Friday, February 03, 2012
I recently considered trying to write a new blog every day. It shouldn't be too hard since I used to keep a daily journal. I can always think of something to say. I could just write about one of the hundreds of stray thoughts that zip through my head on any given day or pick one of the several projects I'm working on to write about. The more I thought about it the more I thought, "Who would read that stuff? There's nothing interesting about my day."
Take today, for instance. I slept late, because I don't have a 9 to 5 job to check into and because I've been fighting a cough the past few days and thought the extra rest might do me some good. It did. And now I plan to spend the rest of the day sewing a teddy bear for a customer while I put my feet up and watch TV. That's about it. Nothing earth shattering here today.
Oh, and I'm on Twitter off and on throughout the day. I confess I do a lot of retweeting, particularly about issues that are important to me. This week I've posted and retweeted about gay marriage, matters of faith and soap operas, among other things.
The past couple of days I tweeted and retweeted a lot about the Susan G. Komen Foundation's decision to pull their funding from Planned Parenthood. I thought about the way so many people see Planned Parenthood as the bad guys. I guess my perspective on this issue is a little different than some people's because I like to look at the history behind an issue. Where did it come from? What was it all about in the beginning and how has it changed, in perception and in reality?
When Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in America women could not vote or sign contracts. They couldn't open their own bank accounts or divorce their abusive husbands. Contraception was illegal and information about family planning was considered "obscene". After 18 pregnancies and 11 children Sanger's own mother died when she was only 40 years old.
At its foundation, the organization that became Planned Parenthood was in the business of providing information to women, empowering them to make good choices for themselves and their families and saving their lives. That's what it continues to do today.
That sounds to me like they're the good guys.
There are those who are opposed to the things Planned Parenthood stands for on moral or political grounds. I understand that they are very passionate about what they believe. I certanly don't expect everyone to agree with me on everything. There are those who think it is wrong for me, a woman, to wear pants or cut my hair. Different strokes for different folks and all that.
But if an organization is able to help those who cannot help themselves, providing life-saving services they could never afford, I don't understand the logic that says all support should be removed because of a difference of opinion about one or two things.
When did we start to expect complete agreement on all things? If that's your expectation, you will always be disappointed. When this country was founded there was much disagreement about how it should be established, what form it should take and how it would be governed. It was understood that when Congress convened there would be a great deal of impassioned discussion on the issues before a workable compromise could be reached and laws could be enacted for the common good. Compromise is not always a dirty word. It's how government works when it works. And it's often why it doesn't work when it doesn't. Nobody gets everything they want all the time.
We are a country of many different types of people. I believe it must be a safe place for all of us - even those I disagree with - or it's not a safe place for any of us.
Today, when I read that the Komen Foundation had reversed it's decision to defund Planned Parenthood I felt like I had made a difference just by being part of the discussion on Twitter. I helped spread the word, explained the issues to some who didn't understand what was at stake and I was part of the great outcry that forced them to reconsider their policy.
I guess I did something interesting after all.