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Activism, Birth Control, Guest Posts

Slated for Defunding; A Day in the Life of a Family Planning Clinic

July 17, 2017
clinic

A note from Jen and Angela: There is no time like the present to get involved. If you have an opinion on what is happening with the health care bill, share it with your Senator.

By Dena Moes CNM

I sat charting on my computer when the news came. I clicked the button that sent a patient’s prescription over to her pharmacy, and then picked up my phone and learned that the U.S. House of Representatives just passed their version of a health care bill. And that one of the bill’s provisions is to defund Planned Parenthood. Surprise, surprise.

I know firsthand what shuttering Planned Parenthood means because I am a clinician at a Feminist Women’s Health Center, a locally-owned sister clinic to Planned Parenthood. Our funding is tied to Planned Parenthood, which means that if it goes, we go. One can look at lists of services and pie charts of who provides what to whom, and intellectualize that yes, family planning clinics are vital to a community’s health. But to truly understand, let me take you along for a typical day in the reproductive health clinic. You can shadow appointments from this past Thursday, the day the healthcare bill passed.

My colleague, a nurse-practitioner, and myself, a nurse-midwife, together saw forty-one patients.

Here are some of them: Continue Reading…

Activism, Guest Posts

Interdependence Day: A Letter on the Occasion of my 37th Birthday

April 12, 2017
independent

By Chris Shorne

I have been loved from the time I was small. Before my sight was unblurred I was seen and touched. Someone picked me up. Then another. Lips kissed my forehead. Before I knew what was forehead what was mouth. Before I knew there was a body and its inextricable parts and that this part was mine, I felt the sensation. Something new, something already. All the organic wires of a body were firing and firing together when eating came with touching, with the warmth of another human body spreading through this that I would come to know as my own, separate, human body.

It is not my mother who is the writer, but me. Still, she writes some abstract things in the form of dark lines on a white page and it aches me. That center spot of my chest—what is that?—grips. And so, compelled, I write. And I’m not sure it is me who is the author here. I’m not sure there has ever been a singular author. It hurts a little, to be loved like this. I don’t know why. Everything I’ve ever learned has led me up to this: I don’t know why it is I who have been so blessed. But I’ll take it.

Here I go. Yes, this is the biggest thing I’ve done. Being an international human rights accompanier in Guatemala. Standing alongside people walking into harassment and threats and jails, walking anyway, to maintain their land, to claim their culture. It is my big and it is so much less than the work the Guatemalans are doing. But I get to stand with them, walk alongside them for a little while. And, for me, it is big. “This is huge, Chris,” my ex-girlfriend used to say. I loved that. Even when it wasn’t huge, I loved it, because it meant what was happening with me was important. It meant she saw me as important. Continue Reading…