Kim Gandy speaks for Clinton

SO I HATE TO PASS ALONG MESSAGES SECOND HAND, ESPECIALLY WHEN I HAVEN’T WRITTEN IN A WHILE….BUT THIS IS WORTH IT.

Message from NOW PAC Chair Kim Gandy:

In a few hours, at 4:15 am to be exact, I’m headed out in the cold to yet another airport, this time to Chattanooga and then Knoxville, Tennessee to rally and speak for Hillary Clinton.

I’d go anywhere, any time, to shout from the rooftops that Hillary Clinton is the right choice for women, for our families, for our communities and for our future.

Here is why I care so much:

Hillary Clinton is a national leader of the highest order, with the strength and determination and experience to deliver real change to our country. She has been a leader on women’s rights and civil rights for over 30 years.

It is of special importance to me that Hillary is an unparalleled champion for women’s reproductive rights, justice and health. In fact, I’ve just signed a letter from many leaders: Martha Burk, Gloria Feldt, Cecelia Fire Thunder, Lulu Flores, Ellen Malcolm, Irene Natividad, Ellie Smeal, Gloria Steinem, and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones on why Hillary is the best choice for those of us who care so deeply about these issues.

Hillary has been through fire and emerged stronger with each challenge. She can take anything the Republicans can dish out, and give it back double. The Democrats need her, the country needs her, and she needs your vote on Tuesday.

Make no mistake, Hillary Clinton is the strongest candidate to win in November, and to set our country right. She beat the Republicans in two landslide elections, despite predictions that she couldn’t win in upstate and rural New York. And it will take someone with her economic and national security strengths to beat John McCain. We know she can deliver on Day One — from getting our troops out of Iraq, to fixing the shattered economy and the mortgage crisis, to winning health care that covers every single person in this country.

Please vote on Tuesday for Hillary Clinton, and if you haven’t done it already, please email your friends and contacts in the Super Tuesday states and tell them that:

from her earliest days advising battered women, helping abused children, and providing free legal services to the poor,
to her time in the White House advocating for universal healthcare, championing the S-CHIP (State Child Health Insurance) program, and helping to pass the Violence Against Women Act,
to her service as a U.S. Senator, standing strong for reproductive rights and writing legislation to expand contraceptive access, helping win approval of emergency contraception, sponsoring equal pay legislation, and speaking out on the floor against the nominations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, specifically saying that they would damage Roe v. Wade if confirmed. She was right, and I know we can count on her to nominate pro-women, pro-choice judges to the courts at every level.
She’s always stood up for us, and now it’s time for us to stand up for her with our vote and say “I’m Ready for Hillary.”

I’m ready.

P.S. Robin Morgan’s terrific new essay “Goodbye To All That (#2)” calls out the stereotypes, double standards and toxic viciousness against Hillary Clinton – Our President, Ourselves – and she concludes: “Me, I’m voting for Hillary not because she’s a woman-but because I am.”

Pro-choice, forever.

Last year, I was driving in my car listening to NPR when I first learned that the supreme court had banned late term abortions. Nausea surged from the pit of my belly and I had to pull over. I wrote about this once before a few months ago. I wont repeat myself…you can look if you want.

It has never occurred to me to condemn a woman or a couple for recognizing that the better choice is not to bring an ill or unwanted child into the world. I don’t believe that abortion is birth control, but it is a necessary entity. In a world where abstinence is taught as sex ed and sexual activity is condemned as sin… unwanted pregnancy will happen.

There are so many reasons that our right to choose is important. And I’m not just talking the dirty back alley abortions went on when the choice didn’t exist. (A little Thank you Dirty Dancing for exemplifying this to every eight year old in my generation). I ‘m talking about poverty and starving families that can’t afford to feed another child; I’m talking about a country where children of minorities are less likely to get adopted than Caucasian children; I’m talking about 11 year-olds who are raped by their fathers and mothers who have HIV.

But the truth is, I’m also talking about the twenty year old, unwed women who are just starting out or busy with college, and by some accident the find themselves no longer menstruating and decide that their only option for their future and the future of their future children is to choose to have an abortion because they want to lead strong successful lives.

No matter what the politicians say or the lawyers argue, I will never be swayed. I am eternally faithful to my belief the we have a right to choose our own destiny. I am pro-choice, forever.

Happy Birthday Roe v. Wade!

May You live a long safe life and continue to protect the women of this country.

Sex-ed Victory in Port St. Lucie!

Superintendent Lannon of Port St. Lucie County School Board members approved a sex education program called Get Real About AIDS. I hope other counties in Florida will soon follow their lead!

