Abortion is not a dirty word! 

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As you know, I started a petition in Novemeber last year calling for buffer zones to be created out side of abortion clinics. Bpas also named me as one of their champions of choice for my campaigning after presenting the petition to No.10. Sadly, I haven’t been able to bring about change …. Yet! 

I am heartened by the continued news coverage of abortion clinics and by research stating how most women do not regret their abortions (please read the article by Rebecca Schiller article on the statistics at the end of this post). 

I’m going to be clear and say that I will not use the term ‘anti choice’ (even though protestors are anti choice) as abortion is not a dirty word. I spoke to a researcher from BBC R4 ( sadly they didn’t run with the piece) about the stigma and taboo surrounding abortion. Women feel shamed in to keeping their abortions secret, this should not be the case. Many of us would be open about having a medical procedure without fear of recrimination. Having an abortion is a medical procedure too, it really is that simple so women should have safe access to medical help. 

Despite what anti abortion protestors would like you to think…

Abortion is legal up to 24 weeks. 

Late abortions are very rare.

Abortion is not murder.

No baby or child has been killed.

Women are not ignorant of their decisions. Many women already have children and even if they haven’t, women can be trusted to make their own choices over their bodies. 

Abortion saves lives! I can’t imagine the pain a woman would go through having to give birth to an unwanted baby. Not to mention the life that baby may go on to have.

I may well be preaching to the converted here but I feel I need to keep posting blogs on this issue as it is not going away. Buffer zones are the only practical answer to the blight and upset that anti abortion protestors cause. They may have a right to protest but they do not have the right to cause upset and harass women and staff just because they don’t like it! 

Below are two links …. One is an open letter to the Health Secretary Jeremy   Hunt MP, the other is a link to Bpas so you can lobby your MP. 

http://www.abortionrights.org.uk/open-letter-to-jeremy-hunt/

http://back-off.org/get-involved/

Please sign my petition if you haven’t done so yet and share with others. 
Many thanks for your continued support 

Exxx 
http://gu.com/p/4akx6/sbl

@womentogether: a co-op for women 

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Ok… I don’t know where to start! I have so much stuff whirling around my brain, I barely slept last night. Before I go any further, please know that I have ME/cfs and am a single parent with three children (one has Aspergers) so be patient with me 🙂 Things may take a while to get sorted but never doubt my passion for this idea. 

The summer budget hit a lot of women yesterday, it was a cruel blow to all the progress women have made since we ‘stepped out of the kitchen’. Something the Tories fail to see is that if we punish women, we punish everyone. We are mothers, grandmothers, daughters, sisters, aunties, wives and friends. Such oppression of one gender can only lead to hurt us all. As Chief Seattle once said:

‘What we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect’ 

 (see: http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/331799  and yes, I know he may not have actually said it but the words have resonated with me for many years). 

The blog may be a rambling….. 

I’ve been thinking for while that the only way to survive the piles of shit (yes, I do swear from time to time ;).)that the government like to throw at us, is to rise up together and help our fellow woman. The Tories approach is that we help ourselves ‘I’m ok, sod the rest of you’ I don’t come from that school of thinking. Women are stronger together, I witnessed that for myself when I attended the Freedom Program. We had a shared hurt and comforted each other, offered a hand to hold and knowing nod. 

I want @womentogether to grow into a nationwide co-op for women affected by the cuts. The only thing that I really insist upon is that all help/advice/support is offered free of charge. 

By help etc I mean things like:

You could set up your own mini foodbank

Clothes swaps for women and children 

Legal, financial advice 

Going to an appointment 

Sending a woman a nice card in the post or tweeting her when she cries out for help on Twitter (I’m going to set up a Facebook page too) 

Practical help like gardening, food shopping, fixing a leaking tap. 

Skill sharing – whether that be teaching women to crochet/knit/sew, car maintenance, cooking on a limited budget, using a computer. 

This list is endless! You might be a nurse, doctor, plumber, mother, gardener, lawyer, journalist, artist, therapist…… Just being a woman is enough for this co-op so please don’t feel that you have nothing to give and if you can’t give but need support – this is also for you. 

What I need right now is help setting up a website/webpage. I have no tech skills so would really appreciate any advice on this. I also need a graphic designer to come up with a logo. In return, I could crochet you something! My aim is to have a network in place before 2017 when the biggest cuts hit. 

I don’t want this women’s co-op to get bogged down in red tape and bureaucracy    so I’m not registering it as a charity or ltd company (I’d certainly appreciate advice on it though).  Safety first at all times so I think women setting up local groups is better than one woman alone (in regards to practical help). 

On that note, I realise there are many groups out there who help women. I’m not stepping on your toes, please use this account to spread the word of the work that you do and the support you offer, that’s what a co-op is all about 🙂 Would be great to have guest tweeters,when established, so that you can promote your groups. 

So …. Whether you need help or can offer help or even both ….. Please spread the word about @womentogeher 

This is my battle cry. This is my call for women to come together so that we can ride out the storm through love and sisterhood. 

Love, tea, crochet, sisterhood, solidarity 

Exxx 

Poem – Ode to my Counsellor

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She says ‘you’re picking the scabs
You’re letting him win’
‘Time has moved on
Put it all in the past
Get on with your life
Draw a line in the sand’
I answer that I know
What I’m doing is wrong
But I can’t help my brain
Saying the pain hasn’t gone
I didn’t get justice
He walks the land free
The lack of a sentence
Is cold steel in me
‘So what should you do
To heal yourself now’
I said I don’t know, I wish he was dead
Struck down by a car
With a hole in his head
And yes I know that makes me bad
To hope that this ‘man’
Is cut short in his prime
But he’ll never suffer
Like he made me did
The fear and the sadness
Covered firm with a lid
You know there’s a scream
A roar in my mind
That met me with silence
She couldn’t reply.