Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Amen, Eileen

Bad choices all around

By Eileen McNamara, Globe Columnist | January 28, 2007
The one, certain place Amber Abreu did not belong while prosecutors decide whether the Lawrence teenager's self-induced abortion amounts to manslaughter is the state's maximum-security prison for women.

Framingham state prison is where this teenager was incarcerated after her arrest last week on the archaic-sounding charge of "procuring miscarriage." It is where she spent three nights until her family was able to borrow $15,000 for bail, an amount inconceivable to a young woman whose Dominican street remedy for ending an unwanted pregnancy collided with American ambivalence about abortion.

What Amber did -- swallow pills marketed to prevent ulcers but known to induce abortion -- is a crime in the United States but commonplace in the Dominican Republic where misoprostol is available over the counter and where abortion is both illegal and widely practiced.

An autopsy will determine the gestational age of the 1 1/4-pound baby girl Amber delivered earlier this month. The baby died four days later. Whether Amber knew how far her pregnancy had progressed or understood the legal peril in which her actions placed her are questions yet to be answered. While those facts are being established, what possible purpose was served locking up a postpartum 18-year-old? If she did not have money for a legal abortion, she did not have the funds to flee the country.

What is clear is that an inner-city teenager who is still studying English made a desperate choice when a safe and legal one proved inaccessible. Amber knew abortion was legal in the United States. Her family had raised the money for her to undergo the procedure a year ago. Whether from shame or fear, Amber said , she could not ask her mother to help her again. She turned to the cheap home remedy that landed her in Lawrence District Court last week in shackles.

The law is a tool, not a cudgel. It is to be used with discretion by those who wield it. This tragedy -- and it is a tragedy -- is less a measure of one teenager's bad choices than it is an indictment of a culture that tells all women abortion is their legal, constitutionally protected right, but tolerates a lack of access for the neediest women. A well-heeled suburban 18-year-old who chooses to terminate a pregnancy need only write a check.

Massachusetts is one of 14 states that does not deny Medicaid funds for abortion, but finding a provider is a major challenge for low-income women who do not live in Boston, Worcester, or Springfield. According to a report by the nonprofit Abortion Access Project, more than half of the state's abortion providers are in Greater Boston. Only 13 of the 62 hospitals with obstetrics units perform abortions. Of 12 freestanding abortion clinics in Massachusetts, four accept Medicaid.

Beyond the challenge of access is the question of education. How comprehensive could Amber's understanding be of contraception if she faced her second unwanted pregnancy in a year?

"This is really about our failure as a society to educate her and to hook her up with available services," said Susan Yanow, the founder and former executive director of the Cambridge-based Abortion Access Project. "Instead, as women have through the centuries, she took matters into her own hands when faced with an unwanted pregnancy."

Amber is hardly alone out there. Yanow still remembers the young woman who called the project's hotline in a panic one night. "She told us, 'I had my boyfriend push me down the stairs and punch me in the stomach really hard and I am still pregnant, what can I do?' That is a reflection on what young people don't know and the stigma around abortion. What about a young woman who exercises in the extreme hoping to induce a miscarriage? Should we indict her if she succeeds?"

Amber Abreu will be back in court Feb. 25 for a probable cause hearing. She will come from home, not prison, in the company of her mother, not a prison guard.

Eileen McNamara is a Globe columnist. She can be reached at

Monday, January 29, 2007

How to:

Prepare Cereal.

Drops of Jupiter in her hair

Mo asked about Randy yesterday at brunch and my response was that we hadn't spoken in awhile but I was thinking about going home this weekend to see his cousins who are coming up from Conn. ( I'm fairly close with his family).

His ears must have burned because who do I get an IM from last night but the man himself. He requested "a drink or something" and I told him I was thinking about going to NH to see his family and he really didn't say much about that being a good idea.

This morning the song that reminds me of Dan (a cousin) came on while I was pondering the conundrum (coincidentally my mom will be in Boston this weekend, but at a conference). Do we think any of these things are signs?

