Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Had a brush with some punks. Well, I'm not sure there was more than one. Also, I'm assuming they were punks. The real story is, I don't really know anything. All I know is that someone wanted my iPod. BAD. What can I say, I've got great taste in music.

Whenever I think about petty theft (or breaking and entering, either way), I can't help but give the benefit of the doubt that there was a damn good reason. Granted, I'm still pissed. But having worked with so many poor women in gritty neighborhoods filled with shifty people, and remembering that quite a few of them are on the wrong side of the law (and that's just the ones I know about!), can I really judge? I mean, how do I know this dude or dudette didn't sell my stuff and use the money for an abortion? How do I know that all patients who miraculously pull together that last $200 haven't stolen something or done something terrible? Don't we tell them to do whatever it takes to get their money together? Don't we refuse to help them and speak brusquely, even though our ultimate goal is to help them? Needing money is hard! I've been needy before, and it really sucked. To be so needy as to smash a window and grab what you can in 12 seconds must suck HARD.

While I'd love nothing more that to have my apartment door back in one piece, and while I'm still concerned about how my workouts are going to turn out without my jams, I can only hope that the end result of this horrible experience gets a kid into college, or gets a needy woman an abortion, or feeds a family, or whatever! And if the world is somehow a little bit nicer because of a few 100s worth of electronics, I guess that's a fair trade. I guess.


  1. I love how you put things into perspective. If we could all do that, of I could just do that, then maybe everyday would be a lot better.


  2. I think about this sort of thing a lot! It doesn't seem like crime is an easy way to turn a buck for most people, so robberies and drug dealing and especially prostitution always make me think about how much it must suck to be in a position where you're resorting to them.

    And yeah, over time I've certainly heard after-the-fact about some strategies that I can't recommend to other clients... On the one hand, it's sort of an impressive testament to how much some women will go through if that's what it takes to stay in control of their reproductive lives, and on the other it's a sad symptom of the shitty situations they may find themselves in and basically how badly society has failed them :(

  3. This letter to Dean Sachs of Tulane (is Tulane really a medical school??) was posted on another listserve. It was written by Dr Bill Harrison whom I just love and I'm sure you will too.

    Dean Sachs
    A few weeks ago I was asked by some of your students to come to Tulane to speak to the first and second yr medical students about abortion as they felt they were not being given adequate information in their medical school training. I was told that you demanded that they have a "panel" discussion, not a debate, and that they had finally arranged for me and a "Pro-Life" obgyn and two lawyers on the panel. Some of the Pro-Life students were to arrange for the Pro-Life doctor and Pro-Life lawyer.

    I have spoken at medical schools about abortion now for many years, including the Univ of Arkansas on many occasions, the Univ of AL in Birmingham, the Med. College of GA in Augusta 3 times, the Univ of SC in Charleston, the Univ of TN in Memphis, the Univ of KY in Lexington, McGill Univ in Montreal, Canada; Baylor Univ Med School in Houston, Drexler Med School in Philadelphia, Wash. Med School in St. Louis, the medical school located in Newark, NJ (the name of which I can't remember at the moment). Never have the students who asked me to come speak been put through a wringer like your students were by you. And never have the students attending one of these events been given such a lake of lies and misinformation like your students were.

    I have been an obgyn since I started my residency in 1968. As a student and resident at the Univ Of AR medical school and the Univ hospital in LR during the years of clinical training and residency, I experienced the thousands of girls and women who came in with very serious infections and injuries that occurred during the illegal abortion they did themselves or received from illegal abortionists of the day. As an obgyn and the dean of a major American medical school, I suspect that you know the difference of complication rates of illegal and legal abortions. (And if you don't, you damn sure don't deserve your position!) Your demands that the student be presented with the "testimony" of a Catholic ObGyn who thinks that safe, legal abortion as it is practiced today and what I experienced prior to Roe v. Wade is so dangerous that it deserves to be outlawed, is the most outrageous thing I have ever heard of being presented by a school supposedly educating young doctors! And!
    to have a woman who runs an "Crisis Pregnancy Center" feeding them her barrels of misinformation is sickening! Since when have religious propaganda and outright lies been considered information worthy of being presented to students as fact!?? If this is what Tulane University Medical School has sunken to, then I feel sorry for your students!

    By the way, I will be sending a copy of this letter to the ObGyn News, the New York Times and the Times-Picayune.

    Oh, and I forgot one of the most offensive parts of this story. The students were told that they must hire 8 off duty Univ police to protect the event and that none but students with id cards would be allowed to attend - not faculty, or staff, nurses or labtechs or family members or anyone else! Nor could any press be present! What are you so afraid of? Your job? Is it really worth your reputation as an educator?

    William F Harrison, MD, FACOG
    Fayetteville AR

  4. Awesome letter! Thanks for sharing!!


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