Friday, April 28, 2006

Ahh..deep thoughts..and Dave Barry

If I lived back in the wild west days, instead of carrying a six-gun in my holster, I'd carry a soldering iron. That way, if some smart-aleck cowboy said something like "Hey, look. He's carrying a soldering iron!" and started laughing, and everybody else started laughing, I could just say, "That's right, it's a soldering iron. The soldering iron of justice." Then everybody would get real quiet and ashamed, because they had made fun of the soldering iron of justice, and I could probably hit them up for a free drink.

To me, clowns aren't funny. In fact, they're kind of scary. I've wondered where this started and I think it goes back to the time I went to the circus, and a clown killed my dad.

Many people think that history is a dull subject. Dull? Is it "dull" that Jesse James once got bitten on the forehead by an ant, and at first it didn't seem like anything, but then the bite got worse and worse, so he went to a doctor in town, and the secretary told him to wait, so he sat down and waited, and waited, and waited, and waited, and then finally he got to see the doctor, and the doctor put some salve on it? You call that dull?

Turbulence: This is what pilots announce that you have encountered when your plane strikes an object in midair. You'll be flying along, and there will be an enormous, shuddering WHUMP, and clearly the plane has rammed into an airborne object at least the size of a water buffalo, and the pilot will say, "Folks, we're encountering a little turbulence." Meanwhile they are up there in the cockpit trying desperately to clean water buffalo organs off the windshield.

Wearing Pink

I am proudly wearing pink today. It's actually not one of my favorite colors, but I found this absolutely cute t-shirt at Target. It's basically a plain, basic t-shirt. Except it's salmon pink and I had to have it. I think it must have been a hormone surge or something. Also, give me props cause I did 30 minutes on the elliptical machine yesterday and then ran 2 miles...Of course, I have found out that the pain in my toe isn't from some weird toe muscle, I have a blood blister, which is gross and painful and sorry for talking about it at all! I scheduled my comprehensive exams!! I will be taking them a week from Monday, so please, please cross everything you can cross and wish me luck!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Freshman year

I was reading about my friend Nathan's experience as a college freshman, then read Kristi's comment that she hated her freshman year as well, and decided to reflect on my own freshman year and give everyone a break from the heated debate over women's rights. I didn't hate my freshman year at all - except for the fact of having an extremely insecure boyfriend who couldn't bear to have me not come home for a weekend. Despite all the good things that happened at Southwestern, I wish I'd decided on Hawaii instead - then I wouldn't have been able to come home every weekend, which ended up kinda sucking instead of being cool. Anyway, my roommate was awesome! I couldn't have done a better job of picking her if, well, if I'd picked her myself. Dalene and I had so much in common, besides majors and we had a great time. The high points: eating M&Ms while studying for every zoology exam we ever took late at night, and laughing because we couldn't remember which genus went with which class...or was it the other way around?? Getting into a squid tentacle fight with A.J. and some of the others in our lab, once we were finished dissecting the squid and they were fairly useless...and extremely smelly. I smelled like that for a week. So did Dalene. Having our Wednesday night ritual of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dawson's Creek, and pizza. Freshman year would have been even better if on weekends we could have explored, but again, I was stupid. So, basically, there it is. Fun, despite the scariness. If I weren't so dumb in math I would probably be working on a research ship right now, or training orcas or something. I wish you guys hadn't hated your freshman years so much. Kay - how 'bout you?

Last Post

Well, I did warn people that the article I posted last time would make people unhappy. As I understand it, one person couldn't even finish. I read all the comments and well, I was commenting and realized how long that was taking so I decided to post my viewpoint. Apparently, the safety of abortions was questioned so I looked at the Alan Guttmach Institute, which is a non-profit organization that focuses research on sexual and reproductive health. I am sure this won't be enough for some but I did want to do some outside research: So, I copied their research findings. There are abortion complications, as there are complications in every other medical procedure.

Safety of Abortion
How safe is abortion?

The risk of abortion complications is minimal when the procedure is performed by a trained professional in a hygienic setting; fewer than 1% of all U.S. abortion patients experience a major complication. (The risk of death associated with abortion is one-tenth that associated with childbirth.) [70] However, 68,000 women in countries where abortion is illegal die each year of abortion complications, and many times this number are injured by unsafe procedures. [71]
How many abortion-related deaths are there each year in the United States?

