Butterfly Cauldron

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Legislative session starting tomorrow

So. The big boys in our Legislature start debating the important stuff tomorrow. You know, hurricane relief bills, rebuilding, finding money to pay our teachers, how to get business to come back here after Katrina blew them all to the winds, how to keep women from having abortions -- you know, the important stuff. So, I fear this will decend back into Abortion Blogging all the Time. Oh well.

Nothing's been said since that bill was introduced, however. Blanco said she wasn't sure what she'd do if it got passed, but otherwise...no one's said a word about it. Which could be good, or it could be bad. Who knows? The next few weeks will tell.

Say a prayer our legislaturers realize how pointless this all is. I hold out little hope, but perhaps the cold, hard reality of the fact that our state is facing a monstrous uphill battle just to get back on our feet after Katrina and Rita will shake these people outta this. Our economy is broken, a good million of our population has been displaced, we're loosing jobs by the 10K every quarter...surely they can realize the futility of putting forth a law that's only going to be challenged, tied-up in court and eventually struck down, all the while costing us tons of money we don't have. Right?

Why don't I believe that?

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posted by Zan at 4:12 PM 0 comments

Monday, March 13, 2006

Because I can't handle thinking about the badness one more minute...

And this is threatening to turn into Zan's Abortion Blog! , I'm posting some more of my poetry. I'm pretty fond of it. Hopefully, anyone whose actually reading this will be too. Or at least it'll make you feel something besides absolute rage at all the shit our government is pulling.

It was a false start,
this public display of wanting.
I should have known better, but I had no point
of comparison.
Yearning, I reached for your hand. . .
(I've touched you before. Surely, this is no different?)
My fingers feathers, your hands like water waved away
Leaving me anchorless.
(Can't I touch you when others can see?)
Your eyes deny me, question propriety.
I've tripped a hidden wire.

All Fallen Human Beings
I would be wise, Emily.
Wise enough it wouldn't matter what our Mothers said
Or if the electric bill was late
Or if I forgot to turn the lights off again.
I would be strong.
Strong enough that this cancer wouldn't eat at us,
That they wouldn't dare throw stones,
That I could carry your pain in my heart.
I would be kind for you.
Kind enough to forgive your Father,
To embrace his hatred,
To love him for you.

But I can't forget my Mother's sarcasm or your Mother's tears.
This cancer grows, invading your smile, our hope.
And my hands are powerless to hold it back.
I am fallen and broken,
Fractured by the hatred of your father, my brother,
The unknowns who pass us on the street.

Untitled 26
When I was a child,
You wanted me to plant roses for you.
"My little rose," you called me and pinched my cheeks.
But I preferred Black-Eyes Susans,
Wild and untamed, uncultivatable,
Growing in roadside ditches and under bridges.
Not limited,
Pillowed down in beds by rake and trowel,
Picked for china vases and public displays,
Then thrown away when they've bloomed too long.
There's no glory in being a rose.
(I've never been a gardener, Mother.)

Paradise Lost/Regained
I plunge my hands into controversy,
sinking in to my elbows.
(You sigh and hand me a towel. Do I never surprise you?)
I've lived my life here, turning over rocks,
looking for darkness.
(You've lived your life here, holding a candle for me.)
I'm a revolutionary figure,
in some sense.
(You'd say I was only restless.)
I spend my life denying
my weakness.
(You turn my weakness into your strength somehow.)
I envy you (and despise you) (and love you)
your serenity.
(You say you're rather have my courage and fearlessness.)
I don't believe in any great chain of being.
We are (only?) what we make ourselves.
(You say you think we are all divine similitudes.)
I am undone with wanting,
this separation cleaves me.
(You close the distance and heal me.)

Yeah -- okay, on second thought, maybe those weren't all so happy and chipper. Hrm. Well...at least it's not government-inspired rage, right?


posted by Zan at 5:41 PM 0 comments

Friday, March 10, 2006

Apparently, I spoke too soon

Leave it to my idiotic state to decide to jump on the Uterus Grab bandwagon, in the middle of Hurricane Hell. *sigh*

La. lawmaker's anti-abortion bill less strict that S. Dakota
Associated Press Writer

