Becoming Mother

A book and a blog for first-time mothers

Tag: Samantha Bee

When Pro-Life is Anti-Health

I’m an avid watcher of Samantha Bee.

I love her so much.

In a recent episode of Full Frontal, she dives into the murky intersection of women’s health, abortion, and miscarriage. While the media prefers the clear-cut terms of “pro-life” and “pro-choice,” Samantha Bee has brought together a collection of women’s interviews that demonstrate just how complicated these issues are.

Especially when those issues are governed by a specific set of religious views.

In these interviews, women describe how and why they were denied care by Catholic hospitals that were required to follow a Catholic health care directive that forbade doctors from providing birth control, performing tubal ligations, or performing abortions.

Even if the life of the mother was at risk.

I’ll let these women speak for themselves.

***

Mindy Swank: Forced by a Catholic hospital to continue an unviable pregnancy after her water broke.

“…he tried to breathe, he was turning blue… he wasn’t conscious. It wasn’t a magical time, like people think.”

Dr. Rupa Natarajan: Describes how the directives restricted her ability to care for her patients at the Catholic hospital where she worked.

“…to save her life, I needed to terminate the pregnancy. But because of this religious directive, I had to transfer her to another facility when she was medically unstable.”

Jennafer Norris: Denied a tubal ligation by a Catholic hospital during emergency c-section, even though her life would be at risk if she were to get pregnant again.

“I had to make a choice to survive and to give my child the best option.”

Melanie Jones: Spent two weeks bleeding and in unnecessary pain after a physician at a Catholic facility refused to remove her dislodged IUD.

“…Because my IUD was a non-hormonal type of birth control… (the doctor told me that) the sole purpose of your IUD is to prevent pregnancy, so we can’t help you.”

***

Take a good look at these women.

I hope that you remember them the next time you think that anyone–religion or government–should come between a woman and her health care.

I believe and will always believe that women deserve to be trusted to make the best decision. As Mindy Swank said,

“I was the only person in the world who loved my baby… and yet people who don’t know me and don’t care about us, who never have to live with the repercussions, were making decisions for us. And that just feels very wrong.”

Sisterhood of World Bloggers Award

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I’ve reached a milestone–my first nomination for a blogging award.

Yes, I know this is a polite nod in my direction and won’t truly bring me fame or fortune (have I ever really wanted that anyway?). But I’ll happily oblige and pass the baton along.

My nominator is Rasha from The Tuna Chronicles. She recently had a post published (“Confessions of a Reformed Helicopter Parent“) on Scary Mommy–quite an accomplishment!

Here are Rasha’s questions to me and my responses:

  • What is the last song you played on your iPod, iPad, iPhone, [insert name of music playing device here]? Be honest now…

I’m probably one of the few people left in the world who doesn’t have an iAnything. I still make mix CDs to play in my 2003 Civic. I have a whole routine here: I listen to Pandora for 4 months and “like” the songs that strike me. Then, when the season starts to change, I go back to my like list and generate a new CD to match the next season. And you know what? When I hear one of these songs, I know exactly the season in which I listened to it in my car.

I just started my Fall 2015 CD. And the last song that I listened to this morning before I parked my car was “Death is the Road to Awe” by Clint Mansell. It’s an instrumental piece from Darren Aronofsky’s 2006 film, “The Fountain.” Here’s a nice rendition of the song, set to clips from the movie.

Hey, you asked.

  • Why did you start blogging?

I wrote a book

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and I needed a way to connect with my readers.

I also had a lot of ideas that didn’t really belong in the book, and this blog gives me space to develop and share those ideas.

My writing typically lifts up a concept to see what’s hiding underneath. Sometimes, I turn things inside out. Sometimes, I take the opposing position. I want to take my readers on a journey. I want to re-examine what we dismiss as simple–or simplify what we think is too complicated.

I don’t want readers to be able to click on my posts and immediately know where I will take them. Not every post has a happy ending–because life often doesn’t have happy endings. And despite what media teaches us, that’s okay. That’s normal. When our stories don’t have happy endings, we shouldn’t let it diminish our ability to see beauty in life. Finding beauty in unhappy moments is a skill that we develop over time. It makes us resilient. It makes us wiser.

  • Are you a “same-breakfast-every-day” kinda gal, or the type that mixes it up? If the former, what is your go-to breakfast?

Same breakfast everyday. This is it.

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My husband makes 12 cups of this at a time, divides it among Rubbermaid containers, and then we each pull one out to eat in the morning. We add berries. I go nuts and add cashews (pun intended). Our daughter also loves this stuff. I don’t have a problem with gluten, but my husband does (along with a whole list of other things). But he cooks for me, so I inadvertently end up eating very healthy because of his allergies (no cheese, no milk, no butter, no chocolate, no shrimp, and on and on).

  • What (or who) will always make you smile, no matter what?

This. Particularly minute 3:00-4:00.

  • Who is someone that inspires you?

Ashlee Gadd, founder of Coffee + Crumbs.

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She writes for and coordinates an amazing collaborative blog on motherhood that continually puts out post after post that strikes the right emotional chords. And she does so as a mother of two young children.

  • What do you never leave the house without?

My shoes? My keys?

  • Your magic genie is going to grant you any superpower you like – what’s it gonna be?

Healing.

  • If you had 48 hours to yourself, what would you do?

Write. Read. Take naps.

  • What picture do you have on your phone wallpaper?

This.

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  • What is your favorite thing about blogging?

Reading comments from readers, especially on the powerful posts in which I’ve invested a lot of time and energy, but which don’t attract the most clicks. Here are two examples: Giving Grief a Voice and The Hunger for September 11th.

My most visited posts have attracted a lot of gawkers (like On Natural Childbirth), but not necessarily much engagement. The funny thing about “On Natural Childbirth” was that it attracted over 300 visitors in 2 days, mostly from Facebook… but only 6 people “liked” the post on Facebook. It seemed like people were eager to read what I had to say, but not eager to admit that they had read it. That’s why I use the word “gawker.”

And now I pass the nominations for some blogs that I truly enjoy:

Nominees, if you’d like to participate, here are the rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site
  2. Put the award logo on your blog
  3. Answer the ten questions sent to you
  4. Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer
  5. Nominate seven other blogs (let them know!)

And here are my questions for you:

  1. What has been your most visited post on your blog and why do you think people flocked to it?
  2. What is the best way to spend $50 (and yes, you have to spend it!)?
  3. Where do you usually write? What does your space look like?
  4. What is the funniest thing your child/children have done recently?
  5. What kind words would you share with a first-time expecting mother?
  6. Why did you start blogging?
  7. What types of blogs catch your attention?
  8. Someone brought you your favorite snack and it is…
  9. Coffee, tea, or something else?
  10. You can solve one global problem. What is it?
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