Archive of ‘getting political’ category


I am hurting today.


scream by salvis .are

My mind is flipping through pictures I had long since boxed away. It’s showing me grainy filmstrips of memories I had no desire to ever see again. It’s reminding me that I’m vulnerable in a way Todd Akin will never understand.

I am a rape survivor.

But I will not tell you my story here. I won’t.

I won’t put it out here for men like him to read, and in the reading, diminish its power.

I don’t want to have to wonder; was my rape real enough? Was it “legitimate” in their eyes? Am I worthy of protection under the law?

I know what I experienced.

I was violated in mind, body, and spirit. I was left broken and bleeding, and it took me many, many years to repair the damage that was done.

Todd Akin will never understand what that’s like. In fact, I can’t help but wonder if he’s been on the other side of a “not-so-real” rape. It would explain his attitude.

That’s not fair, of course. But neither was the statement he made:

“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” he said. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

So. If you are raped, and you get pregnant, you weren’t really raped at all. On some level, you wanted it.

How far does he take that twisted rationale?

If a woman is dressed in a provocative manner, does that mean she’s asking for it?

What about if she drinks? Or smokes pot? Or walks home alone at night? Or goes for a run without a dog to back her up?

Is she inviting an attack?

I don’t think so. Most rational people don’t. But rational people aren’t getting elected much these days.

Todd Akin is head of the Science Committee. Head of the Science Committee, and he’s spewing that kind of garbage.

What the hell is wrong with this world?

Listen. I understand. Abortion is a hot button topic. Supporting its ban – at any cost – is sure to win you some votes with a certain segment of the population (some within my own family).

But at what cost?

Whether we like it or not, Todd Akin is a role model.

And there are a lot of young republican men in this country.

Hell, there are a lot of men, period. And while most of them are good, decent human beings, some of them aren’t. Some are just looking for an excuse. A justification.

Men like Todd Akin should know better than give one to them.

Rape is rape. Whether our bodies (governed by thousands of years of biology) realize it or not.

To suggest otherwise? Well, that’s just plain evil.

And, by God, evil is powerful enough on its own. We don’t need to elect it into office.

I Have A Say About My Reproductive Health. And So Do You.

Right now, congress is debating the future of women’s health. They’re trying to decide how much access to birth control we should have.

It started as a reaction to the provision in Obama’s Affordable Care Act that requires employers to provide access to birth control without co-pays or deductibles.

But it’s gone much farther. Blame it on the election if you want, but whatever the reason, certain key conservatives are claiming women shouldn’t have access to any birth control.

And that’s not all.

Right now, this very morning, two senators are bringing the Blunt-Rubio bill to the floor. If it passes, it will let employers—any employer—deny coverage for health services they object to. This is targeted at birth control, of course. But if it passes, your boss could deny you access to other preventive health services, including mammograms and cancer screenings.

In response, more than 80 organizations have banded together to form the Coalition To Protect Women’s Health Care. And they’re asking us—all of us—to make videos voicing our opinions about the Affordable Care Act and about women’s need for affordable access to birth control and other preventive health care services.

This has gone way beyond abortion, people. It’s time to make a stand—before we find ourselves without any control over our bodies at all.

Ready to join in? Upload your video to YouTube, then link it on the Coalition To Protect Women’s Health Care site. Or sign the petition supporting women’s right to make their own health care decisions on Barack Obama’s website.

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Antidepressants Cause Autism? Stop Jumping To Conclusions!

Could this baby have autism?

Babies are precious. But antidepressants aren't evil. *

Did you know that antidepressants cause autism? Well, no one else did either—until today.

All the major news outlets are screaming about a new study which claims that autism and antidepressant use are linked. The extremely small study, which examined fewer than 300 autistic kids, found that their mothers were more than twice as likely as mothers with “healthy” children to have taken antidepressants.

Now, keep in mind that even the lead researcher is urging caution.

Time Magazine reports: “Lisa Croen, Ph.D., the director of autism research at Kaiser Permanente Northern California, a large nonprofit health plan based in Oakland, emphasizes the preliminary nature of her team’s findings. “This is the first study of its kind to look at the association, and the findings have to be interpreted with a lot of caution,” she says. “We can’t detect causality from one study.'”

But what do you think mothers dealing with depression are going to do with these accusatory headlines? Especially when they’re coupled with  statements  like this one from Fox News? “Results indicated a doubling in risk of autism if the mother filled a prescription for antidepressants at any point in the year before delivery.”

A lot of them are going to freak the hell out, that’s what.

A person dealing with depression often isn’t feeling too terribly rational. Most of us are already playing the blame game—feeling guilty for being depressed in the first place, and wishing we weren’t such a burden on everyone around us.

So, how big of a leap do you think it would be for a woman in that condition to decide that her antidepressant use is almost certainly dooming her unborn child to a life spent battling autism? And from there to further decide that she has to throw her pills out the window or spend the rest of eternity in Bad Mommy Hell?

All this despite the fact that we have incontrovertible proof that untreated depression during pregnancy poses serious risks to both mom and baby—risks that can also lead to developmental problems.

My point?

The media is doing both pregnant women and children a disservice by jumping to conclusions so quickly. Maybe antidepressants do aid in the development of autism. Or maybe those babies developed autism because of environmental factors having nothing to do with the antidepressant use. It’s going to take more than a small study of 298 children to decide.

Can we please approach this with a tiny bit of caution? Lives—both big and small—may be at stake, after all.

*Photo courtesy of Bradley P. Johnson.


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