“You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You can only be the revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere.”
—Ursula K. LeGuin
—Ursula K. LeGuin
All of the new Oklahoma laws aimed at limiting abortion and contraception are great for the Republican family that lives in a gingerbread house with a two-car garage, two planned kids and a dog. In the real world, they are less than perfect.
As a practicing physician (who never has or will perform an abortion), I deal with the real world. In the real world, 15- and 16-year-olds get pregnant (sadly, 12-, 13- and 14-year-olds do also). In the real world, 62 percent of women ages 20 to 24 who give birth are unmarried. And in the world I work and live in, an unplanned pregnancy can throw up a real roadblock on a woman’s path to escaping the shackles of poverty.
Yet I cannot convince my Republican colleagues that one of the best ways to eliminate abortions is to ensure access to contraception. A recent attempt by my fellow lawmakers to prevent Medicaid dollars from covering the “morning after” pill is a case in point. Denying access to this important contraceptive is a sure way to increase legal and back-alley abortions. Moreover, such a law would discriminate against low-income women who depend on Medicaid for their health care.
But wait, some lawmakers want to go even further and limit everyone’s access to birth control by allowing pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for contraception.
What happened to the Republican Party that I joined? The party where conservative presidential candidate Barry Goldwater felt women should have the right to control their own destiny? The party where President Ronald Reagan said a poor person showing up in the emergency room deserved needed treatment regardless of ability to pay? What happened to the Republican Party that felt government should not overregulate people until (as we say in Oklahoma) “you have walked a mile in their moccasins”?
Is my thinking too clouded by my experiences in the real world? Experiences like having a preacher, in the privacy of an exam room say, “Doc, you have heard me preach against abortion but now my 15-year-old daughter is pregnant, where can I send her?” Or maybe it was that 17-year-old foreign exchange student who said, “I really made a mistake last night. Can you prescribe a morning-after pill for me? If I return to my home country pregnant, life as I know it will be over.”
What happened to the Republican Party that felt that the government has no business being in an exam room, standing between me and my patient? Where did the party go that felt some decisions in a woman’s life should be made not by legislators and government, but rather by the women, her conscience, her doctor and her God?
Cox, R-Grove, has delivered more than 800 babies.
— Stevie Nicks
I know I’ve already had more than I deserve.
These lungs that rise and fall without effort,
the husband who sets free house lizards,
this red-doored ranch, my mother on the phone,
the fact that I can eat anything—gouda, popcorn,
massaman curry—without worry. Sometimes
I feel like I’ve been overlooked. Checks
and balances, and I wait for the tally to be evened.
But I am a greedy son of a bitch, and there
I know we are kin. Tornado, this is my child.
Tornado, I won’t say I built him, but I am
his shelter. For months I buoyed him
in the ocean, on the highway; on crowded streets
I learned to walk with my elbows out.
And now he is here, and he is new, and he
is a small moon, an open face, a heart.
Tornado, I want more. Nothing is enough.
Nothing ever is. I will heed the warning
protocol, I will cover him with my body, I will
wait with mattress and flashlight,
but know this: If you come down here—
if you splinter your way through our pines,
if you suck the roof off this red-doored ranch,
if you reach out a smoky arm for my child—
I will turn hacksaw. I will turn grenade.
I will invent for you a throat and choke you.
I will find your stupid wicked whirling
head and cut it off. Do not test me.
If you come down here, I will teach you about
greed and hunger. I will slice you into palm-
sized gusts. Then I will feed you to yourself.
What’s up, friends and fellow wordsmiths? Today I was let go in a massive lay-off at Hollywood.com. It’s a sad day for us all and I will miss those crazy-talented weirdos something fierce.
But this means that I’m available for hire! Now you, too, can have a website filled with wacky wordy…
The funniest gal I know is back on the market and ready to WRITE!
Hire her, STAT!
This evening the President spoke with Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin to express his concern for those who have been affected by the severe weather beginning last night and continuing today.
Ed. Note: You can help people affected by the recent tornadoes through American Red Cross Disaster Relief. If you are in the affected areas, you can also register as “Safe and Well” to let your friends and family know you are okay.
This evening the President spoke with Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin to express his concern for those who have been affected by the tornadoes last night and continuing today.
As the President told Governor Fallin tonight, the administration — through FEMA — is committed to providing all the assistance it can to Oklahoma as the response effort unfolds. Already, FEMA has deployed an Incident Management Assistance Team, Urban Search & Rescue Teams, and an Medical Emergency Response Support Team to provide resources to hard-hit areas in Oklahoma.
FEMA is urging those in impacted areas to listen carefully to instructions from local officials, and to take the recommended protective measures. Residents should monitor local radio or TV stations, or the National Weather Service at www.weather.gov.
As the response effort develops, here is a list of resources for those affected:
THIS is who we are in Oklahoma.A teacher embraces his student after the tornado.
What an asshole.
Tom Coburn is a stain upon our fair state. He and Jim Inhofe are a disgrace. They do NOT reflect the heart or spirit of Oklahomans.
We are NOT political pawns, Congressmen! We are PEOPLE. The victims of Hurricane Sandy are PEOPLE.
PEOPLE OVER POLITICS!!