In 1999, there were four deaths related to legal abortion in the United States. [72]
How many U.S. women die each year from pregnancy-related causes?

In 2000, a total of 396 women in the United States were reported to have died of maternal causes. The number of maternal deaths does not include all deaths in pregnant women—only those in which the cause reported on the death certificate is related to or aggravated by pregnancy or pregnancy management. [73]
Does the rate of abortion-related deaths differ between developed and developing countries?

In developed countries, where the procedure is usually legal, abortion mortality is low (0.2-1.2 deaths per 100,000 abortions). But in developing regions (excluding China), where abortion is often illegal or highly restricted, abortion mortality is hundreds of times higher (330 deaths per 100,000 abortions). [74]
How safe is abortion in the United States?

Fewer than 1% of all abortion patients experience a major complication. [75] The risk of death associated with abortion is one-tenth that associated with childbirth. [76]
back to top 20 questions

This resource was developed with support from The David and Lucile Packard Foundation and The Educational Foundation of America.

© copyright 2005, The Alan Guttmacher Institute

Okay...if you skipped it or are now reading this, the next problem that people had was the story of the 13 year old girl who was pregnant. Apparently, it doesn't matter how she got pregnant (she was apparently raped by her mother's bf) the minute she became that way she was a mother. I disagree with this statement for a variety of reasons, and they have nothing to do with whether life actually begins at fertilization rather than implantation or 'quickening' or any of that. Actually, if the only criteria for being a mother was pregnancy, there's be a lot of abusive, horribe "mothers" out there. I personally believe that motherhood, being a mother, involves more than pregnancy,it involves maturity, compassion, patience, acceptance, love, laughter, and a whole host of other touchy-feely things... especially when that pregnant woman is actually a 13 year old kid herself, I don't think we can call her a mother. She doesn't automatically become a mother,,she automatically becomes pregnant. Now as for the whole force thing - yeah, telling a 13 year old that she has to carry the baby to term and then go through labor - or a c-section if that is necessary is force...13 year old bodies are just not that equipped for labor, although thousands do it every year. But that doesn't mean it's good. Also, I really dislike the idea that because some guy decided to force her to have sex, SHE has to bear the consequences and have the baby, endangering her life through childbirth which can be risky for even a mature woman, and then forcing her to make the decision to raise the child or give it up...a 13 year old. Please remember that she's 13 and raped.
Now, on to the health question: how is it healthy to have salt or forceps, or a vacuum healthy on a uterus? Well, doctors have been using outside implements in the body for years; I imagine that a brain heart surgeon would take offense at finding out that all these years he's been doing something unhealthy by using a vacuum, or a needle, or a scalpel to remove tumors, fluid from lungs, or sewing up wounds. I am generalizing here, but sometimes the most gruesome things are done to preserve health. I think doctors actually have more training than pro-lifers in deciding what is the best procedure.
Okay, next post was about the safety of abortions - yeah, I bet all of those things happen. But why is abortion the only medical procedure that is expected to be 100% safe and error free? If another type of doctor were to make a mistake or if something were to go wrong in another type of procedure there are consequences - malpractice for one, or maybe that form that people sign, outlining the risks of any procedure (i had to sign one to get my wisdom teeth taken out) are something that women freely read and sign. I'm not saying accidents and bad things don't happen, but risks are there in any kind of medical procedure. As for the next one...who forces girls to get an abortion - the parents? Well, maybe if she didn't need a parent's consent then they couldn't do that...she could make the decision on her own. After all, she's apparently mature enough to have the baby and either keep it or deal with an adoption, why shouldn't she be mature enough to have an abortion on her own? It would certainly take care of those fathers/boyfriends etc who would rape a woman, or a girl, and then force her into an abortion..they wouldn't have to know she was pregnant, and they wouldn't have to know if she had an abortion. I don't think that counselors at a clinic would force her. And doctors have to report suspected abuse - if a 13 year old is pregnant, and she trusts her doctor or counselor enough to explain how she got that way, then they're legally obligated to report it. I don't know all the particulars though, so I'm going to stop now.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Another New Post

Okay, again WARNING: Contents under pressure..may make people angry. Oh and I talked to Kay last night, it was so fun to just chat - we should so do it more often. And Kay, Sara - we really need to email more on our trip! That's all I'm gonna say.

