Saturday, February 26, 2011

God Is Pro-Choice

Well, that's the conclusion I draw considering that yesterday in New York City the rain was absolutely pouring around 1 P.M., and yet today, for the rally I attended in support of Planned Parenthood in downtown Manhattan, the weather was about as nice as one could hope for in February. Because you know if it had rained during the rally like we experienced yesterday, some Bible Thumpers would be saying "You see, God's showing you how much he disapproves of what you're doing."

The rally itself was in response to the recent vote by the Republican majority in the House of Representatives to strip federal funding to Planned Parenthood for the terrible sin of providing abortions in addition to the majority of their work, which is health care and birth control. I myself utilized Planned Parenthood's services during a time of crisis in my life, so I know first hand the valuable work that they perform. It's not often that I feel motivated to get off my duff to stand up for a cause, but the actions by the Republicans not only in Congress, but increasingly in state legislatures across the country, have made me realize that when it comes to defending what I believe is a woman's fundamental reproductive rights, I can't just be a passive supporter.

Below are some pictures I took at the rally this afternoon. The first one, which is partly obscured, is of a sign carried by one attendee that reads "Keep Your Boehner Away From My Planned Parenthood," referring to the Speaker of the House John Boehner, who is apparently more concerned with making a woman's uterus a public domain rather than focusing on job growth. A couple of other amusing signs follow.





Of course, the rally featured more than just some catchy signs. There was also some important politicians and celebrity figures. Below is New York Senator Charles Schumer.



Next up, the fiery Anthony Weiner, who represents parts of Brooklyn and Queens in the House of Representatives. I believe Weiner's district is the one that Schumer formerly represented in the House before Schumer was elected to the Senate.


In the celebrity department, we have actress Kathleen Turner, her voice huskier than ever. I kept hoping she would say "Pussywillows, Dotty." Apologies for the grainy shot. She was far from me and I had the lens on near maximum zoom.


Another amusing sign. It's the one in the middle that reads "Keep Your Rosaries Off My Ovaries."


Another well known personality, at least in the blogging community, is the feminist blogger Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon. Again, apologies for the grainy picture.


Last in batch, I couldn't leave out my own representative in the New York State Assembly, Charles Lavine. It's starting to become something of a running gag with us that we keep crossing paths with one another. Last autumn, we met at an open house at the Islamic Center of Long Island in Westbury. Then on Election Day I was eating lunch at my local Cosi when he stopped in to eat with a couple of other people. He recognized me from the Islamic Center and we spoke briefly. So, as I was leaving the rally shortly after he spoke, I passed by him and when we made eye contact I greeted him again and was like "Hey, remember me?"

There were numerous other elected officials and feminist activists who spoke to the crowd, but I decided to focus only on the ones that I knew. Sadly, to me at least, all of the elected officials at the rally were Democrats. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate their support on reproductive rights, and since 2004 I have voted mostly for Democratic candidates either on the Democratic line or if they appear on other party lines, such as the Working Families Party. But it was not all that long ago that you could still find a few Republican politicians in New York who supported abortion rights. Regrettably, the Republican Party is increasingly solidifying itself as a party that opposes abortion rights even here in New York. For me as a voter, I find it difficult to pull the lever for a candidate that opposes abortion rights, but sometimes it puts me in the position of having to vote for a pro-choice candidate who is lackluster or who I do not otherwise care for. I would like to see the pendulum shift in the other direction so that opposition to abortion does not become a litmus test for Republican candidates for elected office.

And that leads me to another observation I want to make. Reproductive rights in this country are under a sustained and increasing assault by the anti-choice movement, and what I have noticed is that supporters of abortion rights are constantly on the defensive. What I would like to see from those of us who support abortion rights, access to contraception, and comprehensive sex education, is a counteroffensive to force our opponents to spend their money and resources responding to us rather than forcing us to always play defense. I would be eager to hook up with anyone in the New York area who would be interested in bouncing ideas off of each other and coming up with strategies to make this happen.

15 comments:

Gideon said...

