The War Against Women

(I know I have one more part on my religion post…but this couldn’t wait)

As an American woman, I want to ask all of the legislators in our country, whether state or federal, a simple question. Why?

Why is there a sudden push against being born with two X chromosones?

Why have the following items been introduced or PASSED to be part of our legal system?

  • ARIZONA: Employers can ask women for proof that their birth control is for medical reasons only
  • ARIZONA: Allow a doctor to withhold medical information from a woman if the doctor thinks the woman might get an abortion and the doctor is opposed to that.
  • ARIZONA: A legislator suggested that women should be forced to watch abortions before having the procedure done
  • GEORGIA: A legislator compares women to cows and pigs and want women to have to carry a dead child until natural childbirth.
  • KANSAS: Taxing women for having an abortion regardless of reason (with an exception of an incomplete miscarriage.) Allowing doctors to not tell the women of any medical issue with the pregnancy that may cause her to seek an abortion. Women must hear the fetal heartbeat and be told of a link of abortion to breast cancer which have been refuted by many studies.
  • The numerous laws on making sure a woman knows what the fetus looks like:
    • Five states require that ultrasounds are offered to the woman by the provider: Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah.
    • Nine states require that if an ultrasound is conducted to prepare for the abortion, the provider must offer to show the woman the image: Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, Utah and West Virginia.
    • Six states require an ultrasound for each abortion and the provider must offer to show the woman the image: Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.
    • One state, Texas, requires an ultrasound for each abortion and that the provider display and describe the image.
  • TEXAS:By failing to follow federal regulations on abortion rules, has had $3.5MILLION to run BASIC HEALTH CARE FOR WOMEN pulled.
  • NEW HAMPSHIRE:Under the guise of “religious freedom” tries to remove the coverage of abortions from taxpayer funding and remove required contraceptive coverage.
  • IDAHO: While discussing a bill requiring ultrasounds for abortions, a legislator suggests that a doctor could ask a married woman if she is sure that the pregnancy is from rape or normal marital relations.
  • MISSISSIPPI and ALABAMA:A woman who had a stillborn child at 36 weeks was charged with murder because she was on cocaine.Others who have had miscarriages, including a Down’s fetus, have been charged with murder despite no evidence of any action causing the miscarriage.

I could find more cases if I wanted to. But I am sickened with this.

I am a woman. I am an American citizen. My rights to have privacy are being invaded. My rights to have an honest conversation about my health with my doctor is being compromised. I don’t plan on having any more children. However, that is my choice. Your choices end when they enter my uterus. My First Amendment rights are not to be trampled by yours.

I’m not pro-abortion. I am for the humans who are suffering because some in our country are trying to make their religion the moral compass for our country. How can we let this happen?
How can we allow women to be treated like second class citizens? We need to stand up NOW.

ETA: I was recently informed about this wonderful idea from the Pennsylvania governor.”Just close your eyes”

The One About Religion–Part Four

Thanksgiving 1994. Dr. Jay’s Aunt Renee died in a car accident. It was a horrible driving day. I had driven Jay from Long Island to Cleveland because he had a serious hockey accident only a few weeks early where his orbit was broken by a freak play. He wasn’t allowed to drive, but he was going to leave Cleveland to go to a meeting in Mexico, so I just wanted to get him to his family.

I left to get to Buffalo and deal with hideous snow. I almost got into an accident myself. When I got to Buffalo, I gave Jay a call to let him know that I was safe. He let me know that his aunt, his father’s only sister, had been in a fatal accident. She was taking the dog to the kennel so they could visit Cleveland. A semi-tracker trailer crossed the double yellow on the curve of a 2 lane road. She was in critical condition and mercy flight took her to the hospital. She died while in the OR.

It was devastating. Her 5 children were lost. Renee was the light of everyone’s light and with a turn of the wheel, it was out. Dr. Jay missed the funeral to go to his meeting. When he got back, he and I took a trip to Maryland to visit his Uncle and cousins. We talked and read the mourners Kaddish with the family. At one point, I found myself talking with Uncle D. He was at a total loss. He showed me the certificate they had received from the school board. With all of the legalese that is required, they had resolved that Renee was a good person and they resolved that she was dead and they resolved that she should be honored for being a good person who helped the schools. The resolutions made us laugh, but that quickly turned to another story of how a little girl told Uncle D that Renee couldn’t be in heaven. She was a Jew and Jews can’t go to heaven. The girl’s mother tried hard to backtrack it, but that stupid part of “my religion is better than your religion” snuck in. Eventually, Uncle D explained to the girl that Jews have a different part of heaven and that Aunt Renee was waving from her side of the fence. The girl was happy, but the mother wasn’t.