This article was not, NOT written by Planned Parenthood, although it is pro-choice.
It is emotional and again, I just wanted it on my blog for my own personal satisfaction. It is an editorial; I realize this is not like a Watergate exclusive news story...but it is really sad whether you are pro-choice, pro-life, or not.

Copyright 2006 Chicago Sun-Times, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Chicago Sun Times

April 24, 2006 Monday
Final Edition

733 words

Who decides fate of 13-year-old rape victim?: I hope that politicians and voters will consider the facts about abortion.

Melissa Simon, Special to The Chicago Sun-Times

I was appalled when I heard South Dakota's governor declare that he signed an abortion ban into law because "unborn children are the most vulnerable and helpless persons in our society." As an obstetrician-gynecologist working at a major teaching hospital in Chicago, I treat women and girls every day who are in desperate need of reproductive health care services, ranging from abortion to counseling about contraceptives and prenatal care. One day is seared in my memory forever as an example of why the services we provide -- including safe, legal abortions -- are so essential.

My first patient that day was a scared, 12-year-old girl who was 22 weeks pregnant and wanted an abortion. She came into the clinic sucking her thumb and gripping her mother's hand. The girl claimed to have a boyfriend in the eighth grade. She had no knowledge of or access to contraception and had never been taught about sex either at school or at home.

Next, I treated a pregnant 13-year-old who had been raped by a 19-year-old man. She came to our clinic accompanied by her mother, while her seven younger brothers and sisters were in school. I will never forget the shame and fear in this young girl's face as she clutched her teddy bear and told me her story.

My third patient was another 13-year-old, who had been molested by her mother's boyfriend and was 23 weeks pregnant. She was brought into the clinic by a cousin. As I listened to this girl's story, I began to cry.

When I think about "the most helpless and vulnerable people in our society," I see the faces of the three young girls I treated in that one heartbreaking day. What compassion are we showing when we force a frightened girl to become a mother at age 13? When we prevent girls and boys from learning about contraception, setting them up for unintended pregnancies that could easily have been prevented? These girls need empathy and treatment, not laws and regulations that prevent them from getting the health care services they need.

A small but powerful group of extremely conservative politicians is working to ban abortion, deny emergency contraception to victims of rape, and teach young men and women that abstinence from sex is their only option to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. If these trends continue, I expect I will face many more heartbreaking days treating women who are the victims of policies that deny them access to safe, evidence-based health care.

Here are some facts that I wish more politicians would consider: Abortion is one of the safest medical procedures performed in the United States. Because abortion is so contentious, it has been widely studied and scrutinized, and we know that the risk of death or complications from either medication or surgical abortion is very low -- lower, in fact, than the risk of dying from childbirth. Mental health concerns are often raised as an objection to abortion, but while some women report feelings of sadness or guilt after having an abortion, their most prominent response is relief. We know from examples around the world that banning abortion only hurts women by driving the procedure underground and increasing the risks of substandard care.

Thirteen states are currently considering laws similar to South Dakota's ban on abortion. As these bills are debated in statehouses across our country, I hope that politicians and voters will consider the facts about abortion. We need to step away from political rhetoric and religious orthodoxies, and ensure that all Americans continue to have access to safe health care. The decision to have an abortion is a highly personal one and should be made by a woman, in consultation with her family and her doctor. When politicians decide what health care a 13-year-old rape victim can receive, they do nothing to resolve the problems that led to her pregnancy.

I agree that our society has an obligation to protect our most vulnerable and helpless persons. But banning abortion is not the solution. It is time for Americans to stand up in support of comprehensive sexuality education, access to contraceptives and scientifically based medicine. Let our society be remembered for its compassion and objectivity, not for the harm we have caused to countless women and girls.

Melissa Simon is an obstetrician-gynecologist specializing in family planning, and a member of Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

This is for my benefit.

