As a follow-up to What About Bob? , I will now address Student Doctor Bob’s emails.
Monthly Archives: February 2008
So I’ve been working at this place for about four months, and things have been getting tenser by the day. Not just because of the stressful office environment, but also because of my home situation.
I had been a stay-home mom for about nine years before I took this job out of necessity. I was torn between needing to provide for my son, and my desire to be available for him emotionally and physically. Four months in, we were feeling the effects, and they weren’t good for either of us.
I decided to resign and find work that would accommodate my son’s school schedule. There just didn’t seem to be any other option.
I recently posted about a dreadful experience I had while riding a city bus. If you haven’t yet read the account, please do so. It’s the only way to understand why the response I received isn’t nearly good enough.
This is the entire contents of the letter I received in response to my complaint:
My son and I have been watching the eclipse. It’s cloudy where we are, but the clouds are moving quickly, and the moon is never hidden for more than a minute or a so.
I just stepped out again and it’s almost fully eclipsed. A huge cloud just blew in front of it. My son will call me when the moon reappears.
It’s beautiful and awe inspiring. There won’t be another total eclipse until 2010.
I’m off to see the rest of it.
That was amazing! We got a huge break in the clouds just in time to see the total eclipse. Watching the clouds roll was nice and relaxing too. I wish we’d had a telescope, but we did get see it through a neighbor’s binoculars.
The sky and the stuff in it are totally cool! But the most special part was sharing the moment with my precious little boy.
Julie Sternberg is senior staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project
If you’re like the majority of Americans, 75 percent to be exact, by the age of 20 you’ve had sex without being married to your partner. By the age of 44 that percentage rises to 95 percent. These figures, from a recent study published in Public Health Reports, make clear that engaging in sex before marriage is the cultural norm in the United States and has been for decades.
Yet our government is downright obsessed with abstinence until marriage. In fact, since 1996, the federal government has poured more than a billion dollars into programs that are required to promote abstinence until marriage, and forbidden from teaching about contraception, unless it is to emphasize failure rates.
Of course, the million-dollar question (or should I say, billion-dollar question) is: Do these programs work? The answer: No. Research shows that while some abstinence-only-until-marriage programs may delay sex for a bit, most teens who participate go on to have sex before marriage and when they do start having sex are less likely to use condoms and get tested for STDs.
In contrast, evidence shows that programs that promote abstinence and provide teens with information on how contraception protects against unintended pregnancy and STDs actually result in teens delaying sex and increased contraceptive use. Yet there is no federal funding for such reality- and truth-based programs.
Abstinence-only-until-marriage programs are clearly not about science, nor are they about promoting public health. Rather they are about pushing a particular agenda.
I was three years old when my mother was pregnant with Julie; I remember my mother’s huge belly. She would let me play by pushing her protruding belly button and saying, “Ding dong! Is anybody home?” I would then press my ear against Mother’s belly and pretend that Julie was talking to me.
When my parent’s brought Julie home from the hospital, the first thing I noticed was her dark hair sticking out of the top of the blanket she was wrapped in. My hair was lighter; more like my mother’s. Because Julie’s hair was the color of my father’s, I assumed she was a boy. I didn’t want a brother. My parents assured me she was a girl, and I took to her immediately.
I was still quite small myself, and was not allowed to carry Julie around like I wanted to. Mother would often lay her on a thick blanket on the floor, and I would pull her around the house by the edge of the blanket. I just wanted her with me.
Warning: This post contains strong language which may be offensive to some readers.
As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t own a car, meaning I take the bus when I go places outside of walking distance. I purchase a monthly pass for myself; for my son, I take advantage of the outstanding student discount available, and purchase the semester pass for him. Because the semester pass only has to be renewed twice a year, it’s easy to forget about until we try to board with an expired pass.
We were standing at the bus stop yesterday when I got out my son’s pass, and it occurred to me that it had probably expired. There is no expiration date on the semester passes; not even a month. They do have a colored sticker which changes each time they’re renewed, but there’s no real way to know if it’s expired until a driver tells you. Since this was his first trip since the start of the month, I wasn’t sure.
I told my son to go ahead and show his pass in case it was still good; I figured the driver would let us know if it had expired. I also had his fifty cent fare in my hand, in case it was. The bus pulled up, my son showed his pass as he boarded, and that’s where it all hit the fan.
Following a recent discussion elsewhere on this blog, I feel it necessary to clarify my feelings about something.
If I state that a specific behavior or mindset is down to religious beliefs, I am not necessarily saying that it’s bad — just that it is what it is.
When adherents of said religions protest and insist that it has nothing to do with religion or faith, they undermine their own principles — their own god(s).
Among the highlights of the report:
Abstinence-only Programs Undermine Medical Ethics and Basic Human Rights
“We believe that current federal abstinence-only-until-marriage policy is ethically problematic, as it excludes accurate information about contraception, misinforms by overemphasizing or misstating the risks of contraception, and fails to require the use of scientifically accurate information while promoting approaches of questionable value.”
“Abstinence-only programs threaten fundamental human rights to health, information, and life.”