Former Democratic Representative Patricia Schroeder gave one of the plenary speeches at the recent Cochrane/Campbell meeting I attended. Her speech addressed the question, “Can Democracy survive?”
Schroeder spoke about the growth of angry rhetoric and of corporate funding in campaign advertising, as well as of some people’s apparent lack of belief in facts and science. She encouraged everyone to get MAD. But she’s not interested in inciting read shouting: Schroeder asked instead that we all work hard to Make a Difference.
That said, tomorrow’s election day. Get out there and vote. It’s the easiest starting point for engaging with democracy and making a difference!
While in Colorado, I heard a lot about the fetal personhood amendment on the ballot in that state. Amendment 62 defines a person as a person “from the beginning of the biological development of that human being” (a specific meaning for which has not been established).
A coalition of organizations has grouped together to oppose the amendment, which could possibly lead to restrictions not only on abortion, but also on common forms of birth control. A recent piece at Slate talks about the disturbing parallels to slavery being made by proponents of the amendment; continuing the problematic anti-abortion arguments targeting women of color that we’ve heard about elsewhere this year.
The abortion gang blog has links to a number of other ballot initiatives affecting women’s reproductive rights and access to healthcare.