By Carol Downer
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
WHY DO WE NEED A DISCUSSION AMONGST WOMEN'S HEALTH ACTIVISTS ABOUT THE NEED FOR A UNIFIED APPROACH TO WOMEN'S SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS?
By Carol Downer
I am attending the MANA conference this October 24-27 in Portland, Oregon. I will be setting up an exhibit table, distributing flyers, displaying our books, selling speculums and talking to conference attendees. I will have a display that draws attention to the main issues in women’s reproductive and sexual health and graphically shows that they are interrelated and inseparable from one another.
MANA is expecting between 300-500 conference attendees comprised of midwives, nurses, physicians, childbirth educators, doulas, parents, midwifery students, and childbirth advocates. I hope that 300-400 attendees will pass by my booth and see the display which features an array of photos of women in childbirth, women having abortions, birth control methods, nursing babies and our books “A New View of a Woman’s Body” to create the image of the interrelatedness of these events in women’s lives. I hope to to be able to have a meaningful interaction with at least one hundred people, and that many more will take one or more pamphlets or flyers to look at later.
I hope to get the conversation going around the need for pro-choice feminists to embrace the cause of natural childbirth and nursing and the corresponding need for midwives, doulas and other birth workers to wholeheartedly support women’s rights to sex education, birth control and abortion.
I also hope to learn more about the extent and the nature of the persecution of midwives.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
The verdict in the Zimmerman case stunned me. I expected them to bring in at least a verdict of manslaughter. What happened in the minds of those jurors?
How could they view the tragic outcome of George Zimmerman’s benighted quest for “law and order” as excusable?
And, how could I, who is generally pro-defendant, want a guilty verdict if there was a reasonable doubt as to Zimmerman’s guilt?
Answer: Given that Zimmerman, had invested himself with the authority to accost a young man walking in his own neighborhood and then used a gun to extricate himself from the mess he had created, there could be no reasonable doubt that his actions, and his alone, brought about the tragic outcome. Therefore, Zimmerman is guilty.
And, how could I, an attorney who respects the jury system, reject the jury’s decision as illegitimate?
Answer: For those 6 people, presumably ordinary individuals with good will and ordinary intelligence, to place any responsibility whatsoever for his own death on Trayvon Martin, they showed deep-seated disrespect for his rights to be walking down the street free from molestation by strangers, especially armed strangers with no official authority. So, the jury process failed. I don’t accept their verdict.
Maybe they would disrespect anyone’s rights, including their own. Flordians may be so cowed by authority that they side with the more powerful, no matter who they are or what they do.
More likely, they just don’t value the rights of a young black man. They don’t even seem to recognize that they lack of respect for Trayvon’s rights. In other words, they’re racist, so their verdict was unjust.
THIS IS WHY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL MUST STEP IN TO GIVE JUSTICE TO TRAYVON; ALL CITIZENS, INCLUDING YOUNG BLACK MEN, HAVE THE RIGHT TO WALK THE STREETS UNMOLESTED.
To Trayvon’s family and friends: My deepest condolences.
Justice for Trayvon!