Sunday, February 8, 2015

What Pro-Choice Truly Means

"PRO" -- For, in favor of. "CHOICE" -- The act of choosing, the right/power/opportunity to choose. In other words, the term Pro-Choice refers to the idea that every individual has the right to make decisions for his/her own body. Pro-choice (using the term here specifically to speak of embryos, fetuses, & babies, and a woman's right to choose abortion, adoption, or to keep) men & women support every pregnant woman's right to make decisions for herself without infringment from others. Pro-choice does NOT mean "pro abortion", it is simply the belief that *I* get to make decisions for myself, you get to make decisions for yourself, and every other pregnant woman gets to make decisions for themselves... whether *you* agree with it or not.

My husband & I have had this conversation a lot lately... and we've included our daughter in it, too. We all have opinions, and we all feel that we know how we'd decide if we're ever faced with that type of decision. But, what Ace said regarding his opinion took me a little by surprise. His original opinion matched many many people out there who say they're pro-choice. Basically, he said, "It's your decision until..." No. Nope. That is not pro-choice. That is infringing your opinions on someone else's choice. You don't get to do that. You see, if it doesn't affect you & yours, you don't get a say. That's the difference between the vaccination debate and the abortion debate. If you don't vaccinate your child, it affects EVERYONE your child comes into contact with, reducing the abilities of the "herd protection". If you have an abortion, it only directly affects you & your family. However, it's still the pregnant woman's decision; no matter at what stage, no matter the reason.

Let's start with a few scenarios:
1. Your 15yo son gets his 14yo girlfriend pregnant, she's 8 weeks.
2. You are a married woman in her 30's with four kids, just got pregnant with your fifth (unplanned). You are now 10 weeks.
3. You are a married woman, age 40, one kid. You discover at 22 weeks the second child you so badly wanted has Osteogenesis Imperfecta.
4. You are a non-married 23yo woman who got raped by that guy at the bar you were talking to, miss your period, and discover you're 7 weeks pregnant.
5. You are a 27yo man whose longtime girlfriend is now 12 weeks pregnant, despite her being on the pill & you using a condom properly. She wants to abort; you do not.

There are, of course, many many many other scenarios, but just dealing with these five, who gets to make the decision as to if the pregnant woman has an abortion? Let me guess; most of you said, "Well, that depends..." Nope. No, it doesn't depend. Rapists get no say, no opinion, no rights, no anything imo. However, if you are in any sort of relationship with the other DNA-contributor (meaning, the male & female who co-created), you have every right to have an opinion & to make that opinion known. As the parent of a minor in this situation (no matter if it's your daughter or your son in this scenario), you also get an opinion. What you do not have, ever, no matter what your relationship status, is the right to make that decision for other people. No matter if that pregnant person is your co-worker, your sister, your spouse, your girlfriend, or your daughter... the FINAL decision is theirs, alone, to make.

Maybe some of you are confused... There is a huge difference between "Opinion" & "Decision". Let's say (for another example) that I get pregnant. I am 40yo, happily married, and have a 15yo still at home. My husband had a vasectomy after his daughter (his second child by birth) was born, and I am on the pill (for medical reasons not related to preventing pregnancy -- another reason we need to make sure all forms of birth control are readily available for everyone). There is always a chance that I could still get pregnant, so let's imagine that happens, and I find out at 5 weeks (that's how far along I was when I found out I was pregnant with Princess). Who gets an opinion as to what I do about it? My husband gets to tell me how he feels about it, our daughter gets to tell me what she thinks, but in the end, the decision is mine & mine alone. Of course, whatever I decide, I also have to live with that decision for the rest of my life... That's why it's MY decision.