I know that some of you who read the blog will not like this so I'm giving you warning. This is only for my benefit. I want people to read it if they want to - it's about abortion rights - or if they don't want to. I DO NOT want to make people angry or even have a bunch of debating posts because I think readers may be tired of it. I am worried about this issue though, because there are good clinics that do help teenagers that are in trouble and this gives them a bad name. I am pretty sure that there is a Catholic one here in Wichita - I do not think it would ever be this bad, and so I wanted to make sure I said that. Again, warning. DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!!

--------------Here's the story — Spread the word!--------------------

An Indiana mother recently accompanied her daughter and her daughter's boyfriend to one of Indiana's Planned Parenthood clinics, but they unwittingly walked into a so-called "crisis pregnancy center" run by an anti-abortion group, one that shared a parking lot with the real Planned Parenthood clinic and was designed expressly to lure Planned Parenthood patients and deceive them.

The group took down the girl's confidential personal information and told her to come back for her appointment, which they said would be in their "other office" (the real Planned Parenthood office nearby). When she arrived for her appointment, not only did the Planned Parenthood staff have no record of her, but the police were there. The "crisis pregnancy center" had called them, claiming that a minor was being forced to have an abortion against her will.

The "crisis pregnancy center" staff then proceeded to wage a campaign of intimidation and harassment over the following days, showing up at the girl's home and calling her father's workplace. Planned Parenthood's clinic director reports that the girl was "scared to death to leave her house." They even went to her school and urged classmates to pressure her not to have an abortion.

The anti-choice movement is setting up these "crisis pregnancy centers" across the country. Some of them have neutral-sounding names and run ads that falsely promise the full range of reproductive health services, but they dispense anti-choice propaganda and intimidation instead. And according to a recent article in The New York Times, there are currently more of these centers in the U.S. than there are actual abortion providers. What's more, these centers have received $60 million in government grants. They're being funded by our tax dollars.

A bill has just been introduced in Congress to stop the fraudulent practices of fake clinics, but it desperately needs more support. Tell your representative to take a stand: anti-choice extremists must not get away with this any longer!

Go to:

Monday, April 24, 2006

No title really, just catching up

Well, it has been awhile. I've been a busy little bee. Friday our apartment had to be sprayed by pest control, because of the apartment complex's directives. So, Nick and I spend Thursday in a preview of moving to Iowa by boxing food, dishes, etc. up. Probably wasn't necessary, but we're not dwelling on that. Then, we had to put everything back up again that night. My niece Alyssa stayed the day and night Saturday and Sunday. We all went shopping, Alyssa and I tried on prom dresses, which was silly and fun, and Jackie met us for dinner. Then on Saturday, Nick and I took her to our usual breakfast at Panera and walked through Riverside Park..went to the Art Museum. It was all fun. Dalton, me youngest nephew had a birthday party so Alyssa and I headed into Andale for cake and ice cream. It was quite a blast; but I am tired! It's a stormy, stormy day today, and the perfect type for sleeping in or just curling up and reading. No can do - the end of the semester means more work. But I will certainly manage to do some reading! So far nothing new on the ex-husband front. I don't know if I will get my things back or not. I am doing fine without them, and trying not to miss certain items. Maybe it will happen, maybe not. I could hire a lawyer and fight (and probably win, thanks to new laws) the bankruptcy thing. I don't know exactly what money he could get with my high school diploma, or the notes I had from, I think 5th grade on from Kay and the rest of my friends, but who knows! He also has all my track medals, which pissed off my dad. All in all, I'm not happy about it, but I guess I will live with it if I have to. Things seem to be going pretty good right now.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Vindication of sorts

Do you ever get that feeling of wanting to be a kid, just so you can be annoying and know-it-all like: you know, nananana- I was right? Well, today I have that feeling. I think in some ways it is well-deserved. In others, I know it's mean, selfish, and well...mean. I talked to the prosecutor in Maize today; this fantastic woman who makes me want to become a prosecutor so I can be nice to women. She informed me that Adam is going through a diversion program. I will explain that in a minute. She was surprised to find out that I had received nothing regarding his case or what has been happening. I was equally surprised since I figured (listening to Adam will do this to a person) that nothing was happening. She pressed charges against him - domestic violence, assault with a deadly weapon; and he pled guilty. GUILTY! As in, he actually admitted that he did it, that is was wrong...and that I was right. Right to leave him because he was dangerous, at least to me. There were a number of reasons I left, but that is the best one. Anyway, the diversion program means that eventually, the charges will be dropped. He has to meet with a probation officer for a year, pay a fine, go through domestic abuse awareness and therapy classes, and can't have contact with me. I can go to a hearing tomorrow to well, hear all of this. But I feel so vindicated. I know that members of my family really weren't happy about things...but hopefully this will help. I actually made the right decision; I managed to do it despite disapproval and unhappiness, confusion, and I hope that things will get better. Anyway, this is big news...and something much more interesting than my sunburn!

