I’m Coming OUT!

Today was Spirit Day in memory of several gay students who committed suicide from homophobic abuse they experienced.

What’s great is that there has been a rally of support for gays and lesbians all over the place by people today wearing purple to show their love and respect for them. Things will get better. One day, we will live in a world where it won’t matter what your sexuality is. There won’t be someone telling you you’re a sinner or a “fag” or a queer. There’s hope for humanity.

In the same spirit, I’m coming OUT today.

I’m not coming out in the, “I’m a lesbian” kind of way. I’m not a lesbian. I’m straight. I’m a straight woman who has a lot of gay and lesbian friends, and supports their right to fall in love, get married, hold hands, kiss, have sex, etc. without enduring intolerance or judgment.

I also have a lot of gay and lesbian friends who love God, who love Jesus and don’t have a place in the Church. But more on that later…

Back to me coming OUT:

I’m pretty sure a lot of people already know this, but I’m not a Christian Fundamentalist anymore. I once was. I sort of fell into it as a teenager and young adult. I walked away from it around the age 24.

Now it’s time to come out and be proud.

I’m standing with Anne Rice and those others who just can’t side with a religion (in this blog, Christianity, but any religion or group) that calls itself loving, but is hateful and judgmental. I can’t stand with a belief system that denies science, evolution, and the promotion of contraceptives, when I so believe in all those things–not because they are trends but because I have worked hard to find answers of my own. I can’t be feminist, intellectually evolving, and growing and listen to those who will call me wrong for thinking the way I do, simply because I’m using my own God-given brain. My brain isn’t smaller because it’s in a female body. I can be a woman and teach, preach, run a church, business, corporation, country as well as a man. It’s not a sin “equal to pedophilia” to ordain a woman as priest (to quote the Pope). I’m not anti-Christian, baby-hating, or a child-killer because I believe in abortion as a woman’s right to choose. I’m not even anti-Christian because I believe in all of the above.

I’m simply responding finding that after years of being a “Christian,” there isn’t a place for me after I changed.

The woman I am today isn’t welcome in the church I once attended because the church I once attended didn’t allow me to think for myself.

Abortion: Why is Pro-Choice So Hard to Support?

Abortion is such a hot topic that people have killed in the name of God to stop the procedure. There was recently a bill in South Dakota that was struck down that attempted to change language in a law that would allow for the killing of abortion doctors.

Thankfully, that was struck down.

Now the House of Representatives has voted to bar Planned Parenthood from federal funding. Planned Parenthood is a reproductive health clinic. It’s not an abortion clinic, but it does give access to women who need referrals for an abortion procedure. They leave the moral choice of whether a woman wants to have a child or not up to the woman.

I have personal experience with Planned Parenthood. I’ve gone for a reproductive health exam. During that time, in no way, was I talked to about abortion or told I was to have an abortion if I ever had an unplanned pregnancy.

It’s really bizarre to me that people think if you walk into a Planned Parenthood clinic, you’ll be strapped down and given an abortion. My experience with PP has been the total opposite. The nurses and doctors have asked me if I’d like to have a family one day. I told them yes, so they explained to me what I could do to keep my body healthy in order to have a healthy baby one day. They suggested I don’t smoke (or stop smoking if I do–which I don’t), don’t drink while I’m pregnant (which should be common sense), and maintain a healthy diet and exercise. They’re very pro-family, but they are also pro-choice leaving the choice of motherhood up to the woman.

They don’t proselytize their patients on abortion issues or moral issues. They are medical professionals without an agenda. I should clarify–their agenda is to keep their patients reproductive organs at optimal health so that a man or woman can live healthy, disease free, and be able to have children when they choose to. They provide HIV tests, cancer screenings, birth control and more. If anything, I’ve found most people who are in the waiting room at Planned Parenthood already have families (with them).

What about s0-called “Crisis Pregnancy Centers?” From a blog I read, it seems that Crisis Pregnancy Centers (most of which are Christian ran) are not medical clinics at all, and do not openly disclose that they’re against abortion. They present themselves with the guise that they’re a pregnancy center, but they don’t offer the kinds of medical check ups and tests that pregnant women need, like they do at Planned Parenthood. What’s worse than being in a real crisis with a pregnancy? Being lied to, or omitted important (and time-sensitive) information when you need to make a decision whether you will keep a baby, put it up for adoption, or just need medical advice.

Crisis pregnancy centers should be illegal.

If a woman chooses to have an abortion, that choice is usually made after careful thought and counsel is sought out. It’s not some flippant thing. I’ve known women who’ve had abortions and they’re not baby killers. They’re women who were caught in a place that you and I probably have not been, walking down a path that we probably haven’t walked down. However, some women, like Representative Jackie Speier, have had to have an abortion due to pregnancy complications. She told her story yesterday. The pregnancy was wanted, but Rep. Speier had to make a complicated decision. She shared her opinions with the House: “But for you to stand on this floor and to suggest, as you have, that somehow this is a procedure that is either welcomed or done cavalierly or done without any thought is preposterous.”

I can’t understand why America wants to “play God” in this debate. Whether you morally agree or disagree with an abortion, don’t you agree that a woman who has a complications should have the right to terminate the pregnancy? Shouldn’t it be a personal matter? In addition, shouldn’t our government provide funding for a medically necessary procedure that may save a woman’s life?

