Today Should Have Been the 50th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

For most of American history, women have been second citizens. It was only with the passing of Roe V. Wade 50 years ago that we were fully enfranchised.

Today should have been a momentous day in the United States. We should have been celebrating that we are truly free. Our fate and our decisions were of our own making. Instead, we have regressed back to a time in which our future was dependent on where we lived and who was in the halls of power.

The fact is that abortion is healthcare. It ensures that the patient can make the best decision for both her physical and mental health. Without both of those intact, the level of difficulty to fully take care of the youngster(s) rises exponentially.

If for any reason, she is unprepared or unable to take care of the child once it is born, she should not be forced to bring it into the world. Should she be forced to give birth, at best, her ability to parent will be severely diminished. At worst, the minor will be at the mercy of social services and its numerous failings. The last thing any of us should want is for a young person to suffer because of residual issues of the adult in their life.

As much as we want to mourn, it will not get us anywhere. The only thing to do is to stand up, speak up, and fight. Only then, we will be heard and hopefully, in the near future, will our rights be returned to us.

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There are marches across the country today in support of the pro-choice movement. If you cannot march, please donate to one (or more) of the many organizations that are standing up for our freedom.

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Best Movies of 2022

  1. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever: After the death of Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa/Black Panther), the questions on how the IP would continue without its leading man seemed endless. Black Panther‘s sequel is both the perfect memorial to Boseman and a continuation of the narrative.
  2. Avatar: The Way of Water: The 13-year wait for the follow-up to Avatar was worth it. The themes of climate change are just as relevant now as they were in 2009.
  3. She Said: Based on the book of the same name, it tells the heart-pounding story to uncover the sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein. NY Times reporters Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) and Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) take on Weinstein and the Hollywood machine in a way that is jaw-dropping.
  4. Elvis: Austin Butler transforms himself into Elvis Presley, adding new layers to the music icon.
  5. Call Jane: Elizabeth Banks plays a housewife whose pregnancy is not going well in the days before Roe v. Wade. Denied an abortion by the local hospital, she finds an underground group and soon joins them in their mission to help women.
  6. Hocus Pocus 2: After 29 years, the Sanderson sisters are back. It has enough of its predecessor while holding its own in the best way possible.
  7. Mr. Malcolm’s List: Based on the book of the same name by Suzanne Allain, Mr. Malcolm is the most coveted bachelor in this Jane Austen-inspired narrative. In order to fend off marriageable young ladies and their match-making mamas, he creates a list of qualities that his wife should have. Little does he know that it will soon be moot.
  8. Downton Abbey: A New Era: This second film in the franchise opens the door to new stories while closing old ones in perfect fashion.
  9. Cyrano: This musical adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac starring Peter Dinklage adds new flavors to the well-known tale.
  10. The Tragedy of Macbeth: Shot in stark black and white, Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand star as the power-hungry and bloodthirsty Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.
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Call Jane Movie Review

Though it seems as Roe was settled law (that is until this past June) forever, the truth is that it was just a hair’s breadth away from the half-century mark.

The new movie, Call Jane, is based on a true story. It takes place in 1968 in Chicago. Joy (Elizabeth Banks) is a middle-aged, happily married homemaker with one child and another on the way. During a visit to the doctor, she is told that her pregnancy is endangering her life. She has two choices: end the pregnancy or take a chance that both she and the fetus survive.

Naturally, the procedure is denied by the hospital board. Taking the underground route, fate leads Joy to the Janes. Among them are Virginia (Sigourney Weaver) and Gwen (Wunmi Mosaku). The Janes are a collective of women whose goal is to provide safe (and illegal) abortions.

Joy quickly gets involved with the Janes, causing her husband, daughter, and neighbor/bestie Lana (Kate Mara) to wonder what she is up to. The question is, when will Joy fess up and will she have to be bailed out of jail?

I hate to say it, but I have mixed feelings about this film.

What’s good about the movie is that it is not about politics, but the story of an average woman having to make an incredibly difficult decision. Then, as now, it points out the obvious: those who have money will have the ability to end the pregnancy safely. Those who don’t will have to resort to dangerous and life-threatening methods.

What’s bad about it is the lack of tension and the slow pacing. I wanted to feel Joy’s anxiety and apprehension about what she was getting involved in, but I didn’t. I also wanted to feel like the police were forever on their heels and the Janes had to be one step ahead of them.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

Call Jane is presently in theaters.

