TO DAN AKIN, DAN LIGHT, AND ALL WOMEN EVERYWHERE

Sorry, guys.  Before I left Cali, my computer guru did a tune-up on my computer and joyfully announced that he had upgraded me from Vista to Microsoft 7. Of course, I was thrilled.    Until…..I got a notice that the sample had expired and I have to pay $149 (a little over $160 with tax) to Microsoft to make the change permanent.

I’m pretty sure Robert thought he was putting a version on my computer that they’d use for demos in the computer shop,  but when I asked about it, he said something like, “Gee, I must have forgotten to ring you up,” which wouldn’t have happened because he wouldn’t have upgraded without my permission or knowledge that it was going to cost more for something I really didn’t need. But to fix it and go back to Vista, I’d have to get discs, back-up everything, re-install, etc. Those of you who know me are now rolling on the floor peeing your pants because you know my technological abilities.

Then, a couple of days later, wanky stuff started happening – ending with the screen coming up white after I signed in. I took it to Staples to find that when I bought and upgraded to the Microsoft 7, it erased all my drivers. Long story short (about now, Abbi would say, “too late,”) I have now spent about $400 on my computer in the last week to get it to where it was when I left California. At a time when I’m trying not to spend any more than I have to. 

That’s the reason there was no blog Thursday or Friday. (See Ann repenting in sackcloth and ashes.)

*****

But that’s not what today’s blog is about. Who the hell is Dan Akins, (R) Mo., and why is he allowed to speak in public? More importantly, how did he get elected and will the good people of Missouri choose to keep him in office? (I’m betting they do. It doesn’t matter if the guy is a blithering idiot who puts chastity belts on his daughters.)

I guess I’m not the only one who has called the good senator’s office to talk to a clerk who affirmed that yes, indeedy, Dan Akins, (R) Mo., wants everyone who gets pregnant (unless it’s a legitimate rape) to carry the baby to term and give birth.

So, I have a question. How do we know if it’s a legitimate rape. 

Should the woman/girl interrupt and say, “I’m sorry to disturb you, sir, but is this a legitimate or an illigitimate rape. I know. I know. It’s inconvenient to interrupt you at such an inappropriate moment, but I’ll need to know when I go to the hospital.”  And follow up with, “Thank you so much for that clarification. You can procede now.”

Ok, so I’ve got a lot of questions.

What age did Akins start playing “push push” when he was a youngin? I’ll bet there are a couple high school or college girls out there who are damned lucky Akin’s little swimmers weren’t doing their job. Because “back in the day,” he would have gone on to bless some other young lady with his contributions but thelast gal would have been shunned. She would have had no options other than a trip to Ohio and a coat hanger. That’s all that was available to West Virginia girls. And I know of a couple of girls from very well-to-do homes who were either sent to “boarding school” for a year or availed themselves of the Ohio services.  Even girls who married in high school and got pregnant weren’t allowed to march at graduation.

And what girl in her right mind would want to talk to Dan Akins afterwards?

I know. It’s the new millinium. Now, girls go to school while they’re pregnant. And they have so many options when they graduate. They can get a job…..but wait! She won’t make enough to pay for childcare, and unless this child’s mommy is available, that means she’ll have to quit work.

Go to college? Right. I’ve been involved in the collegiate scene since Abbi’s freshman year in ’99. In all that time, I know of one girl. Yep, one girl who was able to stay in college during her pregnancy, give birth, and finish her last year. Luckily, her family is wealthy and she was able to stay in LA to get her own apartment, pay for child care, and get her degree.  She was also lucky that daddy wanted to stay in the picture. And he went on to play pro baseball, so he’ll be able to afford to support his son. They were still together the last time I talked to them, but that’s been months and both of them are off FB now.

But what if her family hadn’t been wealthy? What if boyfriend hadn’t manned up?

The reality is that if a young lady without a degree has an unplanned pregnancy, she’s probably going to have to drop out of school, or at the very best, finish high school and get a minimum wage job — with no day care, she can’t afford to work. So she’ll end up on welfare. Instead of birth control being available under her insurance coverage or without Planned Parenthood’s help, now we’re paying for her housing, board in the form of food stamps, plus medical care for her child until it’s 18.  And since that child was raised in a welfare environment, the likelihood that they’ll repeat the process is more prevalent than not. That child will not have access to the better school systems. What are the chances that, without a football or academic scholarship, they’ll be able to go to college? And since those scholarships are performance-based, many of them stipulate that the student will have no outside job. What will they do for spending money? Trips home? Even laundry? And where will they get birth control so they don’t repeat the cycle?

(I have friends who have worked for their state/county social services departments. Some tell me that welfare isn’t generational and is a short-time fix. Others talk of multi-generational welfare repeaters. It may depend on the area in which one lives. I know of one woman who is raising five — yes five — of her daughter’s six children.)

What if the child is r e a l l y unwanted? What if the mother lashes out at the child? Isn’t mentally stable enough to raise one? Like the one noted above, what if she isn’t willing to give up her social life and is too lazy to take birth control? Allows her child to be abused by others? Or worse, that innocent child ends up in a cooler behind the house?

If the child gets lucky, someone will notice and DHS or CPS or whatever it’s called where you live steps in and maybe, just maybe, the child gets removed from the home.

