I grew up reading comic books wanting to be a superhero. Comics taught me that those who speak the truth are heroes, all the rest are liars.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Dinner Last Night

If I were to believe in a higher being, they would look, and talk, and think a lot like ex U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jocelyn Elders.
I attend a Pro-Choice Coalition Dinner last night at the International Market Place in Minneapolis. The keynote speaker, Dr. Joycelyn Elders, gave an amazing speech. She was smart and funny and hit home runs with her truth and wit pertaining to abortion. Dr. Elders had been one of our most competent Surgeon Generals, urging this country to adopt a sane and progressive health agenda. Unfortunately like many progressives, her comments were exaggerated, distorted, politicalize and marginized by the media. She was forced to resign.

So many of us can't say the word because of the stigma that society, men and even women have attached to it. Yet there she was in all her glory speaking to us about abortion and citing examples and giving information...including the time before abortion was legal and being a doctor in the south.

She pointed out (paraphrased) that the right must stop it's love affair with the fetus and start their love affair with living children (noting the millions of children in the U.S. without medical coverage). My favorite line of the night was that dealing with the abortion issue was like dancing with a bear. You do not want to be the first one to stop dancing. You have to tire out the bear so it stops first. So most of us keep dancing with the bear.

All in all, she spoke of the rights of women to control their bodies and medical history and the prolong attacks by the right to subjugate women's rights while making those that object seem godless. Now more than ever, we need to find our voices.

Quotes from Dr. Elders:
"We must stop this love affair with the fetus." —Austin, Texas, Jan. 21, 1994

"Education, education, education. The only way we are going to get around [AIDS] is with education. We have no vaccine, we have no magic drug. All we've got is education."

"Former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders once said that women are up against a bear. And when you're dancing with a bear, you don't get tired. You have to wait until the bear gets tired. You have to keep fighting with everything you've got.
"As long as I was in Washington I never met anybody that I thought was good enough, who knew enough, or who loved enough to make sexual decisions for anybody else."[4]

"We know that more than 70 to 80% of women masturbate, and 90% of men masturbate, and the rest lie."[4]

"Condoms will break, but I can assure you that vows of abstinence will break more easily than condoms."[5]

"We've tried ignorance for a thousand years. It's time to try education."[4]

"I'm against Abstinence programs, because I really consider Abstinence Only to be child abuse."[4]

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