Week of September 16 – September 23, 2004

How To Run the Other Way

PLEASE SEND copies of this article to every 527 you can find !!!

We Democrats are tearing out our hair over the lack of effectiveness of the message coming from the Kerry campaign!

Many thanks.

Linda T. Caciola

Los Angeles, Calif.

As a contributor to Moveon and a subscriber and donator to MJ, I’d hope this article might find its way to Moveon. I’ll do my part, and — for emphasis — hope that others and someone at MJ would do the same.

I’ve have not felt their ads to date have hit the mark — which I am too artless to craft, but smart enough to recognize.

Supportively,

Edward Fry

Petaluma, Calif.

The Way It Was

I believe it is immoral to force a woman to give birth. I also believe it is immoral to give birth to a child you neither want nor have the means to properly care for. So many decry the availability of abortion and only support it for the “gravest of reasons,” while others don’t feel that a woman has the right to an abortion (bodily autonomy) for whatever reason. The simple fact that she does not wish to give birth is reason enough!

I got pregnant in 1985 at the age of 15. We were using condoms but not properly. My boyfriend never once ejaculated inside me. I learned that men “dribble before they shoot” the hard way. I knew I was pregnant when I was just a day late; I could feel it. The choice, to me, was clear: neither I nor my boyfriend were prepared to be parents. And I do not care if others consider me selfish, but I would never give up my child for adoption. I asked my boyfriend to help me pay for an abortion. He agreed, and then he stopped returning my calls. I never harbored any ill will toward him. He was also 15 – just a scared kid, like I was.

I then told my mother and asked for her help. She is passionately pro-choice and made it clear she would support me whatever my decision. She arranged the abortion through a private physician, sparing me the ordeal of dealing with abortion protesters. I had to wait nearly six weeks before my pregnancy was advanced enough to safely perform the abortion. It was a nightmare. At least the only symptom I had was breast tenderness, but I just wanted that thing out of me!

I don’t remember the abortion procedure itself being particularly painful. The insertion of the laminaria two days before was certainly worse, but still no worse than menstrual cramps I’ve experienced. After the procedure, I wept, and the nurse held my hand, comforting me with her compassion. Did I kill? Yes, the embryo, the fetus is alive and anyone who denies that is denying reality. Did I commit murder? No, the fetus has no personality, only limbic brain functions; it is not a sentient being, a person. The fetus is merely a potential baby, a potential person. An acorn is not an oak tree.

I have since been vigilant about using birth control and have not had a repeat experience in 19 years. It is best to avoid any surgery. Regardless of how safe a procedure is, there is still a risk, however infinitesimal, of severe complications and even death. But legal abortion is certainly safer than giving birth, and it is certainly preferable to poverty and single parenthood. I was raised by my mother alone, along with 3 other siblings. I saw her struggle with 3 jobs and not have much time to spend with us and raise us properly and I swore that I would never allow myself to be in that position. I will have a child when I can spend time bonding with and raising that child and when I can afford to live in a neighborhood that is free of drugs and crime and has good schools for my child to attend. I do not want strangers raising my child and I do not want either me or my child living amidst poverty, violence, and hopelessness. If that is selfish, then I am unrepentantly so.

Sincerely,

Ruth Rivera

Santa Rosa, Calif.

Dealing with the Merchant of Death

I found this article to be very interesting. Based on your other coverage in Mother Jones of Dick Cheney’s activities and the Office of Special Projects in the Pentagon that Feith and several Cheney cronies operate, it looks to me like this is all tied together. Other articles have stated that Cheney even dealt with Saddam Hussein and other terrorists in the 1990’s. No wonder the other countries, the ones we want to be our allies, hate the United States when we deal with shady characters and do underhanded things. Other people/countries know the truth and we in American only hear what the Bush Administration wants us to hear. This Administration has opened my eyes to the real truth about our country. We are just as underhanded and opportunistic as the countries we list as ‘the evil empire.’ What can we truly call ourselves?

Judy Pigg Behrendt

Kalamazoo, Mich.