I had my first child when I was only 15 years old, a ninth grader in junior high. I wasn’t on birth control and knew nothing much of it at that time, due not only to my parents not talking about it but also the school I went to did not teach sex education as an informative class but more as an abstinence promoter. I finished high school barely by having to enroll in a home school program which allowed me to take care of my daughter and finish my classes. When I was 20 I had my second child, he was a planned pregnancy with my now partner. After my son was born I decided that I was going to go on full time birth control and started with the pills which I could barely afford to begin with. 2 months after he was born I found out, yet again I was pregnant.
I couldn’t fathom how this could happen simply because I was taking the pill correctly. I had just went back to work, working 12 hour shifts at a local hospital. I was worried about the future of my children and in that worry I decided to have an abortion.
I knew little of access to this in my state, I later found out there was only 2 clinics that offered abortion in Arkansas. I called them and scheduled the appointment for my next off day and arranged for my sister, who had had an abortion there years before, to take me.
When we arrived we were bombarded by Pro-lifers, they thought since I was dressed in my scrubs for work that I worked there and my sister was a patient. They called me a “baby-killer” and my sister “a murderer”. They stood across the street from us screaming other profane things and begging us to turn back to “the right path” that we were going to “hell”. I was clearly upset before I even got to the clinic but to have other women yelling at me and condemning my decision was horrific. The doctor I saw confirmed my pregnancy and asked if this was what I still wanted to do. I broke down in that moment and cried to her that I had done the right thing, was on Birth Control, already had two small children. She quickly calmed me down by telling me that she too had a similar experience as me, in terms of becoming pregnant on the pill, and had an abortion. She hugged me and told me, it was my CHOICE to decide what was best.
Needless to say I had the abortion. I thought before I had went that I would be overcome by grief but it was the opposite. I was relieved. I no longer worried about the future of my children or mine. Today in Arkansas there is only 1 clinic in the center of the state. This clinic now is under fire from many pro-life campaigners that want to shut it down and block their services indefinitely.
I am pro-choice because I believe every woman has the right to decide, the right to their health care, and a right to birth control. No one should tell a woman what is right and make her decisions for her. I plan to continue to fight in my state to keep my Planned Parenthood clinic open, and fight to allow more clinics to be opened up soon. So every woman can have a choice like I did.
The 30-minute video, Kony2012, was produced by three American videographers campaigning for greater efforts to capture Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
But Kony and his diminishing troops, many of them kidnapped child soldiers, fled northern Uganda six years ago and are now spread across the jungles of neighbouring countries.
“What that video says is totally wrong, and it can cause us more problems than help us,” said Dr Beatrice Mpora, director of Kairos, a community health organisation in Gulu, a town that was once the centre of the rebels’ activities.
“There has not been a single soul from the LRA here since 2006. Now we have peace, people are back in their homes, they are planting their fields, they are starting their businesses. That is what people should help us with.”
Joseph Kony, a former church altarboy, has spread terror through eastern and central Africa for almost three decades, as he has pursued an aimless war that has killed thousands of people and at one point forced hundreds of thousands from their homes.
The video, from Invisible Children Inc, an activism organisation, was posted to YouTube and Vimeo, a film-sharing site, on Monday night and by late on Thursday it had been viewed 32,600,000 times.
It aims to make Kony “famous” by encouraging supporters to plaster US cities with posters, in order to make the fight against the Lord’s Resistance Army an issue of “national interest” to Washington.
That, the video’s makers claim, will ensure funding for 100 US military advisors sent to train African armies to find Kony will continue.
“Suggesting that the answer is more military action is just wrong,” said Javie Ssozi, an influential Ugandan blogger.
“Have they thought of the consequences? Making Kony ‘famous’ could make him stronger. Arguing for more US troops could make him scared, and make him abduct more children, or go on the offensive.”
Rosebell Kagumire, a Ugandan journalist specialising in peace and conflict reporting, said: “This paints a picture of Uganda six or seven years ago, that is totally not how it is today. It’s highly irresponsible”.
“I became intensely aware of things: the trees, the angle of sun, the curvature of the road, the crisp blueness of the sky, bluer than I’d ever seen it. The road bent around to the right and a guard rail separated it from a low wash filled with reeds. I felt like I knew what was waiting beyond the curve, even beneath the reeds. The world became hyper-real, an intensely emotional feeling, not of the brain or body but, please pardon the over-amped language, of the soul.”—An epileptic explains the first few surreal seconds before a seizure hits. Keep reading . . (via utnereader)