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Thoughts On the Call Jane Trailer

Martin Luther King Jr. once said the following about our laws:

One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. Any law that uplifts human personality is just.

The trailer for the new movie, Call Jane, is the story of Joy (Elizabeth Banks), a woman who just found out that she is pregnant in the days before Roe v. Wade. Told by her doctor that the pregnancy is a danger to her life, she first goes through the “proper” channels to receive medical care. Unable to get the abortion, she discovers an underground network. Known as “Jane” Joy gets help from a number of women. Among them is Virginia (Sigourney Weaver).

I have seen the trailer twice and I am so ready to see the full movie. It is extremely timely and a reminder of how important it is for women to have full control of their own bodies and futures. What I am liking about the film (based on the trailer) is that it points out that some things remain the same, even after fifty-plus years.

Call Jane will be in theaters in the US on October 28. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Halloween than a scary story of my rights being taken away.

Jane Against the World: Roe v. Wade and the Fight for Reproductive Rights Book Review

Abortion in its various forms has existed for thousands of years. It is only in the last century or so that the idea of reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy has been written into law.

Jane Against the World: Roe v. Wade and the Fight for Reproductive Rights, by Karen Blumenthal, was published earlier this year. The book traces the history of abortion rights in America from Margaret Sanger and Anthony Comstock all the way to the present day. Written in a down-to-earth and colorful manner, Blumenthal lays out the facts in a way that anyone can understand the history of this topic and why is so important today.

This nonfiction, history book is an absolute must-read. Though the audience is YA, the material can be read by anyone who wants to get a full picture of the subject.

My only complaint is that the narrative lags in the center for a bit. Other than that, it was an excellent read and the perfect explanation of why we need Roe V. Wade codified into federal law.

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P.S. Did you see the news that by a large majority, Kansas voters voted to keep abortion legal? The message is clear: my body, my choice.

P.P.S Mothers Against Greg Abbott released an ad perfectly explaining why the government has no right to tell a woman what to do with her body.

Starts at:33

I Want to Celebrate Independence Day, But I Can’t

Today is the 4th of July and America’s Independence Day. I want to celebrate our freedoms, but I can’t.

I am not free today.

My right to my body and my future was taken away from me. I am no longer equal, I have been reduced to being once again, a second-class citizen. If some people have their way, I will be forced to carry and birth a child, regardless of how it was conceived. I will be nothing more than a walking, talking uterus. My wants, my desires, my abilities, and my flaws, will be meaningless.

I want to celebrate today, but I can’t. Instead, I mourn and I fight.

Feminist Political News: Kathy Hochul Wins NYS Democratic Primary & Hillary Clinton Was Right

For most of human history, women have been ignored or thought to be crazy. If only we had listened to, the world might have been a different place.

Last week, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul won the Democratic Primary. She will be running against Republican challenger Lee Zeldin.

Barring any major problems or scandals, I will be voting for her in the general election in the fall. Her goal (unlike other politicians who shall remain nameless in this post) is to help and protect the citizens of this state. Her signature on recent gun control and reproductive rights legislation tells me everything I need to know about her values. She also, unlike her predecessor, has the temperament to work with the voters and legislators at every level of government.

Back in 2016, when Hillary Clinton lost to you know who in the Presidential election, I (along with millions of other Americans) was devastated. Instead of moving this country forward, we were torpedoed back into an era that many believed were in the past.

It has become clear that she was right. We were warned but refused to listen. Now we are on the verge of losing everything we hold dear because many of us believed the lies of you know who and his minions. If only we had listened…..

P.S.: Who else thinks that Cassidy Hutchinson is a hero? She will go down in history as a woman who stood up for democracy and the rule of law.

P.P.S: A ten-year-old girl was raped in Ohio. The result of the rape was a pregnancy. Because she was a hair past the deadline in which she could get an abortion in her state, she had to travel out of state to end the pregnancy. This is exactly why Roe v. Wade needs to be codified as a nationally enforced law. No one with a uterus should be forced to carry their rapist’s child. Especially a child.

Republicans and the Hypocrisy of Small Government

Every political movement, big and small, has a core ideal that governments their policies and legislation.

