Updating the blog here to pull old entries from the pros/e/yes archives…in their original order. This project is simply a unification of my personal blog (with a LOT of NSFW entries) and my professional blog.
Good evening! I know I’m late posting today, but that could be because I put out a request for topics and either everyone went weak-kneed or nobody could think of a topic (or more likely, something in between those). The topic that has been on my mind for today -while educational- was just way too serious to sit down and write about…so I opted to just forgo a PruthPetals’ Schmexaytime Special for today. Before the afternoon was finished, though, I would come to regret that decision…since a far more serious topic jumped into my awareness.
Yeah yeah…if I took the active time to routinely follow the forever-going, emotionally and mentally draining topic of abortion, I would never-ever-ever-ever-ever write about anything else. There is -quite literally- always something transpiring in this particularly touchy realm. Just…always. I have friends and allies who remain steadfast on the battlefront…and I was correctly called out on the real reason I avoid this particular topic, which has to do with a personality trait an academic tendency I have to avoid acutely emotional topics in favor of topics that I can analyze from a safe emotional an objective distance. And…it’s true. Really. The subject of STIs across the teen population, and the continuing debates surrounding sex education in public schools is the area I choose to more directly focus on. I remain determined to keep (the majority of) my independent focus on developing a resource for parents, healthcare professionals, and educators.
All that being said…about the time my daughter came home, I happened across a link of a clip from Maddow’s show last night (posted by a friend of mine in one of my group pages, so “happening across” was more or less “put in my line of vision”)…and hedged on clicking right away. I saw the headline and immediately shared to my wall (sight unseen) with the comment: “If you happen to be pro-choice…then take a DEEP BREATH before listening.”
I don’t know if I was really telling people who happen to read what I post…or if I was warning myself…or what. I just had an instantly guarded feeling about the headline (like flinching from a fake), and decided to wait a few minutes before actually clicking through. Now…I happen to respect the hell outta Rachel Maddow. I don’t always agree with her…but generally my views are aligned with hers, and I appreciate how she presents topics. Even presented in an even…almost completely neutral tone…this story sent a few chills down my spine. The conversation on my wall under the Maddow link gives some idea that I’m really not emotionless, not entirely without deeply subjective views…even while I tried to not look at the situation through a hyperbolic lens. I’m not keen on alarmism, and I shy away when I see people in total freak-out mode (or I become completely emotionless and hyper-analytical…which is probably worse in some ways than backing the hell away and completely disengaging).
Taking a deep breath after my initial reaction to the story…I decided what I was going to do. I didn’t really know enough about the story, of course…and I knew right away that I needed to research and read about it for myself. (Remember, I avoid the abortion discussion as much as I can, generally…and usually only engage when specifically sought out for comment…it is important to remember that here. The idea of digging into a story this potentially explosive is not something I’ve been asked to do…and I wasn’t precisely thrilled.) And…turns out…my initial gut-clench at the first headline I saw was nothing compared to the even more visceral reaction I had upon actually digging deeper into the story.
Peter Batallion, the district court judge who ruled — denied — Anonymous 5’s waiver for parental consent used to serve on Omaha’s Metro Right-to-Life committee –self-explanatory…AND was once an attorney for Operation Rescue –an “extremist” anti-abortion group (and yes, I would personally agree with extremist in this instance). As if the girl’s home situation weren’t bad enough, and legislative stupidity put her in an unnecessary tangle in the first place…the higher court added insult to injury, because even though there was vehement dissent within the state supreme court, they refused to address the matter of bias by the district court judge AND refused to even consider whether Anonymous 5 even had the right to decide -independently of the state- to have an abortion…which is legal in Nebraska. (A bit of relief in this particular quagmire, RH Reality Check is ALL OVER this, including the heartbreaking points that Anonymous 5 has two younger siblings, ages 7 and 9 years, who she has effectively raised — which undercut’s Batallion’s assertion of lack of maturity, period. A more or less sterilized version of the same history can be found over at National Partnership for Women and Families.)
Nebraska is a funny little ol’ state on the topic of abortion…it is one of the most restrictive, with respect to parental consent laws (as of 2011), and it has its own hinky bit of history connected with Roe…and funny this. Roe naturally came to mind, seeing as my own personal reaction to this case involved a comment that this situation appears to have all the hallmarks of being potentially more explosive than Roe. And that thought was underscored by a curious little sentence I read in one of the above-linked articles…
“Suzanne Gage, a lobbyist for Americans United for Life, the group that pushed for the parental consent law, said the group’s attorneys are studying the ruling.”
Hmmmmm. Yes…I’m sure they are studying it in microscopic detail. AUL has Nebraska ranked at #6…on a list of safest states for fetuses. AUL has been a significant force in getting states to implement more restrictive parental consent laws in the first place, and their goal (as almost all pro-choice champions KNOW) is to upend Roe. So you can bet your ass they’re studying the ruling…because they want this type of ruling to be repeated in other states…that is their goal. And that is part of why I see this particular case being explosive. Not just because of the details of the case itself…but because it is not a hypothetical anymore. And worse, this non-hypothetical is a minor. Political ideologies at play that are deliberately working against one of the most significant SCOTUS decisions for women that we all rely on, that has been torn away bit by bit, to actively remove her choice because she happens to be a minor…and set a precedent for a forced birth, by the government indirectly, and by anti-choice zealots hiding behind judicial robes. Yeah, this case has the distinct potential to be highly explosive, and not just in Nebraska. And, because I had to subject myself to this …so that you, gentle reader, wouldn’t have to… I know, too, that LifeSiteNews and its followers are celebrating. That happens from time to time…but this has a different bent to it… (despite the assumptions that because the attorney won’t comment on Anonymous 5’s current pregnancy status that must mean she obtained an abortion from evil Planned Parenthood [oh gawd, I hope so!])
So yeah, this looks like a rather intense situation, and one that I don’t wanna don’t wanna don’t wanna will continue to follow for developments as I remember to force myself have adequate time to review in-between other topics I follow more closely on a regular basis. I haven’t seen any indication of NARAL or ACLU involvement in this case — to let a fb friend know that I did look for that, but didn’t see anything. I have my doubts that either organization will get involved at this point…not from a lack of desire or willingness…but because Anonymous 5 is presently legally represented, and a question of conflict might be at issue. I’m speculating, of course (and I’m not an attorney), but I wouldn’t count on involvement other than vocal support via media outlets.
I have tons of different -darker than my usual- concerns about this case, but for the time being, I’m going to set this blog down and leave this entry as it is for the time being. I have more digging to do tomorrow…for tonight, I wanted to more closely familiarize myself with the situation up in Nebraska so that I would be better prepared for when I do start digging more deeply. In any case…all the links here (and a few others that gave a lot of duplicate information) are included for your click-adventure pleasure.
Wishing you a bouncy remainder of your Hump Day…and hopefully you’ll rest easy with pleasant thoughts.