"God is pro-choice"

That's interesting. An infidel who never reads the Bible, yet is an expert on God...

Must be a liberal.

"Reproductive rights in this country are under a sustained and increasing assault by the anti-choice movement, and what I have noticed is that supporters of abortion rights are constantly on the defensive."

Hmmmm... yeah, that would be your feminist and your faggot you're describing. Both are against any form of masculinity or male dominance or even presence in the home and society in general. It's difficult to have procreation when everyone's gay or hate men so much that they become lesbians.

Seeing as how you're likely the recipient of a feminist wife/sister/mother/daughter/all of the above, whatever, and the resultant, substantial indoctrination (i.e. hen-pecking) that comes with one or all of those, I suggest you read this very good article by Dr. Henry Makow. It's very enlightening in these politically-correct dark ages we're in.

Oh... and I'm not dead set against abortion or contraception under any circumstances, I just know that feminists like to have their cake AND eat it, too.

Tommykey said...

That's interesting. An infidel who never reads the Bible, yet is an expert on God...

I've read the Bible numerous times.

Hmmmm... yeah, that would be your feminist and your faggot you're describing.

As opposed to that oh so masculine helmet you wear in your profile picture. Or is it made out of tin foil?

and I'm not dead set against abortion or contraception under any circumstances

Well bully for you.

BethyNYC said...

Thank you for taking such great pictures! I was working the PPNYC table, and didn't have a good view of the podium!

Gideon said...

"I've read the Bible numerous times."

LOL!

Must have been the Liberal Revised Version. (LRV)

Oh, you don't like my helmet? Maybe I should wear an Indian headdress like Philly Chief... or adopt an insect's head like SI? I know! How about I strike a suave, casual-looking pose down by the rocks, looking quite the hip liberal... anyone tried that one you know of?

snobographer said...

We got a smaller turn-out in Oakland, but it was still pretty impressive considering the short notice of venue and that it was a bit out of the way for a lot of people. It probably would have been bigger if they'd announced the location sooner and if they'd held it closer to a BART station. Then again, if they'd done that, we probably would have been trolled by antis, to whom the news media even here tends to devote most of its attention.

Seraph said...

Must have been the Liberal Revised Version.

Just because you've read it doesn't mean you agree with it. I know more atheists who've read the Bible than hardcore, "Bible-believing" Christians.

Gideon said...

"I know more atheists who've read the Bible than hardcore, "Bible-believing" Christians."

Really? Then why are they always misquoting it and taking it out of context?

Obviously, they don't have a clue how to properly interpret it... although it's more of a case where they only wish to discredit it by focusing on a few negative points and issues, then build a whole philosophy up around that. Do they ever focus on the positive points... like where Christ died for them? Never!

They're wasting their time reading it at all, if that's all they wish to do with it.

Anonymous said...

Interesting, isn’t it, that the supposed creator of the universe can’t write a book of consistent, sensible rules for people to follow. But instead, we need hate-mongering, cowardly bigots to “properly interpret” his divine words. A little convenient, don’t you think, that only hate-mongering, cowardly bigots have the inside track. Says a lot about the imaginary sky-fairy.

/mocking the cowardly bigot troll

Thanks for the pix of the event!! Wish I could have been there myself. However, I’ll make another donation to PP instead. In gideon’s name.

Gideon said...

"I’ll make another donation to PP instead. In gideon’s name."

I feel generous, today, 'brave' (not cowardly like me) "ANONYMOUS" person. Donate a couple of thousand dollars in my name, okay? On second thought, make it three thousand.

Oh, and God's people did write a sensible and consistent book. It was really written for people that have a working brain, so I can see why an infidel would have trouble with it. Nevertheless, you could get some third grader to read it to you if you're having problems, 'brave' ANONYMOUS person.

And, yeah... it can be lonesome at the top, having the inside track on pretty much everything. That's why people have pets. I keep infidels for amusement, myself. Most of them come potty-trained, saves me having to do it!

:)

cl said...

I meant to ask a legitimate question, but, when I saw that Gideon [Ex?] had made his way over here, I laughed so hard I forgot what my question was. If the strategy is intentional, it's certainly working.