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sometimes the Captain gets me drunk...

ex-boyfriend: I got a voicemail saying you talked with some of my friends a few nights back...
ex: who did you talk to
ex: cuz all i got was this loud voicemail and i couldn't tell who it was from
me: what did the voicemail say?
ex: something like "hey theres this girl here who knows you and she said you guys had sex"
me: ok. not really what happened!
ex: have a few beers in you kate?
me: how did you even know it was me though?
ex: i thought who goes to bars
ex: I'm assuming thats where this was
ex: and I know you like to talk when you are a little drunk

Uh. Huh.

yes that is an atm you see in the background :)
10:05pm The night begins in an ATM vestibule.

the bottle is empty...about 5 min after it was opened
5 minutes later.

kate likes to take thumbs up pictures...there will be many more
Thumbs up for a good night

they dont like vodka tonics...youd never know that from how fast they pounded that drink
Drinking Monika's drink while she's texting.

this is what i had to say about their thumbs down
Thumbs down for Monika texting.

um...what are you doin kate?

Monika had abandoned us at this point.

kate doesnt look too impressed with her thumbs up
Good Night.

Friday, January 26, 2007


NP157: i just read your "women are hurting women" entry
NP157: I bet most guys are scared shitless of you
NP157: you're scary when you rant about abortion
NP157: but it's refreshing to read someone discuss a topic they are clearly very passionate about

Nate's awesome and I adore him but lets talk about some things.
1. There was nothing about men in the post at all. That's a problem on the level that apparently these women in jail AND the woman in Lawrence got pregnant by themselves. However, the fact that there was nothing about men in the post and yet that is still the first thing that comes to mind "No wonder Kate is single!"

2. It is totally inappropriate if a guy is in fact scared because a woman has a brain or because a woman isn't afraid to speak up about her body.

3. Using "rant" degrades what was being commented on to a mere hysterical outbust. Aww look at the crazy lady spewing her abortion propaganda.

4. The last line. Patronizing. I got an internet pat on the head for attempting to have an opinion about politics.

Nate I love you! I know that's not what you meant.

In other news. Why do we think I don't have a boyfriend????

Thursday, January 25, 2007

These are a few of my favorite things...

I have to post something new - the last one already cost me a night of sleep and is rapidly ruining my day. SO. Something things to make me smile:

(Get it?? Cause it's cold out...!!)

"a lifetime of sexual frustration and resentment isn't good for marriages or other living things."

"I believe that people are obligated to meet the sexual needs of their respective spouses—within reason (no shit in my mouth; don't fuck my best friends; if you're into amputees you should marry one, not make one; etc.)."
-The brilliantly witty Dan Savage!

I'm imagining he's heart-caming me...

Dance Dance REVOLUTION (extreme.) Notice the eye patch...awww

St. Patricks Day!

spitting mud

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

WOMEN are hurting WOMEN

Gloria Steinem said "In my heart, I believe that a woman can be two things: a feminist or a masochist."

The problem is that these masochists aren't just hurting themselves. They hurt EVERYONE. I understand that some women are anti-abortion. I get it. What I do NOT understand is women - ESPECIALLY women who have HAD abortions. Have had MULTIPLE abortions - deny other women that same RIGHT to make their own decisions, maybe even their own mistakes.

Case in point: Rhonda Arias. The woman had FOUR abortions. Was an alcoholic, a coke fiend and attempted suicide. But none of that is her fault. It's not even because she was sexually abused as a child, not because she lost her father at an early age. Not even because she was raped, forced to carry a child from the rape, and give birth alone to a premie who went up for adoption. NO. It is because of her first abortion (which, by the way, she held off on until it was legal. Lucky her.) And no woman should ever have the chance, neigh the burden, to have the same opportunity to make a choice about their lives. She did it, she fucked it up, she regrets it, and hey, abortion is an easy scape goat. None of the things that have gone wrong in Arias' life were her fault. They were the fault of the evil abortion. And by the by, if abortion had still been illegal, none of this would have happened. There would have been another abandoned child in an orphanage and the world would have been perfect.

South Dakota based their ludacris ban last year on the premise that "women cannot end their pregnancies without
'suffering significant psychological trauma and distress,' because 'to do so is beyond the normal, natural and healthy capability of a woman whose natural instincts are to protect and nurture her child.'”