Monday, April 17, 2006

I itch

Yes, that's right. I itch. I got sunburned on Saturday and now it's starting to itch. It's annoying! Plus, I got into trouble by Nick's dad for actually getting sunburned in the first place :-) But it was a really fun weekend and I actually talked to my family - including my nieces and nephews - so I relaxed a bit and sorta let things go for now. This has to be the most boring post ever. I don't think much will happen today so I will leave and hope that something exciting does happen so I can write about it.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

This Weekend

Well, another fun post for all of you who are vicariously living my life. Or, at least, bored enough at the time you're reading this of your own life and not having anythign better to read. OR those extremely rare individuals who actually care about my life. Horrors! (sorry, I'm reading Wicked by Gregory Maguire and just can't stop wanting to say that). Friday night was fantastically fun - I got to see some old friends from high school (Hi Joel and Felix!!) and see a disturbingly funny movie; plus some of the professors met up with us grad students at the movies so that was kinda cool. It's such a small department it's almost like they like us or something :-) And on Saturday, Nick and I exhausted ourselves out by going to the zoo and dinner with Sara and Brad (hi guys) I got a sunburn and that kinda sucked; but it was a really fun day. Now of course, we're due to visit Sara and Brad and see some cool museums and zoos in KC. Not really celebrating Easter of course, because well, I'm me...but Nick and I are going to have dinner with my dad and stepmom and sister so that should be fun too. I would like to say that I am rather exhausted - I think we must have walked 4 or 5 miles yesterday Sara!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Heat Wave

So, those of you who are in Kansas know that we are having a record-breaking heat wave and today it is supposed to be around 90-some degrees. Would you like to know how warm it is in every single building on campus? Around 88-some degrees! That's right - the maintenance people decided to upgrade our air-conditioning systems in April (I don't know why updates can't happen in February, you don't need to turn on the air conditioner forever to see that it works!) and every building on campus has no air. In 90-some degree heat. Including the library and computer rooms, which of course are hotter because of the electrical output and all that. SO I think all of you should respond with sympathy and good cheer, because right now I am just sitting here - SITTING - typing and still I am sweating and rather hot and kinda miserable. That's how much I love to have posts for you! Okay..and on some other, much better news, tonight I am hanging with good friends and seeing CSA: the Confederate States of America. It's a mockumentary answering the question: what would the country be like if the Confederacy had won the Civil War? Should be good. And tomorrow I get to go to the zoo (fingers crossed!) with my friend Sara and Brad and my bf Nick! I am so excited. Plus, my thesis topic has been decided, my research started, and my advisors like it!!! Things are good for right now.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


I was just thinking about some things last night, and of course, writing them in a journal that my future great-great-great, etc. grandchildren will read and laugh at, and basically what I was writing about was how certain things seem to just fall into place and other things just sort of disappear and feel almost like they were never there to begin with..I am sure people can attribute this to god or some divine power, or destiny or something..but I was basically thinking about what kinds of things we talked about doing in high school (ok, basically, I was thinking about what kinds of things I talked about doing in high school - it was Selfish thinking)and wondering if we - or rather, I -had done any of them. For example, I really wanted to be a marine biologist...except, I found out I really have no aptitude for the math part of science and it was bringing me down. I could dissect a squid, but couldn't calculate the amount of boron in his ink (actually, I really don't know if boron is in squid's ink, but that's really not the point). So, I turned to something that now, in hindsight, I both love and am pretty good at, though certainly not brilliant. And, when I finally did turn to that something, it turned out that I made friends, gained connections, became competent and impressed people. In other words, a decision I made based on basically no knowledge or plans at all, turned out to seem like the place I was supposed to be. So then I started thinking about other things I wanted to do in my life, places I wanted to see, and wondering which of these may actually turn out to be something I make a decision about and actually wind up achieving - and which ones I will never get to do. And then I started wondering, of course (because, I'm not really selfish all the time!) whether stuff like this had happened to my friends - which kinda fits into the whole conversation about how only bad decisions are made after 2 am...which I again was finding to be amazingly destiny-like, because I NEVER watched that show before, and just happened to have it on and thought it was funny. And it was the same episode that all of you are talking about - all of you who watch it alot, if not weekly! - and thought, yep, some sort of destiny, if only the kind that lets you join in on conversations with your friends. And I thought it was cool. Also, I would love to hear any examples of this kind of thing from any of you. Cause well, than maybe I won't feel so different.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

