Tag Archives: Reproductive rights

The Nation I Used to Love

By Roger Straw, June 24, 2022

The nation I used to love
Has gone mad.
I’m living in a deadly spin,
A near-divorce state,
A whirlpool of Trumpian loathing
And marching orders of Supremes
That would take us back to the glory days
Of patriarchal authority
And martial powers
Of guns and guns and guns…
And babies blooming unchecked
In every womb.

The nation I used to love
Is broken.
And my love is lost for now.
Divorce impossible,
I’m trapped in a promise
Of decades of division,
Litigation that has an arc
That bends not toward justice
But is crushed or nearly so
Under the weight of Justices
Of right –
Of right and fight and loathsome might.

The nation I used to love
Is a memory
Held dear
Kept safe
For a century perhaps
A future for now unknown
And yet to come?
Yet to come.

 

Benicia Rally in support of Roe v. Wade – photos, video

Benicia residents gather in large numbers, hear powerful speeches, lift great signs, march to Benicia State Capitol

Benicia Rally in support of Roe v. Wade at Benicia State Capitol, May 14, 2022 | Photo with permission, more photos by Larnie Fox.

Benicia Independent, by Roger Straw, May 15, 2022

When we heard about the Supreme Court’s draft opinion that would gut women’s right to choose, we knew that a fierce opposition would erupt all over the nation.

Benicia Rally – BANS OFF MY BODY, May 14, 2022. Photo by Larnie Fox

Few dared to hope that Nikki’s email calling for a protest would blossom 250-strong on the Benicia Green and march up First Street, showing incisive and demanding signs, chanting and posing for a historic photo at the old State Capitol.

Benicia Protest March – BANS OFF MY BODY, May 14, 2022. Photo by Larnie Fox

But that’s how it was on Saturday at the Bans Off My Body rally right here in our small town, our beloved Benicia.

Inspired and organized by Benicia artist Nikki Basch Davis and Benicia resident Cathy Bennett (who brilliantly MC’d the event), the lineup of speakers was impressive:

    • Former Benicia Mayor Elizabeth Patterson
    • California Assembly Member Lori Wilson
    • Candidate for Solano County  District Attorney Sharon Henry (currently Chief Deputy District Attorney)
    • Benicia Mayor Steve Young
    • Benicia City Councilmember Christina Strawbridge
    • Maggie Kolk, Benicia-Solano Community Activist
    • Ana Petero, Fairfield-Solano Unified School District Governing Board, professor at Solano Community College, member on the Solano Commission for Women and Girls
    • Dana Dean, Benicia attorney, Trustee on the Solano County Board of Education
    • Terry Scott, Director, Benicia Community Foundation, Chair of Benicia Arts and Culture Commission
    • Mary Susan Gast, Benicia Poet Laureate
    • Carol Patterson, President, League of Women Voters of Solano County
    • Kari Birdseye, Chair of Benicia Planning Commission and Candidate for Benicia City Council

Benicia videographer Constance Beutel filmed the event, and put together a 5-minute video of Highlight Clips:

Dr. Beutel also published a 52-minute version with near full-length coverage of the speakers’ remarks:

In my politically diverse extended family, and among friends and neighbors I know across the spectrum, it is and will remain a woman’s right to choose whether and when to start or expand a family, whether and when to conceive, carry, and give birth.  Men of good will support this right.

A government that by legal fiat imposes forced maternity interferes with a woman’s freedom, and in so doing, interferes with all of our freedoms.  We stand ready to support freedom of choice no matter the dictates of a supposedly “supreme” council of judges.

Roger Straw
Benicia Independent

Benicia gathering Saturday May 14 for Women’s Reproductive Rights

Nationwide rallies are planned for this Saturday to advocate for Women’s reproductive rights.  In June the US Supreme Court will rule on a case that is likely to overturn the 50-year precedent of Roe v. Wade and result in state bans of abortion.  Many alarmed organizers have designated this Saturday, May 14th as Women’s Reproductive Rights Day.  There will be marches  and demonstrations across the nation, including here in Benicia.

Benicia speakers will include former Benicia Mayor Elizabeth Patterson and Benicia Poet Laureate Mary Susan Gast.

A Benicia event organizer writes:

Hello my friends,

I sincerely hope to see most of you at our gathering this coming Saturday May 14, noon-1:30pm on the First Street Green across from Sailor Jack’s.

Having a sign expressing your opinions and feelings will add to a powerful presence.

The internet is full of sign suggestions. Here are a few:

      • MY BODY MY CHOICE
      • GET YOUR ROSARIES OFF MY OVARIES
      • OUR BODIES ARE NOT A POLITICAL BATLEGROUND
      • WE ARE WOMEN NOT SPERM CARRIERS
      • MY MIND MY BODY MY FREEDOM
      • KEEP ABORTION SAFE AND LEGAL
      • HANDS OFF MY DAUGHTERS

> For more ideas, see also on Google: