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    Valerie Rodriguez

    Our project was to be an upstander for different topics. We chose our topic to be women’s rights / abortion but mostly revolved around abortion. Actions we did to fight for these rights was p

    Upstander Reflection - Abortion Rights

    Valerie Rodriguez Our project was to be an upstander for different topics. We chose our topic to be women’s rights / abortion but mostly revolved around abortion. Actions we did to fight for these rights was place posters around the...

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    • First of all, I don’t think that you can really change peoples minds on this issue by arguing with them on Instagram or by just posting things in the halls. This just reinforces people’s beliefs rather than actually changing their minds. For example, if I were to tell you about the pro-life beliefs and why you are wrong here, you would likely just refuse to actually hear my points and neither of us would gain a thing. This is to not say that your project is for nothing. A lot of the time, people are uninformed on abortion and I really think that you could inform people of it so that they could choose their side based on facts, which is something that I think you did well. I think that you should also bring up all the trap and hoop laws that are harmful to those who want/need abortions because a lot of those have been universally panned as being bad things, so I think starting with something that you agree on could help to push the conversation to a more constructive and factual way.

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    Valerie wrote a new post

    April 26, 2019

    Dear Planned Parenthood :

    There are many people people who are against abortion and believe that killing a clump of cells is “ murder “ or “ homicide. “ It’s unfortunate because what a lo

    Abortion Rights : Letter to Planned Parenthood

    April 26, 2019 Dear Planned Parenthood : There are many people people who are against abortion and believe that killing a clump of cells is “ murder “ or “ homicide. “ It’s unfortunate because what a lot of people don’t...

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    • Dear Doraneli & Valerie,
      I want to start off with saying, Thank you!! and I agree with y’all. Both of you are talking about a law that was made due to Roe vs. Wade(1973). Sadly, abortion is being seen as a sin and those who have never had an abortion and or men do not understand what a female has been through.I am pro-choice and it has truly been heart breaking seeing men and women standing outside planned parenthood with a poster saying” Murderer”. Planned Parenthood is so much more than just an abortion clinic, it is a clinic where both men and women can get personal test done without feeling judged. I agree, an embryo isn’t consider a baby till the female is more than six weeks pregnant. I applaud you both for saying this “Many women go through so much and getting abortions is more traumatic and although it is beneficial for them — there’s complications that surround them” because those who are against do not understand how it affects the women mentally, physically and emotionally. Thank you for choosing this topic, to write about. At the age of seventeen I went to Planned Parenthood to get more information about who they were because growing up in a Catholic family, abortion wasn’t an option and I didn’t know that this organization does so much more than helping women. I hope you both continue to support and raise your voice on this topic and law that so many congress men and women want to revoke this right. Once again, thank you!! I wish you both the very best and I hope to continue reading your post on other topics y’all write about.

    • Dear Doraneli and Valerie:

      I am impressed with your letter, “Abortion Rights : Letter to Planned Parenthood,” because you hit a risky topic for many people for the same reason you mentioned, there are many people split in decision to this topic. As well I really liked how in your letter you can almost hear the passion to your opinion that women should not be judged if they decide to abort. Now, I agree because it is common sense that if it is not your body, no one should be commenting on what you can and cannot do! Going on, a sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “There’s women who do give consent to sex but never give consent to a man ejaculating in them.” I think this is a powerful phrase because it gives the rape or consent opinion another context. What I mean by that is that I agree with you two that even though you gave consent to one thing, does not mean women give consent to the full process or this is another way of seeing rape. I also like that you guys mentioned Planned Parenthood because they do get so many controversy opinions to supporting this but, it is important for them to keep going for the women who do not want to bring a child to this world to suffer. Overall, I think your topic is something that is a cause for concern because I cannot remember right now but there recently I heard news where young girls cannot abort if they do not seem responsible or in their full senses (correct me if I am wrong), which sounds insane. I think it is time for women to be in charge of their decisions and bodies; and we are here to support. Lastly, I like how you two are trying to educate others and take time out of your day to visit Planned Parenthood, encourages me to try and help the movement, good luck in your process. Thanks for your writing, I look forward to seeing what you write next.

    • Dear Valerie:
      I am amazed by what the letter you wrote, “Abortion Rights : Letter to Planned Parenthood,”
      because I know many people have similar opinions and stories as yours but are afraid to speak up about what they believe in. It is nice seeing youth have such strong feelings towards something and having the courage to do such thing to make a difference. Seeing how passionate you are about this topic and so knowledgable is something else that amazed me. A part you wrote that stands out for me is: “They don’t look at the bright side of things and knowing that there’s so much stigma around abortion and clinics — it takes so much courage to open up a clinic that involves this controversial topic. We are allies of what you all are doing and appreciate your hard work even when not everyone agrees with it. And as someone who has almost been aborted, it doesn’t change my view of abortion at all.” I think this is important for you to share your personal opinion and real life experiences because you allow the reader to know your input and how much this topic resonates to you. Knowing so many people have opinions opposite than yours, you still managed to stay firm about relying a positive message. Your post reminds me so much of my own opinion on abortions and I am full of joy that youth, just like you, are speaking up for many of us!