Women are MADE to bear children. We don't know any better. Those of us that deny this baser instinct will become coke fiends and eventually kill ourselves.

When women don't have babies, or their babies die, we should throw them in jail with a FIFTEEN THOUSAND dollar CASH bail. An 18 year old allegedly took Misoprostol - a legal ulcer medication - and when to the hospital later when she had bad stomach pains. A fetus was born. It died. SO the mother is being held with the possibility of up to SEVEN years in jail. Let's go ahead and say that this teenager did try to abort her baby. Last I checked ABORTION WAS LEGAL. I am so naive.

Let's roll with this. Abortion is "legal". This girl, had she had the resources (or the education, but I won't even get started on that!) she could have been rid of that fetus weeks ago and gone about her life. She didn't, she was clearly desperate, she took some legal drugs. IT"S HER DAMN BODY SHE CAN EAT WHATEVER SHE WANTS. She goes to the hospital, the fetus dies and now she's being held for "procuring an improper miscarriage". That sounds a lot like an illegal abortion to me. I must have confused this for 1967 - not 2007. What century are we in again?

Let us roll a bit further. Ok. Alcohol's a legal drug, BUT not for women because women might be pregnant and as we know fetuses are underaged. SO an of age women is banned from drinking alcohol cause if she's pregnant, and if the fetus comes out funky, or early, better believe there's gonna be some trouble. "procuring an improper miscarriage"???? What the FUCK is that??? How about this; Women of childbearing age can not drink. They can not take prescription medication. They can not go down stairs (for risk of falling). They can not drive cars (God forbid there be a crash that kills the FETUS!). Don't let them ride the roller coasters or the fast rides. It might be too much for the fetus.

Even better. They should all be taking Folic Acid. Just like Daisy Fuentes.
According to the March of Dimes: "If all women consumed the recommended amount of folic acid before and during early pregnancy, up to 70 percent of all NTDs could be prevented."

Clearly if anything's wrong with the fetus it must be the mother's fault. 70% of all NTDs could be prevented!!! But only if it's taken BEFORE a woman is pregnant. Well just have it be a rule. You've got your period, take folic acid until menopause. You're body's for babies. If you don't take it, and the fetus is fucked up, you're going to jail. What? You didn't want the fetus in the first place? Well too bad, you had sex and this is your punishment. Seven years in jail and a $15,000 fine. And while you're in jail, Rhonda Arias will come and make it clear to you why this "improper miscarriage" has ruined your life. Sure she had 5. And that baby from the rape that she gave away. But you were very wrong. She's just trying to show you why it's necessary for you to be in jail to think about what you've done.

Why in the world is it fair that a woman in my life - who had kids. On purpose. And loved them. Why was it that her suicide was successful and Arias couldn't even slit her wrists the right way?

Has G.W. turned feminist?

"I have a high privilege and distinct honor of my own -- as the first President to begin the State of the Union message with these words: Madam Speaker."
<3 Brings joy to my heart. <3

So watching the State of the Union last night I could help but notice some verbatium feminist catch-phrases being tossed around. I don't know if any one else caught it but either his speech writer has a sense of humor or our President Bush is really a feminist in disguise:

"In all we do, we must remember that the best health care decisions are made not by government and insurance companies, but by patients and their doctors."(18)

DUH!That is the PRECISE reasoning behind Roe v. Wade. Interesting that the day before the State of the Union was the anniversary of Roe v. Wade....

"What every terrorist fears most is human freedom -- societies where men and women make their own choices, answer to their own conscience, and live by their hopes." (40)

A society where women make their own choices to live by their own hope? Choices about sexuality? What about their body? Can women make decisions about pregnancy? What their hope depends on it? What an interesting place if men and women answered to their own conscience and not that of the American Taliban (as my father refers to the religious right).

"And continue to awaken the conscience of the world"(55)

Consciousness awakening...That's straight out of the second wave handbook.

The last bit I just think was a genius way to frame the war in Iraq, since that's what people really wanted to fight about.