If we are to believe the current Republican party, they are governed by the idea of small government. As per Thomas Jefferson, it is as follows:

[A] wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.

On paper, it doesn’t sound hypocritical at all. It comes off as fairly reasonable. The powers that be should not be interfering in the day-to-day life of the average person on the street. But the reality is another story entirely.

When they are called out for their duplicity, they claim “free speech“. What about my right to free speech? Why is it they are allowed to speak their truths, but if I do it, I am labeled a radical lefty snowflake?

If they want to live in a right-wing, sexist, and racist Christian theocracy, that is their choice and their decision. As we say in Judaism “Zolst leben un zein gezunt!” (Yiddish for you should live and be well!). but do not impose your beliefs on me and expect me to quietly give in.

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It is a Sad Day in America: Roe V. Wade is No More

A few months ago, we celebrated the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. When I wrote that post, I still had hope that the right of anyone with a uterus had the right to decide their own fate. That hope died this morning.

By lunchtime, the federal government had washed its hands of the issue. It is now illegal to have an abortion in America. Each state can now decide if the procedure will be allowed and to what degree. In many states, this means that will be either completely against the law or limited to saving the life of the pregnant person.

American women are officially back in the dark ages, depending on where they live. Thankfully, both my home state of New York and New Jersey are among the handful of states that put the life of the pregnant person over politics. But not everyone is so lucky.

How many women will die from back-alley abortions or putting foreign objects in their bodies? How many females of any age will be forced to give birth to their rapist’s child or carry a dead fetus to term? How many women of color who are already living under hard conditions will have another proverbial plate spinning in the air?

The overturning of Roe is the beginning of a slippery slope. According to Judge Clarence Thomas (who I loathe with a passion), this decision opens the door to taking a second look at other rulings.

Justice Clarence Thomas argued in a concurring opinion released on Friday that the Supreme Court “should reconsider” its past rulings codifying rights to contraception access, same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage.

In a similar vein, Loving v. Virginia could also be overturned. That means that his marriage to the equally loathsome Ginni Thomas could be viewed as illegal.

If they thought we would go quietly into the night, they have another thing coming.

Courtesy of Facebook

We can donate to pro-choice organizations (Planned Parenthood, NARAL, etc). We can march and let our voices be heard. We can vote in November and more importantly, vote blue. Though it is dark, the sun will rise again. We just need to fight for that sunrise.

P.S. Congress finally passed a gun control bill. It speaks volumes about this country that we confer more rights on a weapon than a living, breathing human being.

Let’s Talk About the Real Baby Killers (Hint: It’s Not Pro-Choice Activists)

We all know that children are our most precious resource. Without the next generation, our future is non-existent. As we all know, 19 of those precious resources were taken from us earlier on Tuesday in Uvalde, Texas.

Those who are pro-life and against Roe V. Wade argue that abortion is nothing more than the killing of babies. I would argue the opposite. Republicans who are vocally against gun control laws are the real baby killers.

In the three days since the murders, Texas leadership has placed the blame on every issue except one: the fact that the gunman was able to easily get access to a firearm. The only one of them to speak the truth is Beto O’Rourke. When he dared to confront public officials, he was booted out of the room and called all sorts of names.

Courtesy of Facebook.

What I find completely ironic and sad is that while Governor Greg Abbott placed at the feet of responsibility among other things, mental health, he authorized cutting millions of dollars of mental health aid from the state budget.

When I think of both of these topics entwined together, I think of the younger generation who has been traumatized by these events. Not just the kids who are hearing about this on the news or from adults, but the ones who were there. The scars of hearing and/or watching their classmates and teachers being killed will likely create scars that will stay with the survivors for decades.

I remember that right after Columbine happened, there were some who condemned the band, Marilyn Manson, for the killings. I’ve never had even an iota of interest in their music. The problem is that instead of looking inward to understand what led to the tragedy, the accused were outside actors who in reality, had nothing to do with the problem.

It’s been three days and my heart still hurts. The only silver lining is that this may be the figurative fire that finally forces us to codify legislation, both at the national and state level that stops this kind of event. The question is if our lawmakers have the balls and the backbone to do so.

P.S. The husband of one of the teachers who tried to save her students died from a heart attack, unable to deal with the grief. I can only imagine what their kids are going through, having lost both of their parents.

Z”L

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