Sunday, July 20, 2008

south dakota? colorado? where to, this time around?

two years ago this november, i went to south dakota for a week to volunteer with South Dakota Campaign For Healthy Families, the coalition formed to oppose the ban on abortion (Referred Law 6, that year) that was placed on the ballot by the same coalition. (for the few of you not in the know: the south dakota legislature had passed, and the governor had signed, a ban on abortion in march of that year. putting it on the ballot was safer than going through the courts system to make the ban go away.) it was a totally amazing, incredible experience; i missed a week's worth of classes, flew to a state i've never been, mostly closeted myself as a queer (...well, sorta. that is, if making out with a girl in the front seat of our rental car still counts as "closeted"), picked up a midwestern accent, and actually made change. saw a victory, and was part of it. incredible.

we won by a pretty decent margin...but in a weird way. the way that the campaign strategy worked, we opened ourselves up for exactly the ban that's currently on the ballot for this year: the ballot initiative, this time, includes the exceptions for rape, incest, and women's health that were our strategic points last time around.
(i fucking hate leslee unruh.)

so it's back.
i'm working on finding a way to get back to south dakota for november, to volunteer again with the SDCHF. to work again with some of the people still kicking around SD, still working against the ban, to work for this amazing coalition, to help them win again (they have to win again. we have to win again.).

footage from SDCHF's and PPMNNDSD (planned parenthood of minnesota, north dakota, & south dakota) follows:

(also see PPMNNDSD's blog, Stand Up South Dakota)

now, though, i'm torn.
do i go back to south dakota, work again with the coalition i love, work against the crazy that is leslee unruh and her campaign?
or do i go to colorado, where there is a full zip code full of evangelical woman-haters (focus on the family's frightening hq is in colorado springs), where there's another abortion ban on the ballot for november?
the campaign against this ban in colorado is Protect Families, Protect Choice. (interesting how they both use the emotionally loaded word, "family," in their campaign names.)
this ban is really frightening for a lot of reasons. mostly, because it's not explicitly a ban on abortion; instead, it's a "personhood amendment." meaning that it would change the state constitution of CO to define "personhood" as beginning at fertilization. this definition extends to the sections of the state constitution regarding due process, inalienable rights, and equality of justice.
this, by extension, makes abortion illegal. this makes a lot of forms of birth control illegal. this makes emergency contraception illegal. this has no exceptions, whatsoever. not for rape, not for incest, not for the health (maybe even the life) of the mother. nothing.

(one of my big fears: the colorado campaign will go the way of the SD campaign and use the so, so problematic strategy of opposing it based on the lack of exceptions. it worked in sd two years ago, sure, but now the ban is back, with a much worse prognosis for us than before. please, colorado, learn from this. please please please.)

so, decision-making time:
south dakota?
(or maybe california, where that fucking parental notification bullshit is back on the ballot again?)

où vais-je?

1 comment:

cassidyc said...

We'd sure love if you'd come back to SD. And knowing what I little I know, SD's the surest bet to contribute to the campaign that needs you most.

You should holler at Lindsey or Leslie. Let me know if you need their contact info.

Thanks for spreading word that the ban is back! (And I love the quote on your blog's subtitle.)