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Monthly Archives: November 2013

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Granted Ability to Find Stories

The Abortion Conversation Project announced six successful grants totaling $5,000 in its Fall 2013 round of mini-grants. “All of the awards focus on amplifying the stories of abortion and the voices of those who have experienced abortion,” noted Peg Johnston of the Abortion Conversation Project Board.
The Abortion Conversation Project’s mission is “to challenge the polarization that characterizes abortion conversation, lessen the stigmatization of abortion, and promote speaking and listening with empathy, dignity, and resilience about even the most difficult aspects of abortion.”
Cindy Cooper of Words of Choice has proposed a walking tour of Reproductive Justice in New York Citywith their award. Another NYC based award went to Project Voice a website created by Maya Pindyck that would promote the site and also “talk back” to anti-abortion propaganda on the streets and subways. Another blog about abortion, AbortionChat will get funding to do outreach to writers to include the complexity of abortion in their writing.
Our Bodies, Our Bikes: Women’s Health and Wellness On and Off the Bicycle is an upcoming anthology and will include a chapter on abortion as a result of an honorarium funded by an ACP grant. Funding was also awarded to Blue Mountain Women’s Clinic in MissoulaMT to create local original theatre to tell women’s abortion stories. And in Atlanta, the Feminist HealthCenter’s Lifting Latina Voices Initiative will use their grant to train Promotoras to discuss abortion in the Latinacommunity.

 

The Abortion Conversation Project was founded in 2000 and spent its early years defining post abortion emotional health, de-stigmatizing abortion through handouts for parents, partners, and patients themselves, and staging community conversations to have deeper conversations among diverse prochoice audiences. After helping to launch the Abortion Care Network, ACP explored conflict transformation techniques and decided to offer small grants to engage many more people in its mission. The Abortion Conversation Project has a website at www.abortionconversation.com and a blog at http:// abortionconversationproject.wordpress.com/, as well as a Facebook page. Supporters can also receive an e-newsletter by clicking on the link on the home page of the website.

Effective Immediately

Just before the hearing

Last night Portland Maine’s City Council met at 7pm to discuss passing a 39 foot patient safety zone around Planned Parenthood. After weeks of hostile protests that seemed to only get more hostile with time, the city and its people had had enough.

During the first public hearing about a month ago, dozens of men and women took the podium to ask the partial council to move forward with the safety zone. There wasn’t one voice of opposition. The four members who were present decided to listen to their town.

Last night, however, there were voices of opposition. The people claimed that the protests were “ministry” and that they were “peaceful.” One voice stated that walking through the protesters is merely “inconvenient” or “a little uncomfortable.”

However, men and women in support of the buffer zone recounted times of being screamed at, of needing police officers present to feel safe. One woman shared a story of having such intense anxiety that she no longer utilizes Planned Parenthood and travels 20 miles out of her way to seek reproductive healthcare. I spoke of protesters in Virginia screaming at me when I sought my abortion. There, I didn’t have to face people standing close enough to touch me. I was still terrified.

Religious advocates, military, workers and volunteers from Planned Parenthood, and ordinary citizens spoke in support of the patient safety zone.

After nearly three and a half hours, the motion was unanimously passed with an amendment to go into effect immediately.

It’s a small step, but it’s one that allows women seeking reproductive freedom safety from harassment. Yes, the protesters will still exist, but now, at least they will be across the street.

Many states are under fire right now with access to reproductive healthcare under attack. This post is a small, “Don’t lose heart.” There are still people fighting for women’s rights.

Coping Mechanisms

Something I don’t think we’ve addressed quite enough on this blog is the importance of coping mechanisms. Why are they important? Because if you’re a woman and you’ve just gotten pregnant, you may panic, get angry, get sad, get happy, get….something you don’t quite know what it is, but you sure know you’re feeling. It’s important to be able to process emotions.

Many prolife/antichoice advocates point to the fact that many woman who seek abortion don’t handle it well. And sometimes they don’t, primarily because of poor coping skills (along with a multitude of other stressers.)

So for your enjoyment, here is a small list of coping strategies that may help you, whether you’re male/female/pregnant or whatever else you may be:

*Allow yourself to feel.
If you need to cry but you don’t want to, go somewhere private and allow yourself to. I’ve read articles that state hormones are released when you cry, which is why sometimes you feel better afterward. If you’re angry, allow yourself to be angry, but also address why you’re angry.

*Journal

*Go for a walk/run/bike/dog walk
Fresh air can do wonders for your emotional state. Even if it’s just sitting outside and closing your eyes, that helps, too.

*Scream
Sometimes, burying your head in a pillow and screaming until you can’t any more helps. Sometimes sitting in your car and screaming until you can’t anymore helps. Your throat may be sore after, but hey, there’s always tea for that, right?

*Petting Pets
If your pets are anything like mine, they like to snuggle and be loved. Just having the contact with something fluffy and nice feeling may help you feel better.

*Color

*Sing. As loud as you can.

*Draw.

The bottom line is that there are many things you can do to help yourself feel better. If the feelings aren’t going away, perhaps seeing a counselor or therapist may help. Your priority no matter who you are needs to be your mental and physical health.

Make sure you take care of you.

Gaining Perspective

For the better part of two years, I’ve worked at a local pharmacy/retail shop. There we discuss HIPPA and how to best protect our customers. We discuss sales, and flu shots, and everything but reproductive health. The one time it was addressed was when Plan B became an over-the-counter emergency contraceptive. Then we were subjected to computer based training that reminded cashiers that no matter their affiliation, we treat customers (of all ages and genders) with respect if they purchase this controversial item.

This one item.

One. Single. Pill.

The other day I was pulling forward (making the store look pretty) and I was amazed by this:

 This is just a small selection of male enhancement drugs. Why else do you need male enhancement? Sex, of course. Notice there are SEVERAL.

They are no behind protective locks. They have more than one in a package.

Meanwhile, Plan B is on the top shelf (where even I can barely reach it). It is in guarded plastic that the cashier has to open it. It is one, single, pill. Beside condoms, another array of male enhancement drugs. There is only one other emergency contraceptive on the shelf beside it, but it’s a card which you have to take to the pharmacy to actually obtain.

Do you see anything wrong with these pictures?