How long do I have to make a decision? Again, my husband & daughter get to voice their opinions, but that decision is also mine. If I want to wait to 6 weeks, or 10 weeks, or 22 weeks... That's is MY DECISION!! Ace doesn't want any more kids. To be honest, neither to I. I am too old, imo, to start over. I would have an abortion, probably as soon as I could make an appointment to do so. Most of you would probably never know, but you can bet your ass I would not "feel guilty" (as many Forced Birthers would have you believe). Oh, for the record, the majority of "late term" abortions (in fact, every one that I've ever heard of) are WANTED babies who have severe, even terminal, conditions that would either severely diminish their quality of life, place undue financial/emotion burdens on the families (not to mention government assistance programs most of the Forced Birthers are trying to eliminate), or will kill them as soon as they're born or soon after. So, please stop trying to eliminate these, as well. Just like marriage equality, you can't outlaw something just because you don't agree with it.

Friday, February 6, 2015

This... This, Right Here

The headline reads "Godless Parents Are Doing A Better Job"... so, of course I had to read it.
While I am not a fan of the name calling (calling you a "bible thumper" is the same thing as you calling me a "heathen", btw), the man has many good points. All in all, the article is spot-on. I don't know why some Christians think they're better than we are... All you have to do is talk to our kids, and you'll see they're loving, smart, empathetic, and probably a lot less judgmental than a large chunk of the Christian sect. What's also funny/interesting to me is this (imo) ill-percieved notion of persecution. We atheists aren't persecuting you, we are simply asking for the same respect from you that you've demanded from EVERYONE. We don't appreciate being told we're "going to hell", or we're wrong (because you know your god is the only one?!?! no), or you're praying for us... If you honestly feel that way, that's fine (we don't really care); just keep it to yourself and stop trying to change us.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A Bit of Life