New Survey
Hey people, go here to take a survey. Some of you may be interested, others not so much. Let me know how it goes. Talk to you later! And Kristi - I loved your pics!

Monday, April 10, 2006

So I realized that I haven't really been keeping people as up to date at they'd like. I have figured out my taxes and will be getting a refund sooner if I e-file them...although that just scares me cause I am notoriously bad at figuring out computer things. Oh, and I've been updating my address book so if you think I don't have your address, phone number, etc. just email it to me! And, my thesis research is really coming along!

This is a new post!

Hi folks,
It's been awhile...sadly, I got a little preoccupied but now I am fine and ready to blog! It seems I have acquired some more GTA duties because my coworker (same class, different section)is having some health problems. I am therefore taking over some of her duties - grading, a study session or two. It is kinda cool the professor asked me. He did assure me not to overtax myself, but I don't think that it will be too difficult. I will be changing my name legally as soon as I can get another copy of my birth certificate (can anyone guess who has my original copy?) Oh and I get to see my friend Sara and Brad this weekend! Yay! Kay - will you be joining us? Felix? Well, have to get going. There's really nothing new to report.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

So anyway, the middle of another week. Everytime I feel like I accomplish something lately, it is replaced by the feeling that it doesn't matter because I have to get even MORE THINGS DONE! Oh no! And then I think, this is why you decided to drop the class - because you have to get tons of stuff done, you're a horrible procrastinator and just get to work! Oh, and on Saturday Nick and I went to this lecture on Gender Issues in New Orleans Pre- and Post- Katrina and it was fabulous. The speaker was from D.C. and she works at the Center for Women's Policy Issues and I decided that if I were more intelligent and confident I would so want to work there. Oh, and in other news: umm..nothing much. Same old school stuff, working out stuff...I think Nick and I will be going to Iowa next week to find an apartment (I think) and I still have to do my taxes. That sucks. I will probably be arrested for making a horrendous math error. Oh, and last night I went to dinner with my sis and step-mom and that was fun. It was nice to just sit and talk a bit. Well, basically, my life is pretty boring so I will end this. Hopefully I will come up with something more interesting later.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Interesting NY Times article

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

The New York Times

April 3, 2006 Monday
Late Edition - Final

Section A; Column 4; National Desk; Political Memo; Pg. 12

942 words

The Abortion-Rights Side Invokes God, Too


In any given week, if you walked into one of Washington's big corporate hotels early in the morning, you would find a community of the faithful, quite often conservative Christians, rallying the troops, offering solace and denouncing the opposition at a prayer breakfast.

So you might be forgiven for thinking that such a group was in attendance on Friday in a ballroom of the Washington Hilton. People wearing clerical collars and small crucifixes were wedged at tables laden with muffins, bowing their heads in prayer. Seminarians were welcomed. Scripture was cited. But the name of the sponsor cast everything in a new light: the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

To its critics, Planned Parenthood is the godless super-merchant of abortion. To its supporters, it is the dependably secular defender of abortion rights. But at this breakfast, God was everywhere, easily invoked by believers of various stripes.

''We are here this morning because, through our collective efforts, we are agents in bringing our fragile world ever closer to the promise of redemption,'' Rabbi Dennis S. Ross, director of Concerned Clergy for Choice, told the audience. ''As clergy from an array of denominations, we say yes to the call before us. Please join me in prayer: We praise you, God, ruler of time and space, for challenging us to bring healing and comfort to your world.''

