Saturday, June 21, 2008

New Blogger in Your Midst

Hello, all! My name is Ali and I will be posting here, starting next week. I’d like to thank the wonderful Cara, KaeLyn, and Erin for this opportunity. You guys rock and roll!

A little about me:

I’m 33 and live in Rochester, NY. I’ve been volunteering with Planned Parenthood for about two years. In 2006 and 2007, I helped staff their information table at the NY State Fair; I’ve also assisted with staffing the 2007 Regional Vox conference and the 2008 V-Day production of The Vagina Monologues.

This is my first time blogging, so I’m very excited! To explain a bit about what inspired me to action (and at the risk of committing literary tackiness and laziness) I’d like to heavily quote myself. From a “Why I Volunteer” piece that I wrote for Planned Parenthood’s fall, 2007 Informed Choice newsletter:

I was born in 1974, one year after Roe V. Wade. I was raised pro-choice by a pro-choice mother. For the majority of my life, abortion rights were assumed. […] Reproductive rights didn’t need to be talked about, they didn’t need to be fought for, they just. . .were.

For 31 years, I coasted along, secure in my assumption of basic human rights. Sure, every now and then some anti-choice activity or political move would make the news, but I wasn’t worried. I admit it; I was complacent.

In early 2006, I received my wakeup call. I stumbled across an online article about a proposed abortion ban in South Dakota. I literally couldn’t believe what I was reading. [...] When I finished the article, I came to the gut-churning realization that the legislature of South Dakota was, in fact, proposing a bill that would ban all abortions, with only one exception for the life of the mother.

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I had a difficult time processing the fact that, in this country, in 2006, a law so extreme and barbaric was being seriously considered. After I pulled myself together, I did some searching online for more information on the bill and surrounding issues. My search led me to many political and feminist blogs.

I was consumed by the information I found. Article after article detailed the assault being made on reproductive rights all across the country. I was sickened and terrified. Slowly but surely, I realized that the rights and freedoms I had always taken for granted were being seriously threatened. I realized that there is indeed a need to think about reproductive rights. To talk about them. To fight for them.

And that pretty much brings us up to speed. I hope that some of you will be inspired to talk and fight, as well.


Cara said...

Welcome aboard, Ali! We're glad to have you!

KaeLyn said...

Yay, Ali! Can't wait to read your posts!