Our extraordinary programmer, Matt, is going to transfer all of the data here to our remodeled home at MotherTalkers.com. From now on, post there.
Many thanks for your patience with the move from Scoop — our old platform!
So, I’ve started dating this new fella. He’s great (so far), and I’m having a ball with him! Part of me is super excited while the other part of me is scared shitless. He’s bound to f*ck things up – they always do, don’t they? Or am I just being negative and cynical?
Anyway, in celebration of this new relationship, I thought I would post The Fantasy by 30 Seconds to Mars…
THE premier news source for U.S. Latinos, Univision, had a fascinating story on its blog about how overwhelmingly even religious Latinos are pro-choice. Read on:
The results of this bilingual survey, conducted by Democratic polling firm Lake Research Partners in association with the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and the Reproductive Health Technologies Project, show that 74% of Latino registered voters either agree or strongly agree that a woman has a right to make her own personal, private decisions about abortion without politicians interfering. Fewer than one in five (18%) disagree with that statement.
Despite the unrelenting political rhetoric demonizing the issue of abortion rights, Hispanic voters rely on their own personal experiences to make up their minds.
Other key findings:
• Nearly seven in ten Latino voters (68 percent) agree with the statement “even though church leaders take a position against abortion, when it comes to the law, I believe it should remain legal.”
• A majority of Latino voters (61 percent) agree that money should not determine whether a woman can obtain an abortion when she needs one.
• Two-thirds of Latino voters (67 percent) say they would support a close friend or family member who had an abortion.
• Nearly three in four Latino registered voters (73 percent) agree that we should not judge someone who feels s/he is not ready to be a parent.
This does not surprise me. It is important to note that in many Latin American countries, abortion is illegal even if the woman’s life is in danger. (See Colombia and El Salvador.) Also, many of the governments are corrupt — with the Catholic Church’s involvement — and there is a lot of machismo in the culture. For a woman to be able to work somewhere free of sexual harassment and be able to decide for herself when to become a mother is a radical idea and a freedom many Latinas enjoy when they come to the United States.
When I think about this oppression south of our borders, I can’t help but think that many U.S. women take these rights for granted. At least women in my generation who did not grow up somewhere, in which abortion was illegal and access to any form of birth control next to impossible.
Of course, in a poll, Latinos are going to say that they rather have families make reproductive decisions and not the government or the church!
The sickening thing is that there are folks out there who would read my headline and immediately think, “Damn straight!”
After sifting through mounds of “ILLEGALS GO HOME!” comments, disparaging remarks about Latinos, and even being stalked at work for a blog I wrote in favor of the DREAM Act, I know that our xenophobic ugliness knows no bounds. A recent work project, in which I published stories by women delegates and immigrants in Alabama not only confirmed my suspicions of rampant xenophobia but also made me feel hopeful about our future.
A diverse group of women leaders representing faith-based, legal, human rights, worker rights, civil rights, immigrant rights, children advocate and reproductive justice organizations are in Birmingham, Alabama right now to bear witness to the human rights violations that have taken place there since an anti-immigrant law, HB 56, took hold. I was inspired by the way these women have been able to put themselves in the shoes of others — something I fervently wish for every day in our country. Women like Tiffany Williams, a social worker in Florida who was raised by a single mother:
The struggle facing undocumented immigrant mothers in the U.S. is magnified by a culture of xenophobia and hate, and it makes their sacrifices even more profound. My mom didn’t have to leave her family, friends, hometown or home country because economic and ecological crises had swallowed any opportunities for decent work. She didn’t have to cross a border in the middle of the night risking death, rape, robbery. She didn’t have to live in constant fear of being pulled over for a traffic ticket and having her children ripped from her arms and put in the social service system while she languished in a detention center.
And Helly Lee, whose own mother and grandmother were refugees:
For many, the American Dream comes within reach and then it is briskly taken away because of our broken immigration laws. In my work, many Cambodian refugees have been deported from the U.S. to the very country they fled in fear of persecution. Last year, ICE deported Chally Dang and numerous others to Cambodia. Chally arrived in the U.S. when he was a year old. He is a father to three young children, one of whom was born while he was detained in an immigration facility awaiting deportation. Like many families ripped apart by our immigration laws, Chally’s children will grow up without the father they know and love and his fiancée, Ria, is now a single mother.
Reading these stories, it was hard not to weep. And don’t get me started on the actual immigrants in Alabama, who, have bravely decided to stay in the state despite the hate. Women like Trini (pictured above):
Trini’s family was displaced by the tornado that recently hit central Alabama, and had pulled together their limited resources to purchase a trailer home. They had been on their way to recovery when HB56 was introduced, and the security and safety they had worked to create for their children was thrown into chaos again.
They soon found that they were unable to renew the registration for their new home, and the fear of displacement settled heavily on their shoulders. Trini found herself giving power of attorney to a friend, to make sure that her children would be cared for in the event that she or her husband are detained. Her children are scared to go to school, fearing that they will be questioned about their parents’ immigration status and that they will be separated from them.
What is the point of this? It is also worth noting that more than half of immigrants — documented and undocumented alike — are women. Women who risk everything for a chance at a better life. One of Eli’s teachers, who is Peruvian, shared a similar story: Latina immigrants have it very hard, she told me, usually escaping machista, abusive relationships to encounter a punitive system in the United States.
Shudder. I applaud the delegates and immigrant women for taking a public stand in Alabama. What do you think will become of these backwards-ass laws?