    • Dear Doraneli and Valerie,
      I was really excited when I found your post about “Abortion Rights: Letter to Planned Parenthood,” because it is a topic that hits home for me. This subject takes a lot of courage to talk about because of the so many controversial views and stigmas behind it. One sentence you wrote that really stands out for me is, “There’s women who do give consent to sex but never give consent to a man ejaculating in them.” After I read this it made me think about how many people truly do not understand the meaning of this. I read somewhere onetime, a story that another female was sharing on an encounter she had with a male. He had taken off the condom in the middle of intercourse and ejaculated inside of her without her knowledge. This happens more often than people talk about. Another sentence that I liked was, “Another tactic that is used is public art which is also spread throughout the world.” It stood out to me because it gave me something new to look into, because I did not know this. One more thing I want to comment on is all the wonderful things you both are trying to accomplish in bringing awareness to Planned Parenthood. Keep it up! Thank you so much for sharing, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post.

    • Doraneli & Valerie,

      Thank you for your post and letter to Planned Parent Hood. The organization has a clinic less than 2 blocks from my work and has helped many many people I’m connected to. In my 11 years of working, I’ve never seen outright protests around the clinic, but I do know there are those in our community (South Side Chicago) that do consider life at conception. I think you’re right to call this controversial. In fact, I think many things people discuss as controversial are not actually because if thought carefully about enough, you see that an initial position being argued can’t be strongly supported by evidence or even by any of the lists of shared values that Americans suppose we hold. In this instance, I fall strongly on your side that value that ought to be prioritized here is a persons freedom over their own choices (and in this case perhaps the most native choice, choice over your own body.) For people that prioritize life, even at conception first, I wonder if they have thought over this value and faced up against their own prioritization that would put their own choice over bodies below the value of innate biological expression that begins at sexual reproduction (which they will call life.) In the end, I like your tack, because I think the solution is education. Even then we still have a legitimately controversial issue, but at least we’d have less name calling and recognitions of the values we are championing.

    • Valerie and Doraneli,

      I think that your article was a very thought provoking read. I also believe in abortion rights. I think your guys’ idea to spread awareness with Planned Parenthood is very creative. One suggestion I have for you two is that I think it could be more effective if you used more scientific terms in your argument. For example, I think it could be good if you found a biological term to replace “clump of cells”. I think that being more technical might help people who don’t believe in abortion rights understand your perspective. Great job on your article


    • Dear Doranelo & Valeri
      To begin with thank you I agree with what you’re saying. Although I am pro-life I am impressed with your letter to Planned Parenthood because this is a very risky and sensitive topic that hits home. I was also very excited to read this because I recently did a research project on the topic abortion so this intrigued me. One sentence that really stood out to me was where you said “there’s women who do give consent to sex but never give consent to a man ejaculating in them”. Wow that was really powerful and well said many do not understand the true meaning of this. I feel you should have included more to the pro-life side as well to show the point of view of both.

    • I was very relieved when i saw your post about “Abortion Rights : Letter to Planned Parenthood” as it’s hard to find someone who believes abortion is not a bad thing. People are to focused on the fact that babies are killed with abortion and fail to think about the benefits and ways it helps people. One sentence that you wrote that stands out for me is your first sentence “There are many people people who are against abortion and believe that killing a clump of cells is “ murder “ or “ homicide. “ I feel like this sentence is so important because it shows how brave you have to be to support this position. For example many people disagree and are willing to argue about it. Anyway thank you for writing and i appreciate you for sharing your opinion. I am excited to see what you have to say in the next post but in the meanwhile come check out my blog and see what i have to say about this whole situation.
      My Blog:

    • Hi Doraneli & Valerie,

      I’m a teacher at the New York City Writing Project’s Invitational Leadership Institute, and had a chance to read your post this afternoon. Thank you so much for helping me learn about ways I can expand the ways I’m teaching and learning in my own classroom with students in in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.

      As many comments already noted, I think you both do a great job of bringing up the problematic ethical issues that arise when governments and individuals attempt to control woman’s bodies. You include some complicated, personal, important examples of circumstances when abortion is necessary, when consent from women is never considered.

      One question I have is what the purpose of this letter is. Is it to inform Planned Parenthood of your campaign to support the organization? Is it to help a wider audience learn more about your project? I think the format you used is really engaging, and overall wanted to hear more about your experiences with your organizing and project overall.

      Radha Radkar
      NYCWP ILI ’19

    • The hazing and titles placed on women, who opt. for an abortion are unfair and barbaric. This article talks about how the stigma is the root of the problem, and how a fetus should not yet be considered a human. In reading so, I have gained a better understanding of the pro-choice argument. Not to mention there was also talk about further compromising situations that women could end up in that call for an abortion. The author supports this argument when stating and explaining: “We have seen how women are presented as “ weak “ or “ murderer “ and it’s not fair because these women who have had abortions can’t always stop their pregnancy.” As well as stating: “No matter how beautiful life is — sometimes it has to be taken away as a fetus. Not a human. And besides a fetus can’t remember anything when in the womb. It doesn’t hurts the fetus . The fetus isn’t alive. Pro lifers don’t understand that it’s a fetus not a human yet. “

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    Valerie commented on the post, Life Goes On

    Dear Gaby:
    I am inspired by your poem, “Life Goes On,” because you are trying to give hope to all of the readers. This poem makes me feel happy because you seem to be like a very optimistic person.To me the main message of your poem is to keep moving on because even through the bad you have to keep pushing yourself. I know this because of all the…Read More

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    I understand what you are saying but I believe this blog is not showing judgement. OUSD has been known for being in debt for over a decade and they do absolutely nothing to raise awareness. Currently, the OUSD teachers are planning on going on strike because of the district. Also, they had millions of dollars funded to them by the state, yet they…Read More

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    Thank you so much for reading my blog. The part of your comment that stood out to me was when you said OUSD is affecting everyone and not only students. A question I have for you is, do you think there is a bigger problem that needs to get more attention? Look forward to hearing back!

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