May 23, 2011

Pro-Woman, Pro-Child, Pro-Choice.

psssst Tessa...
So there's this Ani DiFranco song that I love about how when she was a little girl she remembers her mother taking her to volunteer someplace and that she helped a group of women lick stamps and kick ass and get things accomplished. This song right here. It has always given me goosebumps because I would die of happiness if my daughter remembers amazing things like that about me. I want Tessa Jean to remember so much more than the crusts I cut off and the hugs I smothered her with and the boo-boos that I kissed away; I want her to think of her mother and think, "Damn, she had some other stuff going on too. She was passionate about things that really matter."

Ani's song, by the way, goes like this: "My mother went campaigning door to door and holding to her hand was me / Yeah I was just a girl in a room full of women licking stamps and laughing / I remember the feeling of community brewing, of democracy happening."

Tessa's not going to remember that her dad and I took her to a pro-choice rally on Saturday or that we walked around the Tennessee Capitol chanting and waving signs while she was strapped to the front of me.

But I will remember. Because talk about goosebumps -- I had them almost the whole time. I'm sort of blissfully unaware of a lot of political goings-on, but one thing I can't let myself tune out is the abortion debate, which is raging on in Tennessee. Last week my home state passed SJR-127, a constitutional amendment that will be on our ballot in 2014 and that, if passed, will nullify a 2000 Tennessee Supreme Court decision that says the state constitution guarantees a woman's right to an abortion. Tennessee also managed to pass a budget that blocks any Title X funding (federal family-planning funds) from going to Planned Parenthood -- effective immediately.

I don't really know that carrying around a cardboard-box-turned-DIY-sign will change anything, but it's better than nothing. And one day Tessa will remember.