Reproductive Rights and R.E.M.

Let’s hope there are many more happy anniversaries for Roe V. Wade because today is the 35th anniversary of the landmark decision that gave women in this country the right to choose to have an abortion if they so desired. As part of spreading the word I’ve promised Blog for Choice that I’d write about this important event today (which I would have done anyway, really). So why is choice so important? As if the question itself needs an answer. Obviously, because this choice concerns a woman’s body, and because it is our choice to decide what we want to do with our own bodies. In other words, the government should keep their hands out of my vagina. Unfortunately, for a government super afraid of anything associated with sex, including talking about genitals, this isn’t so easy. But after reading this book review in the NY Times about an abortionist, I’m totally reminded of the reasons why choice is so important [the parentheses are my way of explaining what's going on].

When Wicklund [the author] finally divulged the secret [that she was an abortionist], her grandmother shared one of her own: at 16, her best friend had gotten pregnant, most likely following an act of incest. She’d tried to help her end the pregnancy with a sharp object, and watched her bleed to death.

One of the reasons we need choice. For me, point made.

Now, on a happy note. I had an “only in NY” moment that I need to share. I mean, it’s not every day that you can call up your friends and say “So I was working at Babeland yesterday when Michael Stipe and the rest of R.E.M. stopped by to sing,” but yesterday, that was totally something I could, and did, say. Yes it’s true, R.E.M., the band that seems to have gone bye-bye (or at least stopped releasing new albums) at least a few years ago, is back, and if the single from last night is any indication of the future of their music, let me just say I’m hooked.

You can read more about my experience on the babeland blog. (It will be up first thing tomorrow, but you can also read my recap of AVN, or as it’s properly called, the AEE. Part’s 1 and 2 are posted there now). In a nutshell, R.E.M. came by to perform the single from their new album for their next video. They stopped into a variety of local shops on the L.E.S. (lower east side) and with camera crew in tow, they came, they sang and they conquered, or more accurately, they left. Michael did leave his hat and bag at Babeland and we could have made a killing selling it on ebay, but he noticed before we did, and so we lost our opportunity to dig through his things (just kidding, actually I’m not a digger like that, at all. I have never even searched through my friends drawers when catsitting). Still, they liked us, so they came back after their next serenade to give us an autographed copy of the lyrics to the song. In an even smaller nutshell, R.E.M. sang for us and it was awesome.