We’re now talking about paying for foster care, parenting classes (afterwhich, the abusive parent can ask for the child’s return and the cycle will probably continue) or a trial where we’re subsidizing a public defender, prosecutor, judge,and  baileff. If the system works, the abuser(s) will go to jail, where we get to pay for not only the child’s care but theirs. Though it isn’t glamorous, their room, board, medical care, psychological retraining (yuk yuk), parenting classes, perhaps vocational training are also covered by our taxes.

I’ve been riled by this Akins guy for a couple of days now, but someone posted on a friend’s wall this morning that he was all for defunding Planned Parenthood, PBS, NEA and any other non-constitutionally mandated subsidy (hopefully, that includes treadmills for shrimp — he’d better talk to his congressman before being so blatant), and is also for overturning Roe v Wade because he doesn’t believe in judicial activism.

What started as a lovely morning at Mini Ha Ha Ranch, watching horsies gallop around the yard and the baby, Little T, showing what a big boy he is by bucking mid-gallop, enjoying my early-morning Coke with a good cat on my lap exploded when I read his post. I was officially pissed off.

Dan, (yup, another Dan) I don’t know you, but your dick is showing.

1) Take away Planned Parenthood and you’re taking away many women’s ability to get any healthcare at all. Have you looked at how much personal (non-corporate) health insurance is? My self-employed daughter pays $140 a month for the best policy we could find. It covers two doctors’ appointments a YEAR and her meds (with a co-pay). It doesn’t cover another cent until she hits $4000. What if Abbi opts for annual cancer screening?What if  she needs an MRI? Or catches flu this winter? A normal doctor’s appointment isn’t as cheap as it used to be, and in-office injections aren’t always covered. But what about the person who can afford NO insurance?

She gets cancer? No problem. She can die at home since she can’t afford doctors or medications.

She gets pregnant because birth control wasn’t available to her? No problem here either. The rest of society will pay to raise her kid until it’s 18, and pay for her support as well. Housing, food stamps, welfare, medical care…..

2) Reverse Roe v Wade? What if your child is raped? What if her uncle molests her? (It happens.) What if her boyfriend convinces her that she can’t get pregnant the first time? Guys have been using that line on us since the beginning of time. 

So, Dan — Daddy, are you going to tell me with a straight face that you’ll ever be able to look at that baby the same as if your daughter got married first and then started having your grandkids? Grand Kid. Every time you look into that child’s face, you’ll visualize your daughter being raped. Every time your daughter holds her child, she’ll relive that event again. Even if it was with a boyfriend or that first-night thing, should your daughter and your family pay the rest of your lives for a mistake? An accident? Don’t tell me the child won’t know he/she was unwanted and unplanned. We do. And we live with it every day of our lives.

Are you telling me you wouldn’t be concerned that the rapist came from a gene pool of violent offenders and might become one him/herself? What if that child is born with birth defects — through no fault of your daughter’s or your family’s genes?

What if your child decides to become sexually active at the age you probably did? She sure as hell isn’t going to come to daddy dearest and say, Poppy, I want to go screw my boyfriend. Can you get me birth control pills on our insurance?  Wouldn’t you want her to have a safe place to go where birth control could be provided to her? And what if she contracted an STD? Do you really think she could talk to you about it? What if this was YOUR daughter?

Or if a woman knows in her heart of hearts that she’s not “mother material,” shouldn’t she be able to take care of that situation in a non-judgmental setting? Shouldn’t a permanent “birth control” be available to her? At a price she can afford?

I know. They can always adopt the baby out. And more girls are carrying their babies to term and taking that option. A couple of my “kids” who are now in their 30’s have been blessed with children they’ve adopted.

But would you really want your daughter to go through that angst? Watching a baby grow, be with your daughter when she gives birth and stand there as her baby — your grandchild — is handed to someone else?

I’ve flip flopped back to the Planned Parenthood thing from Roe v Wade, but we need both.

Would I get an abortion? No.  Would I prefer that we didn’t need either Planned Parenthood or Roe v Wade? Hell to the Yes. But as a society, we do need both.

The problem isn’t Planned Parenthood OR Roe v Wade. The problem is the attitude towards women (we’re citizens, too) and women’s rights…..the ones we started fighting for a hundred years ago.

*****

Unless the Republican party tones down its language when they put together their platform, women are faced with having birth control taken out of insurance coverage, but don’t worry, Dan. They’re leaving your little blue pills in. And your vasectomy. It’s just we women who are in trouble.

Planned Parenthood will be defunded, so the other option for inexpensive birth control  and sexually-oriented medical care will be taken away. Along with cancer screening for those who can’t afford it otherwise.

All abortions, even those from rape and incest, will be illegal.

What’s next? Our right to vote?

I don’t understand how any woman with a working (or even an obsolete) uterus could vote for a candidate who would blatantly state that our rights — any of our rights — should be taken away. Because if you take the rights away from one woman, you’ve taken them away from all of us.

This year, more than ever before, we have to look at each individual candidate and decide if that person deserves our vote. I, for one, will be voting AGAINST some candidates rather than FOR their opponants.

So, ladies, it’s time we pulled our balls out of our purses and “manned” up. The times, they are-a-changin’ and we’re the ones who have to do something about it. If we stand back and ignore what’s happening every day — before our own eyes — we’re on the verge of losing everything. And it will be our own fault.