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Inspired by recent changes on the U.S. Supreme Court, a Republican lawmaker has filed legislation that would make abortion illegal except to save the mother's life or in rape and incest cases.
Rep. Tim Burns said President Bush's two appointments to the Supreme Court convinced him that now is an opportune time to pass legislation toughening Louisiana's abortion laws and give the high court a chance to overturn or challenge parts of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling establishing a right to an abortion.
Burns' measure, which will be debated in a legislative session that begins March 27, is less strict than a South Dakota law recently passed that would only allow abortion to save the mother's life -- no exceptions for rape or incest cases.
Abortion would be allowed under Burns' bill when the mother's life is in danger and in rape and incest cases within 13 weeks of conception. Doctors found guilty of performing abortions in other situations would face up to 10 years in prison and fines of $100,000.
Burns said he wanted to pass anti-abortion legislation less restrictive than South Dakota's new law to give the Supreme Court different options for handling a possible challenge of Roe v. Wade. He said it would be a win for anti-abortion advocates if the high court upheld either type of law.
"I think, in all practical purposes, it would be a win in the pro-life area, a huge pro-life advance," said Burns, R-Mandeville.
In 1991, the Legislature passed a bill similar to Burns' -- overriding then-Gov. Buddy Roemer's veto -- but it was struck down in the courts. A federal district judge ruled it unconstitutional, a finding later upheld by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
A pro-choice lawyer involved in that and other abortion battles in Louisiana said Burns bill would still have trouble getting through the Supreme Court. William Rittenberg, who fought the 1991 law, said the appointment of Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and John Roberts still leaves the high court with a majority of five members who have voted in support of Roe v. Wade.
Rittenberg said he expected the Legislature to pass the bill, but questioned why Burns didn't let the South Dakota bill make its way through the legal system first. He said that would save Louisiana the legal bills when pro-choice groups file lawsuits against the state to challenge Burns' measure.
"Louisiana is broke now, because of Katrina and Rita," Rittenberg said. "But the Legislature doesn't seem to care how much it costs to 'get' Roe v. Wade. Why does one of the poorer states in the country have to foot the bill?"
Louisiana lawmakers already have placed language in the law that explains the state only allows abortion procedures because the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled they are legal. The language says if the Supreme Court ever reverses its stance, -- then the former policy of this State to prohibit abortions shall be enforced.

On the Net:
House Bill 132 can be viewed at http://legis.state.la.us/

I posted the whole article because it's not up anywhere yet. I grabbed it off the wire at work this morning. *sigh* And he's right, the Legislature will probably pass this thing. Blanco will probably veto it, since she's (I believe) pro-choice. Which doesn't mean they won't override her. Unless, of course, someone can talk some sense into these idiots. Time to start making some phone calls and sending emails/letters to my representative.

I'm sure these people think the exceptions for rape and incest make them such wonderful fellows. Right. Gah. I'm so mad right now I can't think. I'm not the slightest bit surprised, but still....

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posted by Zan at 12:37 PM 0 comments

My life is not a theory

I don't live in South Dakota or Mississippi or any of the other state currently trying to pass abortion bans. Thankfully, my state is too busy cleaning up after Katrina to worry about that at the moment, though I don't doubt they'll get around to it. But hundreds, if not thousands, of women like me live in those states. Pregnancy may not exactly endanger our lives but it would certainly imperil our health. So, we do our best to avoid it. We use multiple levels of birth control, we practice strict monogamy with partners we truly trust, we abstain when we feel that's our best option. We are not irresponsible women. We are not thoughtless, child-like beings who cannot understand that one of the possible outcomes of sex is pregnancy. We understand that, we simply wish to avoid it. So, we do all that we can to do so.

And sometimes, that's not enough. Sometimes, we get pregnant anyway. If we're lucky, we have supportive partners who will stand by us and help us deal with that -- regardless of the decision we make. Some of us will choose to brave the odds and continue our pregancies. And some of those pregnancies will result in healthy babies, healthy mothers. Some will result in healthy babies, dead mothers. Or healthy babies, damaged mothers. Or dead baby, dead mother. Or some combination thereof. But so long as it's a choice made by the woman who is pregnant, to risk her life or not, it's a choice that should be honored and respected. It's not a choice that should be forced on any woman.

We are not abstractions. We are not some percentage of all abortions performed. We are not a percentage of all pregnancies. We are real, live women. We have families. We have friends. We have people who love us, whom we love. We have roots and connections in this world. The loss of a single one of us has ripples that no law can foresee or legislate. Yes, anti-choice people will say, but what about the baby? What if you're aborting the next Einstein or the person who grows up to cure the very disease you're sick with? To that I say: What if the woman you're killing/maiming IS the next Einstein or the woman who will cure this disease? Why do they always assume that the people who are already here are incapable of greatness? Why is it always someone not born yet who will save the world? Have they so little faith in those of us in the here and now that they can't imagine we're capable of saving ourselves? Or is it just because we're women and women can't do those sorts of things? Also, if we're going to get into the 'What if' game, what if the fetus that's aborted was the next Hitler? What if it was the next Stalin? That game is a dead end. The fact is, you don't know. You can't know and it's pointless to speculate.

They also show a remarkable lack of faith in the God (most of them) claim to believe in. If god is so powerful and all-knowing, why would he put a soul in a fetus he knew was going to be aborted? Why would he allow the next Einstein to be created, knowing s/he would never be born? That doesn't say much for god.

I'm sick to death of being treated like a Thing. I am not a Thing. I am a Person. I am a Human Being. A Woman, specifically. I am not some number on a page, not some compilation of medical records that a judge gets to look at and decide if I'm sick enough to warrant terminating a pregnancy that's threatening to rob me of bodily function but not quite my life. This is MY life, I get to decide if the risks are worth it. I get to decide if having a child is important enough for me to risk liver failure, or kidney failure, or stroke, or heart attack, or permanent muscle or joint damage. I do. Not the state, not a bunch of men in Washington, not anyone else. Me. If you think you can take that right away from me, and all the other women (not theories!) in this country, you're in for a rude awakening. Women are not theories and it's time people were reminded of that.

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posted by Zan at 6:38 AM 0 comments