Thursday, June 17, 2010

WWJD? Not that. Teacher Fired for Having Premarital Sex

Cross post from Abortion Gang.

This story is making me rage.

Let's get this out there: as a Christian, I do not believe what this school did was in any way Christian.

For those who don't want to click links: A teacher at the Southland Christian School in St. Cloud, Florida has been fired from her job for getting pregnant three weeks before her marriage.

This women already had five children and her first husband had died. It's not like she'd never had sex before. But that's besides the point.

First off, the school had no right to pry into this teacher's private life like that. Most family members aren't even told dates of conception. But not only did the principal pry into the teacher's life, he then went ahead and told all the other school employees AND the parent's of the teacher's students. Totally, totally inappropriate.

Secondly, I'm pretty sure that firing a woman for having sex with the man she would be marrying in 3 weeks is NOT what Jesus would have done. There's nothing Christian in taking away a person's job, spreading personal information they wish to keep private, and publicly ruining their life over a pregnancy. The correct thing to do would have been to congratulate the teacher on her pregnancy, give her the maternity leave that she asked for, and set up a room for her to pump in when she returned.

As a prochoice activist, there's a third part to this that bothers me. What message is this religious school sending out? That if a person becomes pregnant, they could be fired? What if another employee were to become pregnant out of wedlock? Maybe she would decide to have an unwanted abortion instead of risk losing her job. Now we've got conservative Christian groups, which I'll assume would fall into the category of antichoice, possibly causing women to have unwanted abortions. How in the world can they put themselves in that position? Making a woman choose between her pregnancy and her job is wrong.

This whole situation just baffled and angers me. A Christian school following Old Testament stoning ideas instead of the teaching of Jesus (love, mercy, forgiveness?). A conservative school punishing a woman for deciding to have a baby. A principal sharing private, personal information with people completely unrelated to the situation!

We need to speak up against this. We need to show our support for this woman and her choice, and anyone else in her situation. The school had no right to punish her for becoming pregnant.

(And just encase you weren't mad yet, check out some of the comments on Fox News in support of firing the teacher for her "sexual sin." )

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Antichoice Contradictions

Money. Antichoicers seem to be obsessed with money. Some claim that Planned Parenthood and abortion providers only work for money (makes no sense w/ PP being a non-profit and providers offering free or discounted abortions for tough cases, but I digress). Some antis offer prochoicers money to turn in abortion providers, in the hopes that we are obsessed with money like they are (we're not).

But the one thing that drives me crazy is the contradiction between abortion and antichoicers paying taxes.

To explain further: antichoice and republican (or now, teaparty) usually go hand in hand. I'm sure there are some liberal antis out there, but they are certainly a minority.

Republicans, as a group, don't want to pay taxes. They don't want to pay for medicare, medicaid, health care for others, anything. If it involves their money and their neighbor or the kid down the street, republicans want nothing to do with it.

And yet, they want to ban abortion, which would create more welfare dependents and raise the taxes.

I do not understand this. How can you on one hand demand that there should be more people in this country, many of which would be on welfare or in foster care or need government help in some other way... and then also refuse to help pay for those expenses? Refuse to keep alive the children they've forced into this world?

Many people would jump to the logical conclusion: antichoicers don't care about born children or any born people for that matter, only fetuses. I'm loath to make such a general and almost unfair statement; but when all the facts point in one direction, it's hard to deny something is true.

If abortions are covered under health insurance and costs are kept low (by removing forced-ultrasound laws), Americans would pay lower taxes than if abortions were made illegal.

I can hear the anti reply already: "You want to kill babies to save money!!"

No. I do not want to kill babies to save money. I do not want to kill fetuses or infants to save money. I personally do not mind having a higher tax if the money goes to a starving child on welfare.

What I want to know is, do antichoicers realize the contradiction in these two ideas? How do they (you) reconcile between wanting lower taxes and wanting to increase the number of welfare recipients in America?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The things I can't say...

Cross posted from Abortion Gang.

As a vocal prochoicer, I am not able to always speak my mind.

Every single time I tweet, blog, email or post a comment somewhere, I have to carefully look over each and every word, to ensure that I haven't said something I "shouldn't."

What are these things I "shouldn't" say? Well, basically it's anything an antichoicer could jump onto, take out of context, or otherwise use against me. Against us. Against Planned Parenthood. Against women.

I hate that I have to guard my speech. I hate that I have to turn conversations onto random tangents over word use. But if I don't do these things, antichoicers will run away with my words and ignore anything I say after that.

Well you know what? I'm tired of letting antis decide what I do or do not say.

So what if a woman calls a fetus a baby? So what if I follow her lead and say the word baby too? I shouldn't refrain from using words that the woman is most comfortable with. If after her abortion she feels that her baby died and became an angel, then why can't I agree with her on that?

I'm not the only one who feels their language is limited sometimes. And for other people, it's limited not only by antichoicers but fellow prochoicers. For example:

I got this email in the Spectrum Doula Collective inbox earlier this week:

I know you think you’re doing good, but you are not. You are doing a grave disservice to the pro-choice movement by believing the lies from the anti-choicers. Please email me back, we can talk more about this, but please consider what you are doing before you proceed any further.

Wow. What, exactly, are we doing wrong? What sort of disservice do we do by believing pregnant people need compassionate care while undergoing surgical procedures? Or, at the very least, that they might want a bit more emotional and informational support while they undergo a highly mystified and generally misunderstood surgery?

How are we “believing the lies from the anti-choicers” by recognizing all reproductive experiences (and the emotions surrounding them) and believing that they are valid?

Via: Exhale is Pro-Voice

We cannot all hide behind the statistics ("most women aren't depressed after an abortion"). The facts are the facts, and they will remain the same. But abortion is about more than the facts; it's about the people involved and the emotions those people feel.

Prochoice advocates aren't the only ones silenced by antichoicers. Women who have abortions, who believe their abortion was the right thing for them but who also feel sadness afterward are stuck in between a rock and a hard place; especially when her prochoice friends feel they can't recognize that sadness because antis will it up and run off with it. Both the woman and the advocate/friend suffer. Sometimes, the woman just refuses to share her feelings with anyone because she's afraid of her friend's response or, again, that antis will take her words and run away with them (See: Why I Blame the Antis).

I will not let antichoicers control my speech, and I will not allow them to have a monopoly on emotions.

Women do not fit into our stereotypes. Not all women feel regret after an abortion, as antichoicers say. Not all women treat abortion as a lightheaded, easy matter as some prochoicers say. Some women do both these things, while some do neither.

As a prochoicer, I will work to acknowledge all these feelings and emotions before, during and after an abortion. Will you?