''Amen,'' the audience responded.

The Interfaith Prayer Breakfast has been part of Planned Parenthood's annual convention for four years. Most ministers and rabbis at the breakfast have known the group far longer.

Margaret Sanger, founder of the organization that became Planned Parenthood, drew clergy members in the early 20th century by relating the suffering of women who endured successive pregnancies that ravaged their health and sought illegal abortions in their desperation, said the Rev. Thomas R. Davis of the United Church of Christ, in his book ''Sacred Work, Planned Parenthood and Its Clergy Alliances.''

In the 1930's, Jewish and mainline Protestant groups began to voice their support for birth control. In 1962, a Maryland clergy coalition successfully pressed the state to permit the disbursal of contraception. In the late 1960's, some 2,000 ministers and rabbis across the country banded together to give women information about abortion providers and to lobby for the repeal of anti-abortion laws.

''The clergy could open that door because the clergy had a certain moral authority,'' said Mr. Davis, who is chairman of Planned Parenthood's clergy advisory board but whose book is not sponsored by the group. ''They balanced the moral authority of the critics.''

As the scrape of silverware quieted at the breakfast, the Rev. W. Stewart MacColl told the audience how a Presbyterian church in Houston that he had led and several others had worked with Planned Parenthood to start a family planning center. Protesters visited his church. Yet his 900 parishioners drove through picket lines every week to attend services. One Sunday, he and his wife, Jane, took refreshments to the protesters out of respect for their understanding of faith, he said.

Mr. MacColl said a parishioner called him the next day to comment: ''That's all very well for you to say, but you don't drive to church with a 4-year-old in the back seat of your car and have to try to explain to him when a woman holds up a picture of a dead baby and screams through the window, 'Your church believes in killing babies.' ''

Mr. MacColl said of the abortion protester: ''She would, I suspect, count herself a lover of life, a lover of the unborn, a lover of God. And yet she spoke in harshness, hatred and frightened a little child.''

Mr. MacColl quoted the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr: '' 'Sometimes the worst evil is done by good people who do not know that they are not good.' ''

The crowd murmured its assent.

Then Mr. MacColl challenged them. ''The trouble is, I find myself reflected in that woman,'' he said. ''Because I can get trapped in self-righteousness and paint those who oppose me in dark colors they do not deserve. Is that, at times, true of you, as well?''

This time, people were silent.

It is not lost on Mr. Davis how the passion of the Christian right in its effort to abolish abortion and curtail access to birth control now mirrors the efforts of clergy members 40 years ago to do the opposite.

''They're a religious tradition, too, and they are moved by Scripture,'' he said, although the Bible says nothing explicit about abortion. ''When we understood the suffering in these kinds of situations that women were in, we understood that for reasons of justice, we had to act. We're doing it for theological and Biblical reasons.''

A perception may exist that the denominations supporting abortion rights are outnumbered and out-shouted by their more conservative brethren. But that worried Mr. Davis little, he said, for he and other like-minded clergy members were in the minority in the 1960's, too.

Still, some clergy members could barely contain their outrage. ''The more we are able to cultivate the capacity in every person -- women and men -- to make informed ethical judgments both in ourselves and our society, the more we are coming into relationship with the transcendent, with God,'' said the Rev. Susan Thistlethwaite, president of Chicago Theological Seminary.

''Human existence as a materialistic quest for power and dominance, a crass manipulation of fear and intolerance for political gain, drives us apart both from one another and from God,'' she said. ''For what does it profit you to gain the whole world and lose your soul?''

April 3, 2006

I Hate Daylight Savings Time

The title should say it all. I really do hate the whole pushing the clock forward so that I lose an hour of sleep and can't figure out how to get my cell phone to do the time change. I am sleepy now, and coffee isn't really it's Monday and I have a meeting with my lawyer - thank goodness, because the day I made the appointment I got a letter from Adam's lawyer saying I was named as a creditor for his bankruptcy or something like that. I have to take it with me to get it explained. What I guess it really means is he owes me some things and now he won't give them back...but it's not money. I am actually confused over this. Anyway, so today isn't shaping up to be a good day. I am on a brighter note, giving the review for Jerry's class tonight, so that will hone my teaching skills. I always like to be in charge like that.