Tag Archives: freedom

My Abortion Story – I’m Not Sorry

This fall, Bill Nye spoke up about abortion. A lot of people have extremely different things to say about it. Although, until recently, most of the people speaking up, or at least the ones shouting the loudest, have been rich white men, naturally, who possess the most power and influence. So it’s always reassuring to me when somebody of influence (say, Bernie Sanders or Bill Nye) speaks up for the ones who are not dignified a voice. In this case, women.

But if an influential rich white man, of the highest social standing, like Bill Nye, can say that it’s okay for women to have abortions, why can’t I? Am I any less entitled to that opinion because I’m a woman? Because I have a womb? Because I’m the one who’s body is in question? Because I’m the one who has to decide if I can or I can’t or I should or I shouldn’t or will or I won’t have this child that I can’t afford to support, that I’m not prepared to nurture in the way a child needs and deserves? So why should I have anything to say about it… right? The fate of my life as women is for rich white men to decide, and me to live with.

In Public Speaking, my professor, a profound and deeply inspirational woman, (bear with me on this tangent) emphasized the importance of persuasive rhetoric—broken down into pathos, logos, and ethosethos being the credibility we bring to our argument, as speakers. For our final, we presented a persuasive speech on any topic of our choice. Two students spoke in favor of the illegalization of abortion. One was a wealthy white male, conservative. The other was a young Latina woman, single mother of one. Between the two of them, the latter had all the ethos. She had all the credibility because she spoke from personal experience, unlike the other, who spoke from ignorance.

But this year, women are finally speaking up, and so am I, even though this news will come as a surprise to some, and an unwelcome one to many. I had an abortion. A year and a half ago, at the end of a bad relationship. My boyfriend had already left me. I hadn’t known that I was pregnant, and it was not a healthy pregnancy. I was underweight. I had been smoking and drinking during. I had continued taking birth control, not knowing I was pregnant. In all likeliness, I would have miscarried, but I didn’t want to leave that fate to chance. I couldn’t care for a baby. I didn’t want it. I didn’t want to be tied to my ex, and nothing anchors you to someone like a child.

My ex begged me to keep it. He told me he’d take care of it. Even after leaving me, he wanted me to carry his child inside me for nine months just to hand it over to him and let him raise—or rather, neglect and verbally abuse the kid, like he did me. If I had kept it, I would never want my ex in contact with my child, or in my child’s life in any way. But who am I—a woman—to deny my child’s father custody? Keeping it would have meant condemning myself and an unborn child to a life I wanted to protect us from.

I know my relatives eventually will see this. Some of them will be disgusted and ashamed. Maybe some of them will have something to say to me about it. Or maybe they’ll just call my mom or dad. Maybe they’ll tell them that they’ve failed as a parents, or I’ve failed as a daughter and deserve to be disowned. Maybe they’ll just unfriend me on Facebook, or cut me out of their lives, or stop including my name in Christmas cards addressed to the rest of my family. Maybe some of them will be confronted by a reality they never thought they’d face. Maybe some of them will question their beliefs. Maybe some of them won’t give a fuck. Maybe some of them will be proud of me for doing the right thing. To each their own.

But to whoever’s reading this, and whatever you believe, this is just to say that I’m not sorry. I’m not sorry I didn’t have a kid I couldn’t raise. I’m not sorry I didn’t bear the baby of a bad man. I’m not sorry I decided not to fight an unfit father for custody of a kid I didn’t want him to have. I’m not sorry I ended a pregnancy that was threatening my health. I’m not sorry I chose my life, and I’m not sorry for how my choice makes you feel. It wasn’t your choice to make, and I’m not sorry you didn’t make it for me.

 

As far as cutting funding for Planned Parenthood, one might want to consider how many more abortions the clinic prevents by providing contraception than the number of abortions they perform. Shutting down Planned Parenthood would only result in more unplanned pregnancies.

As a friend and loyal customer Michael Vargo so eloquently put it, we “all have points of view that come from personal experience. And that [we] feel strongly about them shows how much [we] care. Let’s all make that assumption about the other “side”. They are not villains and we are not saints. We all just people.” Many of the people protesting Planned Parenthood are the same ones defending guns, and they raise a valid point about gun laws, that restricting our legal rights to possessing guns will do nothing to stop people who want guns from getting them. The same goes for abortions. Criminalizing abortions won’t prevent women who need them from getting them, it will only increase their risk of getting sick or infected from an operation performed improperly (which many will be if women are forced to resort to their own means of aborting pregnancies without the services provided by PP).

If Planned Parenthood had not been available to me when I discovered I was pregnant, I would have still sought an alternative. Without Planned Parenthood, I would have had to resort to a) somehow self-inducing or b) illegally obtaining a pill or operation from some other source. If abortions were illegal, I would be a criminal, assuming I was able to survive.

Criminalizing abortions will only result in more criminals, more babies abandoned at their birth, more under-privileged children whose mothers lack the means to support them, more mothers who would otherwise have been able to provide for themselves but no longer can due to the financial burden of their child, and more women dead or injured from improper, unsafe abortions.

Before I found out I was pregnant, I never thought I would have an abortion. I never thought that I would be in that position. I never expected to have to make that decision. Being in that position, being faced with that decision changed my mind. And nobody can claim to know from the outside, but I know now, my choice was right, and I’m not sorry for it.

When you say #ProLife, consider the quality of life. The quality of the child’s life. The quality of the mother’s. Nobody’s forcing women who don’t believe it’s right to have abortions to have abortions. But who are you to deny others their right to make that choice?