Get Real About Aids teaches teenagers how to protect themselves against unintended pregnancy and HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections and provides them with the factual information they need to make responsible decisions.

Planned parenthood says:

We need education programs in our schools that will keep teens healthy — by including information about abstinence as well as contraception, healthy communication, responsible decision making, and prevention of sexually transmitted infections.

Abstinence-only programs deny teenagers medically accurate information about birth control and sexually transmitted infections.

SO, Here, Here Superintendent Lannon!!!

Remember High School?

Remember your first love and the intensity of every kiss? Let’s be honest, sex can be overwhelmingly distracting now and for the most part I’ve lived through puberty. Allowing abstinance only education seems not only limiting but plain old ignorant. Sex is natural and kids are going to do it. Why would we let them bump and grind without properly informing them of the risks and ways to protect themselves?

A Christian Century Article reads:

Signatures on most sexual-abstinence commitment cards may not be worth the paper they are written on, according to a recent study. A survey by Northern Kentucky University revealed that 61 percent of students who made abstinence promises broke them. And of those who said they kept their pledges, 55 percent indicated they participated in oral sex.

The survey queried 597 Northern Kentucky students, 16 percent of whom made pledges not to have sex until marriage. The study noted, however, that pledge-breakers delayed sex for a year longer than nonpledging teens–until an average of 17.6 years old. But pledge-makers who became pledge-breakers were less likely to use protection, such as condoms, when first having sex.

The gaggle attempting to snag the presidency all have opinions according Women’s e-news:

Democrats

Joe Biden supports “age-appropriate” and comprehensive sex education but the Delaware senator has also voted to fund abstinence programs.

Hillary Clinton has favored abstinence-plus for a decade. In 1996 as first lady she helped launch the teen pregnancy campaign, which has a goal of reducing teen pregnancy by one-third by 2015 through comprehensive education and awareness. Ten years later, as New York senator, she introduced the Prevention First Act, which would have allocated $100 million for family planning services in an effort to curb teen pregnancy.

Chris Dodd’s Web site says the Connecticut senator is “appalled” by the Bush administration’s abstinence-only programs.

John Edwards promotes comprehensive sex education according to his Web site. The former North Carolina senator’s campaign did not return phone calls.

Mike Gravel, former senator from Alaska, said he favored comprehensive sex education in a questionnaire he returned to the Washington-based Human Rights Campaign, a civil rights group.

Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich is the only presidential candidate who is a co-sponsor of the Responsible Education About Life Act that emphasizes comprehensive programs.

Illinois Sen. Barack Obama introduced the Communities of Color Teen Pregnancy Prevention Act of 2007 in Illinois. He respects abstinence as a choice but also advocates age-appropriate comprehensive sex education.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson favors abstinence-plus.

Republicans

Rudi Giuliani, the only Republican candidate still waffling about his pro-choice stance, avoids the topic. He talks about increasing adoptions and decreasing abortions but is mum on sex education. As New York City mayor for eight years, he presided over a major free condom distribution campaign that included public schools. A campaign spokesperson says Giuliani’s stance can be compared to what he says about education in general: “The enforcer of standards should . . . be the parent.”

John McCain promotes abstinence-only programs but the Arizona senator has previously promoted comprehensive sex education.

Mitt Romney promoted abstinence education in Massachusetts classrooms as governor of that state from 2003 to 2007. Romney mentioned this in the May South Carolina debates to show his credentials as a “clear and consistent conservative.” Alex Burgos, a campaign staffer, said Romney believes schools should “promote abstinence as part of their health curriculum and teach that marriage comes before babies.” Romney, however, checked a box saying he supported comprehensive sex education in a 2002 Planned Parenthood candidate survey.

Fred Thompson, former Tennessee senator, backs abstinence education.

Duncan Hunter, California representative, favors “equal emphasis” on abstinence. He wants to give abstinence the same amount of teaching as the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases.

Mike Huckabee favors abstinence-only and opposes abstinence-plus. In response to a question asking whether his religious beliefs would allow him to support AIDS prevention in Africa that might include contraception, the Arkansas governor compared it with domestic violence and said compromising on either issue is not an option. “We don’t say that a little domestic violence is OK, just cut it down a little, just don’t hit quite as hard,” says the former Arkansas governor. “We say it’s wrong.”

Ron Paul, the Texas representative, favors abstinence-only programs.

Tom Tancredo, the Colorado representative, favors abstinence-only programs.

I think informed teens are better than pregnant ones, or worse ones with AIDS.