"This is not the fight we entered in Iraq, but it is the fight we're in. Every one of us wishes this war were over and won. Yet it would not be like us to leave our promises unkept, our friends abandoned, and our own security at risk. (Applause.) Ladies and gentlemen: On this day, at this hour, it is still within our power to shape the outcome of this battle. Let us find our resolve, and turn events toward victory. (Applause.)"(43)

"I respect you and the arguments you've made. We went into this largely united, in our assumptions and in our convictions. And whatever you voted for, you did not vote for failure...And I ask you to support our troops in the field, and those on their way."(50)

Notice how he combined the support for existing troops with support for the increase that he is now calling for! Everyone had to clap - we all support our troops - even those totally against the increase. That was clever, folks.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Dan Savage: Saving Marriage

Savage is gay and yet giving his all to save an institution that he can not participate in. I say again this man should be President.

"When two people marry, they're making a solemn vow not only to be there in good times and bad, in sickness and in health, but also to be complete and total whores for each other. It would save countless marriages—and cut my mail in half—if this were made explicit in standard marriage vows. Perhaps the American Family Association could get on this."

I can see the priest "Repeat after me: I take thee (name) to be my lawfully wedded slut..."

Monday, January 22, 2007

Other blogs for Choice

I'm going to post quotes from other blogs for choice because I think they're amazing and encourage a little detour reading them in full. Here's a full list of blogs.

Way better than I worded my blog for choice, I love it.

Because it’s a matter of fundamental bodily integrity, because the decision to bear a child belongs solely to the person doing the bearing, because women will seek abortions no matter what and if they’re illegal then thousands of women will suffer or die from back-alley hack jobs, etc., etc.

I know: we could do [a pamphlet] written from the point of view of a woman bleeding to death on the floor of a motel bathroom as the illegal abortionist hightails it out of there with the cash and the coathanger in his pocket. It could end with the dead woman in Jesus’s arms, asking “Whatever happened to Roe v. Wade?”

Abortion isn’t some girly “choice” thing, like which brand of tampon to use or what color nail polish to apply. It’s the right to control our bodies. It’s the right to determine what happens to our bodies, to determine if we will bear children, to determine our own destiny.

Also, its settled I'm moving to Santa Cruz come August.

For Choice

Today is the anniversary of Roe v. Wade AND the re-enactment of the Global Gag Rule. The first is pretty good, the other really bad. We're supposed to blog today about why we're pro-choice. I think that would be a very long blog for me.

I don't love the label "choice" because while it is accurate; I do believe that all people should choose their fate, I don't believe it conveys how deeply offensive, how dehumanizing, how violent it is to take away a woman's agency in her body. The very physical representation of who she is on this earth. I'll take it because it is the only language I know to express what I know to be true. Pro-choice is not just about abortion to me. Abortion is a medical proceedure, it wouldn't warrent so much emotion if it was just about a surgery. (If men needed abortions, they would be legal, and free.) This is about someone telling me that I am not even human enough to take care of my body, to make decisions that change in the most basic way how I am able to live my life as a being on this earth. This is about taking away my most basic control in order to keep women subserviant and the dominance in this country secure. How can a woman run a business, or a country, when she can't even control her own uterus?

If nothing else in this world, my body is mine. And no one has the right to tell me what to do with it. Not with abortion, not with tattoos and piercings, not by taking away my right to talk about my body, and what it is capable of (look it up No one gets to hit or hurt my body, no one gets to talk about my body when I walk by on the street.

Being Pro-Choice means that I believe that I am worth more than my abillity to make babies. I believe that women know what is best in their own lives. Pro-Choice is my rebellion; my struggle to make the world a better place. Pro-Choice is my sense of what is right and wrong, my protection over the only thing that is truly mine, my opportunity to inheret the agency and voice of those who have struggled to get us this far.

Pro-Choice is my revolution.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Unfortunate Soul

Unfortunate things happen to me.

Another day of work, this time in addition to Monika, Karlyn and myself, Julie was there. I'm pretty sure Monika was seconds away from getting written up. We did no work. And I was the only one being punished, banished up to section 1 all by myself. So I was scheduled to do drawers (count the $$ at the end of the night) and I haven't since before Christmas break. And it's with Ant. I famously locked the keys in the office one night with her when we spent 20 minutes trying to call and get another manager up and out to come back and unlock it for us. She hates closing with me.