Local Oak Tree Busted for Leaving Graffiti on Driveway & Sidewalk

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This morning, an oak tree in my neighborhood was cited for vandalizing public property, by scattering its leaves on rainy pavement, causing the pigment of the leaves to stain the concrete underneath them. Residents of the home adjacent to the tree contacted local police, who arrived promptly to investigate the scene.

“Graffiti has been an ongoing nuisance in our community for years,” one officer stated, “but this case is the first of its… nature. Typically, the perpetrator is a person.” Certainly, this can’t be the first time a tree has imprinted its leaves on the pavement. This is merely the first time it’s been reported.

We spoke to the residents of the affected house. It turns out Mrs. Johnson is the one who made the call. “I had no choice but to take legal action,” Johnson explained. “This tree has an extensive history of vandalism to my property. I’ve warned the tree before, numerous times, not to tarnish my driveway and my sidewalk in this manner.”

The sidewalk,” we corrected her, “not yours. Sidewalks are public property.”

“Sure, whatever,” grumbled Johnson. “The point is, as you can see, it failed to comply, and after so many repeated offenses, I’ve reached my wits end!” Johnson went on, “It’s bad enough having to hire gardeners to blow the leaves week after week, but this? Leaf-blowers don’t work on graffiti! I’m an interior decorator, and sometimes I meet clients in my home. The discoloration of my driveway conflicts with the color scheme of my house, which reflects poorly on me, as a decorator. This oak tree is losing me business, and something had to be done!”

We pointed out that the exterior of her home in no way represents her abilities as an interior designer. If anything, her failure to recognize the beauty in the tree’s seasonal street art raises more concerns about the soundness of her visual opinions. Most passersby would marvel and admire such a vision, and many do. Myself included. I’ve even stopped to pixelate the oak tree’s mural on one of my afternoon walks with my dog. Below are some more images of the scene of the crime.

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Since the dawn of life—from the cave paintings of early humans to the pavement-paintings of the trees—graffiti has plagued our habitat for far too long, but rest assured that any public artist will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

5 Things Dogs Do Every Day That No Human Could Ever Get Away With

Having been my dog for Halloween this year, I feel I speak from experience when I say this. It’s funny how strictly bound we are by social norms, while our pets are free to be as wild as they please. Just think about all the disgusting things dogs get away with every day that we humans never could.IMG_0037

Handling of Business Anywhere

The other day, I crossed a busy intersection with my dog, and she stopped suddenly halfway across the street as traffic started moving toward us, shitting in the middle of the crosswalk. Not a care in the world.

Not that I’d want to pop a squat in public, but it’s the principle of it. I don’t have that kind of freedom. If I dropped my bottoms and relieved my bladder on my walk to work, I’d be arrested for indecent exposure. That piss would be on my permanent record. My dog, on the other hand, has taken more public dumps than I could count, and she’s never been arrested, judged or gawked at. Not at all. On the contrary, she’s been adored and praised, mid-dump, by total strangers.

Eating Fallen Food Off the Floor

We humans are only legally entitled to five seconds’ worth of fallen food. However, despite this right, there is an undeniable stigma associated with people eating fallen food, and quite frankly, sometimes five seconds just isn’t enough. What if there’s more than five seconds’ worth of damage?

Dogs, on the other hand, are encouraged to eat their owners’ fallen food. It’s unfair. Dogs can eat fallen food, but humans can’t? Why must we discriminate? I personally sneak a lot of fallen snacks, but it’s a shame that I should need to be so sneaky. Can’t a clumsy girl enjoy a dirty snack without receiving looks of judgment and disgust? I mean, I only eat it if it looks safe to eat. If there’s no saving it, I leave it to the dogs.

Sniffing Each Others’ Asses

Generally, people, and particularly men, are liable to be slapped for so much as ogling too long at someone’s ass, while dogs are free to plant their snouts eye-deep in any ass they please. Standard procedure.

Again, it’s not that I enjoy the smell of booty; it’s the freedom that I envy. Not only are humans taught to keep our distance, but on top of that, we barricade our asses underneath layers upon layers of clothes, so even if we manage to sneak a glance (or god forbid, a handful) of a fine ass passing by, we’d have to do considerable digging before we reach the real thing, and by then, we would have several legal offenses on our hands. Dogs, however, flaunt their asses openly, invitingly and proudly—totally commando, tails up, which leads me to my next point.

Simultaneously Sustaining Multiple Romantic Relationships

Humans do this too, but it inevitably tends to get messy. Somehow, dogs get around without the drama. How they do it is a mystery to me. Trust me, I’m trying, but it’s difficult to juggle several gentlemen at once. We humans get so hung up on our emotions—jealousy, possessiveness, entitlement. In the meantime, dogs are free to jump the bones of anyone or anything. Ironically, dogs are famous for their loyalty and faithfulness, while humans who engage in multiple relationships at the same are labeled cheaters. Very strange.

Licking Their Privates

Dogs groom themselves in public, and I mean thoroughly. Anywhere their tongue can reach is liable to get a meticulous licking, and that includes their privates. Not only could I never get away with this, but it’s physically impossible for me, a human, to get my head or tongue anywhere near my nether-regions. It would be quite a shock, if not a heinous crime, for me to perform such an act in public. However, dogs are spared the shame, humiliation and disgust I would undoubtedly receive for such behavior.

 

Why do dogs receive such preferential treatment in our homo sapien society? We do their bidding—feed them, bag their waste, adore them, walk them, praise them for “tricks” as simple as sitting, and let them get away with what would otherwise be classified as unacceptable behavior—but because they’re four-legged and furry, they’re allowed? I think we humans could do with becoming more forgiving and accepting of each other. Humans should be entitled to the same wild, shameless tendencies as any other animal. It’s only fair.KissKiss

Originally published on The Daily Quirk