With the political scene heating up this spring, it seems to me the debate regarding "women's issues" is at the forefront of what feels like a political storm headed our way. As I watch words fired back and forth, policies on birth control and abortion being debated, I find myself increasingly concerned for the children I have CHOSEN to bring into this world.

 Obviously I am personally kids might have been the first clue!  I have volunteered for pregnancy centers, help start a non profit in Colorado to house pregnant teens, yet as I have gotten older realized the world isn't quite as black and white as I once believed it to be. I've developed compassion, understanding and adopted a stance which makes my die hard pro-life friends cringe and yank out their bibles. I believe in choice and I believe I made mine by having all the children I became pregnant with.

I will forever think every baby is a blessing and all obstacles can be overcome when faced with becoming a parent but my belief system... my morals... my values about it may not resonate with another and I cannot in good conscience say I have that right to make the decision for every other person out there (particularly with all the issues such as rape, incest, health of the mother, etc.).

We could debate this all day and each of us would walk away feeling right in our own stance. I don't believe this is an issue which will go away for a very long time. I find it concerning when public figures, politicians and lawmakers have turned from a place of compassion to a place of name calling and "slut bashing." When the right I have not to have anymore children and to enjoy relations with my cowboy which are not for the purpose of procreation is called into question, my ire gets up! I want to shout "stay out of my bedroom thank you very much!)  When people state "women in their day used to place an aspirin between their knees" I want to knock someone silly! Seriously? Your advice to young women is to put an aspirin between their knees? First....ya think that's gonna work?? ....and second where does that leave the male responsibility in this?? All of this talk about women's issues isn't just for is for ALL of us. It effects both males and females. 

I have always felt it was a parents job and responsibility to teach their children about sex. While I have always given my children the right to decide whether or not to attend sex ed classes at school , we have made discussion about this a topic of conversation to be openly talked about. Yeah, I have normal kids who roll their eyes and say "Mom!" I have taught my kids sex is an adult responsibility and privilege but I am also really really aware teens are always jumping ship too early and we have a policy of open communication about it. No teen is ever ready nor should have to be ready to be a parent. Prevention is very very important.

My sweet cowboy man made some poor choices when he was a young man. He was one of those statistics of teen pregnancy as he got his high school girlfriend in the family way. She was moved to a home for pregnant mothers, 4 hours from him. He missed the birth of his son, but made trips, as a high school student, over on a regular basis. Without going into to much detail, by the time his son was 14 months old he had full custody and was a full time parent. He was up nights with a baby, took him to a sitter, and managed to finish high school with honors. When I ask him what he wants our children to know..his first statement is "keep it zipped"...typical. His second is always he wished there had been adults who had been open with him about birth control, sex, responsibility etc etc. 

I had a lovely mom who was very open about talking with me about all of these issues. My dad's take on it was "have sex and Ill kill you" and I believed him ;) It is a different world we are dealing with today and like it or not... our kids are in this world and influenced by it. We have to be wise as parents to really understand the choices they are faced with and arm these kids with as much information as possible. I may be naive enough to want and believe they should wait until adulthood but I'm not going into this without placing some safety nets! I can sanction safety and abstinence AND I can give options and safe alternatives without giving hearty approval for sexual activity. This Mama and this Papa... in this house... want to make sure they make it to adulthood with the best possible outcome and pregnancy/std's is not on that list. 

As my young people move into adulthood, with I'm sure many of them someday getting married and raising families, I wonder how these debates, particularly surrounding birth control will effect them. I can remember being a young, poor, married student and wanting to prevent more children. I made my way down to Planned Parenthood and was so thankful they were there to help, particularly when I was a previously married to a man who wasn't on the same page as I when it came to family planning. 

So, we debate should tax dollars fund organizations like PP?  Should health care laws require insurance companies to provide birth control for their employees even if it is a religious organization? Should Abortion be legal? All I can think of is my young people. Will my daughters have the option to put off family planning until they complete college? Will my sons have to support a family while trying to make their way in the world? Will they face tough decisions such as abortion? My children are lucky enough to have parents who will help them out financially. What about for those who do not have the options my kids have?  Who should be responsible for paying for such things in society for those who cannot afford them? I've come down to I'm all for federal funding of birth control because I feel it can be just as much a basic necessity  as food, electricity, water, clean air.  

I find saying birth control shouldn't be funded, provided or approved of because it increases the likely hood of sex erroneous. Ya'll.. people have sex... it is the outcome of those actions people would like to have some control over.  We pour billions of dollars into bailing out banks... and supporting wars half a world away... but we find it concerning to pay a small amount to prevent unwanted pregnancies? 

You may not agree and I respect your beliefs. Being a part of a democracy means we each have a voice and opinion. As the debates on the issue continue, my one hope is that those commentating on it will remember there are people effected by the issues they are discussing and making policy about. Real live ... breathing... walking talking.. human beings who deserve to be treated with dignity not called "sluts" or other derogatory terms because their way of life and belief system is different. You can get your points and beliefs across with a lot more respect than I am seeing in this current climate.