The came the conversation I can still hear in my head. Uncle D and I were just talking, crying, talking. He said “I can’t believe in a god anymore. A god would never let this happen. Just like a god would never let little children die.” I’ve heard this before and I turned the discussion to faith. “If no children died, wouldn’t that be proof of a god?”
“I guess”
“And doesn’t religion require faith, not proof?”
“So to avoid proof, any god that does exist needs to allow bad things to happen to good people”
Uncle D thought about that. I thought about that. I wasn’t sure where I had gotten it from, but it suddenly clicked that I didn’t need proof of a god, nor did I need faith. I just needed to be.

It was this conversation and others that Uncle D and I had that night that started to pluck away some of the last threads that connected me with religion. I didn’t want the idea that my life was controlled by some unseen force. I didn’t want my free will to be a good person because I felt it was the right thing to do to be forced because I felt guilty that I was disappointing some omnipotent being who would allow good people to die. And worst of all, I didn’t want to accept that a “loving god” would allow a wonderful,kind soul like Renee be snuffed out as part of a bigger plan.

From this point, late 1994 to early 1995, I started to draw my morality from who I wanted to be, not from an ancient book.

1999 was a rough year. My grandmother’s alzheimers became worse and she passed away on February 1. My niece was born a month later, but that year saw 11 deaths between Jay’s family and mine. I was looking forward to 2000.

I had planned a trip to El Paso for the second week of January. Jay was going to the American Astronomical Society meeting, so I would go visit my friend and her family. Her husband, Corey, worked on Patriot missiles at Ft Bliss. She had a 7 month old baby girl and her 2.5 year old boy. I hadn’t seen her in a year, so I was excited for the trip. Three days before the trip, I got a call at dinnertime. It was my friend’s (let’s call her Becca) mother. I was surprised to hear her and said “Hey! I’m going to see Becca and Corey next week.” She told me she knew and then asked me to sit for a moment.

Corey was dead. He went out to work on the base. They were taking a caravan out to the firing range for testing. A train was coming down the track at 60 mph. The caravan turned a corner and crossed the tracks. The first truck crossed without seeing the train. Corey’s truck was destroyed. Later, we found out that Becca’s mom, who is a pathologist, asked permission to see the remains. She advised Becca not to view them. Corey’s wedding ring was never found at the crash site. Way to start, 2000.

I went out to the mall to walk around with Jay and expressed my anger at everything. How could Corey be dead? He wasn’t even 30 yet? How could everybody be walking around so normal? Life should stop? I told Jay that I was no longer on speaking terms with any god. I think Corey’s death was the final clipping of the delicate threads that held my belief in any sort of divine being attached to me. After this, god was gone. No malevolent guy who flooded the earth, no relaxed old man on the beach. Nothing. Nada. No. I let it go. I didn’t need nor want the so-called love of any being that had all powers, yet allowed such good people to suffer. Again and again I heard about god’s plan. Really? His plan is to let a little girl grow up and NEVER KNOW WHO HER DAD WAS? Great plan, there!

I supported Becca as much as possible. I was there to listen to her when she needed to vent. I drove to Buffalo for the funeral. I can no longer listen to TAPS without crying over Corey. I even sat quietly in her church, the Catholic Church of my little town, while the priest talked of the goodness and mystery of god. I was good. I didn’t scream out how that was a pack of lies. I didn’t yell how unfair it was to the kids, to Becca, to Corey. I wanted to, but I didn’t.

God was dead. As dead as Corey. I stopped accepting the belief of a higher being and made a pledge to treat other humans with respect. To treat others the way I expect to be treated. I pledged to be the person in charge of my life. Accidents will happen and I will not blame and imaginary person. Successes will happen and I will no longer thank someone for the strength to get there because the strength was within. Not everything is my fault, but not everything isn’t. If I screw up, stand up and admit it. If I do well, be willing to accept it as the fruits of my work. If luck plays into it, so be it.

That is how I became an atheist.
However, 2 years after Corey’s death, I became a mother, and this opened one last can of worms. (part 5 soon)