Thursday, May 28, 2009

Stand Up Girl is an online community designed for women who are experiencing unexpected pregnancy. The topics range from preventing pregnancy, accepting responsibility, how to make a new plan, and even how to recover from an abortion. 'Becky' has developed a loving community where women and girls help each other and, hopefully, learn from each others' mistakes.

The writing has an endearing, youthful quality. It comes across as advice from your BFF at a sleepover, but with wisdom and a certain maturity. This somewhat relaxed demeanor is an odd advantage, and hopefully it helps Becky 'target' a younger audience.

There is such hope and encouragement on these pages. I love the forward of the "Making A New Plan" page:

"Your life has taken an unexpected turn and it is time to make a new plan! There are probably lots of things on your mind and perhaps it is hard to think clearly because you are afraid and feeling vulnerable. You are a mother and have a little one to take care of now.

The good news is, you can do it! Many other women have found themselves in your situation and have come out of it as stronger women and wonderful mothers. This is going to be a very difficult time for you and the next couple of years raising a toddler will not be easy either. However, if you work through your life a day at a time and make the most important things your priorities, you will not get as overwhelmed."

Her tone is so gentle and encouraging, but she manages not to pull any punches. She repeatedly says on her site that 'this will not be easy', but the community is there to help those who are scared and confused. Becky urges women to join local networks, specifically to look for pregnancy centers, saying "At first, the idea of dropping in was very intimating and I felt embarrassed that I needed help. Before long, I felt quite at home and was so grateful for all their help. "

From a Christian standpoint, I especially appreciate her suggested post-abortion Bible studies, one for women as well as one for men. It is so refreshing to find Christians whose outlook is modern and accepting. So often, in these situations, "the Church" comes across looking cold or unsympathetic. That was not Jesus' message, and I applaud Becky for her open arm policy.

This blog truly tries to cover everything. Under the Tab labeled "Girl Help", you will find links called "I'd Like to Help", a page of local and international help-lines, centers and programs; "Abortion Testimonials", where women and girls discuss their decision in an effort to prevent others; "Girl Power", "Dating, Love, Sex", "Crisis Support", "Biology and In Utero Info", and finally "Young Mother Help", which are all pages of appropriate links, leading readers to information across the web.

I am so thankful Becky's personal mission, and I pray that she continues to help women and girls as they make major life decisions.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

...and then there's Bristol Palin...

It is by happy accident that this article so appropriately follows my last post about Meghan McCain. Perhaps "happy accident" is the wrong way to put it, because I am far from happy about this article and picture:

Let me throw in a sidebar, before I burn this soapbox: how bad do you feel for Tripp Palin? Not just because if the STUPID name, which seems to be genetic, but let's take a look at his future. Technology is advancing every day, to accomplish amazing feats. Don't you figure that, say, the Internet will still be around when he is 10 or so? And don't you assume that the Internet will have held onto this nauseous propaganda, wherein Tripp's mommy practically paints the word "REGRET" across the baby's forehead and drags it behind her? Her entire campaign, specifically in this magazine interview, consists of complaining about the burden of a baby; the crying, the pain, the responsibility - wah, wah, WAH! The therapist that gets their hands on this child will be a millionaire...

OK, so about the article itself... I can barely see straight, I am so upset. The girl, this idiot child, seems to think she has discovered a secret. "OMG, I can haz consequences?" How can anyone, ANYONE, think that Abstinence Only "education" is acceptable? The ridiculous part, is that now she is an even bigger proponent for it! WHAT?!? So, if you could go back and change things, rather than use a condom or a pill, you would just sit next to each other and pray? I'm not trying to mock, because honestly that does work for a few very strong people, but let's not pretend that when Bristol Palin time travels, she suddenly has a brain. No, she would still be a horny, under-educated teenager, and she still would have had sex!

I agree that we need to teach our children to abstain from sex. I am also aware, however, of reality; since when did we start assuming teenagers listened? No one likes to be told what to do (or not do) but teens are the worst! Their bodies are telling them to do things, and adults are telling them not to. Let's take a guess about who wins, 8 times out of 10.

I know people that have abstained, who are saving themselves for marriage. I promise, a handful even, of wonderful, educated adults. Those people made that choice because of God's command, not a pathetic "sex ed" class or a political leader. That we continue to refer to Abstinence Only teachign as "education" is an abomination.

And Bristol? Pay less attention to the papparazzi, and more to your son. If you don't want to go in debt over his counseling...

Friday, May 8, 2009

Meghan McCain makes me proud to be a Republican

Labels are a dangerous thing to wear and assign to others. We allow them to wholly define a person, and that is such a huge mistake. I am a Christian, and to some people that label includes the subtitle "Without Fault". Trust me when I tell you that is far from true. One day I will copy Maya Angelou's amazing poem When I Say I'm A Christian to further my point on that idea. But today's issue is about politcal labels.

Meghan McCain is a Republican, loud and proud. In the fitting-with-the-label category, she is pro-life. But she speaks out adamently against the common perception of the Republican party on the issue of abstinence-only sex education. Other than that fabulous jacket, this is my favorite of her qualities : )

In her column (The GOP Doesn't Understand Sex) she writes: "Let me get something straight: Bristol Palin, as an 18-year-old adult, is free to make her own choices and decide how she wants her life to unfold. But for whatever reasons, the American public and media remain overly engrossed in our politicians’ sex lives and, as in this case, those of their families. There’s an especially unhealthy attitude among conservatives. Daughters of Republican politicians aren’t expected to have sex, let alone enjoy it—as if there were some strange chastity belt automatically attached to us female offspring. God forbid anyone talk realistically about life experiences and natural, sexual instincts. Nope, the answer is always abstinence."

This young woman has a strong sense of self and of justice. She wants to deal with our youth honestly; what a novel concept! "The key, honestly, is communication between parents and children. At the end of the day, the worst thing parents can do is raise children who are not prepared for the situations they may encounter, especially when they’re not planned... Unfortunately, Republicans typically don’t like to discuss or deal with things they think are wrong or immoral. And that’s a huge mistake. If we can’t discuss birth control in addition to abstinence, and in a nonjudgmental way, kids will continue to make bad choices for lack of having access to informed, safe options. Not everyone shares the same beliefs, and more importantly, people don’t always react the same way to their circumstances. Which is why it is so important to encourage honest, open communication about the realities of sex within the party at large, and more specifically, between parents and their children."

Meghan is an impressive young woman, and I look forward to hearing her impact on the Republican party.