TRAP Laws, and Why You Should Care About Them

TRAP” (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) laws single out the medical practices of doctors who provide abortions and impose on them requirements that are different and more burdensome than those imposed on other medical practices. (http://www.reproductiverights.org/project/targeted-regulation-of-abortion-providers-trap)

So now that you know what they are, why does it matter? Why should you care? 

I’ll tell you why.

Because in several states across the US, most notably Texas, this type of legislation is trying to get passed, which will force clinics medical professionals who offer abortion services to have to adapt to these harsh laws, or they will be severely punished. This can result in these places closing, with those in need having nowhere else to turn. 

By having these TRAP laws put in place, having a safe place or a less expensive option for those in need will no longer be available, putting the people in different, even life-threatening situations. 

For many, clinics such as Planned Parenthood are the only medical care that some are able to receive. 

The proponents of these laws insist that they are “trying to protect women’s health.” 

But would you feel safe if the one place you could go to wasn’t able to help you because of these laws?  

I know I wouldn’t.

#‎StopTheSham‬

Prisons And Children 

As you know, I am in an independent study this semester entitled Writing In The Prisons. During this time, I will be visiting a local correction facility and teach creative nonfiction writing.

In order to prepare for this all I had to do was register my course online so  I get credit, and once I begin, I have to sign in, and potentially have my bag searched unless I leave it in the car. All I have to do is look nice and professional while I’m there.

I am also doing other volunteer work this semester with children, where I go to a local school to teach creative writing.

To prepare for this, I had to sign a volunteer sheet stating that I have never been convicted of a crime against a child, a form stating I cannot take pictures of the children, a formal background check, another form stating that I have never been convicted of child abuse, fingerprints, and I also needed to get a tuberculosis shot. There is also a strict dress code that I need to abide by. 

Do you see the difference in how I have to prepare for both of these? Because I sure do.

Why is it that I had to go through all these processes to work with children but minimal processes at best to work with inmates who are already incarcerated, and in the process of rehabilitation?

What does it say about our society as a whole when we’re willing to do everything to protect our children, but provide minimal effort to protect those who are behind bars? 

And before this gets too political, I need to clarify that I take both of these opportunities very seriously, and I look forward to working with both groups immensely. 

I just find it a bit odd that we as an overall society are less caring about those willing to change, but overprotective of future generations. Shouldn’t we care about both equally? In my case, both are receiving similar opportunities to learn creative writing. They will be taught similar concepts (although the maturity will differ), and it is supposed to be an interesting learning experience for all of us.

So why is it that when I tell people about my independent study (which I waited 2 years to take), the response I get is that it will not be safe, and that I shouldn’t go?

Yet when I tell people I am working with children, they are overwhelmingly happy for me, and  are excited to see what I am teaching them.

I am so excited and honored to have both of these opportunities, but I feel that both groups must be treated with the same respect and honesty before I can feel I am doing the best job possible, and that they are all receiving something in return.

Because in my eyes, everyone has a chance to gain something from this. Including me. 

I’ve Never Seen Star Wars & That’s Okay

Hi, I’m 21 years old, and I’ve never seen the Star Wars movies. And frankly, I don’t know if I ever want to.

If you haven’t stopped reading after this (or passed out from pure shock), let me explain why.

As a kid, it was never really a topic of discussion among my family and friends. My parents haven’t seen all of the movies, and they were alive when the first movie came out (sorry for aging you Mom & Dad!). My sister was only a baby by the time the prequel trilogy was completed, and my friends weren’t really interested in watching that sort of stuff.

Sure, I liked fantasy and science-fiction. But growing up, the first three movies had already been released, which left me with the prequels. By the time the last movie came out (Episode III: Revenge of the Sith), I was only  10 years old.

As a 10 year old, going to watch a movie about space didn’t quite capture my attention. I had other things to do, like watch television , read, and listen to my CD player. And by the time it came out at Blockbuster, I had moved on to other interests, namely camp and tennis

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a pretty big nerd. I can quote parts of the Harry Potter series, I know the smallest Doctor Who details (classic and current). I’ve attended Comic-Con for the past four years in cosplay.

But Star Wars has never appealed to me.

That, and all of the movies have been spoiled for me in some way.

Not on purpose of course, but still. Even the original movies have been in some way spoiled for me, and there’s really nothing I can do about it.

And before you blame technology and social media, I’ve had friends and well-intentioned strangers ruin plot points for me. In their excitement to explain the importance of watching Star Wars, they have shared key character relationships and events.

So I figured, why watch what has already been spoiled? I am happy to live in complete and utter ignorance.

And for the record, I’ve never seen the Lord of the Rings movies either.

But that’s another story, in a galaxy far far away.