Andy explains it that when I close drawers and they're off, I freak out and know that I'm the biggest dumbass ever - I can't even close drawers right ONE NIGHT. Monika closes drawers and they're off and she just assumes that someone else fucked up. Cause she's perfect.

So I get through the whole night, the deposit is off by .01 and Ant is HAPPY to find me that penny. I get everything done, go to put the money in the pouch, and realize there has to be a $10 bill cause the total was an odd ten digit. You've got to be kidding me. Fast foward, Jesse is looking in the hallways, Karlyn is on hand and knees crawling on the floor, Ant is ripping open envelopes, I'm banging my head into the wall. Turns out I counted it exactly, there was a $50 that made the total $70. Officially I'm an asshole.

But can we talk about Karlyn literally crawling around looking under people's feet?

41 Shopping Days...


Monika says she'll throw the party complete with themed jell-o shots. I asked her not to invite any of her friends cause I probably won't like them.

You've been warned.

Friday, January 19, 2007

This one's for Monika

Today I decided I don't have enough to do, so I took on another part time job as an office assistant. Awesome.

Gap was a little nuts, people are stir crazy. A lady told me she doesn't like thongs cause they get in her personal space. Karlyn and MONIKA didn't do any work all day and I had to do everything. Actually I told the customer that I don't like thongs cause they get in my personal space. She didn't buy any. We made fun of Monika for being in STD. There was other stuff. I don't remember. Guess you had to be there.

But Monika WAS there so this one's for Monika.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Fat Kids

Corrine and I went to eat. Usually I like nothing and end up with cold cereal. Today, I wanted everything. When Dakota saw me walk by with my 3rd plate of food she mentioned I may be PMSing...ohhhhhhhhhh.

So when Corrine and I settled down with our collective 10 plates of food we realized that she sat us at the same table as the most beautiful man on campus and his friends. Oh well, we start scarfing. The boys sit and talk about their ex relationships and what went wrong, how they feel about their exs now. How they are single and where they are going to go tonight to meet women. Corinne and I stopped the carnage long enough to listen. Then the boys begin to include Corinne and I in the conversation. I think we smiled and nodded.

Recap: beautiful boys, single, going to Our House tonight to hit on women. And I'm on duty. Foiled again!

click the comic

They're dancing because of this:

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Dating Redeemed

Dad: you may want to skip this one.

So my last date - in August - was a bust. I've been on hiatus. But Sergio is the love of my life and has totally restored my faith in the practice.

I thought he had blown me off, but upon further inspection saw that he called me right after he had gotten out of work. I pulled out all the stops. Pink stilleto boots, pink cleavage shirt, Prada perfume on the pulse points. My hair even looked good.

Dinner at Whiskeys (which was weird without Julie and Tim there and it's the 2nd time this week I've gone there and thought that). Got a little motorboat while we waited for a table. We toasted with our water glasses. Then cheesecake from the Factory which we took to Borders. We played straight for awhile, collected some dirty magazines and some cocoa. Honestly, what other date will enthusiastically rate the merits of model's penis size and girth over coffee?

I even got a little smooch and pat on the fanny goodnight.

It was perfect.

And my iPod didn't even run out of battery before I got home!


I've got too much homework to be blogging.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007


I don't know if anyone has heard of this movement, but they basically think that all family planning, birthcontrol or natural control methods are against God's will and they therefore have TONS of children.

There's a pretty good ABC segment here:

I'm all about choice, and can appreciate people making the choice to have LOTS of children and take care of them, and this looks like a pretty well functioning family HOWEVER I get the feeling that they don't respect the choices of others - for example discussing the children's future and their expectations that the girls should grow up to be nothing other than mothers. They got to suspect that at least one of those girls is going to have a very hard time when she decides that she wants something other than what has already been laid out as the only way to live by her parents.

Heaven forbid one of their 8+ children realizes they're gay...