I think my question was along the lines of, "Why is abortion often framed as an issue of reproductive rights?" I mean, to give a really basic question, at the very least, shouldn't we say that an unborn child belongs 50/50 to each parent? I mean, at every other point through the child's life, this is what we assume, which is in fact what you were getting at when you rightly criticized Huckabee for misappropriating the blame on gay men.

Anyhow, if ever there was an exercise in futility, this is probably it. Trying to change one's mind on abortion is about as futile as trying to change one's mind on religion.

FWIW, I enjoyed the photos. The very first one was the best IMO.

Tommykey said...

I meant to ask a legitimate question, but, when I saw that Gideon [Ex?] had made his way over here, I laughed so hard I forgot what my question was.

Yeah. Sadly, I had to give Giddyin' the boot when he refused to leave and I ended up switching to comment moderation for the near future. He's only the second person in the 4 and a half years of this blog who I banned. Not to disagree that his comments aren't sometimes amusing, but I just don't want it here. It's like having people over for wine and hors d'ouvres and then one guest shows up shit faced drunk, acting obnoxious and urinating on the floor in front of everyone.

Now make to the subject at hand.

I think my question was along the lines of, "Why is abortion often framed as an issue of reproductive rights?" I mean, to give a really basic question, at the very least, shouldn't we say that an unborn child belongs 50/50 to each parent?

Two things. First, pregnancy is a medical condition that affects the pregnant woman for the better part of a year. All the man did was shoot a load of sperm. He doesn't share 50/50 in the experience of pregnancy by a long shot, so the way I see it, he doesn't get veto rights in the matter.

If it is a matter of the woman wanting to terminate and the man wanting the pregnancy carried to term because he genuinely wants to be a father to the child, I can understand that, and he is certainly within his rights to try to convince her and offer her positive incentives to go through with it.

But what if the man who impregnanted her is someone who can never seem to hold down a job, likes to gamble, or is a drug user, alcoholic, emotionally and or/physically abusive or irresponsible in general? In such situations, why should such a man get to stop the woman he impregnated from terminating because one of his sperm cells fertilized her egg?

Second, I'm a parent of two children, and if my memory serves, you are a parent too. You know then what a tremendous responsibility it is. I'm fortunate that I'm in a solid marriage and my wife and I both make a decent living, have a house and all that good stuff. For a woman who finds herself pregnant who is not, for whatever reason, in a position where she feels she is in the right place in her life to become a parent, to make her not only have to go through the pregnancy but to also assume all of the burdens that come with being a parent, just strikes me as callous and cruel.

For me, a stunning example of hypocrisy in my mind is right-wing Republican senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina. Not only is he anti-abortion rights, he is also on record as wanting to ban unmarried pregnant women from teaching. Imagine that, he first wants to make it impossible for that teacher to get an abortion. Then he wants to prevent her from teaching so that she can earn her salary in the profession of her choice so that she can provide for the baby that DeMint wants to force her to have.

Trying to change one's mind on abortion is about as futile as trying to change one's mind on religion.

It saddens me that what should be a private medical decision between a woman and her physicial has become a wedge issue that needlessly divides this country. It also annoys me that a significant segment of the anti-abortion rights crowd attacks access to birth control and seeks to gut the social safety net for low-income people.

I believe it is wrong to use the coercive apparatus of the state to interfere with or interject itself into a pregnant woman's decision in a matter that fundamentally affects her life like that.

cl said...

Eh. Your blog, your rules, but I think censorship is weak.

Yeah, I'm a parent.

But what if the man who impregnanted her is someone who can never seem to hold down a job, likes to gamble, or is a drug user, alcoholic, emotionally and or/physically abusive or irresponsible in general?

What if? You gonna judge him? No quicker than you say, "Chances are that baby's life will be crap and the burden on the mother high," I'll point out that fatherhood can change a man for the better and give him more empathy. I have friends who've reduced their vices because they are parents.