1. So, I found out recently that the house my ex is renting is for sale (has been since November). According to my sources, the current owner lives out of state, wishes the new owners to be in-state/local and allow the current renters to stay (current rent is $1200/month, but last time I checked, they were on housing assistance to help cover that). Too bad MG doesn't have a real job & good credit; he *could have* bought the house and saved himself some money (the mortgage, insurance, etc is estimated at just over $1100/mo). One odd note -- for a while, they were telling everyone they were "rent to own"... Um, lie much? Anyway, the Wildebeest hasn't lived there since last year sometime (spring? summer? I *do* find it funny that she implies they're still together when his family & certain others know the truth)... which means that, once the house sells (they've already reduced the price once), if the new owners choose to, they would have the right to evict MG, and where would he go? It is my hope that if in fact he does move, that he does as I asked in a previous blog post, and notify my family law attorney. I'm sure that someday, Princess will want to make contact again...
2. Princess' driving lessons are going slowly, but that seems to be how she likes it. So far, we've practiced backing out & pulling forward (in & out of our driveway, straight & turning both directions), getting a feel of the gas & brake pedals without jerking the car, proper positioning/angles for parking (still working on that one), and just general straight and around corners. Her high school parking lot on a weekend afternoon is perfect for most of this. Once she gets the hang of parking and staying to the right, Ace will be taking her out to some back roads (where there is little to no traffic, but she can get some "real road" practice). Once she hits 10 hours of practice with us, we can get her signed up for driver's education (the schools no longer do this, so it will be through one of the driving schools).
3. I have three tattoos and two more planned... The rose on my right breast was my first; I was 21 years old, and living temporarily in California. The rose is my birth flower. The second is a heart overlaid with a ribbon with Princess' first & original middle name. That one was gotten over Santamas vacation in Arizona, age 27. The third one I currently have is decorative scroll work with both Princess' & my astrological signs (this was completely designed by me). I can't remember exactly how old I was, but this one was done locally (at Adorn in Beaverton) somewhere around the age of 30.
A couple years ago, I went back to Adorn & had the rose touched up. I had planned on having the other two touched up, as well, but at the time, didn't have the money for all three. Then the adoption was happening, so I waited. Now that the adoption is done, and Princess' middle name has changed, I had to figure out what I wanted instead. Do I cover up the middle name & have the rest touched up? Do I cover the whole thing? Who can do that for me? How expensive is this going to be? So, I asked around, got a couple names, and had a consult last week. We looked at pictures of real chrysanthemums & different types of chrysanthemum tattoos, we came up with some ideas, and I gave him a deposit. I went in Friday for Round 1 (of at least two, 3hr, sessions). My next session is scheduled for Friday, February 21st, and it shouldn't even take a full three hours.
4. Princess & I finally got around to getting our new social security cards taken care of. I didn't want to pull her from school, and I didn't want to do mine then have to go back to do hers, so since she just had Thursday & Friday off, I figured it was a good time to take care of it (we also picked up her new glasses). They should take about a week to come in the mail, then we can go get our new passports.
5. Speaking of Princess, she, along with one of her BFFs and some other classmates, joined the Ethics Club at school a couple months ago. They've had meeting every week after school and yesterday, had their first competition. They won their first round & second round, putting them in the semi-finals. They lost that round, but I am SO PROUD of them for this! Not bad, considering this is the first year any of them (the teacher included) has ever done this.
6. My older kids may be moving along soon... Gamerboy has finally checked out a one-bedroom at his current apartment complex; only a couple hundred more per month than his current shared place (and no more irritating roommate), so he just may do it. Squeeks has checked out a couple places and is doing a few things to up her credit score (since she never got a student credit card nor onto the lease at her mom's house, both of which I suggested to her when she turned 18, for this very reason). She's waiting on her potential roommate/friend's job to go from temp to permanent, but is hoping to be out of her mom's by March 1st. Her mom is apparently on-board, giving her some things already, so if she needs a co-signer, she can do that (we don't co-sign; sorry kids). She's planning on taking her bed and some decorative items from what used to be her room here (I call it the "slash" room - guest *slash* office *slash* music room), so we'll be doing some changes in there. I've already started a Pinterest board...
7. Princess' grades from her first semester as a high school student have posted; six A's and two B's... She is very hard on herself but we are so proud of her and hope this trend of Honor Roll continues. My brother asked, "So, does she get $10 per A?" I was confused, as we've never paid for good grades. The pride my children get from doing their best & getting good grades should be enough, and if it's not, we always make sure they know/knew WE were proud... also, the potential for grants/scholarships are a driving factor. So, I simply said, "We don't pay for good grades." Then, he tagged my dad and asked his opinion. While Dad didn't actually answer, he liked the comment my mother made, which read, "Mimi says that the parent gets to decide how/if a kid is rewarded for grades! Bribes from grandparents are different!" and I said, "For the record, just because we don't give her money doesn't mean we don't reward her. She gets to do fun stuff like stay up till 10 p.m., go to the mall with her friends, etc..." We also give her money to do things with her friends, like get coffee or go to the movies. That makes more sense to us than "You did what you were supposed to do by getting good grades, so instead of showing you how much we appreciate the effort & are proud of you, we're just going to throw money at you willy nilly." Um, no.
8. When my mother sent out my annual notice of Princess' custodial fund, she realized that the court order was worded a little weird, and asked the original attorney about it. He suggested talking to the court clerk. Her name needs to be changed while we're there, anyway. We also figured that, now that MG is no longer legally in the picture, we should see about assigning a secondary custodian (in case something happens to my mother before Princess turns 18). So, she & I have a courthouse & lunch date next Friday.
9. Ace & I have an appointment with our Estate attorney on the 9th. The last time we did planning was over 5 years ago... Quite a bit has changed since then (the adoption being the biggest), so we need a redo! I'm not gonna lie; I'm kinda looking forward to this.
10. Once again, Princess & I are headed to Washington over V-day/President's Day weekend. We were going to take KP, too, but her church's youth group has a big event planned that weekend. As most of you know, I HATE HATE HATE Valentine's Day... like, more than I hate brussel sprouts, 80% dark chocolate, and idiot drivers... combined. It's the most ridiculously unnecessary "holiday" ever. So, I am very much looking forward to spending the weekend with my Princess & my "Littles".