Now that I am done with my 12 hour day at school today, I can actually sit back and write about yesterday.
This is a political post. So, if you’re just here for the birth stuff, you are forewarned.
But, considering all the stuff I have posted about race recently, if you are still sticking around, you must be OK with my ranty side.
Yesterday was a fantastic yet very confrontational day. I can feel a little adrenaline release just thinking about it.
First of all, we had a very successful Medical Students for Choice meeting. I billed it as a “Common Ground” event. We had a wonderful speaker, Rev. Dorothy Chaney, a Baptist preacher and a member of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. I met her at a meeting of the Planned Parenthood Interfaith Council. I was so moved about her story about when her aunt almost died from an illegal abortion. She prayed, and told God that if she survived, she would dedicate her life to making sure this didn’t happen to other women.
Well, now she is a preacher who provides counsel at a local abortion clinic, and supports sex education and outreach through her church in a predominantly black and impoverished community in Miami, one that has a high teen pregnancy rate. She also was part of the Institute on Religion and Democracy at Howard University.
Rev. Chaney did a wonderful job. We only gave one day’s notice for the event. We had standing room only. Many people showed up who were not members of Medical Students for Choice, including a few medical students with bibles. Don’t get me wrong, there are members of Medical Students for Choice, at our chapter and that I have met at the national conventions, that take their religious faith very seriously. But, these particular students with bibles were not there to be members.
A few highlights from what I thought was a very successful event. At one point, after she was done speaking, one of the attendees asked her something about “killing babies” and she corrected him and said “Honey, they’re not babies yet. They’re fetuses.” (Which, technically, they’re not, since we were discussing first trimester abortion, which is still the embryonic stage, but anyway….) The medical student said “No, they’re not, they’re BABIES!”
I wanted to freeze frame them and say, “Hold on, which one is the preacher and which one is the medical student?”
At the end of the event, a first year student held up her bible and said “I have something to say..” and Rev. Chaney said “I have the same bible as you!” brightly. The first year student continued “I want you all to to read the bible for yourself and decide what it says.” And I smiled broadly and said “Thanks so SO much. That was exactly the point of our event to find common ground. Thanks for attending and participating so respectfully!”
So, if that wasn’t enough, there was a health care rally at Senator Bill Nelson’s office. I went, and so did the other research fellow. It was…interesting. There were more pro health care reform people than antis, but not by too much.
OK, I’m pretty biased, but the signs and arguments on the anti side were pathetic. Many referred to killing seniors. I can’t believe anyone would hold a sign with the thoroughly debunked death panels lie on it. I find it really offensive, to tell you the truth. A woman with one asked me if I ever heard of the Heritage Foundation. I said “My father worked at the Heritage Foundation. And he had a living will.” End of life counseling is not euthanasia.
There were also a lot of references to the Constitution (these people who love their federally subsidized flood insurance think that the Constitution outlaws federal spending on anything not spelled out in the original document?) and socialism (and many admitted they loved their Medicare. Except for the guy with the socialism sign who said he had no insurance and took his children to the department of health. Seriously).
The other fellow is doing research on end of life. She had a bunch of surveys with her, and was asking people to fill them out. It is a research study for the medical school. She is collecting opinions and knowledge about hospice and living wills. It is an IRB approved survey, not biased or politically slanted. One older gentleman with a sign saying “Kill the bill, not our seniors” refused to fill one out.
So, you’ll demonstrate with a sign about end of life counseling and options, but you won’t fill out an opinion survey about it? I guess he has his own way of getting his opinion heard.
Oh, and I got called a “racist bigot”. This is seriously how the conversation went:
Him: “I don’t want to pay more taxes. I like my insurance.”
Me: “Well, that’s where we don’t see eye to eye. I care about the general public good, and you care about yourself.”
Him: “That makes you a racist bigot! You think you are more important than everyone else!”
Yeah, and liberals are playing the so called racism card? I recently got called a Holocaust denier by a friend of my brother’s because I said it was OK (and precedented) for the president to address schoolchildren. What is wrong with these people? If lies about killing the elderly and full term babies (oh, yes, they were yelling about infanticide, too) don’t work, then start calling people the worst random insults that spring to mind, even if they are completely unrelated to the conversation.
And, I’ll end this with some photos of misspelled signs! This one said “KILL THE HEALTH CARE BILL, NOT GRANMA” but his arms got tired before I could take a picture of it in its full glory.
And, here’s the woman in the garbage bag with the sign about who works for us. It was raining about an hour before I took this picture. I guess she was afraid the rain might come back, and maybe her clothes were dry clean only. She drove off in a gorgeous new convertible Mercedes. You’d think she’d have a nice raincoat. Or maybe a dictionary. I am sure she earned that Mercedes by merit, intelligence and hard work. Wouldn’t want any giveaways.