Second, I'm a parent of two children, and if my memory serves, you are a parent too. You know then what a tremendous responsibility it is. I'm fortunate that I'm in a solid marriage and my wife and I both make a decent living, have a house and all that good stuff. For a woman who finds herself pregnant who is not, for whatever reason, in a position where she feels she is in the right place in her life to become a parent, to make her not only have to go through the pregnancy but to also assume all of the burdens that come with being a parent, just strikes me as callous and cruel.

I'm pretty sure we'll never see eye-to-eye here. No offense, but that is the biggest load of presumptuous crap I've read in some time. To me, killing the unborn is callous and cruel.

Besides, if the couple ain't in the place to carry the burden, they should of kept their pants on.

For me, a stunning example of hypocrisy in my mind is right-wing Republican senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina. Not only is he anti-abortion rights, he is also on record as wanting to ban unmarried pregnant women from teaching. Imagine that, he first wants to make it impossible for that teacher to get an abortion. Then he wants to prevent her from teaching so that she can earn her salary in the profession of her choice so that she can provide for the baby that DeMint wants to force her to have.

Yeah, that's lame, but wholly irrelevant to any points I'm making.

Tommykey said...

I'll point out that fatherhood can change a man for the better and give him more empathy. I have friends who've reduced their vices because they are parents.

And why should the pregnant woman have to gamble on that possibility. Maybe he will or maybe he won't.

I'm pretty sure we'll never see eye-to-eye here. No offense, but that is the biggest load of presumptuous crap I've read in some time. To me, killing the unborn is callous and cruel.

No, we won't, I suppose. If you say so.

Besides, if the couple ain't in the place to carry the burden, they should of kept their pants on.

Okay, so if you ever get seriously injured as a result of a judgment error, you can be refused medical care because "well, you should have thought about that in the first place."

Pregnancy is a medical condition and you don't get the right to use the apparatus of the state to say "Sorry, you have to go through with it whether you want to or not because I say so." Talk about callous and cruel.

Want to do something about abortion? Support comprehensive sex education and access to contraception to reduce the numbers of unplanned pregnancies. That's whay I support Planned Parenthood.

I'd say we're done here.

cl said...

"And why should the pregnant woman have to gamble on that possibility."

Anyone who gets an abortion is already gambling on possibility: the possibility that life will be "worse" if they keep. It cuts both ways. On my view, a woman shouldn't be allowed to take life just because her man displays some unsavory characteristics, or just because she made the decision to have sex. Having a derelict husband or boyfriend doesn't justify taking a life.

"No, we won't, I suppose. If you say so."

I'm just being honest. Certain "moral dilemma" type scenarios notwithstanding [i.e. rape, danger to the mother, etc.], nothing you can say will convince me that it's morally acceptable for a woman to kill the unborn. Father's a drunk? Too bad. Parents are poor? Too bad. Deal with it. Rise above. Don't take an innocent life on account of your own irresponsibility.

"Okay, so if you ever get seriously injured as a result of a judgment error, you can be refused medical care because "well, you should have thought about that in the first place.""

Abortion is not medical care for an injured woman. This is an utterly ridiculous analogy.

"Talk about callous and cruel."

Taking an unborn life because YOU were irresponsible is callous and cruel. Taking an unborn life on the GAMBLE that life will be "too tough" is callous and cruel. Disallowing a woman to do so is simply consistent with the right to life.

Tommykey said...

Certain "moral dilemma" type scenarios notwithstanding [i.e. rape, danger to the mother, etc.], nothing you can say will convince me that it's morally acceptable for a woman to kill the unborn. Father's a drunk? Too bad. Parents are poor? Too bad.

I'm not interested in convincing you. The decision whether or not to terminate a pregnancy is between a pregnant woman and her physician and is not of your business. A pregnant woman's uterus is not a public domain.

Just because a man's sperm fertilizes an egg does not suddenly constitute personhood and justifies the state becoming a party to the woman's pregnancy. Then miscarriages have to be investigated to determine if the woman did something to purposely cause the miscarriage.

And you're not pro-life dude, you're a forced birther.