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theHandpuppet's Journal
theHandpuppet's Journal
January 23, 2014

Laws against reproductive choice maim and kill millions of women around the world

Let's get this straight, shall we? There is no religious mandate, no law, no effort to shame that will eliminate the need for reproductive choice, which includes contraception and abortion. The lack of legal support, health care services and contraception will, however, maim and kill millions of women around the globe. Repressive laws hurt poor women most of all. Denying them their basic autonomy and reproductive choice will certainly do nothing towards lifting these women out of poverty.
Want a need for fewer abortions? Okay, support sex education and free contraception for all. But you cannot foolishly imagine that the need for abortion will disappear because the medical procedure is outlawed or sex education is not taught, or if women's health clinics are closed and laws passed that force them to give birth.
Women are worth more than their value as incubators. Want to stop the maiming and death of millions of women and girls? Want to help prevent unintended pregnancies?

Amnesty International
Women’s silent killer – rights missing from sexual and reproductive health policies worldwide http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/women-s-silent-killer-sexual-health-policies-found-lacking-worldwide-2013-02-13

World Health Organization
Note: the link below is to a pdf
Unsafe abortion: the preventable pandemic

Please don't make me come to DU, of all places, to defend a woman's right to choose, nor tell me why I should not condemn any leader, religious or political, who seeks to oppress women by denying them not only equality as human beings but autonomy over their own bodies. Millions of lives are at stake. Women's lives.

January 18, 2014

Homelessness among LGBT Youth: A National Concern

This article is a couple of months old now but I wanted to bring this subject up again because it's one I've never seen discussed or explored in the mainstream media. If nothing else we can keep the spotlight on it here.
My partner is a big supporter of The Point Foundation, which provides scholarships to LGBTQ youth. I hope you will keep them in mind for your charitable giving. And please, if you know of a charity that assists homeless LGBTQ youth, let us know how we can help.

Homelessness among LGBT Youth: A National Concern
Author: Child Trends | November 18, 2013

For many of us, in November our minds turn toward plans for Thanksgiving, a holiday likely spent at home, surrounded by family. This scenario is far from the reality for many homeless youth in the United States. November is National Homeless Youth Awareness Month, reminding us that even as we think about what we are grateful for in our lives, we should consider all the work that needs to be done to improve the welfare of this vulnerable group.

Approximately 1.6 million youths in the U.S. experience homelessness for at least one night each year. Additionally, 550,000 unaccompanied youth under the age of 24 are homeless for a week or longer; about 380,000 of these youth are younger than 18. These numbers demonstrate a great need for responses to short- and long-term homelessness among youth.

One group that is particularly at risk for homelessness is lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth. LGBT youth are often homeless because they were rejected by their families, schools, and communities for their sexual orientation or gender identity. In a national survey of homeless centers and agencies that serve youth, it was reported that LGBT youth comprise 40 percent of the clientele served. In fact, one in five transgender people in their 30s report having been homeless at some point in their lives. These numbers show that homelessness among youth who are LGBT is much more than a niche problem; understanding and reducing homelessness among these youth is a crucial part of understanding and reducing homelessness, period.

Besides being at greater risk for homelessness, LGBT youth are more likely to become homeless at younger ages. LGBT youth are also more likely to be sexually assaulted on the streets and in shelters. In fact, in one study, 58 percent of lesbian, gay, or bisexual homeless youth reported having been sexually victimized, compared with 33 percent of heterosexual homeless youth. Gay and lesbian youth who experience homelessness are also more likely to be infected with HIV than heterosexual homeless youth.1

Homeless LGBT youth may be less accepted in shelters, programs, and foster homes. Among homeless transgender adults, 55 percent have reported being harassed by shelter staff; 29 percent have reported being turned away by shelters because of their gender identity; and 22 percent have reported being sexually assaulted by residents or staff. Although these statistics do not directly address what happens to transgender youth at homeless shelters, they paint a grim picture of what these and other LGBT youth might face...

- See more at: http://www.childtrends.org/homelessness-among-lgbt-youth-a-national-concern/#sthash.14uB7YRv.dpuf

January 11, 2014

Wasn't aimed at you, directly, but the DU audience

Over the years I've seen a lot of negative comments made here about WV and Appalachians, most borne out of ignorance. So I have a tendency to get my back up rather quickly, expecting to read a bunch of bigoted insults in any thread regarding WV.

WV isn't Vermont, folks. You go up against the coal industry and you're not going to get elected, period. Fear is a powerful motivator and in a state where coal provides the ONLY industry in many counties, you either mine or you don't eat. Now I may hate too many things associated with the mining industry and the devastation it causes to the environment but I also understand the fear of not being able to put food on the table... and that isn't going to go away until families in Appalachia are provided with decent jobs that are an alternative to mining. Just electing anyone with a (D) beside their name isn't going to change that. We have some important elections coming up in both WV and Kentucky, and the issues surrounding the regulation of the coal industry are a make or break for Democrats. Case in point:

Believe me, it's no fun having to call your family and tell them to stock up on water. I have family living about 70 miles downstream from the site of this spill and I'm worried as hell. You can bet if this catastrophe happened anywhere but in Appalachia there would be scores of threads about it already.

Anyway, I've had my two cents' worth. Didn't mean to hijack your thread or anything so I'll bow out now.

Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Ohio
Home country: USA
Current location: West Virginia
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 19,964

About theHandpuppet

Cantankerous by nature, aspires to a genteel misanthropy. Interests include carpentry, organic gardening and sustainable living, history, genealogy, astronomy and paleontology, visual arts, lgbt activism. Caretaker for a brace of Scotties and several ungrateful, rescued cats. Addicted to watching sports and cheers for perennial losers. Education: I suppose, though some might think an MFA doesn\'t really qualify as such. Partnered for 24 years to a saint. Just lucky, I guess.

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