

The weekend with the brother was actually better than expected. Except for some brief crabiness on my part last night (due to school stuff) all was generally well. We saw some improv and a Braves game and ate way too much food. Oh, and I heard a new Biblical passage this Easter. As a twice-a-year Catholic I don't really get exposed to much of the Bible (I had good intentions of reading it once upon a time, but I have to be honest these days about the unlikeliness of that ever happening). So I have the Easter and Christmas passages down pretty pat. The former about the disciples and 'the one Jesus loved best' arriving at the tomb and finding the stone moved and the tomb empty. But this year I attended my first Methodist service (convenience - the Methodist church is two blocks from my apt) where they read Mark 16:1-20, about Mary Magdalene, Mary, and Salome arriving at the tomb first, and an unidentified young man telling them to run and tell the disciples that He is risen. Very interesting.