Furthermore, it seems that facts surrounding this issue are always grossly skewed by Christian groups. Focus on the Family is not an accurate source of information for abortion facts. Studies have shown that not all women have terrible emotional problems after undertaking an abortion, which is something that Christian groups heartily attempt to disprove.

I say if we can’t settle on a common ground related to abortion, let’s at least settle here: women and men should have access to reproductive health care; contraceptives and birth control should be accessible to all people; and abortions should remain legal in America, so that women have freedom to choose.

Taking away funding from Planned Parenthood will take all that away. Take a stand and support Planned Parenthood. I stand with Planned Parenthood. Please share this article or the link to support Planned Parenthood.

The Birth Control Debate

*This post is about to get ADULT-CONTENT oriented. If you’re too young to read about sex, go play outside with your toys and stop reading here.*

In many Christian circles (mostly very conservative ones), there’s an on-going debate not just about abortion, but about birth control.

Is birth control wrong to use?

I think what I found so frustrated after leaving the ministry and leaving church was that I was only prepared for adult life inside the “bubble” of the church. I only knew how to act and think inside the bubble, and with those friends and acquaintances who were also as devoted to their faith as I was.

Otherwise, I had no idea how to make decisions or live life.

For example, I had to one day decide if I wanted to have sex (so taboo!). Which also meant, I had to think about what a contraceptive was (something that wasn’t talked about in church).

I found it frustrating that churches either close the dialogue to the birth control topic or they talk about sex, condoms and the pill like they’re creatures from the black lagoon that we shouldn’t touch, think about, or use or we will die.

I’d appreciate it if churches were either silent on the issue, letting a person decide for themselves what they wanted to do in their own personal time in the bedroom, or if they taught responsibly and practically.

Abstinence only education is irresponsible and I don’t consider it education. It’s a form of proselytizing and it’s also a way of saying, “You’re too stupid to think, so I want to tell you what to do with your own body.”

Think of it this way, consider that just about everyone who is taught about or who follows “abstinence only” teachings is eventually going to have sex–ONE DAY, some day. I know that the idealist abstinence-only teachers and clergy who push the idea forward think that those who abstain are all going to be virgins who marry other virgins, but let’s face it, that’s not the case.

So, I think it’s irresponsible NOT to teach young adults about sex, contraceptives, and sexually transmitted diseases. One day, little Miss Virgin (or Secondary Virgin) is going to meet Mister Virgin (or Secondary Virgin) and they’re going to have to figure out a) how to plug one thing into another b) how not to get pregnant before they’re ready and c) how to prevent and recognize an STD.

Who’s “right” is it to teach their children? I don’t know and I don’t care. If a parent wants to teach their children, they should have every right. If a school wants to talk about it from a public health standpoint, I could care less and I think it’s fair to say that they should in order to prevent diseases and unwanted pregnancies.

Another issue that’s real taboo to talk about is abortion. Did you know that there are several ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies? No, I’m serious. Some people really don’t know, or are misinformed about how to prevent a pregnancy.

So, I’m about to get real Kindergarten here, and very “health class” on you, because I think it’s pretty responsible to talk about.

For one, you can use a condom. This protects you from some, not all, STDs and pregnancy if you use it correctly.

For two, a woman can use a variety of birth control pills, rings, implants that work to prevent pregnancy when used correctly. If you use it incorrectly, or use it while on some other medications (like anti-biotics) you can get pregnant. These don’t prevent STD’s.

For three, there’s Emergency Contraception (EC) or one popular brand of this EC is called Plan B, also known as the morning after pill. It’s in the event that a condom breaks, or your birth control method failed, or you had unprotected sex. You can’t take this regularly…it’s just a once in a great while kind of thing.

I mention this #3 specifically, because some people believe that the morning after pill, Plan B, is an abortion pill.

Do you?

Did you know that the morning after pill is not an abortion pill?

According to their website, “Plan B One-Step™ is one pill that has a higher dose of levonorgestrel, a hormone found in many birth control pills that healthcare professionals have been prescribing for more than 35 years. Plan B One-Step™ works in a similar way to prevent pregnancy. Plan B One-Step™ will not affect an existing pregnancy.”

Another Q & A from their site:

Is Plan B the RU-486 (the abortion pill?)

No. Plan B® One-Step is not RU-486 (the abortion pill). It is an emergency contraceptive (EC) that helps prevent an unplanned pregnancy after contraceptive failure, or unprotected intercourse. Plan B® One-Step will not affect an existing pregnancy.

So, let’s talk about what an abortion is. An abortion is terminating an existing pregnancy.I know some quacks talk about the “sanctity of life” like it’s an egg or a sperm, but we’ve all already realized that if you didn’t use all of your eggs, or all of your sperm, or “killed them” by allowing them to go unfertilized and shed from your body, then we would ALL be killers.

Killer! haha

Totally kidding.

So, back to the lecture at hand:

Emergency contraception is similar to a birth control pill, and works primarily by:

  • Preventing ovulation
  • Possibly preventing fertilization by altering tubal transport of sperm and/or egg
  • Altering the endometrium, which may inhibit implantation

EC is not effective once the process of implantation has begun. It will not affect an existing pregnancy or harm a developing fetus.

So, the basic way it works is that it may prevent ovulation, or inhibit implantation. That is not an abortion. That’s more similar to using a condom or a birth control pill. I’m no doctor, but it sounds like it’s not letting Mr. Sperm and Mrs. Egg get together and make a baby.