Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Real Community Engagement!

Last Saturday we were out in full force with other organizations cleaning dirty lots on the South Side of Chicago at 58th State Street (the site for the first anti-choice billboard). That afternoon we walked the neighborhoods and passed out resources and information to a community in need! It was amazing! Real community engagement! Getting information into the hands of those that need it! Not forcing our beliefs on anyone! Not shaming women about their personal decisions! Not saying one thing and then doing another (you know like "caring about women" but no where to be found in the community)!

You see caring for a community requires you to get your hands dirty - and that would require real engagement - not just blowing steam. Something others tend to do very well until PEOPLE NEED REAL RESOURCES!

This is only the beginning! We will be back!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Another Billboard

I saw another one of those anti-choice billboards near 63rd and St. Lawrence. I cannot wait until these billboards are finally taken down. Thus I will not stop protesting for their removal! People, we've got to stand for something or we will surely fall for/ accept anything. Life Always simply cannot be allowed to come into our neighborhoods and disregard a woman's right to choose! Please come out and support us Saturday April 23rd at 58th and State St, 9:00 a.m. Let's show them what supporting life and our communities is supposed to look like!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Let's Agree to Disagree!

After reviewing the latest posts by Anonymous or Tom...or what ever his/her name got me to thinking.

First and foremost I am brought back to why this blog page exists. The Chicago Abortion Fund helps a poor woman or teenage girl pay for her abortion procedure. In 2007 we added another component to our work that was critically important. We began to engage the women that we have served, provide them with leadership development opportunities and a place where they could make their voices heard on issues that affect their lives. The "My Voice, My Choice" leadership group was born. The women in this group have had abortions and believe that they have the right to participate in this discourse.

As Audre Lorde said, "your silence will not protect you" and as bell hooks continued, "to move from silence to speech is a revolutionary act". So that is the point of this blog. To give those women the opportunity to be who they are and speak what they feel on abortion, reproductive justice and any other topic at hand. So pretty much this is about their choice and their voice.

It is obvious that both sides of the abortion argument continue to not see eye to eye on this issue. Furthermore, there is no convincing those that don't see outside their frame of reference. What I can agree on is that everyone has their opinion and is entitled to it. However, this blog is pretty much like our home. You can visit, drop in and check us out. If you are disrespectful or want to rant and rave - this is not the place for you. If you don't like what we say that is fine too. You don't have to visit. And because it is our home, we can monitor the activity and behavior here - just like you would do in your own home.

This is not a place to debate people from the other side back and forth. There is no point to that. This is where we can agree! Neither side is going to be convinced so the energy it takes to go back and forth is not worth it. It is not about not seeing or even understanding the opinion of someone else. This is a blog for women that have had abortions (I've had several). If you want to rant and rave - you have the right to make your own blog and completely express yourself.

No one is scared or intimated by the opinions you or others that don't believe in choice spew. However, this is not the place for it. As for following this blog so that you can "know the tactics of our opposition" - I hope you are getting something out of allowing a woman the opportunity have her voice heard on these issues. Being a coward is hiding behind cloaks of secrecy and afraid to put your name to your opinions. I am not going to debate someone that can't, won't or refuse to think outside their framework.

I came to this movement 5 1/2 years ago with no experience in this movement. I had abortions but didn't know what the terms of pro-choice and anti-choice meant. I am still learning so much and that is why is important that the women we serve be able to participate as well. After becoming a grandmother and seeing my beautiful grandson, that cemented in my heart my belief that every woman deserves choice....whether we agree with it or not. My grandson was his mother's choice. No one tried to talk her into anything. And that I can appreciate, understand and value. She has the support systems in place to help her. My grandchild eats every day, is clean and well taken care of. This is choice!

My children - the ones I chose to have - have been well cared for, are well adjusted and extraordinary human beings. I was not forced to parent before I was ready or able. That is choice. Choice is also the women that call for help but change their mind and continue their pregnancy. There are so many shades of gray to a woman's life - and it is not up to me to force my opinions and what I believe at her. This is choice.

I don't garden but I grow beautiful green plants in my home.
I follow the political climate of this country more than I really want to.
I give back, mentor women and girls, help the homeless, clean the city streets and a host of other volunteer give backs.
I work.
I help children here in the United States - you know the ones that people choose to ignore.
I also am a sounding board for teenage girls that need someone to talk to.
I go to church and tithe because it is about the building of our spiritual community.
I fast, pray, meditate and do yoga because it is good for me.

Matthew 7:1 - "Do not judge, or you too will be judged"
Romans 2:1 - "You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things"
John 8:7 - ""If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."

Now back to our regularly scheduled program!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

good am! for all the haters that have nothing else to do but follow our blog....LOVE it!

so legislative updates:

your representatives are on spring break....perfect time to do in-district visits! write letters to the editors! spread the word!

vote YES to HB1619
vote NO to HB786
vote NO to HB3156

women deserve choice! :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sonya Renee "What Women Deserve"

Life Always, Where Art Thou REAL Support of Life?

I am furious about these ignorant billboards being posted in our communities! Being pro-life means supporting life. These billboards are in no way supporting life. Every 21 minutes our next possible leader is denied the proper education and resources needed to succeed. Every 21 minutes our next possible leader is neglected and ignored by people who share the same way of thinking as Life Always. What Life Always should have done was invested the time, energy and funds they used to put up those billboards into these neighborhoods and their schools. Fund and advocate for comprehensive sex education in the schools. Provide us with employment resources. Teach us to properly fill out job/school applications. These are ways in which you support life. "Give us the means to survive and watch us all grow!"

Life Always means commitment to the neighborhood....not just a rhetoic statement!

The games people play....."Life Always" and their billboards posted up to buildings that sit in areas of neglect. Do they believe in "Life Always"? Well not really, but it makes for good media exposure. Give me a break!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Free Health Screening Monday in Lake Forest – April 4

Take advantage of free heath screenings that will be performed by Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital Care Coach from 10 am to noon Monday, April 4th in the parking lot of Dickerson Hall, 100 East Old Mill Road, in Lake Forest. While in, stop and pick up a current newsletter for the Lake Forest/ Lake Bluff Senior Center and learn about their schedule of programs and activities. For more information, call (847) 810-4670. Pass it along!