Local Lefty Liberal Progressive Hippie Things

I have two reading recommendations and one restaurant review for you from the land of spoon and cherry.

Robin Marty – Joining the Other Side

Robin Marty is an independent journalist, well-known for her articles on reproductive justice. She is based in Minnesota, the author of Crow After Roe, and she has recently published an article on Contributoria called Joining the Other Side. The article is about the week she spent in Washington D.C. this January observing the annual March for Life…ugh…celebration. She speaks about watching die-ins, clinic protests, panels and sharing drinks with anti-abortion activists like Jill Stanek and Troy Newman at after parties.  [Read more…]

Today in Pro-Lifers Annoy Me News

Did you hear about Oklahoma abortion doctor Naresh Patel who did some illegal, horrible things and was consequently investigated, arrested and had his medical license pulled? Yeah, so did every anti-abortion supporter and organization in the country. And boy are they gloating about that and using it as an excuse to rally the troops. They’re trying to paint Patel’s arrest as the turning of the tide, as a sign that Americans are starting to see that abortion is an arrest-worthy crime. [Read more…]

#7in10forRoe

Today is the 42nd Anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. Between work, and planning for this weekend’s FTBConscience 3, and coincidentally, tonight’s last minute quasi-emergency drive to the OBGYN with a friend who just went through a miscarriage and subsequent evacuation – the same process as an abortion – two days ago (she’s doing just fine), I ran out of time to do the super-awesome post that I had planned to do on Doe v. Gomez.

[Read more…]

Men Don’t Get Abortions

CN: Use of gendered pronouns. Words like men and women are blurry with respect to reproduction and pregnancy, but I am sticking with convention to address the claims and assumptions of this video.

It took me a few days to get around to watching this four-minute video because I knew that I didn’t have the even to deal with it. But tonight I’m feeling like I can do it. Let’s all do it – together!

We’re opening with a shot of a church and some somber but hopeful music. The videographer has spliced together the stories of three men, each one sitting in a church pew. They introduce themselves by name and then go on to share that they’re all Christians.

[Read more…]

Clinic Escort Training – Twin Cities, Minnesota

Whole Women’s Health-Twin Cities – the clinic where I escort – is holding a call for volunteers and escort training tomorrow morning. This will be our second open call, and unlike this past winter, the weather will actually be above freezing!

Five people in vests standing in a room with a statement stenciled on the wall nearby, "We are not a gang in the usual sense of the term, we are a gang for justice. – Gulabi Gang"

Some of the Whole Women’s Health clinic escort team.

If you are interested in volunteering with the clinic as an escort – or maybe you have an interest in getting involved in other ways – come on down to Whole Women’s Health tomorrow morning at 7am. There will be coffee and donuts (first come, first serve), a Do and Don’ts of Clinic Escorting training, and a then a chance to observe on the sidewalk and have antis lecture you on the evils of abortion!

Now who doesn’t want that?

[Read more…]

RH Reality Cast

I’ve finally started listening to RH Reality Cast, and I’m enjoying the hell out of it. If if there’s one thing that I enjoy more than reading Amanda Marcotte’s caustic wit, it’s hearing her passionate take-downs of patriarchal, religious, and right-wing bullshit flow from my car speakers. A new half-hour episode airs every Monday, so it’s always an exciting, blood-boiling start to the week. This week Amanda warns us that Todd Akin is back in the news, this time wanting us all to believe that we just didn’t understand what he meant by “legitimate rape” (from his infamous quote in 2012), she interviews Teddy Wilson about the Operation Save America harassment and trespassing currently taking place in New Orleans, and of then there’s my favorite segment, The Wisdom of Wingnuts.

If you like hearing from strong women who don’t mince their words when they’re pissed off about attacks on reproductive freedom and sexual health, you might want to try out RH Reality Cast.

Planned Parenthood Solidarity Event

It’s that time of the year again! Good Friday marks the annual organized anti-Planned Parenthood vigil here in the Twin Cities and it’s celebrated with much somber walking, very pray, so clutching of rosaries and wow crosses outside of the St. Paul Planned Parenthood:

Anti-choice crowd hangs out by the fence and stares at the prochoice celebration with sadness, contempt, anger and pleading.

Anti-choice crowds line the fence and stare over at the pro-Planned Parenthood celebration with a mixture of anger, contempt, pleading, sorrow, curiosity and indifference.

And on the other side – a celebration of accessible and legal abortion, comprehensive reproductive options, sex education and outreach:

A line of Planned Parenthood supporters walking with signs of support.

This year a bunch of jerks – not satisfied with marching with their anti-choice brethren – decided to make a nuisance of themselves on “our” side of the rally. As always with these harassers, they’re not satisfied unless they’re edged right up to the public property line, which was particularly annoying because they were standing between us and our food trucks. Buttheads. These special friends had a penchant for screaming about hellfire and damnation. For the most part we all minded our manners, but me, Niki and our friend Chris couldn’t resist stopping for a quick photo op:

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 Happy atheist trio mocks your angry sky fairy – Mwuahahaha!