I hate sophomores which makes my job as an RA that much harder. Last night someone decided to play with a fire extinguisher at 3am and evacuate the whole building of 600+ people. In -1000 degree weather. I slept on Mo's couch and went to class at 8am this morning sans bra and shower with Mo's hoodie and hat. Coincidentially that class is taught by the first attractive professor of my academic career. I'm going to have to shower for my 8ams this semester...

I blamed the fire drill for my sleeping ALL day but I may have a problem.

*I know the comic is small but I'm going to leave it cause it's funny. You can view it larger here:


my sock apparently tore one of the wounds from this weekend and my left foot has been bleeding for 15 minutes. serious

I saw a boy from the drama department that I've had a crush on since freshman year. He was walking a puppy. Like a regular-dog-sized puppy. About 100Xs cuter.

Happy Birthday Kyle!

Sunday, January 7, 2007

A Naked Foot

I decided to wear heels to work's only 5 hours and then I'm going out.

I had blisters by the time I got there.

I go meet Dakota and Heather. We drink some whiskey. I convinced them to go to a bar rather than a club cause my feet can't take that. Mo called at about 5 "I have to see you". So by 11 Dakota and Heather and I are heading out to meet Dan and Sarah at Pour House where Mo etc are. No one particularly wants to go to Pour House, but people are there so its an easy meeting spot. My blisters have popped by this point and D's offering piggy back rides.

We get to Pour House, get in line (for probably the first time I've EVER stood in line) Dan almost walks right past me until Sarah says hi. Get inside. Mo texts that she's leaving. Well fuck her I just got a beer.

End of the beer, we head for greener pastures, I take off my shoes for the journey. I gave it my all, my feet are bleeding. Round about the Christian Science Center I have GOT to pee. Heather and I are fighting for some NYPizza but D's not going for it. "Just go here!" "there's not place, its all cement!" they convinced me to go behind the tarps/subway stairs. Mid-stream "Kate. Stop. Now. Security" I hurry to finish. "No, really Security" so I start hikin em up and walking. I blame Heather and Dakota for what pretty much constitutes me peeing my pants. I WASN'T FINISHED! And I didn't get NYPizza. Altogether not so much a success for Kate. I"m going to soak my bleeding feet.

Thursday, January 4, 2007


So we're in a car coming back from Michigan and Mo calls. Blah blah, usual convo, we make plans for tonight and I hang up. Dan says to me "did she just say she loves you?? And you said ' yea, thanks'!?!" (way to evesdrop ps). He tells me I am a bad friend and should call back and say something better than thanks. Apparently saying 'thanks' is not an appropriate response to 'I love you'.

In my defense, I am sure that I did NOT respond to I love you with a thanks. I must have been saying thanks about something else and just failed to respond at all to the love part. (doesn't make me sound much better tho, huh.) Let's chalk that up to a miscommunication and leave me alone.

TODAY I'm running between Davenports doing move ins (with barefeet no less, hense the title of the blog) when I hear "KATEEEEEE" The conversation went something like this:

Chris: KATE I MISS YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!
me: I MISS YOU TOOOOOO!!!!!!!!
*a few things I forget*
Chris: I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*all the caps are because this was shouted across the street.

First thing I thought was: "she's so not going to call me"
The second was: "Shit, 'OK' is even worse than 'thanks'!

I may have some love issues.

Introducing: my father

Apparently my father's *fiance* has been researching canoeing in Bolivia/Peru.

For the obvious reason, as my dad explains: "what's not to like about canoeing in a lake called 'Titicaca'?"

I'll go with that...

Here's to 2007

May peace break into your house and may thieves come to steal your debts. May the pockets of your jeans become a magnet of $20 bills. May love stick to your face like Vaseline and may laughter assault your lips! May your clothes smell of success like smoking tires, may happiness slap you across the face and may your tears be that of joy. May the problems you had forget your home address!

Monday, January 1, 2007

Happy New Year!

I've spent 25 hours over the last 4 days driving. 3 flying. I decided Wednesday to go to Chicago. Got here, went to a concert, slept on the floor, then drove to Michigan with 4 smelly boys. It was totally worth it. Another 12 hours in the car on Wednesday then I'll be in Boston for the rest of my life.