The murder of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller on May 31st has resulted in a lot of conversation about abortion. It’s a topic frequently hushed, or spoken about more around its politics than the actual procedure, the experience itself and the real women who have abortions. So this increased discussion is certainly something potentially positive happening because of something horribly tragic.
However, often in these conversations and news stories, language is used that's confusing or inaccurate, and some statements are made about abortion or women who choose abortion which are false, unrepresentative or misleading. And any of this can come from either “side” of abortion debates or discussions, due to political aims or motivations, ideological ideas or agendas or just out of plain old ignorance.
All of us who work at clinics that provide abortion, or as abortion or reproductive rights educators or advocates know we do so at substantial risk. Women who come to our clinics as clients also know that they, too, may be at risk. The slaying of Dr. Tiller yesterday is tragic and upsetting, but it is not surprising or new. We didn’t become scared for the first time yesterday. We’ve always been scared, and we have always had cause to be scared.
The murder of Dr. George Tiller at his church yesterday morning -- based on the information we have so far – was domestic terrorism, and terrorism which has been known and prevalent for some time.
Very sad news: A prominent abortion provider, George Tiller, was shot and killed this morning inside his church in Wichita, Kansas. He was one of the few remaining doctors in the US who perform therapeutic late-term abortions after 25 weeks (to 28 LMP). Unfortunately, Dr. Tiller was regularly targeted by radical anti-abortion groups; his clinic was bombed in 1986 and he was shot and wounded in 1993.
This glossy, 240-page photographic document features snapshots and extended photo essays on young people from all across the United States, from all walks of life: races and ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, socioeconomic backgrounds, and more. In a day and age where youth are often unjustly portrayed as irresponsible, unaware, and even dangerous by adults who themselves are relying on stereotypes and fears (while forgetting their own teen years), the 'American Youth' photo book sheds light on the positive, unique diversity amongst teenagers in the USA.
It's amazing how well my generation - those in their late teens and early 20's - can distance themselves from topics that have everything to do with us. For example, driving fatalities and alcohol abuse. It's staggering the number of teens who die from car accidents related to substance abuse, as well as those who spend their high school and college years with a beer bottle in hand.
It's even scarier to look at how many teenagers don't know BASIC FACTS about sex and sexuality. This is something I've known for a long time as a Scarleteen staff member, but it doesn't change reality.
I hate, hate, hate that phrase. Nearly everywhere I go or look as a young adult sexuality educator anymore, I run into it incessantly.
Let me be clear: I don't hate doing all that we can, to help people of every age to avoid pregnancies or parenting they do not want or do not feel ready for. I'm so glad to do that, and it's a big part of my job at Scarleteen and elsewhere when I work as a sexuality and contraception educator and activist.
I only rented Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist recently, so I know I'm behind the curve on this one. But I just had to say something.
I loved this movie. I loved it as a person just chilling out on her couch wanting to watch something good, and I loved it even more as someone who works with and for teenagers and young adults. When I looked up the director, I was unsurprised that I'd liked it so much. Peter Sollett also directed Raising Victor Vargas, which is one of the best, most honest and real coming-of-age films I've ever seen.
I've continued to enjoy TED videos, featuring people like Aimee Mullins, and my interest really doesn't seem to be subsiding any time soon. TED is the "Technology, Entertainment, Design" conference who's video talks and lectures are released on-line every weekday. Most recently, my thoughts on it have circulated around journalist, Robert Wright...
I've watched a few lectures from the TED conferences which have been put online this year and really enjoyed most them, even if I do disagree with some of the speakers on what they say...
Earlier this week, I drove over to my very awesome local sexual health clinic, willingly had my upper left arm anaesthetized, and got a matchstick-sized piece of plastic jammed under the skin just for the heck of it. Well, okay, not exactly...