We had happy music, warm drinks and supportive signs. We took pictures and laughed and raised money and cheered and ran to give hugs when we saw friends and supporters arrive to join in the march. It was a great time.

Me and fellow clinic escort Niki M. in our clinic escort vests.

Me and fellow clinic escort Niki take a photo at the march in our vests – shiny!

Happy Lich Jesus Day, everyone!

And this is why you’re not allowed to practice medicine.

Saturday was a rough one at the abortion clinic.

The crowds are getting might holy, what with Zombie Jesus Day just around the corner. The morning started out fairly easy; it was gray and drizzly and we thought that the weather might keep most of the protesters away. It seemed like that was going to be the case for most of the four-hour shift.

Then, about two and a half hours in, a crowd arrived from a local church. It was comprised of a number of families, including teens, young kids and a few babes en pousette. All in all, maybe 25 protesters.

2014-04-12 09.53.46A handful of the random visiting protesters who, in all likelihood, won’t be seen again until next Easter-time.

The teenagers seemed bored to be there, and had to be coaxed from their little huddle into walking down the sidewalk with their signs. At one point a little kid said, “Mommy, it’s cold – I want to go home.” To which Mom replied, “We live in Minnesota – of course it’s cold.” and went back to waving her gore porn at passing traffic.

This gentleman stood right at the property line and read teh bible at us for about 45 minutes, although he went off script a couple of times because those parts about Jesus condemning abortion…I don’t remember those parts (‘cuz they don’t exist – get it?). Seriously – dude made up scripture on the spot…just for little old us!

Middle-aged man reading from a bible.

Later his wife came over and lectured us about…actually I don’t really know…me and fellow clinic escort, Niki, managed to keep up a running conversation in spite of the caterwauling, and I only caught the occasional “killing babies”, “sin”, and “God.”

This morning also included a rare instance of Brianne Losing Her Temper And Engaging a Protester. One of the regulars who is known for taunting escorts was waving a four-month old infant at us, entreating us to look at how beautiful he is, and why would we deny a mother a beautiful baby like this, and would we kill this baby? I turned and snapped, “Stop using that child as a prop!” and immediately did an internal “D’oh!” and facepalm. Sure enough, the next few minutes were filled with the protesters gleefully exclaiming stupid stuff like “So you ADMIT that you think this is a child! What’s so different between him and the children that are murdered in there!?”

Just…engaging never gets you anything but more frothy-mouthed engagement.

*grumbles* And of course that’s a child, you nitwit. That a four-month old infant is a child is not the point of contention between us, dumb-dumb.

Yeah, rough morning.

Another head-explody moment came when one of the regulars caught sight of Niki’s awesome Surlyramic showing a “no coat-hanger” symbol on (like this), and said…

She actually said…

Hang on. Let me catch my breath for this…

She says, “What’s the difference between a coat hanger and curette?” Now, this is writing, and her tone might not be coming across just so, so allow me to clarify. This was a snotty, righteous “How come you’re against coat hangers but okay with curettes since they both cause baby murderin’?” kind of asking going on here.

Let me get this straight: You need me to explain to you the difference between a dirty, makeshift hook used by a desperate person on themselves, which might result in a penetrating or perforating wound to vagina or cervix, potentially leading to septicemia…and a sterile surgical tool wielded by a trained doctor in the course of an exceedingly safe, (currently) legal outpatient procedure, which is very unlikely to cause any physical trauma to the patient? You need me to explain that coat hangers are what happens when access to abortion doctors and curettes isn’t available? You really don’t see a difference between these two things?

Hand in your medical license right now, preacher-lady. Oh, that’s right…you don’t have one. Well thank Jebus for that. Now if you would just stop flinging around medical advice like you have specialized training in that arena…that would be great.

One happy thing was that between the rainy weather, the intimidating crowds and an odd scarcity of street parking, most of the patients seemed to choose to park in the ramp, which means they weren’t subjected to a lot of direct harassment. So that’s a good thing.

*wanders off muttering* …difference between a coat hanger and a curette? C’MON.

Bowl-a-thon Updates

The bowl-a-thon for ProChoice Resources was so much fun. Personally I (and you all) raised $150. ProChoice Resources raised $81,959.

That’s what I’d call a damn good start.

The fundraiser was 80s-themed, so the entire night was filled with throwback music videos that had most of the bowlers screaming “Ahhhhh! Do you remember this song!!!???”

And of course there were sweatbands.

Sweatbands

Me and my teammate and BFF, Courtney, rocking our sweatbands.

The bowling was mostly a blur – a few gutter balls, a few strikes. We did not do well. I think the high score – among six of us – was in the high 80s. What was really amazing were all of the people – all of the bowlers and volunteers who had come together in support of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health options. So much love for all the heroes in that sweaty, noisy bowling alley!

And as promised: Me, with bowling ball in hand, wearing my Notorious P.I.D team shirt:

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Tonight I started on my thank yous for the donors who were a part of this:

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Writing thank you letters to mah donors.

I’ve still got postcards to do, and there will be one custom blog post for the generous individual who donated over $50.

I love you guys. Thank you so much.